Austin singer-songwriter Rob Baird shares the title track to his bittersweet new breakup album, “After All,” in an exclusive premiere.
The Hotel San José is an “ultramodern” motor court built in 1936 on South Congress Avenue a few blocks from downtown Austin, Texas. Its bar menu includes a section titled “Sake & Weird Wines” and offers an “activated charcoal lemonade popsicle.” The retro hotel looks like a fun, quirky, almost embarrassingly hip place to spend a weekend lounging by the pool by day and sipping champagne-kombucha cocktails at the bar by night.
Now imagine living there for a month while your architect sister remodels your home following a bombed audition for a TV remake of Urban Cowboy, trying to lay the foundation for a relationship with an L.A. actress when you know, deep down, that it’s doomed from the start. Then, after that magical month followed by a couple of trips to see her in Los Angeles, it will end when you confess your love to her over the phone and she responds with a dial tone.
This isn’t the script of an early Wes Anderson movie — it’s the back story of Rob Baird’s latest album, After All, set for a January 11 release by Hard Luck Recording Company.
“Weird times. Good times. Probably the only girl I have really loved in my adult life thus far, and this is how we got this record,” Baird says in press material for the album. He describes the grieving of a breakup as having seven stages, beginning with desperation for answers and resolving with a feeling of hope.
Baird is sharing the album’s opening title track, written with Burleson Smith and John Baumann, with C&I.
“‘After All’” is the feeling of trying to accept that the relationship is over,” Baird says in press material for the song. “This tune begins with reminiscing about how the relationship started all while knowing it was never going to work out. There is a great deal of desperation reflected in this tune.”
Yes, and there’s a lot of beauty, too. The story behind the song may be unique, but the frustration and heartbreak feel universal. Give it a listen below.
For more on Rob Baird, including tour dates, and to purchase the album, visit his website. Photography: Eryn Brooke