Heart-wrenching call for action from NYC’s indie folk-rock band
For Fans Of : Elliott Smith, Sunny Day Real Estate, Eddie Vedder, Arcade Fire, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Simon and Garfunkel, Ryan Adams, Jackson Browne
NEW YORK CITY | June 2, 2017: A throbbing heartache, a cry for help, and it’s the world that needs saving – that’s the basis of the new single “Coal Fired Train” by Brooklyn indie folk-rock outfit Hayride Casualties. Premiered on GroundSounds earlier this week, it’s a direct reflection of the current state of our world; from an environmental, political and social perspective. “Coal Fired Train” comes off the band’s upcoming album Fossil Fuel Kid, out June 9.
“I think for anyone paying attention to what’s happening in the world right now, it’s hard not to feel hopeless, and it’s this constant battle to stay optimistic,” shared vocalist Daniel DeWald. “‘Coal Fired Train’ explores those moments of burnout when you give in and just let the darkness completely overtake you. Hopefully those moments are temporary, but it’s good to know you’re not the only one feeling that way.”
Emotional burnout is a feeling familiar to anyone who has worked tirelessly towards a lofty goal, especially when the world seems at odds. For DeWald, that goal was trying to fight climate change. Volunteering with grassroots environmental groups, the singer-songwriter became intimate with the rollercoaster of hope and despair so often felt by activists. “Day in and day out, you read these totally demoralizing news headlines. And it’s really hard to stay hopeful. You know in your heart you have to resist. It’s like this constant battle, but against what? “Coal Fired Train” explores that. The song just completely lets the darkness win. It’s like a container for that toxic cynicism a lot of us are feeling right now.”
Hayride Casualties is fresh, focused protest music that draws inspiration from 60’s folk, bluegrass, and underground rock. “Coal Fired Train” begins with a few foreboding strikes of a parlor piano, followed by a tense drum roll and a burst of crunchy electric guitars. The production is airy and elemental, with catchy but unsettling melodies delivered in DeWald’s tweaked-out tenor voice. As if through a hand-crank radio in a fallout shelter, the tune’s pre-chorus offers this prescient address:
We’re off the map, we’re lost at sea,
The hedge-fund managers agree
Oiling up a dead machine
They say we can save the holocene
The song goes on to grow to a controlled roar of church organs, baritone electric guitars and drummer Tim McCoy (Darwin Deez, Field Mouse, formerly Savior Adore), apparently intent on smashing his symbols to pieces. A snarling solo from rock guitarist and engineer Michael Abiuso (formerly The Venetia Fair) forms the perfect backdrop for a plummeting refrain:
The world is still a coal fired train
We’re just a coal fired train
We’re just a coal fired train
It’s the perfect track for responding to a world hurtling along in turmoil and uncertainty. The album Fossil Fuel Kid follows suit with similarly powerful songs of emotional release and rally for action; it will be out June 9, 2017. It was recorded, mixed and mastered at Behind the Curtains Media studio by Michael Abiuso. As previously noted, a number of guest musicians contributed to the record, including drummer Tim McCoy and bassist Chris Bordeaux (formerly The Isles and Rahim). You can purchase the single on Bandcamp now, along with “The Catskills Ain’t for Sale” which was released last month.
Hayride Casualties will celebrate with a record release show on Sunday, June 11 at The Paper Box in Brooklyn, NY, as part of the Rock N’ Shop showcase during Northside Festival. The show will be free, all-ages, and features over 30 artists; learn more here.
About Hayride Casualties
Everyone would agree that we live in strange, uncertain times, yet too much of the music we listen to fails to reflect this sense back to us. Hayride Casualties is one band defined and driven by the political and ecological crises of our age. Their debut album Fossil Fuel Kid infuses the spirit of 60s protest music with the unprecedented content of modern times, cherrypicking vibes from indie, folk, bluegrass and vintage rock to forge a sound fitting for an important message. Hayride Casualties was started in 2013 by published songwriter, award-winning poet, former community organizer and political activist Daniel DeWald. The band performs in conventional music venues as well as environmental meetings, protests and fundraisers in the New York area.