We love the Good Life‘s new album, Everybody’s Coming Down (out now on Saddle Creek) so much that we begged and pleaded with frontman Tim Kasher to give us a song-by-song breakdown. You can read more about the creation of the Good Life’s new album in Substream #47, available everywhere now. Take it away, Tim!
“7 In The Morning”
My insistence on making records feel cohesive! We had decided early on that “Midnight Is Upon Us” would be a suitable closer for the album, and it was around that time I imagined opening the album with the song as well, resulting in an infinite, “cohesive” loop if the album were to be played on repeat. “7 In The Morning” is a mini version of the aforementioned “Midnight,” with lyrics to help usher in the album, as well as provide a setting for a very loose concept of the album occurring over one day.
Enter the first of many shredding guitar leads by Ryan Fox! Seemingly the most anthemic song that came out of these writing sessions, “Everybody” felt like a sure thing to get the album started. Despite the upbeat nature of the song, I managed to find a rather downbeat narrative for the lyrics. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised (yet, I still am—I almost always express shock at the depressing subject matter upon completion of an album. They tend to feel less grim as I write them).
“The Troubadour’s Green Room”
I’m quite proud of this song; from its initial conception to eventual completion, all the pieces seemed to fall in place. Each band member offers just the right instrumentation, and the production suits the song well.
I recently did an interview asking if I was jaded about the music industry, based on the lyrics of this song—vehemently disagreeing, I attempted to explain the difference between cynicism and being jaded. By the end of my discourse, I’m certain I only sounded more jaded. Ha. (I still insist I’m not jaded, just a consummate cynic!)
These lyrics were originally, “Oh my God” instead of “Holy shit,” but that had felt a bit played out, so I went with something a little… less played out? Or, more simply, I like the sentiment of crying out, “Holy shit” a lot more than “Oh my God.”
I recall this song going through a few different compositions and a lot of indecision before landing on this final version. Funny, all that hemming and hawing over a song that clocks in at 1:49.
“Flotsam Locked Into A Groove”
The rare occasion where the Good Life “locks into a groove”! It’s fairly atypical of my writing style, which makes it all the more interesting to me when a song such as this actually makes it onto an album. This also seems like one of those “cool songs” to me, another thing the Good Life doesn’t do very often (nor me)! Maybe we can land a spot at Bonnaroo next year?
“Forever Coming Down”
This was one of the first songs written for the album and helped set a tone for the style we wanted to capture. This song is very 120 Minutes to me (that’s Subterranean to you younger kids) (That’s… YouTubing alternative band videos?!?! to you much younger kids). This song’s lyrics also works as the main template for the amazing artwork illustrated by Dan Black.
A break in the album, this is “Midnight Is Upon Us” filtered through Ryan Fox’s brain. I called it “Happy Hour” as a loose nod to “Holy Shit” on the first half of the record and to “Diving Bell” which it leads into, both songs about drinking and questioning existence. It can be a dangerous cocktail, children!
Certainly the more (most?) surrealist of tracks on the record, it concerns a gentleman getting too tipsy among a group of peers at a bar, only to drift off into a sort of netherworld where he questions the possibility of another self on another planet doing the same thing.
We had the luxury of putting the moody opening on to this song, as the actual song is incredibly short. This song scares me! I am in need of getting a colonoscopy, as I have a history of cancer in my family. We all have a history of cancer in our families.
“How Small We Are”
There are some fun additional elements to this arrangement, including the age-old reverse-vocal move(!) and oversaturated electronic drums set on a delay that crash through the background of the track. They remind me of meteors crashing to Earth—give it a try!
This is a bit of a sister song to “Diving Bell” in lyrical content, but without the booze.
This song is, by far, more cynical than I present myself in daily life; it’s written by that salty, nagging voice burrowed in the back of our minds. That said, it’s a reasonable indictment of our existence.
“Midnight Is Upon Us”
We put the mastering folks through a minor hell, trying to get the closing second of the album to pair up seamlessly with the opening track, again, to create the loop, to feel as though the album has no beginning or end (but you gotta play it on repeat!). We also had the grand plan of creating one of those closed threads at the end of the vinyl version, so that the final rhythm of the song would play on indefinitely. Alas, we didn’t do sufficient planning in advance, the measures of the song didn’t line up properly with the length of the proposed closed thread.
Catch the Good Life on tour with Big Harp:
08-15 Omaha, NE – Maha Music Festival
08-17 Sioux Falls, SD – Icon
08-18 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
08-19 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
08-20 Ferndale, MI – Loving Touch
08-21 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
08-22 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
08-23 Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
08-25 Hamden, CT – The Ballroom At The Outer Space
08-26 Boston, MA – The Sinclair
08-27 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
08-28 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter
08-29 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle (Back Room)
08-30 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
09-01 Orlando, FL – The Social
09-02 Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder
09-03 Birmingham, AL – Saturn
09-04 Nashville, TN – High Watt
09-05 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
09-06 Iowa City, IA – Gabes