Beartooth today drop the second track from their eagerly anticipated The Blackbird Session EP set for release on September 13th. The reimagined version ‘Afterall’ comes just weeks after the band teased fans with the unexpected release of ‘Clever’.
Every now and again, an artist that is already vital in their genre will take a complete 180º turn with their music and flex new creative muscles. That’s exactly what Ohio-based rock band Beartooth delivered with the folk and country music-inspired The Blackbird Session EP. The Blackbird Sessions EP reveals a fresh sound from the band — never seen and/or heard by fans -— featuring twangy, stripped-down and acoustic renderings of songs from Beartooth’s latest album Disease, out now via Red Bull Records. The Blackbird Session EP is an ambitious and artistic let turn for Beartooth, exploring lead singer Caleb Shomo’s musical roots. While not an indicator of what fans should expect on future releases, The Blackbird Sessions EP does show the depth and breadth of the band’s songwriting and mastery in instrumentation.
Presented in video format, Beartooth recorded The Blackbird Sessions EP at the famed Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. The Blackbird Studios is owned by John McBride, an iconic producer and engineer in country music who has worked with artists such as Garth Brooks and Martina McBride, as well as pop titans Train. The idea of metal band Beartooth regarding a stripped-down folk-inspired album in Blackbird Studios was a welcomed project by John McBride, who encouraged the band to record and served as guest engineer for the EP.
“When the idea came up to do acoustic sessions, immediately my mind went to family holidays. Constantly surrounded by singing old hymns and harmonies on harmonies. The idea of taking Beartooth in the direction of my first musical moments in life felt right,” said frontman Caleb Shomo. “The songs came out better than I could have ever imagined. A massive, MASSIVE part of that was Blackbird. The love I have for that place goes beyond any studio in existence. The rooms are the best in the world, the gear is the best in the world, the consoles… etc. All of this would be enough to make it feel like home, but the icing on the cake is the people who work there. Every time I walk in, it’s nothing but good vibes and hard workers.”
He continued, “We had the honour of the studio owner and mastermind John McBride (look him up — it’s insane) requesting to engineer our session. This led to an environment that was amazing and free. No limits, no worries, just playing and singing. He handled the rest. Being able to mix tracks engineered by such a legend/tracked on his home turf was an honour.
Shomo finished, “This is 100% live. No metronome, minimal rehearsal, just a bunch of musicians who love what they do getting in a room and going for it. If you want to see and hear Beartooth stripped down to one of its rawest and most emotional forms, please enjoy.”
In one full day, Beartooth reimagined four, full-band acoustic live recordings of songs like “Disease,” “You Never Know,” “Afterall,” and “Clever.” The songs are arranged and enhanced with lap steel, violins, and female vocals.