“Out in the Middle” is an upbeat ode to the rural life, while “Old Love Song” name-checks timeless love ballads by the likes of Al Green, Keith Whitley and Randy Travis in an attempt to sum up an all-time great romance.
“This is all the songs you fell in love to. It was like a puzzle trying to put together all the song titles we really love,” frontman Zac Brown explains of writing “Old Love Song.” “I grew up listening to oldies — songs a lot older than I was. And this song has that feel to it.”
True to ZBB’s genre-bending ways, “Old Love Song” mixes in tracks from all musical styles, and “Out in the Middle” taps into the band’s well-documented Southern rock flair.
“It’s a tip of the hat to the people who live out in the middle of nowhere and they’re happy being there. People that live in the city often make fun of country people until they come out and experience it for themselves,” Zac points out. “Then they really get into it. There’s a reason that you stay out there.”
Still, the band’s two newest songs fit more seamlessly into the mainstream country genre than much of their recent output, especially in comparison to ZBB albums like The Owl and Zac’s solo effort, The Controversy.
That could be thanks in part to their co-writers. Zac wrote “Out in the Middle” and “Old Love Song” with country stalwart Luke Combs, as well as Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton, both of whom also had a hand in penning ZBB’s current single, “Same Boat.”
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