Hailey Whitters’ ‘I’m in Love’ Doubles Down on ’90s Charm [Listen]
Plenty of artists cite a '90s country influence; few execute that influence quite as expertly as Hailey Whitters.
More than once, she's proven herself fluent in the brand of wholesome, upbeat whimsy that fans know and love from songs like Trisha Yearwood's "She's in Love With the Boy" and Sara Evans' "Suds in the Bucket."
Whitters cracked radio's Top 20 last year with "Everything She Ain't," a single that fits squarely within that twangy '90s line. Heck — "How Far Can It Go?," a Yearwood duet that Whitters put out in 2020, has such strong '90s vibes that it's hard to believe it's not a cover.
When you're as good as Whitters is at channeling throwback country, it doesn't make sense to slow down. Her new single, "I'm in Love," is every bit as irrepressible and charmingly retro as ever, this time channeling all-American imagery to tell a classic story of small-town young love.
Whitters' songwriting is far too elegant and personality-packed to be schticky. Lines like "Sister's in her room smokin' God knows what" and "Two bottles into a bottle of wine" blow a fresh breeze through familiar subject matter, and add depth to a song that would otherwise run the risk of tipping from classically sweet into downright cavity-inducing.
In this song, Whitters can add in all the smitten, candy-coated lyrics she wants to: She doesn't run the risk of coming across as vapid, because of how carefully and creatively her song is crafted.
Anybody can write a song about young love, and cite a '90s influence while they're doing it. But it takes a special artist to do what Whitters has done: Here, she creates a wistful, immersive world, bringing the giddy euphoria of first love to life for even the most jaded listener.
"I'm In Love" was the most-added single at country radio in its first week, with 58 stations. Whitters is currently the reigning ACM New Female Artist of the Year; at next month's CMA Awards, she'll be up in the New Artist of the Year category once again.
Here Are the Lyrics to Hailey Whitters' "I'm in Love":
Beer's in the bucket, suds in the sink / Chickens in the skillet, ice in the drink / Head's in the clouds, diamonds in the rough / He's in a Chevy and I'm in love
Tappy's in Heaven, Mama's in Town / Daddy's in the doghouse, corn's in the ground / Sister's in her room smokin' God knows what / He's in a Chevy and I'm in love
Talkin' 'bout ooh-ooh, I'm out of my mind / Two bottles into a bottle of wine / Man's in the moon and a deer's in rut / Wind's in the chimes, stars in a line / He's in the drive and I'm in love
Tips in the apron, hair's in a braid / Mercury's all in retrograde / Silver in the spoon, no blue in his blood / He's in Levi's, I'm in love
I'm in for it, I'm in so deep / Six songs into a Jones LP / He's in a t-shirt, all cleaned up / Good Lord almighty, Mama, don't wait up
Chills down my spine, heart's on the line / He's all mine and I'm in love
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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes