Thomas Rhett Details How ‘Slow Down Summer’ Was Created

by Suzanne Halliburton
Photo by BRIDGET BENNETT/AFP via Getty Images

Sometimes, a random word or phrase can trigger a beautiful song. Just ask Thomas Rhett how an observation about fall leaves evolved into a hit about a summer romance.

Rhett, the country star who sings and writes his music, was talking about the lead single from his new album, “Where We Started.” He’ll release the album on April 1. But fans already are singing “Slow Down Summer.”

The 411 on Thomas Rhett and His Song Inspiration

  • Rhett co-wrote the song while on an October trip to Montana.
  • He saw the falling leaves. Someone said “I wish summer would slow down.”
  • “Slow Down Summer” is first single from Rhett’s new album.
  • Country star performed the single at the ACM awards this week.

So how did Thomas Rhett think up “Slow Down Summer”? It was all about the leaves. He talked about what prompted the song during an interview with the Bobby Bones show.

“We were actually all in Montana on a writing trip,” Thomas Rhett said this week. “It was like October, I think, and we really didn’t know what to write. We were kind of half fly fishing and half kind of writing songs.”

Then Rhett got to the genesis of the song. Fly fishing didn’t have much to do with it.

“We were in the living room and I noticed that the leaves were changing,” Thomas Rhett recalled. “Someone said ‘I wish summer would slow down.’ As a song writer, you hear words like that and think maybe we should try and write that.”

If you flipped on the ACM Awards this past Monday, you probably watched Thomas Rhett perform “Slow Down Summer.” The other co-writers of the song were his dad, Rhett Akins, with Ashley Gorley, Sean Douglas and Jesse Frasure.

Rhett released the song in early November. And in a statement to the media about the new release, Rhett said: “I wrote this song from the point of view of two people who are in love during senior year of high school.”

“I envisioned them headed off to different schools, and they’re starting to understand that the moment the weather starts to change, they’ve got a 99-percent chance this relationship is not going to work. I know that myself and a lot of people have been there before, wishing the fireworks stage doesn’t have to end.”

Of course, we should point out that Thomas Rhett married Lauren back in 2012. The two met in first grade and dated some in high school before hitting the friend zone. However, it took a push from his future father-in-law to get the two together as adults. Rhett told CBS This Morning: “Her dad called me and said, ‘If you don’t come over here tonight and tell Lauren how you feel about her, then I’m going to tell her how you feel about her.”

So there was something else besides autumn leaves that inspired Thomas Rhett to write about a summer romance.

Earlier this month, Rhett released another song from his new album. It’s called “Death Row.” And it’s a collaboration with Tyler Hubbard and Russell Dickerson. The three did a ministry visit to a Tennessee prison in 2019 and wrote about their experiences meeting with inmates on death row.