Spitting stories of love, loss and pain, Nashville’s Great Peacock⎯⎯ comprised of lead singer and guitarist Andrew Nelson, guitarist Blount Floyd, drummer Nick Recio and bass player Frank Keith IV ⎯⎯ challenge the very notion of genre, dismantling tradition and blurring the lines between rock ‘n roll, conventional folk music and true Americana. As fixtures in the Southern festival circuit including Shakey Knees, they’ve shared stages with an abundance of equally-minded noise-makers, including Colter Wall, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Cage the Elephant, American Aquarium, Margo Price and Jonathan Tyler.
The band is gearing up for the release of their upcoming second album, Gran Pavo Real (out Mar. 30 via Ropeadope Records), which is Spanish for Great Peacock. Their craft is instinctual, enlivened by their electric and nimble playing, gripping lyrical insight and Nelson’s eviscerating vocals. Their grooves run thick, like on standouts like “Rattlesnake” (a swampy, mid-tempo song that relates a poisonous relationship to a slithering serpent) and “Heartbreak Comin’ Down.” They also manage to cut right to the bone, particularly when they deal in restraint. “Take a little time to make things right / Make a little love in the middle of the night,” Nelson ruminates on the languid and smokey “Oh Deep Water.”
The tension and sweltering unease comes in waves across 10 tracks, often brittle and heartbreaking, other times ferocious and sharp. “A peacock has so many colors, and that’s what we want our sound to be like. It’s clearly rock ‘n roll. It’s clearly country. It’s clearly folk. There’s definitely blues and elements of R&B in there, too,” says Nelson.
Recorded at Nashville’s Sound Emporium, the album was helmed by industry stalwart Dexter Green (Jason Isbell, Elizabeth Cooke, Derek Hoke). “He brought a strange cosmic energy., says Nelson about Green. “He’s sort of indescribable. You have to meet him to know who he is.”
On Gran Pavo Real, the band spread their wings and easily glide into bolder territory ⎯⎯ without sacrificing their genre-bending artist stamp, of course. Americana music is a state of mind, a way of living fraught with stories of heartache, lonesomeness and desperation. That is certainly the case for Great Peacock, whose style is an amalgam of American design bred of southern tradition.
Glide is proud to premiere “Let’s Get Drunk Tonight” off Gran Pavo Real, a simple yet weighty anthem for those needing to medicinally tie one on. Drinking songs have been written and performed since the dawn of the six string, yet Great Peacock offers one here of sincere ambition, a four minute nugget that is both sly and soulful with an unrestrained healing harmony.
“It’s straightforward to the max. We play in a lot of bars, and we wanted that sort of Hank Jr./“Family Tradition” type song, you know, the drunk anthem that people could sing along to. If you try to force writing one of those, it ends up being super cheesy,” recalls Nelson. “So, I remember being at my house and being in a very melancholy mood. I was writing the first verse, and my roommate yells out from the other side of the house, “Dude, that one sounds fucking awesome. Keep writing that one!” Then, I got to the chorus, and I knew I was onto something I said, “Here’s our drunk anthem, but it’s not a stupid barroom drunk anthem.” There’s actually some weight behind it, and it’s actually kind of melancholy. You can appreciate the sadness in it, and party to it at the same time. Even if you don’t drink, you can understand the feeling of the song.