With the guitar and vocals of Matthew Zeltzer and Maria Maita-Keppler at their sound’s forefront, together with bassist Will Haas and drummer, Benjamin Nathan O’Brien, the American West concoct an authentic dust bowl vibe. The lead single from their upcoming album, The Soot Will Bring Us Back Again, “Roadsick Blues”, paints a desert rock soundscape. Featuring imagery redolent of a literal and figurative desolate road, it’s a captivating song of heartbreak that feels like true, blue Americana.
How the song manages to encapsulate this sound falls upon an interesting backstory. Hailing from a portion of California more akin to The Grapes of Wrath than any Hollywood glam, Zeltzer worked as an organic flax farmer whilst living in a trailer in Half Moon Bay. He wrote the majority of the band’s upcoming album during his stay there. Having tales of his farm life experience to pair with musical influence from artists like Neil Young and Townes Van Zandt before returning to his home in Portland, Oregon in 2015, he put these experiences to use in weaving a compelling record.
The American West’s new album The Soot Will Bring Us Back Again releases on 17 March 2017.