Ben and Emily Roberts have grown a lot since their last album came out in 2018. Some of that growth has been personal as they settle into the grooves of family life, and some of that growth has been creative as they continue to develop a sound in country music that is as lush as it is genuine. On Thursday, their project, Carolina Story, debuted a new single which demonstrates the Roberts’ continued commitment to tasteful, blue-collared storytelling.
“On one hand, this song speaks to navigating friendships in these times when most communication is happening through social media as opposed to the face-to-face, deeper connection that seems to have been lost a bit,” Ben Roberts told American Songwriter. “On the other hand, it’s an autobiographical account of the gradual deterioration of a friendship. It’s about toiling over whether the fence could be mended or not. I came in with the title that day and was struggling with accepting the fact that it was crumbling.”
And the song does a tremendous job of capturing that melancholic feeling of a lost friendship, yet does so in a way that is more empowering and reflective than it is sorrowful. Musically, the song shows off Carolina Story’s strengths. The intro gives you a picture of what Jimmy Buffett may have sounded like had he been a 2000s artist, and the song proper blossoms into a Ryan Adams-esque country tune.
“The minute Ben came home and played this song, I felt immediately drawn to it,” Emily Roberts said. “The melody was striking and the words felt very relatable to me. I’m an old soul at my core and I thrive on face-to-face interaction with friends. It’s been hard for me over the years to navigate in this new world, so to speak, where you are mostly filled in on what your friends are doing through slides on a screen. The last record, Ben and I really nailed down this ‘one voice’ idea where we sang continuously together pretty much the entire time. This song felt even more personal and needed that lone voice to make it stronger, and in a way I feel stronger and more confident this time around. When the last record came out I had a toddler and a newborn and I was in the thick of motherhood while Ben carried Carolina Story. With the encouragement from him and settling into motherhood a bit more, I was ready to step out of the background and back into a lead role.”
Listen to Carolina Story’s new single “See You When I See You” below: