Andrew Combs has looked to explore new territory since venturing out of his hometown of Nashville, not just in a literal sense, but also with the release of his latest album ‘Ideal Man’ whose recording technique is more experimental than previous releases.
On the new album, Andrew Combs worked with producer/engineer Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker) to achieve a more raw, direct sound, which was captured live in Cohen’s Brooklyn studio. While Combs may be familiar to listeners as a singer/songwriter in the classic 1970’s Laurel Canyon sense, the latest record shows his willingness to experiment, often setting the acoustic aside in favor of atmospheric synthesizers and distorted electric guitars. Combs worked with some of his favorite writers on the album, including Dylan LeBlanc, Jeff Trott, Joe Henry, and Kenny Childers.
‘Ideal Man’ follows Combs’ acclaimed 2017 album ‘Canyons of My Mind’, which found him moving beyond his country and Americana roots into indie rock and melodic folk-pop. Combs – originally from Dallas, Texas – began writing the album shortly after the release of ‘Canyons of My Mind’, while his wife was pregnant with their first child. He also started to feel burnt out, and one way he managed to deal with this, while still maintaining his creativity, was to develop a painting hobby, going so far as to make a corresponding painting for each of the tracks on what would become ‘Ideal Man’. Combs showed those paintings and debuted the album at a private event at Nashville’s Fort Houston in September.
“The whole painting thing — all I’m trying to do is conjure that spirit of curiosity back up creatively,” he says. “With music, I don’t want to say it got formulaic in a Music Row kind of way, but it was: ‘Sit down and write every day. Write from a title. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge chorus.’ Let’s try something new. I get so bored so easily, and painting helped with that. And it helped me try and write differently, as well.”
Combs and Cohen recorded ‘Ideal Man’ live in the studio with two of Combs’ bandmates, drummer Dom Billett and multi-instrumentalist Jerry Bernhardt, both of whom supported Erin Rae on her recent UK tour, and will stay on in Europe for Andrew Combs’ UK dates. These concerts follow on the back of his European tour earlier this year when he toured to promote the re-release of his 2012 debut album, ‘Worried Man’.
Fans of the Texan can catch him live at one of the following 5 UK dates next month:
DEC 4 WED – St. Lawrence’s Parish Church, Biddulph
DEC 5 THU – Pleasance Cabaret Bar, Edinburgh
DEC 6 FRI – Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow
DEC 9 MON – The Louisiana, Bristol
DEC 10 TUE, The Lexington, London