Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors have been building a substantial fan base over the last few years by sharing their music through television soundtracks and touring well beyond their Nashville base. Indeed, they just wrapped up a number of shows in Sweden.
Now they are gearing up for their next album, Medicine, arriving in January. And for the lead single, they are drawing inspiration closer to home with the nostalgic “American Beauty.”
“It’s a song about young lost love, maybe even a first love,” Holcomb tells CMT Edge. “I was just trying to write a song like a photograph — emotional snippets of that overwhelming feeling of being in love with someone when you are a kid and having them fall through your fingertips.”
He adds, “It’s also an ode to the subtlety and complexity of women, in my history, American women. Their deep, three-dimensionality. The things that made you love her — her slight touch, the blue eyes, the kiss — are in the end the things that are the dagger in the heart.”
Holcomb and his friend, photographer Eric Ryan Anderson, captured the grainy music video on location in Joshua Tree National Park in California. Even though the task at hand was to photograph an album cover, Anderson’s Super 8 film camera was put to good use, as well.
“The song is so simple and veiled, it needed an interesting approach, and he obviously has the perfect eye to capture that emotion,” Holcomb notes.
Because “American Beauty” is the band’s first new music its fans have heard in quite a while, it’s only natural to wonder how Medicine will go down. Holcomb is confident fans will embrace it.
“It is by far the best work we have ever made,” he says. “As a songwriter, I feel like I am hitting my stride in a way that I have not on previous albums. The album’s songs are more diverse yet still work together. The band really has moments to open up melodically and groove-wise. We recorded it much differently than in the past, tracking 14 songs in eight days, a very Van Morrison-ish way to record. It was the most fun I have had making music.”