Brad Byrd Celebrates Life's Fleeting Highs in "That Great Feeling" (premiere)
Ahead of the release of his new album, Phases, Brad Byrd's latest single effortlessly captures the feeling of life's euphoric, fleeting highs.
Set to release his fourth album on 3 May, Brad Byrd sees himself standing at a vantage point from which he can look back at the ebb and flow of the life he's led thus far. Appropriately titled Phases, Byrd's latest has the Los Angeles singer-songwriter blending indie rock and alt-country influences as he always has, but framed in the sense of each song focusing on a particular highlight in his own story. Taking a look back while propelling his ethereal sound forward, Byrd casts a wide sonic net to craft realms awash with spacey reverb, delay, and layers of rhythms and riffs laid out across electric guitar and keyboard-driven synth.
"That Great Feeling" leads the charge, culminating in a radiant slow burn that establishes the general retrospective vibe of Byrd's Phases. Capturing euphoria in a bottle, Byrd establishes a message that remains pertinent throughout the remainder of his album, to remain present and cherish the good in life as it comes along.
Speaking with Byrd and producers Matt Pendergast, and Al Sgro, the trio tells PopMatters...
Pendergast: "During pre-production for the album, I was sifting through hundreds of Brad's demos and heard his original acoustic guitar/vocal version of 'That Great Feeling'. It was a slow tempo, almost somber song but still had such a nice lift in the chorus. It caught my ear, so as I started arranging, I increased the tempo of the song so that the rhythm parts (acoustic guitar, bass, drums, etc.) were playing more than double-time from the original demo. And Brad's vocals continued to soar over the track, with the same phrasing as the demo. The tempo change unlocked the song for us early on, and we were off to the races with layering parts. It's sometimes those little changes that can have a significant impact!"
Byrd: "This song was always one of our favorites off the record, and we loved the recording, but we were stuck for a while on the chorus. Something was missing, and we tried a bunch of different things, adding guitars, keys, muting guitars, and it was still just a little off. We were stuck on it for weeks until one day Bryan Cook (producer/mixer) said: 'Hey, I have an idea. I'm going to send it to my friend Al and see what he can do with it.' So, we sent the track to producer/mixer Al Sgro and he quickly (in a matter of hours) came up with this, and it just made it all come together. "
Sgro: "Yeah, that's actually how we met- when I added the synth sequence to the chorus. That's one way to meet your neighbors. Eagle Rock!"
Byrd: "Basically the song is about the elusive emotion of joy and serenity and how it comes and goes, and it's so hard to hold on to. I really feel it most when I hear or create music that I'm excited about and can only hope to capture it that and have it resonate with others."