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Premiere: Adam Lytle Wields the Language of the Unconscious in Single 'Highway Nightmare'

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

Adam Lytle confronts the ordinary with the arcane and summons radical transformations with each sonorous figure played on his Spanish guitar. With striking lyricism and evocative arrangements, his solo debut, This is the Fire introduces a new voice in the haunted tower of longing where the likes of Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker reside.

Known for the mysterious power of his live performances, Lytle honed his craft for years leading acclaimed bands, Quicksilver Daydream and Wild Leaves. He has won crowds all over North America; sharing the stage with Marlon Williams, Daniel Romano, and Imarhan and appearing at festivals like NXNE, MidPoint Music Festival, and CMJ; with more on the horizon.

Photo by Roeg Cohen

American musician Adam Lytle shares lead single "Highway Nightmare" from his upcoming album This Is The Fire (due out in October). In his own words, "Highway Nightmare is a song of spinning wheels. It’s a song with no way out. You started down this road so long ago you’ve forgotten how you got there. The thrill had you hooked. You turned the radio up, rolled the windows down, and felt the wind rush through your hair. Life is good when the wheels are in motion. You chased that endless horizon day and night but it was always just out of reach. Before you knew it, you’d lost track of time, missed a turn, and gone too far in the wrong direction. Now, you’re looking for an off-ramp, some way back to where you were before. But that’s not how this highway works and neither does time. There’s no turning this rig around. So, what are you going to do? Count your tear drops ‘til kingdom come? That’s its own kind of dead end. No, the only way forward is through. Take a breath, grip the wheel and pray."

Over the course of ten tracks, Lytle explores themes of death, religion, love, and violence with an immediacy reflective of the fragmented nature of our time. The album was mixed and mastered by longtime collaborator, Jonathan Schenke of Parquet Courts. Lytle enlisted also arranger Trey Pollard of Faye Webster and Kevin Morby to cloak his stark, lyric-driven performances in dramatic orchestral arrangements. Contributions from Ryan Jewell of Ryley Walker, Scott Colberg of Calexico, James Preston, and Cameron Kapoor further enrich Lytle’s symbolic landscapes. The result is a vivid collection of songs that achieve greater depths of mystery and meaning with time.

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