Dynamic duo Maddie and Tae take center stage with new album

Mckenzie Barrow, Staff Writer

Maddie & Tae just might be the next Taylor Swift.  Their singles “Fly” and “Girl in a Country Song” got them noticed, but their album “Start Here” is their formal introduction to the world of country music.

They are the first female duo to get a song, “Girl in a Country Song,” in the Billboard’s Country Airplay top 10 since the Wreckers “My, Oh My” in almost eight years.  In their promotional material, Tae said they use “organic instruments, [such as] the acoustic guitar [and] the mandolin” because “people respond.”

The girls’ motivation to be honest as they are telling their stories has also elicited positive response from fans.

“We’re telling our stories and hope people can relate,” Tae said in the duo’s promotional materials, and that honesty goes across the board.  The pair of 20-year-olds sings about life just they see it, whether it’s in a song about a beautiful bully in “Sierra” or a horrible date like in “Shut Up and Fish,” listeners begin getting to know them, from how they act when they fall in love to how they encourage their friends.

In spite of their age and inexperience, they are not afraid to critique the industry they are breaking into and its portrayal of women as they ask for a “little respect” in “Girl in a Country Song.”

In the songs “Fly” and “Downside of Growing Up,” the girls give tidbits of encouragement even through tough times; in the chorus of “Fly” the girls sing “Don’t you be scared now/ ‘Cause you can learn to fly on the way down.”

The pair sings about love gone wrong. “Smoke” is about a love a girl doesn’t want to let go of even though it’s over, and in “Your Side of Town,” it’s a love she can’t wait to get away from.

However, Maddie & Tae also sing of love stories gone right, one of which is mentioned in “No Place Like You.” The song alludes to the “Wizard of Oz” in the lyrics: “Sometimes I wish I could close my eyes and click my shoes,” and is reminiscent of the lines, “Home is where the heart is /and my heart is where you are,” from of the Relient K song “I’m Taking You with Me.”

“No Place Like You” isn’t the only song that makes a reference to a song. As noted in their promotional material, “Girl in a Country Song” features the line, “’Cause I got a name /And to you it ain’t ‘pretty little thing’, ‘honey’, or ‘baby’,” that echoes the words “I’ve got a name and it ain’t ‘Baby,’” sung by Janet Jackson.

“Girl in a Country Song” rose to the top the of the Country Singles Chart on December 8, 2014, just a little over a month after its release and is one of the two songs originally released before the album; “Fly” was released the following month

“Fly” is a song that encourages people to keep going even after they’ve peaked. It has a beautiful, almost lullaby tone. “After the Storm Blows,” another song with a beautifully tender melody to it, is a song for a friend who is going through a tough time, and by the end of the CD, listeners feel like they are friends with the girls.

Maddie & Tae song resonate with the audience because they are just two girls from Ada, Oklahoma, and Sugarland, Texas, who chased their dreams to Nashville two years ago to tell their stories in every song they sing.