Nashville-based country duo The Dryes – fittingly comprised of husband/wife duo Katelyn and Derek Drye – are prepping to unleash 2 4-track EPs to the universe over the coming months, with impressive first single “Amen” being the introductory gem. With robust vocals, honest lyrics, and harmonies that will rattle you to the bone, this duo looks to be staking a claim in the country/roots genre that won’t soon be forgotten. With all of the excitement around what’s to come, we caught up with the two for a quick minute to get some perspective. Hear lead single “Amen”, then check out their words below!

What inspired you both to get involved in music together?

Katelyn: We started dating and for the first couple months we occasionally would sing together and thought it was fun. Derek was in another band and I was starting to get in the music scene back in North Carolina, our hometown. Then, one of Derek’s step uncles passed away. Someone in the family said “Hey! You sing (Derek)…and so does your girlfriend…we would like you two to sing for the funeral.” So that’s what we did. We very much remember that day. It was the first time we realized that we had a specific chemistry when we sang together. We felt the energy between us and talk about it often when people ask us.

Your latest single “Amen” is set to be released May 18th. What was the music making process like behind that song?

Derek: I had a guitar riff I kept coming back to. Katelyn wanted to write an upbeat jam about how we met, as we met when she was in the church choir. The co-writer, Alexa Cruse, came up with the melody of “Can I get an amen..” which got us all stoked and we took it in that rootsy/swampy vibe. The verses came out easy, cause we just took the main moments and feelings we both felt in a new relationship. Singing “can I get an amen” seemed perfect since Katelyn was in the church choir. We asked 6 of our friends to come and do gang/choir vocals in part of the song to add that element.

What inspiration would you both like to get your listeners to take away from “Amen”?

Katelyn: Don’t be too serious when you first start a relationship, have a little fun!

Why was “Amen” chosen as your lead single?

Derek: It hits you right in the face. Aside from the wall of guitar fuzz tones, the song showcases Katelyn’s vocals and I love getting to rip it up on the guitar in addition to singing. It’s exactly the type of upbeat jam that we wanted. It’s sexy.

What is your favorite thing about making music with your spouse?

Katelyn: You’ll hear all of this in the EP, but honestly it’s healing to us to sing these statements to each other, fun or serious. No matter the vibe of the song, it’s going to have to be honest. Like any marriage, we have our arguments, and disagree on quite a lot. We know that we have to be quick to forgive and prioritize what’s important. It would be pretty boring if we agreed on everything.

Derek: You kind of have to take turns being the punching bag for each other. Not in an abusive way, but a “here’s what I’m really dealing with” way, and “I know you can take it because you understand me” kind of way. When we write, we listen for those statements. They might be take-aways from how we got through something, or they might be a fun upbeat commitment to each other that we sing even when we don’t feel it. The feeling doesn’t make it less real, so we know that when we write, we can eventually tap into an incredible place together. It’s all about leaving room for it. We all tend to think that to be creative, you first have to be inspired. That’s actually not all true. We schedule time to write, and whether inspiration happens or not, we’ve at least shown up and left room for it. So NOW, inspiration happens more than ever because of that. It’s these little things that create big results.

What is the best piece of advice you both could give couples that want to make music together?

Always be open to constructive criticism. Brush offense off and learn to take each others ideas and run with them. Be okay with the fact that you would do it differently. Do it their way anyway. And you’ll get the same in return if both parties are listening. When you have that trust, you know that ultimately the other person is looking at the bigger picture of things – whether they’re wrong or right.

What are your future plans following the release of “Amen”?

We have a show in Nashville on May 23 at The Basement as a single release/new music celebration. We also have our 2nd single coming out in June, and we have EP Vol 1 coming later in the summer. We are excited to release this music and look forward to sharing it with the world.

Meredith Schneider