As was the case with so many others, the pandemic gave Charlotte musician Nicholas Holman a lot of time to think. Holman, who has played in bands such as Landless, Pullover and Dreamboat but performs solo as Coughing Dove, spent a lot of time in nature with his then-partner and a hound dog the two had recently adopted, which gave him time to ponder the complexities of life.
“That time away gave me mental space to think a lot about who I am, who I want to be, not just as an individual, but in relation to the life forms and rhythm of the planet,” Holman told Queen City Nerve. “I thought about ghosts from my past, friends and family who have passed, why I want to create. I spent a little time learning trees by name and just appreciating the quiet time in my mind.”
From those sessions came the foundation for “Deep Thoughts,” the second single from Coughing Dove’s new album You & Me Lee, set to release on Sept. 16. The video for “Deep Thoughts,” which Queen City Nerve is premiering below, features a montage of just such a trip through nature.
Shot around Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway by Josh Rob Thomas — who’s done recent videos for Natalie Carr and Dreamboat, among others — the video shows Holman enjoying a walk through the woods, becoming progressively more playful as the song moves toward its most danceable crescendo.
“The playfulness as the video progresses was meant to be purposeful,” Holman said. “As I’m walking through the world, sometimes in an environment I’m uncomfortable with — seeing the changes happening to our city — I tend to drift off somewhere else.
“I have always been a clown, I have always cloaked my emotions with a joke, a play or a pantomime. I’m serious about what I’m doing, but I need to release and be loose and skip and dance around like none of this is really happening.”
With 2019’s debut Nearly a Complete Ghost showcasing an exploration of jangly indie rock, dusty fingerpicked folk and rattly sound experiments, this year’s follow-up finds Coughing Dove traversing further into the world of country than we’ve seen him in the past. You & Me Lee is recommended for fans of Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy and Lambchop.
The album was recorded by Jeremy Rychard Snyder at Sioux Sioux Studios. Additional players include Bo White on bass, Wesley Hamilton on pedal steel, Jeremy Snyder on drums, with guitar by Phil Pucci on select tracks and special guest vocals by Madison Lucas and Brooke Weeks.
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