BJ Wilbanks and Carly Gibson join forces as Gibson Wilbanks, also the title of the group’s debut project together. After releasing music separately, Wilbanks has had a successful solo career while Gibson fronts feminist rock band The Pussywillows, the couple teamed up to form a duo that combines folk, country and soul for a standout release that includes the harmonica-driven lead single “Oh Sweet Baby,” which Billboard premieres exclusively today (Nov. 19).
Gibson Wilbanks’ harmonies soar on the laidback “Oh Sweet Baby,” alongside foot-stomping rhythms and mesmerizing pedal steel accompaniment. All the while, the couple’s warm harmonies are at the forefront as they sing of a powerful love. “I’ll never leave you oh sweet baby/ I really need you here beside me … I need your love and kindness to comfort me.”
“This song was written on a trip we took one weekend,” Wilbanks tells Billboard. “I was laying in a cabin we’d rented, and it came out of the blue as I was pickin’ on Carly’s unplugged electric guitar. It felt like such an oddly familiar tune that I was compelled to record it quickly before I lost it. Whatever muse was involved, I know I felt there was something else helping me write it because I finished so fast and it felt like it had already been there, waiting to be created.”
“Oh Sweet Baby” is featured on Gibson Wilbanks’ debut self-titled album, available Nov. 22. While writing the song came effortlessly for Wilbanks, he admits that it was one of the toughest tracks to get right in the studio.
“I tried my best to get the feel of that old country/western style music. It actually took me five pedal steel players before we got the right sound,” he says. “It ended up being one of our friends, Drew Deman, that played the neckerchief, old man-style pedal steel I was looking for. I do feel that recording it brought Carly and I closer together. I mean, a song that professes one’s undying love for another, what is more beautiful and old-school than that?”
Listen to “Oh Sweet Baby” below.