Contemporary artists have introduced audiences to new genres and ways of creating music, infusing it with new sounds while incorporating elements of other conventional genres. Many artists reflect their own essence of what contemporary music means to them and introduce their sounds to new audiences. The Americans’ latest and sophomore LP, Stand True, did just this; mesmerizing listeners with waves of romanticism and heartbreak layered into their bluesy rock aesthetics. The album was released by Loose Music and produced by renowned music producer T Bone Burnett.
Through Stand True, The Americans showcase an undeniably fresh approach to a tried-and-true genre. The band’s unparalleled proficiency is evident in each song on this studio LP. It has 11 songs, with a few of them being about heartbreak, something millions can relate to. Frontman Patrick Ferris shares of the tracks on the release “There are a few heartbreak songs on the record, which I guess there always are. We lost people close to us during COVID, so there are some funeral songs as well. Real uplifting, I know. Musically the album is more contemporary sounding than I’ll Be Yours, our previous release. Of course, most things sound contemporary to us. It’s hard to know what someone else might think.”
The Americans are a Los Angeles-based music band that first came into the spotlight with their debut album, I’ll Be Yours, in 2017. The album, also released on Loose Music, was listed in the top #15 in the UK Americana Top 40 chart, and ranked at #19 on the Indie Breaker’s Chart. Following the success of the band’s debut album, their sophomore project, released on May 6, 2022, also made the top 25 on the Official Americana Albums Chart Top 40.
The band has been together for a number of years, as they first came together in high school. Diving deeper into their history as a band, Ferris reveals, “When we met in high school we were all deeply entrenched in blues and folk music from the 1920s and ’30s. That’s still our biggest influence, but ’50s rock & roll plays a big part too. As far as lyrics, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Joanna Newsom. That music doesn’t exactly influence us literally, in that we’re not trying to sound like anyone in particular. It has taught us how good a song can be, and some ways to go about that. I grew up in San Francisco, in North Beach. Jake was born there too, but moved to LA as a kid, where he met Zac. Jake and I used to go see The White Stripes at The Fillmore. We saw Toots and The Maytals there on my 20th birthday. I’ve always wanted to play there.”
Despite their love for the classics, the band has never tried to sound like an imitation of these artists. They’ve worked hard to preserve the essence of conventional genres and blend it with contemporary sounds—no wonder The Americans have hit so many milestones just a few years into their careers in the music industry. The band has appeared on The Late Show (CBS) and the TV series “American Epic” (PBS/BBC). The band’s music has been featured in films like Texas Killing Fields, A Country Called Home, Little Glory, and the TV series “No Tomorrow.”
Stand True has a more contemporary sound than I’ll Be Yours. As Ferris talks more in depth about the songs on the release, he shares, “I wrote a song called “Romeo” that I felt sure was the best thing I’d ever written. But then I played it for Jake and Zac, and they weren’t so sure about it. Even my mom said she didn’t like it, so who knows. The song is about a troubling romance I had as a teenager, floating on the metaphor of the story of Romeo and Juliet.”
In 2015, The Americans backed up Nick Cave, Lucinda Williams, and Courtney Love at the 60th-anniversary celebration of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl.” Other artists they have backed include Ashley Monroe and Devendra Banhart. The Americans have joined Ryan Bingham on his national tours twice. They have also had the opportunity to work closely with Jack White and T Bone Burnett. Regarding playing live in the post-pandemic world, Ferris gives some personal insight sharing, “We’ve heard other artists complain that attendance is down following the pandemic. A lot of bands are touring all at once, since everyone wants to get back on the road. We’re really just relieved to be playing shows again.”
With all those accomplishments, what The Americans have cherished most is playing in front of a live audience. To see people enthralled by their music has been the greatest satisfaction for the band so far. The Americans want to continue creating more music while performing live and setting stages on fire at music events around the world. “Playing live is the best part of being in a band, so we’re looking forward to more of that. And we have more music coming out this year. Stay tuned,” shares Ferris.