When Thomas Rhett and his frequent collaborators, father Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley, Jesse Frasure and Sean Douglas, ventured to Montana for a songwriting retreat, the singer couldn't help but notice the colorful leaves that signaled the transition from summer to fall. It brought to mind the tension that comes with young love and the changing seasons that take them apart.

It's a story the country superstar has lived, calling back to his days as a teenager and the inevitable goodbye that came at the end of a short but sweet summer romance. Drawing comparison to his heartbreaking hit, "Marry Me," "Slow Down Summer" continues on this theme of star-crossed love.

Below, Rhett shares the story behind the song, in his own words. 

Get our free mobile app

We were actually all in Montana on a writing trip and it was October, I think, and we really didn't know what to write. We were kind of half fly fishing, half trying to write songs. We were in the living room and I noticed that the leaves were changing, and someone said, "I wish summer would slow down." As a songwriter, you hear words like that, and you're like, "Maybe we should try to write that."

We kind of just related it to an emotion that I think a lot of us have been through of just getting out of high school or getting out of college, dating somebody and knowing you've got three months to maybe solidify this relationship or it's not going to work. That happened to me. [As I was] getting out of high school, I was dating a girl and she went to different college than me. Right when school started, it was like, 'We're going different ways.'

I hadn't put a song like that out in a long time that kind of had that tension of love in it -- really since a song called 'Marry Me' a couple records ago -- and I just love the sentiment of the song. I love the arrangement, the production, and I feel like the music video really helped describe what that emotion was. I thought it was a really neat first single to this next record and it's been really cool seeing the reaction of it as well.

Thomas Rhett's "Slow Down Summer" Lyrics:

Your shades on my dashboard, shoes on my floorboard
Lived in that old Chevrolet
We were two Roman candles, too hot to handle
Two hearts that couldn't be tamed

Yeah, we knew what was comin’
And laughed it off like it was nothin'
Oh, but time kept on runnin' and runnin’ away

Yeah, what can I say?
We had our hopes up and the windows down
Fallin' fast in a one-lane town
Tangled up with your lips on mine
Never seen a brighter green in those eyes and
I put my jacket on your shoulder
Wishin' the weather wasn't gettin' colder
Lettin' you go, holdin' onto each other
Closin' our eyes, sayin’, "Slow down, summer"
(Slow down, summer)

I was beggin’ those leaves, "Don't go changin’ on me"
"Friday night lights, stay away"
But the Fourth of July was just smoke in the sky
And our sunburns were startin' to fade

Yeah, we knew what was comin'
And laughed it off like it was nothin'
Oh, but time kept on runnin’ and runnin' away

Yeah, those were the days
We had our hopes up and the windows down
Fallin' fast in a one-lane town
Tangled up with your lips on mine
Never seen a brighter green in those eyes and
I put my jacket on your shoulder
Wishin' the weather wasn't gettin' colder
Lettin' you go, holdin' onto each other
Closin' our eyes, sayin', "Slow down, summer"
(Slow down, summer)

Why couldn't you slow down, summer?
Just wait a minute, we weren't finished
Can we just hold onto each other?
Take me back to the beginnin', oh
Slow down, summer
Slow down, summer

Yeah, those were the days
We had our hopes up and the windows down
Fallin' fast in a one-lane town
Tangled up with your lips on mine
Never seen a brighter green in those eyes and
I put my jacket on your shoulder
Wishin' the weather wasn't gettin' colder
Lettin' you go, holdin' onto each other
Closin' our eyes, sayin', "Slow down, summer"

Oh (Slow down, summer)
Slow down, summer, yeah
Why couldn't you slow down, summer?
Why couldn't you slow down?
Slow down
Why couldn't you slow down, summer?

Country Stars Glow Up in 10 Year Challenge

More From 98.1 Minnesota's New Country