‘Holy Smokes’ By Bailey Zimmerman: A Tale Of Young Love and Taboo Romance

“This song takes me back to the first time I fell in love at 17,” the rising star shares of the track.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

February 23, 2024

Share on:

Bailey Zimmerman; Photo by Isaac Mason, AJ Astle

After much anticipation, Bailey Zimmerman is finally ready to share the full version of his brand-new song, “Holy Smokes.”

He first teased the new tune at the end of January when he surprised fans by sending a 15-second “song” to Spotify without any prior warning. Instead of revealing the official title at the time, he named the snippet using three emojis – 🔥⛪❤️. Now, it’s clear that the text symbols cleverly reflect the title, “Holy Smokes.”

Who Wrote “Holy Smokes?

Bailey Zimmerman co-wrote the track with frequent collaborator, Austin Shawn, as well as Ben Stennis, Michael Tyler, and Lauren Hungate. The rising country star soulfully depicts the rush of being young and in love through a steamy set of lyrics that are interlaced with religious references. 

“This song takes me back to the first time I fell in love at 17… I hope y’all love it as much as I do,” Zimmerman shared upon the track’s release.

Bialey Zimmerman; Photo by AJ Astle
Bialey Zimmerman; Photo by AJ Astle

The song has Zimmerman’s raspy vocals on full display in the opening verse which is elevated by haunting instrumentals.

“Well I was only scared of the devil and her dad / So we parked somewhere we knew they’d never look / No I never seen nothing like her / Playing with the flame of her momma’s lighter,” Zimmerman sings. 

With the full song out now, listeners can hear the remainder of the story that unfolds in the clever chorus, “Heaven was the preacher’s spot in that first church parking lot/ Her hanging onto me like a cross on a rearview does/ Her eyes were blue the words were red on that half pack of cigarettes/ At seventeen, that’s what halleluiah was/ Life wasn’t heavy in the back of that Chevy/ Me and her and the holy ghost/ Something about us, hell of a rush/ Falling in love like nothing/ Holy smokes.” 

Listen To “Holy Smokes”

YouTube video

Performing The Song Live

Fans who have been in attendance for any of the Illinois native’s recent shows may have gotten an advanced listen to the track. As he shared on Instagram, “Holy Smokes” evokes a different kind of energy among his setlist of stormy anthems. This sparked even more excitement from fans who insisted Zimmerman drop the full version.

First Solo Release Of 2024

“Holy Smokes” serves as the viral sensation’s first solo release since the 2023 unveiling of his record-breaking debut, Religiously. The Album. The project marked the start of a history-making year for Bailey Zimmerman as it became the biggest streaming debut album of the year across all genres as well as the biggest streaming country debut of all time. Additionally, it landed Top 3 on the Top Country Albums chart and No. 7 on the all-genre Billboard 200.

This collection features Zimmerman’s three consecutive Multi-Platinum, No. 1 country radio singles, “Religiously,” “Fall in Love” and “Rock And A Hard Place,” which holds the title of No 1 Most Played Song on Country Radio in 2023.

Bailey Zimmerman; Photo by AJ Astle
Bailey Zimmerman; Photo by AJ Astle

A Stacked Year Of Performances

Bailey Zimmerman is currently on the road, making his way to over 30 cities for his sold-out international headline run, RELIGIOUSLY. THE TOUR. The trek kicked off earlier this month at the Novo in Los Angeles, California, and will continue through May 20, when he will wrap things up in Dublin, Ireland. Joining him as support is special guest, Josh Ross.

Additionally, Zimmerman will serve as an opener on multiple stadium tours this year, including Morgan Wallen’s One Night At A Time World Tour once more and select dates of Luke Bryan’s Mind Of A Country Boy Tour.

Share on:

Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.