Premiere: Searching for Hope with Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir’s “Hold On”

Blake Brown © Glenn Ross
Blake Brown © Glenn Ross
An intimate and uplifting outpouring of inner tension and release, Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir’s song “Hold On” is a heartfelt anchor of connection tethering us to hope.
Stream: “Hold On” – Blake Brown




I like the idea that if someone comes across this song and hears, “Hold on, keep your head up,” that it might shine a light of positivity on whatever day to day struggle they might be experiencing.

Music is so much more than pure entertainment: Depending on the situation, it can be a balm, a healer, and a saving grace. When life gets overwhelming, a song is there to soothe us, reminding us that there’s more than the present heartache and pain; even our darkest nights are followed by a brighter day. Whether you’re a writer or a listener, one sweet melody can spark a world of warmth and wonder inside. This holds especially true for Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir’s latest single: An intimate and uplifting outpouring of inner tension and release, “Hold On” is a heartfelt anchor of connection tethering us to the hope of a better tomorrow.

Don't Look Back - Blake Brown
Don’t Look Back – Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir
I can’t sleep I think
It just might be the rising tide inside
For all the hope we have
The hearts of kind might not be enough to find
The truth that’s hanging down
Out of reach are we drowning now?
Hold on
Keep your head up

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Hold On,” the second single off Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir’s forthcoming EP, Don’t Look Back (out September 30, 2022 via Brown’s own We Believers Music). Formed by singer/songwriter Blake Brown in 2013, Blake Brown & the American Dust Choir “blends rock, soul, folk, and roots into a dreamy haze of feel-good warmth and thought-provoking music,” Atwood‘s Monica Mellon wrote of the band in 2018.

With Blake Brown and his wife Tiffany at the core, the American Dust Choir has over the past decade included members of bands like The Fray, The Films, American Football, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and Tennis; yet no matter who’s been playing, the group has forever remained dedicated to crafting contemplative, immersive, and meaningful music.

Blake Brown © Glenn Ross
Blake Brown © Glenn Ross



The Brown family recently moved from their native Colorado to Nashville, Tennessee, and the band currently consists of Blake on guitars and vocals, Tiffany on keys and vocals, Sam Wilson on guitars, and Scotty Huff on bass. Based in large part on the events surrounding this move, “Hold On” feels as much like an anchor as it does a reaffirmation. Following their gently soaring single “Rearview” released in late July, the new track is sonically dusty and heavy, with an undeniable ray of light shooting through the emotional and musical haze.

I can’t sleep I think
It just might be this uncertainty chasing me
Everything we’ve known
Blowin’ in the wind
Goodbye friends
Nothin’ I’ve ever shown

“‘Hold On’ is a note to self about searching for hope, positivity, and trying to stay grounded in the midst of big life changes,” Blake Brown tells Atwood Magazine. ” wrote it over the period of a few sleepless nights lying awake; questioning everything from existence, to friendships, to family, and everything in between with such big changes hanging heavily over my head. It was full blown pandemic: We had a 1 year old baby girl, and my wife and I felt we needed to pursue a new life in a new city. It was just time to do that, but with so many factors at play, it took some serious deep diving to find the answers we needed.”

“Needless to say, there was a lot to think about and work through. “I can’t sleep, I think it just might be the rising tide inside.” “The truth it’s hanging down, out of reach, are we drowning now?” It felt like I had so much on my mind that I was drowning in thought with no real life line thrown out there. Just drowning in the what-ifs. In hindsight the answer was so clear and so obvious. But at the time finding any concrete answer felt impossible and so out of reach. Sure, the song is derived from some heavy emotions and thoughts, reflected in the verses. But on the flip side, the chorus is the part where I’m telling myself it’s going to be okay. “Hold on, keep your head up. Hold on, sing your favorite song.” I like that juxtaposition between verse and chorus of trying to navigate a heavy decision but telling myself to hold on, and process all the details and the answer will reveal itself in time and that it will all be okay. I think we all have those inner conversations with ourselves. I like the idea that if someone comes across this song and hears, “Hold on, keep your head up,” that it might shine a light of positivity on whatever day to day struggle they might be experiencing.”

Blake Brown (R) and Tiffany Brown (L) © Glenn Ross
Blake Brown (R) and Tiffany Brown (L) © Glenn Ross



The truth it’s spinnin’ around
Out of reach are we drowning now
Hold On
Keep your head up
Hold On
Sing your favorite song
Time tickin’ away…
Shoulda said what I had to say

“Hold On” isn’t blithely positive, nor is it one-dimensionally sunny, but it is steadfast in its belief that we can make it through whatever hardships we’re facing; that there’s a brighter future ahead of us, no matter how hard it might be to see right now. It is, by definition, an anchor: A tether to our souls, uplifting our spirits while simultaneously grounding us in life’s stormy, turbulent seas – just as it helped ground Blake Brown when he first wrote it.

Sometimes all we need is that reason to look up, and “Hold On” is more than enough to sustain us through hard times. It’s a powerful moment of truth and heart, and a stirring display of what’s to come from Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir: Produced by Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo/Wilco) at Cartoon Moon Recording Studio in East Nashville, the band’s new Don’t Look Back EP is set to release September 30, 2022.

For now, stream “Hold On” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

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Stream: “Hold On” – Blake Brown



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Don't Look Back - Blake Brown

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