IMPACT: Old Dominion’s ‘Happy Endings’ Is Just The Beginning

By Annie Reuter

Old Dominion return with their much anticipated sophomore album on Friday (August 25) with Happy Endings. The follow-up to 2015’s Meat and Candy, for Happy Endings the five friends teamed up once again with producer Shane McAnally for a release that continues to push genre lines and themselves as a band. Check out a special message from the band to their fans above.

Related: Old Dominion Reveal Dive-Bar Tour Dates

“We love feel-good songs,” frontman Matthew Ramsey says. “Sometimes you just want to put on something that makes you smile. It’s a big part of who we are, but we definitely wanted to show that we were capable of writing more than just fun, party tunes. We think we have the potential to be around for a long time. To stick around you have to have meaningful songs.”

One of those meaningful songs is their lead single, “No Such Thing As A Broken Heart.” With lyrics like, “You gotta love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart,” the song is a powerful one that urges listeners to live their lives fearlessly. Another song, “Written In The Sand” has one man unclear about where his relationship is headed. “Are we names in a tattoo or just a number on a hand?” the band asks. Meanwhile, the catchy “Shoe Shopping” puts a new spin on an old pick-up line: “If you’re shoe shopping, try me on for size.”

“I think the challenge for any songwriter is to say the same thing everyone has already said but in a different way,” Ramsey says. “Because there are only so many things that people want to hear about, so you have to find a new way to say it.”

Old Dominion is made up of five friends, two of whom have known each other since high school –Virginians Ramsey and drummer Whit Sellers. The two old friends met guitarist Brad Tursi and bassist Geoff Sprung (also Virginians) in college, and the band was then rounded out when meeting Detroit native Trevor Rosen in Nashville, where they each moved to pursue careers as songwriters (Ramsey, Rosen, Tursi) and session players (Sprung and Sellers). Once in Nashville, Ramsey, Rosen and Tursi saw success writing many No. 1 hits for artists like Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Tyler Farr, Sam Hunt, and The Band Perry. Old Dominion eventually saw their first No. 1 collectively as a band with “Break Up With Him” and later “Song For Another Time.”

“We already knew we were hit songwriters because people were recording our songs and making them hits,” Rosen says. “People were coming out to see us. We just couldn’t get a record deal. So we said, ‘Let’s go out and play a million shows and build it ourselves. Let’s keep writing and record something that we think is the album.’ Then a hit happened. And a hit changes everything.”

Success soon came for the band of friends and their debut Meat and Candy climbed to No. 3 on Billboard‘s Country Albums chart while their forthcoming album is poised to do the same. With all 12 tracks written by the band, it is a new chapter for Old Dominion and one that they hope is a lasting one.

Ramsey adds that he hopes the new album will “show everyone, as well as ourselves what we can do. We made a really great romantic comedy with Meat and Candy, but it was time to grow into making something more.”

Happy Endings is out August 25.

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