After A Few

Album: Beer's Better Cold (2020)
Charted: 31

Songfacts®:

  • "After a Few" is a ballad in which Travis Denning describes what inevitably happens when he bumps into an ex at a bar after one too many drinks: They kiss and end up in bed, only to regret it in the morning.
  • Denning wanted to capture his frustration at his habitual behavior. "Just that moment where you go, God, why can't I do this? Why can't I get past this?" he told American Songwriter. "And it's almost very Groundhog Day in a sense where it just keeps coming back to here we go, right back at it."
  • "After a Few" showcases Denning's love for a wide variety of music. "When I hear it, I hear my love for the Allman Brothers Band. I hear my love for AC/DC, Motörhead. And I hear my love for Halsey, Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, all this pop stuff. I was just kinda trying to take all that and put it in one song," he explained.
  • Denning wrote the song with Nashville tunemiths Kelly Archer (Brett Young's "Sleep Without You") and Justin Weaver (Meghan Trainor's "Like I'm Gonna Lose You").
  • The song originated with a guitar lick Denning came up with inspired by the vibe on Charles Kelley's "Dancing Around It." After the singer played it to the other two songwriters, Archer suggested the "After A Few" title. Denning recalled to The Boot:

    "I immediately loved it for a few reasons: I had written songs called 'David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs' and 'Heartbeat Of A Small Town,' and I'm like, 'I need a title that is literally just, like, three syllables. I can't write anymore long titles.' So she said 'After a Few,' and I was like, 'I love it.'"
  • Denning wanted to pitch the song to Luke Bryan and Dustin Lynch, but when he asked Universal to do so they suggested he record it himself. It ended up being the first song he held for himself. "David Ashley Parker" was the second one.
  • Director Justin Clough shot the song's music video at Beer Sellar in Nashville. The clip shows scenes of Denning playing a heated game of poker in the back room of a smoky bar. It mirrors the song's lyrics through the poker game by intensifying the stakes with the lead character's relationship.

    Denning explained that Clough came up with the idea of depicting the similarities between taking a gamble on a relationship and a poker game. "We decided to kind of have this story line of me and this girl that I just couldn't help but go back to and every drink was a gamble into falling back in her arms," he said. "And then this other side where I'm going up playing poker and getting more confident and winning money and then finally, everything comes to a T with going all in on this hand, and all of a sudden, I'm all in with her."
  • Denning explained to Billboard why the drums on this track are more prominent than on most other country numbers. "To me, the biggest thing is that I want the core of it to feel like it's a band, like a bunch of guys in the studio playing live. I am just a big fan of raw energy and want the listening experience to feel like you're seeing the group live."

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