“Driving to Texas” is a sprawling piece that builds from swooning verses filled with atmospheric synths, strings, and piano into a booming chorus driven by Morello’s keening guitar. “Believe, believe what I say,” sings Phantogram’s Sarah Barthel. “I’m driving to Texas/And now isn’t the time/You’ll break this transfixion.”
“I’d worked with Josh [Carter] from Phantogram on my first Atlas Underground album and I was thrilled when he and Sarah reached out about collaborating on this record,” Morello said in a statement. “This song is creepy as hell — a dark journey, a struggle for a tortured soul. The guitar solo needed to feel like a vengeful angel who has come down to decide the fate of the protagonist. Will they descend into the abyss or will they find redemption? ‘Driving to Texas,’ really shows the breadth of the music you’ll hear on this record. Sarah has one of the most haunting and beautiful voices of anyone singing today, and Josh’s production is stylistically so fresh and eerie.”
Phantogram is just one of a number of guests that will appear on The Atlas Underground Fire. Morello previously released a cover of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” with Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Vedder, while other collaborators include Chris Stapleton, Mike Posner, Damian Marley, Grandson, and Bring Me the Horizon.