Billboard Exclusive Album Premiere: Nashville-Based Band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors' 'Medicine'

Eric Ryan Anderson
Drew Holcomb

Nashville-based band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors are set to release their new studio album, Medicine, on Jan. 27 on Holcomb's own Magnolia Music Group. 

"Honestly, I couldn't be more thrilled with a record than I am with this one," Holcomb tells Billboard. "Obviously, it's not my first record, but it's definitely my favorite so far. I feel like this is the record I felt like I could make, or wanted to make. I'm very happy with it and more satisfied than I have been with any record I've done."

Listen below for Billboard's exclusive stream of the album below.

 

As has been the case with his past few releases, the set will be available on vinyl. The format holds a special place in the heart of for Holcomb and his wife Ellie, who is a member of the band.

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"When we got married almost nine years ago, my wife's wedding present to me was a record player. So, because of that, we started collecting records. There's something about having to force yourself to do the manual work of putting a record onto the player, then flipping it when it's halfway through," explains Holcomb. "It kind of forces your ear in a way that the digital world does not. It's been really neat to see that resurgence. Obviously, it's something of a niche market, but our fans happen to be in that. We started printing our records on vinyl with Chasing Someday, which was two records ago. We started getting demand from our fans, and with Medicine, it's been one of our most popular pre-orders on our website -- almost as much as the CD. There's clearly a demand for it from our fans, and it's definitely a good way to get your music in the collectors' hands."

What is the hold that vinyl has on music fans? "I remember growing up, my parents would tell me about their favorite vinyl records. I was born in 1982, so by that point, we weren't really listening to vinyl. I remember asking dad which records he loved, and going and digging through the bin, and trying to find them," says Holcomb. "It was the golden age of singer-songwriter music -- records like Carole King's Tapestry, James Taylor's Sweet Baby James, and Dylan's Blood On The Tracks. There was just something kind of magical about that era. I think we're in a different age now, and pop radio might not necessarily reflect it, in terms of my personal taste, but I think we're in something of a golden age of music right now. The vinyl thing is kind of a lifestyle statement, where people say 'Music matters a lot to me.'"

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One of the emotional highlights from Medicine is "You'll Always Be My Girl," which Holcomb says was inspired by his marriage.

"I'm happily married to my wife, but just like a lot of people, the season of relationships have an ebb and flow. We've been recently in the season of enjoying each other and being married. We're surrounded by a lot of tough things in our own community, and the lines in that song that define it are in the second verse -- 'When the harvest is plenty, and it feels like it should, and the fruit is ripe on the vine/But then the rain falls and the flood comes, and it feels like the end of the line' -- those are two diametrically opposed metaphors about a relationship, and sometime it does feel like everything is going like you thought it should, and are there are other times that it's not at all what you had in mind. But, you weather the storm together. It's a promise to her -- she'll always be my girl. It's just a simple love song to my wife that I hope will mean something to a lot of other people."