A relationship is much akin to a seemingly-endless body of water. Waves will crash and toss your little sailboat to and fro, and a merciless thunderstorm is certain to wreak even more havoc. Lady Antebellum extracts such a remarkable natural creation for a song called “Ocean,” in which singer and songwriter Hillary Scott delivers one of her most moving performances of her career.
“How can someone stand so damn close / And feel like they’re worlds away,” she sings. Her pain ebbs and flows in time with a swirling spray of strings, ripping into tethers before she casts what’s left of the relationship out to see. “So much beauty at my feet / All I wanna do is swim, but the waves keep crashin’ in / No, I’m not afraid to drown / Take me out, take me down,” she sings in lush and melancholic brushstrokes.
“I want to swim in you,” she later pleads. Rooted with a piano base, Scott’s vocals are sobering and restrained while never feeling stuck in place. She lets the anguish pour from her soul, and bandmates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood come to comfort her with ghostly harmony work, weaving in between the orchestral waves with precision.
“Ocean” is an outside cut (co-written by Tofer Brown, Sarah Buxton and Abe Stoklasa) and serves as the title track to the band’s new album, out November 15.