Why Brooke Eden Wrote Specifically About Queer Love on Her New EP: ‘It Was Time’
Brooke Eden's music has always been for everybody, but on her four-song Outlaw Love EP, she's honing in more than ever on stories about LGBTQ+ love.
"I never specified gender in my songs up until this EP. And it was this EP where I was like, 'Who am I protecting here?'" she continues. "... I think that music in and of itself is a statement. If my statement is that love is love, then why shouldn't I be able to sing about my wife?"
She knew that some country listeners wouldn't support a musical storyline surrounding a same-sex couple, but she also knew from firsthand experience that many country fans believe in equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, and that many belong to that community themselves.
"I go to Pride festivals and sing at Pride festivals, and I sing '90s country, like 'Strawberry Wine,' and the entire audience is singing it back to me," Eden notes. "I'm like, 'Oh, you guys are true country fans at a Pride show.'"
Then there was the title track of Outlaw Love, which speaks to the experience of living and loving on your own terms — a sentiment that can easily apply to most listeners, but one with special resonance for those in queer relationships.
"My wife and I have this incredible love story, yet it doesn't matter to some people, [who think that] it should be outlawed," Eden continues. "There are over 600 anti-LGBTQ bills right now, which is so insane. And when I talk to people, it's such a small minority that actually believes in that. There's a much larger majority that believes that everyone should be able to have equal rights and love who they want to love."
"I just felt it was time to speak up and speak out about it, tell the real story and what it's actually like to live in a world where, you know, love at all has to be looked at as a crime," she goes on to say.
The entire Outlaw Love EP is potently personal to Eden, but no song more than "All My Life," a track she wrote specifically to be the first dance song at her wedding to Hoover. "I write songs about my relationship all the time, so I'm always like, 'Honey, it's your world. I'm just writing about it,'" she jokes.
So much so, in fact, that when she first came home from the songwriting session that produced "All My Life," Hoover — a seasoned music industry veteran of about 10 years — didn't have quite the lovestruck response that Eden was hoping for. "She was like, 'Okay, cool,'" Eden deadpans.
But when they finally got to listen to it together a few days later, Hoover had the reaction that Eden was looking for — waterworks and all. "By the first chorus, she was crying. Which doesn't happen ever," the singer relates. "She looked at me like, 'This has to be our first dance song. This is the one.' I'm glad I wasn't crazy in thinking the song was so great!"
Looking back, though, she knows exactly why "All My Life" had such a powerful impact on both her and her wife when they first heard the finished product: It tells their story, plain and simple.
"I never thought I would get married. I grew up in a divorced home. Even my grandparents got divorced. Nobody in my family has stayed married," she explains. "Why would I get married just to get divorced? So much paperwork, so much money, so much drama — like, no, I don't think that's for me.
"The lyrics start out with, 'All my life I thought that I / Was built to ride off / Into the sunset all alone,' because I really did," Eden confesses. "And then, you know, I met her, and everything changed."