Written by frontman Brandon Lancaster and drummer Tripp Howell, the track is all about daring to be different and following one’s own path in life. The group chose the song as the lead single because it’s not just a summer anthem, but also one that anyone can relate to.
“Tripp and I wrote the song ‘Rival,’ and I think a big thing you kind of discover when you’re an artist, especially going onto a second record, is your life does change,” said Lancaster during a recent press conference with Sounds Like Nashville and other local media. “You spend a lot more time on the road in a tour bus or backstage, and it’ still finding the things that are going on in your life that also other people can relate to.”
To reach this level of relatability, Lancaster and Howell spent one night talking about things they were going through at the time, which quickly turned into them discussing things they had been through in their lives. This conversation served as the inspiration to write an anthem celebrating who people are and where they came from and encouraging them to go do what they want in life.
“Rival” also centers around treating those who want to stand in the way of one’s dreams as rivals, using them as motivation to succeed.
“I think with any song, you want to think of an idea that you think a lot of people can relate to that you can also relate to strongly, and it kind of met those two qualifications,” Lancaster said. “Yeah, it’s a summer anthem, but it also was a good introduction to the next chapter of what we want to do.”