For the pop-country duo Dan + Shay, the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards on Sept. 16 marked yet another milestone in its impressive career. The pair nabbed a trophy for best vocal duo and a performance spot on the renowned Grand Ole Opry stage. While Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney’s ACM statue is yet another honor to put in their proverbial trophy cabinet, it’s their rendition of their hit single, “I Should Probably Go to Bed,” that’s been getting the most fanfare.
Shay sat at a piano. Dan held a microphone. “With no other accompanying musicians, the duo showcased their well-worn harmonic skills, making a stripped-down performance sound mighty enough to fill the historic venue,” reported Billboard.
That song has been powerful enough to ricochet up the country music charts and cement its status as a bona fide anthem, but the story behind Dan + Shay’s hit single makes its success even sweeter. This is the true meaning of “I Should Probably Go to Bed.”
Dan + Shay's DIY approach gave the track its magic
Following the release of Dan + Shay’s “I Should Probably Go to Bed” in July 2020, both members of the band spoke to People magazine about the making of the hit single — namely, that its creation was directly linked to circumstances pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Shay [Mooney] was at my house after all the quarantine stuff happened,” Dan Smyers told People. “We’d been on lockdown and hadn’t seen a human for two months after our tour got put on hold. We sat down at the piano, and we were just feeling that magic again, singing with each other.”
The song is ostensibly a ballad about contemplating (and then dismissing) the idea of meeting up with an ex, but the song’s unvarnished sound composition is entirely the result of Smyers and Mooney using the only resources available to them during their coronavirus lockdown. According to Smyers, the duo recorded the track in a makeshift studio in his home, which he described as “an extra bedroom in the house with a mattress leaning against the wall and pillows on the floor.” Through their DIY approach to the track wasn’t “glamorous,” as Smyers put it, it definitely did the trick.
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