Described as his “first real” single from his “first real” album on his new label home — a partnership his Blue Chair Records and Warner Bros. Nashville — “Tip of My Tongue” is said to be a kind of counterpoint to Chesney’s last project, the deep thinking Songs for the Saints. While he hasn’t unveiled any of the new music just yet, Chesney has offered up his thoughts on the track, which features a sweeping groove and an “almost-humid” melody, all about romantic desire so strong you can almost taste it.
“It’s funny how a figure of speech can lead you to all kinds of places,” Chesney says in an official statement. “You start talking, and words fall out, and anything can happen. When you go in and write on any given day, the chemistry is what it is. When the idea fell out, we all just laughed and went, ‘Well, what can we do with that?’”
It was Chesney’s first writing session with Sheeran (“Shape of You,” “Galway Girl”), who joined in alongside Nashville hit maker Ross Copperman, and Chesney says that unfamiliar dynamic helped make this song particularly special. After it was written, Chesney co-produced the track with longtime collaborator Buddy Cannon, giving that unmistakable Chesney sound an update. “I’ve written so much with Ross, that’s always easy,” Chesney explains. “He brought Ed in, and he is such a great writer. … The way creativity works in creative people is so different, but it’s always exciting. As a co-write with a new writer, it’s one of the most fun sessions I’ve done in a long time. I get why people love working with him.
“With all the great songs that have been written in this town, I think you always want to do something a little different,” Chesney goes on. “I think there’s this moment when you look at someone and you know they contain everything. You want to know everything, consume everything about them. It’s why we say ‘It’s a long way down,’ because you want to know it all. And the best part: We got a melody that feels like what’s going on lyrically. The music matches the words, and you can just drift in it.”
“Tip of My Tongue” comes out July 12 at 5 a.m. CDT. Chesney finished up his 2019 Songs for the Saints Tour in May.