Jerrod Niemann is in country’s Top 25 for the first time as an artist with “Lover, Lover,” a song with a repetitive title that only hints at the amount of times Jerrod repeated himself in the process of making it.
Most country hits depend on other background singers to fill out the sound in the studio. Wes Hightower and Russell Terrell are the two backup vocalists who seem to get the most work these days. But Jerrod didn’t get any outside help. After singing the lead parts, he overdubbed his own voice for harmonic support, then did it again… and again… and again…
“There was nine vocal parts, and it was very challenging,” he says. “[I] actually recorded eight parts the first night, and the only part left was this real low bass part. And my voice was, for lack of a better word, shredded from singing the other eight parts. So me and [a buddy] walked down to the Tin Roof in Nashville, Tenn., and in the name of art, properly medicated the vocal cords. Goodness gracious, when I woke up the next morning I sounded like a hybrid of the low guy in the Oak Ridge Boys and Grape Ape!”
That latter reference is perfect for “Lover, Lover.” Jerrod’s talking about a cartoon character from another era, a gorilla that was known for announcing its name twice: “Grape Ape, Grape Ape!”
Meanwhile, Jerrod’s got his fingers crossed that “Lover, Lover” will present him with another sort of repetitive moment. If the song could make its way to the Top 10 or even Top 5, he’d be returning to chart territory he’s seen before as a songwriter: Jerrod co-wrote a 2005 Garth Brooks single that had its own repetitious hook, “Good ride, cowboy, good ride.”