Karen Fairchild’s lead on Little Big Town’s new single ‘Girl Crush’ may be the best vocal performance of the year. Her anguish drives through you like a steam engine, and afterward she’s nothing but a puff of white smoke barely holding on to existence.

Listen to the song on repeat and find yourself exhausted ... in the best possible way. Somehow, there’s something sexy about the second single from ‘Pain Killer.’ It’s more than just “I want to taste her lips / Yeah, 'cause they taste like you.” It’s this woman’s “long blonde hair,” “magic touch” and whispers from beneath soft linen.

I don't get no sleep / I don't get no peace / Thinking about her / Under your bed sheets,” Fairchild sings before, “The way that she's whispering / The way that she's pulling you in / Lord knows I've tried / I can't get her off my mind.”

Jay Joyce gets deserved credit for Eric Church’s last few albums, but his work with Little Big Town should lead his resume. Every song the band cuts has a razor-sharp edge that’s deliciously dangerous to flirt with. Here the arrangement is sparse and raw. Only bass and electric guitar accompany Fairchild and her bandmates for most of the song.

I want her long blonde hair / I want her magic touch / Yeah, 'cause maybe then / You'd want me just as much / I got a girl crush / I got a girl crush,” the group sings, leaning on each other through the chorus.

Mass homogeny on the radio makes it seem impossible to create a sound or write a song that’s truly unique. It’s as if all the good ideas have been used up. Little Big Town prove this is not the case on each album they release. In fact, they usually do it two or three times.

Key Lyrics: "I want to taste her lips / Yeah, 'cause they taste like you / I want to drown myself / In a bottle of her perfume"

Did You Know?: ‘Girl Crush’ songwriters Liz Rose, Hillary Lindsey and Lori McKenna call themselves the 'Love Junkies.'

Listen to Little Big Town, ‘Girl Crush’

Little Big Town Talk About Recording 'Girl Crush'

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