Ethan Fogus will release a new record, entitled Southbound, on October 14th 2016. The follow-up to 2013’s A Door Swings Back will be a change of pace for the songwriter.
Recorded live by Damon Moon (Ben Trickey, Small Houses, Sydney Eloise and The Palms) at The Cottage in East Atlanta during whirlwind sessions that Moon said were “so good that they gave me chills.” With the help of seasoned players — Brandon Belcher (Dojo Collective) Matthew Pendrick (Cicada Rhythm, Slow Parade), Paul Stevens (Grand Vapids), and Ben Davidow, (Buzzards of Fuzz, Gas Hound). “Without the help of my friends, this would be a completely different record.”
“Southbound is really different from my past records. Before it was me in a room for hours perfecting each note. Southbound, though, was recorded live and there’s less emphasis on perfectionism, and more dancing between sleek polish and ragged anthems. These songs have some of my best songwriting ever.”
Today we’re doing the premiere of the album’s title-track, “Southbound“. It’s also the album’s closer and a strong meditation on a long distance love. Fogus’ elegant voice is a standout, he’s an accomplished songwriter and great storyteller, it’s easy to picture in images his feelings and emotion over the “Southbound” journey.
“The song “Southbound” is based off of a poetic form called a villanelle. It’s the oldest song on the record–I made several versions of this song and had slated it for release on my previous record but it just never felt right. Damon Moon was able to take this song and help give it a little more vigor.
“Southbound” is about my now-fiancé Ashley Kauschinger. At the time we were in a long distance relationship and I wrote a lot of music about her. I don’t usually write from an explicitly autobiographical stance, so it was a challenge to really use my autobiography when writing this song. The first time she heard the master of Southbound she just said “wow” after hearing that coda.
Musically the song comes from a few places. 1) my friend Robert has this beautiful way of playing a guitar making any moment feel cinematic. I was trying to write a song like he’d write it with whispy acoustic guitar chords and plainspoken lyrics about love. 2) the bridge was inspired by the Slow Parade song “Yesterday’s Mornings”. Funny enough, recently the dudes from Slow Parade told me they wrote a song for their new record based off of my bridge. I love how inspiration can be cyclical like that. 3) when I was demoing the song I lived near piano practice rooms for Emory University. I used to sneak in there and use this beautiful 1920-something Steinway upright for my demos. It was one of those songs that when I finished writing it, I knew I had somehow changed as an artist–that every song after it would be ghosted by the immediacy of the composition.
My favorite moment on this song is the coda–“I will drive all night”–I love it because the whole band is in the studio singing right then. Everyone involved in making the record: Matt, Damon, Paul, Chandler, Brandon, Ben, and Steven are all there singing in unison. I don’t know–it just gives me chills whenever I hear it.
Since we began this song, I knew it would be the last song on the record. There’s something about the song as a whole that just feels like a last song. On the record I made before this one I had it slated for the last song I even put it on a mix CD for Ashley at one point–even then it was the last song. It feels cinematic, it feels important. It feels like the last song on a record.“
Look for Southbound on October 14th available on iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp.