Together with his band The American Dust Choir, Colorado singer-songwriter Blake Brown views his new music through the lens of recent life milestones. As such, “Hanging By A Wire” is a reflection of his will to evolve and refine his work through the development he has experienced personally and within his family. As the lead single for his Turning Tides EP, due Sept. 27, this single flexes Blake Brown’s strength as an arranger as well as a storyteller.
Having recently welcomed a baby girl into their lives, Blake Brown and his wife and bandmate, Tiffany Brown, made a centerpiece of their growing family on “Hanging By A Wire.” Recurring themes are about leaving the past behind, opening up to others and spreading positivity to a new generation.
“We got dreams/ Stiches splittin’ at the seams/ We got hope burning like a fire/ I’m on my knees beggin’ that you see me/ The ghost of my past/ He’s just a liar,” Blake Brown sings. His vivid lyrical imagery remains as potent as his rapid-fire vocal hooks.
Drummer Adam Blake and bassist Jason Legler quickly take charge of “Hanging By A Wire.” The former’s beat evolves tastefully without resorting to jarring rhythm changes, while the latter knows exactly when to take the melodic or harmonic position. Their more propulsive approach allows guitarist Trent Nelson to lay back a bit, letting himself and Brown develop simple ideas slowly over a supportive rhythm section.
Partly inspired by ambient futurist Brian Eno, Blake Brown worked with producer Joe Richmond to create a large, cinematic sound. The results inflate his accessible and personable songwriting. There’s a tremendous amount of detail within this relatively sparse arrangement—whether it’s the frontman’s moving backbeat or Tiffany Brown’s tactfully added keyboard support.
The band has a lot going for it already, combining the big rock sound of bands like U2 with a the more somber sonics of The Cure. Still, it’s what happens underneath that really makes the difference. It’s clear that the people Blake Brown works with are uniquely in tune with his vision. Though you can zero in on how his personal life continues to influence his work, it’s how The American Dust Choir plays off of him that makes “Hanging By A Wire” a compelling listen.