“When They’re Gone (Lyle County)” – David Nail feat. Little Big Town
One of our favorite tracks on the impressive 2014 David Nail release I’m A Fire is the incredible “When They’re Gone (Lyle County).” The song was written by Brett Eldredge and Scooter Carusoe, and produced by Frank Liddell (Miranda Lambert, Eli Young Band – although you may also know him as the founder of Carnival Music and the husband of Lee Ann Womack).
Lyrically, the song is a simple and clever tale of nostalgia; lyrics like “I still ride down those old roads / even if it’s in my mind / tight blue jeans and winding curves / keep me turning on a dime” crafting a beautiful dual image characteristic of Carusoe’s writing. The lyrics are visually vivid as well, with graceful imagery like “she had hair tangled as the kudzu, legs as long as the trails that through those back acres to the river bend.”
Nail’s voice is one of the best we’ve heard of late, and his performance on the mid-tempo track yields perfectly to the sentiment of the song. Nail is expressive and emotive, but not to the point of melancholy you’d find in a ballad – his vocals, like the chorus (“some things aren’t meant to last forever, but that don’t mean you forget ’em when they’re gone,”) indicate an acceptance and peace with the circumstances. The feature from Little Big Town perfects the track, lending their signature and incredible harmonies to the track.
If you’re familiar with Nail only because of radio hits like “Red Light” or “Whatever She’s Got,” “When They’re Gone (Lyle County)” is a must-listen; the artistry on I’m A Fire is most evident when you dig below the radio-ready singles, and tracks like this and “The Secret” reveal how truly strong the album is.