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Kylie Morgan on Getting Upbeat and Personal With Her New Single, ‘Two Night Stands’: ‘It Definitely Was a Piece of Our Story’

It’s a good time to be Kylie Morgan.

The EMI Nashville singer-songwriter picked up her first gold single, “If He Wanted to He Would,” on March 14; she’s begun performing in coveted opening slots at arena-level concerts; and she’s 16 months into a rewarding marriage to fellow artist Jay Allen. The cheer, the career advances and her romantic story all come together in “Two Night Stands,” released to country radio via PlayMPE on March 18.

Not that Morgan plotted it out that way. In fact, she hadn’t intended to reveal much about how she met her husband, but the tale fit the concept of a song she dashed off in a bit of a scheduling crunch, and she just let the narrative flow.



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“It definitely was a piece of our story,” she says. “It was a very organic thing that happened.”

Upping the ante, “Two Night Stands” evolved as the kind of material she was hoping to create: “an anthemic, uptempo, fun love song.”

Though “Two Night Stands” ended up telling Morgan’s story, it started as someone else’s experience. A lifelong friend who’s witnessed Morgan’s rise from budding talent to national artist went out on the road as a weekend guest last fall when Morgan was opening for Old Dominion. During a conversation in the green room at one of the shows, the friend said she’d noticed that when she hooked up with men who’d not had a live-in relationship, they invariably had just one night stand next to the bed. She thought maybe there was a song idea with potential wordplay, about encountering just one night stand while on a one-night stand.

Morgan thought it had potential, and she brought it up as she wrapped a writing retreat last Halloween with Shane McAnally (“We Don’t Fight Anymore,” “half of my hometown”) and Track45 member Ben Johnson (“Bulletproof,” “Give Heaven Some Hell”) at McAnally’s house in Santa Barbara, Calif. Morgan had just a couple hours to write the song, which had morphed into a story about how a one-night stand led to a marriage and two night stands next to the bed. It needed to be playful, and Johnson led them in that direction with a shiny, busy guitar riff.

“It almost sounds like ‘It’s A Great Day to Be Alive’ or one of the ‘90s riffs,” Johnson says. “The song didn’t really end up sounding super-‘90s at all, just the riff itself.”

With that instrumental hook setting a caffeinated tone, they went to work first on the chorus, where the “two night stands” hook balances the front and back of the sing-along section, much as two night stands balance a couple’s bed. They first gave the chorus a busy melody, then affixed a string of lyrics to the notes.

 “If you need to say a lot in a few words, [that] is way harder,” Johnson says. “It’s actually easier when you have more syllables because you don’t feel as constrained and can say everything you want to. This one, I don’t remember feeling constrained.”

The melody started in a descending pattern, but took a sharp ascent midway through the chorus. “That’s a Shane melody, for sure,” Morgan says. “He is a genius when it comes to that. Just when you think the chorus couldn’t get any better, he throws in another section that you’re just like, ‘Oh, yes.’”

They were fairly deliberate once they focused on the verses. For starters, they inserted more space between the phrases in a departure from the chorus. “You want contrast for all your sections – at least I always feel like that,” Johnson says. “So if the chorus is very wordy, the verse is going to be very sparse.”

The lyrics were intentional, too. They set up two people meeting at a bar in the opening frame, leading into the celebratory chorus. In verse two, Morgan insisted on explaining the one-night stand, saying “I never do things like this.” And after noting the couple shares the same mailbox and same last name, they characterized the hookup as the “best bad decision I ever made.”

“That’s the essence of the song,” Johnson notes.

They added a bridge that cemented the couple’s current committed status – more importantly, it provided a musical break before the song returned to one final chorus. Johnson had built much of the demo as they wrote, but with the clock ticking away, Morgan had just a few minutes left before she needed to bolt for the airport. She sounded a little groggy as she laid down a vocal – unintentionally perfect for a song keyed to night stands – then headed home.

In November, she recorded the instrumental tracks with McAnally producing. He stacked multiple stringed instruments playing the signature riff and had drummer Evan Hutchings do several different tracks so they could experiment with a variety of rhythms during mixing. Morgan recreated the groggy morning voice as Johnson produced overdubs, though that wordy chorus presented a challenge.

“There’s no room to breathe, like at all,” she says. “There’s so many words, and so I originally had to do the chorus in two separate parts when we recorded it. When I do it live, I have to really focus when that chorus hits to get a really big breath, because there’s nowhere for me to breathe.”

“One Night Stands” had the kind of energy and upbeat attitude that made it a likely radio single, but Morgan also came to realize it had some unexpected relevance to her home life, too. She bought a couple of wooden night stands that were a little unusual, but perfect for the space in the bedroom she shares with Allen.

“It looks so great,” she says. “Well, guess what!? They’re actually barstools, and they have a curve to them. We love them so much, we still use them, so now I just have to make sure when I set a water on it, I have to put it in exactly in the middle of the nightstand.”

Barstools becoming nightstands is symbolic for her relationship with Allen, which started over drinks and led to two nightstands. She hopes the parallels are a good omen for the future of “Two Night Stands.” Especially since the song fits the sound she was aiming for this time around.

“I wanted something a little easier when it came to the second stab at radio,” she says, “with a little more sway, and you don’t have to overthink anything. You know exactly what the song is about.”

Indeed. It’s about Kylie Morgan.

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