Like I Knew You Would

Album: Payton Smith (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the lead single from country singer Payton Smith's debut EP, which finds the Louisiana native sneaking away with a girl who makes him feel special. He explained on his YouTube channel: "I just love painting a simple storyline like that and letting the melody do a lot of the work." He added: "There's a lot of cool elements on that track, especially the guitar solo, that really captures that live energy."
  • Smith performed this at the CMA Fest in 2018, where he caught the attention of Big Machine Label Group founder Scott Borchetta and was offered a recording contract.
  • Smith wrote this with bluegrass musician Ronnie Bowman ("Nobody To Blame") and guitarist/keyboardist/producer Dan Fernandez. Smith told Billboard of the session, which took place at Fernandez's home in Nashville: "We all talked about how much we love syncopation and love rhythms, and we just kind of spent the hour drinking coffee, talking about songs that we love and then dove into it."
  • It was important for the trio to craft a song that was both relatable and unique. Fernandez told Billboard: "The chords are pretty much the same all the way down. So we really worked hard on making the phrasing of the verses, the melody of the verses, be something you can grasp on to and kind of inject your own story into it, but also having the chorus be something different."
  • Smith took a cue from The Beatles by placing a lot of emphasis on the title, which repeats throughout the song. "The Beatles repeat so much the title of their song, you know, inside of the song, and that was always appealing to me," he said. "I think that some of that, not even thinking about it, made its way into 'Like I Knew You Would' - the idea of just repeating the hook as much as you could."
  • The guitar interlude at the end of the second chorus is a nod to Keith Urban, one of Smith's idols. "Keith was a huge influence on me, and that solo - especially that walk-up [that closes] the solo - was definitely something that I grew up hearing from Keith," he said.
  • This is featured on Smith's debut self-titled EP. Smith, a self-taught guitarist, played every guitar part on the four-track release.

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