2019 American Music Awards

Paul Cauthen Takes Viewers Into the Studio for Ferocious 'Holy Ghost Fire'

Anna Webber
Paul Cauthen

Paul Cauthen takes viewers into the studio and the making of his ferocious sophomore album, Room 41, in the video for the track "Holy Ghost Fire," premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Oct. 30).

The clip, directed by frequent collaborator Vincent Monsaint, shows the animated Texas singer-songwriter rocking out as he leads his band through the song. "We just let it fly," Cauthen tells Billboard. "We knew that we wanted to capture how we really go after the live takes and how we do it in there. I really wanted it to show that we get a bunch of musicians in there and we all play some instruments and play the song six, seven, eight times and beat it down 'til we get it right.

"[The video] happened in that moment, just like that. It's all one shot. [Vincent] basically joined us in the band, like a collaborative effort, just like we do [the music]."

Co-written with Jason Burt, "Holy Ghost Fire" is among the uncompromisingly angsty songs on Room 41, a document of the two years Cauthen spent in Dallas' Belmont Hotel during a dark period in his life, dealing with a romantic breakup and substance abuse issues.

"The music did get me through it, kind of like therapy," Cauthen says now -- though he hasn't returned to the Belmont since he made the album. "At the time I felt soulless and had forgotten about the feeling of love, and I didn't care and was kind of calloused. The record opened my heart up again and got me through it. It allowed me to comb through a wave of time and stamp something to remember it by."

If Cauthen has his way, he'll be creatively stamping more time in the near future. He reckons that he has "three records worth [of songs] that nobody's heard" and is helping Leah Blevins on her next release. On his own, meanwhile, Cauthen predicts he's "about to drop some big stuff on everybody coming into next year -- maybe two albums. I'm excited about that."

The video for “Holy Ghost Fire” is below.

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