Elijah Ford comes from rock royalty. His father is Marc Ford, guitar titan of The Black Crowes and Burning Tree. You could say the younger Ford has a lot to live up to, and he takes that distinction with the upmost respect and earnestness. Hailing from sunny California (and now an Austin transplant), the singer-songwriter first made a splash with 2011's Upon Waking. Later, he issued a follow-up EP called Ashes in 2012 and then spent the next several years touring the world.
He is set to drop his sophomore full-length, titled As You Were (now up for Bandcamp pre-order) Sept. 16, via Nine Mile Records. The LP, produced by Stew Jackson (Massive Attack), engineered by Jacob Sciba (Gary Clark Jr, Willie Nelson) and recorded in Austin's Arlyn Studios, is sampled by The Way We Were and a brand new track called Black and Red -- which premieres exclusively today.
Backed by a full-band called The Bloom (which includes Heartless Bastards's Jesse Ebaugh on bass and Phosphorescent's Ricky Ray Jackson on guitar), the new music is the kind of "dirt in your ears" style of Americana which has cropped up as the direct antithesis to Nashville's bouncy pop-country. Black and Red is an especially significant moment for Ford -- it has enough of that southern grit and red-dirt mix to satisfying his hardcore fans but contains a sweeping hook. The narrative is grim and cloaked under electric guitar and a Top 40-ready lean; Ford's unforgiving vocal strikes all the boxes of accomplishment: sincerity, passion and emotional understanding.
"'Black & Red' is one of Chris [Konte] and I's first co-writes. When he played it for me, I fell in love with his lyric 'everyone talks in different ways' and the tragic character he created," Ford shares with Popdust. "It felt natural to flesh out the story - I grew up with the sort of person he was talking about. It's a deceivingly upbeat song about watching someone fall apart."
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