Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles takes the lead on the song’s vocals, with Swift accompanying on the airy chorus. Both of their vocals soar as Nettles sings of a lover doing her wrong (“We’re a wreck, you’re the wrecking ball/ We said no one else, how could you do this, babe?”) and Swift’s echoes making the breakup tune as haunting as it is catchy.
Though Swift doesn’t take any of the verses herself, she is the one who penned the poignant song with Train frontman Pat Monahan while writing for her own album Red, then offering “Babe” to Sugarland last year. The track will be featured on Sugarland’s forthcoming album Bigger (due June 8 via Big Machine and Universal Music Group Nashville), a move that’s unusual for the duo.
“We’ve never put someone else’s song on a Sugarland record, but we were immediately interested in ‘Babe’ the first time we heard it! This one really felt like it belonged so we saved it for the final afternoon of our recording session; a special time for us,” Nettles said in a statement. “This collaboration is the perfect combination of mutual admiration for each other and mutual admiration for great songs. As artists, we really see the world through a similar lens.”
Listen to “Babe” below.