I fell in love with Chuck Westmoreland’s former voice back in 2006, when his band’s second record—K1 by The Kingdom—came out. Westmoreland’s manic energy, propensity for big concepts, and that otherworldly falsetto added up to what could’ve been, should’ve been a massive band. But things fizzled and Westmoreland pretty much disappeared from music. He wrote a bunch of songs post-Kingdom, but life got in the way of music. “I got involved with owning and operating a restaurant,” he told The A.V. Club via email. “My wife got cancer and she and I lived in a bubble together during her treatment and I didn’t think about much else. She is healthy now and we became closer than I can imagine two people being. When she started getting better I got really into woodworking and started building guitars, which led to playing them and writing music again.”
The first fruits of Westmoreland’s solo endeavor—and first sounds of his lower register—take the shape of “The Clouds Beyond Us Carry Rain.” We’ve got the exclusive look at the video above, which features Westmoreland in full country crooner mode, carrying a bandaged (but still living?) woman out into the woods. The composition “felt more like finding a song than writing a song,” he said. The single will be available next Friday, and full-length album is due later this year. Enjoy.