The opening track of Caleb Caudle’s forthcoming Crushed Coins serves as something of a bridge between the North Carolina singer-songwriter’s previous output and this latest LP. Led by an extended intro of delicately picked acoustic guitar, crunchy riffs, and ambient pedal steel, the track, “Lost Without You,” dreamily sets the tone for an album that sits at the meeting point of twangy Americana and atmospheric folk-rock.
The rest of the album trades in similar tones. Co-produced with Jon Ashley, known for his work with acts like Hiss Golden Messenger and the War on Drugs, Crushed Coins is a sonic tour de force, with cinematic arrangements and personal, narrative lyrics that show Caudle to be a worthy new voice in a long tradition of musical storytelling. It’s also a melting pot of Caudle’s eclectic influences, which include Steve Earle, the Clash, Jason Isbell, and the Velvet Underground.
“I knew I wanted this record to feel like something more than just a batch of songs,” Caudle says. “I wanted everything to work together in a special way. Most of my favorite records end up sounding like their own little world. I told Jon Ashley that I was down to try whatever as long as we created the perfect space for the songs to live in. All the musicians really knocked it out of the park and I couldn’t be more proud of what we came up with.”
Small glimmers of hope are peppered throughout Crushed Coins, both lyrically and musically. Lead single “Empty Arms” is an optimistic ode to maintaining love while out on the road, anchored by glistening guitar from Nashville’s Megan McCormick; the title track explores how small pleasures bring light to the mundanity of everyday life.
“Last year was heavy,” Caudle adds. “I lost a couple of friends and family members. I was trying to write myself out of a dark place. The only thing that I found that helped was focusing on the small things in life that make me feel better. The title track comes from that. I have fond memories of putting coins on the tracks in the back of the neighborhood I grew up in. I really wanted to take those small moments and show how important they are in the big picture. Hunting for arrowheads and sharks teeth or sending postcards just feels so grand to me now.”
Stream Crushed Coins in its entirety before its February 23 release date below.
Caleb Caudle tour dates:
2/17- Club 603 Baltimore, MD
2/20- Underdog Records (Vinyl Listening Party) Winston-Salem, NC
2/21- The Basement Nashville, TN
2/22- Saturn Birmingham, AL
2/23- SECCA (Album Release Party) Winston-Salem, NC
2/24- Cat’s Cradle-Back Room Carrboro, NC
2/27- WDVX Blue Plate Special (solo) Knoxville, TN
3/08- The Evening Muse Charlotte, NC
3/10- Eddie’s Attic w/ Eliot Bronson Decatur, GA
3/11- The Listening Room Mobile, AL
3/14- TBA SXSW Austin, TX
3/15- Luck Reunion Corrigan, TX
5/15- The Burl w/ Elizabeth Cook Lexington, KY
5/17- The Kent Stage w/ Elizabeth Cook Kent, OH
5/19- City Winery Chicago w/ Elizabeth Cook Chicago, IL