Slaid Cleaves may not be the king of Austin singer-songwriters, that title still belongs to Willie Nelson, but he is certainly one of it’s Princes. Thus it was important for me to pay my respects on my last night in Austin. Slaid was the headliner at the famed Cactus Cafe on a night filled with the cream of the crop from Austin and beyond (Sam Baker, Rod Picot and Amanda Shire, Gurf Morlix, Matt the Electrician, and Graham Weber). He was there touting a bunch of new songs from his upcoming self released record Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.
“Cry” is the title track and according to Slaid’s bio sets the tempo/theme for the record, “Whether it’s your loved ones, your way of life, or even just your sense of innocence and hope, every song in some way is about how it all gets taken away.” Slaid has left the comfy confines of the Rounder Records behomoth and joined the co-op label Music Road Records founded by friend and musician Jimmy LaFave. Slaid now has his destiny in his own hands with this new diy route, ““I’m in on all the decisions,” says Cleaves. “It feels good to have so much more control over my fate now. I figured, I cut my own hair, I fix my own car — so why shouldn’t I be the one responsible for getting this work of mine out into the world?”
“Cry” is relentlessly down with lines like “every blue sky fades to gray”, “watch your little heart get crushed” and of course “everything you love will get taken away”. But it’s cathartic as well. I’m still listening to the entire record but this song and the others Slaid played live bode well.
You can (and should) pre-order this April 21st release here though Amazon.
“One Good Year”
Stream more songs here: