A few years ago I had a gig driving a box truck across the country from Atlanta, GA to Scottsdale, AZ. It was a fascinating tour of southern and southwestern landscapes via Interstate 40, taking four long days to complete each way. All of it is (mostly) beautiful in its own way, but the really spectacular parts of the drive for me were New Mexico and Arizona.
My family on my dad’s side have a rich history in Albuquerque, Sante Fe, Belen, and the surrounding areas of New Mexico, and I remember visits to my great-grandparents in early childhood. I’ve always associated those places with lost time — arrowheads, a great-grandpa’s garden, large animal bones found in a shallow creek, mountains carved out of time itself. There is a magic about the southwest that imbues all of those memories with a profound mystery.
The trip brought me through Albuquerque for the first time in a few years, and then beyond it into the west New Mexico desert, and into Arizona. Go make this drive someday. The stark, barren beauty of the desert stakes an unrelenting claim on everything, and I filled my phone with voice memos of apocalyptic imagery – decrepit gas stations, classic cars rotting by the interstate, long-dried up riverbeds, oil well pumps against the sunset. And then suddenly you reach Flagstaff, the San Francisco Peaks, gorgeous pine forests, and snow on the ground in April.
A few years later I was engaged to Lindsay, whose family is from Flagstaff. She had made a similar trek in 2010 en route to California, and our memories of the drive were so similar. We thought it might be a good idea to co-write a song about it, and we were very nearly wrong, as anyone who’s ever tried to collaborate with a lover can probably attest. It took us over a year to finish it, but I am very proud of the outcome, and very proud of her for her contributions (she wrote the hook, y’all). We hope you enjoy it.
You can expect another blog from her perspective soon, and I’ll follow up with a nerdy production blog after that.
Written by Brendan and Lindsay Trinkle
Vocals by Brendan and Lindsay Trinkle
Produced and engineered by Brendan Trinkle
Drum production by Ryan Harvey and Brendan Trinkle
Mixed by Brian Zieske