Cold-Hearted Truth, the third album from Nashville-based duo Swearingen & Kelli, bridges the gap between modern-day Americana and the classic sounds of 1970s singer/songwriters. It’s the pair’s most collaborative album to date, merging the talents of two artists — both of whom enjoyed acclaimed solo careers before partnering up for Swearingen & Kelli’s 2013 debut — into a singular sound filled with close harmonies, swooning pedal steel, gospel piano, analog production, and storytelling both autobiographical and character-driven.
Recorded in a series of live takes with Grammy Award-winning producer Mitch Dane, Cold-Hearted Truth is a collaboratively-written album rooted in honesty. The songs draw inspiration from the bandmates’ personal lives and family histories, spinning stories about coal mine towns, southern nights, humble beginnings, and romance. They also shine a light on Swearingen & Kelli’s raw, onstage chemistry, sharpened over the years via a long string of shows in symphony halls, opera houses, living rooms, and clubs. Inspired by the rebels and old-school icons of country music — including Kris Kristofferson, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, and Buddy Miller — Cold-Hearted Truth is a classic album for modern times.