“‘Trouble’ is a song about knowingly continuing to make bad decisions,” explains Southern California’s own rootsy-rocker, Luke Andrew Edwards. The song, premiering today on American Songwriter, is an entrance single for his new EP as L.A. Edwards, Blessings From Home, Vol. 1, due on December 4.
The upcoming collection follows the pivotal, Secrets We’ll Never Know in 2015 and 2018’s True Blue. Drawing upon the ever-golden nostalgia from the hills of Laurel Canyon, the artist’s new project as L.A. Edwards has grown increasingly rock-leaning with the help of brothers Harry (drums) and Jay Edwards (keys), and Alex Vo (lead guitar).
This trajectory diverges from his acoustic folk tenure with the Smart Brothers and evolves into a sun-drenched soundscape of its own.
“My goal with the sound is always to just be a great American rock band with great songs,” Luke admits. “When I started this project, I wanted a sound that had some backbone and full band arrangement capabilities, but still was centered around songwriting and an intimate vocal. As we’ve found more permanent members, they have contributed their own sounds and talents to the songs’ DNA. Also, as the shows have grown in size, the sound has evolved into a more full rock sound to fill the rooms, get heads bobbing, and booties shaking.”
In January of this year, they entered the studio with a full tour calendar and plans to release a ten-track collection in July. When Covid swept through, those plans were pulled out from under them and set a new perspective.
“We couldn’t find a great song order for the original album plan because there’s a split between rockers and rootsy-upbeat jangly songs, so we divided it into two EPs,” Luke explains.
“Trouble” lands on the rockier Blessings From Home, Vol. 1. Written pre-pandemic, between tours in Nashville, Luke infused external influences into self-reflection to craft a timely single.
“I was on an F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe kick at the time,” he says. “We were coming off the road from a pretty rowdy tour, and we were all a bit rough around the edges. The first time I hit the guitar lick in the kitchen, Vo perked up and said, “wow, that’s big!” over his morning beer.”
Defined by its guitar grooves, the anthemic song dictated the Bear Creek sessions’ sonic direction earlier this year. Here, Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Vance Joy, Foo Fighters) produced the EP with features from Ron Blair (bass) and Steve Ferrone (drums) of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
“It was great running it with Ron and Steve the first time because, on the first downbeat, they broke into this totally different groove than what I had originally imagined, but turned out to be perfect,” says Luke. “It’s a pretty good lyric for the world going into a pandemic: ‘Here comes Trouble.'”
Blessings From Home, Vol. 2 is expected early next year and will display some of those “jangly” tunes.
The pandemics restrictions allowed the band to expand its platform and create more content for fans to grasp. After forming their own label, Bitchin’ Music Group, they began hosting the “Bitchin’ Sauce Presents” concert series to help friends and fans through an uncertain time.
“Covid has also allowed artists to focus on the global audience instead of just the city they’re playing that night, which I think everyone will appreciate once this is all over,” Luke offers.
This unprecedented time allocation generates new opportunities to expand L.A. Edwards’ audience. Yet, the artist has not rushed the process. The brothers build their new project steadily, selecting releases with thoughtful caution.
“Between running Bitchin’ Sauce, the four kids, coffee farming, and fly fishing, the pace isn’t really about being artistically precious; it’s more about just about being busy and not wanting to half-ass anything,” Edwards explains. “As a songwriter, you are a craftsman; I want my work to stand the test of time. It’s always hard to predict what kind of audience is going to connect with your work. I just hope that this album is able to help out some folks during these weird times.”
Listen to L.A. Edwards’ premiere of “Trouble,” ahead of Blessings From Home, Vol. 1, due on December 4, below.