Jeremy Ryan Laurel Wright and Wes Lunsford
It was 2014 when Laurel Wright found herself without a guitar player. But luckily, a guitar player by the name of Wes Lunsford showed up.
And before they knew it, they had both found love.
"We have played almost every show together since that day," explains Lunsford, 26, during a recent interview with PEOPLE about the chance meeting that would not only create the country music duo The Young Fables, but also turn into a love story for the two who had unknowingly grown up in the same hometown of Maryville, Tennessee.
Granted, it was far from love at first sight.
"I mean, we were really good friends," says Wright, 26, with a slight laugh. "But it was more like friends in a band setting, because at the time I was a solo artist. The day after I turned 19 years old, I moved to Nashville and Wes told me that he wanted to play for me there too."
A year later, they were dating. And today, they are not only still dating, but still finding musical inspiration in not only their relationship, but in the relationships of people around them.
"We can pull from a lot of different places to make one song, if that makes sense," Wright says.
But for their touching new song "A Thing or Two (feat. Liz Longley)" it was personal.
"This one touches on past relationships and all the things that you do during the fun stages of love," says Wright, who wrote "A Thing or Two" alongside Lunsford and accomplished songwriter Liz Longley. "But then when you find that person, it all makes sense."
Pairing thoughtful lyrics with Wright's heavenly voice and Lunsford's unquestionable harmonies, "A Thing or Two" dwells on the comfort of the most certain of love.
"So many people focus on the very highs and the very lows of relationships," says Wright, whose voice has been praised by the likes of Shania Twain and Sheryl Crow. "But there are a lot of gray areas and in-betweens, and I feel like this song touches on that."
"I think it's about those relationships where, when everything around you is just gone or going downhill, there's still that one person seeing you through," adds Lunsford.
It's this very storyline that became all too real for The Young Fables back in 2018 when Wright not only lost her father, but also her sister in the span of mere months.
"I lost my sister when I was 22 and then my dad died just eight months later," Wright remembers of the cruel reality she found herself living when her sister Lindy died in a car accident, followed by her dad Ron suffering a massive heart attack that took his life. "I think losing the two of them gave me a bunch of new perspectives on different areas of my life. And when I lost them, it affected all my relationships, including the one that I had with Wes."
Because when the flowers stopped being delivered and the condolences stopped coming, The Young Fables were left with one another.
"All I could do was try and be there when I needed to be, and also know when I didn't need to be there," remembers Lunsford. "You never get over it."
"There's no way I'm going to get over it," quickly agrees Wright. "But I am going to get through it, one day at a time or even one bad moment at a time, if I have to."
Dealt with more than their fair share of pain, The Young Fables found a way to transform it into something beautiful, not only creating "A Thing or Two," but a whole new album, Pages, that is set for release Sept. 30.
"Everyone's life is a story," remarks Wright of Pages, which serves as the companion record to their documentary The Fable of a Song, which chronicled the challenges they faced together back in 2018. "Sometimes those stories have dark or challenging chapters."
"We challenged ourselves to be as transparent as possible and to write about some of the heavier things that are often left unspoken on this album," adds Lunsford. "When we share our story, it seems to create a space where our listeners feel comfortable opening up about their own experiences. Talking through issues that affect mental health is therapeutic for us all."