Song Premiere: Van Plating “The Way Down”

Listen & Watch Song Premieres

Americana Highways presents this premiere of Van Plating’s song “The Way Down,” produced by Bryan Elijah Smith with string arrangements by Rachel Van Plating.

“The Way Down” is Bryan Elijah Smith on bass, drums, guitars and backing vocals; and Rachel Van Plating on vocals, violin, and viola.  Turn up this sultry swagger and fall all ‘the way down’ with Van Plating.  The song has quite a backstory, and the automatic appeal of an instant hypnosis dream state.  

“The Way Down” was one of those rare, stream of consciousness writing moments that ended up actually making sense when all was said and done. I was in Virginia recording the second batch of songs for my album with friend and collaborator Bryan Elijah Smith.

I’d just arrived that day, and after we decided to shut down the session for the night I’d been awake for almost 24 hrs straight. Neither of us were really ready to stop creating even though we were bone tired, so we sat outside on the porch in the cool summer Virginia night with a bottle of wine between us and wrote a song. A freaking sad song.

There were no words–just melody and chords to start. I scatted the whole thing in its complete form within a short time and then looked at my co-writer and said “Dude I don’t think I can come up with anything good lyrics wise right now. I’m fried.”

He gently suggested we just listen back, line by line, and decipher what I was saying. Because it sounded like words. I just couldn’t hear what I was saying. Ha! Well, he was right, the words were all there. I had somehow written a song in a dream state. I wish I could recreate that experience every time! The words bubbled up from the moment I was living in, crystalizing forever the feelings of being sad, misunderstood, down on my luck but rolling with it. Life sucks sometimes. 2020 really drove that point home.

This is me throwing my hands in the air, leaning into the down side and making it into a line dance through the low times. You’re feeling sad, but it’s cool.“I ain’t nothin’. But I”m feelin’ cool. Are you feelin’ cool?”

In a dream world a sad Matthew Mcconaughey would have stumbled his way through a dance sequence from a bar scene to a middle of “Nowheresville,” whiskey in hand, as he survey’s a barren landscape, alone and fine with it. Can’t you see it? — Van Plating

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