Seven months after the release of his last studio album, Blue in the Sky, Dustin Lynch returns with a sizzling stand-alone song that trades in warm weather jams like his current single — “Party Mode” — for something a little more seasonally appropriate.

The new release, “Wood on the Fire,” describes a hot-and-cold relationship that’s so compelling neither person can resist it, even though they know better. “One touch, one kiss, next thing you know / Me over you goes up in smoke / Every time we’re almost down the coast / It’s one more one-last-timer / We keep throwin’ wood on the fire,” Lynch sings in the chorus.

A brooding, chilly ballad that dwells on heartache, “Wood on the Fire” is a left turn from much of the music that Lynch has been putting out over the last couple of years. Not only has he been focusing on songs with a more tropical backdrop — “Party Mode,” “Fish in the Sea” and “Break it On a Beach,” for three — but those songs, and many others off Blue in the Sky, portray a narrator who’s choosing to shrug off his heartache and instead focus on the warm, summer weather. The introspective, self-questioning ballads, it seems, can be saved for a rainy day.

With “Wood on the Fire,” that rainy day has come. As the verses progress, Lynch admits that he knows it’s a bad decision to stoke the flames of a dead-end relationship, but he just can’t help himself, and by the end of the song, he’s starting to wonder why he even tries.

Baby, I don’t even know why we fight it / Try to put it out, but the flame ain’t dyin’,” he sings toward the end of the song. “Blame it on the past, blame it on bad timing…”

“Wood on the Fire” arrives as “Party Mode” as nearing the Top 15 at country radio. Lynch’s Party Mode Tour rolls on through October, and he’s also hitting the road with Kane Brown next year, plus contributing his fan-favorite pool party show to Luke Bryan‘s Crash My Playa event in Mexico in early 2023.

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