Nashville is known as a magnet for aspiring singers, songwriters, and musicians. However, ten years ago, it was a job in the medical field at Vanderbilt Hospital that lured Jake Anderson from Atlanta to Music City. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science/Athletic Training and a Masters in Sports Medicine, Jake took a position assisting with orthopedic surgeries. Although he was good at it, Jake says he was miserable. His wife (who was also his high school sweetheart) gave him the push he needed to pursue music full time. She told him, “We’re in Nashville. You’ve been writing songs since you were 15 and you don’t suck at it, so you might as well go play somewhere.”
Fast forward to 2015. Jake had been co-writing and playing gigs around town as a solo artist when he met Rachel Taylor, a singer-songwriter from Boston who had moved to Nashville the year before with her family. She and her husband were both looking for a life change, and Rachel says Nashville was the place to “chase your dreams and throw caution to the wind and try something new.” Rachel and Jake met when they were both playing at a charity event to raise money and winter supplies for the homeless, and they decided to start writing songs together.
Before long, they formed The Simple Truce. The name of the duo came out of their desire to commit to the things they love about writing songs while pushing aside the temptation to conform to a commercial mold or follow industry trends. Jake says, “We’re striving for a simple, organic sound with thoughtful lyrics and relatable concepts -- a truce, of sorts, with a town and an industry that we love -- because we believe there is enough room for everyone here.” They describe their music as “folkish Americana with country roots.”
In late August 2019, The Simple Truce released Anything But You, the first of five original songs they co-wrote. Most of the songs were produced by Seth Earnest; Promise Me was produced by Bito Mann. They plan to roll out a new song approximately every six weeks, with Sunday Drivers scheduled to drop on October 11. Many Nashville locals will recognize the song’s reference to Hillsboro Road, which is the setting for the ballad about slowing down and enjoying life. Rachel explains her inspiration for writing the song. “I’m in a season of life where I don’t want to speed through, I want to take my time on things and set my own pace.” The song’s lyrics contrast the people who are going for a peaceful Sunday drive after church with those who are in a hurry to get to their destination. Jake adds, “Maybe Sunday drivers have it right. Really at its core, it’s about enjoying where you are and who you’re with and not speeding through.”
Watch the premiere of the acoustic music video for Sunday Drivers below. The video was shot and edited by Elliot Tolar.
Here’s the link to pre-save Sunday Drivers on your favorite music platform.
Jake and Rachel have penned nearly 50 songs in the three years that they have been writing together. One of those songs climbed to #1 on the iTunes country music charts in Ireland, when Clodagh Lawlor recorded her country rock version of the duo’s Be Right Here. The Simple Truce will be releasing their own version in November 2019. That same artist charted at #2 on iTunes in Ireland when she cut Promise Me, another original by The Simple Truce. Jake says Clodaugh discovered their music on social media. “We were putting up one-minute clips of songs we were thinking about doing to get reaction and build some audience, and an Irish artist who was following us on Instagram reached out and asked if she could record them for her album.”
Even though Jake and Rachel have several songs recorded and ready for release, they continue to get together on a regular basis to write once a week at Jake’s home studio. Rachel makes the drive from the other side of Franklin, and brings along “lots of voice memos of ideas.” In describing their song-writing process, Jake says, “A lot of times one of us will bring an idea and the other one looks at it and goes…” Rachel finishes his sentence: “Meh, not so much.” Jake continues, “The truth is, there’s almost nothing that hasn’t been said. It’s really about saying it in your own voice and saying it in a way that hasn’t been said before, in a sense of coming at it from a different angle, or something that’s honest and simple.”
For now, they are not interested in writing songs for other artists to record. Jake explains, “I’ve never been somebody who wants to sit in a writers room and get a lead sheet and try to write a Keith Urban cut. I love Keith Urban, but I’m not him and I don’t know what he wants to say.” Jake’s biggest satisfaction comes when he “connects with people in an audience or online.” Rachel echoes his approach, “Don’t try to be commercial or get into the comparison game.”
As the duo releases additional singles in the coming months, the goal is to introduce their music to more people with the hope that it resonates with them. “What drives us is less about being famous and going fast and making everything as big as possible. It’s more about doing something real and something authentic and sharing that with others.” The Simple Truce is not in any rush….. kind of like Sunday drivers.
For more information, go to www.TheSimpleTruce.com
FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA
The Simple Truce will play at the Mockingbird Theater in Franklin on 12/1/19
Co-wrote Glory, a Christmas song that was recorded by Christian artist Matt Maher and went to #1 on the Contemporary Christian Music chart in 2016
Attended Berklee College of Music
A “military brat” and #3 of 7 kids
Learned to play guitar at age 8
Jake grew up on traditional country (Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash) and 70’s singer-songwriters (Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor)
Rachel was inspired by the country western music her grandfather would play, as well as the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, classic rock
Rachel: Pinewood Social
Jake: Virago (Asian), Saint Anejo (Mexican)
Jake: A Beautiful Mind
Rachel: Bohemian Rhapsody, Good Will Hunting, Being Frank (Jim Gaffigan)
Bands & Artists
Rachel: Brandy Clark, Alison Krauss, Lori McKenna, Patty Griffin, Ray LaMontagne, David Ramirez
Jake: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Travis Meadows, Sean McConnell, Donovan Woods