“Nights on the Strand,” from Battleme’s upcoming Future Runs Magnetic LP, finds the singer-songwriter contemplating annihilation against a deceptively quiet backdrop. Battleme, a.k.a. Matt Drenik, got his start as frontman for Austin rockers Lions. But after penning “Burn This Town” for Sons of Anarchy, he began to focus on songs for the show and his solo work. “Nights on the Strand” finds Battleme using the skills he picked up writing tunes for SoA and adding the volume experiments of his earlier band.
Muted strumming opens the song before Battleme, in a wounded voice, considers the possibly of being erased by the sands of time. As his voice grows in intensity, a powerful drum increases the tempo. Suddenly, a guitar erupts into a hard, Smashing Pumpkins-style crunch backed by another guitar that wails like a siren. As quickly as it appears, the cacophony vanishes, and Battleme returns – again quiet, but this time with a stronger voice than when he began.
“For this song, I was obsessed with the idea of not becoming obscure or erased,” Battleme tells Rolling Stone. “I think it’s something that every artist has dealt with. It needed to feel like a slow burn. I wanted it to start off simple, stripped down, and by the time we figured out what was going on, I wanted it to explode. In the end, there was no feeling of being erased. It was just a mind trip – a dream.”
Future Runs Magnetic is out March 11th.