It’s been less than a year since Aaron Lee Tasjan released In the Blazes, an album that redefined the East Nashvillian not as a guitar-playing sideman for Elizabeth Cook and Drivin’ N Cryin’, but as a wry, off-the-wall frontman in his own right. Tasjan has announced a follow-up release, Silver Tears, whose mix of cosmic cowboy folk-rock and acid-influenced pop doubles as his first album for New West Records.
Recorded in Southern California with producer Eli Thomson, Silver Tears tips its hat to Golden State icons like Harry Nilsson and Tom Petty. The album’s cover appears to be a tribute, too, with a photograph of Tasjan that recalls Dwight Yoakam – caught mid-stride as he walks beneath a cloudy sky, Tasjan’s suit is bedazzled with what appears to be the shining shards of a crushed disco ball. The songs, though, are Tasjan’s own, fueled by melodies whose simplicity doesn’t lessen their punch.
“Drive” chugs forward with the bright bounce of the Traveling Wilburys, while “Refugee Blues” mines darker influences, soaking Tasjan’s guitar bends in pools of reverb. It’s a wide-ranging tracklist, recorded by a cult favorite who, after spending years balancing his own songwriting career with a handful of gigs in other singer’s bands, is long overdue for his official breakthrough.
Silver Tears will be released on October 28th. Here’s the complete tracklist:
1. “Hard Life”
2. “Little Movies”
5. “Ready to Die”
6. “Refugee Blues”
7. “Till the Town Goes Dark”
8. “On Your Side”
10. “Out of My Mind”
11. “12 Bar Blues”
12. “Where the Road Begins and Ends”