A dynamic pair of impressive songwriters and vocalists who share roles as frontwomen, Maybe April’s chemistry was an instant success. The first song they co-wrote together landed them a songwriting showcase during GRAMMY week in Los Angeles, where they shared the stage with Jimmy Webb, Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Joy Williams, John Reznik, Gavin DeGraw, and Valerie Simpson. Soon they were opening for artists such as Brandy Clark and Sarah Jarosz and began receiving critical attention when CMT named them one of 2018’s “Rising Acts,” calling their harmonies “as alluring as their lyrics.” Wide Open Country would go on to say that after hearing those harmonies “you might think the singers had grown up together.”
The childhoods of Maybe April singer/songwriters Alaina Stacey and Katy DuBois (Bishop) actually have very little in common. Stacey comes from a Chicago family and community with a deep musical background where she was surrounded by an atmospheric swirl of rock, pop, folk, hip-hop, gospel, and musical theatre. A vocalist from a young age, she discovered country music radio at ten years old, and by high school, she was singing backup for a local country band, opening for Trace Adkins, Sarah Evans, and LeeAnn Rimes. At the same time, DuBois grew up in Arkansas and spent her childhood on the football sidelines with her Dad, riding horses and barrel racing with her Mom, and dancing and performing in musicals at her community theater. She became interested in writing her own songs as a teenager and while in high school began traveling back and forth to Nashville to play writer’s rounds, attend meetings, and co-write. It was at this point when the two girls’ journeys collided. During a songwriting camp in Nashville, they formed country/Americana group Maybe April, originally as a trio, and began writing songs, performing, and touring extensively.
The band went through some restructuring as they prepped for the release of their now critically acclaimed debut full-length, The Other Side, but DuBois and Stacey remained at the center of the group. Alongside an exclusive interview ahead of Maybe April’s first CMA Fest appearance, Billboard Magazine premiered the album’s title track, which paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to be a hopeful indie musician — 14 hour drives, sleeping on couches, spending time away from loved ones, working multiple jobs — and the strength it takes to pursue a passion without getting discouraged.
Shared experiences like these thread throughout the 10-song set: highly relatable moments that mold a young woman into whom she is meant to become. With a sound that calls to mind the great country voices of the 90s and early 2000s, Maybe April details the times that make life both hard and beautiful and what it takes to emerge on the other side, always a little bit stronger and a little bit smarter.
Many of these experiences take the listener on a journey through various stages of love and relationships based on true events from the songwriting duo’s lives. Lead single “Need You Now” is an intimate anthem for finding self-worth within a loving relationship “whose emphasis on togetherness could easily double as a message of sisterhood” (Rolling Stone Country); while the intensely personal and affecting “Already Gone” is a detailed account of the healing process after a dysfunctional relationship that The Boot calls “a tearjerker, especially for anyone who’s ever been in a relationship with someone who’s struggling with addiction.” Nostalgic ballad “You Were My Young” serves as an honest and compelling account of teenage heartbreak praised by Paste Magazine as “warm with familiarity;” and on the witty album standout, “Truth Is,” Maybe April uses light-hearted denial to get over a past partner.
Recorded in Chicago at Gravity Studios with Alaina’s brother Julian Stacey producing, The Other Side is an impressive debut and a remarkable step further into the world of Americana and country music. “This is an album filled with vivid stories, bright melodies, and harmonies that are sure to make you take note,” praises folk blog Americana Highways. “DuBois and Stacey have a way of creating images that put you right into the story they’re telling.” As singers, songwriters, and performers, it is clear that Maybe April has set the stage for what is sure to be a long and successful career.