Brent Cobb + Jade Bird Share Serendipitous Story Behind New Duet, ‘Feet Off the Ground’ [LISTEN]
In the years since Brent Cobb and Jade Bird first met, with a then-little known Bird opening U.K. shows for Cobb in 2017, the two artists have become good friends. They've shared bills, watched each other's careers unfold and now -- with the release of new duet "Feet on the Ground" -- collaborated.
Though the new song officially dropped Friday (Sept. 13), the pair actually wrote it two years ago, at the very outset of their musical partnership. In fact, the co-write that produced it took place around the first time they met. "It was my first trip to the U.K. I had never left the country before. I get there, and I'm playing a show at the [London venue] Slaughtered Lamb, and Jade is opening that show," Cobb remembers to The Boot.
In a sweet twist of fate, the song's recording came about during another big overseas first: This time, for Bird. Several months after they wrote "Feet Off the Ground," when Cobb was deep in the process of cutting tracks for his 2018 studio album Providence Canyon, he called on Bird to help him record the song. It just so happened that it was her first time visiting the U.S.
"It's kind of a cool story," Cobb adds. "What with me going to the UK the first time, the first time me and her ever wrote."
However, the story of "Feet Off the Ground" gets even cooler. Just before heading in to write with Bird, Cobb says he got a mysterious text from an unknown number. "It was this whole character. A whole explanation of a character," he recounts. "And I'm like, 'Who in the hell is this? I mean, it's cool, but I don't understand.' It was, like, two pages of someone describing a character to me. So I go, 'Hey, who is this?' And it was Bradley Cooper."
At the time, Cooper was at work on his 2018 film A Star is Born, and was collaborating with a host of contributing musicians. It turned out that Cobb's cousin, Nashville producer Dave Cobb, had suggested that Cooper might speak to the Providence Canyon singer about writing something for the project.
Cobb had been carrying around "Feet Off the Ground"'s title in his back pocket for a while, and when he read the text, he knew its sentiment of windswept, headlong, all-consuming love could be a good fit for the type of song he had in mind. "That longing of being in love, and nobody getting it, and that struggle -- it was already that song. It was already that headspace," the singer explains.
Though "Feet Off the Ground" wasn't ultimately selected as part of the soundtrack for A Star is Born, its themes and ideas are indelibly linked to the sentiment of the film. For Bird, whose career and fanbase have grown exponentially since the day she cut the track during her first trip to the U.S., the song also brings back happy memories of how much Cobb helped her in the early days of her career.
"It's really mad, but it's also nostalgic in a way -- in a great way," Bird told The Boot at a red carpet before the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards ceremony. "We wrote that song before I'd written with anyone, before I'd done anything over here. It was just me and him. He was so welcoming of me to...I guess the south, in a way. He taught me a lot and showed me a lot, and he's just a great guy. A really good person."
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