The Delines are back with a beautifully orchestrated new single, Little Earl. A taster from their February LP The Sea Drift which will be their first full length studio recording since 2019s massively acclaimed The Imperial. The country-soul inflected, Little Earl gives you of course, almost an entire Willy Vlautin novel, or at least a short story in one song. The protagonists are driving down the gulf coast and Little Earl's brother is bleeding heavily in the backseat of a car they shouldn't be in. Of course the AC doesn't work... It’s a chapter of American social realism that Vlautin fans will be familiar with. It's Holly the Hustle territory, as ever so gorgeous, with not even one extraneous note.
Of Amy Boone's vocal inflections, I can only say Oh My God. That's a voice that makes me want to misbehave, maybe get back to drinking tumblers of methadone behind Pomona bars. Midweek. Trying for a Bobby Gentry infused country feel, Vlautin says "It’s a soul/Tony Joe White inspired groove, and Cory Gray’s horn and string arrangements set the cinematic tone for two brothers who get into a shoplifting-gone-wrong incident at a mini-mart outside of Port Arthur, Texas." Of course they do. They could be living their best Motel Life, after all.
The video for “Little Earl” was shot by videographer Jordan Mosser in and around the town of Galveston, Texas. The video is shot entirely through the windows of a car driving around Galveston as day turns to night, mirroring the narrative of the song as Little Earl and his brother debate whether they should go to a hospital for help in the aftermath of their get rich quick scheme gone wrong. No shit they've been lauded in Uncut for their 'Widescreen romanticism.' You can feel the heat beating up off the tarmac from the very first bar.
The Delines describe the forthcoming The Sea Drift LP as “a collection of songs and stories found drifting up and down the Gulf Coast.” It’s the their first studio work together since Amy survived a car wreck that put her in hospital for several years. Willy said “‘The Sea Drift’ sessions were also the first time since Amy had been injured that she felt strong and confident in the studio, and you can really hear it on this record. There’s strength to her voice, the strength of someone who’s overcome a lot of trauma and pain.”
The Delines are touring in the UK next year. Hottest ticket in town for sure.
Image of Willy and Amy by Summer Luu
Ancient Champion writes for OUTSIDELEFT, relentlessly records instrumental easy listening tracks, and is always completing the short story collection, Six Stories About Motoring Nowhere. More info at AncientChampion.com
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