Paul Cauthen makes a bold, swaggering declaration of his bona fides in his new single “Country as Fuck,” the first release from Country Coming Down, the Texas native’s third full-length album.
For the man nicknamed “Big Velvet,” the groove-driven “Country as Fuck” feels like a natural extension of his larger-than-life presence. Cauthen sing-raps his verses over a thick bassline and funky drum pattern, name-checking Lil Nas X and Tim McGraw while touting his own homegrown brand of ingenuity. “I go to Piggly Wiggly/Call out on my CB/Steal a VCR ‘n jimmy-rig it to my TV,” he sings, going into the full-throated choruses.
In the second verse, Cauthen takes a swipe at wannabe country folks and stadium stars alike. “I was driving tractors before it got sexy/Real cowboys don’t rock to Kenny Chesney,” he sings, moving on to a free-associative list of country things from catfish to Willie Nelson. It’s big and over-the-top, part knowing send-up and part proud statement of purpose.
“What can I say, we went for it on this one,” Cauthen says. “I’m an artist and songwriter, first and foremost, but I’m also an entertainer and a country boy at heart. I wanted a song and video that would show those sides of me, too. Little bit of mischief, little bit of fun. Let that inner ‘Country as Fuck’ flag fly.”
The ”Country as Fuck” video, directed by Amos David McKay, dials that exaggerated country attitude well past 11. Cauthen nimbly shimmies his way out to an old van, then adopts an auctioneer’s breathless patter for a “how-to” VHS and cassette series to be consumed by country people. The results are pure, hedonistic craziness — Cauthen slips between playing his high-rolling van huckster, a beer-swilling NASCAR dad, a pyro-happy grill master, and a silver-suited guitar slinger.
“My goal for the video was to lean into Paul’s lyrics in a nostalgic and ridiculous way,” McKay says. “Since he has such a dynamic and charming presence, I thought it would be funny for him to package the ‘CAF’ way of life inside a VHS tape and sell it back to the very people who embody it in the first place.”
The follow-up to Cauthen’s harrowing 2019 album Room 41, Country Coming Down will be available April 1. The project was recorded at Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas with the help of collaborators like Beau Bedford and Jason Burt.
Country Coming Down track list:
© 2023 PMC. All rights reserved.