The Dryes Release ‘Dear Heart’ for Mental Health Awareness Month

May 17, 2024 at 05:15 am by Bethany Bowman

Last July, when NBC The Voice alums, Katelyn and Derek Drye announced their lead single “Sawdust” off their forthcoming EP, I was keen to feature them because I loved the song so much. Now after the success of the rowdy Raisin’ Beers & Hallelujahs EP, The Dryes have chronicled a more serious side of the past four years of their life with their newest EP Dear Heart.

Even though they are an extremely talented happily married couple they still go through struggles like the rest of us and this newest body of work showcases moments of grief, honest questioning, finding relief in moments of hope, and living with a beautiful new perspective. This is especially important now as May marks the highly important Mental Health Awareness Month.

In February, the duo released the first track off of their newest EP, “A Little Longer.” The video for the song was played on CMT and features a breathtaking sunset and the couple pictured are stoic and thoughtful as they harmonize on the grief that comes after great loss and the importance of learning to sit in the dark with someone you love.

Katelyn recalled, “I’ve had a lot of loss in my life. The first funeral I sang in was when I was 16.” Then in 2021, two little girls from their extended family got killed in a car accident.

She continued, “When that happened, I didn’t need anyone to tell me that it's all going to be okay or that things are going to work out. I just needed someone to sit with me and listen.”

And in truth, that’s what most people need while they are grieving.

The title track, “Dear Heart” is like the inner conversation you have with yourself when there is hope that healing is around the corner. There is a beacon of hope stemming from all the questions.

One of the most beautiful songs on the EP is “Beyond Me”, a song that highlights The Dryes’ deep affection for one another. The words “The way I love you is beyond me” are about a love so extraordinary that it is hard to put it into words. The song was co-written with Michael Farren and their late friend, Kyle Jacobs.

“Kyle just loved that song,” Katelyn reported.

Beauty Queen” is a reminder that true beauty comes from within. The origin of the song came during a writers’ retreat when Katelyn and Michael Farren’s wife were sitting around talking about their flaws. Michael told them, “Y’all are crazy.”

That event spurred the lyrics She's beautiful, even more beautiful/ She beats all I've ever seen/ God, I wouldn't change a thing/ Don't you know, true beauty never leaves/ when you're a beauty queen which emphasized that what you had when you were younger is gone is a flash, but the truly beautiful person will be that way forever, regardless of their age.

The acoustic song “North Carolina” was also written at their writers’ retreat in North Carolina. It is about something good coming when you least expect it. It’s a promise that love is right around the corner.

The EP concludes with the song “I Believe” which attests that brighter days are indeed ahead. It confirms that something positive has come out of the pain and that it is possible to believe in love again.

It is known that those who love deeply will also hurt deeply. But there is always hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. The bridge of “I Believe” states, “I believe in second chances, midnight slow dances, and a kiss that feels like the first time, I believe that when your heart starts racing, that's a risk worth taking.”

Katelyn concluded, “Love is what it is and it's always a wild ride. Life is crazy and it's wild and throws you curves that you don't see coming. But learning to see the hope is kind of the period statement. And it's just believing again in that love or that new thing in your life is coming because there is hope.”

While each song on the EP can be appreciated on its own, Katelyn and Derek intended to have the six songs tell a story that begins with grief and ends with hope and love. Their voices blend so beautifully, and they are so honest and raw that it almost takes your breath away. But while Dear Heart is a complete departure from their previous EP, this set of songs was purposely released in May to honor Mental Health Awareness Month.

I can think of no finer duo to share these heartfelt healing messages than The Dryes. Their love for each other is palpable and it takes these meaningful tunes to the next level.  Be sure to stream/download Dear Heart and listen to the entire EP from start to finish.

You can follow The Dryes on FacebookXInstagramTikTokYouTube, and all streaming platforms.

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Bethany Bowman is a freelance entertainment writer. You can follow her blogInstagram, and X.

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