PREMIERE: Cute Boots – “More Time”

Cute Boots

Cute Boots frontman Gus Fernandez is, first and foremost, a storyteller. He’s a songwriter as well, of course, and a talented one at that, but each of his band’s compositions, from the introspective ballads to the rowdy road rockers, all work in service to the many characters—the lovers, dreamers, fighters, renegades and lost causes—that populate their songs. “The sonic aesthetic within Cute Boots has always been pretty simple,” says Fernandez. “We stay true to classic approaches to songwriting, drawing influences from folk singer/songwriters like James Taylor, Paul Simon or Cat Stevens and throwing in the energy of collaborative bands like The E-Street Band, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones. Storytelling is hugely important to me when writing lyrics, and I tend to structure the songs to compliment a narrative that develops and concludes within a song.”

A Fresh Start in the Same Old Town, out tomorrow via local microlabel Bear Kids Recordings, is the band’s first full length, and the culmination of three turbulent years that included losing founding vocalist Jenae Roseen in the midst of tracking the record. Although Roseen still appears on a couple of songs (as does Rachel Wright of Villain Family on others), the process forced the group to reevaluate their approach to songwriting, as well as how they would perform and present their music. The end result for Cute Boots has been a more streamlined dynamic, one that focuses greater attention on Fernandez’s piano-driven melodies and the group’s earnest, ramshackle energy.

“More Time,” which we’re excited to premiere for you today, is the second single to be revealed off the album, and it finds the four-piece straddling the line between their more reflective tendencies and their four-on-the-floor verve. Thematically, it’s a song about self-discovery as told through the lens of a young man trying to cope with the pressures of establishing an identity and finding his way in the world. There’s hints of sadness and struggle in Fernandez’s Southern twang, to be sure, but the prevailing mood is far more defiant than defeated, much more optimistic and celebratory than downcast.

“Lately I’ve been using the phrase ‘underdog Americana’ to describe our music,” Fernandez explains, “and I think ‘More Time’ is a good example of that. It started with the main hook, ‘I can’t help it if I need more time.’ This was the first line I had and I loved how ubiquitous it was, applicable for so many situations. I asked each member of the band to write an anecdotal verse about a situation in which they’ve needed more time. It ended up more like a discussion over beers, but I took what I got and turned it into a song that celebrates the idea of taking the time to discover who it is you are and what you want despite the pressures that be, no matter how long it takes, whether it’s choosing a career, religion or a life partner.”

In support of their new release, Cute Boots will continue performing regularly in Atlanta (including a release show tomorrow night at the Earl) with the possibility of some out-of-town stints in the near future. In addition, the band is working on a claymation video for album track “Somebody Like You,” as well as a special Lucinda Williams cover, both of which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Cute Boots will celebrate the release of A Fresh Start in the Same Old Town tomorrow night at the Earl. Supporting them will be fellow locals Factory and 100 Watt Horse. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $8.

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