I opened up microblogging social media platform twitter dot com today and saw a tweet from Gordon Phillips, lead singer of Downhaul, on their new single Walking Distance. He said the track is about coming from somewhere small and convincing yourself that it isn’t a disadvantage. Writing for a blog who is in the midst of their humble beginnings stage I fully felt that sentiment, though I then saw that he said “No music writers wanted to premiere this song and I think that fits,” and went oh dam I woulda premiered this! If only G-Phil had my email man, couple fellas starting small. Woulda ruled.
Walking Distance follows up a steady stream of output for the Richmond by way of North Carolina band, who released their fantastic album Before You Fell Asleep in March of this year along with solid EP’s in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Walking Distance feels consistent sonically with Downhaul’s last release though it feels a good deal more grandiose. While the band is emo adjacent and those jangles are here the song is driven by a twangyness present in Gordon’s voice and in the lead in acoustic guitar. Downhaul loves playing with tempo and here they start quick, slow down, and build the speed back up, with a set of chords that at times seem to stop the song dead in its tracks only for a second before the boys keep things moving. The song is math-y and dynamic and very purposefully constructed as Gordon leads you through each of the movements of the song. While the track is about modest origins Downhaul have been reaching great heights lately playing with some of the biggest bands in their scene. If Walking Distance is any indication, their upcoming EP Tornado Season has the chance to take them to even further.