Looking at the title of Travis Denning's new single, "ABBY," you might think that it's a love song about a girl named Abby, but you'd be wrong. "ABBY" is actually an acronym for "anybody but you," and is the opposite of a love song, with Denning declaring over an electric guitar that whoever he ends up with, it won't be his ex.
"ABBY" was written by Ashley Gorley, Matt Jenkins and Chase McGill and is the only song on Denning's 2020 EP, Beer's Better Cold, that he did not have a hand in writing. "A buddy of mine played me the demo in Georgia," Denning recalled to PopCulture.com. "He had the demo randomly, he said, 'You got to hear this song. It's hilarious. It's funny.' And when I heard it, I flipped." The cornerstone of "ABBY" is its clever wordplay, with Denning declaring, "Now you wanna know if there's somebody else / Well if I'm being honest then the answer is yes / And her name is Abby / That's anybody but you."
The Georgia native shared that he "fell in love" with the song instantly upon hearing it and "obviously I thought it was funny." A fan of tongue-in-cheek writing, Denning credits some of Blake Shelton's past hits as material that informed "ABBY." "A lot of those like Blake Shelton songs back in the day, like 'Hillbilly Bone' and 'Some Beach,' I just love the humor in it yet they're still just great songs, and that's exactly what I kind of felt when I heard this song," he said. "I just knew I needed to record it and it was just an instant, big moment live."
Denning shared that "during the brief amount of time" he was able to play "ABBY" live before the pandemic began, it was "a huge song with the fans." The 28-year-old is currently preparing to return to the road with a run of shows in April in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, and he's confident audience members will be able to remain safe while enjoying live music.
"We've just been kind of watching what folks are doing over the next couple months and obviously the vaccine and things. And the biggest thing is that the social distancing and those kinds of things have made it a little bit more possible to do these shows now and make everybody feel safe," he shared. "I've seen a couple people play shows and I was like, 'We got to go, man. We got to get play.' I know people are dying to see some live music. I think it was just a mix of, it feels like it's time and I know that we can do it safely, that everybody will feel safe."