When words and actions fail, often a song is the most effective means of conveying an expression. This creed led Read Southall Band straight into their first love song, “Rose Gold.”
“The song is my attempt to speak to all of the times that I have failed to show the love that is due” band leader Read Southall tells American Songwriter. “Maybe it can speak for me in the future when my words are falling short. My hope is that it will serve as a reminder, both to myself and to the listener, not to let the distractions of daily life get in the way of expressing your love to the ones who deserve it most. Be here in this moment, with this human. Love and be loved.”
Premiering Thursday (September 16), the Oklahoma City sextet—comprised of Southall, Reid Barber (drums), Jeremee Knipp (Bass), JT Perry (Lead Guitar and harmonies), Braxton Curliss, and Ryan Wellman (guitar)—shares the song that shifted the sonic direction of their forthcoming album, For The Birds. Due October 22 via Thirty Tigers, this third effort is the product of the freedom found in boundless exploration. Southall insists that “Rose Gold” would not have come into being had they not been able to set aside expectations of what their ‘sound’ was.
“In fact, this record didn’t truly take shape until we began to accept the necessity of creative exploration,” he adds. “It looks different, and it sounds different than when we were younger, but it’s still very much ‘us.’
The song set the tone for the exploratory record. Traversing through uncharted sonic territory on this track opened a channel of dynamic energy flow into the rest of the recording process. The creative vibrancy bred from “Rose Gold” allows the band to lean further into the “feel-good” side of songs without losing their characteristic sound.
“The more we expand as a band, the more paths I am taken down as a songwriter and sometimes they lead to wonderful places. It feels like a natural step in the arc of the band — an attempt to embrace the space between us and our youth.”
“Rose Gold” is achingly and uncharacteristically optimistic. In the past, the band has employed their deep-rooted Southern rock tones to tell disgruntled coming-of-age tales. Here, the country-tinged outfit wields both life and musical experience to shift perspective — la vie en rose. Distilled through a rose-colored glass, the searing soundscape sheds light on a heart that released its floodgates and multi-talented musicians who tore down the defining walls of their artistry.
“It’s easy to passively wallow in sadness or anger. It is sometimes more difficult to express love or gratitude, but the reward is joy,” Southall reflects on the song as a milestone. “I am proud of the band as a whole. I am proud of our willingness to explore and expand. We truly do see it as a beautiful, organic, and collaborative work of independent art.”
Braly concludes, “It remains to be seen how this song will help define our music careers, and we look forward to hindsight, as well as the voyage.”
Read Southall Band are currently on tour. Tickets and more information are available on their website.
Pre-save Read Southall Band’s forthcoming For The Birds LP and listen to “Rose Gold,” here.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Burkhart