Today’s Song: Half Stack Evoke the Sea Breeze in Sunny Cruiser “Laguna Seca”

Half Stack © The Bait Shop
Oakland’s Half Stack take us on a spirited adventure of rollicking guitars and kindling connections in their new song “Laguna Seca,” a California daydream dressed in warm harmonies and crunchy, fervent twang.
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Stream: “Laguna Seca” – Half Stack




If Half Stack’s latest single evokes images of dusty roads and The Eagles’ heyday, then they’ve done their job right: The Oakland indie-country band take us on a spirited adventure of rollicking guitars and kindling connections in their new song “Laguna Seca,” a California dream dressed in warm harmonies and crunchy twang.

Wings of Love - Half Stack

Wings of Love – Half Stack

Seems I’m always racing
Looking for that checkered flag
Sometimes I’m pole position
And sometimes I come in last
But now I’m racing fast
To you
Driving highway 1
Towards Laguna Seca
Leaving out of Santa Cruz
When I have you with me
I don’t know what to do
Seems that all I know is we can’t lose

Released August 28, “Laguna Seca” arrives in the heat of 2020’s summer as the sophomore single off Half Stack’s forthcoming sophomore album Wings of Love (out September 25th via Forged Artifacts), the follow-up to 2018’s debut album Quitting Time. The Oakland “indie country” band consisting of Pete Kegler, Marley Lix-Jones, Digger Barret, Oliver Pinnel, and Callum Beal, Half Stack introduced themselves with frenetic force and dynamic strength back in 2017; their self-titled EP may be entitled Half Stack, but it’s a whole lotta fun.

Half Stack © The Bait Shop

Half Stack © The Bait Shop

Fast-track to 2020, and Half Stack are a well-oiled enterprise beaming with a radiant West Coast glow. April’s lead single “Wings of Love” feels like it’s straight out of 1975, with a gritty yet polished southern rock sound stirring up daydreams of driving down an empty, sun-kissed Pacific Coast Highway. “Laguna Seca” keeps said dream alive with a literal tale of coasting to and fro, with the ultimate goal of “racing fast to you“. It’s not so much a song of settling, as it is one of getting to where we want to be. At a time where many of us are actually stuck in place, “Laguna Seca” – with its sweet vocal harmonies and evocative guitar riffs – acts as a blissful, welcome holiday from real.

Guitarist Oliver Pinnel’s voice soar as he assumes lead vocal duties on a song that takes flight and never looks back:

Cruising through the hairpin
I made a pass at the corkscrew
I can see the podium
Like I see the sky is blue
Driving Highway 1
Towards Laguna Seca
Leaving out of Santa Cruz
When I have you with me
I don’t know what to do
Seems that all I know is we can’t lose
Half Stack © The Bait Shop

Half Stack © The Bait Shop

“I’m very intentional when it comes to songwriting; every song I write starts out chasing a particular sound or evoking a specific response,” Oliver Pinnel tells Atwood Magazine. “‘Laguna Seca’ was an opportunity to write a southern rock, country-tinged tune that would flesh out the sonic palette for this new Half Stack record. The song really congealed around the opening guitar lick, which I started playing during soundchecks to elicit a giggle or two from my bandmates. Other things I wanted to include were pronounced backing vocals, a slightly southern accent on the vocal delivery, and a 70’s FM radio guitar solo. Lyrically, I aimed for a sort of Eagles-meets-38 Special vibe; name drop a couple California locales while serenading the omnipresent lover we all have, whoever they may be. I’m quite proud of this song, as it fits in nicely with the rest of the tracks on Wings of Love, while still carving out its own comfortable place in the pacing of the record.”

Rain or shine, “Laguna Seca” is a sun-soaked and carefree in all the right ways. It’s a perfect late summer single – the kind of song that inspires both nostalgia and hope all at once. Whether you’re looking forward or backward, Half Stack will make you feel whole.

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Stream: “Laguna Seca” – Half Stack

 



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Wings of Love - Half Stack

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com