Editors’ Notes “It just feels like this record means more because it feels so homemade,” Jenna Walker, one half of the Canadian country-pop duo The Reklaws, tells Apple Music. Her singing, songwriting bandmate Stuart is, of course, also her younger brother, and they recorded their second full-length album, Sophomore Slump, in his living room. “We decided we would buy all the equipment and try and make a homemade project with our producer over Zoom,” she says. “It was crazy, but it was such a cool learning experience.” The siblings already share a long history of performing, stretching back to the costumed hillbilly act they put on as kids for the tourists who visited their rural family farm, a scene so colorful that it inspired the filming of a partially completed reality show. Later on, they flipped their last name around and got serious about figuring out how to blend their personal perspectives and voices. “I feel like at first it was weird, because you're writing with your brother or you're writing with your sister and you write about emotional things,” Jenna recalls. “We've gotten so over that. I think the more either one of us goes through things in life, the better, because then we have more to pull from.” Here, the Walkers talk through each song on their second album.

Gramps’ Intro
Jenna Walker: “Our grandpa passed away two years ago now, and that actual recording was fun. When we were doing the reality TV show, they were interviewing him and asking him questions. My mom was asking him questions, and he replied saying that the song's kind of jerky and he can't stand loud music. And then it ended up just making the perfect intro for this record. I think it just sums up the fact that it's totally in our lineage, grandpa asking us to play ‘Jackson’ over and over and over, and just how important family is to us. But I also like the fact that it kind of shows our edgier side: Even though Grandpa didn't like loud music, we're going to play it really loud.”

Not Gonna Not
Stuart Walker: “That was my title, and it’s probably the most shallow title I've ever created, because it came from the movie Step Brothers. Will Ferrell pulls out a samurai sword, and on the samurai sword is Randy Jackson from American Idol's autograph. He's like, ‘It was the only thing I had on me when I bumped into him, and you're not gonna not get Randy Jackson's autograph.’ It's always stuck in my mind. I don't know why. I was like, ‘That was actually kind of a cool double negative.’ So, thank you, Will Ferrell.”

Got Me Missing
Jenna: “There was the idea of the past two years being absolutely so busy and you'd go home for two seconds and it's like everything's changed, and you wonder if the town misses you. It just feels like that part of our life has gone by so quickly. I think a lot of it we took for granted. As much as this COVID thing has dampened our summer, we got back to hanging out with our family this summer, which was nice. This song was just us remembering how important those times were.”

You Problem
Stuart: “We wrote that with our producer Todd Clark and a guy named Donovan Woods, who we’ve been such a big fan of before. Todd always said the phrase ‘you problem,’ in the sense that if something happens, like if I get my car towed in front of his house and I tell him, he's like, ‘Oh, it sounds a you problem, man. I'm not dealing with it.’ It's a bit of a love song where you haven't told the person that you like a lot that you do like them. It's kind of a thing that you're obsessing over more and more.”

I’m Down
Stuart: “We don't write a ton of relationship songs, but when we do, we try to do it in the sense that not a lot of people write from, and that was, in this case, a guy who is looking at a girl from the outside, who's with another guy. It’s just an open invite, basically. Anytime whenever that relationship fizzles, you'll be around.”

So Crazy It Just Might Work
Jenna: “We were so stoked writing that song with Gordie Sampson and Todd because they're both just huge writers, big producers. I think a lot of people will take that song as a love song and a love story, but we kind of look at it as our careers and what's going on in the world today. There's so much that needs to be fixed, and a lot of it seems crazy, but I think if we all work together that things can work out the right way. That's why I feel like those guitars just needed to be big.”

Your Side of a Broken Heart
Jenna: “I feel like so many people deal with that at some point in their life. I'm still getting over the person that did that to me. I feel like I'll pull from that feeling forever, because it was just so real. There's a lot of questions you think about in a breakup: What is the other person doing? Who are they talking to? It just seemed right to sing it from my perspective.”

Where I’m From
Stuart: “Every single line in the verses Jen and I have actually lived and done. When we were going into writing, I was like, ‘Yes, we're going to write a country song and it's going to be about our hometown, but I don't want to lie about anything that we're saying. I want to be fully true and honest to our fans.’ And if they can relate to it, then we're doing the right thing.”

Jenna: “We wrote it honestly as a joke. We were like, ‘No one's going to hear this. Let's just write this as a funny thing.’ For some reason, every time we do that, someone finds it and then they're like, ‘This is amazing. We need to put it out.’ It's become sort of our thing: Every album we put out has to have this joke country song that's just a story and a good time.”

Beer Can
Stuart: “That whole entire day when we were writing, we were basically just trying to use puns. The initial phrase when we were writing that song was ‘Not a lot of things can make me dance like a beer can.’”

Jenna: “Our other grandpa passed away and we had this day off and it was his funeral. The next day we had to go to Nashville. Lots of writers are like, ‘I don't want to write a sad, slow song because they never get cut.’ And we were like, ‘We need to make sure we do that just for ourselves and for Grandpa, and write a song for him.’ We pitched it to two songwriters, Alex Kline and Allison Veltz, and they were amazing. We wrote it that day and we were all crying in the room and it just ended up being a beautiful song. I think we all had different stories that we needed a second to be like, ‘Just breathe. Everything's going to be okay.’”


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