Chamomile and Whiskey get candidly introspective in the new song “Never Live Up,” a first look at the Virginia-based group’s upcoming album Red Clay Heart. The follow-up to the 2017 full-length effort Sweet Afton is expected to arrive in late spring or early summer this year.
While the band’s expansive alt-country sound often blends expressive fiddle lines with dusty, jangly electric riffs, “Never Live Up” is a sparse, porch-style ballad. The group’s main singer-songwriter Koda Kerl strums an acoustic and with his husky voice accepts love lost in the pensive lines, “Even if I could go back/would it do any good?/I’ll never live up to what you deserve/but I don’t think anyone could.”
“I wrote this song just before we started making the record,” Kerl said in a statement. “I guess it’s one of those heart-broken-in-love, looking out the window kind of tunes. We arranged and recorded it on the fly in the studio and it became one of our favorites.”
Footage of the live take on “Never Live Up” was filmed at Cartoon Moon Studio in Nashville, where the band made their new album with producer Ken Coomer (formerly of Wilco and Uncle Tupelo). Kerl said other songs on the new effort aren’t so subdued: “This record is a little more raw and a bit heavier than our last couple and almost feels ‘Southern Gothic’ to me.”
Chamomile and Whiskey will start a spring tour on March 14 at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, Va. Additional dates include stops at Isis Music Hall in Asheville, N.C., on April 2 and the Muddy Creek Café and Music Hall in Sparta, N.C., on April 3. The band is also on the bill at Roosterwalk, which takes place over Memorial Day weekend at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville, Va.