Austin folk rock band Briscoe dive into their spirited debut album ‘West of It All,’ a heartfelt coming-of-age record that channels the warmth, the wonder, and the heat of the American Southwest.
for fans of The Lumineers, The Eagles, The Head and the Heart
Stream: “The Well” – Briscoe
Hey baby we’re here tonight, let’s sit outside by the fire light, and listen to the coyotes howl our names into the night…
The warmth, the wonder, and the heat of the American Southwest come to life on Briscoe’s debut album.
Gentle and tender, rousing and spirited, West of It All is a heartfelt coming-of-age record from two friends on a journey of inward connection and outward discovery: A collection of charming and charged folk rock songs delving deep into the heart, mind, and soul. Reflecting on their past, their present, and their future, Briscoe open up their world to listeners, inviting all to join them on an adventure that is at once intimate and universal – as human as any story could be.
When the well runs dry
And the food runs out
And the words you speak
Are the only things that touch your mouth
Will you be content
With the stories told
Of your days of youth
To your days of old
Oh my, oh me
Tonight my darling we sing
We’ll shout, on high
As we wait for the well to run dry
– “The Well,” Briscoe
Released September 15, 2023 via ATO Records, West of It All is Briscoe’s tell-all escape, their unapologetic indulgence, their dream come true, and much more. The debut album from Truett Heintzelman and Philip Lupton, who began making music together as students at University of Texas at Austin, is a milestone worth celebrating for multiple reasons: It’s not only the culmination of years’ worth of personal and artistic growth, but also an affirmation of all the hard work and effort the duo have put into their project over the years.
Recorded with producer Brad Cook in North Carolina, West of It All follows Briscoe’s self-titled debut EP, which they independently released in 2020, and finds them collaborating with drummer Matt McCaughan (Bon Iver) and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook (Megafaun, Hiss Golden Messenger) to create a full-bodied folk rock sound that is as majestic as it is rugged: Drawing on influences that include roots rock, country, blues, and more, West of It All is a well-oiled representation of Briscoe’s cohesive, yet multi-faceted artistry – one that captures the core of who they are, while still providing them with plenty of room for growth in the years to come.
“West of It All introduces us to the world well and highlights the things we love both musically and personally,” Heintzelman and Lupton tell Atwood Magazine. “With folk instrumentation, inspired lyrics, harmonies, and thematic references to both the places and the people that we love. We’re proud of this record and feel that it puts our best foot forward. It’s a collection of songs inspired by our experiences in nature, relationships with the folks we love, and our heroes who have passed before. The songs from West of It All were inspired by the ability to escape the busyness of our college years and find rest in the hum of a two-lane highway headed to bigger skies with the people we love.”
“Our vision for this record was to make a collection of songs that were true to ourselves and true to our experiences over the past few years,” they add. “Combing through many songs as we recorded, these 10 songs stuck with us as songs that we think are true to us and our experiences. West of It All introduces us to the world well and highlights the things we love both musically and personally. With folk instrumentation, inspired lyrics, harmonies, and thematic references to both the places and the people that we love. We’re proud of this record and feel that it puts our best foot forward.”
Briscoe describe their album as unadulterated, reminiscent, and novel. The album’s title is a reference to the pair’s happy place: “West of It All represents everything West of Austin, Texas for us,” they explain. “From the rolling greens of the Texas hill country, to the Chisos mountains of West Texas, West of It All is time spent in the great outdoors with those we love the most.”
They capture that love on the tender song “Easy Does It,” a heartfelt and harmony-fueled Eagles-esque ode to the “land of the skies so blue.”
Well the moon fell through the dusty blinds
And found her in the quiet of the night
She was all curled up, fast asleep
A world away, her troubles out of sight
Easy mama you can close your eyes
It’s a good thing now and the sun’s gonna rise real soon
Easy does it we can compromise
We can just slow down in the land of the skies so blue
That same passion bleeds into every moment on West of It All – and from the seductive ache and raw love of album opener “The Well,” to the sweetly smoldering guitars and unbridled lyrical intimacy of “Coyotes,” the soul-stirring, wide-eyed wonder of “Wild Thing,” the colorful, love-soaked imagery of “Scattered Mind,” and the rough n’ tumble fervor of “When the Desert,” Briscoe deliver an experience filled with euphoria, vulnerability, and perhaps more than anything, relatability.
