On “Lost Without You,” country-rocker and Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller digs deep, taking a nostalgic trip back to where it all started. “‘Lost’ is a little bit of time travel. In the song, I go back to the first year of the Old 97’s,” Miller says. Back in those humble times, Miller moved into his grandmother’s house, which was left vacant after her transition to assisted living. Miller moved in with his girlfriend, but the experience was jarring – his childhood neighborhood was rapidly changing. “All the humble little homes were being torn down to make room for zero-clearance mansions,” laments Miller. “It was a time suffused with sadness, built on endings . . . A bittersweet time I think of often but had never written about directly.”
Struggling with the strong emotional attachment, Miller took the song to friend and fellow Texan Ben Kweller. Kweller’s presence soothed Miller, freeing Miller to craft the song he had imagined. “[Ben] spent a long night performing what amounted to therapy as he added the missing pieces and cajoled the rest of this song out of me,” says Miller.
“I love this song because it doesn’t sound like a co-write,” adds Kweller. “It sounds like a song written by one person. And that’s a cool thing to achieve when collaborating. We weren’t just writing a song for the sake of it.”
“Lost Without You” is on Rhett Miller’s upcoming sixth solo record, The Dreamer. The album is out June 5th, but you can download it here.