Since bursting onto the scene with 2014’s satirical “Girl in a Country Song,” Maddie & Tae have been one of country’s most interesting acts. The duo released their first full-length album in 2015. Yet, due to unexpected career chaos, including the shuttering of their old record label, it took five years for the release of their sophomore album, The Way It Feels, out today. As the old cliche goes, some things are worth the wait.
The Way It Feels shows Maddie (Marlow) and Tae (Taylor Dye) as women in a country duo, having come a long way from their “Girl in a Country Song” days. Having lived through relationships and marriages, personal and professional heartbreaks and triumphs, the music here is mature and thoughtful. The album includes some previously-released tracks, including the stunning “Friends Don’t” and “Die from a Broken Heart,” both evidence of the kind of brilliance the pair is capable of.
The duo co-wrote on all but one of the album’s fifteen tracks, allowing their personalities to truly come through on each and every song. Other co-writers include some of the genre’s biggest names, including Dye’s husband Josh Kerr, Dave Barnes, Jordan Reynolds, Jimmy Robbins, Jon Nite, Laura Veltz, Forrest Whitehead, and more. They also enlist Dierks Bentley on the stunningly beautiful ballad, “Lay Here With Me.” While the collaboration is one of the album’s highlights, there are many musical moments throughout the collection.
The album opens with “Everywhere I’m Going,” immediately setting the tone for the record. With it’s breezy, mid-tempo instrumentation and beautiful harmonization, the pair preview an album full of much of the same. Some of the album’s most stunning tracks are ballads, showing off Maddie & Tae’s unmatched harmonies and beautiful lyrics. There’s “Trying On Rings,” an ethereal celebration of the progression of a young summer romance all the way through to growing up and trying on wedding rings. On “Drunk or Lonely,” they’re on the receiving end of a text from an ex that has them wondering if he’s just drunk or lonely.
The album also shines on its fun, up-tempo tracks, including “Bathroom Floor,” “Ain’t There Yet,” and “New Dogs.” On the first, they implore a friend to pull herself together and recover from a breakup. “Get up off the bathroom floor/ Let’s wipe the tears off your cheeks/ Put on a dress and get out that door/ Girl, the first shot’s on me,” They sing. “Let’s jump into a cab downtown/ Let a sexy man spin you around/ Let’s show that heart/ Some neon magic/ ‘Til we’re drunk and laughing/ Back on the bathroom floor.”
On “New Dogs,” the album’s clever closing track, Maddie & Tae call out guys who are full of classic lines to pick up girls. “I’ve seen this before, Couldn’t be more not surprised,” They muse here, “Hey baby/ Let me guess/ You never felt this before/ My beauty takes your breath/ Boy get that jaw off the floor/ Ain’t my first rodeo/ I know the way this goes/ Bow wow baby/ Got a bone to pick/ New dogs, old tricks/ Oooh, put a leash on it.”
While Maddie & Tae may not have been able to do the things they’d anticipated with the release of The Way It Feels, they’re making the best of a tough situation. “This isn’t the way we dreamed of putting our album out. There’s so much we’d love to get out there and do, necks we’d like to hug, but the reality is… we all need to stay home. There’s some beauty in being home… time to listen to music,” the pair tweeted. And there’s plenty of beauty in this album to be listened to and enjoyed.
Maddie and Tae will be hitting the road this summer with Lady Antebellum, as part of their Oceans 2020 Tour, which also includes special guest, Jake Owen. The show will hit Jones Beach on August 7 followed by the rescheduled date for PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ on September 26th. To keep up with the duo, visit their official website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
1. “Bathroom Floor”
2. “Lay Here With Me”
3. “Die From a Broken Heart”
4. “New Dog Old Tricks”
The Way It Feels Tracklist:
1. “Everywhere I’m Going'” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Josh Thompson, Jimmy Robbins)
2. “Bathroom Floor” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Josh Kerr)
3. “My Man” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Dave Barnes, Jordan Reynolds)
4. “Tourist In This Town” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Barry Dean, Jimmy Robbins)
5. “Drunk Or Lonely” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Deric Ruttan, Forrest Whitehead)
6. “One Heart To Another” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Jonathan Singleton, Deric Ruttan)
7. “Trying On Rings” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Laura Veltz, Jimmy Robbins)
8. “Write A Book” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Laura Veltz, Josh Kerr)
9. “Water In His Wine Glass” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Jon Nite)
10. “Ain’t There Yet” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Dave Barnes, Ben West)
11. “Lay Here With Me” (feat. Dierks Bentley) (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Josh Kerr, Dave Barnes)
12. “Friends Don’t” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Jon Nite, Justin Ebach)
13. “Die From A Broken Heart” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Jonathan Singleton, Deric Ruttan)
14. “I Don’t Need To Know” (Maddie Marlow, Taylor Dye, Adam Hambrick)
15. “New Dog Old Tricks” (Laura Veltz, Jesse Frasure, Emily Weisband)
The Way It Feels is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.
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