A behind-the-scenes look at the evolution of a songMusic
“The Other Side"
Released April 5, 2019
Produced, Written and Performed by Justin Klump
Editor’s Note: “The Other Side” premiered on Wide Open Country, was included in Rolling Stone Country’s 10 Best Songs, and featured on Apple Music’s Americana Front Page. The music video premiered on Parade Magazine and was featured by CMT. Below, Justin tells the story behind the song, and brings us along on the journey of how it came to be.
The Inspiration for “The Other Side”
This last summer, a friend asked me to sing my song “Sticks & Stones” for him in the pre-op room before he underwent brain surgery. When I arrived in the hospital room, there were only seven of us gathered, and I sat about three feet across from my friend. While I played and sang, he sang harmony with his eyes closed. Watching the way he and his wife were sources of support and strength for one another in the midst of what I know was a very scary and difficult morning was incredibly powerful and left a lasting impression on my heart.
After leaving the hospital, I was feeling inspired so I sat down at my grandparents’ grand piano and started writing. I came up with the chord progression first, and then started humming a melody. Once I had a general sense for the melody, the words began to flow. The lyrics for this song came a lot faster than most songs I write. I let myself trust the writing process, and tried to stay out of the way. I finished “The Other Side” only a few hours later. This song is about trusting, and holding on to the people you love even when you don’t know what’s next.
Laying Down the Tracks
I wrote the song in Vancouver, Washington and couldn’t wait to get back to Nashville to record a demo version. When I made it to my studio, I laid down a quick guitar/vocal demo and really liked the way the song sounded on record. I had a session scheduled for another track I was producing for a different artist a week later, and so I booked a couple more hours at Station West in Nashville and had some of my favorite players join me. Jared Kneale was on drums, Matt Utterback was on bass, and Devin Malone played electric guitars.
Before recording, we listened to the scratch recording in the control room, and talked through the arrangement. Once we hit record, those guys made the song come to life. After we finished that session, I recorded acoustic guitars and vocals at my studio. I had my friend Danny Mitchell come in and record piano overdubs, and Mae Estes sang harmony. Once we wrapped production, Kyle Manner mixed it, and Jim DeMain mastered it. Overall, it was one of the smoothest and most fun recording sessions I have been a part of.
Making the Video
I recorded the video for “The Other Side” with Philip Macias at my studio in Nashville on a sunny afternoon in late December. We wanted to highlight the lyrics and the message of the song, so we kept the production minimal - shots of me and my guitar in my tracking room, and some footage of people together on different journeys of life. I wanted the visual to help tell the story of the song, and to portray the theme - standing by someone you love through life’s uncertainties.
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