These songs aren’t just close to their hearts; their stories and themes will surely feel familiar to all who’ve found sanctuary away from home, found love in unexpected places, and found their own way through a world full of surprises.
“We’re super excited and proud of the way this record turned out and feel like there’s a song for everyone,” Briscoe reflect candidly. “Two songs that we’re particularly excited for are ‘When the Desert’ and ‘Hill Country Baby.’ Both of these songs venture a bit more into rock n’ roll than our typical folk sound, and are fun tunes that represent our home state with pride.”
The duo are also quick to highlight two of their favorite lyrics on an album packed with inspiring poetry and contemplative prose: “She was standing in the corner, maybe 10 feet tall” from the heartache-fueled “Sparrows,” and “Scattered papers on the floor, from the days and weeks before, scattered pages, scattered thoughts, scattered mind” from the record’s smile-inducing, love-fueled penultimate song, “Scattered Mind.”
The world existing in-between just these two lines alone speaks to both the intimacy, and the sheer vastness, of West of It All. Reminiscent of bands like The Lumineers, The Eagles, The Head and the Heart, and The Avett Brothers, Briscoe instantly enchant ears and hearts alike with their raw, unfiltered, and honest lyrics and their rich, radiant folk rock sound.
Slow down, don’t you move too fast love
Try to find a reason, try to find a rhyme
All your looking and your searching
Hasn’t been too fruitful, hasn’t been too kind
I took years off of my lifetime
Worrying about you, worrying too much
I’ll put years back on my lifetime
Once I find a way to go and give it up
She only loves me from the outside
I don’t think she’s coming in
I haven’t felt it for a long time
But I’m feeling it again
I’m feelin’ it again
– “Feelin’ It Again,” Briscoe
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Briscoe’s West of It All with Atwood Magazine as Truett Heintzelman and Philip Lupton take us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their debut album!
Stream: ‘West of It All’ – Briscoe
:: Inside West of It All ::
Inspired by Philip’s time as a HydroGeology student at the University of Texas, The Well relates the theme of living for the moment to a well running dry on the Western plains. The simple instrumentation and strong chorus harmonies back the message portrayed in the well. – Philip L
Inspired by nights spent beneath the Texas stars, Coyotes is a song about love for a lady and love for a land. I love Coyotes because it’s lyric and harmony forward, my favorite two aspects of songwriting. – Philip L
Wild Thing came to be when a dear friend found himself head over heels for a girl that he had come to know. The song captures the universal feeling of falling so deeply for someone that nothing else really seems to matter at all. – Truett H
Sparrows is heartbreak song inspired by time spent in Paris, France and John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.” The song aims to capture the effect in which evil has on a relationship, as shown through that of Adam and Cathy Trask in the novel. Sparrows holds a special place in our hearts as one of the few sad songs on the record, and has already become one of our favorites to play live. – Truett H
High On You
High On You is our windows down, two-lane highway road trip song. This is one of our favorite songs because Truett and I trade lead vocals and wrote the song together. Inspired by the folk rock of the 70’s, the fun lyrics and upbeat drum kit make this one easy listening. – Philip L
When The Desert
West Texas is a rugged place full of tough people, mean cactus, and rattlesnakes. My grandfather was an oilman in West Texas the ’80s and I grew up hearing his stories of his time spent out on the rigs. This song was especially inspired by him and his love for the land. – Philip L
Easy Does It
Easy Does It is an easy-listening, gentle tune about stepping away from the hardship of everyday life and slowing down in the great outdoors. As one of the few songs on the record co-written by the two of us, it trades lead vocals and showcases our harmonies nicely. – Truett H
Feelin’ It Again
One of the “sad” songs on the record, Feelin’ It Again is a story of a relationship lost and the emotions that come with that. Not based on events in my life, this song was an interesting way to write from the lens of someone else. – Philip L
“Scattered Mind” is a sweet song with lyrical inspiration coming from my sweet lady. This is a song that was in the writing process for years with careful attention to every lyric: It turned out as one of my favorites from the record and one that demonstrates strong songwriting and harmonies. – Philip L
Hill Country Baby
Hill Country Baby brings the energy as the caboose of the record. Paying homage to the magnificence of the Texas Hill Country and to the southern rock music that we both enjoy, this song lets us live out our dreams of being rock stars for a few minutes. The righteous slide part courtesy of Phil Cook and the ripping saxophone by Philip Lupton give Hill Country Baby all sorts of fun dynamics.
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© Philip Lupton
:: Stream Briscoe ::