You've never heard Cassadee Pope like this, and she's not really proud to be sharing. But it had to happen.

One song on her new Stages album had to be included to tell the full story of this two-year chapter of her life. It started with a split from her longtime record label and then a split from her boyfriend. Spoiler alert: she's better than ever before, thrilled to have released an album independently and happily in love with boyfriend Sam Palladio.

Amidst an album filled with sweet, playful, often strong, occasionally vulnerable pop-rock influenced country songs, one finds "FYI," a song that goes there.

"That one was like (eek) I'm putting it on the record," Pope tells Taste of Country. "It's about an emotion I'm not super proud of. A lot of us have felt sorta spiteful, and I just felt if I don't go there, then I'm not telling the whole story and I'm not letting people in."

It's easy to imagine what inspired this song, but in fairness to Pope (and perhaps ex-boyfriend Rian Dawson), she hasn't totally spelled it out. Here are a few lyrics: "While he was flying you to Vegas and all our favorite places / Always runnin' 'round with each other / He was saying that he missed me and damn, girl, you look pretty / I don't think you'd like how he was looking at me."

So it's a story told from one woman to another, about a guy who's kind of playing them both, unbeknownst to the other woman.

"He was saying you were casually dating / We ran into each other maybe once or twice / Said if he kissed me that it wouldn't be cheating / You can run with it, do with it whatever you like / It's just an FYI," she sings at the chorus

Speaking to outlets like Songwriter Universe. Pope admitted there was some people rubbing things in her face in a not kind way, and she knew some things they'd probably have loved to learn. Out of that — with a heavy influence from Nashville rockers Nightly and a song called "XO" — came "FYI," a song that shatters the super-sweet persona we've been treated to thus far. Honestly, the song humanizes Pope, and it's not the only one on Stages to do it.

"People are going to understand what I went through from hearing these songs, which is the goal," she told Taste of Country a year ago, and she wasn't lying. More than anything, people get to see where she is now.

"If I'm gonna fail, I'd rather fail doing what I wanted rather than doing what someone else thinks I should do," she says. That self-trust is new. It comes from surviving a few ups and downs, surrounding yourself with good people and maybe spilling some tea in a catchy country-rocker.

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