"All the memories came flooding back, from my incredible childhood on the farm to the way I was raised," the singer/songwriter tells PEOPLE of writing her latest release

By Morgan Smith
September 10, 2020 04:30 PM
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Shay Mooney isn't the only musician in his family!

Gabrielle Mooney, the older sister of the Dan + Shay crooner, released her new song  "Come on In" Wednesday — a dreamy country track inspired by her family.

"Every time I go home, it feels like time has stood still, but with a few more stories that I've missed," the singer/sognnwriter, 30, tells PEOPLE.

Mooney reveals she wrote the song at an emotional time for her family.

"I had just gone through family pictures, and been at my grandparents' place," she says. "My grandpa had just passed and my grandma was not doing well."

She continues: "Later on, I had a writing session and all the memories came flooding back, from my incredible childhood on the farm to the way I was raised."

In "Come on In," Mooney reminisces about Sunday dinners, sneaking out and driving down hometown roads — all of the experiences that have molded her into the person she is today.

Gabrielle Mooney
Alexa King

The single isn't Mooney's first, either. She's written and recorded several songs under the name Lyrx, even co-writing Walker Hayes' single "90's Country."

While she's kept Lyrx for her pen name, Mooney says she wanted to honor her birth name in the next stage of her career. "My family cared so much about their values and Jesus that they named us with purposeful names, based on the Hebrew meanings," she says. "[So] I'm proud that '’m debuting this special song with my given name, Gabrielle."

Gabrielle and Shay grew up together on their parents’ farm in Arkansas, where Shay married his now-wife, Hannah Billingsley, in 2017.

The pair have stayed close as they've become adults. She and Shay even relocated to Pittsburgh together, where Gabrielle attended college as the two pursued careers in music. Gabrielle credits Shay with encouraging her later move to Nashville and deepening her appreciation for country music.

"When I accepted who I am and where I'm from, then I loved country music, because it spoke about everything I grew up on—riding four-wheelers and going to bonfires and being a mile from every neighbor we had," she says in a press release. "When I write country music, it’s just me writing about my life."

For Gabrielle's birthday last year, Shay shared a sweet birthday shoutout on Instagram for his "sissy." "I love you so much and I’m proud of the woman you are," he wrote.