July 20, 2024

How Carly Pearce Enlisted Chris Stapleton for Heartbreaking ‘We Don’t Fight Anymore’

If a song could make bones ache, “We Don’t Fight Anymore” would do it.

Amid the ever-present marketplace demand for positive, uptempo recordings, country artists who take a contrarian position with stark, tragic ballads are sometimes rewarded on the awards circuit. Grammy Awards or nominations have been granted through the years to such spare titles as Sugarland’s “Stay,” Ronnie Dunn’s “Cost of Livin’,” Cole Swindell’s “Break Up in the End” and Reba McEntire’s “She Thinks His Name Was John.”

Carly Pearce’s “We Don’t Fight Anymore,” enhanced with a guest appearance by Chris Stapleton, seems an instant contender for that kind of reward. Released by Big Machine on June 16, it artfully weaves a raw vocal performance across a vulnerable music bed as it portrays a couple so resigned to a passionless existence that the two people barely acknowledge each other. If a song could make bones ache, “We Don’t Fight Anymore” would do it.

Chris Stapleton on Being the Accidental Country Star | Billboard

Pearce co-wrote “Fight” with Pete Good (“Tale of Two Towns,” “Y’all Life”) and Shane McAnally (“half of my hometown,” “Some People Do”) at Good’s studio in Nashville’s Berry Hill neighborhood on a day when their initial ideas all failed to jell. “Fight” emerged from conversation.

“I don’t remember who said, ‘We don’t fight anymore’ — it was probably Shane — and I was like, ‘Let’s go sad. Let’s do it,’ ” she recalls. “Pete played this riff that was so inspiring. He has such a good melodic sense and also such a way of building a track that inspires you. From five minutes in, I just felt like we were on to something.”

None of the three were working out personal problems. Pearce, in particular, was in a relationship at the time, so even though her last album, 29, was built around a divorce, “We Don’t Fight Anymore” was not an extension of that project.

“Many of us have been in a relationship at some point where it’s kind of running on fumes,” says Good, “so there’s enough to tap into and then, obviously, take liberties to be a storyteller.”

McAnally served up the opening line of the chorus — “We don’t yell, ’cause what the hell/Difference does it make” — using a bold, attention-getting internal rhyme. They purposely stayed more subtle the rest of the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *