Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
For some, the call of the open road is too much to ignore. There's always the feeling that something else is out there. The tiny, rhythmic thumps of the rubber tires passing over the cracks in the pavement at high rates of speed are the lullabies that their dreams are made of and made for. There are people who you can count on to wind up in the strangest places, where you had never thought that you might see them. It's their destiny to be such men and such women, getting out of and refusing to ever go back to any fittings, any structure of how others might hope for them to live their lives. They don't put down their roots very firmly, because they believe that there's too much more out there to explore and if this place is so good, imagine what the next place is going to be like. If these people are so great, and we're so young still, it's dizzying to think about the people that we're yet to get to know.
The guys in the Nashville, Tennessee, band the Apache Relay, live for the moments when it can feel like they've never seen the sky such a dark black, or some brilliantly blue, or so pissy. They live for the moments when they can feel that they've never been here before, felt such things are been so wide-eyed. These are those moments that take us away to a new set of downs, a recharge and a rebirth of sorts that lets us feel as if we're not our same selves anymore. Lead singer Michael Ford Jr. sings, "I want to get lost, find myself and start again," and the whole idea of reinvention is a vibrant one on the group's debut full-length, "American Nomad," which feels like a record made by some folks who are always seeking those reasons to believe. Or to believe harder. They've gotten down or been put down and they want to continue to rise out of the mud, out of the ditches to prevail, to find something even better to be in love with. Their capacity for finding love, for having their breath taken away seems endless. They're willing to throw their thumbs out and get places, other places, wherever they can get to, to see how that moves them, to see who else can move them. It's awfully romantic and the results can be spotty, but it ultimately can lead one to self-realization, to the sweetest of states.