As he started writing his second album, South Carolina’s Ethan Fogus had one fairly simple aim, “I wanted to make a record that you could listen to at a party—like something you could put on around your friends and it wouldn’t bum everyone out.” That record, Southbound, might not be from the R.Kelly school of guaranteed party bangers, but Ethan certainly sounds freer, more energetic and less anxious than on his 2013 debut, A Door Swings Back. Today we’re delighted to premiere the latest single from the album, Old Clothes.
Old Clothes is a shuffling old-soul song, pitched somewhere between Leonard Cohen’s more recent output and Transformer-era Lou Reed. Ethan’s world-weary, Conor Oberst like vocal is joined by a Motown-tinged backing vocal from Meg Brooks (Total Babe) and Matthew Pendrick (Slow Parade). Lyrically it seems to touch on fading relationships and dressing up feelings as if they’re still real when truthfully the spark is long gone; as Ethan puts it, “am I a lie, you sleep you besides?”
Southbound is a fabulous step forward for this talented songwriter, by embracing his imperfections, and learning to rely less on slaving away for hours on a single note, and more on the quality of the players around him, he’s produced a record that’s diverse, intriguing and very good indeed.
Southbound is out now via October 14th – you can pre-order the album HERE.