Rusted Fields

Album: Old School Dropouts (2001)


  • The Connells, a rock band founded in North Carolina in the mid-'80s, first released this tune on Old School Dropouts, a 2001 album made up of demo recordings. In 2021, they included a new version on Steadman's Wake, their ninth studio album.
  • Mike Connell, the band's leader and songwriter, was aiming to write a post-apocalyptic love song when he came up with "Rusted Fields." He told Songfacts in 2021: "The person 'telling' the song is inviting someone to go out at night, 'beyond the mills and the radioactive fills,' in order to get right, which could really mean any of a number of things. More than anything, I was hoping to create a mood versus spin some sort of narrative, which is the case with most of my songs. It's a pretty dark tune, and touches on things like trying to find something in life that has some meaning, as well as more nebulous stuff like the meaning of 'Southernness.'"
  • In an interview with Magnet magazine, Connell elaborated on the aspect of "Southernness" he addresses in the song. "It does say something about the 'new Southern man' and trying to figure out what that is," he explained. "As in any part of country, you have the full spectrum here. I don't identity with a lot of the people I have to rub elbows with on a daily basis."
  • This is one of three tracks from Old School Dropouts that was revamped for Steadman's Wake. The other two are "Gladiator Heart" and "Hello Walter."
  • Old School Dropouts finds drummer Steve Ritter sharing stick duties with Jon Wurster of Superchunk.


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