Most people have heard of The Civil Wars in one of two ways, both of which involve their haunting duet, Poison and Wine. Nearly the whole song played over one of Grey’s Anatomy‘s signature dramatic montages and soon after, Taylor Swift put it on her official iTunes playlist. “I think this is my favorite duet. It’s exquisite,” she wrote. Since then, the duo, comprised of Alabaman John Paul White and Santa Cruz-born, Nashville-bred Joy Williams (they’re not a couple, though you’d never know from their chemistry), have struck out on tour across America, picking up two Grammy nominations along the way. We caught up with them before their Google Music concert in Park City, at T-mobile’s Sundance lounge and though we meant to chat about music, the talk inevitably turned to fashion.
ELLE: How is the tour going?
John Paul: Great! We just flew in from Dallas.
Joy: We played the House of Blues—we don’t normally play those venues—but it’s been fun in every city that we’ve returned to, the venues keep getting bigger.
ELLE: Is there a city you particularly love to play?
John Paul: We would probably make all the other cities mad if we answered that, but Nashville is home base for Joy and we definitely have a soft place in our heart for it.
ELLE: You guys have had a wild year! Congrats on your two Grammy nominations. Have you started thinking about what you’ll wear?
Joy: Fretting would be the right word for it! I’ve got a really great stylist based in LA, her name’s Sarah Lowe, and she’s pulled some really fantastic pieces. I’ve got like 20 dresses that I’m going to get to choose from. I’ve yet to pick the actual dress, but I think it’s like choosing a wedding gown. You put it on and go, “That’s it!” I’m still waiting for that aha moment. John Paul will undoubtedly be wearing Billy Reid.
John Paul: He texted me about 30 minutes after the nomination ceremony and it just said, “Tux.” And I said, “Yes!” It’s in the works. He moved his entire operation to where I live; we live a street apart and we’re both fans of each others’ work. I mean, I wear his stuff every night.
ELLE: What’s next for you guys? When does the tour wrap up?
John Paul: We’ll be on the road until at least April. We haven’t released the record over in Europe yet and that happens the first week of March so we’re heading over to promote that. We have to do there what we did here.
ELLE: Is there anything different about playing in Europe?
John Paul: I always heard that crowds over there would be more reserved, and maybe that’s somewhat true, but we prefer to play our own shows and not open for other people so we’re excited to see what the crowds are like when they’re there just for us. We played a show at Union Chapel last year and it felt like we were at home, It was really no different, they were vocal and rowdy—
Joy: And pin drop quiet at the right times, too!