Garrison Starr, Sean McConnell and Peter Groenwald had no intention of forming a band when they gathered for a songwriter’s camp during 2018 in Nashville. But their composition there, “Nothing Without You” — premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Jan. 9) — led to My Sister, My Brother, whose self-titled debut EP comes out March 6.
“We just hit it off right off the bat and had so much fun,” McConnell tells Billboard. “We wrote ‘Nothing Without You’ that first day, and we were all, like, ‘Wow, this is something we should do again’ and we made it a priority to get back together.”
The trio wound up writing a half-dozen songs together at four or five subsequent gatherings back in Nashville, recording mostly at Groenwald’s home studio. “We all produced, but [Groenwald] did most of the heavy lifting,” McConnell reports. And he says their continued collaboration was about as easy as it was for “Nothing Without You.”
“It was one of those songs that just started pouring out,” McConnell recalls. “It was the first day I had met either of them, and it happened really fast. I had a few ideas on the drive over that ended up being some of the choruses, and we wrote the lyrics in an hour or two and were on to sort of recording it pretty much right away. It’s not too interesting of a story except it just fell out of the sky and we were lucky to be there to catch it together.”
McConnell — who has written several songs for Little Big Town‘s new Nightfall, including “The Daughters” — says he, Starr and Groenwald intend to keep My Sister, My Brother a going, albeit within the confines of their other work. He’s starting a new solo album and also has tour dates coming up in Europe next month; Starr will be opening those shows so the two plan on playing some My Sister, My Brother material during McConnell’s sets. They also hope to get Groenwald back into the fold at some point soon.
“I can’t imagine we wouldn’t,” McConnell says. “It feels so good right now. It’s pretty painless and a lot of fun and feels really natural. We’ll see what happens, but for the near future we’re going go start by putting this [EP] out in the world and hope people enjoy it.”
Listen to “Nothing Without You” below.