You never know what kind of gold you can strike in a songwriting session. When Gone West walked into a meet-up with Jamie Kenney, their first together with him as producer, little did they know a song like “What Could’ve Been” would be born.
“When we walked in to write with him that day, he told us he’d been listening to our EP [2019’s ‘Tides’] in the shower!” remembers Colbie Caillat. The GRAMMY winner, who forged the new band in 2018 with fiancé Justin Young, Jason Reeves, and Nelly Joy, was floored. “Then, when we sat down together, the first thing that came out of his mouth was: ‘You left blood on the tracks, sweat on the saddle.’”
That sharp, poetic line immediately set up the song’s driving tug-of-war between two lover’s remembering the good days of a relationship. “We all loved that and connected immediately to this idea of two people looking back at their relationship,” offers Young, “each separately feeling this lingering regret about things that they could have done differently. This one feels special to us because it came out so naturally and quickly.”
Now a Top 30 hit, and climbing, “What Could’ve Been” gets an acoustic makeover. The video, premiering today on American Songwriter, hyper-focuses on the plaintive lyrics, the inescapable yearning, and the group’s tight musical chemistry. With collaborator Patrick Tracy, who directed the official video, at the helm, the vocal setpiece ─ filmed inside L Park Studios ─ casts a golden, rustic glow.
It just feels special.
Joy agrees. “There’s such a special vibe about that building, and it inspires our music to come alive.” Reeves chimes in, “Patrick captured the video in one take to keep the vibe as raw and organic as possible, and we hope that helps it match the sentiment of the live recording.”
“What Could’ve Been” primes the band’s debut long player, Canyons, currently expected June 12.
Watch the live acoustic video below.
Photo Credit: Gregory Keith Metcalf