Butch Walker will release his new album, Stay Gold, on August 26th. And while the record, his eighth studio project, returns him to his more rock-minded ambitions after 2015’s somber Afraid of Ghosts, it doesn’t shy away from a heartbreaking ballad.
“Descending,” released today, is a devastating duet with country chanteuse Ashley Monroe about those relationships that go on well past their expiration date. “Maybe I’m just scared of landing, maybe you are too,” sings Monroe, opening the song, before Walker delivers a harsh reality: “You can’t fake a smile forever from a mouth that once was mine / is it over or finally beginning?”
In a post about “Descending,” Walker detailed the song’s origin, which he and Monroe wrote together via text.
“She was on a flight to L.A. . . . We were getting real and talking about relationships and how it’s impossible for it to be as perfect as the movies made it out to be. Right about the time I asked how hers was, she said, ‘We’re descending,'” he writes. “I had to ask, immediately, if everything was okay. She said, ‘Yes! The plane is landing, so I gotta go.'”
In the end, Walker and Monroe used the miscommunication as inspiration for their song. The collaboration with a country artist isn’t the first for Walker — he also produced tracks on Keith Urban’s Fuse album and duetted with Martina McBride during one of his famously energetic shows in Nashville. He recently premiered the title track to Stay Gold, a carpe-diem anthem, on Rolling Stone Country. He’ll launch his 200 Pound Tornado of Rock N Roll Destruction Tour on August 17th in Orlando.