Drunken Hearts Release ‘Sunlight’ (Feat. Big Richard)

BOULDER, Colo. — Led by acoustic guitarist and powerhouse lead singer Andrew McConathy—known for his compelling songwriting and distinct, expressive vocals—Drunken Hearts independently release their new single, “Sunlight (feat. Big Richard)” July 29 on all platforms. They also created a music video of the song with stunning surrealist animation.

McConathy says, “I wrote ‘Sunlight’ in September of 2021, I was depressed about the pandemic and hung up on trying to get things back to the way they used to be. The weekend before, I planned a writing trip to a cabin in the mountains of Colorado but encountered some of the worst writer’s block I’ve had. It was pretty frustrating and I guess only made my condition worse. However, when I got home, ‘Sunlight’ emerged the first time I pulled out my guitar.”

The song begins with a more mournful feel and progresses into another realm of joyful sorrow with it’s lyrics:

I can’t sleep with light in my eyes
I can’t help reaching for the sky
I don’t want to leave it all behind
you know I can’t stop my mind

This release from Drunken Hearts features McConathy along with Alex Johnson on drums/ percussion/samples, Adrian Engfer on upright bass and violin, Tyler Adams on piano, and Andy Reiner on violin. Johnson recorded the basic tracks in his basement studio in Arvada, CO and then Todd Divel re-tracked the acoustic guitar and vocals at Silo Sound in Denver, CO and finalized the mix and master.

“When we recorded it, I wanted the instrumentation to match the vibe of the song, which felt different from my other releases, and instantly thought cello would be fitting. I made a Facebook post looking for a cellist, and Joy Adams from Big Richard was the first recommendation. At first we just had upright bass, violin, and acoustic guitar, but over time added cello, more strings, piano, and very light drums. I love Big Richard and after already having Joy’s cello, it only made sense to add the rest of the band on harmony vocals to give the song an eerie, siren-esque feel. I love the way ‘Sunlight’ turned out and John Grigsby—bassist in Gregory Alan Isakov’s banddid a fantastic job bringing it all to life with video animation.”

All contributing to backing vocals on “Sunlight” (with Adams on cello), Big Richard is a charismatic, neo-acoustic supergroup formed in 2021 composed of four well-established Colorado musicians including Bonnie Sims [Bonnie & Taylor Sims, Everybody Loves an Outlaw, Bonnie and the Clydes], Joy Adams [Nathaniel Rateliff, Darol Anger, Half Pelican], Emma Rose [Sound of Honey, Daniel Rodriguez, Whippoorwill], and Eve Panning [Lonesome Days]. Big Richard’s vocal parts were recorded by Kyle Donovan at Cinder Sound Studio in Longmont, CO. Joy Adams and husband Andy Reiner recorded and tracked the cello and fiddle parts at their home studio outside of Black Hawk, CO.

Drunken Hearts have previously released four studio albums—Wheels of the City (2019 LoHi Records, Produced by Tim Carbone [Railroad Earth]), The Prize (2018), Love & Thirst (2016) (produced by Rob Eaton of Dark Star Orchestra) and Live For Today (2012)— as well as a live album, Alive ‘n Free (2021). More recently they released a series of singles through the pandemic from their EP Wildflower Sessions (recorded at Planet Bluegrass) in 2021 and early 2022. Drunken Hearts have shared the stage with acts like Billy Strings, Mumford & Sons, The Revivalists, Greensky Bluegrass, Mavis Staples, Black Pumas, Stevie Wonder, The String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band, and many more. 

Kind Words About Drunken Hearts From Previous Releases:
“… surely McConathy has one of the most memorable voices in roots music”  
Glide Magazine, Jim Hynes

“Heavy thinkers and power players” —PopMatters, Michael Bialas

“We are over the moon with their infectious humor, quick wit, and edgy Americana sound, so much so, we brought them into the studio” —WEXT Radio, Tabitha Clancy

“If you mix Pearl Jam with a mountain spirit, you get Drunken Hearts”
American Songwriter, Dallas Jackson

“[MConathy’s] distinctive and coarse tonality is sure to please listeners and carries the lyrics with intent” –Americana UK, Joe Edwards

“Drunken Hearts deliver an intimate perspective to a nostalgic rock and roll sound. Passionate vocals that are reminiscent of Eddie Vedder are both familiar and a newfound discovery”
Paul Hoffman [Greensky Bluegrass]

Somewhere between Counting Crows and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats you’ll find Drunken Hearts”  Fervor Coulee, Donald Teplyske

“Lead singer Andrew McConathy is not an imitation, he does emulate expressively a pure Eddie Vedder alt-country vocal halfway to deep-voiced Brad Roberts (Crash Test Dummies vocalist). But the Hearts’ music has musicality: it’s all golden” —Americana Highways, John Apice

Sunlight Features:

Drunken Hearts:
Andrew McConathy: Acoustic Guitar / Vocals
Alex Johnson: Drums / Percussion
Adrian Engfer: Upright Bass / Violin
Tyler Adams: Piano
Andy Reiner: Violin

+ Big Richard:
Joy Adams: Cello / Background Vocals
Bonnie Simms: Background Vocals
Emma Rose: Background Vocals
Eve Panning: Background Vocals

Written and Produced by Andrew McConathy
Recorded by Alex Johnson in Arvada, CO & Todd Divel at Silo Sound in Denver, CO
Big Richard was recorded by Kyle Donovan at Cinder Sound Studio in Longmont, CO
Mixed and Mastered by Todd Divel
Video animation by John Grigsby

Artist Update

Drunken Hearts Release New Single ‘Sunlight’ (Feat. Big Richard)

Out July 29, 2022