Nashville singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter caught our attention with 2012’s Feathers and Fishhooks, but it seems that 2013 has yielded even more success for the emerging artist. Following a string of buzzy performances at South By Southwest, Baxter has toured almost constantly and even made appearances at big-name festivals like Bonnaroo. Now, Baxter has announced a five-song digital EP, ashkeLon.
The live EP was recorded in a single day in Baxter’s home of Nashville, Tenn., but the album takes its name from the city in Israel where the songwriter spent an important time in his life.
“Ashkelon is where I started writing songs and where I have returned numerous times. For me, that was where this all began,” said Baxter. “It’s a very special place. It’s my little green garden in the desert.”
To celebrate the forthcoming release of ashkeLon, Baxter will embark on a series of live dates, including an appearance at the renowned Newport Folk Festival. It seems fitting to celebrate the release with live performances given the inspiration for the album itself.
“I love recording live. You can hear everything,” said Baxter. “The foot taps, the wood bench creaking, my buddy Dave, who filmed the entire session, tripping on the mic cable in the middle of a song. All of that makes for a incredibly unique listening experience. That’s the goal. No sugar. No salt. Just the song.”
You can listen to a track from the album, “bad things,” in the player below, and watch the live video for the track at the bottom of the page. ashkeLon is set for release on August 20 via ATO Records, and Baxter’s upcoming tour dates are available on his website.