The Inspiration Behind "American Alchemy"Guest Playlist: Fox and Bones
Photo Credit: Amandala Photography
1. Mingo Fishtrap – “End of the World”
(Sarah’s Pick) We were introduced to this band by a fan while we were on tour in San Antonio, Texas, and I feel like it's one of the most perfect songs. As we've evolved as a folk band, I've wanted to add more soul into our music, and this song inspired a lot of that. Plus, it has this funky retro feel that we've both been attracted to throughout the making of American Alchemy.
2. Lake Street Dive – “You Go Down Smooth”
(Sarah’s Pick) I've always loved the energy and guitar chord progression in this song, and this song very much inspired the production style for one of my favorite songs on American Alchemy- "Dancing in the Aisles". We aimed to capture a similar beat and energy to this song without copying it (always a tough balance as an artist), and what we came up with is something I'm especially proud of!
3. ALO – “Blew Out The Walls”
(Scott’s Pick) I've always loved the vibe and lyricism that ALO brings to their records. They have a hopelessly optimistic approach that I often share in song construction and I appreciate their meta leaning lyrics.
4. Fox and Bones – “A Changing of the Guard”
This single we released in February, as an optimistic look at the future of our world. This last year has brought so much negativity and separation, and this song is our call to action to bring people back together.
5. Nathaniel Rateliff – “Hey Mama”
(Scott’s Pick) - Nathaniel Rateliff has always been an artist that Sarah and I were both infatuated with. From song construction, to vocal tone, to the production of his albums, he truly is one of our great modern artists.
6. John Craigie – “Virgin Guitar”
(Scott’s Pick) We’ve listened to Craigie's live albums on countless long drives during our U.S. and European tours. He is the quintessential artist's performer and has inspired us to bring more humor and humility to our stage performances and recordings.
7. Fox and Bones – “A Strange and Wondrous Place”
The lyrics for this song spilled out one winter day during a short respite from our rigorous touring schedule. I played it for Sarah later that evening and she responded by saying it "sounded like a famous song.” I've always cherished that response from her.
8. The Wood Brothers – “Postcards From Hell”
(Sarah’s Pick) I discovered this song years ago and I never get sick of it. The story the lyrics tell mixed with the unique guitar riff that plays throughout the song never fails to make me tear up - it's touching, honest and human in the most beautiful way, and it makes you feel connected to life, which is something we have always strived for in our own music.
9. Shovels & Rope – “Mississippi Nuthin'”
(Scott’s Pick) We fell in love with Shovels and Rope during an elongated run through Montana. The approachable lyrics and rustic harmonies really hit home during those long drives between shows.
10. Fox and Bones – “Call Your Mother”
This song is one that basically wrote itself. It started as a riff, and as we continued to work through lyrical concepts, we realized the song wanted to be a song for our moms, thanking them for their support and all they've done for us. Both our moms have been asking for years when we were going to write them a song, and we finally made it happen. This song features what I consider to be our best vocal performance on the album.
11. Bob Seger – “Night Moves”
(Sarah’s Pick) In our music and our brand, we've aimed for a retro 70s feel, and to me this is the perfect 70s song, it has everything I'd want to have in a Fox and Bones song - the chord progression, melody and lyrics have always evoked such nostalgia, even though we weren't alive back then. We play this live fairly often, and it's one of those songs I never get sick of hearing or playing.
12. Delta Rae – “Take Me There”
(Sarah’s Pick) It was hard for me to pick just one Delta Rae song, as this band is my number one musical inspiration, and is my most listened to band for the last year and a half. They have a lot of driving, southern gothic Americana tunes with choral harmonies that have been the inspiration for the harmonies on our album. The tribal toms, the harmonies, and the energy of the vocal performance are all factors that led me to have this song on repeat for months on end. Another "perfect song" in my eyes.
13. Stephen Stills – “Love the One You're With”
(Sarah’s Pick) The chorus of this song is one of my favorite choruses ever. Growing up singing in choirs, I'm a sucker for good harmony, and no one does harmonies like Crosby, Stills and Nash. The chord progression on this chorus was part of what inspired the chorus for “Call Your Mother;” it was a progression I'd always wanted to use, and in that song, it finally fit.
14. Fox and Bones – “Already Here (Music in Modern Times)”
We started writing this song towards the end of a 3-month U.S. tour. We wanted to chronicle what it is like for musicians living on the road but also recognize that journey is the destination. We've always viewed Fox and Bones as an outlet for manifesting the life we want to live, and this song encompasses that.
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