Southbound

Album: Cry Pretty (2018)
Charted: 64

Songfacts®:

  • Carrie Underwood wrote this easygoing, summer-themed party song with her producer David Garcia and collaborator Josh Miller. It finds the the country star looking "to get a little southbound, unwound, Tennessee honey kinda buzz" with the help of a pontoon boat and plenty of margaritas.
  • The song was one of the last that Underwood recorded for her Cry Pretty album. The singer recalled in press materials that she suggested the "Southbound" title thinking they could "do something fun with this." But she soon found it tricky writing and singing a drinking party boat song. One example was a couple of lines about a girl named Katie who was enjoying herself a tad too much.

    Katie's the one that should take it slow
    'Cause she's dancin' on the dock and it's only two o'clock


    Underwood said it took them a long time to come up with the right "Katie" lyrics. Garcia, Miller and her wanted to make Katie have a little too much fun, but every line they came out with seemed to make her come across as sad. "We still had to make Katie have a little respect but wanted to just get it out there that some people were having too much fun," she explained.
  • Underwood debuted the song during the 2019 ACM Awards in Las Vegas, with Cry Pretty Tour 360 openers Maddie & Tae and Runaway June joining her on stage. The country star's performance was a huge production incorporating an outdoor pool beginning, deejay, dancers, extras, as well as the cameos by her tour mates.
  • The video was directed by Jeff Venable, who has also been at the helm for clips by Brad Paisley ("Country Nation"), Kelsea Ballerini ("Legends"), Morgan Evans ("Kiss Somebody") and many more.

    Underwood's Cry Pretty Tour 360 support acts Maddie & Tae and Runaway June, as well as her husband Mike Fisher, are also featured in the visual, which includes behind-the-scenes of the tour and footage of a day off at the lake.
  • "Southbound" was Carrie Underwood's idea. The country star explained to The Boot she felt that a lot of songs on Cry Pretty were more serious, weighty or slower cuts. She felt they needed to add something fresh that was "lighter and fun."

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