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CROUSE | Social Media

                                                                                                              Above: single art for "Paranoid"


Look for the release of "Paranoid," the debut single by Nashville-based singer, songwriter and guitarist CROUSE, this Friday (July 21). Built on a strong groove with guitars, psychedelicized swirling synths and echoplexed vocals, "Paranoid" is a haunting alt-rock song for these uncertain times. It taps into the prevailing modern anxiety with lyrics like "They want us to lay down, bow our heads and close our eyes without a fight/We'd rather die" and "We're not confused, we're paranoid." 


The song is being released by the Nashville-based label Iconic Entertainment and was performed live this past Monday (July 17) by CROUSE and his band at The Basement in Nashville. 


CROUSE is the moniker of the 25-year-old Joel Crouse, who's returned to his rock roots with a sound that's free of genre walls after releasing a 2014 country album and opening on the road for Taylor Swift (her "Red" tour) and Darius Rucker. "Paranoid" was co-written by CROUSE with Todd Clark, produced by Davis Naish and CROUSE, and recorded in Nashville.


"Paranoid" was written in July 2016. "I'm sure most would agree that it had been a very interesting year up to that point," says CROUSE about the polarizing political divisions, internet lies, and the general feeling of anger and confusion people were experiencing-and still are. The song also has a personal connection for CROUSE, particularly with the line: "They want us to lay down, bow our heads and close our eyes without a fight." He says: "I grew up in a safe and sheltered church environment. My father who is a pastor used to say '...bow our heads and close our eyes' before ending his sermons. I guess I was being sarcastic with that line in referring to being sheep to what we are told to think."


What inspired CROUSE to return to his rock roots? "I love a lot of music---the first band I was in was very Beatles-influenced (back in his home state of Massachusetts).  But then we broke up and everyone went to college while I moved to Nashville. Then fast forward six years later, at 23 I reconnected with Fletcher Foster (manager and head of Iconic Entertainment), and he was the first person I had worked with to let me go back to those roots of the music I loved: The Beatles, Pink Floyd. Nirvana, Audioslave. That's where my heart is. As for the name change, I wanted a clean slate but still carry the fans that have supported me." 


CROUSE will be sharing new music in the late summer/early fall. "No matter what, I'm always going to write about what I'm going through or what I see," he says about his new songs. "When songs would move me," he muses, "it didn't matter what genre they were in. Lyrically, I'm inspired by people who took chances on their music," he says, before naming people like Nirvana and Eminem as well as Tom Petty and the Lumineers. "When you're an artist, you have to show that raw nerve."


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