Is It You, Is It Me, premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Jan. 28), is like nothing Dustbowl Revival has ever created during its four-album run. And that's just the way frontman Zach Lupetin and his bandmates wanted it.
"We've always tried to explore different sounds within Americana/roots music and never wanted to stay in one place, which maybe confuses some people but also intrigues other people who always want to see what's happening next," Lupetin tells Billboard. "We're trying to bring our music to a bigger audience. I think at a certain point we never fit into just the folk and acoustic world, and I've always been a huge fan of rock 'n' roll and of artists that can transcend genre," he adds, citing Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen and Wilco. "I wanted to be able to tell a bigger story that could be heard by more people than just the group that supports folk music.”
The 13-track Is It You..., due out Jan. 31, is certainly the biggest sonic work of the Venice, Calif.-based troupe's career, a comparative Wall of Sound approach employing an expanded vocal chorus, brass and more layered instrumentation. "Dreaming" opens the set with an anthemic a capella chorus, while something like "Enemy" would not sound out of place on a Maroon 5 album and "Penelope" nods to Lindsey Buckingham's Fleetwood Mac productions. "I wanted to create an album that had a big cinematic sound and go into the studio and explore a lot of different things we weren't ever able to do before," Lupetin explains.