Something to Say, the second EP (due out June 22) from forward-thinking folk rocker Reuben Bidez, is an analog album for the digital age. Raw and reflective, it holds a mirror to the machines that make the modern world tick, from politics to sexual appetites to social media. Along the way, Bidez shows the full range not only of his voice — an elastic instrument, with an upper register and rich vibrato that have earned comparisons to Jeff Buckley and Roy Orbison — but of his songwriting chops, too.
Together, Something to Say‘s six songs reflect and respond to the contemporary world, offering something real in an age of Facebook algorithms and Twitter feeds. Not only has Bidez found his voice; he’s found something current and compelling to sing about, too. Although written in Nashville — his adopted hometown since 2014, when the Georgia-born Bidez left Atlanta and moved to Tennessee — Something to Say was largely recorded with producer Jeff Saenz in Dallas, TX. There, during a week-long session at Modern Electric Sound Recorders, he found himself free to explore a sound that reached far beyond the usual boundaries of Americana. He was charting new territory, assisted by a group of instrumentalists — including past and present members of the Texas Gentlemen — who’ve collectively performed alongside artists like Regina Spektor, St. Vincent, Midlake, and the Quaker City Night Hawks. Bidez and company recorded most songs in a series of live takes, emphasizing vibe over perfection.
The decision to record in Dallas was partially influenced by the Texas Gentlemen, several of whom had already become Bidez’s personal friends. More friends awaited back home in Nashville, where he wound up finishing the EP alongside longtime bandmates like Wyatt Funderburk and Seth Plemmons, as well as Marren Morris drummer and fellow Atlantan Christian Paschall. It was good company. More importantly, it was good music, influenced by everything from the warm-sounding fretwork of George Harrison to the heartland epics of Tom Petty.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the EP’s title track, a tongue-in-cheek rabble rouser urging America’s wannabe movers-and-shakers to stop “grandstanding from your sofa” and, instead, take a real stand. Bringing to mind the likes of Ryan Adams and Tom Petty, the song feels like a straightforward Americana rocker with, as its title suggests, “something to say”. Backed by an exceptionally talented band that includes members of the Texas Gentlemen, Midlake, First Aid Kit and more, Bidez is able to soar as he shows off his skills as a poignant songwriter and a confident rock and roller.
Bidez describes the inspiration for the song in his own words:
“’Something To Say’ is a tongue-in-cheek social critique that in turn also praises the power of the voice both individually and collectively. While writing the song, I began to find my own voice. I no longer wanted to say what I thought others wanted me to say. I had a voice of my own, I had something to say.”
Something To Say will be released on June 22. For more music and info visit reubenbidez.com.
Photo credit: Cale Glendening