This week, Dan + Shay will drop their new single, Always Gonna Be, but it’s arriving with a story behind it: the song is about the period when the music duo nearly broke up.
Always Gonna Be will be released on Thursday, 3 August, at 11 pm central time – Friday, 4 August, at 2 pm AEST and soundtracks the moment that saved the pair’s music career.
The first song written for their new album, Bigger Houses, which will be released on Friday, 15 September (you can pre-order the album here), Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney provided a handwritten letter about their recent struggles to fans on social media.
“One of the most important things we talked about that night was our responsibility to our fans who have been with us through every high and low of the past 10 years,” the duo wrote, as transcribed by Taste Of Country. “Whether we decided to call it quits or dive headfirst into a new chapter, we felt that we owed it to our fans to make peace with the idea of Dan + Shay in our hearts.”
The letter continued, “The moment that it all clicked and we knew we had to keep going was when we reflected on what our music has meant to people. When you're running a million miles an hour, sometimes it's hard to see in real time, but right then, it had never been more clear.
“We specifically said things like, 'Dan + Shay is always gonna be a tattoo on somebody's arm.' 'Dan + Shay is always gonna be a first dance at somebody's wedding,’” the pair added. “We left that night with a fresh perspective on our career, and a genuine closeness in our relationship.”
After their resolutions sank in, Dan + Shay sat down the following day and wrote Always Gonna Be, a song that will “always be one of the most special” songs the pair have written. You can read the entire open letter below.
The duo previously detailed their near breakup in an honest YouTube video, where Smyers admitted, “I was in the lowest low of my entire life. Came off the road, and I was like, 'Man, I fucking hate music. I'm ready to quit.’”
Mooney added, “I could feel the separation, and I think there was little things between you and I that we never talked about. It was affecting everything. Not just our band. Like, my marriage, everything. I was in a really dark place.” The pair didn’t speak for four months.
After that fateful day in March 2022, Smyers revealed that the pair returned to a better, more collaborative place. “We are by far, a million times, the closest we've ever been,” he said. “For so many reasons. But because we worked at it. That makes what we're doing now infinitely sustainable. I could do this the rest of my life with you.”