Ruthie Collins retreated to Joshua Tree, California, to film the lyric video for her latest release, fittingly titled “Joshua Tree,” which Billboard premieres below today (Aug. 16). The stunning backdrop, shot by Cal & Aly, complements the Americana singer-songwriter’s ethereal vocals alongside soaring string features, minimal piano parts, and delicate percussion accompaniment.
The song itself was inspired by the rumored love story between two of Collins' heroes: Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. Collins co-wrote the poignant ballad with Luke Sheets and says “Joshua Tree” has already brought so much magic to her own life.
“I feel like the ‘love story’ of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris is a legend in the greater music community,” she tells Billboard. “It’s almost like country western folk lore. Who knows what it was really like between them, but hearing about his life experience, their story and the music they made together, it’s moved so many of us in profound ways.”
While the pair’s love story helped to inspire “Joshua Tree,” Collins says the song’s meaning has evolved since she first wrote it. As she explains, it’s an idea that “love is never truly gone, because love cannot die.”
“To me, this song is kind of a broadcast out into the Universe for anyone who’s looking for that one great love, or remembering a great love,” she adds. “Joshua Tree is such a special place, there’s something about that magical healing energy out there. And those stars in that giant desert sky that just take your breath away… It can make you feel connected to that big love.”
“Joshua Tree” is the first taste of new music from the Nashville-based singer’s upcoming solo project, due for release in 2020 on Curb Records.