The Civil Wars are officially over. The Americana-tinged duo has been on an indefinite hiatus since 2012, but both Joy Williams and John Paul White have confirmed the duo’s permanent separation today. As a parting gift, the band have released what will likely be their last song: a cover of “You Are My Sunshine.”
Williams and White formed the duo in 2009, and they found near-immediate success with their 2011 debut album Barton Hollow, which won widespread critical acclaim and even got the group a Grammy nomination for Best Folk Album. However, the release of the band’s self-titled sophomore album was clouded by their 2012 hiatus, which came about due to “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.” The band released a covers EP in November for Record Store Day’s Black Friday sale.
Both members of the band released statements following the breakup. “I am saddened and disappointed by the ending of this duo, to say the very least,” Williams wrote. “JP is a tremendous musician, and I will always be grateful for the music we were able to create together. I sincerely hope that ‘You Are My Sunshine’ will be accepted as a token of my gratitude for every single person that has supported our duo throughout the years. I’m so thankful and my heart is full. Looking ahead, I’m excited to share the music that I am writing and recording in the midst of this difficult transition. I’ve loved being back in the studio, and have missed performing live. I look forward to seeing you soon.” White added the following: “I would like to express sincere thanks to all who were a part of the arc of The Civil Wars—from the beginning, to the end, and all points in between. My deep appreciation goes out to all who supported, disseminated, and enjoyed the music. Whatever shape or form the next chapter takes, thanks for being a large part of this one.”
You can stream and download “You Are My Sunshine” now on The Civil Wars’ website.