If Hollywood ever remakes Riding In Cars With Boys for Gen Z, they’d have to include Ronnie Watts’ new song on the soundtrack. In “Car Ride Home,” premiering here on HollywoodLife, Ronnie crafts together a bittersweet ode to the heartbreak that happens after dumb boys get stupid in the backseat. Ronnie works through the pain of getting “used” and led on in the dreamy indie-pop track. “Too drunk to remember / too high to know / that you had my had / on the car ride home,” she sings on the chorus, a lyric she describes a “punch” – as in, a punch to the metaphorical gut.
“The song is actually derived from a pretty literal place,” Ronnie tells HollywoodLife. “I was squished in the backseat of a car on the way home from a party, and a boy that I thought liked me held my hand the whole way back. I thought, this could be a song. I soon after realized that I was being used, and that’s when I sat down to write ‘car ride home.’ He was definitely too high and drunk to remember that car ride, but on a deeper level, he just didn’t care the way I did, and that’s what the song’s about.”
Ronnie says that her friends actually packed her bags for her. “[They] told me, ‘you need to go to New York City and have the best time,’ because I was having a rough week. I had no idea I was going that morning when I woke up, but the idea popped up, and an hour later, I was on the road. I didn’t have any plans, really, but I knew I’d figure it out. New York always refreshes me.”
“Car Ride Home” continues the momentum from Ronnie’s debut EP, 2020’s I DON’T TRUST U AT ALL. Since releasing that debut, Ronnie said she’s learned to “keep being honest” in her music. “It’s crazy how many people have told me that they really relate to the EP. To be honest, I wish they didn’t relate, cause that probably means things aren’t going the best, but I’m glad that if they do my music can help them through it. With every release, I’m just trying to be as honest as possible.”
One can also look to Ronnie’s discography to see where “Car Ride Home” came from – and to where she’s going. “I like to think this song is a baby of ‘Famous In California’ and ‘Sad Summer,’ she shares with HollywoodLife. “I learned how we can sew a ballad feeling and with a pop-pier feel and show both sides through progression. The song starts off how I wrote it, with just piano. As the song continues, the instrumentation builds with it. The bridge feels like a real punch. I don’t think I’ve released a song with that extreme progression and with a punch like that yet.”
As for her favorite “punch” – i.e., lyrics – on the song? “I think my favorite lyric from the song is ‘things are prettier from farther away.’ Especially with social media, it’s really easy to romanticize people and make up whatever about them to fit what you want,” she adds. “I’ve realized I’m afraid of disappointing people because I’m not the version of myself that they created in their head. Everything seems way prettier when people only see the surface of your life, and not the cracks underneath.”
That honesty – coupled with her undeniable talent and sharp songwriting – is why Ronnie Watts is one to watch in the coming miles months as she continues her journey towards music superstardom.