Find Brandon Ratcliff wanting an old lover back in "Rules for Breaking Up," his debut single. The pop and R&B-influenced guitar and vocal offer distinction from the very first notes.

"Rules for Breaking Up" is arranged like a true vocal showcase, but the clean blues guitar lick that introduces him works in harmony with Ratcliff's message. Quickly the heartbreaker becomes an amalgam of styles and influences, with John Mayer standing out most prominently. The Louisiana-raised Ratcliff offers a progressive sound against today's already progressive version of country music.

Vocally, he shows range and an ability to tell a fine story — something that "Rules for Breaking Up" relies on. The hooks is "Whoever wrote the rules of breaking up / Never been broke up, broke up over you," and the 24-year-old leans hard into the emotion. 

Did You Know?: Ratcliff is spending 2019 touring with Brett Young and Kelsea Ballerini.

Check Out Country Newcomer Jimmie Allen: 

Brandon Ratcliff's "Rules of Breaking Up" Lyrics:

Can’t go out and hope you see her ‘cause you gotta give her space, uh huh / Can’t go back to being friends, it don’t work that way, uh huh / You can’t call her up, tell her everything you’re thinkin’ / Can’t show up at her place every time you’re drinkin’ / You can’t keep hoping that she might be coming back.

Whoever wrote the rules of breaking up / Never kissed your lips, touched your skin / Had the world at their fingertips / Didn’t have a clue what heaven was / No, they didn’t have to lose that kind of love / And if they ever saw that smile, ever felt your fire / They might know what I’m going through / Whoever wrote the rules of breaking up / Never been broke up, broke up over you.

I guess I’m supposed to go right out and try to meet somebody new / But she won’t be as confident, intelligent and cool as hell as you, no, no, no, no / I know we said that ending it is probably for the best / But I gotta get this off my chest.

They say we need time apart / But I can’t stop hoping / Hoping that rules are just like hearts / And they can be broken.

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