If there’s a musical equivalent of the bildungsroman (bildungsrecord?), then Downhaul’s debut full-length Before You Fall Asleep certainly qualifies. Throughout the album’s 33 minutes, Gordon Phillips and company try to navigate their twenties – with varying degrees of success. When they do fail, which seems to happen fairly often, they at least come back stronger.
So it is, in fact, when the album begins. “Grace Days” is a slow, drawly opener that stops and starts back up again twice within the first minute, like the band is just getting used to this whole music thing. “Word reaches me that you’re not taking care of yourself,” Phillips sings in the first verse. If you’re expecting some profound words of comfort, you’d be disappointed. He doesn’t call or write to check in, “because I don’t know how to, and that’s something I’ve got to live with.” This becomes a recurring theme on Before You Fall Asleep, that feeling of powerlessness you have over your own life, not to mention those of the people you love.
Downhaul will be releasing their debut full length album, Before You Fall Asleep, on March 29th via Refresh Records. Today we’re excited to premiere the album’s latest single, the nostalgic “Notched.” Vocalist/guitarist Gordon Phillips had the following to say about the song:
“Notched” was actually the first song we had for this album. Musically, it represents a pretty significant departure from the rest of the album — probably because it is the oldest of the songs. I wrote about 90% of the lyrics for this song while sitting at the merch table during a show at Skylark Social Club after seeing a person who had the exact same nose shape as a person who once meant a great deal to me. Memories flooded back all at once.
Even though it’s a bit different from the other songs on Before You Fall Asleep, “Notched” is one of my favorites on the album and it’s sure to appeal to fans of indie rock heavyweights like The Weakerthans or The Hotelier. Check out the song below, and if you like it, be sure to preorder the record.