Nashville-based Erinn Peet Lukes shows how heartache and heartbreak can make you want to move. With a grooving bassline and an upbeat vibe, Lukes aims to get you up and dancing and she shows the way in an engaging video. There are trick-shots on the pool table, shots at the bar and line-dancing moves in a video that complements the song with personality and heart. Lukes’ tuneful, clear vocal is at the centre of a song that features a catchy chorus and memorable melody.
Lukes says of the song: “‘Country Music Breaks My Heart’ is a song about two people coming together to commiserate on their heartbreak the only way country music fans know how – drinking, dancing, and getting lost in the music. Country music can be funny, relatable, and light-hearted. It can also be incredibly sad and heart-wrenching. This song was inspired by a particular Nashville country singer with an ache and longing in his voice that will leave you teary-eyed, and how hearing sad music can provide catharsis to make you happier. This tension between carefree dancing and real world trauma is exemplified in the song with a light-hearted, catchy chorus mixed in with verses about alcoholism and failed relationships. The half-time beat of the song is perfect for dancing, and paints a picture of two friends dancing their problems away to a jukebox in an old honky tonk. At the end of the song, they don’t solve their problems but they do find a way to deal with them together and, ultimately, make each other feel better.”
This is the second single from Lukes’ forthcoming EP ‘EPL’, which is due for release on 4th March. After vocal surgery in 2019, Lukes recovered just in time for the world to shut down due to the pandemic. She explains: “I had my voice back for the first time in months, and I was completely alone. The only thing I wanted to do was write songs.” Those songs cover a whole range of influences as she was inspired by both the pop and rock music she had grown up singing and the bluegrass that she had spent seven years performing with her band Thunder and Rain. For the uninitiated, the band’s bluegrass version of the Guns ‘n’ Roses rock classic ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’ in 2019 reached over six million views on YouTube. Now, she blends all her influences on her solo material. Look out for the new EP and tap your feet to ‘Country Music Breaks My Heart’ while you wait.
Many thanks to Lukes for the exclusive Q&A with AUK below.
Please tell us about this song. What inspired you to write it and how did it come together?
‘Country Music Breaks My Heart’ is a song inspired by a night out with a friend in February 2021. We went to Dee’s Cocktail Lounge in Madison, had some margaritas and listened to Joshua Hedley, a great Nashville country singer. We were both feeling pretty down about our love lives, and the combination of being heartbroken, drinking tequila, and the singer’s beautiful voice made me feel like there was a knife twisting in my chest. My friend and I two-stepped and tried to forget about it all. The bar’s classic country ambiance and the band’s old-time feel inspired the half-true story I ended up writing about in this song.
What was it like recording this song?
Recording this song made it come to life for me. When I sat down with the producer, Rachel Baiman, to go over potential songs for this EP, she picked ‘Country Music Breaks My Heart’. I was surprised she picked it; at the time I wasn’t too sold on the song. Rachel helped me structure it better, and once we were in the studio the band had such a natural, laid back feel while they were playing it. It ended up becoming one of my favourite songs on the record!
The video is fantastic. Who directed the clip?
The video is directed by Natia Cinco. She also took the photo for the single cover. She’s got such a great eye for what looks good!
Whose idea was the video treatment? What story did you hope to tell with the video?
The video idea came to me two days before the scheduled shoot. I’ve been line dancing for years, and I’ve always wanted to make up my own dance. It came to me that this song might be a great speed for a line dance. I made up the dance in a few hours. I needed a ‘co-star’ for the shoot, since the story of the song involved two people. I also needed someone who could do the line dance I made up. I called up my producer’s husband, George Jackson, who is a great old-time fiddle player and used to flat foot in his native New Zealand. He came down and we had such a great time filming the video!
Tell us a bit about the place(s) where you filmed. What made you want to film there?
I contacted my friends at the American Legion Post 82 off Gallatin Pike in East Nashville to rent out the place for the shoot. The Legion is such an important place for country music here, and the atmosphere was perfect for the shoot. Every week, they host Honky Tonk Tuesday, and many nights I’ve two-stepped there. It had the perfect honky tonk vibe for the video.
Any great stories to share from the shoot?
We did it in under two hours! I think I did the line dance about ten times all the way through, and it was exhausting. We played pool for b-roll shots, and there’s one shot where I do a behind-the-back move and celebrate like I made the shot. Fun fact – I actually made the shot!