Premiere: Carly Van Skaik, ‘He Had Me’

Carly Van Skaik (photo by Jefferson Stein​)​

Since releasing her self-titled EP last spring, Carly Van Skaik has spent the last year experimenting on her sound with different producers between Los Angeles and Nashville, all the while releasing singles as she goes. “He Had Me” came about at the end of a writing session with Nashville producer duo The 720. They had just finished “Red Leaves,” released in November, but ran out of time before fleshing out this new one. She took the tune to Dan Burns, who produced her last EP (and engineered Taylor Swift’s world tour), and they turned it into a hypnotic, sensually spacey love song.

In Van Skaik’s words: “I carry this blue journal with me everywhere​ and Dan and I were going through ​it,​ trying to see if there was something in there for the song. Lyrically, I really wanted it to be dark and twisted, but Dan noticed that I had all these sweet love lyrics and he insisted we use them. I was a bit resistant at first, maybe because I just had my heart broken and I was reticent to anything sweet and loving, but he was pretty adamant that the track lived in this sensual dream world​.​ ​We ​went with it, and I am happy I did.

“Lyrically, the song ended up being about falling in love with someone when you least expect it, which is funny because that was simultaneously happening to me in my personal life and also interesting because I didn’t think this song would be a love song​ at all​.”

||| Stream: “He Had Me”

||| Also: Stream “Closer to Heaven” and “Red Leaves”