Layng Martine Jr. is sharing the trippy new video to accompany his song “Surabian Lament,” the second single from his debut album, Music Man, out May 19, 2023. It will be the first release on the newly launched Bloodshot Records in conjunction with Kill Rock Stars.
The song was written in 1964 and has a kaleidoscopic feel thanks to Layng’s son, producer Tucker Martine. The song also prominently features electric sitar courtesy of Peter Buck (R.E.M.), which adds to the Psych vibe. Tucker, who also plays drums on the album, is known for his production work with My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens, Neko Case, and First Aid Kit as well as the Grammy-winning Madison Cunningham album.
Layng says of the song:
Surabian Lament was the “B” side of a single release by me on a funky label whose name I can’t remember. This was written in New York while I was still in college at Columbia University and before I owned a guitar. I wrote the melody ‘in the air’ and sang it to musicians who guessed at the chords (they were right!).
For Music Man, Tucker assembled guests like Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, Laura Laura Veirs, Bill Frisell, k.d. lang, and more at his Portland, OR studio, Flora Recording and Playback, as a Christmas gift to his father, Nashville songwriter Layng Martine Jr.
Layng, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, is 81 years old and has had his songs covered by Elvis, Reba, Jerry Lee and others back in his Nashville writing heyday. Layng’s 2019 memoir, Permission to Fly, details his early wandering days, his time as a songwriter in Nashville, and the car accident that left his wife a paraplegic. He was inspired to write a memoir after his “Modern Love” essay was published by the New York Times about the incident, which shared details of their life post accident with candor and humor.