Jennifer Nettles is getting ready to hit the airwaves with her new single, “That Girl.” It’s the first release from her forthcoming solo album, which was helmed by famous producer Rick Rubin (LL Cool J, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Weezer, Johnny Cash). After taking maternity leave to dote on her precious son, Magnus, Jennifer went to work with Rubin at his studio in Malibu, California, carrying a pocketful of songs she had written
She co-wrote “That Girl” with Georgia rocker Butch Walker, who brought the idea for the song to Jennifer. “He wanted to write a song with the story of this girl who didn’t want to be THAT girl, who was reaching out to say, ‘Hey, I was with your man, but I didn’t know you were in the picture or else I wouldn’t have done it, because I didn’t want to be that girl,” she explains.
As they were writing the song, it became apparent to Jennifer that it was sort of an answer song to Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” which hit the top of the country charts in 1974. Dolly has often said the inspiration behind “Jolene” was a tall, red-headed bank teller who flirted with her husband, Carl Dean, who suddenly had to make frequent trips to the bank. “That Girl” is told from the other woman’s point of view.
“As the song evolved, I said ‘This is Jolene. This is from her perspective. Wouldn’t that be interesting to hear that, because all we hear is Dolly’s perspective of saying ‘Please don’t take my man,’ which is why then once we realized that, we put that line in there ‘I’m not the scarlet devil/I don’t want to take your man,’” says Jennifer. “I was so excited to have that connection in that way, and that it happened so organically and wasn’t intentional. That it was a story that is super classic, and yet telling it was its own story and an answer to a super legendary song, which is of course Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene.’”
“That Girl” is scheduled to be released on August 20th for download. Fans can pre-order her single HERE via Amazon now.