For anyone who has ever known the unease that comes with going a little too far in telling a new crush how you feel, the Eli Young Band, four-time country chart-toppers, has the song for you. The band’s silky-smooth new single “Love Talking” elucidates that relationship phenomenon, expertly capturing the nervous excitement of putting it all on the line.
The song was written by the band’s lead singer, Mike Eli, along with collaborators Jeffrey East and Eric Arjes. In an interview with American Songwriter, Eli credited East with the initial inspiration to get the ball rolling. “He kind of came with this idea,” Eli recalls. “Instead of copping out and blaming it on the booze, just fessing up and saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to put it all out there. This is the love talking.’ And it’s all from the perspective of the guy, so you never really know where she’s coming from, whether she’s into it or not. Maybe that will be a sequel later.”
Eli and company also strove to take a different approach in an effort to render the song with maximum impact. “There are some really cool things with it creatively,” he explains. “That chord structure is kind of the same throughout the entire song, but we changed the melody in different parts. We didn’t go with the same-old, same-old when it came to verse-chorus structure melodically. I’m such a sucker for a song where you see the title and you’re expecting one thing, and then you hear it and you get something else. That was what we were going for melodically and lyrically.”
The isolation, forced by the pandemic, didn’t keep the rest of the band (James Young, Jon Jones, and Chris Thompson) from making key contributions to “Love Talking.” “Because we had so much time to work creatively on demos and bouncing them back and forth, there were a lot of structural things that we had ironed out before we ever went into the studio,” Eli explains. “That was really nice. We were able to work over Zoom and do preproduction where everybody was in their home studios. We would build tracks with our producers, and then creatively work on our parts separately before we went into the studio. While we had the overall structure mapped out, everybody came in with new parts and fresh ideas, and it just took the track to a whole new level.”
Eli is forthright about the way the break caused by the pandemic gave the band an unexpected creative boost. “It was the shot in the arm that we didn’t know we needed,” he says. “There comes a point where you don’t realize how burnt out you are until you take a step back and everything goes away for a moment. Not only do you realize how burnt out you were and how much you didn’t necessarily appreciate everything, you realize your perspective on music and playing live and all this was so incredibly jaded. We all came back out on the road with these new, fresh songs and this new album and it just feels like, well, we keep saying this next chapter, but I really feel like it’s the next book.”
The fans will be getting that new album later this year, according to Eli. And you can expect to hear the fruits of his and his band’s recent creative explosion for some to come. “It was such a long year for everyone emotionally, but there was so much music made in my house,” Eli explains. “It’s not even just this music, it’s all the other songs. I feel like I wrote the best songs of my life and it’s gonna take so many albums for some of this stuff to get out. I think I’m going to be dipping back into these songs for a long time. I just want people to hear the story, the stuff that happened while I was at home that whole time. We’re super-pumped and we couldn’t be happier with the way everything went down.”
Photo by Corey Ray / Essential Broadcast Media