The Roys, ‘The View’ — Exclusive Track-by-Track [VIDEO]
The Roys are getting set for the release of a new album, and they are giving readers of The Boot an exclusive track-by-track look at the project.
'The View' is the sibling duo's fourth album for Rural Rhythm Records, and they took a fresh approach for the new songs, working at Lee's home studio and producing the sessions themselves.
"We always go in the studio with the mindset that this is our last record," Lee tells The Boot. "You never know if there's going to be another record around the corner or what's gonna happen. So we wanted to go in and really make a record that was who we are. We're a little bit bluegrass and a little bit country, and for a while we tried to shy away from saying that we're both. But it is who we are. So we tried to go in and cut a record and not worry about, 'Does this track sound bluegrass? Does this sound country?'"
He adds, "We just went in and cut a record, and what makes me most proud of this record is that our band all played on this record, and everybody brought their take on each particular song. I really believe this is our breakthrough record. I think this record best represents who the Roys are, both lyrically and musically."
Elaine says 'The View' was the obvious choice for the title track.
"That's a song that we had the idea for after visiting our grandparents' last resting place," she explains. "We were in the writing session with Bill Anderson, and Lee brought up that idea, and he loved it. He said, 'I think we should write that.' It became the title track because for Lee and I, it speaks of our past. We're really close to our family, and that was a tribute to Grandma and Grandpa Roy, and we just felt that it had a lot of meat to it and a lot of our personal life in it."
The pair admit that writing with the Opry legend was intimidating at first.
"That was the first time that we had written with him ... You know, it's nerve-wracking, it's humbling, and it's encouraging to know that he wanted to write with you," Lee shares. "It's kind of an eye-opening experience -- he's a legend not only in being an artist, but he's an icon in writing. He's written so many hits over the years, and for him to take the time to write with us was definitely a moment that we will cherish, and thank God he wants to do it again."
The pair chose 'No More Lonely' as the album's first single.
"A lot of times, when people sing and write about love, it's the heartbreak and the crying and tears, and this one here is that twist of when you find that special someone, you have no more lonely," Elaine says. "It was a song that we just couldn't stop singing. We kept humming it, and if I was around the house working, it was a song that was stuck in my head. And I thought, 'Well, if it's doing that to me and doing that to Lee, then hopefully it's going to do that to a lot of other people.'"
The album features a wide diversity of material, from the serious tone of tracks like 'Those Boots' and the classic country of 'Heaven Needed Her More' -- which was written with Josh Thompson -- to a rollicking instrumental turn from Doyle Lawson on the closing track, 'Mandolin Man,' which pays tribute to Bill Monroe.
'Sometimes' is another standout from the album. The track was inspired by the duo's co-writer, Steve Dean, whose mother is battling Alzheimer's. The disease also took the Roys' grandmother.
"He said, 'Well, sometimes she's there, and sometimes she's not," Elaine recalls. "And we said, 'We need to write this story.' So we wrote with his mom and our grandma in mind, and when we sing it live, we get so much reaction from the crowd. The reaction has been, 'Hey, that's both of my parents, that's my mom, that's my grandma, that's my friend.'"
The Roys are slated to launch 'The View' on Labor Day with a special broadcast on Sirius XM's 'Bluegrass Junction.' The album will be available on Sept. 2, and they will support the new release with an extensive tour. Keep up with live dates here, and follow the Roys on Twitter and Facebook to stay connected to their latest updates.