Brett Eldredge gives a stripped-down, in-studio performance of his song “When I Die” for the third installment of his “Live at Royal Plum” series, filmed at producer Daniel Tashian’s home studio. The original version of “When I Die” appears on Eldredge’s 2020 album Sunday Drive.
Eldredge co-wrote “When I Die” with the team of Tashian and Ian Fitchuk, who also co-produced Sunday Drive — along with Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour — and turn up in the new video on piano and guitar. The unorthodox approach to writing and creating at Tashian’s studio was one of the selling points of working with the producers for Eldredge, who knew he needed to make an artistic change.
“I remember sitting in Daniel’s studio and it was so organic, so different from anything I’ve done, and I was out of my comfort zone,” Eldredge told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “It was so powerful and profound, I knew I needed to chase it down. We kept writing and it started connecting. We were making these demos in Daniel’s garage studio and it was just me and those two playing — one-take vocals most of the time on a raw microphone. All in the same room, and it was so real. I had never heard myself like this — and this is the way I need to hear myself.”
The raw approach that fueled their creativity is on display in the “Live at Royal Plum” take, which showcases Eldredge’s rich-but-unadorned vocals and sincere delivery. The song, which deals with being present in the moment and living a good life, came out of meditation exercises Eldredge was doing at the time.
“This meditation was, imagine if today was your last day. How would you live it? How would you want to feel it?” he says. “It got me thinking: If I just continue to chase and get caught up in all the little things, you never actually live at all. You start to look at the fact that all you get to leave behind is your stories and the people that you loved.”