A Life In Trade, the fifth studio album from Pierce Edens, is due September 15, 2023. Today, the illustrious troubadour is proud to share the official music video for the emotive track “The Only Ones,” (watch/share).
Out now on all digital streaming platforms, Edens describes “The Only Ones” as a song about “the feeling of excitement and possibility, and also about what holds us back.” Having written the lyrics on a late night drive while on tour, the dynamic arrangement captures the bittersweet sentiment of uncertainty, anticipation, and a touch of necessary discomfort. The accompanying music video was shot in Edens’ quaint hometown of Hot Springs, NC, along with 50+ local community members who eagerly contributed as volunteers and extras. In fact, the entire budget for the video project was crowdfunded in connection with the forthcoming album release, and executed on a shoestring. Among other DIY endeavors, the costumes were homemade by the band, while 7 local businesses donated their spaces over the course of two full days. Edens adds “we ended up shooting so much footage, we are currently scoring a full length story version of this video with samples and edits from other songs on the album to be released to fans later on.”
Edens’ artistic nature spans multiple disciplines. A veteran touring musician, he has alternated seamlessly between a breakneck life on the road and long stints at his idyllic family homestead for the better part of a decade. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic halted almost all aspects of daily life, Edens embraced solitary living on his multi-acre property, tending religiously to the land before an enthusiastic digital audience. For months on end, Edens would share raw, unprompted videos of solo porch-picking sessions, farm tours, and heartfelt sit-down conversations with his social media fans. Through his relatability, he colored beautifully those things that were difficult to find at the time – a sense of belonging and purpose, humor, and normalcy. Despite the abysmal nature of the time, creative inspiration was in generous supply. The therapeutic act of shepherding his land not only rewarded Edens in harvest, it uncovered a rich garden bed of imagination, sprouting seeds for new song ideas and rogue lyrics that would eventually make up A Life In Trade.
Honoring the magic of collaboration, the title A Life in Trade harkens back to a business deal that Edens made with Mike Savino of the bands Tall Tall Trees and Kishi Bashi. Savino, in search of a carpenter to help him build a recording studio, called on Edens, whom he knew had the skills and experience to bring his vision to life. In lieu of payment, the musicians traded time for time: building for recording; trim for tracking; flooring for mixing; soundproofing for sound making. The byproducts of such an agreement reached further than either one of them could predict.
Fastened with refined vocals and masterful accompaniment, A Life In Trade successfully preserves Edens’ signature rugged sound while also achieving a more intimate disposition than previous albums. Its blue-collar theme is tissued over a striking architecture of raw and relatable love songs – Edens celebrates finding love after “years piling up” in the opening track “The Only Ones;” he laments losing it in the heart-wrenching proclamation “Lovely Bones,” and expresses longing for it in “I Want You.” In “Two Pennies,” Edens alludes to the title by declaring, “you can live your life on trade, but in the end we all pay two pennies to the ferryman.” Finally, the album travels outward to timely, universal concepts in its only cover song “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon,” where Edens makes a poignant note of society’s preoccupation with living on other planets.
Each song and interlude are a testament to the skill of Edens’ longtime bandmate Kevin Reese. Playing guitar and mandolin, Reese conjoins, layers, and expands with poetic breaks and soulful licks that underline his years of stage-sharing with Edens. Savino also appears on bass, banjo, and percussion, providing the full depth of his musical knowledge and innovative application.
A Life in Trade Track List
The Only Ones
Whisper in the Water
I Want You
I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon
Pierce Edens Tour Dates
09/15 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle
09/16 - Nashville, TN - The Basement
09/22 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre
09/28 - Roanoke, VA - Martin's Downtown
09/30 - Raleigh, NC - The Pour House
10/06 - Knoxville, TN - Open Chord
10/07 - Chattanooga, TN - Redbud
10/14 - Greenville, SC - Fall for Greenville
10/20 - Thomas, WV - The Purple Fiddle
10/25 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic
10/27 - Edisto, SC - Edisto Blackwater Boogie
10/28 - Jacksonville, FL - Blue Jay Listening Room
Memorializing a unique chapter of uncertainty and estrangement in our global fabric, the 40-minute listen underwrites the beauty and long lasting impact of connection in spite of the hurdles such an era presents. With acceptance and appreciation for the cards dealt before him, Edens offers his contribution to the tapestry of today, sewing heirloom seeds to be enjoyed by future generations.
A Life in Trade will be available for streaming, download, and purchase on September 15, 2023. For more information on Pierce Edens, visit pierceedens.com/.