About six years ago, the iTunes store would post a free song and free music every week. I had just gotten a new iPod Touch and was always on the lookout for new music, so I’d download these songs every week without fail. Thanks to these downloads, I discovered some of my favorite artists. One week, the song “Luck” by American Authors was posted and as soon as I finished listening to it for the first time I purchased their debut album which also featured the song “Best Day of My Life.” In the ensuing years, American Authors have continued to write and release new music with their latest five-track EP, Counting Down, releasing September 18, 2020 via Island Records.
According to Zac Barnett, the band’s vocalist/guitarist, the songs on the EP were written for fun while the band spent a few days in Nashville. They didn’t really intend on releasing them so soon after their previous album, Seasons. The opening track, “Brick by Brick” is a great song with an upbeat tempo and positive feeling. It’s very radio-friendly and has the potential to be even bigger than “Best Day of My Life.”
“Counting Down” is a love letter explaining that anyone who travels a lot can relate to. Barnett sings of being away for a while and is counting down the days, hours and minutes until he gets home and is able to be with his beloved once again. I really like the drum beat in “Microphone,” set front-and-center over the other instruments and boasts more of a hip-hop feel to it. My 11-year-old son is learning to play drums and I’m going to encourage him to try and teach himself how to play it (although, if drummer Matt Sanchez wants to send the drum notations, he would appreciate it).
For “Best I Can,” American Authors teamed up with Norwegian EDM duo Seeb to create and release a song that truly crosses boundaries and genres and is sure to help them gain a wider audience.
Overall, Counting Down proves to be the stepping stone to the next era for the band. American Authors are proving to fans, both new and old, that they can change and grow with the times while creating music that will continue to be appealing.
“For me, this body of work is going to close a big chapter in American Authors. These songs are helping to move the band to the next step, and move forward into something new, because you always want to be progressing forward.”Zac Barnett