In the spirit of Country songs immemorial, this track revolves around an alcoholic beverage; in this case Tequila, as the title suggests. What is charming here is the original and romantic way in which the song and visuals unfold. A love connection is sparked when a deaf outdoorsman befriends a woman who would like to know more about him and his silent but beautiful world. The cold wilderness fits with the initial melancholy of this Soft Rock-meets-Country-ballad, and things warm up when the chorus arrives, just like the warmth of the bar that the two blossoming lovers find themselves at so that they can further communicate. Tequila was “their drink”, and while the visuals show an exciting love-at-first-sight story, Dan + Shay’s lyrics explore the theme of “the drink” that reminds the author of what he lost.
Much parallel editing ensues, and the actual extent of the union is ambiguous as to whether or not the characters really had a relationship, or whether it was wishfully imagined. Where there were subtitles related to ordering tequila with sign language, and the thrill of the woman’s discovery as she learned more and more, when they finally go their separate ways, there are no subtitles and therefore, we don’t know when or why this has happened. The song rides out with a fleeting quality, but the video suggests some hope 4 years later when the man returns to the bar where it all began, and the barkeep is now the long lost woman, who shows she has not forgotten their connection by signing the word tequila.
Lyrics revolving around lingering memories caused by tequila and the skies of Colorado transmit powerfully to the listener, and one can actually taste the liquor, see the icy sights, and feel the pain of bygone love. Yet the melody and instrumentation is not so harsh that this becomes a soul crushing ballad; rather, there is an uplifting tone to Dan + Shay’s playing that illustrates vividly soaring vistas and the particular romance of an isolated mountain town. A place where love awaits you, should you return one day.
Dan Smyers, Nicolle Galyon, Jordan Reynolds
"Tequila" is a song recorded by American country music duo Dan + Shay for their self-titled third studio album. Dan Smyers co-wrote the song with Nicolle Galyon and Jordan Reynolds and co-produced the track with Scott Hendricks. It was released through Warner Bros. Nashville on January 10, 2018 as the album's lead single. "Tequila" was released to country radio on January 15, 2018. Smyers's wife, Abby Law Smyers, performs backing vocals on the song during the post-chorus "when I, when I" hook. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards as well as both Single and Song of the Year at the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards.