Lauded as “easily one of folk and Americana music’s most prolific singer-songwriters,” (Americana Highways), JEREMY SQUIRES announces his fourth release via Blackbird Record Label and 12th overall album, RIDDLE OF STARS, due out November 17. Digital pre-saves are available HERE. RIDDLE OF STARS was written, performed, and produced entirely by the singer, songwriter, and musician following the loss of his longtime musical collaborator, drummer and friend, Carlos Ventura. What started out as an electric album transformed into a collection of nine heart-stirring songs, including one that was originally written as a poem as a goodbye for his friend’s funeral (“Blood Pact”). Throughout, SQUIRES uses carefully crafted minimalism, primarily by way of guitar finger-picking, piano, and the occasional pedal steel guitar or organ to create haunting dreamscapes. Listening to his songs, you can easily imagine a camera moving in for revealing close-ups.
RIDDLE OF STARS track listing:
2. Blood Pact
3. Play Dead
7. Please Stay
8. Heart Swell
SQUIRES has today (October 6) shared the music video for the deeply moving debut track, “Play Dead,” which can be seen streaming below or via YouTube HERE. The video was co-directed by SQUIRES and his 14-year-old daughter Violet against a backdrop of the Trent and Neuse rivers near their hometown of North Bern, NC and Lake Worth Beach, FL where they will soon begin a new chapter of life. Stream or download “Play Dead” HERE.
“When I wrote ‘Play Dead,’ I was in a place in my life where I thought it was impossible to escape a toxic cycle,” reveals SQUIRES. “I felt stuck in this constant loop and had to leave by any means possible. Writing and recording this song was very cathartic but at the same time very hard. ‘Play Dead’ captures my exact feelings the moment that I was able to leave and the feelings that I was crippled with at that time in my life.”
Discussing the “Play Dead” video, SQUIRES shares: “This video was shot in both Florida and North Carolina by both me and my daughter, Violet. It was absolutely amazing being able to spend time with my daughter and teach her about lighting, photography and videography. We had such rad time. She has an amazing eye for capturing imagery that a lot of people don’t take the time to notice, she sees things so creatively. Violet is willing to learn and you can see it in her eyes. I was very proud to be able to share this experience with her. ‘Play Dead’ might be my favorite song on the album and it’s definitely my favorite video.”
SQUIRES consistently holds space for his artistic expression in more than one medium, living and breathing within cycles of poetry, photography and music. His childhood hometown of Inner Banks, NC has steadfastly served as the inspiration for his music. Raised by his grandmother, and the son of a published poet, his mother, and a father that gifted him a flea market guitar when he was a child, SQUIRES began teaching himself to play by way of writing songs and learning Bad Religion and Nirvana songs, eventually leading him into forming punk bands.
SQUIRES and VENTURA met at age 12 and 13, the beginning of nearly three decades of brotherhood and artistic collaboration. “We were musical soulmates,” says SQUIRES. Neither one of them formally trained, the two experimented with bands before officially becoming a professionally touring band, Andrea’s Truth, playing shows at venues and skate parks up and down the east coast. In a surprising turn of events, after recording their debut album, the studio burned down with their files. However, fans initiated a network of passing around bootleg VHS tapes from their live shows which in turn secured their mark and influence on a thriving indie punk music scene in their region.
Becoming a father at only age 21, SQUIRES took a job at a faucet factory and paused from touring for several years until he returned in 2005 to his career in music, photography, and restoring vintage guitars. This is when he began learning to record on his own, playing all instruments with VENTURA adding drums on multiple songs throughout his catalogue, unfortunately passing suddenly before being able to track drums for RIDDLE OF STARS.