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Other Lives’ Frontman Jesse Tabish Announces Solo Debut “Cowboy Ballads Part 1” due 21st October on Play It Again Sam

June 24, 2022
credit Christal Angelique

Jesse Tabish

Announces debut solo album, Cowboy Ballads Part 1
due on 21st October via Play It Again Sam

Play It Again Sam are thrilled to announce Cowboy Ballads Part 1, the solo debut album by Jesse Tabish, released on 21st October (preorder here).

The frontman and creative lynchpin of Oklahoma’s finest, Other Lives, described by MOJO magazine as “the next must-have American pastoral sensation”, Jesse and his chief collaborator Kim Tabish (also his wife and fellow band member) used their time during lockdown to fashion a glorious record, as epic as it is intimate, distinguished by the same sweeping, cinematic arrangements and haunting, wistful melodies that typify the band’s catalogue, but with a rawer edge that reflects its  home-made origins.

The first single released from the forthcoming album is ‘Castro’, one of the more uptempo tracks, rife with rumble and twang and marking Jesse’s love of classic Italian film soundtrack, chiefly Ennio Morricone, maestro of the Spaghetti Western soundtrack, and the equally legendary Henry Mancini.

The broad and expressive vocal range from Tabish simply sweeps you up into the center of the affection and textures resonating amongst the orchestration. Hooked on the vocal tonality and the immersive instrumentation, this ambitious landscape grows and dynamically shifts course with the array of luscious attributes that weave throughout the complex composition. A truly striking arrangement.

Castro’ was inspired by a close friend who came out to Jesse, but not the wider world because of his religious family, “which was heartbreaking for him,” Jesse recalls. “But one summer, he visited San Francisco, and it really changed him to see such an openly gay community.

“I tend to gravitate to gloomier melodies, so I was excited to have a really up, positive song in ‘Castro’ – not that we’re post-Covid, but something warm and kind, with a little bit of hope. An, ‘imagine when this shit is over,’ kind of song.”

More about Cowboy Ballads Part 1…

Jesse Tabish, the frontman and creative lynchpin of Oklahoma’s Other Lives steps out on his own with Cowboy Ballads Part 1. This glorious solo debut is as epic as it is intimate, the ten songs and four instrumentals distinguished by the same sweeping, cinematic arrangements and haunting, wistful melodies that typify the band’s catalogue, but with a rawer edge that reflects this record’s home-made origins.

As Other Lives’ fourth album For Their Love was released in March 2020 just as the pandemic began to hijack world events, Tabish and his wife Kim – the newest member of Other Lives – found themselves at home, unable to even collaborate with the rest of the band; so Cowboy Ballads Part 1 was born. With Kim increasingly involved – “she played, sung, produced, and she’s really developed as a songwriter,” says Jesse – the couple found increasing inspiration and liberation through the limitations of their set-up. 

Scaling back had already been Jesse’s modus operandi since eschewing the computers and electronics that shaped Other Lives’ third album Rituals, for writing on guitar and piano again, “to be more physical and primal with the music,” says Jesse. Cowboy Ballads Part 1 doubles down on that sense of immediacy. His seemingly intuitive ability to convey the huge skies and endless horizons of Oklahoma’s prairie vistas were arguably fired up even more when, after living in Oregon for ten years, Jesse and Kim moved back to his home state in the summer of 2021, at which point Cowboy Ballads Part 1 truly gelled.

“I never felt a deep connection to Oregon as I do Oklahoma,” says Jesse. “It’s changed so much since I left, which I’m addressing on this record. It also changed the songwriting, it brought it took it to an even more intimate place.” 

Castro’, the album’s lead single, is another uptempo cinematic adventure, rife with rumble and twang, as Jesse evokes not only the prairie but the desert world further west, in the ballpark of the legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone, master of the Spaghetti Western soundtrack.

“I’ve always had an affinity for old Westerns,” says Jesse. “The album isn’t necessarily ‘western’ sounding; it’s more that, if I name something immediately, it sticks for me, so the album title stayed Cowboy Ballads.”

Holed up at home for long stretches, he had more time than usual to ponder the outside world. In ‘Da Da’, for example, he scans, “the absurdity of the American dream,” whilst ‘Fantastik’ and ‘Bells And Whistles’ come from the same place of railing against America’s shift toward fundamentalism.

Yet Jesse has hope for the future, including the chance to play live again for the first time in over two years, though initially with just Kim, more acoustically due to logistics. He’s also already begun writing and collaborating for the next Other Lives album – and given the epithet ‘Part I’, Jesse confirms another album of songs from this period waiting to be unfurled. Clearly, it’s been a period of great creativity, which has come to fruition in such an inspired, and inspiring form here. “Come back now, out from the wasteland,” he sings on ‘Castro’. “Where the days are long and you’ll be free.”.


1. Cowboy Ballad
2. Da Da
3. Italia Nite I
4. Manchini
5. Bells and Whistles
6. Dread Harp Blues
7. New Love
8. Castro
9. Keep You Right
10. Price In Full
11. Fantastik
12. Halloween Day
13. Mystic I
14. Rituals II

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