Dierks Bentley’s new album, Black, which dropped on May 27, is an exploration of relationships between men and women. Fittingly, it features a significant female element. Dierks duets with Maren Morris (“I’ll Be the Moon”) and Elle King (“Different for Girls”), while songwriters Jessi Alexander (“Light It Up”), Natalie Hemby (“Mardi Gras”) and Hillary Lindsey (“Can’t Be Replaced”) provided background vocals on songs they co-wrote.
Maren chatted with Nash Country Daily about how the duet came about, and wouldn’t you know it, it all started with a text.
“I had heard that Dierks recorded ‘I’ll Be the Moon’ for his new album, a couple of months prior to me actually going in the studio to record with him on it,” says Maren. “And the reason I knew that is because my friends (Heather Morgan, Matt Dragstrem, Ryan Hurd) wrote the song. So, whispers happen and they found out he recorded it, and I was so excited because I thought his voice really fit the emotion of the song perfectly. Then one day, I got a text from Dierks—I’d never received a text from him before, so it was an unknown number—that said something like, ‘Hey Maren, this is Dierks, I’m a huge fan. I was wondering, if you have time, I have this song I love that I think would be an amazing duet and your voice would be great for it.’
“There is always a part of me that thinks someone is pranking me. I’ve had a lot of those moments in the last few months because so many incredible things have happened to me. But when he said he had a song, I had a gut reaction when I saw the texts, like ‘OK, this has to be him and I’ve got a feeling I know what song it is.’ I’m glad I was right and trusted my instincts. So he sent me the song, and I had never heard his version of it but it sounded so good. I went into the studio with him the next week and he just told me to do what feels natural and I sang some harmonies and some oohhs and it really turned out beautiful.”
Interestingly enough, Dierks stopped by the NCD campus this week, and when he was talking about the album, he noted how most relationships start through your phone now.
“I actually mention cellphones throughout the record [Black] and that’s how a lot of relationships happen now, through your phone,” said Dierks.
Dierks is right about that.
Check out the video of Dierks and Maren’s duet of “I’ll Be the Moon” below.