Everything about ‘Drowning in Plain Sight’, the latest single from The Delines, exudes a timeless kind of class. As ever, the combination of Willy Vlautin’s songcraft and Amy Boone’s beautiful, soulful voice works to create to create engaging, dramatic music that could be a movie soundtrack, at once intimate and epic. Freddy Trujillo’s melodic, pulsing bass provides a foundation for the musical layers while Cory Gray’s horn arrangements rise and soar above everything else.
Both musically and lyrically, the song aches with a deep and searching humanity. Vlautin is known for capturing the detail of American life in his novels and he brings that keen eye to his songs. ‘Drowning in Plain Sight’ is a perfect example. He says of the song: “I’ve always liked the lyrics of this one, that idea of a woman pulling up to her house knowing her family is waiting inside for her. Instead of that being a comfort and security, all she feels is pressure and loneliness. So she makes a haphazard run for it and drives away. But she has nowhere to run and what she wants more than anything is for a moment where she feels love and acceptance and not demands and pressure. She just wants to remember what it feels like to be loved. Cory’s string and horn arrangements are magnificent on this one and really capture the world of this woman driving along the Texas coast.”
The song is taken from the brand new album ‘The Sea Drift’, a brilliant follow-up to the acclaimed ‘The Imperial’. The new collection is inspired by America’s Gulf Coast and, as you’d expect from Willy Vlautin, there’s a real sense of time and place in the absorbing narratives. The result is a truly cinematic set of songs. Boone describes Vlautin’s song-writing: “I think the songs on ‘The Sea Drift’ have the kind of ‘realness’ that Tony Joe White was after – romantic realism. When Willy would talk to me about his new batch of songs set on the Gulf Coast I remember thinking, ‘is he talking about The Delines’ next record or is he writing a screenplay?'” ‘The Sea Drift’ is another excellent release from The Delines. Is it too early to start talking about albums of the year? Watch, listen and be transported to the Texan coast and into the well-realised lives of Vlautin’s characters.