That Girl

Album: That Girl (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Jennifer Nettles penned the first single from her debut solo album with an old friend. "I wrote that with Butch Walker. He's out of Atlanta, and used to be in a band called Marvelous 3," she told Billboard magazine. "He's such a talented musician, and we've known each other for years – since I started out in the Atlanta scene. Everybody kind of runs the same circuit, so there's definitely a songwriting community there like there is in Nashville. But, we had never worked together, so I reached out to him and said 'Hey, I'm doing this new record. Do you want to get together and try to write?"
  • The cut references Dolly Parton's famous song, as the narrator pleads with Jolene to keep her hands off her guy. "This song has kind of ended up being 'The Ballad of Jolene,'" Nettles told Billboard magazine. "It wasn't intended that way, as the concept was saying 'I don't want to end up being that girl.' This woman has obviously been bamboozled, and it wasn't her plan going in. When she found out there was somebody else, she called and told her that it wasn't really her fault."

    As Nettles and Walker continued to write the song, it took on a different feel. "That idea presented itself of 'What if it was Jolene calling," said the singer, "and saying 'I really don't want your man. This is not who I want to be. I want to let you know I'm not that girl, but he's being that guy.'"
  • The song was produced by the famed Rock producer Rick Rubin. "It was really fun," said Nettles, "and I love the rhythm track. The claps you hear on it, we were listening to references of 'Cecilia' by Simon & Garfunkel and have that clap with a delay on there. It was fun and rhythmic, but you also hear that Johnny Cash pickin' style. That track was super Rick Rubin."
  • The song's music video was directed by Philip Andelman (Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift) and was filmed in New York City. It stars Nettles as both her lover's "other woman" and his wife.
  • Nettles told Radio.com the basic idea of the song is of a woman, "who had been tricked, bamboozled if you will," by a man she had been seeing. She added that her unfaithful boyfriend didn't let on that, "he had someone else in the picture. But when she finds that out, she says, 'Oh no, I'm gonna call her and tell her that you're being that guy, because I don't want to be that girl with that stigma.'"

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