Published by: American Songwriter
Photo credit: Tyler Woods
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In 2022, Australian native Lily Grace emerged as a rising star in the world of country music, with an unwavering passion for her craft. She jumped into the spotlight as the supporting act for Vance Joy at Brisbane’s Riverstage, displaying her musical prowess to a crowd of 10,000. With her single “The Two of Us Meet,” she’s not only captured the hearts of fans but also the charts, amassing over 1 million streams on Spotify alone and ascending to the No. 1 spot on iTunes Australia’s Country Chart.
Her latest track, “Bet On Us,” a follow-up to “Follow My Road,” speaks of youthful love and taking a chance on something special, even when the odds seem stacked against you. The song was inspired by her move to the U.S. to chase her dreams.
I wanna feel your heartbeat on me every single day
Wanna feel your loving every which way
They don’t get to tell us what we know and we don’t
Well maybe we’re just kicking up dust
I put my bet on us
American Songwriter caught up with Lily Grace to talk music, her single “Bet on Us,” and of course, songwriting. Read the conversation below.
Lily Grace: I fell into songwriting during COVID when I had a lot of extra time at home and a guitar to keep me entertained. In Australia, where I’m from, our quarantine shutdown was extremely long and stringent where apart from essential travel, we were basically on house arrest for 250 days. Before our shutdowns hit, I had been gigging the local scene 2-3 times a week, performing songs by my favorite artists. I’d always wanted to play my own material but had never made the effort to sit down and write those songs.
When I first started, I found songwriting really difficult. I found it frustrating when I didn’t LOVE the first melody I’d come up with, or if the lyric I’d thought up wasn’t witty enough. That aside, I set a goal for myself to work on a song every day until the lockdown was over. Every day I made it my mission to finish a song, rework an old one, or come up with something new. It taught me to be disciplined as a writer and gave me confidence in my ability to create. After the shutdowns finished, I wrote every day when I got home from school, and now, I spend all my time collaborating with some of the amazing talent that is in Nashville.
LG: I was inspired to write ‘Bet On Us’ after a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is quite a bit older. I was fresh off a plane from Australia and a wide-eyed Aussie excited to take on Nashville. We got to chatting and he gave me some advice. He told me that ‘You shouldn’t get distracted by boys, because it’s not going to work out. Just wait until you are 25.’ I thought it was an interesting thought and made a note of it on my phone. After a few weeks, I started to realize how often this was told to me. I had a line of writes scheduled for that week as a part of a writing retreat I was attending. Sharing the idea with my co-writer, Landon Mcfadden, we found some common ground and decided to write it. Landon started playing this great guitar part and I started singing over it. Two hours later, this one wrote itself.
LG: ‘Bet On Us’ is about believing in a relationship when no one else does. Whether they try to tell you that your partner ‘isn’t right for you’, that you’re ‘too young’, or if it straight up ‘will not work out’, this song is about standing up to that and going for it anyways. This song is for anyone who ever feels like the whole world is against them, that no one else believes. It’s a song to give people hope and reassure them that it is possible, and it can work out, even when it feels like nobody agrees. It’s about going wholeheartedly into something and proving them wrong. Even if nobody else is betting on a relationship working out, we can. We can ‘Bet On Us.’
LG: Something that stands out to me most about ‘Bet On Us’ is how each of the song’s elements marries together. The song’s messaging is youthful and upbeat, which is apparent throughout the entirety of the track. Lyrically, we’ve kept this song conversational, and melodically, we’ve kept the melodic composition simple and repetitive. We didn’t try to over-complicate things and just let our creativity flow. From a production standpoint, we’ve utilized elements from country, pop, and rock, to create a high-energy, uplifting track. This fusion of elements creates an exciting and fresh sound that we are all so proud of.
LG: My favorite line of this song is from the start of the second verse. It reads They don’t get to tell us what we know, and we don’t—which I think perfectly sums up the message of this song. It concludes, with taking a stand, following your heart, and choosing to put other people’s opinions behind you. It’s sassy, and direct, and is channeling ‘You Belong with Me’ by Taylor Swift, which is always a win.