A. Wesley Chung – Abandon (The Farthest Shore): Premiere
Listen to the new single from Glasgow-based songwriter A. Wesley Chung, taken from his upcoming solo album
Californian songwriter A. Wesley Chung is perhaps best known for collaborations with the likes of Into It. Over It and Avi Buffalo or his work under the moniker of The Great Albatross, but that could all be about to change when Chung drops his first solo album under his own name later this month via Glasgow's own LP Records. Abandon (The Farthest Shore) is a sparkling slice of Americana-infused indie that brings to mind the early work of The Shins, and we're delighted to be sharing a first play of the track.
Chung's new album Neon Coast takes influences from Country, Motown and Americana as it addresses the themes of freedom, lonesomeness and restlessness, and – as Chung tells us – Abandon is a track that's all about "the existential angst that comes with creating anything and the complicated relationship between success, true desire and freedom."
Introducing the track, which you can listen to in the YouTube player above – click here if it's not displaying – Chung says: "Some of it comes from my experience of past years when I had the ongoing tension of deciding whether or not I should try making music my day job, and the self doubt that came with even considering that my songwriting could be good enough to try. And once you start listening to your own self doubt and gauging success monetarily, a person begins to question the point of making music.
"Long story short, I think I have made my peace with most of these feelings, but they are decisions I have to continue to choose. This is especially hard since the modern markers of success within music can feel very oppressive (amount of followers, plays, views, etc..); it can drive you a bit mad and enslave you to your social media.
"I have found that assessing what you truly want in life and defining success for yourself brings far more freedom than following the paths of success defined by an industry, culture or the perceptions of others. And in my experience, the West Coast of the US (and Southern California specifically) can be an incredibly tricky place to centre yourself in this way as it is the epicentre for narratives of celebrity, wish fulfillment and overnight success.
"There is a clarity in getting a better handle on what you value and then letting that guide your decisions. For me I made choices early on that created a strong plan B if I wasn't going to 'make it' in music, and possibly by doing so, I had sealed my fate that I was never going to 'make it' (music being a young person's game). But I don't regret it, because the life I'm living is (generally speaking) aligned with my values and what I'm wanting, but there are still plenty of moments where the longing to 'have it all' is still enticing, even though I'm well aware that it is an illusion."
Neon Coast is released on 18 May via LP Records. A. Wesley Chung launches the album at The Glad Cafe in Glasgow on 18 May; he also plays The Hug & Pint in Glasgow on 28 May with Avi Buffalo, and End of the Road Festival at Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset, 30 Aug - 2 Sep.