Though merely 23-years-old, the duo of Maddie & Tae possess a maturity beyond their years. They proved this with their bold and honest portrayal of the objectification of women in the “bro-country” era of country music with their powerful debut single “Girl in a Country Song” in 2014, which they wrote when most people their age were graduating high school. With their new EP One Heart to Another, the duo of Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye prove they’re just as insightful, this time drawing from personal heartache while capturing a sense of vulnerability that’s seeped into the five-song project.
You feel this in the poignant “Die From a Broken Heart,” as they let the listener in on an intimate conversation with their mothers, asking her for life advice ranging from how to get a wine stain out of one’s favorite dress to wondering if you can go blind from crying in the dark, conveying the aching feeling of grief as their pristine voices unite singing “How does he sleep at night, momma the nerve of this guy, to leave me so easy, am I gonna be alright? Momma, can you die from a broken heart?” They carry this emotion into “Tourist in This Town,” interpreting the feeling of trying to avoid all the familiar places that remind them of the person who left them heartbroken.
They put true sincerity on display in the raw title track that finds the lead singer speaking to their ex’s new lover. The song serves as an open conversation where they offer sage words of advice while navigating the pain of abandonment: “Some lay low, some get high, everybody’s got their way to get by, to fix what’s broken inside, and for him it’s goodbyes and tail lights,” they purely sing, demonstrating lyrical maturity.
While honesty and vulnerability shine on the project, the duo still embraces the no bullsh– attitude that made them a breakthrough voice in country music with the EP’s closing number “New Dog Old Tricks.” The duo calls out the repetitive ways in which men attempt to win over a woman’s affection, capturing the wit in Emily Weisband, Jesse Frasure and Laura Veltz’s clever songwriting. “Hey baby let me guess, you’ve never felt this before…this ain’t my first rodeo, I know the way this goes,” they proclaim over a rollicking melody, ending the EP on an empowering note.
The young, but wise duo has been open about the hardships they’ve endured, between losing a record deal after their former label Dot Records folded and Marlow bravely admitting how that led to a battle with depression. But with One Heart to Another, the sharp singers prove that in spite of these struggles, they’ve grown immensely, harboring the artistic talent and personal strength to create a project that reflects these qualities while setting the stage for a bright journey in a genre that needs voices as insightful as their own.