When it comes to #firstworldproblems, the Harmaleighs have a cheerful response: “Pretty Livin.’” The upbeat tune comes from a new album titled Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush, arriving Feb. 3.
“I wrote this song about a girl I knew who wasn’t appreciating what she had,” the duo’s Haley Grant tells CMT Edge. “I decided that I wanted to write a song kind of in a Kacey Musgraves-esque style that poked fun at how hard this girl thought her life was, when in reality her life isn’t as bad as she thinks.”
Kaylee Jasperson, the other half of the duo, adds, “Haley came to me with this idea and I thought it was an awesome song! It’s funny and pokes fun without sounding jealous. I thought that this would be such a fun song not only to record but also to add to our live performances.”
Grant and Japerson met as students at Nashville’s Belmont University. Through the school, they showcased their original music for a music industry panel. Afterwards, the young musicians grabbed coffee with one of the judges, producer Travis Terrell, and forged a working relationship that ultimately led to Pretty Picture, Dirty Brush, which the duo will release independently.
“Recording vocals on this song was hilarious,” Grant recalls. “I remember our producer yelling, ‘That was good, but I need more SASS!’ It was really, really fun.”
The Harmaleighs take their name from a mashup of their own first names and the word “harmony.” Naturally, a delightful musical blend is one of their hallmarks.
“I am obsessed with harmonies and I always have been. Some of my influences in that sense are Ingrid Michaelson (queen of harmonies), Brandi Carlile and Trampled by Turtles. All of whom make harmonies sound like one voice and completely effortless,” Grant says.
“Haley hit it on the head,” Japerson says in agreement. “The vocal blend of Brandi Carlile and her band is incredible. When you have a set of twins singing harmonies for you, you really don’t get a better blend than that! I’m also a big fan of Shovels & Rope. Their harmonies are so powerful.”
The Harmaleighs are wrapping up a string of shows in Colorado this week with dates in Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas in the months ahead. Enjoy the CMT Edge premiere of “Pretty Livin.’”