LYRICS: Oh, the city lights, the way they shine, up here on the Nashville skyline, with a whiskey drink in tune to a country song, it’s how I’ll spend my time. It’s how I’ll spend my time. Songs of wayward love fill the smoky air, & I can’t bear to hear the sound, when with such things I compare. It’s how I’ll spend my time, wishing you were mine. So I’ll drink to you my dear, for when the answers are unclear, I’ll drink in tribute to my blues, the blues I have because of you. I’ll wait around until all the bar doors close, & order one last round, drink it all before I go, & make my way to stumble home. It’s how I’ll spend my time, wishing you were mine. So I’ll drink to you my dear, for when the answers are unclear, I’ll drink in tribute to my blues, the blues I have because of you.
INTERPRETATION: On his ‘69 release Nashville Skyline, Bob Dylan sang of the moon shining bright on everything in sight, only to conclude with the concession that no light will shine on me. It’s precisely this shade of irony that colors the blackest hues of the blues; that sense of being surrounded by a whole that you don’t feel a part of. In the same sense, big cities filled with bright lights, boisterous sounds, & volumes of people can often feel like the most isolating of environments.
INSPIRATION: In 2008 I visited Nashville for the first time & had the brilliant idea to attempt a night of bourbon barhopping, which is essentially the asinine activity of sampling at least one shot of bourbon from each bar hopped, as it were. Though in my naiveté, I failed to comprehend just how many bars the infamous Music City Strip has (for those unaware, the strip is nearly all bars). Needless to say, this made for an eventful evening. Nashville Skyline’s narrative isn’t necessarily a reenactment of that experience, but rather an homage to the breed of NashVegas barflies I encountered there.
INSIGHT: Having been influenced by & written while in Nashville, I wanted the production for Nashville Skyline to be reminiscent of a Grand Ole Opry style country western/roots folk aesthetic. Matt & I put aside our mutual obsession for synthetic sound design & effects pedals to bust out a lil’ rhythm guitar, mandolin, lap steel, & some ferocious fiddle-shredding courtesy of the amazingly talented Lauren Lebois. We even narrowed the stereo field & stacked the mix to more closely imitate that old time Nashville sound. & to top it off, we sequenced Nashville Skyline at the seventh track, landing Shadowland’s most country-influenced tune next to a song titled No Country – ‘cause it ain’t country less it come with a heavy helpin’ of irony.