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Story Behind the Song: Carly Pearce, ‘Every Little Thing’

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Carly Pearce‘s debut single, “Every Little Thing” — which is also the title track of her freshman album — might be the most personal song the 27-year-old has penned so far. Written with Emily Shackleton and busbee, the tune became part of the healing process for Pearce after a particularly painful, and drawn out, breakup with a man she loved.

Below, Pearce and Shackleton recall the emotional day they wrote “Every Little Thing.”

Carly Pearce: I wrote “Every Little Thing” about a guy who really, really broke my heart a few years ago.

If you’ve experienced loss in any capacity, you know what it feels like to be in those moments of feeling like you really cannot go on without this person. And also, I wrote it to share that, in a relationship, it’s a roller coaster ride of good and bad, and you kind of deal with both of those when you’re with somebody.

What’s so funny is, this song — we knew going into it that we wanted to write a haunting ballad, Emily, busbee and I. And that’s kind of every songwriter’s nightmare, to write, with an artist, a haunting ballad. I love the dobro so much; I love the sounds of Alison Krauss’ music and really kind of wanted to capture that haunting thing.

We wrote that song in 45 minutes. I remember that was one of the fastest writes I’ve ever had, and I cried on the way home, because it was almost the final stamp of the nail in the coffin on that relationship.

Emily Shackleton: It was my fourth or fifth co-write with busbee and Carly, and when I arrived they told me, “We want to write a haunting ballad” — pretty much exactly opposite of what any publisher, A&R or pitch sheet will tell you to write — especially for an unsigned artist! But there was magic in the room for it, and it fell out quickly once Carly started talking about an ex and the memories not letting her go. The melody also fell out seamlessly, and felt strangely simple but just right.

It all fit together like puzzle pieces. The song was probably written in under two hours.

NEXT: ‘Every Little Thing’ Was a Quick Write, But It Made Carly Pearce Cry

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