Makes perfect sense to me to pick NOCONA as the video of the day after a night spent by listening to some great Alt Country starting with The Byrds ‘Sweethearts of the Rodeo” . NOCONA are one of my top picks right now for best Alt-Country Bands , they fit nicely in the tradition . This isn’t the first nor it will it be the last time that I play NOCONA, once their new Album goes live, expect it to be The Album of The Week…
From their Press Release…
NOCONA TO RELEASE LONG GONE SONG Mixing The Frenzy Of Rock With The Passion Of Roots Music
“Nocona is one of the most promising frontrunners of the Americana revival scene as of late.”–Moxipop
Los Angeles, CA June 30, 2015— Nocona’s roots are in Texas – songwriter, lead guitarist, and singer Chris Isom’s family are 6th generation Texans – but the band’s sun and stars rise over California. Nocona is about energy, a rock band with history. They draw their roots in Country, Folk, Punk and Rock. They take the psychedelia of the 13th Floor Elevators and mash it up with the Bakersfield sound—Roky and Buck; Love and the Burrito Brothers.
Long Gone Song is the band’s second studio release and was produced / recorded by both Chris Isom and Kevin Jarvis (Grant Lee Buffalo, Steve Wynn) at Jarvis’ Sonic Boom Room studio in Venice, CA. The album features guest appearances by pedal and lap steel legend, Greg Leisz (Bill Frisell, K.D. Lang, Joni Mitchell) as well as stalwart L.A. session musician Carl Byron (Anne McCue, Michelle Shocked, Jim Lauderdale) on B3 and electric piano. Long Gone Song follows up on Nocona’s 2013’s self-titled debut Nocona, which was released digitally with the 7 inch vinyl single Brimstone. Along with having songs from Nocona appear in the network series Bones (Fox) and Criminal Minds (CBS), the band has appeared at the major U.S. festivals Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Stagecoach.
Nocona is comprised of husband and wife team, Chris and Adrienne Isom on guitars and vocals, upright bassist Annie Rothschild, drummer Justin Smith and Elan Glasser on harmonica. As Chris Isom explains, “The name Nocona comes from the Comanche word for wanderers or travelers. It’s in the area in Texas where my Mom’s family originally lived.” Before coming together as Nocona, the Isoms along with Rothschild, were 3/5ths of the LA based Mexicali-punk band Paladino that released one album before the band eventually buckled under its own weight and the three set off to form Nocona.
Inside of the album, you’ll find a kettle full of depression, work issues, mental illnesses, relationships, substance abuse and money problems but also a hopeful optimism, triumphs and an expansive sonic landscape– all brought to a heady rock boil. Kicking it off is the high-powered, “Long Gone Song”, a solid country punk anthem. Chris Isom points out that, “…the guitar solo is inspired by Bob Wills and the feeling of a West Texas sky and maybe a little Gun Club mixed with Bill Monroe or even some Tony Rice.” He also divulges that, “…It’s a knee slappin’ good
time for me just like an old fast Bob Wills number.” Another song inspired by Bob Wills is the less raucous, but equally euphonious “Beelzebub” with the inspiration being in the story. “Part of
the song is about swimming in the morass and each doing our part to fight against our darker nature,” Isom explains. “(Bob Wills) is, in fact, still the king, but ya know, he had a lot of demons too. The music isn’t as much inspired by Bob Wills, it’s kind of a harder rock southern gothic number, but Bob is always there in the mix for me on some level. “
“All the Victories of the World” digs into the monotonous drone of a workaday life with its vocal and lyrical desperation, both familiar and strangely comforting, only to release itself in the chorus as if floating above the earth. It’s like when the camera goes shaky in a movie. It just takes off and soars.
“It’s Just” is a stream of conscious rumination on the state of the world and being human—of being connected to your higher mind, while being chained to your body. The modern murder ballad, “Ahh Lovey” has a premise similar to “Cedar Town Georgia “ by Waylon Jennings, although it wasn’t written with that in mind at all. “It’s based more on “Hairy Rag” by the Kinks,” said Isom. Quoting the lyrics, “God is love and so am I, Ahh Lovey, here’s to the end of mydiamond!” Isomdescribesitas“AgoodoldAmerican‘youleavemeandI’llkillya’song.”
The ending song, “Outside the Lines” is a ballad about life, relationships and how difficult love can be, but finding hope and a reason for living and loving regardless of whatever life may throw at you. “Life’s just a figment in time, just a place in your mind, you’re running from, hoping it’s right. We all go out of our minds, coloring outside the lines, feeling just fine, killing our time.”
A prolific songwriter and composer, Chris Isom finds inspiration in the everyday. “I can see a particularly beautiful moon or starry sky and know if I sit down and pick up the guitar I will probably have something to say with it,” he said. “Or I can hear some incidental noise like the sound of a fire truck mixed with screams and laughing kids playing and wind chimes and mistake something in that for some kind of melody and then go play whatever I thought that melody was.”
Rarely seen without a guitar in his hand he describes his relationship to music, “Playing music has always been a compulsion for me, it’s never been a thought out artistic decision. I was terrible in school and when I got bad grades my parents would lock my guitar in the closet and I would break it out and play and get in trouble all over again, time after time.”
As a band, Nocona incorporates a lot of influences. Adrienne and Justin are natives of southern California, Annie from Georgia and Elan from Toronto. Chris Isom grew up with one foot in New York City and the other in West Texas. Conflicted for a time about his music having too many influences, he now believes that’s what makes Nocona special. “All my friends in New York growing up thought I was a hick and all my Texas relatives thought I was a city slicker,” he added, “Now I don’t care, I just make music and accept it, people can take it or leave it. We’re not trying to sound like anyone else but we’re not so hung up on musical forms that we won’t rock the fuck out for fear of sounding derivative or play something else because it echoes something we listen to or love. We’re playing what makes us happy and the rest be damned.”
Long Gone Song will hit the streets on October 2nd, 2015