“All I Can Think About Lately” by CJ Solar – Billboard

Dictionary.com defines an earworm as “a melody or part of a song that repeats itself in the mind.”

Which makes C.J. SolarThe new single from “All I Can Think About Lately”, kind of a self-defining earworm. The chorus hook – which specifically benefits from the way the word “recently” sits in the sonic tension and release of the line – is so extremely sticky that it can indeed become anything the listener can think of. for hours, to the point that the earworm becomes mildly addictive.

It’s a perfect result, given that “All I Can Think About Lately” adds to a long line of songs – from Thomas B.J.‘ ‘Addicted to a feeling’ at Thomas Rhet and Maren Morris‘ ‘Craving You’ – who used physical addiction as a metaphor for love or infatuation.

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Despite its creative success, “All I Can Think About Lately” has been mostly kept under wraps for the past seven years, in part because Solar expected just enough backlash from the nation’s most conservative gatekeepers to hamper its intro. “I really wanted to do it [for] the first EP [in 2016],” he recalled. “I was just like, ‘Man, one hook to get high, my stuff is already ripping. I don’t know if people are ready for that. My second EP [in 2018]he was waiting.

So, “All I Can Think About Lately” finally hits the public after a slow-motion journey, seven years after its premiere on March 4, 2015. Solar wrote it with Joey Hyde (“Later”, “Made for You”) and Aaron Eshuis (“You Time,” “This Is It”) at Sony/ATV, where Hyde was editor. The three men’s memories of “All I Can Think About Lately” are sketchy, though it’s a fading product of time and not a sign they were creating amidst a smoky haze in their work environment.

“I don’t think Sony/ATV would have necessarily tolerated that,” Solar says with a chuckle, “but I don’t think we were that day.”

“I probably average 120 songs a year,” Hyde adds. “If it was seven years ago, it’s some 840 songs ago. You know what I mean? I don’t remember what I wrote yesterday.

Although there is no consensus, it seems that Solar brought the title to the room that day. They created a chorus that suited his voice perfectly, although as new songwriters they were more focused on writing a hit for an established act – Jason Aldeanfor example – than storing material for a potential future solar project.

“That melodic sensibility is pretty natural for CJ, and he was sort of directing the music that day,” Eshuis recalled. “I think Joey and I kind of supported his role, and I think he has that kind of natural southern rock influence that Aldean does too. So, that’s really CJ’s song – that’s what was coming out of his soul that day.

Intentionally or not, this solar choir has played its best musical attributes enough to create an addictive pattern. After applying tension and release in the two “late-ly” syllables, they repeated the effect each time they inserted a word of similar structure with a long A vowel sound – “crazy”, “hazy “, “baby” – creating a melody. chaos and offering sweet relief, preparing the listener to receive even more aural successes.

Not that they could have explained what was going on; they wrote, says Hyde, out of “blissful ignorance,” relying on their guts to find out what worked. “At the time, we didn’t know what the rules were,” Hyde says. “And we don’t particularly care what the rules were. So, we just did what felt right, and it felt right that day with the three of us. We all three have a kind of rock background. It made sense.

Enhancing the narcotic hints, they crafted an opening verse that finds the singer yearning for another rush that resembles the one he experienced the night before. It’s not until the second line of the chorus that it’s clear he wants to repeat the high of a romance session, not a drug trip. Appropriately, new information is revealed, not announced.

“You don’t want to wear out the shtick,” Eshuis says. “So it would have been very intentional. There’s always this fine line that you want it to be clever in order for it to be interesting, but you don’t want there to be so much winking – like “See what I did there “all the time – because the listener picks up on that. You don’t want to be too cute.

After the real subject is revealed in the chorus, the second verse emphasizes how much women occupy the singer’s inner life, calling her “usually no choice”. They wrapped up this stanza giving it an everyday man’s point of view while admitting his vulnerability: “You hang the moon for that old boy.”

“This might be incredibly inappropriate, but I was kidding [saying] “You turn on the spoon for that old boy,” Solar says with a laugh. “I was kidding, but we threw that one in jest. We definitely weren’t going to put that in a song.

Solar has periodically performed “All I Can Think About Lately” over the years in his live sets while waiting for it to tour Music Row, though it never quite caught on with another artist. (Solar, however, had success writing Morgan Wallen“Up Down” and Jameson Rodgers‘ “Some Girls.”) Ultimately, as weed has been legally normalized in more states, Solar considers the song’s subject matter less problematic in 2022 than it was in 2015, and he basically raised his hand when he started recording his next album. , co-produced with his road drummer, Nick Gibbensat Soultrain Studios in the Berry Hill neighborhood of Nashville.

“He’s a big country music guy, but he’s also a rock guy when it comes to the music he listens to – like he’s a foo fighters/Carrion crows sort of a fan,” says Solar de Gibbens. “It’s drums and electric guitar – it’s kind of something that I feel like we’re leaning into a bit.”

Evan Hutchins‘ cymbal- and tambourine-strewn cymbal-heavy back beat worked alongside Solar’s hip guitar arpeggios and Sol Philcox-Littlefieldthe scorching slide guitar to capture a Lynyrd Skynyrd/Molly Hachette ambiance, while the Philcox-Littlefield solo squeals a bit like Chris Leuzingerthe role in Garth Brooks‘ “Thunder rolls.”

Solar played the team the original demo, recorded in the key of G, and they bumped it up to A just to inject some extra urgency. But the musicians needed very little direction to navigate.

“These guys are so good,” says Solar. “They might just look at each other, you know, like give a little nod and say, ‘Oh, we’re going to do something weird here,’ and then they somehow know what they’re doing. I don’t know how it works.

It’s just. So Solar self-released “All I Can Think About Lately” to country radio on her Raining Bacon label via PlayMPE on April 5, presenting herself to many listeners with a song that’s hard to get out of their heads once she gets down to it. was heard.

“It sounds,” he says, “like how I want songs to sound.”

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