CoCo O’Connor spent a handful of years in Nashville, but it was during this period when the blossoming songwriter felt that she didn’t fit into the stubborn confines of the city’s legendary music scene. So she headed out West, to a region where free spirit and eccentricity reigned. But though the mysterious nature of Santa Fe, New Mexico continues to aid CoCo in her songwriting and self-reflection, it wasn’t the right place to record an album. For both her debut record and her upcoming June 8 release, This Ol’ War, CoCo had to rediscover her roots, heading back to the energized hum of Music City.
Along with producer Parker Cason, CoCo went against the grain of Nashville to let the songs of This Ol’ War breathe over the course of five months. Of their time together, Parker expressed, “CoCo graciously gave me a lot of freedom and creative input on this record. It’s nice being able make an independent record away from the noise of Music Row where we can focus more on being creative instead of hitting hard deadlines.” Both unconventional in the ways in which they approach modern songwriting, CoCo and Parker forged a bond that could only come from a mutual awareness of each other as music industry outsiders. On the original yellow shag carpet of the Creative Workshop, which has seen the likes of prolific songwriters such as Jimmy Buffett and Parker’s father, Buzz Cason, CoCo and Parker created a record that mimics the careful, smooth-like-honey process of country and blues long past.
Today Glide is offering an exclusive early listen of “Abilene”, one of the standout tracks on This Ol’ War. With its twangy guitar and sweeping strings, the song provides the perfect musical backdrop for O’Connor’s country-soul vocals. Indeed, the song fuses a bygone folk sound with throwback country-rock as its singer waxes nostalgic for a life on the road. The comparisons to Glenn Campbell’s “Everybody’s Talkin'” are impossible to avoid, which is something O’Connor isn’t shy about stating.
“I spend time between Santa Fe, NM, and Nashville, TN, and on interstate I-40 going back and forth between the two places. The highway signs, the exits, the road and the characters I observe on those travels were the inspiration for this song. I wanted it to have this Nilsson vibe cause I love all that 70’s music from country, country rock, and the California/Topanga Canyon country. Glenn Campbell passed away the day we were recording the guitar and Parker and I both encouraged Sadler to play in that Glenn Campbell kinda mode as a tribute. I think he did a lovely job and we captured the vision,” says O’Connor.
CoCo O’Connor releases This Ol’ War on June 8. For more music and info visit cocooconnor.com.