American Authors who are best known for their triple-platinum hit single “Best Day of My Life” has released new visuals for their track titled ‘Before I Go’. This stunning heartfelt video footage was filmed at drummer Matt Sanchez’s wedding last October. The single is off of their latest critically acclaimed album Seasons, which has since garnered close to 30 million streams on Spotify alone.
Each seasonal cycle informs, impacts, and inspires growth. American Authors translate those cycles of change into genre-blurring alternative anthems, bordering pop ambition and rock spirit undercut by a rhythmic hip-hop boom. Touting airtight songcraft and sonic adventurousness, the Brooklyn-based four-piece consists of Zac Barnett [vocals], James Adam Shelley [guitar, banjo], Dave Rublin [bass], and Matt Sanchez [drums] push forward and progress yet again on their third full-length, the aptly titled Seasons released via Island Records.
It distills a near-decade journey into a dynamic, distinct, and definitive offering for the quartet. “The biggest thing is the change American Authors went through to get here,” Zac exclaims.
“We had to go through all of these experiences and moments of experimentation to reach this body of work, which is the most genuine and pure thing we’ve ever done. It encompasses every season of our music: the ups, the downs, the highs, the lows, and everything in between. We let go of where we started, fell into the place of writing from the heart, and captured what came out naturally.”
Since their 2012 emergence, American Authors have set the stage for such evolution. By 2018, the guys impressively generated over 1 billion global streams on a string of alternately striking and soaring smashes. Their inescapable and instantly recognizable breakthrough “Best Day of My Life” earned a triple-platinum certification from the RIAA and vaulted to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in addition to receiving the countless film, television, video game, and sports syncs.
Rather than tread familiar territory and record in Los Angeles or New York, they retreated to a mountainside studio twenty minutes away from downtown Nashville. They have embraced formative nineties influences, spanning alternative stalwarts such as Weezer and Nirvana and West Coast rap a la Tupac. Beyond embracing analog synths, they proudly incorporated “more guitar.” Settling into this mountain hideaway, they wrote 40-plus songs in between “watching the leaves turn, clouds roll in, and hawks in the sky,” as Matt recalls.
Collaborating alongside producers Cason Cooley and Trent Dabbs, the band leveled up their signature sound. Further, Matt says, “It was so inspiring. We put our emotions and visions through this distillation process as the weather changed right before our eyes. As far as production goes, Carson and Trent have this way of pulling things out of us that make it all cohesive. Sonically, it’s our most ambitious work to date for sure.”
Dave further adds, “Thematically, it felt like we were accepting life for what it is as well as taking responsibility for both the positive and the negative. That was a big common thread. You’re seeking reconciliation for times of being down and out and rediscovering old friends. The music is like our beacon to everybody announcing, ‘This is who we are. We’re not afraid to go into the world and talk about it’.”
Tracks like “Deep Water” and “I Wanna Go Out” pave the way for the record’s arrival. Another stomping gospel-infused anthem “Say Amen” feat. Billy Raffoul culminates on a steeple-size refrain, its rustling guitars and the gritty duet between Zac and Billy proves equally heavenly and hypnotic. Meanwhile, the upbeat and energetic first single “Neighborhood” delivers a sincere, yet bittersweet message via its nostalgic lyrics.
Elsewhere, “Stay Around” charges forward on a handclap-driven beat augmented by a groundswell of synths, echoing guitars, and unshakable falsetto on the hook, The song is about calling on friends and loved ones in your life to help you get out of tough times and opening up to them at your worst. The powerful piano chords of “Calm Me Down” uphold a confessional and catchy admission on the chorus.
“I want people to see a different side of American Authors,” Zac leaves off. “I hope they realize there’s a message of hope, but it’s transmitted in a new and more exciting way for our band. Growing up, listening to my favorite artists helped me through so many hard times. It was the best therapy. I’ve seen fans take that away from our music in the past, and I hope they continue to do so. That’s the ultimate goal for us.”
In the end, Seasons shows American Authors at their purest and most powerful.
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