Music

Hear Aaron Lee Tasjan’s Rocking Take on Cosmic Country, ‘If Not Now When’

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ riding buddy, former New York Dolls member and current Social Distortion tour mate Aaron Lee Tasjan keeps blurring the thin line between Americana’s country and rock influences on “If Not Now When,” the new single off his forthcoming album Karma For Cheap.

His new song blends elements of The Beatles–notice the “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” riffage and an album title that could very well be a nod to John Lennon’s “Instant Karma”–with some very cosmic country elements. Lyrically, the Columbus, Ohio-area native sees his shot glass as half-full in these contentious times. As the album title implies, Tasjan sings about treating others the way you’d like to be treated, regardless of circumstances. Paired with his refusal to just “shut up and sing,” this creative approach makes him a lyrical hybrid of Lennon’s social consciousness and a country singer’s common sense values.

Much like the always brilliant Margo Price, Tasjan stands as another example of how young Nashvillians fearlessly create art for art’s sake. Both artists thrill audiences by being open to experimenting with rock and blues elements without watering down the three chords and truths at the heart of each song. This all comes from the 30-somethings who were among the last kids to grow up with actual rock bands on the radio.

Co-produced with Jeff Trott at a friend’s Nashville residence, the new album follows the breakout success of 2016’s Silver Tears. His next step toward becoming a more countrified yet equally rocking Tom Petty is out Aug. 31 on New West Records.

Karma for Cheap Track List

1. “If Not Now When”
2. “The Truth Is So Hard to Believe”
3. “The Rest Is Yet to Come”
4. “Heart Slows Down”
5. “End of the Day”
6. “Dream Dreamer”
7. “Strange Shadows”
8. “Set You Free”
9. “Crawling at Your Feet”
10. “Song Bird”

Now Watch: Rising Country Artists of 2018

recommended for you

Hear Aaron Lee Tasjan’s Rocking Take on Cosmic Country, ‘If Not Now When’