Venerated Memphis-Based Singer/Songwriter Cory Branan Releases New Album, When I Go I Ghost
Memphis-based, singer songwriter Cory Branan spent the forced time-off working on a new album and joining the Blue Élan family. When I Go I Ghost, Branan’s sixth LP, was recorded and produced by Grammy-Award winning engineer, Jeremy Ferguson in Nashville and is available today on all platforms. His U.S. tour launched yesterday in Newport, KY and continues on through December 2nd where he will then hook up with Alt-Country friends, American Aquarium.
Guests on the album include friends Jason Isbell who appears on five songs, Garrison Starr who duets with Branan on “Waterfront,” and Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem. “I pulled these songs from a batch of 50 that mostly predate the pandemic, and all of these felt kin. They’re about doubt, loss, depression, general stir-craziness,” Cory explains. “But I knew I didn’t want to make a record that pondered itself, I wanted it to have motion, so I gave this record an overarching rule: The sadder the song, the more it had to move and groove. That’s how the country weeper ‘That Look I Lost’ got the Motown treatment. I wanted you to nod along, then after listening ask, ‘Wait, what am I shaking my ass to?’”
When I Go I Ghost will be Cory Branan’s first album in five years. A writer’s writer, Cory’s lines grip like a page-turner, giddy with interior rhyming and wordplay such as on “That Look I Lost” when he sings the stinging opening line "When she's staring down the bad end of the barrel - Of yet another long and loaded night," followed later by a phrase summing up the relationship’s inevitable end with "It was the matter of fact way that she said it / Was a sight to unsee / An unforgettable ‘forget it’ / Just like she flipped a light out on me." His lyrical prowess isn’t lost on his peers as evidenced by the band, Lucero, who called him out by name in their song “Tears Don’t Matter Much” with the lines "Cory Branan’s got an evil streak / And a way with words that’ll bring you to your knees". Indeed, he does.
Over the last two decades Branan has released five albums to much critical acclaim from NPR, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone and others, who called him, “A country boy with a punk-rock heart.” He has toured extensively, appearing on stages from Letterman and the Ryman to your town’s shittiest punk bar.
Branan’s songs have been covered by such artists as Frank Turner and Dashboard Confessional. He has also collaborated with the likes of Jason Isbell, Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!), Amanda Shires, and Craig Finn (The Hold Steady) who have all been included as featured guests on previous records.