“Simple Life” is the triumphant new single by fraternal twin sister duo Megan & Liz. Megan & Liz are originally from Michigan, but more importantly, they are from YouTube, from an acoustic Taylor guitar, from perfect harmonies—in sync to a degree that it seems only twins can achieve—from original lyrics that balance both the maturity and the vivacity unique to 21-year-olds, and from a laptop webcam positioned precisely parallel to the center island in their mother’s kitchen, at the perfect angle, capturing the brunette twin and the blonde twin, a formerly alabaster refrigerator with a microwave to match, and rustic wooden cabinets.
Megan and Liz Mace have grown before fans’ eyes since they were just two teenagers who posted acoustic covers of High School Musical songs online. Their first YouTube video was posted in 2007; since then, the duo has released three pop singles and four EPs, headlined their own nationwide tour, performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the iHeart Radio Music Festival, and accumulated more than a million subscribers on YouTube.
For the past three years, Megan & Liz were signed to the label Collective Sounds, until this past December, when they received the derailing news that their label was shutting down at the beginning of 2014. The duo said in a statement released yesterday, “We were heartbroken on so many levels. We felt scared. Terrified, actually.” Much to the disappointment of their fans, the twins’ debut album, titled Look What You Started, slated to be released in February, was postponed indefinitely. Megan & Liz no longer had access to their original songs as produced by their former label. The duo’s fans were in the dark for several months. Legally, Megan & Liz could not publicly comment on the closing of their label and therefore were unable to explain to their fans why their debut album seemed to vanish completely.
Yesterday, the twins reopened the line of communication with fans. They explained that, in trying to cope with the loss of their label and debut album, they rediscovered their roots and decided to take control of their sound independently. On June 3rd, Megan & Liz will release a seven-song EP called Simple Life. With this announcement and explanation, reported by Billboard, the twins’ twangy and fresh country single, eponymous to their EP, was released.
After years of gradually increasing the pop elements of their sound--Look What You Started boasted tracks produced by the legendary Max Martin—Megan & Liz have found themselves in the heart of country music; they’ve relocated from Los Angeles to Nashville. They explained, “Nashville is where our hearts are and where our music is.” The twins are releasing their EP and single independently, with the goal of eventually being signed to a country music label.
The single documents the nostalgia experienced by Megan & Liz while living in Los Angeles and missing their less-than-glamorous high school years in their hometown of Edwardsburg, Michigan, “You and me ridin’ ‘round in the Chevy / two green lights and we’re out of the city / it’s all I’ve ever known.” The song contains several references to common country music motifs, including a Chevy, football games, fireflies and a summer sky. But, as with all genuinely commendable country songs, the autobiographical lyrics of “Simple Life” will resonate with listeners.
I’d leave this all behind / to just live that simple life
“Simple Life” documents much more than a stroll around a rural town. It is a symbol of the journey that this duo’s career has taken. They began with just two voices and a guitar and traded that for large-scale pop productions, seeing their transformation as progress. When the hype of Los Angeles life subsided, the two Michiganders realized who they were as people and as artists. Perhaps it was fate that granted them a chance to reinvent their sound. With the delay of their record, Megan & Liz were given the opportunity to identify the most important elements of their music. Their search led them to recognize and accept their fans’ and their own preference for the acoustic sound of their older videos. The storytelling, honesty, and vulnerability expressed in Megan & Liz’s very first YouTube originals are marketed best in the country music genre. Though Megan & Liz are trading a webcam in their mother’s kitchen for stages in major cities, their most important techniques—personal lyrics, impeccable harmonies, and an acoustic guitar to tie it all together—are destined to put “Simple Life” on the charts as a substantial and respectable debut country single. They have given up the Los Angeles music scene and are settling in Nashville, to just live that simple life.