Americana Highways is excited to present this song premiere of “Up in the Clouds” by Pope Paul & the Illegals, from their forthcoming album When the Stars Come Hurtling Down. The album was produced and engineered by Bronson Tew; mixed by Tew & Matt Patton and mastered by Tew — and also mastered for vinyl by Jeff Powell at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis. The cover art is courtesy of Jimbo Mathus and Sandra Kleinick. The album was recorded at Dial Back Sound in Water Valley, MS and will be released by the exciting new Dial Back Sound label on January 18th.
“Up in the Clouds” features Paul Bouyear on vocals and guitar, Jamison Hollister on fiddle, Kell Kellum on pedal steel, with John Kveen on upright bass and Sal Sandoval on drums. The track opens with a rhythmically catchy, raw acoustic set-up before opening up into a rollicking, exhilarating, multi-faceted swing, with its intertwining pedal steel and guitar, and fiddle accents. Bouyear achieves the joyful high vocal register of a lovesick fool when he hits the lines: “you got me daydreaming, up in the clouds,” and we’ve all been there, deliriously, up on cloud nine. This track is a wild omen for the eclectic blend of swinging, rockabilly country songs that make up the rest of the album. You’re not going to want to miss it.
I wrote “Up In The Clouds” on an airplane. A lot of my favorite bands had multiple songs about girls, Buddy Holly, Lennon McCartney, Rivers Cuomo. I guess I got to reminiscing a bit on the plane. I was torn between making it a rockabilly song or giving it a more Western Swing feel. I knew we’d have to do two alternate takes on it. The rockabilly version came out last year on a tour EP. This version here is fully fleshed out with fiddle by Jamison Hollister and pedal steel by Kell Kellum. It’s stretched for couples and gives me chance to flex my vocals a bit more.” — Paul Bouyear