Just in time for Valentine’s Day, singer/songwriter Greg Laswell has penned a love letter of sorts to his fans with his forthcoming album I Was Going to Be an Astronaut to be released on February 11, 2014 and available for pre-order now. For this special 11-track collection, he’s re-made, re-imagined, and re-recorded some of his – and his fans – favorite songs throughout his career.
Laswell explains, “I’d been playing alternate versions of some of these songs at my shows over the past few years and every time people would come up afterwards and ask if there was ever going to be any recorded versions of those songs. It happened enough times that I decided to do it. Another reason for doing this is because when I slow down a song or sing it a different way than when originally recorded, the meaning tends to change.”
Fans will be thrilled to learn that the alternate versions of “How the Day Sounds” and “What a Day” are among the tracks included on the CD. The album also features a cover of Sparklehorse’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which Laswell says is his favorite song on the album. His favorite remake of his own, however, is the new version of “December,” which was a song that didn’t make his critically acclaimed debut, 2006‘s Through Toledo. Of all the tracks on the record, the artist says “December” and “How the Day Sounds” are the songs that changed the most from their original versions.
This collection wouldn’t be complete without one of his most popular songs, “Comes and Goes (In Waves),” which was his breakout hit from 2008’s Three Flights from Alto Nido. The single garnered more than 6 million plays on YouTube, 3 million Spotify streams, 100,000 digital downloads via SoundScan, and multiple placements in music and TV, including True Blood, NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy. Adding to his accolades is the fact that 100 new Greg Laswell stations are created every day on Pandora.
Of stripping “Comes and Goes (In Waves)” down for the album, Laswell says, “I was nervous about it. It was one of the first songs I tried to record and I couldn’t do it. I wanted to be mindful to not take away what people loved of the original. I tried to choose songs that I thought I could put a new spin on while not getting in the way of what I already did.”
As for the album’s curious title, I Was Going To Be an Astronaut, it’s Laswell’s favorite line from “December.” He explains the lyric’s significance to him: “It’s saying the more I try to plan for things, the more other things happen – personally and professionally. I feel like when I sing that song now it’s more of a celebration of that fact rather than the mystery of this crazy life that we’re all living. Whereas when I first wrote it, it was a little bit more out of despair. I really, really enjoyed coming back and doing that song from the perspective of where I am now,” he says.
I Was Going To Be an Astronaut Track Listing:
1. I Don’t Believe It’s Through (2013 Remake)
2. It’s a Wonderful Life (Sparklehorse cover)
3. Comes and Goes (In Waves) (2013 Remake)
4. What a Day (2013 Remake)
5. How the Day Sounds (2013 Remake)
6. December (2013 Remake)
7. Off I Go (2013 Remake)
8. Take Everything (2013 Remake)
9. Embrace Me (2013 Remake)
10. High and Low (2013 Remake)
11. And Then You (2013 Remake)
February 11th: LeStat’s / San Diego, CA
February 12th: Troubadour / Los Angeles, CA
February 14th: The Chapel/ San Francisco , CA
February 16th: Mississippi Studios / Portland, OR
February 17th: The Triple Door / Seattle, WA
February 21st: David Friend Recital Hall / Boston, MA
February 22nd: Johnny Brenda’s / Philadelphia, PA
February 27th: Joe’s Pub / New York, NY
February 28th: U Street Music Hall / Washington, DC
March 4th: Space / Chicago, IL