Dylan LeBlanc may only be 22 years old, but there’s nothing immature about his music, expertly crafted, endlessly reflective and flecked by cynicism as it is. Growing up in Alabama, it’s unsurprising that LeBlanc’s debut album, Pauper’s Field was rooted in Country and Western and American folk – there’s plenty of mournful violin, twang, and tales that sound like they come from the bottom of the whiskey bottle at 2am. Cast The Same Old Shadow, out today, maintains this core but is a dreamier, woozier affair with sonic washes layered over the acoustic guitar – which makes sense when you find out that at least one of the tracks was inspired by a dream. Here, this rapidly rising star talks us through the new album, track by track.
Cast The Same Old Shadow
Part One: The End: “I had a crazy dream and this was the theme music to it. In my dream I was walking through the forest, and there was a battle going on and everyone was shooting each other and then people were hanging out and smoking cigarettes with their rifles and I remember there was a beautiful woman in the dream with long black hair. She was like a painting, and every time she turned the corner, the rest of the world would also become a painting. Every time I wanted to go closer, she would round the next corner. I woke up and I said “I have to write that song”. I picked it out on my guitar and I started thinking about innocence and what age is it that innocence stops and you start to become more aware of the world. When you become wise, things aren’t as fun and good as they used to be. It takes the magic out of it.”
Innocent Sinner: “I have no idea what that song is about. I wrote those lyrics on the spot. This awesome chord progression came first and I loved it and it reminded me of Ennio Morricone. I was thinking about what this girl said to me about how I space out a lot – “you’re never really here even when you’re here”.
Brother: “This song is about a friend of mine. He was going through a divorce and the song is about mine and his stories mixed together. We were both going through rough times in our lives with women and we were leaning on each other.”
Diamonds And Pearls: “My friend Mus Gillum wrote this song, and I thought it was beautiful. He’s one of my best friends and he let me record it.”
Where Are You Now: “I lost the girlfriend I really liked – I was being a bad person. She broke up with me just before I made this record and this song is about that.”
Chesapeake Lane: “This song is a story. It’s about an older man and he’s looking back on his life and he’s an alcoholic and remembering what life used to be life before he drank himself away.”
The Ties That Bind: “It’s hard to explain this one. It’s just about life.”
Comfort Me: “It’s about wanting to be better and wanting to be a better person and trying not to give up on yourself. We all live and die by the decisions we make. I wanna LIVE and not die by the decisions I make.”
Cast The Same Old Shadow: “I wrote that song in my house and everyone had just left including a girl I liked, and she didn’t feel the same way about me. I wrote this song since I was feeling sorry for myself. The name of the song lends itself to lots of different analogies, but in short – we are all similar yet different. It doesn’t matter where you are standing in the sunlight we all cast the same old shadow.”
Lonesome Waltz: “I wrote it for a friend of mine that was lonely and sad and I was trying to cheer her up. I think it worked.”