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Music

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DeLand band Roadkill Ghost Choir discusses their debut album

New Roadkill record 'In Tongues' due out July 2014

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Fortunately, the band was afforded two months of downtime from tours, festivals and TV shows in August and September 2013, and that’s when their new songs finally came to fruition. Only one song from In Tongues was written outside of that two-month session, an out-of-character road tune Andrew came up with in a van after forcing himself to push his limits and write a dang song somewhere other than his bedroom. He says he has trouble getting into the right headspace anywhere outside that familiar realm.

If you’ve ever seen Roadkill perform live, you’re familiar with the soulful, ear-catching croon Andrew employs to give life to his inward-looking lyrics. He cites Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (the way Yorke molds his vocal to mirror the song’s structure) and Bob Dylan (principally his howling tendencies) as major influences for his vocal delivery, and you might extend that coupled influence to the curious blend of indie folk the band derives from their frontman’s lead. Surprisingly, Andrew admits his first bouts in songwriting began on a laptop when he was 15 – an outpouring of now-forgotten electronic songs he doubts will ever resurface – but it was an excellent exercise in melody that translated when he eventually picked up the guitar at 19. He and the band have come a long way since then, displaying an onstage maturity and honoring traditional folk sounds with an eerie pedal steel, a quick-picking banjo and Andrew’s confident, woebegone presence.

Up ahead for Roadkill Ghost Choir: more touring to support their upcoming release – seemingly defiant behavior for a band whose name honors those wild animal souls who never made it to the crossroads. They've also been added to impressive lineups for major 2014 festivals including Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Andrew says that traveling, and especially the experiences he’s had recently, compel new lyrical direction for him. The only teaser we have of the new music so far is an Instagram share posted to Roadkill’s site, alluding to shadows they’ve cast over the forthcoming album. When I asked Andrew about the clipped song (hashtagged to hell with #darkness), he laughs at me and says not to read too far into that sarcastic snippet. After already going the distance on Quiet Light, it’s unlikely, though, that any amount of shade their new material casts will keep Roadkill Ghost Choir from the spotlight.

“I don’t think the Quiet Light songs were very ... hopeful? But they weren’t completely bleak, and I think it’s kind of the same on this record,” Andrew says. “It might be a little bit darker in tone, but it’s not like a terribly sad, pitch-black record.”

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