"Marijuana, LSD, psilocybin, DMT," sings country crooner Sturgill Simpson in his brand-new song "Turtles All the Way Down." "They all change the way I see, but love's the only thing that ever saved my life."
On May 13, Simpson will release his second long-player, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, via his own High Top Mountain Records. He's just debuted a video for the record's lead-off track, "Turtles All the Way Down," and you can watch that above. "I would urge anyone that gets hung up on the song being about drugs to give another listen," Simpson tells NPR Music. "To me 'Turtles' is about giving your heart to love and treating everyone with compassion and respect no matter what you do or don't believe." And the song — which Simpson tells NPR was inspired by "theology, cosmology and breakthroughs in modern physics and their relationship to a few personal experiences I've had" — has a psychedelic video to match.
The video — which you can watch above — was directed by Graham Uhelski and features visuals by Scott Draves and the Electric Sheep ("a form of raw synthetic consciousness communicated between sleeping computers," explains the video description). Simpson has a way of taking traditional country conventions — the Bakersfield-esque arrangements, the Merle Haggard-like vocal delivery — and melding them with challenging modern concepts. If you ask me, it's just that sort of approach that defined the outlaw country movement. Good shit, and worth your time. Simpson will play the Grand Ole Opry on April 25, he'll be a guest on May 10's A Prairie Home Companion taping at the Ryman, and he'll open Jason Isbell's third night at the Ryman in October. Pre-order Metamodern Sounds here and get an immediate download.