For Episode 037, I’m joined by a trio of songwriters–Erick Willis, Austin Meade, and Judson Cole. The three were on the final night of a week-long acoustic run. We sat in an empty Tom’s Daiquiri to record the hour-plus conversation that ranges from the pros and cons of vinyl and digital music, the various paths of discovering artists and songwriters, and what new material the three have as solo artists. All three are currently prepping new material for 2018 with Cole having already released an EP titled The First Three which came out this past August. At the end, they each perform new songs.
by: Thomas D. Mooney
Austin Meade’s Heartbreak Coming, his third release in as many years, arrives this Friday (Preorder it on iTunes here).
The Texas songwriter hones in on specifics–storylines and sound in particular–on the five-track EP. Where previous efforts may have found Meade wanting to go off in as many directions, Heartbreak Coming finds him controlling those temptations. Throughout, he sticks to not just what feels most comfortable, but also what works best.
In many respects, Meade’s foundational sound is built upon the many days and nights of spinning Ryan Adams’ records. Heartbreak Coming certainly finds its base line nestled somewhere between Adams’ alt-country guitar-driven Cold Roses and the dark, bleak affairs of 29‘s folk storytelling. With Jay Saldana and Elijah Ford at the producing helm, the two make a formidable combination on the strong third efforts from Meade.
Opener “Born With a Broken Heart” sets itself up as a nice, windows down anthem. Armed with its’ Jayhawks-ian chorus and driving guitars, the song feels more encompassing and rosy than the song’s true core. At the center, it’s Meade detailing a breakup and/or missed connection to a close friend–perhaps even rehashing the details to himself. Still, you feel the sweet combination of cool breeze and the warmth of the sun’s rays on the summer anthem.
The reflective “Meant For More” lays out some of Meade’s best detailing to date. The opening lines about old white houses, rusted yield signs, and splintering fence posts pop up and come to life on Meade’s canvas. Here, we feel the addictive hardships of life on the road and the weekend warrior realities of band life. Meade’s wallflower observations of bar life are spot on throughout while his inner thoughts provide insightful optimism.
Closing the EP is “Written in Stone,” perhaps the strongest track on Heartbreak Coming. There’s a sparse arrangement that’s built on cold drums, thin piano, and shimmering cameos of guitar lines that pierce and plunge as often and as deep as Meade’s conceding lines on defeat, heartbreak and grief. Love is hell.
Exclusively listen to Meade’s Heartbreak Coming below. Preorder it on iTunes here. Heartbreak Coming is officially available Friday, June 03.