How Ryan Tedder & A Kidney Stone Inspired Parachute’s New Album
“Hearts Go Crazy,” the lead single off Parachute‘s third album, Overnight, came about in an altered state. And only after some prodding did frontman Will Anderson share the graphic tale behind the song.
“I was diagnosed with a kidney stone and through the pain I was delirious on some sort of drug, pain medication,” he told Radio.com. “My tour manager said I was singing that song through my stupor and pain so I knew at that point that was going to be the single. I called our manager the next day and said this was going to be our single and that was that.”
Anderson added that “Hearts Go Crazy” was also selected as the first single because it was so versatile, with the band recording several versions of the song so it could translate to any genre.
“We had the acoustic version, we had the rock version, we had a pop version, we even had a house/dubstep version,” he said. “It was a very nice vehicle to get our sound across all these different spectrums. It’s definitely different from what we’ve done but the song itself is overall us.” Listen to the acoustic version below.
Released back in February, “Hearts Go Crazy” marks a sonic departure for Parachute. While their past releases relied heavily on acoustic guitar, light percussion and Anderson’s soft vocals, “Hearts Go Crazy” is an electronic-driven dance track with a heavy bass beat. Anderson admitted that while it was scary to release music that pointed the band in a new direction, it needed to be done.
“We knew this was where we needed to go to move forward. We had gotten to a point where we had defined our sound and had done it for four years,” he explained. “It was something we needed to do to reach an even broader audience.”
Formed in Virginia while the guys were still in college, Parachute toured the East Coast on weekends and slowly built a fan base. Shortly after graduation, the pop-rockers released debut album Losing Sleep. The album featured debut single “She Is Love,” which received both radio airplay and placement in a Nivea commercial. Parachute’s third album will be released on August 13 by Island Def Jam, and guitarist Nate McFarland elaborated on what to expect.
“I think it’s our most mature songwriting yet but at it’s core it’s still good pop songwriting,” McFarland said. “We had a producer that loves good pop production so he helped put a good tension on pulling us more on the pop side but at it’s heart I think it’s still very much our sound.”
For the first time, Parachute enlisted the help of co-writers on Overnight. Their new single “Can’t Help” was written with OneRepublic‘s Ryan Tedder, a writer Anderson cites as a “genius.” For a month, Anderson stayed in Los Angeles to write a few tracks on his own and with co-writers. The writing sessions were less fruitful than he had hoped, until he sat down with Tedder to work on “Can’t Help.”
“It was a little idea that Ryan had that I then jumped on and expanded on,” he said. “It was cool to be in a room with people who you really respect and to write a song like that. It wasn’t about anybody in particular, it was just a fun song that we decided to run with. I think all of us when we heard it were really excited about playing it so much so that we said, ‘Screw it, we’re just going to start playing it now,’ and started playing it long before we had even recorded it.” Listen below.
Another track the band is excited to release is “Drive You Home.” While fans who have caught Parachute on tour over the past few months have heard a preview of it during their live set, Anderson said that the track came to him out of nowhere.
“I was almost a vessel by which it could come out into the world,” he confessed. “I didn’t know if I was going to get any for this record but that ['Drive You Home'] was the first one of many. That was the first song that I wrote that I was like, ‘I can still do this.’ You never know. Sometimes you’re like, ‘I wonder if it’s going to go away at some point’ but that one was one where I said, ‘OK, we’re going to be fine.'”