In the months since the pandemic, Dierks Bentley has been living in Colorado where he’s been hiking, mountain biking and enjoying time with family. Today, however, he is officially back with a brand new single called “Gone.” The new tune finds Bentley singing from the perspective of a man who’s been “gone” ever since his relationship ended. Unlike his 2016 hit “Somewhere On A Beach” in which the singer is shrugging off lost love on an island, “Gone” finds a heartbroken Bentley in a darker place of being mentally gone.
The metaphorical kind of “Gone” Bentley describes in the song is one in which he finds himself taking trips to his head by way of “hotel heartbreak,” “memory lane” and “rock bottom.” Throughout the song, he continues to paint a picture of this emotional disappearance that takes place from the confines of his home while dirty dishes and whiskey bottles pile up around him.
“When it came time to go cut some stuff, this song just rose to the top and I gravitated towards it because I love the title,” Bentley recently told a group of reporters, including Sounds Like Nashville. “I love the classic country wordplay, ‘Ever since you left, I’ve been gone,’ but he actually hasn’t gone anywhere.”
Although the song is about lost love, it’s hard not to relate the theme of being “Gone” to what so many people have experienced this year with lockdowns, quarantine and a general upheaval in our way of life. Bentley heard that connection as well, which is another reason he opted to release the tune.
“I feel like I’ve been gone, I feel like we’ve all been gone, I feel like country music in 2020’s just gone, so it touches a little bit on the idea of what’s been going on now with COVID, but it does it in a metaphorical way through a relationship,” he says.
The content of “Gone” clearly tells a story of heartbreak, but as Bentley often does in his music, the production, led by producer David Garcia, tells a different story. The song starts off somewhat slow and then builds to an uptempo chorus that is ready for an arena sing-along when tours resume. This high-energy beat is complemented by a complex mix of instruments, including electric guitar, drums and dobro, which gives the tune a modern feeling with plenty of country flair.
“We used to call it mixing the bluegrass with the kick-ass,” says Bentley of the production. “Trying to get those acoustic instruments with the big drums, the big guitars and finding that place where they meet. Even though I’m always trying to do something different musically, I think I always go back to that. The number of emails I sent back for this one song about the dobro — I started just calling the email, the subject was ‘dobro’ because I’m like, ‘Guys, bring the dobro up. More dobro.’”
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“I fell in love with a wild wild wild wild woman, and I’m wild for her” @ilsey @rosscopperman Happy late birthday to my person. I love you. I love this journey around the sun together. I love that you sit in the middle seat of an old truck with no a/c for five hour drives into the desert. Says a lot about you. total gamer. for me and my crazy ideas, for our kids, and for this mountain life adventure the last 7 months. Love you cass. Wild for you. Always will be.
“Gone” follows Bentley’s latest No. 1 hit, “Living,” and is the first of many new songs the singer says he’s been working on this year. Although he’s holding onto new music, Bentley says a new full-length album is not in his immediate future.
“I’m not too focused on making an album right now,” he says. “Too anxious about the fall to have that kind of spirit where I can just go into the studio and feel the muse. More focused on just looking for a good song to put out that reflects where I am right now and my fans might enjoy hearing because it’s been awhile.”