SPOTLIGHT: Brennen Leigh Serves Up the Sweetness of Summer on ‘Cottonwood Fuzz’ [VIDEO]
Photo by Lyza Renee
EDITOR’S NOTE: Brennen Leigh is No Depression’s Spotlight artist for May 2022. Learn more about her and her new album, Obsessed With the West, out now on Signature Sounds, in our feature story, and look for more from Leigh later this month.
Sometimes you can taste summer in the perfect glass of lemonade, or feel it in the heat of a late afternoon thunderstorm. On Brennen Leigh’s new album, Obsessed With the West, you can hear it in the closing song, “Cottonwood Fuzz.”
Written by Leigh and Noel McKay, in just a few words and under three minutes, it evokes the languid bliss of summer as only a kid can appreciate, and how love at any age can be a similar simple pleasure.
Like summer itself, “Cottonwood Fuzz” took its time arriving but was worth the wait.
“Noel had written the beautiful chorus for ‘Cottonwood Fuzz,’ and it was just sitting there alone for years,” Leigh explains. “We tried a few things with it — a spoken word narration, an instrumental part — but nothing was sticking. I loved the chorus and wanted the verse to do it justice. One night I began to imagine my days as a kid watching those little cotton fluffs drift on the breeze, and the verse about being a kid in the summertime just fell out. We decided it was the only verse we needed.”
On the album, the song’s lyrics are nestled between instrumental breaks from Obsessed With the West collaborators Asleep at the Wheel, but in this living-room video for No Depression, Leigh needs only her guitar, her voice, and “this giant hat” to bring the sweetness of summer straight through.