For fans who have been clamoring for years for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to collaborate on a duets album, the wait is over. Country’s hottest couple has announced they will be joining forces for their first-ever duets album, which is due out later this year.
To hold us over until then, today (March 23) the happy couple released the upcoming album’s first single, “Speak to a Girl.”
“It’s one of our favorite songs that we’ve ever done,” Tim tells Nash Country Daily. “It’s just a really special, special song. I think it says so much. When songs can be timely and really move you and really have a message, then you know that you have something special. I think that this song really is a special song. It’s special for us, having three daughters—me being a husband and Faith being a mom of three daughters and growing up in a world of all women like I did, I think it’s just a really special song.”
The tune, about the proper way a man should speak to a woman, is timely in today’s culture, when name-calling and divisiveness seem to be the norm.
“It kind of gives you a landscape of how to speak to a girl, and what the important parts of language are when it comes to communicating with one another—with a woman,” Faith reveals to Nash Country Daily. “It’s about truth and honesty and respect. The biggest one being respect.”
“Uplifting and confirmation and validation and being true with what you say,” adds Tim. “One of my favorite lines in the song is, ‘She just wants you to say what you mean and mean everything that you’re saying.’ That to me is what’s really important. Children, in general, they grow up expecting to be treated the way they were treated when they were young, especially women. You want women and your daughters to grow up expecting a certain amount of respect in their lives and not settling for anything less than that. I think that starts at home and I think that starts in the way you speak to them and speak to one another and the confidence you give them to go out in life, and I think this song really puts a spotlight on it.”
“That’s how you talk to a woman / That’s how you speak to a girl / that’s how you get with a lady whose worth more than anything in your whole world / You gotta respect your mama / respect the hell out of her / ’Cause that’s how you talk to a woman / that’s how you speak to a girl,” the couple sings in the chorus.
“Speak to a Girl,” written by Shy Carter, Dave Gibson and Joe Spargur, marks Faith’s first return to radio since 2014’s “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” also a duet with Tim. Being back in the studio together meant the world to the couple.
“It was like my soul exploded,” said Faith. “It was so much fun.”
“You can hear that on the record too, you can hear it in her voice,” adds Tim.
“First of all, we all know it begins and ends with a song,” continues Faith. “Without that—I don’t care how you sing, where you record—it doesn’t matter, it really is about the song. I was just inspired by the lyrics and the music of ‘Speak to a Girl’ and the power. I followed [the song] and was inspired by the band.”
“Us being in a booth together—recording it—was really cool,” recalls Tim. “What you hear on the record is pretty much what she did on the day we recorded the record. She was just so inspiring and just laid into the song and it was magic the first day.”
After 20 years of marriage, Tim and Faith agree that they are willing to discuss ideas with each other when heading into the studio. However, the husband and wife team are completely different when it comes to the recording process.
“You think you have an idea when you go in, but sometimes it morphs into something else. So we talk it out while we are doing it,” explains Tim. “We both are really musically inspired and we both have a production side to us, so we like to get involved in the building of the record and what it’s going to sound like and all those kinds of things. For me, most of the time, I think of the scene and everything else secondary. I’m more into how the record is developing in the beginning than I am the singing.”
“I’m just the opposite, I like to sing with the band and let that be the record,” says Faith with a laugh.
“I think that’s what is so much fun about going on the road together, as artists we approach things so differently and our musical influences are so different. Faith comes from more of an R&B sort of soul singer perspective and I’m more from a 70s country and 70s rock perspective—the way I approach things. What the fun is and what makes it so cool for our record is when we find a place that really puts those two worlds together and really creates something different and special.”
Two worlds will come together again when Tim and Faith perform “Speak to a Girl” at the 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 2, marking the song’s television world premiere. Then the duo heads to New Orleans on April 7 to kick off their highly-anticipated Soul2Soul Tour.
That should hold us over until the yet-to-be titled album is released later this year.
Main photo by Trae Patton/NBC