They call it their most vulnerable song on the Start Here album and get a little nervous telling its story. For Maddie & Tae, "After the Storm Blows Through" is the moment from the project that rips open old scars. It's about friendship and tragedy and trying to help a loved one through it all.

The song is Maddie Marlow's story. As she finished high school and prepared to move to Nashville, she watched as her best friend dealt with her father's illness. Together they prepared for graduation, and his health took a turn for the better, so she felt good leaving her friend in Texas five days after they celebrated.

“Two weeks after I’d moved to town, he had passed away," Marlow tells Taste of Country, fighting back emotions. She longed to be back home to physically help her friend through it, but the 14 hour drive was too much, so she poured her emotions into the ballad and realized that being there emotionally could be just as helpful.

I’ll face that wind by your side / Even take on that rain, I don’t mind / Or give you space or give you time / If you need me to / But I’ll be here for you / After the storm blows through

“We were supposed to write an uptempo, happy, summer song, blah blah blah,” Marlow remembers of the day the song came together. “I was just like ‘I can’t write a happy song … My heart is hurting for her and her family.’”

So they changed course and found common ground while allowing the barely out-of-high school Marlow to vent. The result is the most stripped-down song from the project.

“We sat there and just talked about it and all of us pulled from different situations and I think we finished that song in an hour and a half.”

Of the 11 songs on Start Here, this one gets the strongest response from fans after their concerts. There's an instant connection to "After the Storm Blows Through," and for this reason, Marlow looks forward to playing it every night.

“It almost makes us cry when we hear other people’s stories,” Dye says.

“When you hear stories about how your music has given someone hope or lifted their spirits, that gives me purpose," Marlow adds. "At the end of the day I go to bed going ‘I can’t believe I get to make music that’s impacting people’s lives.’”

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