Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

With a new video and single, Shania Twain is still the foremost expert on playing as hard as you work

"Giddy Up" is a playful love letter to Shania Twain's creative roots, fan base, and the moments of levity that, on some days, are what make life worth living

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Shania Twain
Shania Twain
Photo: Louie Banks

As a July Netflix documentary underscored, few pop music careers embody the working-class hero quite like Shania Twain’s. Throughout her career, she’s spoken about how music—the love of listening to it, making it, sharing it—has propelled her through even the hardest of times. Even when her artistry meant financial survival, it also meant priceless fun and freedom.

The second single off of Twain’s upcoming sixth album Queen Of Me, “Giddy Up,” embodies the hope and levity of Twain’s catalog, and finds her nostalgic and grateful for her dollar-and-a-dream roots. The album’s lead single “Waking Up Dreaming,” saw the artist toy with glam rock and don wigs that would leave even Cyndi Lauper jealous. Where “Waking Up Dreaming” aimed for pop ubiquity, “Giddy Up” is all about the country-crossover kick that made Twain a star.

The first sounds that shine through in the track are the deeper, lower tones that have bloomed in her voice with age. “Tryna make it happen ‘cause it feels so good/ Singing in the mirror like it’s Hollywood,” Twain sings, hyped up on big dreams and simple pleasures.

Advertisement

The song has its faults—it can soundOld Navy commercial” at times. But “Giddy Up” brings to mind the rapper Saweetie’s time-honored description of the motive behind her album Icy: the desire to make “something fun, something for the summertime, something for the girls to get ready and party to.” A Bay Area-born hustler who once worked three jobs to support herself, Saweetie, like Twain, understood the inherent value in a song that doesn’t ask for more than a chance to show you a good time.

Shania Twain - Giddy Up! (Official Dance Video)

The music video for the track, a love letter to Twain’s audience, highlights a variety of workers at different points in their day. Diner waitresses serving breakfast, bartenders manning the late shift, and post-work grocery shoppers and pub crawlers are all here (and experts at a dance designed for TikTok virality.) Amidst the revelry, Twain moonlights as a body shop worker in an outfit so on the nose it’s downright camp; the look rightfully includes coal smudges on her cheeks and a bouncing ponytail.

Advertisement

That bouncy, work-hard-play-hard energy of “Giddy Up” immediately brings to mind Twain’s most enduring hit, and that’s no accident—according to the artist, the mantra “giddy up” resonated with her in the same way “Let’s go girls!” did back in 1997.

“These lines come to me when I’m thinking about how to put a little ‘pep in my step,’” Twain shares in a statement on “Giddy Up.” “I want people to feel good when they hear the new album. I want to set a celebratory tone.”

Advertisement

Lifting up others is no new motivator for Twain. As conversations around nepotism babies swirl through Hollywood, it’s worth recalling that for some time Twain’s music career was her family’s entire livelihood. After her mother and step-father died in a car crash in 1987—years before Twain would reach a wider audience with her 1994 debut—she supported herself and three siblings performing at a local resort.

Twain had no option but to succeed, cementing a tireless work ethic and a keen eye for puffed-out chests. Okay, so what do you think, you’re Elvis or something? Whatever. Braggadocious behavior is no substitute for mettle, and “Giddy Up” firmly celebrates the latter.

Advertisement

When the stakes are high and opportunities for unbridled joy are few and far between, celebrating takes on a whole new meaning—and necessity. Twain will embark on a massive international tour later this year, accompanied by younger-generation stars like Kelsea Ballerini and Mickey Guyton, and filled with dates at oft-overlooked cities. More likely than not, the audience will closely resemble the cast of the “Giddy Up” video: unsung heroes seeking a well-deserved moment to collectively shine.

Twain’s album Queen Of Me is out February 3.