Revered Memphis-based singer songwriter Cory Branan releases his second new single, the melancholy but hopeful “O Charlene,” today
"O Charlene" is culled from his forthcoming album, When I Go I Ghost (his sixth studio set) coming out October 14, 2022. On the eve of his new album release, Branan will launch a five-week U.S. tour in Kentucky that then routes to the northeast and winds its way back to his Memphis home base.
“’O Charlene’ is an easy lil tune about feeling lost and road worn and reaching out to a friend,” explains Branan. “The kinda friend that you may not talk to for a stretch but you always just pick up where you left off. That friend’s my friend Charlene. She’s pretty rad.” Branan hits on a sentiment we can likely all relate to with that certain group of friends, especially with the kind of year we all just lived through in 2020.
Branan spent the pandemic forced time-off working on a new album and signing a record deal with our label. When I Go I Ghost was mostly recorded in Nashville and produced by Grammy-Award winning engineer, Jeremy Ferguson. Cory assembled the band to help him record the album with an ear toward the 1980s radio and MTV he was raised on. "If you look at the pop charts from ‘79 to ‘85, you can’t find two bands that sound the same.” That’s why When I Go I Ghost sounds like the spin of an old radio dial in a brand-new car. “I find that over-qualified and under-prepared can create lightning in the bottle.” In addition to his expected vocal, guitar and songwriting talents, Cory now adds synth playing, something he learned during the pandemic.
The core band is drummer Eric Slick (Dr. Dog), bassist Robbie Crowell (Deer Tick, Midland), who also played on Cory’s previous album Adios; Jarrad K, who produced Ruston Kelly and can play anything, and here is on various keys and synthesizer; and the in-demand Anthony da Costa on guitars and vocal harmonies. Guests on the album include Jason Isbell who joins in on background vocals and/or guitar on five of the albums eleven songs, Garrison Starr who duets with Branan on “Waterfront,” and Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem.
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 been included as featured guests on previous records.