“Gentle Like The Drugs” By Charlotte Cornfield
Charlotte Cornfield has shared a video, for “Gentle Like The Drugs,” the track is off the singer/songwriter’s forthcoming album, Could Have Done Anything, which drops on May 12 via Polyvinyl/Double Double Whammy. “Gentle Like the Drugs” draws on imagery from a spring tour in the American west. “I wrote this song after a particularly special and memorable tour opening for Pedro the Lion in the west of the US. Something strong clicked on that tour, and I was experiencing joy on the road in a way I really hadn’t before, feeling fully present and just revelling in the company of my bandmates and taking in the spectacular landscape in a way that felt like a deep breath.” Cornfield says, “I had never really been to the desert before, to Southern Utah and Arizona, and I was very moved by it. This is a drifting summer song to me, about letting grief and anxiety go and feeling light and buzzed and in love and joyful.”
You can hear it in the patient pleasure of these chords, or the way Cornfield narrates her first impressions of Arizona: “I watch the colors get real / the pink and the teal / I see a dust devil / I see an elevator.” Like riding across the desert with your friends; like smoking a joint at the end of a long day; but the song’s alternating verses orient themselves towards another sensation, too: that feeling of being home, and happy, when your lover’s not around. Not because they’re gone, but because you know they will return.
“Gentle Like The Drugs” is presented alongside a transportive video directed by Ali Vanderkruyk. Of the video, Vanderkruyk adds: “The video is a 16mm travelogue following the hand of a wanderer writing postcards to a loved one back home. Each vignette acts as vessel for the lyrics for the song, acknowledging the beauty of home while observing the unfamiliar. We see the kitsch in chosen images for a postcard, as well as the ways one can personalize an object that is available to the masses.”
Cornfield’s previous albums were made with friends, this time she worked with Josh Kaufman (Bonny Light Horseman, Muzz). The two convened in Upstate New York, first at the stained-glass-tinted Dreamland Recording Studios, then at the nearby Isokon Studio, run by engineer D. James Goodwin (Kevin Morby, Whitney) and assistant engineer Gillian Pelkonen. Four people, one album, six days; Kaufman and Cornfield (who went to school for jazz drums) played every instrument themselves, from ringing guitars to cozy piano, Hammond B3, pedal steel and synthesizers. That was the spirit of this record: connection, possibility, acceptance. “Don’t be afraid to take a left,” Kaufman would say.
Charlotte Cornfield 2023 Tour Dates
Thu. July 6 – Sun. July 9 – Winnipeg, MB @ Winnipeg Folk Fest
Fri. July 21 – Sun. July 23 – Nelsonville, OH @ Nelsonville Music Festival
Thu. Aug. 31 – Sun. Sept. 3 – Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival
Thu. Sept. 28 – Montreal, QC @ Rialto Rooftop – Pop Montreal
Pre-order Could Have Done Anything by Charlotte Cornfield HERE
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