Will Johnson Shares “Sinker, Sinking” 

Will Johnson’s newest, No Ordinary Crown (Keeled Scales) is set to be released on September 15, 2023, and hums with palpable motion. Travelers, runners, and conductors fill its lyrics, and gesticulating storms and emotional highs and lows seep through the instinctual quality of its rock ’n roll performances.

The songs were conceived in stolen moments and brief windows of time between the responsibilities of family and a multi-hyphenate career. The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, painter and novelist describes the demo process as “fairly jagged,” a gathering and stitching of audio snippets recorded via cell phone and dictaphone over a year and half. “I finalized the songs on short tours where I could hear my thoughts a bit more clearly,” he says.

For “The Conductor Calls,” the album’s sixth track, a sonic buckshot imbued with pedal steel and wise couplets, that meant crawling into the back of a Prius in a hotel parking lot in Columbus, Ohio. “The lyrics spilled out quickly; I knew I had to document it and not tweak it too much because it felt so natural,” he recalls.

“Sinker, Sinking” fell together in a Tulsa hotel room fairly quickly.  It’s a pop song for the greater part, but lyrically zeroes in on its subject’s hiding out, while a storm builds outside.  It’s not a stretch to suggest that the storm represents a kind of anxiety, and the hope is to zoom out, let the movements of the day occur naturally, and ultimately try to do away with the waves of incessant worry.  I knew I wanted the band to shine as the outro unfurled, and they certainly did. – Will Johnson