Singer-songwriter Ryan Culwell has shared yet another track from his upcoming album The Last American. With “Heaven Everywhere I Go,” we hitch a ride with Culwell as he carves up county roads with an unhinged, yet smooth pace. It’s an adrenaline rush as it glides in and out of the shadows of a full moon night.
The pulse of the majority of the song is very much like how a pair of headlights flutter and flash between trees lining a seldom-used blacktop. Shadows overcome with blinding fluorescence as Culwell steers. Even while we’re presented with a lead foot pace to start out, “Heaven Everywhere I Go” is marked by fragile breakdowns that hum and buzz as we catch our breath with idling engines.
Culwell’s narrator has a spirited reckless abandon. You’re never too sure why exactly our Bonnie and Clyde are burning both ends of the candle and why they’re running from the cops. Though signs of a heist or robbery are scattered along the way, in many respects, it doesn’t matter—for both him and us. Sometimes, it’s wanting bad to feel alive.
“I can smile in hell, that’s just the way I roll, I find heaven everywhere I go,” sings Culwell on the rushing and anthemic chorus. He’s on edge with a sharp biting delivery. Still, he pulls back when the bottom falls out during the ethereal pauses. Culwell’s vocals become ghostly and faint at moments.
“The judge threw the book at my face, you’re a danger to yourself, boy, and everyone else,” he sings. You lean in for the whispered storytelling. It’s during these moments we see the consequences for earlier events. We’re in the trough of the waves. It’s elegant and flushed with delicate brushstrokes. An unwavering tension builds during these moments though. You’re soon rushing off with Culwell’s cavalier restlessness. Just as we’ve regained our breath, it’s off the to races once again as Culwell lets out the soaring chorus once more. You never want it to end.
Much like previous singles “Can You Hear Me” and “The Last American,” Culwell’s eye for sharp character development reigns supreme on “Heaven Everywhere I Go.” Small details linger—”I’d do anything to see through that dress” transforms into “the dress was dripping, it was hanging on the rearview dripping.” They’re saturated with vivid and stark images. Still, “Heaven Everywhere I Go” is an adventurous sonic soundscape as well. It’s marked by transitional pieces of the puzzle that slowly fade away into the ether. Sharp sonic bubbles swell before popping only to arise once again.
The Last American, the follow-up to 2015’s Flatlands, is due out August 24 via Missing Piece Records.