We have a bonus premiere today in the form of the new double-A single from Oxford-based roots band The Great Western Tears (also our ‘double’ Song of the Day). Not the Losing Kind and Misty are true songwriting collaborations between the partnership of core band members David Waterhouse and Garry Richardson. While adopting numerous ways of reaching an end product, these are both started as guitar instrumentals composed by Garry with David later writing the lyrics to the mood of the song.
Another thing these tracks undoubtedly are is American road trip songs. Not the Losing Kind uses Las Vegas as inspiration for its tale of gambling on love and the unnerving persuasive lure of the Strip contrasting the huge and beautiful isolation of the Mojave Desert beyond. Misty meanwhile is set on the Big Sur coastline; the girl encamped beneath the iconic Bixby Bridge, lost in the coastal fog whilst the estranged husband is camped out in The Marin Hills, contemplating riding home to resolve their troubles. The imagery is fortified by Jack Kerouac’s lonesome and crazy Big Sur novel as well as David’s own numerous California road trips down the years. Listen below:
Speaking about the single, David explains how “The Great Western Tears EP was always intended to showcase both the good times and the reflective sides of our songwriting, while the debut album Tales from Tallows is in its essence a collection of travel reveries from the last 15 years centred for the most part in Australia’s Byron Bay, with a few diversions on the American side of the Pacific. This double-A side single is that American segment!”. Not the Losing Kind shows Garry’s love and affinity for back porch slide blues and David’s vocals hark back to a more intimate and refined blues. The Great Western Tears have a vast range of influences and inspirations. Artists such as Neil Young, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Townes Van Zandt and The Tinder Sticks are but a handful of names/references that give a sense of the rich tapestry of their musical explorations. The band draw favourable comparisons to modern artists such as Jason Isbell, Gillian Welch / Dave Rawlings and Ray LaMontagne.
The forthcoming album Tales from Tallows is a collection of truly honest story songs that tie together a thread of time and space spanning a decade and a half of hard-lived-and-loved travel and a relationship with one particular beach therein; Tallow’s beach, Byron Bay, Australia. It is an album driven by David Waterhouse and Garry Richardson’s musical camaraderie, aided by the band’s sympathetic and soulful ear and captured expertly by Richard Neuberg. This current double-A sided single is a glimpse into such a synthetic arrangement from one of the most authentic roots acts in the game.
The Great Western Tears are launching Not The Losing Kind/Misty on 2nd Dec with an intimate show at new Oxford venue The Handle Bar on St Michael’s Street, with guests The Epstein and Robert Chaney. The band also co-organise the monthly Roots Rambles events which brings together the ever developing Oxford roots/Americana collective of bands, including The Knights of Mentis, Francis Pugh and The Whisky Singers, The August List and The Dreaming Spires.
Photo Credit: Johnny Moto