The Wood Brothers
Southern Reel

Acclaimed duo the Wood Brothers will release their new album, "The Muse," Oct. 1 on Zac Brown's Southern Ground imprint. Billboard is thrilled to bring you the exclusive premiere of the title track and album cover for the project.

The duo's Oliver Wood says the track sets itself apart musically. "It's different than a lot of our songs, especially the ones on the album. There are no drums. It's kind of semi-upbeat, but not really a rockin' song, because there's just guitar, upright bass, and melodica, which is a little wind keyboard. It features a story, and also kind of a spare instrumentation. Chris is a fantastic upright bass player, and he does some real nice almost classical-style  bass playing. It's just a sweet story."

Wood didn't want to go into too many specifics about the inspiration behind the song, choosing to let the listener interpret it. "I don't really like getting too specific, because that kind of changes from one day to the next, and any song that turns me on, there is a variety of interpretation. I love how songs can mean different things to different people," he said. 

"However, I will say that this song was first inspired by a piece of music where we came up with the melody and structure. It just kind of lent itself to a certain vibe, which brought out an idea of "The Muse" being about something specific going on, or a specific person – or it could be a little more vague and ambiguous. The title of our album is also The Muse, and I think we chose that because you think of a muse as being something positive and happy, but it's not always that way. The muse can be something very dark. Sometimes, the greatest songs ever written come out of really sad or angry emotions. I like to think this song tries to get all of that in one. It's about the positives and negatives that inspire us and make things work."

As for their upcoming album, Wood said it was very eclectic. "The album has a lot of variety on it. 'The Muse' is very acoustic and lyrical, but then you go the other end of the album, and there's "Honey Jar," which is a little more raunchy and raucous with the electric guitar and drums. We have a variety of textures represented on the album. Thematically, I think the songs are all over the place."

Check out the album cover for "The Muse":