“If you look out there—if you think about the sheer amount of solar systems there are—if you believe that we evolved here on this planet, there’s a reason it can’t happen anywhere else,” Jason Boland said on a recent episode of Off The Record Live.
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Sitting down with American Songwriter’s Twitch program for an in-depth interview and a riveting performance, Boland dove head-first into the world of his new album, The Light Saw Me, a stirring concept record centered around life, love, alien abductions, and more. Released alongside his band, The Stragglers, the album hit shelves and DSPs on December 3.
“I think there’s always a loose template in musicians’ minds of what lofty goal albums they’d like to make,” Boland explained. “Like, ‘We should do a rock album’ or ‘We should do something like this.’ I think most bands think it’d be cool to do a concept album someday. Of course, there’s great examples from Terry Allen, Willie Nelson, Queensrÿche—wonderful concept albums. So that’s always in the back of your mind… but once you start it, any talking about it ironically is over. You gotta tie-in to it, you’ve gotta look for holes in your plot, it’s like putting together a movie.”
For Boland, his plot follows a farmer in 1890s Texas who gets abducted by aliens and transmitted to 1990s Texas, experiencing the awe of the future, all while contemplating questions about the true meaning of relationships, love, and life itself. Split into three distinctive musical movements, the record is a vibey trip through time and space—all clad with phenomenal performances, of course.
Even in the Off The Record Live studio, Boland and his fiddle player brought the first three tracks from the album to life, marrying sci-fi imagery and new world philosophy with a country tradition that’s as old as the mountains and plains themselves. Beyond that, he spoke about everything from fishing to Merle Haggard’s UFO beliefs to cold showers and more.
Watch the full episode below: