Roots Rock artist David Newbould released his fourth studio album, Power Up!, this summer via Blackbird Record Label featuring themes of persistence and survival. Recorded with producer-collaborator Scot Sax (Wanderlust) during the pandemic, Power Up!, took shape in a makeshift basement studio in Sax’s Nashville home with the two musicians separated by a pane of glass for health’s sake. It’s unsurprising that the album itself channels Rock ‘n Roll energy and a focus on the now. Added to that was Newbould and Sax’s mutual enthusiasm for the music of the 1970s.
Wildfire is delighted to premier David Newbould’s video for the track “Last Letter” off the album Power Up! The song is one that takes on heavier themes about close relationships, responsibility, and regret, and features storytelling that speaks to Newbould’s Americana roots. The video itself also has an unusual backstory that ended up fitting the song’s vibe well.
Last Letter is a pretty dark story about two sisters, with one wishing she could have better helped the other. The harrowing moments where you look back on a piece of evidence and see it was the moment you realized a situation was above your pay grade. I like stories with gaps, where you find yourself having to fill in some holes on your own. While I was recently in old world Italy and Croatia I felt like these mysterious landscapes, and these settings with some confusion and a little nostalgia, would help paint the picture behind the lyrics. It’s meant to be a little raw and revolve around movement – the movement of carrying on whether with a sense of peace or without.
The album Power Up! is also one where Newbould allowed life’s imperfections to creep in, and remain. Seeking that specific “vibe”, he and Sax even recorded a few of the drum tracks with an iPhone. Newbould is no stranger to an iconoclastic studio approach, having moved from Toronto, to New York City, to Austin, and finally to Nashville in his younger years, picking up different ideas along the way.
His 2013 album Tennessee picked up on his journey, while 2019’s Sin & Redemption took a more polished approach with a studio band whose members included drummer Brad Pemberton (Steve Earle, Ryan Adams) and Rocker Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites). For Power Up!, he decided to embark on a more “home-brewed sound” during a particularly crazy time in the world, aware that “being as you as you can be” is the ultimate way to “really connect with anyone.”
You may recognize Newbould’s music from shows like Criminal Minds and Dawson’s Creek.