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Without Naming It, Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell Focus on "The Problem"

"I remember how hard it was for me to keep from crying," she says.

It takes a truly skilled lyricist to write a memorable song without ever mentioning its subject by name. For example, how does one compose a love song and not use the word "love"? Or create a summer anthem and never actually sing the word "summer"?

In a similar manner, Nashville singer-songwriters (and married couple) Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell have crafted an emotional duet about a situation that could be defined in just one word -- but isn't. Take a look at their new music video, "The Problem," then read a Q&A with Amanda Shires below the player.

What do you remember most about the shoot for this video?

I remember how hard it was for me to keep from crying. I remember how kind [director] Becky Fluke was and how Jason played me wrong Van Halen riffs to make me laugh and keep the tears at bay.

How does the video bring your song to life?

The video captured the conversation that happens in "The Problem." The video’s focus on the conversation never drifts and you can really feel the emotion. We recorded the vocals for this while we shot the video. The live and in the room vocals keep the video and song completely vulnerable and simultaneously puts the viewer/listener right in the room with us.

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MY BODY. MY CHOICE. Photo by @alyssegafkjen .

A post shared by Amanda Shires (@amandapearlshires) on

What message do you hope your fans take away from the video?

I hope fans know that I’m on their side and Jason is too. I hope that the video reminds folks that some conversations are really hard to have and that supporting the people you care about is important...and being vulnerable doesn’t make you weak.

How did it feel to see the finished product for the first time?

It’s not easy for me to watch or hear any of the work I’m involved with, but it felt really good to see that the intention and vision for this video was captured beautifully and elegantly. It was heavy. It felt like we were having that conversation again for the first time.


Songwriters: Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell; Director: Becky Fluke

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