Perhaps best described as Delta Rats, The Weeks have truth and soul in everything they do, and in the midst of their thrashing, anthemic, manic pop thrills, they never lose sight of the songs. Cyle Barnes, as the band’s lyricist, writes about what he knows and is often autobiographical. Their music, arranged by Sam Williams, conveys the attitude and emotion that the band utilizes to punctuate their experiences, frame the impact of their surroundings and pointedly references their life in the South. This is equally true in their live show where attitude and amplitude are nuanced and ever present.
And luckily for everyone in D.C., The Weeks are playing DC9 tomorrow night with Asherel and Kingston Springs. We asked Sam to share a few tracks from the upcoming Weeks EP Gutter Gaunt Gangster and divulge the inspiration for their delta blues. Simply click the links for streamable ear-heaven.
“Harmony” – This song started out as a part of a concept record that revolved around a preacher in the MS delta town of Midnight (yes, that is the name of the town) who thought the Civil War was the beginning of the Apocalypse. We found this old abandoned church that looked like everyone just disappeared one Sunday. The preachers office still had a change of clothes and a bible open to the next Sundays lesson. The hymnals were all in place. There was an Encyclopedia on the pulpit open to the article on parasitology. We thought only in the Mississippi delta.
“Mountains Make Me Crazy” – We wrote this song within the first few months of moving to Tennessee about the differences between our small town Mississippi homes and the bustling metropolis of Nashville. The relative anonymity, climate, and even the topography of our new home was a little unsettling at times. Essentially though, that’s the reason we made the move in the first place. It’s easy to write songs about your home culture, but we wanted to do it from memory and instinct rather than just observationally. For the first little spell in Nashville we quite literally existed exclusively with each and the songs that would become ‘Gutter Gaunt Gangster’. The last line, “Without our hearts we’re nothing / Without our spines we’re weak” really encapsulates the feel of the entire record.
“Broken Body” – This is an older tune from our 2009 EP, “Rumspringa”. Classic Prohibition-era tale of pride, redemption, and of course, the trafficking of illegal substances. We were heavy into Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” and wanted to write a song that was as if Francis Coppola re-wrote “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts”.