All I Needed

Album: Chicamacomico (2022)
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  • "This is a simple song about the universally healing power of music," American Aquarium frontman BJ Barham said of this uplifting tune from the band's ninth studio album.

    "It's about hearing a random song on the radio and the positive change it can bring to a bad day. We have all had that feeling of driving around, feeling down and then, out of nowhere, a song comes on the radio that grabs you and won't let go. Almost as if the universe saw you struggling and personally hand delivered a 3.5-minute message to get you out of that rut. The kind of song that makes you pull over and call a loved one. The kind of song that reaches deep down into your belly and pulls something out of you. A laugh. A cry. A scream."
  • Barham wrote this in Nashville with Carl Anderson, a singer-songwriter he met in Charlottesville, Virginia, when American Aquarium was on tour in 2012, the same year they released their breakthrough album, Burn.Flicker.Die. Barham became re-acquainted with Anderson years later after an emotional encounter with one of his songs, "She Took Everything."

    "I was out for my nightly run, listening to my release radar, and this song came on," he recalled on Facebook in 2020. "I was immediately flooded with emotions and had to stop mid run. This song literally stopped me in my tracks. I was speechless. I got home from my run and anxiously looked back to see who sang the song that broke me in two on my run. F---ing Carl Anderson."
  • Chicamacomico reunited the band with Brad Cook, who produced their 2015 album, Wolves. He also helmed Barham's 2016 solo release, Rockingham.
  • The closing track on the album, this is a bright spot on an otherwise dark collection about loss. For Barham, guest vocalist Patterson Hood of the band Drive-By Truckers (a rock group that once featured Jason Isbell, the producer behind Burn.Flicker.Die), added to the joyful experience.

    He explained: "Brad Cook had the idea for Patterson Hood to sing the high harmony and we were overjoyed when he said yes. The Drive-By Truckers were one of those bands that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard them, so it was a full circle moment for me when Patterson agreed to sing on the record. This record does not have many 'feel good moments' but this is an emotional high point for the record and one of the reasons we chose to close the record out with this song.

    We wanted this collection to go out on a high note. An upbeat reminder that no matter how dark life gets, sometimes all it takes to turn the moment around is a song."


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