Check Out The Soulful, Love-Championing Lead Single From The Dallas-Sprung, Nashville-Based Andrew Combs’ Upcoming LP For New West Records.
Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.
Andrew Combs — “Stars of Longing”
RIYL: keeping up with pals even after they’ve moved way from town.
What Else You Should Know: Andrew Combs spent the first 18 years of his life in North Dallas. Then, after he graduated from Jesuit, he left for Nashville to pursue a career in songwriting and performing. He’s remained there ever since, touring and recording quite a bit while establishing himself as a prolific songwriter with a penchant for blue-eyed folk.
That said, his new single “Stars of Longing” is a pretty big departure from that model — and not in a bad way. The song, which appears on his September-due Ideal Man LP for New West Records, finds Combs headed in a much more soulful, gospel-like direction. It’s not a sound Combs has really explored before, but the experimentation pays off, sounding as if Joe Pernice suddenly got inspired by Leon Bridges.
The song is built around a groovy shuffle that supports double-tracked vocals and fuzzed-out guitars, all of which eventually give way to a warm and friendly chorus. Matched by a small choir of vocals and keyboards, Combs sings, “Whichever way the wild wind blows / All I’ve learned is really all I know / There’s only love.” The repetition of “love” serves as the song’s hook, and while it may be a simple sentiment indeed, it rings true here thanks to Combs singing it with such sincerity.
Paired with a new video — an apparent homage to Godley & Creme’s “Cry” — the song appears to find Combs turning a corner with his sound. That’s cool to see: Tough as it is for an artist to find an identity in general, doing so is an even taller order in a town like Nashville, which has developed quite the unfortunate reputation for homogenizing its country-leaning talent in recent years.
With “Stars of Longing,” Combs seems ready to burst any mold other might try forcing him into.