Before the coronavirus pandemic, Runaway June was promoting "Head Over Heels," an empowering song about walking away from a late-night relationship, as the band's next single. But when everything paused, the country trio knew they wanted to make a change, pivoting to the nostalgic "We Were Rich," which fondly recalls a childhood rich in things that money can't buy. "It was kind of obvious actually for us," group member Naomi Cooke told PopCulture.com of the switch.
"When COVID hit, overnight ['Head Over Heels'] was not connecting anymore to our audience, to us. It was kind of an irrelevant song that no one really needed," she said. "And we thought about that — and it really matters to us to be artists and take on the responsibility to know the difference and to be like, 'Okay, this isn't... Our audience isn't connecting with this.' It's our responsibility to give them something that they can connect with that they feel connected to that helps them get through a certain time. We felt like 'We Were Rich' could do that. So, we pulled that other single, we switched them out, and it was one of the best decisions we've made."
Cooke explained that it was "important" to her and bandmates Jennifer Wayne and Natalie Stovall to give listeners a song "that would make them remember a simpler time and to remind them that there are still more good times and simpler times to be had."
"People are loving this song," she shared. "We're seeing like childhood photos of our fans, and they're sending in stories of when they felt like they were rich as kids. It's been fun for our families to send us our baby photos and all these conversations and memories being brought up and it's literally kind of elevated a time that's felt really low and really hard and scary. It's like, man, for a few minutes in a conversation, you're talking about being on the trampoline with your siblings. You forget your troubles. It's really, really powerful that music can do that."
"We Were Rich" was initially released on the band's debut album Blue Roses last year. After Stovall joined the group earlier this year following the departure of Hannah Mulholland, the group reworked the song to add its new member's fiddle playing.
"It was really beautiful because that was my favorite Runaway June song," Stovall said. "So I lucked out that the very first thing that we decided to put out together with the three of us was a song that already meant a lot to me." The new version was recorded during the early stages in quarantine, as Stovall went into the studio with an engineer to put her fiddle on the track. "It was really cool because it wasn't like I needed to take anything off of the track," she said. "It's not like there were instruments that, 'Oh, well, if I put fiddle on it's too much, or it's too...' It just worked."