On his new album Not So Soft Landing, Nashville singer-songwriter Jerry Castle leaves behind the rootsy, sometimes jam-based sound of his prior efforts in favor of a more haunting, trippy vibe. Due June 24th, the record feels like a journey through space — no doubt informed by Castle's own experiences in sensory-deprivation float tanks. (Think Luke Skywalker being healed in the bacta tank in The Empire Strikes Back.)
Still, Castle doesn't allow himself to become too untethered. While he claims to have found a new level of creativity via his tank regimen, the Virginia-raised artist holds tight to the organic sound of one of his chief influences: Blind Melon. For the final track of Not So Soft Landing, Castle chose to cover the Nineties rock-and-folk band's song "Change."
"The song was a huge part of my youth, a credo of sorts for fighting depression. The rest of Not So Soft Landing had already been recorded, but it didn't feel like we had the right song to end the album," Castle tells Rolling Stone Country. "I remembered [Blind Melon's April 8, 1994] Letterman performance of the song on the evening that Kurt Cobain was found dead. I pulled the performance up online to see if it was as good as I had remembered and was floored that 22 years later, it felt just as emotional and the song was more poignant to my life than ever. I knew right then that 'Change' was the right way to end the album."
Castle will launch a summer tour in support of Not So Soft Landing on May 30th in Nashville. In April, he released a video for the album's lead single "Ride."