Growing up is never easy, even when you score your first Number One single at 19 years old. On Maddie & Tae‘s debut album, Start Here, the country newcomers look back over a half-decade’s worth of boyfriends, dreams, schoolyard bullies and fishing dates gone awry. The 11-track album, whose songs were all co-written by Madison Marlow and Tae Dye during their teenage years, comes to a close with “Downside of Growing Up,” a track that tempers the sass and swagger of “Girl in a Country Song” with something bittersweet and beautiful.
With Start Here making its long-awaited arrival next month, “Downside of Growing Up” has begun finding its way into the duo’s nightly setlists. Earlier this week, Maddie & Tae played the song during an acoustic show in Fort Myers, Florida, sharing the bill with Drake White, Locash and the Cadillac Three.
“Tae and I both moved up to Nashville at 17,” Marlow told the crowd. “It was about 14 hours away from home, so we had to grow up really fast. I’m sure all of us, on our journey, went through something like that at some point.” Then, with their stripped-down backing band strumming along on acoustic guitars, the two singers harmonized their way through a mid-tempo ballad about loving, leaving and learning hard lessons.
After wrapping up their summer tour with Dierks Bentley, Maddie & Tae will promote Start Here with their own headlining run, beginning with an appearance at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.