Danielle Bradbery & Thomas Rhett Talk Teaming Up for 'Goodbye Summer' Duet

Cameron Powell
Danielle Bradbery

Surprise releases have become a normal part of the music business over the past few years, and the genre of country music is no different. Today, Big Machine rolls out "Goodbye Summer," a new duet from Danielle Bradbery and labelmate Thomas Rhett, who co-wrote the song. The track appears in solo form on Danielle's sophomore album, I Don't Believe We've Met, but is heard for the first time in duet form today. Bradbery tells Billboard that it's a song she has loved from the instant she heard it.

"I love collaborations," she says. "Sometimes, you just hear a certain voice on a track, and this one – being about summer and with Thomas writing it and being a part of that process, it just seemed natural. I lived with the demo for a while – without even knowing for sure if I was going to cut it. I jammed out to the song all the time. When we had the idea of putting it out as a single, Thomas Rhett was the first one that came to mind. I loved singing with him. It just happened naturally, and I'm very excited about it."

When asked how the song came about, Rhett said, "I was sitting in the room with my dad, Jaren Johnston and Julian Bunetta. Jared had this guitar groove going on which kicked off the song, and I had always wanted to have a summer song. We just kind of wrote it about that summer crush that we've all had, finding a beach towel and someone that you want to hang out with, and spend nothing but three months with that person, and then you have to go back where you came from, and then that summer love comes to an end. I thought Danielle did such a great job achieving that."

As far as summer crushes go from his youth, those memories – then and now – are reserved for his wife, Lauren. He jokes that proximity had a huge part in their story – back then. "I got lucky in the fact that we lived in the same town, so I guess you could say I had that going for me," he says with a laugh.

Rhett – who hit the top of the Country Airplay list last year with Maren Morris on "Craving You" -- says that he's a fan of collaborations, which work well in the genre.

"I think that in country music, we are all such good friends, and all we ever talk about on the road or in the writing room is 'This could be awesome with so-and-so on it, or this would be a great collaboration.' I'm always trying to figure out a way to do stuff with my friends. I guess you can kind of over-collaborate sometimes, but I love it. There's nothing like getting into the studio, and recording a song with a good friend. I've gotten to watch Danielle grow into an amazing artist and entertainer, and it's been great – especially on this song. For her to ask me to be on it was such an honor, and I'm so stoked to be on it."

Critics and fans have been raving about Bradbery's album since its December release, with many praising her maturity as a songwriter and a vocalist. It's something she says she has worked hard to achieve.

"It's been a fast process, and a lot of growing up. With this new album, I think the break in between records was much needed. I started so young with all of this, and I had never been involved in the songwriting process before. So, getting into that, and learning about who I am as an artist, and as a person, and getting to talk about real life stuff was something that I gravitated to. It's been really fun to share what I've been working on with everyone."

Rhett has been having his share of fun on the road with Kenny Chesney's Trip Around The Sun tour this summer. "The tour has been amazing," he beams. "I'm getting to live my dream, getting to tour with Kenny. That is really every artist's bucket list tour to go on – especially with having the spot of going on right before him, you get that sense that everybody who is going to be at the concert is there. It's been fun to do that, and also to be in town and write, and hang out with my family more than I did last year."

This fall, he will step back into the headlining spotlight. "We'll get back on the Life Changes tour with Brett Young and Midland, and I'm excited to get back to it.

"I feel like every tour I've been on, whether it was Luke, or Jason, those guys gave me a huge chance. Without it, who knows where I'd be today? So anything I can do to help or coach Midland or Brett to learn what I did on the road, and take the steps they need to take to become headliners, I'm all for it."