The Civil Wars

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
/wiki/The Civil Warscreator
Joy & John in their natural habitat.

"If you're not sad now, you're gonna be."
"Yeah, sorry 'bout that."

The Civil Wars are made up of songwriters Joy Williams and John Paul White. The duo specialize in stripped-down folk and country songs (with White on guitar/vocals, and Williams on vocals and sometimes piano), highlighted by two-part vocal harmonies that have slowly gathered them a fanbase. The two were struggling solo artists who met each other at a songwriters’ workshop in Nashville (that neither actually wanted to go to).

Working independently, the duo have nonetheless attracted a surprising amount of attention. Their song "Poison & Wine" was featured on an episode of Grey's Anatomy, and they performed "Barton Hollow" on The Tonight Show. In a very coveted spot by 2011 standards, they've spent time touring in support of Adele, who is on record as a big fan of theirs (as well as Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles and Boy George of all people). Their first release, a live recording entitled Live At Eddie's Attic, is free to download on their website. Downloads thus far have surpassed the 200,000 mark.

Despite the strong undercurrent of romance intertwined in their lyrics, John and Joy are actually both married to other people, and come across more like good buddies in their interviews.

The Civil Wars provides examples of the following tropes:
  • Anti-Love Song: An interesting case in "Poison & Wine." The song has little to no themes of bitterness, but the chorus is simply the repeated mantra of "I don't love you, but I always will." Doubles as a Tear Jerker.