How Brett Young Recreated the ‘Mercy’ Vibe for the Final Song on ‘Ticket to L.A.’
When it came time to write songs for his sophomore project, Ticket to L.A., Brett Young went back to some of the same songwriters he collaborated with the first time around, including Sean McConnell, who co-wrote the No. 1 hit "Mercy," the fourth and last single to be released from Young's self-titled debut album. The result, "Don't Wanna Write This Song," is, in some ways, Ticket to L.A.'s answer to "Mercy," the country star says.
Both heartbreak ballads with sparse, dark instrumental accompaniment, "Mercy" and "Don't Wanna Write This Song" suggest that, together, Young and McConnell have the formula for the perfect breakup song.
"Sean breaks my heart every day," Young joked at a recent press event, at which McConnell was also present. "We wrote ["Don't Wanna Write This Song"] with Zach Crowell, and I texted them the night before, or two nights before, to say that the only thing we [needed] for the record was [something like] "Mercy."
"And it was funny -- I remember that Zach's response was, 'Oh great, that's a tall order,' and Sean's response was, 'Let's do it,'" Young continues. "But it was the only hole that wasn't really filled on the record yet."
All jokes aside, Young says that McConnell's songwriting skill set works well with his own, especially when it comes to crafting breakup songs. "[He] obviously does heartbreak very well, and the fact that I naturally gravitate towards ballads, I think it's a good pairing for songs like that," Young explains.
However, Young adds, there is one critical difference between "Don't Wanna Write This Song" and "Mercy": ""Mercy" wasn't intentional," Young points out. "The label wanted tempo when we wrote "Mercy." That was just the right song for that day.
""Don't Wanna Write This Song" was 100 percent intentional," Young continues, "because I knew we had a hole to fill on that record, and it turned out great."
Watch Brett Young Perform "In Case You Didn't Know" in Nashville