Rachel McIntyre Smith
Margie Smith

Rachel McIntyre Smith Contemplates What Could've Been on Acoustic 'The Woulds' [Premiere]

East Tennessee-raised singer-songwriter Rachel McIntyre Smith  released her critically acclaimed EP Glory Daze, a dazzling collection of coming-of-age truths and nostalgic observations, in 2022. The foundation to that EP was "The Woulds," a heart-on-sleeve confessional about the questions that linger after the end of a relationship and how the unknown so often keeps us from truly moving on. Now, Smith is sharing a stripped-down acoustic version of the song, which she says was inspired by a conversation with a friend.

"A lot of my songs start with something that lingers in my mind. I wrote 'The Woulds' after I talked with my best friend, Chelsea, and she asked me, 'What would it take for you to reach back out to your ex?' I couldn't shake that question for a few weeks," McIntyre tells Wide Open Country. "I ended up writing a list of questions that I would want answered before I would reach out to him. I took that list and my guitar out to my parents' front porch. They live out in the country, and there are some woods by their property. The hook hit me when I saw the woods — 'I never will so I live in the woulds.'""I think that this song forces folks to realize the areas of their lives where they 'live in the woulds.' I know, for me, that realization prompted me to take action," she continued. "After I wrote the song, I was haunted by thinking I would live in the woulds for the rest of my life. So I actually ended up reaching out to the ex that inspired the song and apologizing for my part in the breakup. We had a nice conversation, and I felt a huge weight lift off of me. Maybe that's the takeaway of the song — it holds up a mirror to the listener's life."

McIntyre, who describes herself as a "lyrics-first songwriter," says she wanted to put the spotlight on the song's lyrics with an acoustic rendition.

"I love listening to acoustic versions of my favorite songs, so getting to make my own acoustic version of  'The Woulds' was really special to me," McIntyre says. "When you take back the production, it really shines a spotlight on the lyrics. With all the forest/nature imagery in the song, I think this song does lend itself to an acoustic version because it kind of feels like I took my guitar out in the middle of the woods and performed the song. I really love this version of the song because I think it gives it more of a storytelling focus."

Listen to the acoustic version of "The Woulds" below.


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