Seven years ago, artist, producer and studio owner Brett Ryan Stewart teamed with fellow Nashville songwriter Amelia White to write "Somebody to Hold." The melodic ode to our need for both physical and emotional connections represented more than co-writing time well-spent when Stewart rediscovered it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When the pandemic began, I started perusing my archived demos," Stewart tells Wide Open Country. "Seemed like the perfect time to see what had gotten lost in the hustle of life. I stumbled on this iPhone recording of 'Somebody to Hold' from the day we wrote it and was warped right back to that moment seven years ago. The sun was shining through the blinds into my East Nashville living room. We were barely two feet apart, and not only were we maskless, that thought would've never crossed our minds. It was a different world. And yet, still, that hunger for human connection was lingering in our subconscious enough to summon these lyrics. Who'd have known that years later that notion would be amplified tenfold by a global quarantine."
A fully-realized recording of the song, finished virtually with other talented friends, and a music video by Duende Vision preview the duo's new EP 11 A.M. (out June 4 via Wirebird Records/Orchard).
"Having Molly Thomas virtually add her emotional viola and violin from Clear Point, Alabama was to me the factor that just pulled the last ounces of heart from this sweet, and very human song," White adds.
A press release for the EP describes Stewart and White's unplanned summation of the quarantine blues as "a sort of salve for the very wounds it lays bare."
"Just as the tune yearns for the sort of home that can only come from love and companionship, so too does it find a perfect home in the unique and shared trials of our modern day," the press release continues. "Truly, in the courageous expressiveness of both Stewart and White, one cannot help but feel that a pain shared is, indeed, a pain halved."