The day of his Uncle Terry's wake in June of 2020, Michael Ray had a scheduled co-writing session with Hardy and David Garcia. Rather than cancel, the country singer came armed with an idea based on something a friend had said the night before — and left with a new song, "Picture," released on Friday (May 7).

In a press release, Ray explains that he and his friend Ryan were looking through some old photos when the friend commented, "Isn’t it wild how, no matter what you do in your life, we’ll all just end up being pictures that somebody who loves us holds onto?"

"I wrote that down at three in the morning, and I decided not to cancel my write the next day," Ray recounts. "I wanted it to write it very autobiographically. This last year has made me so appreciative of the people who can just sit still with me, reflect and reminisce."

"I hope that when people hear this song, it’s not something that brings sadness, it’s something that brings joy. I hope it serves as a reminder that it’s okay to slow down and be present, because you’ll never regret the time to take to be with family and friends," Ray says. "I hope listeners can go back to pictures and relive good times with loved ones that maybe have passed, but I also hope it reminds them to capture those memories, in the moment, while they can."

"Picture" follows Ray's newest single, "Whiskey and Rain." It's, per the release, "one of several" new songs, produced by Ross Copperman, due out from Ray in the coming months.

Ray's most recent album, Amos, arrived in 2018. That project, his sophomore record, includes three gold-certified singles.

50 Essential '90s Country Songs:

More From KIKN-FM / Kickin' Country 99.1/100.5