Brett Eldredge is back with his first single in nearly three years, releasing "Gabrielle" on Friday. The piano-driven track finds Eldredge reminiscing on his relationship with the titular Gabrielle, wondering where she is now and how she's doing. "Was it your heart or mine / Was it just the wrong time / Gabrielle," he sings in the song's chorus. "We never got very far / But girl, wherever you are / I wish you well / Gabrielle."
Eldredge told PopCulture.com and other media that "Gabrielle" is "kind of a breakup song but with a bittersweet, kind of happy, wishing the other person well within their life wherever they are, but you still kind of look back and wonder what that person's up to and where they are now and what could have been and 'What if.' It's one of those kind of songs, the nostalgia of that." He also shared the inspiration behind the song, revealing that it is "a real story." "I'm not saying whether or not the person's actually named Gabrielle, but it is about a real situation in my life," he said.
Along with "Gabrielle," Eldredge surprised fans with two additional songs, "Crowd My Mind" and "Where the Heart Is." The former is another piano-heavy ballad in which Eldredge tells a former lover that he thinks about her every day, and the latter is an acoustic mid-tempo reflection on the importance of feeling that Eldredge calls "the mission statement" of his upcoming album, Sunday Drive, which is scheduled for release on July 10. Eldredge cited lines from "Where the Heart Is" including "Do you remember when you felt the summer / Do you remember when you felt the rain down on your skin / Where'd you lose your sense of wonder / That firework going off in your head" as a driving message behind his upcoming project. "That's the whole mission of this album, to find that in myself," he said. "These three songs are dynamic windows into what this album looks like."
Sunday Drive was borne out of of period of self-reflection for Eldredge, who spent time off social media during which he "reexamined" himself and the world around him, blending his new insights with a matured sound. "I think you have to give yourself permission to do anything in life, to be brave a little bit," the Illinois native said in a statement. "I got to a certain point where I was doing something in repetition and it was all really good… but I felt like I wasn't giving enough of myself. It took a lot of self-awareness to finally realize that if I do really have a lot more in me, then I've got to step up and I've got to take that step off the edge. And I think enough time of doing it the same way made me realize it's time to do it big."