Town Mountain Seek Change in New Song, ‘Lines in the Levee’ [Exclusive Premiere]
"What’s a poor country boy to do?"
Those words, penned by songwriter Phil Barker, ring throughout Town Mountain's brand new song, "Lines in the Levee," the title track for their latest studio record. Lines in the Levee is out Oct. 7 via New West Records, and on Thursday (June 23), the title track and its official music video are premiering exclusively with Taste of Country.
"'Lines in the Levee' was written amid the social upheaval of 2020," Barker tells Taste of Country. "Lyrically I wanted the song to communicate that a change is coming for those who don’t have a voice or feel disenfranchised. Musically I wanted the rhythm to have a similar intensity and make you feel like something is about to happen."
Throughout "Lines in the Levee," Barker and the rest of Town Mountain — fiddle player Bobby Britt, guitarist and vocalist Robert Greer, banjoist Jesse Langlais, drummer Miles Miller and bassist Zach Smith — embrace the spirit of perseverance he set out to create with the song's lyrics.
So it only makes sense that the music video conveys a similar feeling.
"We wanted to capture a gritty blue-collar vibe while matching the feeling of urgency and rhythm of the song," Barker explains about the conception of the song's video, which was directed and edited by Joshua Britt and Neilson Hubbard.
Lines in the Levee was recorded at the legendary Ronnie's Place, part of Sound Stage Studios on Music Row in Nashville.
"[It] feels like a natural evolution for us as a band," Barker says. "There wasn't anything forced about it. We fully gave into the music and didn't try to mold it. Justin Francis, the producer of the album, helped us build the songs from the ground up, creating a bigger sound."
Francis — who has worked with artists including Kacey Musgraves and Orville Peck — recommended Ronnie's Place to Town Mountain for their latest LP, and Barker couldn't be more grateful.
"The studio doesn't feel like it's changed much since the '70s," he says. "We were blown away by the classic vintage vibe it evoked. It was an inspiring place to record."
That inspiration saturates "Lines in the Levee," and though the answer to the question, "What’s a poor country boy to do?," is never fully realized, the song provides hope and confidence in the face of the uncertainty and fear from the last two years.
Town Mountain will be on tour for much of the summer and fall in support of Lines in the Levee. Fans can find their full tour schedule here and pre-order the new album here.