The new video from firekid is a visually arresting clip, showing the rising duo performing “XY” in Paradise Valley, Montana, surrounded by mountains. The song offers listeners a lyric that sounds humorous, but is actually steeped in tragedy.
“Heidi and I were writing with our friend Willie,” said the duo’s Dillon Hodges. “My ex-wife had just passed away, and Heidi’s mom had passed away fairly recently, and we were trying to write happy music because we wanted to feel happy. At the same time, we also couldn’t help but tell the truth a little bit. We were so happy and so fortunate to have each other, but the reality was actually pretty tough to reconcile with that.”
“Dillon and I had been dating for a bit, for a few months, and then his ex-wife was killed in a car accident,” recalls firekid’s Heidi Feek. “As songwriters, one of the ways that we know how to deal with serious things is writing songs about them. When that happened, it was a very complicated situation being in a new relationship with someone, and then not only not being in the (former) relationship anymore, but your ex passing away, and also having a new relationship that’s going very well, and having those feelings of missing someone, even though you’re happy with the person you’re with.”
The mixture of emotions led to a song that sounds happy and upbeat, yet Heidi says it came from a place of not knowing how to feel about the situation.
“I think that people could listen to the song and just think, ‘Oh, that’s kind of a funny thought.’ But, for us, it was coming from a really sad, hard place that we were trying to figure out how to deal with it.”
The song is the second single from their EP, also titled XY, and Hodges feels the video captured the sentiment of the song brilliantly.
“We felt like it echoed the song a little bit where it’s something that is really happy and joyous to look at, but then you hear what we are saying to each other. You hear the words that we are saying to each other and we are looking to each other’s eyes, and it’s a really hard truth. We were there with the film crew and we just felt like it was the perfect way to capture the song. It was a live performance rather than sort of a scripted music video because it’s real life to us.”
The duo filmed the clip at a friend’s house in scenic Paradise Valley, Montana. Heidi says it’s one of her favorite places.
“I love being in Montana so much. It’s just so gorgeous there that I thought, ‘Where would I be if everything was perfect?’ And it would be there in Montana.”
The shoot proved to be somewhat of a challenge to Hodges, who had to learn to master the jeep’s stick transmission.
“They said ‘Yeah, you’re going to drive this jeep,’ and I was like, ‘Great.’ Then they said ‘Do you know how to drive this thing?’ ‘No.’ So I had to learn while we were shooting how to drive this thing. The car kept shutting down and stopping. I got thrown out of it one time — it bruised my butt.”
The vivid imagery of Montana is something the two loved each and every moment of before leaving to head back to their home in North Alabama. “XY” offers fans an insight to the couple’s lives – though Heidi is used to being in the spotlight. As the daughter of singer-songwriter Rory Feek of Joey+Rory, she says that she has gotten used to the spotlight – and her father talking about her and sister Hopie in his best-selling book Once Upon A Farm and his blog.
“My dad is open and I feel like him talking about our personal stuff and his personal stuff is kind of part of the deal. There are definitely struggles with it. If it’s a book or something, he always runs something by me to make sure that it comes across the way that he wanted to. Dad I are pretty close. So I usually know things before they come out or a blog. For Hopie, I think that her coming out to him and him struggling with that and things like that, that’s very real and difficult but I feel like he’s come a long way and he’s done really well.” All in all, she said the family’s fans seem to appreciate the down-home honesty they try to show.
“It’s harder dealing with the people who don’t know us than it is about my dad being honest about his life and our lives. I think the hardest part is just what other people have to say about it. But they’re usually pretty kind and sweet.”