Luke Bryan released his new song "Songs You Never Heard" to coincide with the release of his IMDb TV docuseries, My Dirt Road Diary, premiering the track on Friday, Aug. 6. The song is a tribute to the country star's late brother, Chris, who died in a car accident in 1996, reflecting on their shared love of country music and how Bryan imagined his brother would react to the songs he didn't get to hear.
During an appearance on The Bobby Bones Show, Bryan opened up about writing the track, which he penned with Luke Laird and Josh Osborne while on the road. "Luke and Josh were staying on my bus and they were watching some of the early edits of My Dirt Road Diary," he recalled. "So they were learning about all of these things." The Georgia native added that he had an "epiphany" and told Laird and Osborne, "We need to write a song that talks about my brother not being here, but how he would react." Bryan explained that "when you look at the amazing country songs that have come out since he passed away, I had a vision."
"I could imagine, if he were still alive when George Strait put 'Run' out, he and I would flock and freak out and listen to 'Run' in his truck a thousand times," Bryan said. "We just built the song around that idea that when he was alive, when a new Alan Jackson song came out, we would be waiting for it. That's what you did back then, you really, really anticipated your heroes' new songs coming out."
The American Idol judge shared that he, Laird and Osborne wrote the song "like I could imagine you reacting to these songs you never heard." "When we wrote the song, we didn't realize it would eventually be a kind of cornerstone song for the docuseries," he continued, "but the organic way that it came about, it just seemed to fit right and I think it matches up with everything really, really beautifully."
Along with "Run," "Songs You Never Heard" also namechecks country classics like Clint Black's "Killin' Time" and Jamey Johnson's "In Color." "We weren't just killing time singing 'Killin' Time' / It was the soundtrack of our lives / Chasing girls and growing up / A lot about living, a little 'bout love," the chorus reads. "Time marches on, there's a lot of new / Music and memories we'd be drinking to / I think about it and I laugh until it hurts / 'Cause I can hear you singing along to songs you never heard."