Kelly Willis, ‘Only You’ [Exclusive Premiere]
Singer-songwriter Kelly Willis is preparing to release her first solo record in more than a decade, and she's sharing one of its tracks with The Boot's readers. Press play below to hear "Only You," one of 10 songs on Willis' forthcoming new album.
Willis tells The Boot that she wrote "Only You" about 10 days before she went into the studio to record her new album, Back Being Blue. She had the chorus' melody and the title -- but she wasn't sure exactly what it meant.
"I wrote it sincerely for a little while, but it felt all wrong to me. That's when I turned it around and made it sort of the opposite," Willis recalls. "It worked so much better and fit the feel of the music. I did feel like I was going out on a limb a little bit ... but it has quickly become one of my favorite songs I've ever written."
Willis says the song's first line -- "Only you would break your word, blame it on my ears" -- is her favorite in the song. She aimed to avoid writing lyrics about the singer's sadness and instead focus on the guy.
"I didn't want him to have any power over her -- more of her just marveling at what this guy thinks he is getting away with," Willis explains. "It's not poetry to be studied and pondered. It's just fun."
Back Being Blue, which Willis calls "old soul country -- as in 'old soul,' not 'soul country,'" is set for release on May 18 on Premium Records / Thirty Tigers; it's her seventh full-length studio album, but her first since 2007's Translated From Love. In the years in between, she's recorded and toured as a duo with her husband, Bruce Robison, who produced her new album. Willis wrote six of the album's tracks alone, and worked with Rodney Crowell on the other four. Playing on the record are Eleanor Whitmore, Mark Spencer, Joshua Blue and Trevor Nealon.
Willis will be on the road in support of Back Being Blue beginning on April 19. Visit KellyWillis.com for more details.
Listen to Kelly Willis, "Only You":