Shares “Strange American Dream” via NPR
New album ‘Wide Awake’
Due 13th July on ATO Records
Rayland Baxter has unveiled the second song from his forthcoming Wide Awake on ATO Records. “Strange American Dream” premieres today on NPR Music/World Café. Rayland made this album during a self-imposed isolation quest. He moved into an abandoned rubber band factory turned studio for 3 months, with nothing but a mattress on the floor and a couple of instruments. He wrote for 15 hours a day, the occasional waft of news from a TV down the hall seeping through the door of his room.
Says Rayland, “’Strange American Dream’ is a song about the strange…American…dream. i was Living in the middLe of a cornfieLd in kentucky when i wrote it…the tv in the kitchen was stuck on the news channeL for three months…i couLdnt heLp but eavesdrop…and take notes.”
‘Strange American Dream’ captures Rayland’s mindset of the moment; somewhere between a childlike sense of wonder and disbelief at the good and evil he saw as he watched the news cycle unfold around him…a piano driven ear worm of a song that sounds like a distant cousin to The Beatles’ ‘Lady Madonna.’” – NPR Music
‘Wide Awake’ has already earned praise for its first song “Casanova,” which GQ named as one of its Songs of the Summer 2018. It’s also drawn comparisons to the Beatles (Rolling Stone Country) and the Kinks (Nashville Scene), and is currently #24 on the national Triple A radio chart.
Rayland Baxter’s new album is a dream realised. Since he first started writing music, this roving rock ‘n’ roll philosopher dreamed of a space where he could devote every waking hour to creating. The hard-touring musician finally found it in the form of an abandoned rubber band factory in Franklin, KY, where he covered the windows, threw a mattress on the floor, and with guitar and piano in tow, spent three straight months writing. At night he would sit and listen to the sounds around him: coyotes, the howling wind, the faint prattle of the nightly TV news.
The result of this isolation quest is ‘Wide Awake’ (July 13/ATO Records) a ten-song collection that celebrates the best aspects of humanity and grasps at understanding the worst.
“This is an album about decision making,” Baxter explains. “It’s about being a human at the crossroads. Do I do good or do I do evil? Do I lie or do I tell the truth? Am I going to be happy or am I going to be sad? All of these questions and emotions are things I see in myself, and they’re the same things I see in everyone else no matter where I go.”
‘Wide Awake’ was produced by Butch Walker and features Walker himself on bass, Cage the Elephant’s Nick Bockrath on guitar, Dr. Dog’s Erick Slick on drums, and piano wizard Aaron Embry (Elliott Smith, Brian Eno) on keys. Rayland’s father Bucky Baxtercontributes pedal steel, as does original Nashville Cat Lloyd Green.
TRACKLIST FOR ‘WIDE AWAKE’
1. Strange American Dream
4. 79 Shiny Revolvers
5. Amelia Baker
6. Without Me
7. Hey Larocco
8. Sandra Monica
9. Everything To Me
10. Let It All Go, Man