Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde Tell Two Sides of Infidelity in ‘Never Wanted To Be That Girl’

Two sides of a complex issue.

Written by Grace Lenehan Vaughn
Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde Tell Two Sides of Infidelity in ‘Never Wanted To Be That Girl’

Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde released powerful new duet, “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” on Wednesday, September 15. The song, which will appear on Pearce’s upcoming new album 29: Written In Stone, tells the story of infidelity from two perspectives: that of the “other woman” and the wife.

Similar to Reba McEntire and Linda Davis’ 1993 duet, “Does He Love You,” “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” finds McBryde and Pearce telling their separate stories. McBryde, the “other woman” in the story, struck up a relationship with a man, ignorant to the fact that he was married. It was only after she realized his marital status that she felt intense guilt for the position in which she found herself. Pearce, conversely, finds herself condemning her blindness to the fact that her husband was being unfaithful. Instead of directing their spite towards each other, however, the two unsuspecting victims in the story simply regret their own situation.

“Being the other one when there’s another one / God, this feels like Hell / I thought I knew who I was but it’s getting hard to tell / I never wanted to be that girl,” the two sing in the chorus.

“Nobody ever thinks it will happen to them,” Pearce shared of the song in an official press release. “You never see it coming, but there’s always an explanation. You know, who’d ever want to think that way about someone they love. Why would you? And so, that’s where this song started: the things you don’t see, because you’d never look.”

The song’s lyrics exude the shame and disbelief felt by both parties, and Pearce and McBryde’s harmonies accompanied by dobro-heavy instrumentation drives the message home. “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” was co-written by Pearce, McBryde and Shane McAnally, and the singers say they were able to put themselves into the song’s story during the writing session.

“Ashley is such a great drop-into-the-moment writer, she was able to bring that reality bomb truth to what we were doing,” says Pearce. “She’s fearless, and she understands human nature in a way that let us both really write to the hurt of realizing we’ve been lied to by someone we’re intimate with.”
“Carly isn’t afraid to face the less potable subjects,” adds McBryde. “As a writer she’s willing to get in there and get very honest. Writing this song together with Shane strengthened our friendship and taught us more about one another and ourselves. Seriously, nobody wants to be the other woman. And when you find you are … damn. It’s such a gut punch.”

Pearce will release 29: Written In Stone this Friday, September 17. The album will feature 15 tracks, including Pearce’s previous single, “Next Girl.”