Wesley Dean announces new album, shares new single/video feat. Sarah Buxton

Wesley Dean announces new album, shares new single/video feat. Sarah Buxton Back

East Portland Blog

January 26, 2024: Wesley Dean has announced his much anticipated album, Music From Crazy Hearts, will be released on April 26. To accompany the news, the Nashville by way of Australia artist has also shared the hopeful, country-flavored ballad, “Don’t Look Back,” featuring country singer Sarah Buxton, along with the official music video.

Dean is hot off the back of the Crazy Hearts Across America Summer tour where he and his family drove over 5000 miles from Nashville to Los Angeles in an RV via towns steeped in musical history; Memphis, New Orleans, Luckenbach, Marfa, Las Vegas, and many more. With a director and cameraperson in tow, the tour was recorded as part of the upcoming feature Crazy Hearts: The Documentary, where “Don’t Look Back” and the other nine album tracks complement the soundscape to Dean’s own story of breaking the industry mold to carve out his name independently. As a precursor to the documentary, the “Don’t Look Back” music video is a scrapbook of the tour, evoking the varying rhythms of life on the road during this uniquely crafted tour.

Watch “Don’t Look Back” Music Video

“We’re all fighting for someone or something in our own way which is why ‘Don’t Look Back’ feels like one of the most honest songs I’ve ever written,” explains Dean. “The lyric, ‘When the boy becomes a man, and the girl leaves her dying plans,’ is about sacrifice, the challenges of relationships, and how sometimes life can be so overwhelming it’s a fight just to get out of bed. That’s why the first line, ‘You gotta believe in something, if you want to be anything in this life,’ is the opening sentiment of the song, because it’s about having the courage to continue to believe that you can achieve great things no matter what. It’s about recognizing your struggles and overcoming them.

“I wanted this song to speak to the people who feel like they have to give up a part of themselves as they get older because it’s safer to get a ‘real job’, or conform to social norms. I wanted them to feel inspired to continue to fight for their authentic self-expression, and to not question if they’re doing the right thing, but to trust their instincts and ‘Don’t Look Back’.”

Long before the formal declaration of Crazy Hearts, Wesley Dean was already well-acquainted with farflung, by-the-seat-of-his-trousers travel into destinations unknown. Having moved his young family from the Sunshine Coast to Nashville at the height of the pandemic with little to no idea of what was waiting for them, he and his Aslan-hearted wife, Charlotte, chose to bet on the one thing they did know was there: the dream. They smiled in the face of its bared teeth, and Crazy Hearts Across America was their first fearless foray. Dean wanted to honor the well worn paths of the greats before him, troubadours like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, who earned their audiences face to face, one show at a time.

From tip to stern the Crazy Hearts pirate ship was destined to be a record for the road. Captured in just five flurried days at RCA and conjuring timeless images reminiscent of Young Guns, Dean’s basaltic, corduroy-clad voice inhabits characters here like those first popularized in Gunfighter Ballads by Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash’s “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town.” Though Dean draws effortlessly and intuitively from the archetypal well of the cowboy ballads that gave original rise to American country music, and Crazy Hearts solemnly salutes both Marty Stuart and Buck Owens with its integrity-driven narratives, this is not just a horse of a different color, but one pointed in a completely different direction. Crazy Hearts is an album full of stories that will cleave you in half, sung by a seeker’s voice that was designed to stitch you back together in a more self-sustaining style than you were wearing yourself before.

For more than a dozen years Dean’s been one of Australia’s best-known artists, armed with a larger-than-life voice that catapulted songs like “You” to the top of the charts. Even so, the Adelaide native found himself boarding an American-bound plane in early 2021 with his young family. Dean’s effortless ability to embody multiple genres, such as roots rock, soul and folk meant, after a brief hiatus from the spotlight of earlier years, Dean was able to return to music on his own terms, writing songs that mixed heartland hooks with heart-baring honesty for his previous album and American debut, Unknown.


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