Lay Your Head Down is the debut album from the married duo Carolina Story (Ben and Emily Roberts), a mature, 12-song masterpiece that captures two people's moving, relatable journey from childhood to parenthood, independence to partnership, and despondency to hope. Produced by Nick Autry and recorded in Nashville at Sound Stage Studios, it's a stunning portrait of lovers and friends.
The title track opens the album. Lush strings and winsome harmonica cushion the song's lyrics that convey yearning and hurt. Jaunty but wise, the melody and message of "Gold" follow. Over classic harmonica and thick electric guitar, the pair point out that the high pressure created by tough times actually creates something incomparably precious. With Ben and Emily's gorgeous vocals far out front, "We Were Young Once Too" bemoans the way innocence falls away even as it appreciates the wisdom age brings. Stripped down and vulnerable with the couple's voices over plaintive acoustic guitar and haunting background instrumentation, "Set in Stone" explores the secrets that lurk in every relationship, even as deep love is honestly claimed and professed.
Ben's favorite song on the album, "My Feet Keep Moving Still," is also the oldest. Tender and sad, the song captures the frustration of feeling stuck, but carrying on anyway. Nostalgic "When I Was Just a Boy" tips a hat to the nuggets of truth parents impart. "Your Children's Children" immortalizes the couple's own advice to their own babies. Beautiful "Lonely without You" encapsulates passion and longing, while timeless "Rich Man" unpacks the choice between material comforts and love. Closer "Let Me Rock, Let Me Roll" is a standout. One of the songs closest to Emily's heart, the track reiterates commitment to one another and to the music.