A year after the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based dynamic musical duo, Couldn’t Be Happiers, formed, they will release two tracks — “Cajun Spider-Man” and “Mad” — on July 24 that couldn’t be more different or more reflective of the artists. The two-track CD is appropriately called “His and Hers” and is available on Spotify.
Jordan Crosby Lee (vocals, guitar) is a tattooed Texas troubadour who blends melodies and shares harmonies with a Jodi Hildebran (vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion), a sassy blonde country crooner from North Carolina. Hildebran is a singer/songwriter whose love of pop and Americana music permeates her writing.
I have written in the past that the Couldn’t Be Happiers combine all the best things about classic country music.
That hasn’t changed with the release of the duo’s latest two tracks. I find Lee’s up-tempo “Cajun Spider-Man” tune reminiscent of the storytelling song genre the great Tom T. Hall and Roger Miller, among others, made famous. It’s outlandishness also reminds me a bit of Bruce Springsteen’s more recent “Outlaw Pete.”
Hildebran’s “Mad” is unique in its delivery allowing her the depth of her vocals to shine with a Rhiannon Giddeons’ quality I haven’t heard from Hildebran until now. “Mad” sounds like it should be listened to in a dim speakeasy lit only by candlelight while sipping on a Manhattan.
But don’t take my word for it. Take a listen for yourself:
The couple, who were recently wed, met in 2013 when Wake Forest University’s “The Unbroken Circle” first brought the duo together musically. They are both graduates of Wake Forest University School of Law, where Lee works as a career counselor. Hildebran is an attorney in Winston-Salem.
The duo will make their Front Porch Fest debut over Labor Day Weekend, but in the meantime are busy playing venues all over the Triad and beyond.
The Couldn’t Be Happiers recorded their first EP at Ovation Sound with Evan Richey in Winston-Salem.
Lee says “Cajun Spider-Man” was inspired in part by a story he heard on NPR’s “This American Life” about a thief who was a sort-of modern day Spiderman.
Lee adds, “We both kind of wrote the songs on our own and we were happy with each others songs and then helped each bring the other one’s song to fruition. After writing together, it was fun to have less input on these tunes.”
Hildebran explains, “With “Mad,” I wanted to create a song that was a little different from the others I’ve written. It really all started with my decision to write a song with a stomp/clap percussion line as the base, which naturally resulted in a more ‘rootsy’ sound.
“I also tend to write songs about strong female characters taking charge in one way or another, so ‘Mad’ certainly falls into that category. The song is about a woman tossing out a no-good, cheating man — along with his effects — and moving on. I imagined that he would stay out all night and then apologize, she’d take him back, and then he would do the same thing again. The song is more about her turning point — his insincere apologies don’t work on her anymore, and in her mind, he can’t be mad about it because he brought it on himself. She is finally standing up for herself.
“My favorite part is the bridge. I thought it would be interesting to take the theme from an old public domain gospel song ‘Wade in the Water’ and turn it into a relationship metaphor. The song ‘Wade in the Water’ has a very cool history because of its use by people in the Underground Railroad. It was allegedly used to convey secret messages to slaves trying to escape their masters on how to throw the hunting dogs off their scent (by wading through bodies of water when possible).
“Of course, in ‘Mad,’ the water isn’t a cleansing element like it is in ‘Wade in the Water’ — instead, the character sees the water as muddy and dangerous, and she makes the decision not to jump in it with someone she can’t trust.”
You can catch the Couldn’t Be Happiers playing the new singles live this weekend at the Morgan Ridge Railwalk Brewery & Eatery and J Butler’s Bar & Grille Lewisville. You can find their live performance schedule here.
This post originally appeared on MusicReporterBlog.