Nashville-based singer-songwriter, Greg Owens, premieres his new single, “Shouldn’t Be This Hard” today on American Songwriter. The single is a follow-up to his 2018 debut EP; You Can’t Change the Man. “Shouldn’t Be This Hard” evokes an emotional response to the “swipe right” dating culture through a subjective lens of love and loss under the dim lights on Broadway.
The concept was inspired by his friend, who Owens’ wife affectionately refers to as a “serial dater.” The friend, who seems to be dating a new girl every time they see each other, recently made a guest appearance on one of Owens’ weekly Facebook Lives.
“As soon as the show was over, I started to write this song,” Owens explained about the penning process. “I wrote the song to try and understand where he’s coming from. I’ve done my fair share of dating. But to keep jumping from one girl to the next seems exhausting and unfulfilling.”
In the bridge of this song, you can hear the narrator ponder this: “I know it’s all my fault / I can never make up my mind /Or do I just like playin’ games with girls that wanna be mine.”
“If he were just a sleazeball, I wouldn’t have written this song,” laughed Owens as he continued. “That’s the thing. He’s a great guy. That’s the conundrum. So, I figured why not write a song and put myself in his shoes. Of course, it wouldn’t be a good song if I hadn’t embellished some.”
Owens’ roots run deep through Tennessee. Hailing from a rural town in the Western part of the state, the singer-songwriter got his start making mixtapes from his older siblings’ CDs. At 10, he began writing songs. By 16, he was packing out the local dive bar scene while his peers were at church or football games. Influence garnered from the likes of Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Alice In Chains inevitably blended into country music traditions when he headed East to attend MTSU. The Nashville music scene now feels more like home. Owens explained that beyond his talented friend JJ Murphy on the slide guitar, everyone else you hear on the song had been his friend for over a decade.
“It’s particularly nice in a studio setting,” the emerging artist shared about the familiarity in the music community. “We’re all comfortable with each other, and it creates a safe space to perform the songs. I don’t feel like I have to walk on eggshells if I don’t like something someone else is playing. I can tell them, and they feel the same towards me. It’s easy.”