In the summer of 2018, for the third time in five years, The Sideshow Tragedy’s Nathan Singleton and Jeremy Harrell drove the 1,820 mile sojourn to Kenny Siegal’s Old Soul Studios in Catskill, New York, their truck crammed with the tools of their trade: vintage resonator guitars, pedals and effects boxes, back-bone drum and percussion kits, for starters.
With those first two trips, they were also packing nine original songs primed for tracking and production. But this time around, the duo arrived with just a handful of songs, all in various stages of completion.
Front-man Nathan Singleton said scheduling those sessions was a “deliberate attempt to keep our hand in.” The Sideshow Tragedy’s live show, described by New York Music Daily as “a serious jolt of adrenaline,” was starting to tap their own adrenaline dry. They arrived at Old Soul two exhausted souls, only a few weeks off a European tour. Nathan’s psyche was frayed and his personal life in tatters.
“I was seriously considering quitting,” Nathan says, “but I just called Kenny and told him we had some ideas we wanted to get down and we’ll see where it goes.” The Independent Music Award-winning producer Kenny Siegal (Chris Whitley and Langhorne Slim, among others), was game as The Sideshow Tragedy’s sound and sensibility was always dead center in his wheelhouse.
Today’s premiere, the album’s title track, delivers on some of this feral ferocity intact, along with some new colors in a funky/pop/rock groove palette that reflects a new mood rising.
About the song, Nathan comments “This song ties the record together thematically, and it’s kind of a summation of where my life was at while the writing and recording was going on — my marriage was breaking up, I was struggling with substance abuse, and overall I was just having a hard time with the dictum “change or die.” I think in a broad sense, the song is a response to that, and an acquiescence to that truth — accepting impermanence and being willing to change, or suffer the consequences.”