When two heavy-hitters collaborate on a love song, prepare yourself for a paragon of songwriting. Just last month, JP Saxe and Maren Morris released their single, “Line by Line,” that they co-wrote together.
The timeless track precedes Saxe’s upcoming album and sets an impressive tone of profound excellence. In the beginning, “Line by Line” emerged from Saxe’s own admiration for Morris’ reputation as a songwriter. “I’ve been wanting to work with Maren Morris for a long time,” Saxe told American Songwriter. “I told the universe that via Twitter, and the message got to Maren. She said she liked my songs too, which was extremely exciting, and then we got in the studio together and we wrote ‘Line by Line’ on day two.”
The two clearly tapped into a mutual well of understanding to create mellifluous harmonies. When we asked Saxe if he was partial to any of the lyrics, he responded that his favorite verse is “Maren’s verse because Maren is singing it.” He continued to say, “I think it’s funny that in the chorus we say, Four chords, three minutes, you never fit in it, and the song is more than four chords and more than three minutes. So it’s slightly dishonest.”
Perhaps technically dishonest, but we’ll let that slide because “Line by Line” truly captures the essence of a love song and the nature of writing them. Saxe confirmed this by stating that the single “sounds shamelessly loving.”
Morris also commented on “Line by Line’s” sound and substance in an earlier press release: “I have always loved being contemplative of the artist vs. muse relationship in songs. ‘Line by Line’ acts as a promise that I’ll never be done writing about my muse in this life because he can’t be summed up in one song. Writing that day with JP was the most fluid, inspiring session. He’s a lyrical faucet. He threw out the line ‘immortalizing my sincerity’ and it blew my mind. I think all in all, we wrote the whole song in an hour and immediately recorded it.”
Overall, “Line by Line” is as good as they make it sound. Its soothing melodies and sublime vocals will have you putting this track on repeat. “Line by Line” is also pleasantly relatable. “With all of my songs, I think the songs fail if they make you think something about me, and they’re doing their job if they make you think something about yourself,” Saxe says. “So I want listeners to take away a conversation with themselves [and] a feeling about someone they love. I want them to think about their own lives and not about mine.”
Saxe promises that the album will be “as transparent, as honest and as rooted in love, as everything else… Love is approached from a lot of different angles on this album, but it’s definitely a central theme. Pre love, post love, made love, all of the above.”
Listen to “Line by Line” below and watch out for Saxe’s forthcoming album due this spring.