The tender new single is a collaboration with Walker Reinhardt, who is featured on the track. The new song and the accompanying video are premiering today on Variance, along with a Q+A with the artists.
The new song is described as a ballad which captures the "feeling of loving someone more than you love yourself. For those unfamiliar, both Kestner and Monroe have found successful solo careers before this new venture. This is their second single released together.
See the video below, followed by the chat with The Monroes.
You’ve both had success individually. How did the duo come about?
When we first met, we quickly found out we were both artists and songwriters. But we were hesitant in working together because we actually really liked each other and didn’t want to mess it up if the music/writing chemistry wasn’t there. So we held off for a bit. Then a friend asked us to write him a song and one day after we both had separate co-writes we finally gave it a crack together. We wrote 5 songs that day. They just flowed out of us so easily because we were already in sync as best friends, so it was only natural to bring our passions together and create. It was still several years until we fully committed to creating ‘The Monroes’. To be honest, a big silver lining from the 2020 lockdowns for us, was our project. It gave us the time to dream and the wake up call to make those dreams reality. The love and respect we have for one another as friends/life-long lovers is what drives The Monroes, and we are happy to share a glimpse of that with our audience.
Is it easier or harder to collaborate and share your opinions making music together as a couple?
Both. We are very open with one another about every little thing, but music can be touchy at times. Music is an expression, and being two different people, we have different ways of expressing our art. One of us is high energy and angsty while the other is soft and peaceful… fire and water. We agree on most things, but sometimes we don’t. Either way, just like in marriage there is always a compromise. As a single person you can sing “I won’t compromise” until you’re blue in the face, but that doesn’t work in a duo. We really lean on one another’s differences to make the colors of our art stand out more than when we create on our own.
What is the inspiration for “Better Half of Me”?
Johnny Hanson (aka Walker Reinhardt) did a tremendous job writing this song. When we initially took on ‘The Monroes’ project, we told each other that we would not take any outside songs because we both already have so many unreleased songs in our catalogs. Part of why we started our band was to give those songs a place to live. But after running into Johnny and his wife in the middle of nowhere Tennessee, they brought us back to their studio, shared stories over coffee and tears, and then he shared this song with us. We hadn’t even told him we were doing a duo project and he said, “It would be an honor to have you both sing this song.” That’s when we told him about the project and from that moment on, he has pretty much become the unofficial third Monroe. “Better Half of Me” is a love song celebrating broken people fitting together and our desire to honor each other through sacrifice and words of affirmation.
What comes next for The Monroes?
We are incredibly excited for what is around the corner. We have been working on a lot of new material that we will be releasing. Several music videos that are in the works, clothing for our fans, and music from our individual projects (Molly Kate Kestner & Brock Monroe) will be released throughout the year. We are also looking forward to getting out there and sharing our music with a live audience. This is a special time for us, and we are so grateful that we get to live this musical life, and doing it together makes it even sweeter.