With charming stage banter, playfully conversational writing style and perfectly blended harmonies, artists Jordan Anderson and Caleb Maitland have found in each other musically what some spend their whole life trying to find. The result is Aberdeen – offering fans a re-introduction to the classic duo. “For us, everything’s even. There is no lead singer, or one person that seems to excel more in writing or musicianship. From lead vocals to writing, everything’s equally yoked.”
Both Anderson and Maitland got their starts as solo artists. A rural Colorado upbringing immersed in country instilled in Anderson an appreciation for the genre’s story-telling nature. “There is no other genre that values the art of story telling like country music. Even as it evolves, country music always honors its roots and your country music ‘family’ supports you forever.” After years developing her sound through community theater and music programs – including performing in the cast choir at Orlando’s Disney World – Anderson caught the attention of Nashville producer Kent Wells (Dolly Parton), who quickly got to work on her first album, Key To My Heart. She went on to record a self-titled EP with Wells, from which singles You Ain’t Ready for Me and American Dream both went top 40 on the Music Row Country Breakout Chart and Please Don’t, co-written by Anderson and Maitland, went top 30.
Raised on a farm in Concord, Michigan, it was immediately apparent to his musically inclined family that Maitland harbored a unique sound and elevated talent. “By the ages of four, six and eight, my brothers and I were singing three part harmony.” Same went for songwriting, which Maitland began at (age). “My mother noticed I always wrote music on the black keys – I never touched the white ones. I was always a bit more outside the box.” Years of playing for church and local bands, winning several battle of the band competitions and opening for major acts (OAR) inspired Maitland’s move to Nashville in 2006. “I knew I wanted to do music and I knew Nashville was the place to make that happen.” It was then that he and Anderson were introduced – first by Anderson’s mom, then again on their church’s praise team. “We realized we had a great time playing together and appreciated each other’s writing, so we booked a writing session,” said Anderson.
Despite many individual successes, it soon became evident their musical relationship was destined for greater. “Every time we got together to write, we’d come up with something new, special, and totally different from what anyone else was doing,” said Maitland. “We really thought we just had a unique writing relationship.” After performing a duet they’d written out, the response proved otherwise. “People freaked,” said Anderson. “Everyone kept asking why we weren’t a duo.” Given much thought and mutual feelings of stagnancy in their solo careers, Anderson and Maitland formed Aberdeen in 2015.
They soon got to work on material for their debut duo album, produced by Wells and due out later this year. “It’s all me… She’s just the pretty face,” joked Maitland. “But in all seriousness, that’s what’s wonderful about writing together. Our input on what we write and how it’s written is so well balanced.” From fun, flirty songs like Someone Like You to more serious, heart-grabbing tunes like Blame You drawn from life and love, one thing remains consistent throughout all of Aberdeen’s music: “We didn’t settle for throw-away lyrics, which can be easy to do when trying to produce material quickly,” said Anderson. “A lot of our songs stem from conversations we have, or we hear others having – making them extremely relatable. That’s ultimately what we want. We want fans to relate and join in on the conversation.”