The Civil Wars split up last year, yet that hasn’t kept them from including a song about staying together on their upcoming self-titled album, arriving on Aug. 6. The spare arrangements and tight harmonies of “Same Old, Same Old” are reminiscent of the music on their debut album, Barton Hollow, which led the duo to critical acclaim, Grammy Awards and a world tour — and apparently some serious animosity.
You can sense the tension in this performance, captured at an Oct. 1, 2012 concert in Florence, Ala. About five weeks later, in the midst of a European tour, the duo canceled all remaining shows due to “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.”
“This song, to me, represents the ache of monogamy,” says Joy Williams. “This isn’t an ‘I’m leaving you’ song. It’s a vulnerable confession of ‘I don’t want to leave. I want to work on this — with you.’ Having said that, someone once told me a story about long-term relationships: to think of them as a continent to explore. I could spend a lifetime backpacking through Africa, and I would still never know all there is to know about that continent.”
She continues, “To stay the course, to stay intentional, to stay curious and connected — that’s the heart of it. But it’s so easy to lose track of the trail, to get tired, to want to give up or to want a new adventure. It can be so easy to lose sight of the goodness and mystery within the person sitting right in front of you. That continent idea inspires me and makes the ache when it comes hurt a little less. To know that it happens to all of us. What I’m realizing now is that sometimes the ‘same old same old’ can actually be rich, worthwhile and a great adventure.”
Through the band’s publicist, the duo’s John Paul White declined comment. White and Williams wrote the song with producer Charlie Peacock.
Check out the premiere of the Civil Wars’ “Same Old, Same Old.”