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Gill Landry Premieres 'Denver Girls' From First Solo Album After Leaving Old Crow Medicine Show

Gill Landry
Alysse Gafkjen

Gill Landry

Gill Landry's latest solo album Love Rides A Dark Horse -- which features the track "Denver Girls," premiering exclusively below -- finds the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in a different guise.

Following his third solo album IN 2015, Landry left Old Crow Medicine Show. "The previous album was the catalyst for leaving the band," Landry tells Billboard. "I'd been making records my whole life but I made that one and I gave it to ATO, which is our shared label. They picked it up and it felt like it was the time I was gonna go, then go while the door is open. I was never gonna get the kind of songs that I write and love into that other band, so it's just a natural evolution."

Heartbreak was the driving force for Landry as he wrote the songs for Love Rides A Dark Horse, due out Oct. 6, at a friend's remote cabin in Washington State and at fellow singer-songwriter Nikki Lane's home in Nashville. "I was living with this lady and everything sort of fell apart," Landry says. "I found myself alone on the road, and this is what came out of it."

"Denver Girls," which opens the album, serves as a kind of thematic overture for the rest of the set. "It's about a person as much as a conversation with life and is sort of about leaving the old Gods and anchors behind and realizing where you are at the moment," Landry explains. "That's the last song I wrote for the record. I wrote all these songs, and at the end I was like, 'Well, that's not where I'm at or where I want to be.' I felt I needed to communicate those things, too, and I'm very glad I did. 'Denver Girls' is moving out of where I was and into where I am now."

Landry will be debuting some of his new material at this week's Americana Music Festival & Conference in Nashville, while U.K. and U.S. dates are on tap during November and December, with more ahead in 2018. "I think it will help for this (album) and all subsequent ones that I just get further away from my past," he says about establishing himself as a solo act. "It doesn't really have anything to do with where I am now except that I was there -- and I don't look negatively upon it. It's just not where I'm at now. I definitely went into this (album) not thinking, 'I'm gonna make a record and go to my other gig.' This IS my gig now."

To that end Landry is also planning to bulk up his solo catalog in a hurry. "I've basically got another one written and would like to have it out by next fall, if at all possible," he reports. "It sounds different than this one. It's more playful. I want to dive much deeper into the music and be more orchestrated in a way, I guess. I can't wait to do it; I sent a friend of mine this record and asked him what he thought, and he said, 'I've known you a while. I can see what you're doing here, but I can't wait to hear the next one because I feel like you're just starting to open up.' And I think he's right, so I'm excited to get going with that."

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