Gilbert penned "Heaven By Then" with Brock Berryhill, Hardy
, Jake Mitchell, Randy Montana
, Hunter Phelps and Taylor Phillips during a February 22, 2022 nighttime writing retreat at a ranch in coastal Matagorda, Texas.
While working on an entirely different song they got stuck on a line. When Phillips blurted out the phrase "heaven by then," he and Hardy instantly recognized it worked better as a title.
"Hardy looked at me and was like, 'What did you just say?'" Phillips recalled. "I was trying to play it off like I didn't say nothing. And then I was like, 'Boys, I think we're writing the wrong song.' Hardy grabbed the guitar, and I mean, honestly, it was pretty much a walk in the park. It was very fastly written."