Backup Plans
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“Be careful what you get good at doin’ ’cause you'll be doin’ it for the rest of your life.” Our new record “Backup Plans” is about trading your passions for what pays the bills.

It’s produced by Andy Thompson (Taylor Swift, Dan Wilson, Jeremy Messersmith). He’s absolutely expanded the scope of what we can sound like, while still making us sound unmistakably like the The Usual Things. There are lush keyboard backdrops, string arrangements, and horn sections—hell, there’s even a French horn solo hiding in there somewhere.

Finding our balance between musical ambitions and the day-to-day hustle meant capturing inspirations where they appeared. This entire record was written using Hum, an app I’ve created for collecting songwriting ideas. Every iteration of every song. Cover-to-cover. Hum’s changed the band’s songwriting process… allowing us to explore new ideas, both sonically and lyrically.

Since we brought fully-formed ideas to the studio, it allowed us to record live, warts and all. It was a completely new process for us. Just the five of us in a room feeding off each other. We’ve finally matched our live show.

Though we’ve been playing live shows with them for a bit, “Backup Plans” officially marks the addition of Andriana Lehr on keys/vocals and Sam Hall on bass/vocals.

We couldn’t be more thrilled with how this record’s turned out.


Read about the first single “Tumblin’”