Carly Pearce recently released the heartfelt music video for her current country radio climbing single “What He Didn’t Do.” And while country fans all over likely viewed the clip, so did Pearce’s mom. The Kentucky native says her mother broke down into a stream of tears after watching the visual display for the first time.
Speaking with CMT, Pearce, who is one of the 2022 CMT Artists of the Year, said, “I watched it with my mom. She cried because she could so clearly see the imagery of what we were trying to do.”
As far as the imagery goes, the video finds Pearce, 32, closing the end of a significant chapter of her life by washing away the pain and heartbreak that she experienced in a relationship that didn’t last. Ryan Byrd produced the cinematic clip and Alexa Campbell served as the director.
Shot just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, the opening scene finds Pearce out on a secluded beach at sunset and wearing a wedding dress. She peers out at the vast waters and reflects on all of the reasons why her ex-partner didn’t fulfill her expectations.
“And I’ve got my side of the story and he’s got his side, too / So I ain’t gonna go and tell you what he did / But I’ll tell you what he didn’t do,” Pearce begins before diving into the why’s of how her relationship didn’t work out, yet remaining on the surface as to not share too many details.
“Treat me right, put me first, be a man of his word / Stay home ’cause he wanted to / Always fight for my love, hold on tight like it’s something / That he couldn’t stand to lose / The devil’s in the details, I won’t tell the hell that he put me through / All I know is in the end, it wasn’t what he did, no / It was what he didn’t do,” Pearce laments.
Moving into the second half of the song, Pearce is seen walking along the shoreline barefoot. As she leaves footprints in the sand, which symbolizes the imprints that her ex left on her heart – Pearce makes her way into the ocean. Near the end of the clip, she is seen fully submerged in the water. She finally comes up for air and crawls her way out of the deep sea.
“For me, I wanted to show the rebirth of where I am now in my life,” Pearce says of the clip. “This is the last single on “29”. It kind of feels like a wash of what has happened to me, and I came out on the other side.”
“I think the best revenge is that you’re better off without ‘em. And then they hear your song and they know that it’s about them and you’re doing great, and it’s like, ‘Hello, I’m your little nightmare,’” Pearce also told CMT. “This song is all about setting your standards high and remembering that you deserve the best.”
The recently Gold-certified “What He Didn’t Do” was written by Pearce with Ashley Gorley and Emily Shackelton. The diary-like ballad, which is her third No. 1, appears on her 29: Written In Stone album, which dropped in 2021, and details the aftermath of what she went through following her divorce from fellow country singer Michael Ray.
Pearce, who is currently working on the follow-up to her 14-track collection, has been having a country music moment since releasing such honest songs like “What He Didn’t Do.” Another song – “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – a collaboration with Ashley McBride – is up for CMA Music Video of the Year at the upcoming 2022 CMA Awards.
Pearce has also earned nominations in categories including CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Single of the Year, and Song of the Year. In 2023, she will also take the road for Blake Shelton’s Back To The Honky Tonk Tour.