New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Sedona, AZ-based Americana duo Surrender Hill (husband and wife team Robin
Dean Salmon and Afton Seekins) is set to release its third album, Tore Down Fences, on February 2, 2018. A roots-rock album filled with guitars, harmonized vocals, organ, and the occasional burst of pedal steel, Tore Down Fences pushes Surrender Hill into harder, grittier territory. Together, the songs paint the picture not only of a band that's reached its creative peak, but a relationship that's built on trust, twang, and creative chemistry. All 13 songs on the album were tracked in two days, with Salmon producing the sessions in a Nashville recording studio.
Like the two records that came before it — 2015's self-titled debut and 2017's Right Here Right Now — Tore Down Fences is an album about relationships, delivered from the perspective of two songwriting partners who have weathered their own share of breakups and missteps before crossing paths. Unlike those previous records, though, this album focuses not on the romantic "honeymoon period" of a relationship, but on the challenges they faced before the pair got together. It explores the reality of romance: the good, the bad, the bright, and the dark.
"On our earlier records, it was clear that we were two people who'd fallen in love and were writing songs together," says Salmon, who splits the album's vocal and songwriting duties with Seekins. "There was a lot of love going on. This new record is interesting because we've been together long enough, both personally and professionally, to start exploring some of the darkness from our lives before we got together. We're focusing on how great it feels to be past that. There's still a lot of love on this album, but it comes from a darker point of view. It's about what we went through, what we did, and what we overcame."
Performers on the album include: Matt Crouse (Drums, Percussion), Eric Fritsch (Bass, B3), Mike Waldron (Electric Lead Guitar), Mike Daly (Pedal Steel, Dobro), Jonathan Callicutt (Rhythm Electric Guitar), Robin
Dean Salmon (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar), and
Afton Seekins (Vocals, Percussion).
Prior to forming Surrender Hill, songwriters Robin
Dean Salmon and Afton Seekins chased their own muses as solo artists. Salmon was an award-nominated punk rock
frontman who'd grown up in South Africa and Texas
listening to a cross-cultural mix of Bob Wills, the Sex Pistols, Marty Robbins and the Clash. He launched the band See No Evil soon after high school, and later moved the group to New York City, landing a major-label deal with Sony Music
in the process. A decade later, though, Salmon found himself drawn to the rootsy sounds he'd heard as a child on the ranch, and he relaunched a career as an alt-country songwriter, eventually crossing paths with Seekins while playing shows in Sedona. Meanwhile, Seekins grew up splitting her time between an Alaskan fishing village and an Arizona frontier town. Throughout it all, she honed her talent for dancing, eventually moving to New York during her 20s and finding success as a choreographer. Unable to resist the need to pursue songwriting, she later headed back to Arizona, where she turned the contents of her personal journal into the lyrics of her very first songs.
Separately, Salmon and Seekins are strong, sharp-voiced musicians, with songs inspired by their colorful and unusual backgrounds. Together, they're something bigger: a soulful, countrified duo whose music nods not only to America's rural pockets, but also to the world at large. Surrender Hill boasts an annual touring schedule of 200 shows spread across much of the globe. They've played bars, ballrooms, American wineries, and South African resorts, often trying out new songs in front of live audiences. Following the release of Tore Down Fences, the twosome plans to hit the road for a series of acoustic shows in Arizona, Texas, and the Southeast.