With sold-out crowds already singing along to the unreleased song and preview clips garnering over 2.7 million views on social media, the eagerly-awaited full version of ‘Key West & Colorado‘ from multi-Platinum singer-songwriter Chase Rice is available everywhere now.
‘Key West & Colorado’ received a worldwide first play on The Country Show with Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2 last night (28 July), with Harris calling it a “wonderful new track.” The first play was followed by release day spins on Absolute Radio Country and Downtown Country.
“When we wrote ‘Key West & Colorado’ in Grayton Beach we weren’t necessarily planning on writing a song that day,” recalls Rice of the song’s origin. “We went out on Brian Kelley’s boat that day – it was me, him, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Corey Crowder and Hunter Phelps – and he told me that I’d actually posted about a trip I did from Key West to Colorado and he thought it’d be a cool title. Within less than a minute I twisted it to what the song turned into.”
The impromptu songwriting session was emblematic of Rice’s recent bout of creativity away from the traditional confines of Music Row, with the bulk of his forthcoming album written on trips with friends or alone with an acoustic guitar at his Tennessee farm. The shift in setting suited the man Billboard celebrates as “having storytelling details tumble from his lips, his portraits created quickly and efficiently,” with CMT noting, “The vocalist worked day in and day out to find the courage to knock down the wall he had kept up his entire career. Once he demolished the barricade holding him back, he left his heart and soul on the writing table.”
“The aspects of songwriting he’d always been naturally good at, he began to hone in on with more skill and attention,” adds Country Now. “Earlier songs like ‘Jack Daniels & Jesus’ and ‘Carolina Can’ proved Rice’s innate love of imagery-rich, potent songwriting, for example, but this time around, he dug his heels deeper than ever into that vivid storytelling style.”
With this release as a preview of the full-length project to come, Rice shares what he describes as “a story about a man trying to figure his life out – trying to figure out his past, trying to figure out his satiation with the breakup that he had or the woman that was in his life that he lost – and the trip that he took to help him along that journey.”
Somewhere between Key West & Colorado
I found God in a gold Silverado
Had to get a little lost to get a little found
Learned you can’t find love if you can’t slow down
Somewhere between that sand and the snow
Salt in the air and salt on the road
Finally let myself let her go
Somewhere between Key West & Colorado
Not long after the spontaneous writing session that spawned ‘Key West & Colorado,’ the song quickly found its way into Rice’s live sets as a fan-favourite acoustic moment, particularly throughout the Blessed and Free Tour with Kane Brown earlier this year. Immediately after wrapping that run of shows, the man praised by American Songwriter as “one of country music’s most intriguing and lasting acts” hunkered down in his living room with producer Oscar Charles and Jordan Rigby to set up a makeshift recording environment, intent on capturing a new, raw sound unlike any of his previous studio projects.
“It felt really good to dive into recording with ‘Key West & Colorado’ translating right away from on stage to the studio,” explains Rice, “and it’s the perfect bridge from where I was to where this album’s going. We spent two weeks recording with no click track, a live band, no fake instrumentation at all – really getting in there and grinding and making it right. It’s been the craziest, coolest thing I’ve ever done since I’ve worked in music and I’m excited for people to hear it.”