Two albums into their career as a band, Old Dominion have become popular largely on the basis of upbeat material like “Break Up With Him,” “Snapback” and “Hotel Key” that plays as well at parties as it does over arena speakers. But on Friday, the Nashville band threw a curveball by releasing a legitimate ballad — the new song “Some People Do.”
“This song is a side of us we haven’t shown as blatantly, and it’s a little scary to put out into the world,” the band wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “But part of our job as songwriters is to tell the truth, even if it’s hard to go there.”
We pushed ourselves on this album. This song is a side of us we haven’t shown as blatantly, and it's a little scary to put out into the world. But part of our job as songwriters is to tell the truth, even if it’s hard to go there. #somepeopledo is out now. https://t.co/vZeAi7Y6XD pic.twitter.com/lOhbAz5NGC
— Old Dominion (@OldDominion) May 3, 2019
“Some People Do” aims for that truth by discarding guitars and drums entirely to leave only piano, cello and frontman Matthew Ramsey’s voice, which is supported by his bandmates’ backing vocals in the chorus. “I know you’re hurt/I know it’s my fault/But I’ve kept ‘I’m sorry’ locked in a vault,” sings Ramsey, with the song taking the form of an apology and insisting that it’s possible for some — but not most — people to change. It’s an open-ended plea that doesn’t come with a tidy finish or reconciliation, but then again, real change isn’t always predicated on getting what one wants.
Old Dominion released “Make It Sweet,” their first taste of new music after 2017’s Happy Endings, in October and it is currently the Number One song on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart. They’ve already been headlining shows on their Make It Sweet Tour, which returns home to play Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater on Friday before heading to Canada and the Northeast for several dates.