Earlier this year, Nashville’s Judah & The Lion made a striking return with “Over My Head,” the first single announcing Pep Talks, the band’s third LP. And today, they’re sharing another new song from the record, “Pictures,” featuring vocals from pop-country queen Kacey Musgraves, who is also fresh off of an Album Of The Year Grammy win. The collaborating artists are an impeccable match, as they both have a knack for telling deeply personal stories in their music in touchingly novel ways. Pep Talks is due out on May 3 via Cletus the Van/Caroline.
“Pictures” is a heart-wrenching and melancholic track, finding lead singer Judah Akers reckoning with the harrowing effects of alcoholism on his family along with other painful topics like affairs, death, and divorce. It’s an intimate look at a difficult, confusing transition, told in honest terms. The raw emotion of the track is only elevated by Musgraves, who herself has written about the inevitable shifts in values, beliefs, and relationships as we get older.
About the track, Akers said:
I had a really deep moment with my mom when she called me and broke down bawling about how hard it was to move from our family house. I kind of saw my mom as a human for the first time, and it made me really empathetic toward her. I wrote the song from her perspective and it came in a flood, in five minutes, right after the call. I needed to write it because I was heartsick.
You can listen to “pictures” on your preferred listening service now.