ABOUT THE DUO
The answers to life’s biggest questions often lie right before our eyes. That’s definitely the case for High Dive Heart – the musical union of multi-platinum songwriter and solo artist Jason Reeves and singer-songwriter Nelly Joy. While working together on Jason’s 2011 solo album The Lovesick—which independently reached #5 on iTunes Pop Albums chart—Nelly had no idea who served as the record’s muse, even though she could’ve simply glanced in the mirror.
“I was working with Jason crafting songs for his record,” she remembers. “He developed a crush on me, but I didn’t realize it. I just thought I was helping him write about some other girl. One night, we had a couple of margaritas, and the truth spilled out. I should’ve known since he never said her name!”
Jason and Nelly married in 2012, and kept making music together. One collaboration, “More In Love With You,” figured prominently on Jason’s 2013 album Songs Are Silent Films. GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban) heard the tune and urged them to make a record together. It’s the second time serendipity stepped in for High Dive Heart.
“We were already writing songs, but didn’t know where they would go,” explains Nelly. “Nathan saw the potential. We had a little flame, and he was the gasoline.”
They recorded High Dive Heart’s debut EP Sonic Graffiti at Nathan’s studio in Nashville and tapped into an undeniable energy. Coupling folk storytelling, a sharp sense of humor, pop palatability, danceable sass, and a subtle swaggering bounce, the five tracks became what Jason appropriately dubs, “A jambalaya of everything we like.”
First single “Vintage” (http://bit.ly/1UbNEBf) is propelled by the snapping sound of a medium format old school camera. That main flourish leads into “a dog bowl-spray bottle snare sound” and a couch “back flop” for the kick. All the while, the couple deliver witty verses between Nelly’s irresistible refrain.
“We made the beat with old film cameras and just started singing over it,” says Jason. “Lyrically, it’s about having a vintage love. When you’re with the right person, it gets better with age like wine.”
Fans worldwide fell in love with the song. “Vintage” racked up 2 million-plus streams on Spotify in less than six months and landed at #1 on the platform’s Global Viral Chart. The track’s music video reached 500K YouTube views, and was featured on the Today Show and CNBC. The song received regular play first on Milwaukee’s WMYX (The Mix), yielding Top 5 Shazaam numbers in the market. Independently, the track caught fire at radio with High Dive Heart doing a 40-city radio push to promote it. As a result, it’s become a Hot AC favorite across the U.S., Billboard dubbed High Dive Heart one of “Tomorrow’s Hits” and Coca-Cola spotlighted them as an “Artist of the Week.”
Elsewhere on the EP “Wild Ride” merges their voices gorgeously over a driving handclap, as “Mile High” (feat. Sweet T) sees them cut loose over lush production. “Death of Me” (http://bit.ly/1LMpyGf) begins with a hypnotic verse before rising into a poignant and powerful refrain and its gorgeous accompanying video featuring them in their wedding garb.
“We wrote ‘Death Of Me’ fast because we were in the high of being recently married,” says Nelly. “When you think about losing someone you love and what it will do to your life, it’s a powerful emotion. It’s easy to run with if you are in love. My dad always said, ‘Make sure when you choose somebody to marry, it’s not just somebody you can live with, but somebody you can’t live without.’ I really feel like that song is about that experience.”
Then there’s “Flower Child,” which summons the spirit of Woodstock into the Instagram era with a cheeky narrative and delicate instrumentation.
Over the course of his career, Jason has earned three ASCAP Pop Awards and written smash hits alongside Colbie Caillat, Katharine McPhee, Lenka, Angel Taylor, and more. While in country duo The JaneDear Girls, Nelly scored an ACM award nomination and shared the stage with luminaries like Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and Jason Aldean. Together as High Dive Heart they have toured with Colbie Caillat and Christina Perri.
Jason explains that High Dive Heart is all about love. “You have to be unafraid to dive into love no matter how high the cliff is. Chances are you’ll land where you’re meant to be.”