SPOTLIGHT: Dead Horses Uplift Difference on ‘You Are Who You Need to Be’ [VIDEO]
Dead Horses' Dan Wolff and Sarah Vos (photo by Michelle Bennett)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dead Horses are No Depression’s Spotlight band for August. Learn more about them and their new album, Brady Street, in our interview, and read essays by Dead Horses’ Sarah Vos and Dan Wolff here.
Whether you’re walking down Milwaukee’s eclectic Brady Street or any street in your own hometown, Dead Horses want you to know it’s okay to be exactly who you are, whether you fit in with those around you or not.
The songs of Dead Horses’ new album, Brady Street, named for their favorite hometown neighborhood, celebrate being yourself even as they acknowledge that it’s not always easy.
The band, led by songwriter and guitarist Sarah Vos and bassist Dan Wolff, addresses difference most directly on “You Are Who You Need to Be,” an empowering anthem that expresses understanding and offers solidarity and shared strength. “I’ll lend you my hand / When the world don’t understand / You are who you need to be,” Vos sings over a simple, waltzing melody.
“It’s inspired by a friend of mine who has a difficult relationship with his mother because she does not accept him for being gay,” Vos explains in artist’s notes accompanying Brady Street. “I once went to a mutual friend’s wedding, and he took his mom as his date. They seemed like they had such a strong connection that I was blown away by the fact that their relationship was consistently being poisoned by her unwillingness to accept him for who he is. Being queer myself, I know this feeling all too well, and I understand how complicated it can be.”
In the video below, Dead Horses perform “You Are Who You Need to Be” at Honeytone Studios in Neenah, Wisconsin, where they recorded all of Brady Street. It’s a cozy studio less than two hours outside of Milwaukee, providing a hometown feel that pervades the album and adds extra warmth to its personal songs.