Reeling from a litany of hard knocks is a reality the Divorcees know all too well; and now the five New Brunswick-based country outlaws are letting it all hang out on their latest single, “Must Be Nice.”
Never shying away from what’s real and how to pen it, this old-school country group has done it again, speaking tough, unabashed honesty from lives lived to an audience who are right there with them. “Must Be Nice” is a song with grit and groove, simmering in thinly-veiled anger towards big bank profits in the midst of working-class misery, and it’s this genuineness that members Alex Madsen, Jason Haywood, Denis “Turtle” Arsenault, Shawn Thomas, and Kevin Macintyre have yet to shy away from in nearly twenty years, keeping fans with them every step of the way.
“’Must Be Nice’ is for every single hard-working person out there who gets out of a 12-hour shift from a job they’ve done for years,” the band said. “It’s for people who work for multi-billion-dollar companies for minimum wage with no health plans, needing food stamps to get by. It’s for the ones who flip on the news to hear their company got sold out from under them.
“It’s for everyone who’s watched people make millions off other people’s pain without a care in the world. It’s for the guy on the bus getting cut off by a guy in a BMW who whispers under his breath, ‘Must Be Nice’.”
A tried-and-true testament to the art of authentic country songcraft, “’Must Be Nice’ is a song of frustration,” the band say. “It’s something every single guy in The Divorcees has lived.
“Here in New Brunswick, no one’s got it easy. We’re a poor province. Believe me when I say we’ve had our share of hard knocks.
“And when we see the richest of the rich living the good life while we’re picking which bills to pay — and they don’t even seem to care at all?
“Well, you get my drift.”
“Must Be Nice” is the newest single from The Divorcees’ most recent full-length, 2021’s Drop of Blood — out now; in addition to the 11-track LP, The Divorcees are releasing a documentary of the same name to complement the offering.
While Drop of Blood is a very nuanced trad-country effort, “Must Be Nice” is a bonafide heavy hitter on the roster, packing heat every time it goes up to bat. True country fans will enjoy the funky yet twangy musicianship of the group — a tune that fits seamlessly in the regular playlists of your favorite roadhouse or out-of-the-way dive. From the ingenious twin guitar licks to the earthy Wurlitzer sitting comfortably in the pocket, the tune is a perfect blend of sarcasm and groove with a gentlemanly nod to outlaw heroes.
As with many well-loved country songs, it’s a dose of bitter reality cut with sly, self-deprecating humor — the kind that goes well with a tallboy and a Jack after a hard day on the job. The Divorcees manage to both tell a relatable story, while masterfully compelling you to dance; that’s what they do best.
Their fifth studio release, Drop of Blood follows From Labour To Refreshment (2016), Four Chapters (2012), Last Of The Free Men (2009), and their 2006 breakthrough debut, You Ain’t Gettin’ My Country. With high praise from the likes of SavingCountryMusic.com and Exclaim! the Divorcees’ music has been featured in a wide variety of media and formats, including the film The Phantoms and the Heartland series on CBC, multiple music videos on CMT, as well as airplay on radio stations nationwide and around the world.
They’re two-time winners of the East Coast Music Association’s Country Album of the Year — plus several more awards from Music New Brunswick for good measure — with national touring, well over 120,000+ streams, and five studio albums to their credit.