Dylan LeBlanc – Coyote
Dylan LeBlanc’s latest, Coyote, is more than just a cool title for an Americana/folk record. It’s tethered to a very real experience LeBlanc had as a child.
As a kid living in Austin, he once climbed the face of a 100-foot cliff, and out of the trees a raccoon came scrambling out trailed by a deeply intimidating coyote. “We’re looking at each other dead in the eyes…and I’m saying – out loud – ‘If it’s you or me, I am going to kick you off the side of this cliff. I’m not going down.’ It was intense, this human-animal moment,” LeBlanc recalls. “I’ve never forgotten that… he was just trying to survive and so was I.”
And the intensity of that interaction can be heard all throughout this album – the first he has self-produced – which is both semi-autobiographical and a concept record, chronicling a man involved in the criminal underworld of Mexico, struggling to find a way out. You can hear that tension from the opening title track, where the protagonist first introduces himself. The music and vocals are unrushed and often pensive throughout the entire LP, but there is still a sense of danger, even without the benefit of the lyrics. Themes of guilt and running away are weaved throughout the 13 tracks here and the lyrics are remarkably compelling especially on a song like “Dark Waters,” where he starts to imagine finding a life far removed from his own guilty existence. Musically, songs like “Forgotten Things” and the more up-tempo “No Promises Broken” – the album’s first real love song – are early stand outs and even work well divorced of the overall album concept.
The record closes on “The Outside,” which finds the narrator outside of prison serving as both a fitting ending to the album and a potential new chapter to the story. The concept plays out beautifully thanks to LeBlanc’s deft and descriptive writing as well as his powerfully emotive vocals.
Find the music and more info here: http://www.dylanleblanc.com
Enjoy our previous coverage here: Interview: Dylan LeBlanc on New Album, Bobbie Gentry, Working with Dave Cobb and Early History at FAME Studios