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NEW SINGLE: “A Cross on a Gravel Road” – Out Tomorrow
Get to know the upcoming single & pre-save for its release on THURSDAY, November 4th
"A Cross on a Gravel Road” took a long time to find. But when it finally arrived, it lit the way for the rest of the album’s songs to follow.
My wife and I were driving near Kalkaska in Northern Michigan. The February sky was opaque alabaster. It felt like if you threw a snowball at the featureless clouds, they were low and solid enough that you might hear it thud against them.
There, just off the shoulder of the two-lane road cutting through barren farmland, I saw from the passenger seat a white cross. On it were crimson and yellow flowers, defiantly bright against the pale farmland. I jotted down the image in my notebook.
I spent many hours wondering about whoever laid those flowers. I imagined them driving to the florist, the morning of another anniversary of a tragedy. I imagined them driving out to the crash site, hanging the flowers on the cross, exhaling a few ghostly breaths into the still air, hesitating from turning back to the car, driving silently home. I wondered: Had the deceased wanted to get out of their small town? I wondered the same about the person—year after year, now—driving out to repeat the ritual.
As dour as that all sounds, it’s a rather stirring tune, I think! One meant to be listened to—scream-sung along to—while driving. Preferably on the back roads.
I can’t wait for you to hear it this Thursday.
“Pre-saving” is a dreadful and modern phrase for a dreadful and modern phenomenon. But it’s the way the dreadful, modern world works. Here’s what it means:
The short way to sort of understand it is that the algorithm likes it when an artist’s followers are so excited for new songs that they bookmark (“pre-save”) them before they’re out and streamable. If an artist can get their fans to pre-save their songs, it (theoretically) rewards that artist with a little more exposure/attention on playlists/recommendations.
All it means for you, benevolent listener, is that the song will show up in your Spotify or Apple Music library the moment it’s released. For me? It means pleasing the algorithm, granting me a little more leeway to find ways to get my songs heard under the dark chill of its all-encompassing shadow.
Talk to you on Thursday ✌️
P.S. If you read this far, you deserve a treat: Here’s sneak peek of what’s coming on Thursday.