Maddie & Tae's album opens with a true head-snapper. The country duo have long leaned on traditional country influences for their blend of pop-friendly music, which makes track No. 1 on Through the Madness Vol. 1 very unexpected.

Talking to Taste of Country Nights, Maddie Font says "What It's Like Loving You" draws from some of the rhythmic and reggae music she spent 2020 listening to. The Texan won't try to tell you she grew up on Bob Marley — in fact, this recent dalliance was a very intentional attempt to bring a blind spot into focus. A side effect is songs like this upbeat new lover.

"We really wanted to spread our wings a little on this third project and not feel confined to one thing," she shares. "I will tell you, it is a B-word to sing live."

Tae's husband Josh Kerr and Jordan Minton helped the country duo write "What It's Like Loving You," and it's more than just a stylistic stretch. Instead of singing harmonies, Tae Kerr actually sings lead an octave lower than her partner. At first, she worried she sounded too manly, but the end result was something their team was really excited to share with fans.

Through the Madness Vol. 1 also features collaborations with Morgane Stapleton and Lori McKenna, two singers the duo wanted to spotlight on a project out of sheer admiration for the women. "Woman You Got" was their most recent single, charting in 2021. They're currently on hiatus from the road as the Kerrs enjoy being parents to their new baby girl, Leighton. The baby's birth came very early, but talking to ToC Nights, Font said her singing partner and friend and her daughter are doing very well.

Meet the Country Babies Born in 2021:

Welcome to the world, boys and girls! These babies are the newest members of the country music family, all born in 2021.

More From 98.1 The Hawk