Couldn’t Be Happiers – Songs for Butchie Vol 1 (2021)

Alt-country and folk duo Couldn’t Be Happiers pays tribute to a loved one with the tracks of their album Songs For Butchie. Released as three separate EPs, the first four songs make up Songs For Butchie Vol 1 and cover everything from a love story to the rapid changes of life. Through the tracks of this release, the duo brings feelings of happiness and sadness to the cycles and experiences of life.

The duo consists of married couple Jordan Crosby Lee (guitar, vocals) and Jodi Hildebran Lee (vocals, drums, harmonica). Together, they embrace the beauty of life and bring experiences and moments to sonic glory with their splendid blend of folk, rock and country. As the first release of their debut full-length album, this EP offers a taste for what is to come and showcases the ability of the duo.

The EP opens with the love song ‘Treehouse’ which delves into the apocalyptic through the lyrics. The toe-tapping melody grips you from the first moment and has you wanting to dance around to the rhythm. The call and response of the verses are great as it brings the apocalypse to the soundscape in the most fun way possible. There is a thread of resilience through the lyrics that lets you know the couple are with each other through thick and thin. You can’t help but smile as you listen to the track and feel the affection that they have for each other. While this is a love story, there seems to be something more woven into the extremely engaging movement.

‘Lightening & Thunder’ brings the changes of life with a melancholic string line. Jordan’s vocals are lamenting as he draws you into the sad tale of the track. Inspired by a quote from an Italian doctor, the single brings some traditional country and folk sentiments to your ears. There is a bone-deep sadness in the vocals that bring you down from the happy high of the opening track. This swing of emotions perfectly matches the depths of emotion within the track itself as the lyrics face a sudden change and uncertainty of the future. It is a really emotive single that tugs hard at your heartstrings.

The bouncing tones of the opening track are back for ‘The Earthquake Song’ that tells the story of the earthquake that hit western NC in 2020. While the track touches on the earthquake, there is such a lively feeling to the music that you can’t help but feel that things will be okay. The lyrics bring the feeling of the quake and the aftermath to life in a really moving way. The movement of the vocals brings the shaking of the earth to life while there is a tinge of worry and devastation woven in to them.

The EP comes to a close with ‘November’ which is the saddest and touches most heavily on the feeling of loss. Through the lyrics, you are drawn into the mundane events of life and the instinctive reflex of picking up the phone to call someone who is no longer there. The realisation that they are not there tugs at your emotions and the single really hits you in the chest with the emotional toll that comes with it. The melody is more melancholic than the other tracks while still bringing the folky country tones to our ears. The overlapping of vocals adds a new dimension to the emotions that lets you know that they are universal and you are not alone in your grief.

Couldn’t Be Happiers have you bouncing around only to be knocked down by grief and sadness through the endlessly engaging tones of Songs for Butchie Vol 1. The tracks move from lively love songs to touching reflections on grief. Through all of this, you can feel the passion the duo has for music and their prowess with folk and country tones.

Find out more about Couldn’t Be Happiers on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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