|Photo courtesy of the artist.
What happens whenever one of Will Johnson’s multitude of projects releases a new record is this: I fall into this crazy spiral of listening to everything that Johnson has ever had a hand in, from the dozen-plus Centro-matic LPs and EPs, to the handful of muted, sad, and lovely South San Gabriel records, to the two records he’s released under his own name and the joint project he recorded with Jason Molina three years ago. (Sometimes it gets even worse. I’ll wind up following Johnson’s epic output with all the records that SSG pedal steel player Matt Stoessel has played on, which is approximately 2/3rds of the albums released in Athens, Georgia, in the last ten years, and then everything that Centro-matic drummer Matt Pence has ever produced, and the next thing I know I wake up three weeks later and I’m completely hungover and have no idea what has just happened.)
Today, though, I’ve just got this single track on repeat: “You Will Be Here, Mine” is the first single from Johnson’s upcoming solo record, Scorpion, which will be his first release under his own name in eight years. (Not that he’s been slacking, since he’s got half a dozen Centro-matic and SSG albums under his belt, not to mention quite a bit of touring with the Monsters of Folk, in that time.) One of Johnson’s greatest talents as a songwriter is his ability to identify which persona gets which song; his Centro-matic songs sound nothing like his South San Gabriel songs, and neither sounds like his solo output. “You Will Be Here, Mine” sounds just like Will Johnson, solo: it’s a little meandering and a lot melancholy, with Johnson’s scratchy voice the primary instrument over the slow drumming and a lonely guitar line.
If you’ve never listened to any of Will Johnson’s songwriting, this is a great place to start — and then you have 15 years, three bands, and hundreds of songs of back catalog to check out if you like it.
You can trade your email for a download of the song, or just stream it below.