Runaway June members Naomi Cooke, Natalie Stovall and Jennifer Wayne are all happily married, but there were some bumps on the road on the way to their respective happily ever afters. That heartbreak is the focus of the country trio’s newest release, backstory, a collection of three different breakup songs that arrived on Friday, Aug. 20. Cooke told PopCulture.com that the group had over 60 songs to choose from for their new project, and decided to start with the three found on backstory to “tell the fans, ‘We’ve been there, you’re not alone.'”
“These three felt like the most cohesive way to tell the backstory and all different elements of it,” she explained, noting that the breakups in question could be with a romantic partner, a friend or a job. “There are different personalities, different breakups. Some don’t hurt that much. Some of them are kind of like, you can look back and just laugh at how awkward it was. And then some of them are like, ‘Oh no, not doing that again.’ I feel like it correlates with a lot of things like jobs and all different types of relationships. Just trying to get your happy place.”
backstory starts with “Forgot About That,” a boot-stomping reaction to running into an ex, followed by the emotional ballad “Down the Middle,” where the trio expresses that hurt isn’t always evenly distributed during a breakup. The last song of the trio is “T-Shirt,” a sassy and empowering track that’s already been connecting with audiences.
“It’s kind of pre-love,” Wayne mused of the EP. “All of us are married now and have found the right ones and are really happy, but it took a lot to get there. It really felt like that was important to show people and say, ‘We’ve all been through a lot of crap getting to where we are now.’ And they’re all different kinds of breakups. ‘Down the Middle’ is the heart-wrenching one, and then ‘T-Shirt’ might have been hard at the time, but you can kind of look back and laugh at that one. We just want people to know we’ve all been there.”
backstory will eventually be followed by additional music, and Cooke noted that the new trio is “a good prelude.” “People can kind of get a preview of what we’re doing and that’s a cool thing, I think,” she said, joking, “I think we’re going to lead into… we’re going to now become marriage therapists. At the very end, it’s like, ‘Okay, we think we’ve got this. We’re not authorities, but we’ll send out a business card.'”
Runaway June is currently on the road on Luke Bryan’s Proud to Be Right Here Tour, and Cooke compared getting back on stage after such a long break to “putting on an old suit that fits really good.” “I feel like everybody has just a heightened sense of excitement and gratitude for being able to either attend a show, and then on our side to be able to play a show, because it’s just that thing that we’ve been really, really wanting to get back to, but have had to keep waiting,” she said. “So it just feels so good.” Listen to backstory here.