Ryan Culwell Returns With First New Album in 3 Years THE LAST AMERICAN out 8/24
On August 24, Ryan Culwell returns with The Last American, his third full-length album and first release in more than three years. The collection marks his debut on Missing Piece Records and captures Culwell at his finest as he crafts poignant portraits of ordinary Americans just trying to get by in these trying times.
Today, Culwell shares "Can You Hear Me," the first single released from The Last American. Rolling Stone Country said the song "is a mellifluent blast of Eighties dream-pop that evokes both the soul-searching lyricism and huge choruses of Springsteen... it's an immersive, glossy listen, made for late nights, quality headphones or, even better, as the soundtrack to an episode of Stranger Things."
Watch the video for "Can You Hear Me" via YouTube: HERE
Stream "Can You Hear Me": HERE
"'Can You Hear Me' took a long time to write because I was cracking into something new inside myself. Raising four daughters in a 950-square-foot house doesn't really allow me to block off time or space to write, so I just write in the moment around the house," explains Culwell. "When Eric Garner was murdered, I started pacing around the house repeating 'I can't breathe,' but the words had nowhere to land, so I just kept repeating them for weeks. My wife probably thought I was losing my mind, especially when the verses turned into UFO conspiracies and trucker lingo. The bridge came from listening to the first eight seconds of Wu-Tang Clan's 'It's Yourz' about 100 times in one morning. It's not the kind of song you write in a day. My only regret is that I run out of air after singing 'I can't breathe' ten times, while Eric Garner found the strength to say it eleven times. You can't love your neighbor as yourself if you're not even listening to him."
The Last American finds Culwell on the other side of a lengthy break from touring, following the release of his critically acclaimed 2015 release Flatlands that saw major support from NPR Music, Rolling Stone, Guitar World and more. The last three years saw Culwell welcome his third and fourth daughters into the world while working a series of increasingly odd jobs to help support his family: roofing salesman, landscaper, tree cutter, pedal tavern driver, and a tree-cutting job that nearly killed him.
During this time, Culwell's friends Ethan Ballinger (Lee Ann Womack, Aubrie Sellers) and Megan McCormick (Jenny Lewis, Conor Oberst) casually convinced him to get back in the studio and they began tracking during off hours at Zac Brown's Southern Ground Studio. Midway through the process, Culwell added longtime friend and collaborator Neilson Hubbard into the mix and finished the album in his studio.
"When I grew up and started traveling around the country, I began seeing certain truths in people's struggles and pains, and I realized that the America that was given to me wasn't what I'd been told it was," Culwell reflects. "The patriotism that my father passed down didn't have anywhere to land because that America simply didn't exist. I'm a father myself now, and I think part of the inspiration for these songs was to try and give my children the tools to love this country for what it is and what it can be, to provide them with an accurate picture of where they are and what it means to love and hope and have empathy."
1) Can You Hear Me
2) Dig A Hole
3) The Last American
4) Moon Hangs Down
5) Heaven Everywhere I Go
6) Fucked Up Too
7) Nobody Loves You
8) Dog's Ass
9) I Have A Dream
10) Tie My Pillow To A Tree