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Music / Maddie & Tae

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Maddie's on the left, Tae's on the right.

"How does he sleep at night?
Mama, the nerve of this guy
To leave me so easy
Am I gonna be alright?
I wanna kick myself for falling so hard
Mama, can you die from a broken heart?”
"Die From a Broken Heart"

Madison Fontnote  and Taylor Kerrnote  are Maddie & Tae, a Country Music duo from Texas and Oklahoma respectively. They first gained fame in 2014 for their Breakout Hit "Girl in a Country Song," a scathing critique of the then-ubiquitous "bro-country" and the disrespectful ways women were presented in the subgenre. Since then, they've become known for their clever songwriting and Vocal Tag Team style of singing (Maddie sings the melody while Tae harmonizes).

They first met in high school in 2010, when they both took music lessons from the same teacher. They quickly became friends and formed a duo that went back and forth between Nashville, Tennessee and their hometowns, initially performing under the name "Sweet Aliana”. They moved to Nashville after finishing high school, and were signed to Big Machine Records' revival of Dot Records. They subsequently released their debut self-titled EP in 2014, whose songs would later be included on their debut studio album Start Here in 2015. After Dot folded in 2017, they went quiet for a few years, until they signed onto Mercury Records Nashville. Their first release under the new label were two EPs in 2019, which combined (plus some additional songs) form their sophomore studio album The Way It Feels. One of its singles "Die From a Broken Heart" became a sleeper hit, only achieving chart success in 2020. It is their second major hit after “Girl in a Country Song”.

A Christmas EP, We Need Christmas, came out later that year. After a string of singles in 2021, the duo are gearing up to release their fifth EP Through the Madness, Vol. 1 in 2022.


  • 2014 – Maddie & Tae (EP)
  • 2015 – Start Here
  • 2019 – One Heart to Another (EP)
  • 2019 – Everywhere I'm Goin’ (EP)
  • 2020 – The Way It Feels
  • 2020 – We Need Christmas (EP)
  • 2022 – Through the Madness, Vol. 1 (EP)

Tropes present in Maddie & Tae's work include:

  • Album Title Drop: “Bathroom Floor” drops the title of The Way It Feels just before the second chorus.
  • Alpha Bitch: The subject of "Sierra" is a ruthless bully who flaunts her wealth, abandons her friends and plays with boys' hearts, apparently based on a real bully Maddie had to deal with in high school.
  • Break-Up Song: Several. They run the gamut in tone from the sad, despondent "Die from a Broken Heart" to the forceful, aggressive "Your Side of Town."
  • Commitment Issues: The reason for the narrator leaving in "More Than Maybe." He has them, she's sick of them, and she's decided she deserves more than making up excuses for him.
  • Dead Sparks: "Lay Here with Me," a duet with Dierks Bentley, about a couple who beg each other for a break from their constant fighting, just for one night.
  • Deconstructive Parody: In "Girl in a Country Song" they tear into "bro-country" for its overreliance on clichés, like "painted-on jeans”, "shaking your money-maker" and trucks by pointing out from a woman's perspective how awkward and uninteresting these tropes are. The music video takes it up to eleven by having the usual country girl roles played by men in short shorts, crop tops, and cowboy boots pulling off all the exaggerated posturing expected of women in country music videos.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Their biggest hit of their first album, "Girl in a Country Song", is much more hip-hop and hard-rock inspired than most of their music since, which has a more folk/bluegrass sound. This is possibly due to the song being a Take That! to bro-country, which has heavy hip-hop influences. They did make a return to rock with "Life Ain't Fair."
  • Genre Deconstruction: "Girl In A Country Song" deconstructs the bro-country subgenre of the 2010s using similar melodies and beats as the subgenre, as well as taking quotes from the biggest hit songs of Bro-Country by singing from the perspective of the women who are sick of being treated like sex objects and having their agency or decisions taken from them that is commonly presented in the subgenre.
  • Growing Up Sucks: "Downside of Growing Up" is fairly self-explanatory, but the song also covers the necessity of maturing and the upsides of growing up as well.
  • Immediate Sequel: The "Bathroom Floor" music video picks up where "Die From a Broken Heart" left off.
  • Just Friends: "Friends Don't," about all the things two "friends" do that really go beyond the bounds of normal friendship.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Most of the humor in "Sierra" comes from this.
    You're gonna find out that karma's a biiii…g pain in the aaaaas…far as I can tell…
  • Love Nostalgia Song: "Well In Your World." A slightly different take on the trope, since the bridge makes it clear the singer isn't pining for the relationship (and knows he isn't pining for her, either), she's just thinking about him and their high school romance and wishes him well.
  • Precision F-Strike: There’s one in “Life Ain’t Fair”, which the final chorus emphasizes even more:
    'Cause life ain’t fair… shit goes wrong!
  • Radio Voice: The beginning of "Girl in a Country Song":
    No country music was harmed in the making of this song. This is only a test...
  • Second-Person Narration: "Fly" starts out in third person, but shifts to second ("You can learn to fly on the way down") at the chorus.
  • Shout-Out: Several in "Girl in a Country Song," mostly mocking the lyrics of other country songs on the radio at the time. Ones mentioned by lyrics include "Get Me Some of That" by Thomas Rhett, "Redneck Crazy" by Tyler Farr, "Hey Girl" by Billy Currington; "Take a Little Ride," "Dirt Road Anthem," and "My Kind of Party" by Jason Aldean; "Aw Naw" by Chris Young, and "Get Your Shine On" by Florida Georgia Line. It also name-drops Conway Twitty and George Strait.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Common in their songs. "Right Here, Right Now" and "Friends Don't" being two major examples.