By Kurt Wolff
If you think you know Lady Antebellum, think again. Because in their new music video “Long Stretch of Love,” which premieres today (July 2) exclusively on CBS Radio station sites and Radio.com (watch below), the GRAMMY-winning trio is out of the cage. They stomp the stage, pour a couple of drinks and turn up the heat.
Literally, as in, they are lighting fires and burning tires.
There are also blaring red lights, smoking drum sets, shiny black leather and plenty of sultry, over-the-shoulder, could-kill-you-if-you’re-not-careful glances. It’s a big, bold visual statement, and it perfectly matches the dramatic energy and emotion the trio (Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood) bring to the song itself, which appears on the band’s most recent album 747.
In other words, this ain’t your mama’s Lady Antebellum.
Written by all three bandmates along with collaborator Josh Kear, “Long Stretch of Love” is about facing the challenge of keeping fires burning during the long haul of an extended relationship.
As Kelley told Radio.com, the song is the most “honest” on the album.
“We’re all married. True love is ups and downs. You hit, you miss. You’re fire and ice,” he said. “But at the end of the day we’re not going anywhere. We feel that way in our personal lives and as a band. We’re going to have our ups and downs. We’ve been through a lot. We just have this long stretch of love. This long view of the group.”
The song has a bold melodic hook that captures your attention immediately. As Haywood explains, the song began with an idea that Kear brought in that he had conceived on “this little tiny Appalachian instrument called a woodrow.” As Haywood explains, Kear had this riff for the song that “kinda had this Fleetwood Mac feel” with “huge drums kind of behind it, and that’s kind of the way we envisioned it when we went in to record. It really articulates the energy that we wanted for the record.” And when the band plays it live, he says, “it makes you wanna jump out of your skin” because “it just has this freight-train-coming-at-you” feeling.
Speaking of jumping out of your skin, one of the video’s most striking images shows Kelley leaping through a pane of glass. Is this the band’s metaphor for taking a risk and leaping into unknown territory? For committing to something that’s more than a little scary? For…marriage, and what might lay beyond? Perhaps some or all of these things. But bottom line is, it fits right into the hook of the song and keeps the energy moving forward.
You lift me up, you bring me down
You make me feel alive
You send my heart in overdrive
Every time you kill the lights
While Hillary Scott does feel the song relates to marriage, like Kelley she also feels it reflects their working relationship as well. “Not to sound really cheesy, but I feel like that song is kind of our heart’s cry as a band. [We want] to be here and continue to build a career that’s gonna be here for decades, and have longevity. That song is just a great representation of how dedicated we are to continue on this road.”
“I don’t ever wanna break this chain,” the band sings, “I don’t ever wanna walk away.”
“It’s going to be an interesting journey,” Kelley says of how they’ve grown as a band. “Who knows where we’ll be in 10 years.” Or 20, or…the possibilities go on and on.