American songwriter Cass McCombs has said that his tombstone will read “Home At Last” – a morbid but generally appropriate statement for the man whose next record, April 12’s WIT’S END (caps included) was recorded all over the country. McCombs is no stranger to a nomadic recording process – Southern California, New York, and Michigan have all served as places of inspiration for the songwriter – but on McCombs’ latest single, “County Line,” said wanderer aesthetic seeps effortlessly into a smooth serving of Hammond organ and upright bass.
It’s sexy and wide-eyed in a way that counts James Taylor as its greatest influence – but where Taylor’s croons and propositions always maintained New England as a backdrop, McCombs adopts a sense of wanderlust totality. The song’s titular county line, the one “left so far behind,” could be anywhere, as long as it’s far away from whoever it is who “never even tried to love me,” as McCombs declares, in a falsetto like walking on glass that will put chills up your spine.
It’s a beautiful, stunning song for driving into sunsets, gazing across plains, seeing everything and nothing. Check it out while you wait until April for more nostalgic heartbreakers from McCombs.