Just over 10 years ago, Wild Sweet Orange was reaching a stride that few bands meet in their lifetime. After the release of their debut album, We Have Cause To Be Uneasy, the Alabama based indie rock band was making their television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman and opening for household names like Counting Crows and Guster. A short 2 years later, the band announced they were breaking up, leaving lead vocalist Preston Lovinggood questioning what was next for him.
Taking that time to focus on his mental health and wellbeing, Lovinggood arrived with an answer, the release of his latest solo album, Consequences. Within the lyrics of the album, Lovinggood unpacks the trials of adulthood while discussing the potential triumphs that come with forgiveness.
“There are things you can do in your life that you can experience forgiveness and redemption from, but there are always consequences to our actions,” says Lovinggood. “Really believing that and seeing how that plays out can be super heartbreaking, but can also be super redemptive. To see the consequence of doing something like forgiving is really powerful.”
While Consequences was not his first release as a solo artist, the album marks a significant shift in Lovinggood’s views on his own independence. “I realized when I was with Wild Sweet Orange that though I wrote a lot of the songs by myself, I was able to do that because it was such a good band and I had so many people around me to bounce these ideas off of.”
With this project, he initially set out to create it completely independently, challenging himself to do the work on his own until friends, such as Juan Solorzano who helped produce and write the record, rallied around him. From there, Consequences became a collaborative effort, pushing Lovinggood to exercise his creativity in ways he never expected. He began working on a new schedule, waking up early to write and work on music every day. Through the process he learned to work through writer’s block instead of waiting for inspiration to strike.
“I had come to a place where I wasn’t going to play music at all anyway. I think when you do come to a place of sort of being on empty, your inhibitions leave and you don’t really care what you’re singing about in a way because you don’t really think anybody is going to hear it.” Preston says, ”The songs weren’t really made to think that anyone was going to hear them. I think that comes out in just the energy and the spirit of how we recorded it and the stories that are told in the album.”
The openness that he put out in the studio is audible in tracks like “Moon Fever” where Lovinggood reveals his tendencies to self-sabotage. “Everything Will Be Okay,” in which he voices his search for a deeper meaning to life, captures the feeling of discomfort that comes with not knowing where to fit in while remaining catchy and light in tone.
By allowing himself the freedom to create in ways he never had before, the resulting product is a body of work that thrives on lyrical openness and sonic experimentation. Through Consequences, Lovinggood takes on the challenge of coming to terms with the dissolution of some of the most important relationships in his life. Made in the process of unpacking some of those experiences, Consequences is a deceptively upbeat collection of songs.
“I think we were going for something that would be more poppy and sort of cathartic and make people feel good. If you weren’t a lyric person, you would think the album was just super happy.” While Lovinggood used the creative process behind Consequences to move past some of the difficulties in his life, he ultimately hopes for listeners to look onto the bright side. “I hope that it can put somebody in a good mood and just make it through one more day and feel like they don’t have to give up.”