Song Premiere: Tom Brosseau, “The Horses Will Not Ride, The Gospel Won’t Be Spoken”

Photo by Carey Braswell
Photo by Carey Braswell

With his forthcoming album North Dakota Impressions, Grand Forks based songwriter Tom Brosseau completes a trilogy of LPs that shine spotlights on living in North Dakota. Followed by 2014’s Grass Punks and 2015’s Perfect Abandon, North Dakota Impressions is, in Brosseau’s words, inspired by “home, loss of love [and] wonderment about another world.” Sean Watkins produced the album, which is due September 16 via Crossbill Records.

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Brosseau just shared a new song from the album, the intriguing “The Horses Will Not Ride, the Gospel Won’t Be Spoken.” The tune follows the release of fellow North Dakota Impressions track “Fit to Be Tied.”

“I had a vision of a burning church,” Brosseau says of the song. “That’s how writing this song began, an all-consuming kind of burning, where nothing escapes. The church in the song is based on an actual church in North Dakota, probably my favorite church, built the way all those quaint North Dakota country churches are built, with wooden beams, a belfry, a stairway leading to the front entrance, a kitchen in the basement that I’ll bet even now has that nice, warm and comforting smell of hot dish, coffee, and candle wax. West Union Lutheran still sits outside the town of Northwood, North Dakota, like always, like an island in a prairie sea. It did not burn down.

“I was trying to explore feelings of guilt, the feeling that some wrong I may have done at one point in my life to a particular thing later led to the destruction of that very thing. If I took a chip off a solid structure, a pillar or column for example, and later that structure collapsed because of an earthquake, deep down I would still feel responsible. Maybe that one chip, had it remained, depended on the rest of it from falling down. But then perhaps really this world is just a world full of coincidences. Nothing leads to anything else.”

Listen to “The Horses Will Not Ride, the Gospel Won’t Be Spoken” below.

Okkervil River: Away