Chris Stapleton evokes the chilly atmosphere of late-Nineties Radiohead with “Cold,” the latest release from his new album Starting Over. The follow-up to Stapleton’s two-part From A Room series, Starting Over will be released November 13th.
Framed by an angular minor-key piano part played by the Heartbreakers’ Benmont Tench, “Cold” initially feels closer to “Karma Police” than Stapleton’s signature brand of earthy soul-country. Of course, when Stapleton opens his mouth, it’s more rooted to his past work than Thom Yorke’s, particularly with lyrics that address a distant, heartless ex-lover. Stapleton penned the song with his core band members J.T. Cure and Derek Mixon, and producer Dave Cobb.
“Why you got to be so cold/Why you got to go and cut me with a knife, put our love on ice?” he sings, bringing out the famous ache in his voice. By the second verse, the song’s otherworldly vibe has returned in the form of a cinematic string arrangement envisioned by Stapleton, Cobb, and viola player Kristin Wilkinson that ratchets up the tension with unsettling, dizzying slides between notes.
Recorded at Nashville’s RCA Studio A, Starting Over was produced by frequent Stapleton collaborator Cobb and features Stapleton’s wife Morgane along with Tench and fellow Heartbreaker Mike Campbell. He announced the album in late August with the release of the upbeat title track.