Gone Country: Hear Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s new duet ‘Speak to a Girl’


The wait is over, country fans. The new duet from Faith Hill and Tim McGraw is now available to stream.

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 28: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill attend Lionsgate Hosts the World Premiere of “The Shack” at the Museum of Modern Art on February 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

“Speak To A Girl,” the first single from McGraw and Hill’s recently announced duet album, moved to country radio and Spotify at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The song, abut the proper way men should speak to women, seems to be a commentary on the state of modern country music’s “Hey, girl” fascination. It’s also a blend of the two country star’s stylings as of late; McGraw’s quiet, “Damn Country Music” laid-back acoustic sound meshes well with Hill’s pop sensibilities and soaring vocals in the back half of the song.

“When songs can be timely and really move you and really have a message, then you know that you have something special,” McGraw told Nash Country Daily. I think that this song really is a special song. It’s special for us, having three daughters—me being a husband and Faith being a mom of three daughters and growing up in a world of all women like I did, I think it’s just a really special song.”

Hill added in the same interview: “It kind of gives you a landscape of how to speak to a girl, and what the important parts of language are when it comes to communicating with one another—with a woman. It’s about truth and honesty and respect. The biggest one being respect.”

Related: Texas Tech study says women in country songs are more objectified than ever

“Speak To a Girl” was written by Shy Carter, Dave Gibson and Joe Sparger and co-produced by Byron Gallimore, along with McGraw and Hill. Thursday is the song’s release date, but the couple plans to perform it at the ACM Awards on April 2.

Earlier this year, the couple wrote and recorded a new duet for the Christian film “The Shack” called “Keep your Eyes on Me” that now sounds like a precursor to the sound they have now.
The couple will also once again go on tour with one another in April. Their “Soul2Soul World Tour” kicks off in New Orleans April 7, and they both just left their respective labels to sign record deals with Arista Nashville in February. McGraw was previously at Big Machine Records (after leaving a whole career at Curb before that), while Hill was at Warner Bros. The contracts are separate, and include separate solo albums as well as the duet album, but this decision by one of the best-selling duos of modern country was clearly good business.
McGraw is currently in the middle of a late-career renaissance thanks to “Humble and Kind,” “How I’ll Always Be” and “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” (which was also a duet with Hill). Hill’s last hit was “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” and hasn’t had a solo hit since 2005’s “Sunshine and Summertime.
The decision to tour together, sign on the same record label and release a whole duet album together is great for McGraw’s and Hill’s fans, but it’s also a sad indication of the state of the country music business for women. Faith Hill has sold more than 40 million records worldwide in her career, and she’s also scored five Grammy wins and earned 18 Top 10 songs on the Billboard country charts (eight of which went to No. 1). But the only way she can get any sort of press these days is by touring with her husband (or by being interviewed by Fox News about “aging gracefully.”)
But maybe they wanted it that way; McGraw and Hill have three daughters, and the youngest one is almost done with high school, so maybe they didn’t want to have both parents trying to tour and release albums while raising three kids.
Either way, it’s sad that Hill’s solo work has gotten less attention over the years.
At any rate, “Speak To A Girl” is wholesome country that actually has something to say in a time when the genre desperately needs it. Take a listen on Spotify below.

Gone Country aims to thoughtfully explore the country music genre and where it’s headed, with a focus on national trends and buzzworthy news of the week. Questions, comments, suggestions? Let me know on Twitter @jakeharris4 or through email at jharris@statesman.com.

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