Story Behind the Song: Yola, ‘Ride Out in the Country’
Up-and-coming vocal powerhouse Yola utilized an unusual writing style when working on her forthcoming debut album, Walk Through Fire. While all 12 of the project's tracks were co-written by ace Nashville producer (and Black Keys member) Dan Auerbach, the singer also brought in a rotating cast of legendary writers and performers to join her and Auerbach in working on each song: iconic keyboardist and session musician Bobby Wood, former Muscle Shoals Swamper Dan Penn and frequent John Prine collaborator Pat McLaughlin, among others.
In writing the album's lead-off single, "Ride Out in the Country," Yola and Auerbach collaborated with longtime Nashville songwriter and bassist Joe Allen. To learn more about how her songwriting team-ups led to a richer finished project, read on.
We had a very holistic approach to writing, full stop. So, the entire record was co-written with Dan Auerbach, but also, every session, we'd bring in someone -- some serious, high-level legend -- to contribute and add different flavor to what me and Dan were creating.
It was a really interesting, and I think intelligent, way to do the co-writing thing. It was very much like Dan and I figured out where we were going to interact, and then another co-writer was brought in at that point. It gave the album movement, so that you can feel the strong thread as the sound changes through the record ...
There's a very strong thread linking it together. I love records that can do that, that are able to not just have the photocopied single and then loads of album tracks that basically mimic the single and have a slightly different chord structure, or something. I like a bit of range, and that writing environment created that range.
So, when we went into writing "Ride Out in the Country," we didn't know what we were aiming to do. We went in with no pre-conception.
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