When Alaska Reid has a vision, there's nothing that will stop her from seeing it through until the end. The 20-year-old singer was pushed and pulled in so many directions by the music industry—bigwigs trying to prime her into the next pop star or suggesting she sound more like Sheryl Crow—that she decided to self-release her debut EP, Crush, with her band, Alyeska. The eight-song collection showcases Reid's penchant for experimenting in the genre of pop, which was fortified by producer John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Dinosaur JR and Phosphorescent) behind the soundboard.
The EP was one of the last albums recorded in the legendary Magic Shop studio, where Bowie laid down his final masterpiece, Blackstar, and Arcade Fire laid down The Suburbs. During the session, Reid held onto one track, "Absaroka," which she's releasing as a stand alone single.
Like its Wyoming mountain range namesake, the track climbs high through nearly three and half minutes of fuzzy guitar riffs and Reid's reverb-drenched vocals, reaching its peak near the two-minute-mark as a frenetic instrumental bridge explodes through the chorus.
"I wrote this song in the van when I was traveling back from playing some shows in the Pacific Northwest," Reid explains. "We were taking a highway off the Eastern side of the Sierra Nevadas. It was so stunning and strange, and it made me very thoughtful and lonely. We passed a Bunny Ranch, which blew my mind because I just had no clue what that was. We all started watching YouTube interviews with the Bunnies. Regardless, we stopped at this lake that had all these military explosives buried under the ground. It was a beautiful clear lake that had become untouchable. A place like that lake is so surreal that it drives me to think about how nothing ever seems to have a clear resolution. I ended up just wanting to go home to my own mountain range, so that's why I named the song 'Absaroka.'"
Listen to "Absaroka" below.