Husband and wife Seth and China Kent are well on their way to adding new life and complexity to the concept of the “family band.” The Kents, better known as Colorado-based duo Alright Alright, have been hard at work creating orchestral-folk for the open-minded and poetry for the broken-hearted with their new album, Crucible. Full of contrast—between Seth and China’s vocal stylings, organic and synthesized instrumental tones, and the very real ups and downs that come with day to day life—Crucible tests the limits of genre and experiments with boundaries, something that Ben Wysocki (The Fray) leaned into and expanded upon in his role of producer. Yesterday, American Songwriter premiered Crucible’s second single, “Trans Am,” praising the duo’s “decision not to retreat in the safety of folk music’s purposefully polished string plucks, angelically harmonizing vocals, and lush drapes of billowy reverb.” Fans can hear “Trans Am” here and pre-order Crucible ahead of its October 23rd release at this link.
“This song was a journey in writing,” says Seth Kent about the songwriting process of “Trans Am.” “For as long as I can remember since moving to Denver, and up until late last year, there has been a yellow, early 80’s car—I actually think it was a Camaro rather than a Trans Am—sitting on the north side of I-70 in the Colorado town of Georgetown. It barely ever seemed to move. Naturally, I fell into an unhealthy love with the beast over the years and was tempted to pull over and leave a note on it saying I wanted it.”
“Seth nailed it with this song, and all I really have to say about it is that I think it’s brilliant,” adds China. “The skillful melding of humor and angst and cleverness and yearning gets me every time.” The idea of the song came together after Wysocki encouraged Seth to give himself permission to write a funny song amongst some of the heavier material on Crucible, but like other light-hearted songs from the likes of John Prine or Randy Newman, “Trans Am” also carries a deeper, more meaningful message. “I think in the end the reality in the song is true for all of us. Sometimes we feel like we need a break or an escape. Adulting is hard, there is a bit of nostalgia of a past we never had. For a bit of fanciful flight, these obsessions can be healthy and give us some hope and joy, but if we let that pull on our hopes too hard we will spiral into false fantasies. Reality is still with us.”
In other people’s lives, the car is a metaphor, able to be replaced with any object or desire worth obsessing over, but around where the Kents live, the “Trans Am” is a real deal, in-the-flesh local legend. “It’s like a landmark around here,” says hen I talk about it and when we play this song live in Colorado, someone almost always comes up to us to say, ‘I know that car!’ It has since disappeared from its parking spot, sadly.”
“Having said that,” Kent feels the need to add, “If you know who owns this car and where it disappeared to, I do actually want to buy it..."
Over The Edge
Are We Gonna Make It
Trying To Be Free
Left But Not Arrived