Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Josh Niles at Big Light, Nashville, Tennessee
It's impossible to deny what's at stake in Rayland Baxter's songs. There's that hard to get at craving that not everyone feels. It's that need for ascension. It's a need to be forgiven for any of the little or enormous wrongs you've made and it's an overpowering desire to land somewhere in love that feels mostly illogical and impossible.
For Baxter, it's about being a good man. It's about knowing when he's done something to hurt a person he loved, a person he never meant to hurt. It's about betterment and atoning. He sings his wonderful, dewy serenades to these old and renewed loves, seeking another chance -- knowing that there's only one direction that his heart's leading him at the moment and there's nowhere else he's going to be able to go.
In those instances, where he knows that he's broken a heart, where he's wrecked a good thing, he cops to it. He's figured out where he went wrong and he's trying to make it better. Whether it was the blinders or a lapse in judgment, he admits to fucking up and yet, but what should be heard even louder than the apology, is when he sings about finding himself being in love again. He didn't have to familiarize himself again with what made the love he tossed so special, but the pure idea that it returned to him and affected him all over again, is stronger than anything else. He hopes -- as a man who has erred and caused pain -- that all can be mended, that he can be granted another chance.
Rayland Baxter Debut Daytrotter Session
Rayland Baxter Official Site