California’s evocative highways and the landscapes they unfurl inspired LA-based folk singer/songwriter Joe Bourdet’s forthcoming debut album Meadow Rock. Bourdet borrows from the Laurel Canyon sound, capturing California's majestic vistas in flashes and flares.
But one experience in particular - when his classic 1970s Datson 240z broke down while he was cruising the beach highways on an evening drive - informed his new single ‘Lost Along the Way’, which he co-wrote with Alana Amram.
“Although the events and imagery described in this song are mostly fantasy, it is all loosely based on the actual occurrence of my Datsun 240z breaking down late at night near El Capitan state beach”, Bourdet said.
Over spacious drums and a 60s folk-inspired sound, he sings, “I’ve done this drive a hundred times / Don’t recognize the highway signs / I’m stranded”. Backing harmonies add an ethereal touch reminiscent of Peter, Paul and Mary or the Mamas & the Papas. It's a dreamy soundscape of a song that embraces the beauty of life's surprising turns. Sometimes you get lost and it's best to lean into it.
Amram directed and co-starred in the video, which intercuts vintage footage of cars and scenic highways with shots of Bourdet and Amram driving along California's coastal highways.
Bourdet also borrowed from his own reality for the visual. “This video was shot with that very same car [the Datsun] on the Angeles Crest Highway in the San Gabriel mountains” he said. “[Amram’s] concept of using multiple exposures throughout the video gives it extra layers of chaotic fun and implied narratives to match the similarly dreamscape-y imagery of the song lyrics”.
'Lost Along the Way' appears on Meadow Row, due June 18.
Photography by Sara Ross-Samko