Jacob Metcalf – you may know him from his long-time bands Fox and the Bird and Dallas Family Band – is dropping his first full-length solo album, Fjord, on January 29.
“If Fjord is about splintered people living in a fractured age, then ‘Cut Your Ties’ is like a tiny disordered microcosm of that planet, said the Dallas-based singer-songwriter. “Writing this song, I began to notice a self-destructive pattern emerging in my behavior, one that was hurting me and the people around me. It got so bad at one point that I could see a proverbial line drawn in the sand, and my closest ones choosing the side I wasn’t on. I lost some dear friends through that time.”
Metcalf decided that it was time to make a change, and he resolved get away for awhile.
“At my worst, disappointed, dejected, I took up an unlikely invitation from a couple of friendly folks to join them on a final Bon Voyage for their aging 1970’s camper van. I felt marooned; what did I have to lose? So I resigned from my jobs, sold or donated most of what I owned, and bought a one-way ticket to meet them in Guadalajara. After 40 days putting through the high mountain passes in Chiapas, smog-ridden webs of Mexico City, and the coastal sands of the Yucatan, I hugged them goodbye and went off on my own.”
Though Metcalf ended up traveling all over Central America, his explorations weren’t all external. His journey led him down a rabbit hole of internal reflection, and he came out the other side with a new perspective and appreciation for community.
“That’s when the trip became an unintended sojourn for me,” continued Metcalf. “The next five months, criss-crossing through every corner of Central America on the way to Panama, I feared for my life once or twice, and I had it reaffirmed dozens of times. And meanwhile, the world back home continued to spin without so much as a hiccup. It was humbling and empowering all at once. I began to appreciate the people I knew best with a whole new light. It’s tempting to think that we are all alone, that our day-to-day lives lack significance, that we are too small or don’t matter. No one has a monopoly on pain. Someone out there knows what you’re going through. It’s vital that we stay curious. And optimistic. We can give others permission to grow, to change, to forgive and be forgiven. We need each other.”
Listen to the exclusive premiere of “Cut Your Ties” above, and don’t forget to grab Fjord, available on vinyl and digital on January 29.