Country duo Maddie and Tae dropped a new five-song EP the same day that Taylor Swift’s “ME!” was released. Despite their popularity in country music, they didn’t garner much attention from the press. It’s such a shame, because their EP brings country music a much-needed, refreshing sound.
How did they become rising country stars?
Madison Marlow (Maddie) and Taylor Dye (Tae) started out as friends who just wanted to play country music. After performing both in Texas and Nashville, they signed a deal with Dot Records. They rose to fame when they released “Girl in a Country Song,” their highly memorable debut single. Its clever lyrics and biting criticism of misogynistic clichés in “Bro-Country” stood out from other country songs. They released their debut album Start Here on August 28, 2015 and received mostly positive reviews.
However, after their debut album release, they slipped out of the spotlight. They hinted at releasing new music once they signed with Mercury Nashville in 2018, after Dot Records closed.
Is the EP as good as their first album?
Maddie and Tae’s lyrical skills have definitely grown. Their recent songs each bring something exciting and new to the table, whereas their first album had just a few forgettable tracks. However, in this EP, each song is lead single material, which shows that Maddie and Tae are dedicated artists who care about both being authentic and empowering women through their own storytelling abilities.
The EP starts out with “Friends Don’t,” which sounds like a chill road trip song about a friendship that starts to look like something more. “Die from a Broken Heart” is a bittersweet ballad about a heartbroken girl finding solace in her mother’s unconditional love. The third track, “Tourist in This Town,” pulls at our emotions with its euphoric melody and deep, evocative lyrics, which compare moving on from a relationship to arriving in a strange, new town,completely alone.
“One Heart To Another” is a more traditional ballad warning her ex’s next girlfriend about his lack of commitment. A true feminist song, it encourages girls to support each other instead of lashing out at them for “stealing their boyfriends.” The final track on this EP, “New Dog Old Tricks,” shares how girls are smart enough to avoid falling for playboys’ tiresome ploys. It puts an absolutely hilarious spin on the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
Maddie and Tae are here to stay
Production-wise, the EP smoothly blends country and pop. In contrast to most country-pop songs these days, the guitars and drums don’t overpower the vocals. Tae’s vocal harmonies sound sweeter than ever and compliment Maddie’s brassy lead vocals extremely well. And their singing has only gotten better.
After not releasing any new songs for over three years, Maddie and Tae sure did not disappoint with this new EP (but I only wish it were longer). For those who want some sassy yet heartfelt country-pop songs that don’t fall into the typical clichés, this is the perfect EP for a summer road trip, afternoon barbecue, or chill day at the pool.
Check out the EP below, and comment to let us know what you think!
Feature image via Maddie and Tae