Built on a foundation of small-town pop euphoria, twangy hooks that fit like worn-in Levis and gravel-road grit, the singer-songwriter first broke out with tracks like “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” a few years back, before evolving toward a more modern, R&B-based sound. Since he grew up midway between Memphis and Nashville, that R&B influence was plenty natural, too, but in a new behind-the-scenes video, Lay explains how he got “Back Home” — both musically and in life.
“We’ve had a little boy and a little girl, and obviously that changes your whole world,” Lay says, chatting about the changes that have kicked off a whole new musical chapter. “We also moved from the city to some land about 30 miles south of here, just to get out in the country.”
That new life is a big part of what led to “Back Home,” and after refocusing through the COVID-19 pandemic, Lay hints that his new music is his best yet.
“There’s just something about this point in my life, where I feel like I’m living in the moment,” Lay says. “The bond I like to share from stage is in the moment with my fans, and I think that’s what is most satisfying. … If people really wanna know me, these songs do that. The words have been there in the past, but marrying that with the music and the live show is kind of what I was shooting to put all together on this project.”
“Back Home” is like the theme song for that shift — a one-way ticket back to who you really are. Featuring a mix of organic rock energy, crunchy guitars and Lay’s totally-at-ease vocal, he says it should feel familiar to anyone who’s ever left their hometown only to one-day return … even if it’s just in their heart.
“Hometowns are always exactly how you left them and totally different at the same time,” he tells Sounds Like Nashville. “I grew up right in between Memphis and Nashville in a town called Jackson, Tennessee. I’m proud of where I grew up and I know people can relate to that so that’s where ‘Back Home’ came from. I wrote this song with Lynn Hutton and when we get together, it’s always a good day. I’m pretty sure ‘Back Home’ was his idea and we were able to put it together fairly quickly. I’ve played this song in many different styles with different bands along the way. I’m happy with how it ultimately turned out with Johnathon Singleton producing it who’s also from Jackson.”
“Back Home” was released in early October, and it followed the emotionally-charged power ballad, “Broke.” Brandon Lay took both of those new tunes on the road with Jameson Rodgers on the Cold Beer Calling My Name Tour earlier this year, and has more in store for fans as the new year arrives.