Songland Recap: Old Dominion Finds The Perfect Song for a Jeep Commercial

They chose a winner!

Written by Tammy Ragusa
Songland Recap: Old Dominion Finds The Perfect Song for a Jeep Commercial
SONGLAND -- "Old Dominion/Jeep" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Old Dominion, Oliver Francois -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Old Dominion fans were in for a real treat when they got to witness the award-winning group go through the song selection process during the August 21st episode of NBC’s Songland. With four rising songwriters ready to give it their best shot and record producers Ester Dean, Shane McAnally and Ryan Tedder to help them refine their efforts, at the end of the show, Old Dominion would have a song to record for a new Jeep commercial.

Before the songwriters came out to present their original work, the band’s Matt Ramsey said, “The type of song that we’re looking for is one that just inspires you and evokes some sort of feeling of nostalgia and makes you want to play it in front of a crowd of people.”

The night kicked off with Katelyn Tarver of Glennville, Georgia. Her original number, “Young,” was inspired by her relationship with her husband before they were married. The response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Old Dominion’s Brad Tursi did suggest that the lyrics may need “more information” and Matt thought it may be a bit on the feminine side for them, but that it was still close. Ryan also pointed out that the themes presented in the song were on brand for Jeep.

Jacobi.e from Los Angeles was up next with his original composition, “Westside.” He explained that it was about two people who wanted to run away, and his hope is that it inspires others to chase their dreams. The band and producers attached to the melody, but stumbled over the production a bit.

The third writer to present her song was Nashville resident MACI with “Take a Ride.” Before she had even finished, the producers and band were bobbing their heads energetically, and as she tied up the last note, Shane declared, “Dang!” Ryan pointed out that the song had a “sense of adventure and a journey,” while Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen pointed out that the form was “unconventional” and that made it cool.

The final writer vying for a spot in the Top 3 was Jake Scott. It was the Fayetteville, Arkansas native’s first time to perform his original tune, “Is This Love.” While suggestions were made regarding the key of the tune to darken it a bit for the band, and Ester made a few changes in the verses, the team enjoyed Jake’s song.

After the choices were made, the band selected Jacobi.e, Katelyn and Jake to continue on in the competition with Jacobi.e working with Ryan, Katelyn pairing with Shane and Jake meeting with Ester.

Joining the producers and Old Dominion for the revised performances was Olivier Francois, the Chief Marketing Officer for Jeep. “My personal vision for this song is something that is timeless, almost eternal, because Jeep is a legend and that’s what we are going to discover tonight,” he said.

Olivier was “blown away” by Katelyn’s revised version of “Young.” He said, “I’m 56 and when I drive, top off on my Wrangler, I morph into the 26-year-old self of mine. That’s exactly what Jeep is all about, so I think this could work.”

Jacobi.e retained the fun melodies of his song, but changed the beat and lyrics along with the title: “Where the Road Ends.” Olivier loved the imagery that the song created and the band maintained that the melodies made the song very infectious.

Jake also had a title change to his song to “Journey,” but also sped the song up a bit. “It’s like a completely different song,” Matt said. “Even better than them just being incredible lyrics is they sound completely effortless,” Shane added. Olivier also loved the lyrics of the song.

After some thoughtful deliberation, Olivier and Old Dominion, who has never recorded a song they didn’t write, came to a decision and the winner was Katelyn Tarver’s “Young.”

Immediately following the show, fans got to hear and see the new Jeep commercial featuring Old Dominion performing “Young.” In addition, all of the songs performed during the show are now available for streaming. Songland returns next week with Leona Lewis as the guest artist.