Check out the classic country vocal and lonesome sound of Bob Sumner on his latest single ‘Broken Record’. The way Sumner holds notes before his voice falters conveys real, aching emotion and experience. ‘Broken Record’ is based on a familiar country theme of heartbreak and failed romance, with Sumner’s words summing up how it feels when all you’re left with is memories and and a bottle to console yourself: “And it’s nights full of nothing // It’s days full of rain // It’s recalling her memory // That’s when the lonesome sets in.” Of course, some of us seem to go through those break-ups time and again, like a broken record that sticks on the same sad note. Love and loss: these are universal subjects, accessible to all and handled with Bob Sumner’s typical sincerity and musicality. Texture and depth is added by Jesse Zubot on Strings and Matt Kelly’s piano and pedal steel.
This is the follow-up to ‘California’, both singles having been recorded for Sumner’s well-received debut album ‘Wasted Love Songs’. Sumner explains why these particular songs didn’t appear on the album: “These songs are not a second cousin or a little sibling to the rest of that record. They absolutely could have lived amongst ‘Wasted Love Songs’. We had an optimal run time limit for our vinyl and wanted our audio quality to represent the love we put into the record so we had to cut a couple tunes.” So songs had to be cut and these two were chosen for a separate release because of how well they worked as a pair. Sumner continues: “‘California’ and ‘Broken Record’ fit together like old friends, (we thought) they’d be a perfect A & B side should we ever put out a 7 inch.” Both songs feature Sumner’s lush, layered arrangements and warm sound, benefitting from Erik Nielsen’s excellent production.
Bob Sumner makes sadness a beautiful thing.