"I was obsessed with the song when Emily played it for me, just because of the way it takes you through a relationship where you both want the same outcome," the Little Big Town star tells PEOPLE

By Tricia Despres
July 13, 2021 10:10 PM
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From the moment Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild heard the haunting yet achingly beautiful melody of the song "Butterfly," she knew she somehow wanted to make it hers.

There was just one problem.

It wasn't her song to sing ... yet.

"I was obsessed with the song when Emily played it for me, just because of the way it takes you through a relationship where you both want the same outcome," Fairchild, 51, tells PEOPLE of the instant connection she felt to the song that Emily Weisband wrote alongside fellow songwriters Alysa Vanderheym and Steph Jones. "You don't want the butterflies to go away, but time changes things. You work to get them back. And the first love, the new love is so beautiful and innocent and it's always the best part. But then, so is the growing older part too. When she played it for me, I was just trying to figure out, 'How can I get on this song?!'"

Emily Weisband
Emily Weisband
| Credit: Chris Ashlee

Fairchild's infatuation with the song is understandable, as "Butterfly" serves as a three-minute prance through the intricacies of love, especially when the romantic rush begins to fade, and an enduring relationship becomes a choice rather than a given.

"I started texting her asking her, 'What's your plan with 'Butterfly?'" remembers Fairchild, who originally met the romantic wordsmith at an industry event a few years back, passing each other in a random hallway with brief pleasantries and plans to connect. "She said it was going to be on her record, so I just told her to keep me posted because I love it so much."

Indeed, Weisband has already established herself as one of music's most intriguing visionaries, originally making a name for herself as a GRAMMY-winning songwriter for powerhouse artists such as Camila Cabello, Dan + Shay and Keith Urban.

Yet, as Weisband began plans for her solo career, "Butterfly" was recorded and produced with the Virginia native serving as the sole voice. But soon after, she found herself coincidentally in the writing room with Fairchild again. And finally, she asked the question that Fairchild has been wishing she asked forever.

"Well, why don't you just sing on it?"

And that's all Fairchild needed to hear. With the blessing of her Little Big Town bandmates in the pocket of her Chanel pants, Fairchild and Weisband made their way back into the studio to record 'Butterfly' again. And while the years may separate them (23 years to be exact), their hearts and their yearning for beautiful melodies and thought-provoking lyrics are something they share with a passion.

Emily Weisband and Karen Fairchild
Emily Weisband
| Credit: Emily Weisband/Youtube

And it's this passion that can be heard on every note of "Butterfly."

"I truly believe that we, as singers and songwriters and creators, are vessels," says 28-year-old Weisband. "I don't mean that in a cliché way. I believe there is a spiritual transaction that goes down when we are in a room together creating something bigger and wiser than ourselves. And it's moments like that where it all transcends where we are at in life, you know? That's been a marker for me a lot of the time when I cut a song for myself or when I keep a song for myself. It's like, does this feel bigger than me and beyond where I'm at? 'Butterfly' definitely checked that box."

Armed with the reality that life often leads us to a series of questions with no real answers, Weisband constantly finds herself diving into her songwriting to find the lessons we are all trying to learn.

"I'm constantly on the hunt for new wisdom," says Weisband, who received critical acclaim for her EPs Identity Crisis (2019) and Not Afraid to Say Goodbye (2020). "I want to understand the human experience as best as I possibly can because that's our job, you know? We are therapists, but in the music sense. I've just always been on the hunt to understand people and myself." She pauses. "I've put in a lot of work to do that."

Emily Weisband and Karen Fairchild
Karen Fairchild
| Credit: Emily Weisband/Youtube

And as much as the song "Butterfly" takes listeners to a new and unexpected place, so does the exquisite and truly dreamy music video that has the two women looking not only gorgeous, but content in their individual, high-fashion element.

"There was this one Gucci campaign I found that just felt like 'Butterfly' to me," explains Weisband, who filmed the music video alongside Fairchild just a few short months ago. "Karen really inspired me with the look as far as, she has this regal, high-fashion thing about her that feels very editorial to me. That's what makes her an icon."

"And the camera loves Emily," adds Fairchild. "It's not just that she's a great writer and an old soul. She's also a star."