Melanie Meriney’s “Sober You” Music Video Premieres On CMT

Donna Block
Sep 19 · 6 min read

Melanie, you cowrote “Sober You” with Krista Angelucci and AJ Kross -what’s the story behind the song?

The song is about unrequited love! Girl secretly loves guy, guy misses his ex, guy uses girl as a shoulder to lean on, girl will never get the best version of him! The only time he wants to connect with her is when he is drunk and sad, so she has to decide whether to be there for him on a friendship level at her own emotional expense, or cut him loose. I think everyone can relate to having somebody they crush on not notice them or appreciate them for what they could be.

How did this co-write start off?

Krista and AJ are two of my best friends and we try to get together every so often to cowrite. This was just one of those times- we met at Krista’s place- and I’m pretty sure AJ had the hook “I’ll never get sober you”, playing off of “I’ll never get over you”. We wrote the chorus first, sat with it for a bit, and the rest of the song just fell into place. They’re some of my favorite people to write with because we all have different talents we bring to the table and I know them so well, so the write is comfortable and a lot of fun.

Message you want fans to take away from the song?

I think I just want people to be able to connect to the emotion. I’m not necessarily condemning her love for this guy, or encouraging it. Sometimes, you just love somebody who doesn’t love you back, and that’s something I’m hoping people can relate to!

Watch “Sober You” Music Video

From the cover artwork to planning out the video-what was the process bringing the song from lyrics to visuals?

I think when I write, I always have some sort of scene in my head- the hope is to get it into words well enough to convey the feeling behind the message. Joshua Mendez, who directed the video, was instrumental in bringing the visual to life and contributing a lot of the ideas you see on screen. We were nervous about the whole bar scene being too cliché, but in the end, it felt like the right fit for the song. The single cover art was funny because it was actually a photo my parents organized and took without me knowing! They knew I was looking for a cover photo and decided to get creative!

How did you come up with the storyboard for the video? Love the added elements in the video that brings the song to life-especially the ending, which reminded me of your “Lifeboat” video.

It’s funny because I’ve gotten that comparison from a few people! I guess the stories are pretty similar when you think about it. We knew that it had to center around drinking because of the title, and we wanted to put the narrator in a role where we could establish she’s had a long friendship with this person but is still separated (both emotionally and physically) from him- putting her behind the bar seemed to make sense! While she cares about him and wants to be loved by him, she can only listen to him pine over his ex and put him in a cab. Poor girl!

Behind the scenes-bringing the song to life-how did you choose the location, actors, etc.?

We went through a couple of bar options for the video and settled on The Back Corner because of the awesome lighting and vibe as well as the cozy feeling. We were going for more of a pop-vibe, so wanted something that was a bit modern looking! The alley shot was actually done in downtown Nashville at 2 in the morning haha! It was a little bit sketchy, but luckily nobody jumped us! Josh had worked with the male lead, Cale Adcock, for a video project before, so I went with his recommendation (Cale killed the role!). The rest of the extras were friends and music peers who came through for me (sooo grateful!).

Melanie and I have been collaborating on various Visual/Audio projects for a few years now, and I’m always really excited by everything we produce together because it’s a team effort. Having an artist that cares about every detail brings out the best in what I do, a good collaborator elevates every project. -Josh

Fun filming facts-bloopers?

Josh did something cool to get the “slowed-down” effect by actually speeding up the song and having me lip sync it at like 3x the normal speed (he then slows it down in editing). It was funny because some of the lines are actually a bit tongue-twisty and hard to say very quickly! I had a lot of stumbling over my words moments, so that was entertaining for everyone at the shoot! We also had a scene where all the extras have a dance party in the background to the crazy sped-up version of the song!

“You open bottles awkwardly.” In character right? I mean she’s nervous …

Haha definitely a good argument! Take that, Michael! (for those who don’t know, Michael is the music producer on “Sober You” and mocked me- lovingly- for my bottle opening skills on set)

Read you said, “some of my first exposure to country music was watching the CMT Countdown in elementary school and dreaming of the day I’d get to move to Nashville to be a singer.” Now your music video is premiering on the station. Full circle moment. What would you tell your younger self?

It’s honestly a dream! I think a lot of the time I don’t stop and appreciate where I’ve gotten because I’m always looking to the next thing. This is definitely a moment I stopped and was like, ‘ok, you’re doing this.’ I think my younger self would be ecstatic because I definitely am!

Can you describe how you felt when you first heard they’d be airing the video?

I was incredibly excited because I’ve had some past videos that they’ve passed on. This was the first one they responded completely positively to, so I knew that the song and the visual was hitting that sweet spot I’m always striving toward. I texted my parents first, because they’ll always be my biggest supporters :)

What’s ahead in 2020?

I’m actually working on a new EP I’m planning to release in 2020! I want the songs to be the right ones, so I’m taking my time with the writing process and getting my material to where it needs to be. That said, I’m stoked to get in the studio and to tell some new stories!

Melanie Meriney Website

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Donna Block

Written by

Feature Writer on Medium / Country Music / Wrigley Rapport

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