Alabama Shakes guitarist Heath Fogg returns with Sun on Shade, the debut album from his new project of the same name. Set for June 26 release via ATO Records, the album examines the power and fragility of the human spirit, particularly in the face of addiction. See below for track listing.
“Tiger Lilies,” the first single, was unveiled today. Lloyd Buchanan (Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard) takes the mic on the deep-grooving track, which is a soulful reminder to make each day count and to cherish the moments spent with loved ones. Download / stream “Tiger Lilies” HERE.
Fogg produced Sun on Shade and wrote the album’s nine tracks. He was joined by Alabama Shakes bandmates Ben Tanner (keyboards), Zac Cockrell (bass) and Steve Johnson (drums), plus a few local friends. They recorded the album at the Muscle Shoals studio of Tanner, who engineered. In addition to Buchanan, vocalists include Sam Doores (Deslondes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) and Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers).
“Lyrically, it’s just a conversation with a couple of friends,” explains Fogg. “I never set out to do anything close to a solo record and I still don’t see it that way.”
Sun on Shade is a collection of cautionary tales for those who’ve yet to wander down the wrong path. For those who have wandered off, it’s a beacon and suggests that while time moves quickly, it hasn’t run out. It’s not too late to change.
Fogg recalls, “Around the time my second child was born, one of my best friends died and another told everybody he was going to rehab for heroin.”
Fatalism and faith bookend Sun on Shade. Fogg is unblinking in detailing the danger lurking in album opener “Light Behind the Eyes” as Doores declares, “You’re gonna die if you keep on living this way.” But the final line of the closer, “Up from the Water,” holds out an unmistakable hand of hope, as Buchanan warmly croons, “One of these days I will rise up from the water.”
“Electronic artists will make records where every song has a featured vocalist on it,” says Fogg. “I wanted the album to be like that – like a mixtape or a collaborative collage of ideas and artists. I just see it like a team, and for this game I got picked as the team captain.”