Nashville singer-songwriter Jerry Castle is set to release his new album Not So Soft Landing June 24th. The 10-song set was recorded in East Nashville and Topanga, CA and was produced by the Grammy Award-winning producer Chad Brown (Ryan Adams, Hayes Carll) and mixed by 3-time Grammy-winning engineer and producer Warren Riker (Wyclef Jean, Down, Common). Magnet Magazine has premiered the Stacie Huckeba directed video for the first single “Ride,” which can be seen HERE.
While his previous albums presented an Americana troubadour writing songs about hard living, heartbreak and desperately trying to turn things around, the songs found on Not So Soft Landing are a marked departure from his previous rootsy sound. A much more ethereal, atmospheric, and at times psychedelic effort, Jerry credits much of his recent inspiration to time spent in sensory deprivation float tanks. Castle says, “I started floating simply as a means of trying to improve my meditation technique, not to change my songwriting. When you float, it’s easier to go into the theta state, which is the meditative state.” He adds, “It’s like floating in outer space and there really is nothing like it. The more I floated, the more it made me feel like I was more connected to the cosmos. It definitely has opened me up as a songwriter and gave me a whole set of senses to observe and then use in my creative process.”
Castle continues “Not So Soft Landing is the first album I’ve done that didn’t feel forced at any point of the writing or recording process. As a result, I feel like my sound has evolved into a different sort of animal than my previous albums. The time I spent trying to write songs for country hits really messed with my head and the authenticity of what I do. I feel like I basically spent the previous three albums working that influence out of my system and this album represents taking a big step forward in arriving at a much truer version of myself.”
Born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, Castle moved to Nashville in 1998 with his popular college jam band TOAST, which also featured his sister Brandy Davie. After two albums, TOAST disbanded. Brandy is featured on backing vocals on the new album, making it the first time in 16 years they have been featured on an album together.
All songs were written by Jerry with the exception of the album closing, “Change,” which was written and performed originally by Blind Melon. “‘Change’ has always been a song that I felt I could relate to. On the night that Kurt Cobain was found dead, Blind Melon played it on the Letterman show. Lead singer Shannon Hoon had drawn a big question mark on his forehead that seemed to represent the question ‘Why or how did this happen.’ At the end of the song, he said ‘We’d like to say goodbye to Kurt Cobain’ and a year and a half later he was was dead himself. The songs on Not So Soft Landing involve a lot of broken characters. Shannon and Kurt were broken characters and I’ve always felt like I could relate more to broken people than I could to those who pretend to have it all together. ‘Change’ just felt like a perfectly natural way to end the album.”
Not So Soft Landing… Track List:
2. She Kills
3. American Dream
4. How Long
5. Weekend Brawl
9. Mercurial Love