For the past two two decades, Jerry David DeCicca has been the quivering bellow and formidable sideburns out front of Columbus, Ohio folk-rock band the Black Swans, a project that has endured through many lineups, stylistic evolutions, and the 2008 death of violinist Noel Sayre, the only other founding member. They’ve racked up a rich, unmistakable discography while floating just below the radar. And although the Black Swans have always been DeCicca’s brainchild first and foremost, like kindred spirit Bill Callahan before him, he’s moving on to releasing albums under his own name. His debut solo release, Understanding Land, is coming out this spring.
Going solo doesn’t mean DeCicca is going it alone. Several Black Swans collaborators show up on Understanding Land, which also features backing vocals from the Breeders’ Kelley Deal and off-kilter Americana luminary Will Oldham plus Wurlitzer by Muscle Shoals legend Spooner Oldham. Lead single “First And Last” features the two Oldhams, unrelated, together on a track for the first time. It’s a gentle acoustic ballad that matches the easygoing imagery in Matt Bauer’s video, which finds DeCicca peacefully drifting around his new hometown of New Braunfels, Texas by land and sea. Let it wash over you below.
Understanding Land is out 5/27 in the U.S. and 6/4 worldwide. Find more information here, and check out DeCicca at SXSW:
3/12 Austin, TX @ Intercontinenetal Hotel Stephen F. Bar (1 a.m.)
3/13 Austin, TX @ Lost Well on Weberville Rd. (12 p.m.)
3/13 Austin, TX @ Charm School Vintage on Ceasar Chavez (2 p.m.)
3/16 Austin, TX @ Uncle Doug’s Chili Dog Party — TBA