Americountry duo The Contenders will release their debut full-length, Laughing With The Reckless, on November 3rd via Rock Ridge Music. The album, a follow-up to their 2014 EP Meet The Contenders, explores the perseverance of hope in dark times, and the connective power of music.
In fact, it was music that connected Vermont-based singer/songwriter Jay Nash and Nashville-based drummer/vocalist Josh Day over a decade ago in Los Angeles; the pair bonded over their mutual admiration of The Band and a shared reverence for roots music—a bond which culminated in a musical partnership that continually reveals its gem-like facets through wry storytelling, muscular harmonies, and sonic strength.
Today, The Contenders unleash a new video for album track, “Hills Of Caroline,” an in-studio performance shot in moody black and white by photographer/videographer Stacie Huckeba at Southern Ground. “I pretty much prefer black and white all the time,” explains Day. “I know a lot of folks prefer color, but I think there is something special that happens with the imagination of the viewer when it’s in black and white. I especially dig it with this song. It feels like a step back in time, and that fits the song perfectly.” Maybe we were born at the wrong time, but I am forever enamored with the look of film and the sound of analog tape,” adds Nash. “So, we try, at the very least, to emulate that vibe with a lot of what we do.”
“Hills Of Caroline” tips its proverbial hat to Day’s hometown in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and to Nash’s old stomping ground, the St. Lawrence River. “For me, this song is about the concept of ‘home’ that we all carry with us,” Nash explains. “It’s about how the tones of nostalgia, past relationships, and sense of place all inform new experiences.” “If I’m alone, I just go home, if only in my mind, to that big ol’ river and the hills of Caroline,” says Day, invoking the song’s wistful lyrics. “This has happened so often in my life. Most of the time, I have this feeling when I’m traveling, and I can’t wait to get home. But honestly, this is what kept me mostly sane while living in Los Angeles,” he adds. “There would be many times I would just have to put on some music that reminded me of home, think of my family, friends, and hometown, and all was right.”
Without further ado, Mother Church Pew proudly presents “Hills Of Caroline,” the new video from The Contenders: