Photo: Molly Matalon

Plains deliver a modern country waltz in the yearning “Abilene”

Plains, the new project from Katie Crutchfield (Waxahatchee) and Jess Williamson, have revealed a second single from their forthcoming album I Walked With You A Ways. Following on from “Problem With It” we now have “Abilene”, with Crutchfield saying:

“The song ‘Abilene’ really solidified the vision of the album for me. I’ll never forget how giddy I felt when Jess sent me the original demo. In a very stereotypical-of-a-songwriter way, Jess felt unsure if it fit or made sense & I reassured her immediately that this was probably my favorite song of the bunch. She achieved something really special in my view, which is writing a classic country waltz that feels extremely modern.”

Williamson adds: “In the video for ‘Abilene,’ my dear friend Adriene Mishler plays the narrator of the song. We see her struggle in the final stages of a romantic relationship and then make the hard decision to choose herself and leave. I think we all have our own personal ‘Abilene.’ Maybe it’s a place where you used to live and things didn’t turn out as planned, like in the song. It could also be a relationship that ended in disappointment, or a dream that turned into a hard reality, or even an old version of yourself that’s better left in the past. ‘Abilene’ is a song about knowing your worth, having courage in the face of an uncertain future, and trusting your gut.”

Full of dusty drumming and rich, resonant harmonies in the chorus, “Abilene” is a true country tune, filled with the kinds of longing and overcoming. Trusting your gut can also be gut-wrenching, and that’s the stark emotion that Plains have captured in “Abilene”. Williamson’s voice flutters and fumbles as she sings through her pain and tries to focus her resolve; “I don’t talk about Abilene no more,” she sings as guitars twang like her jangling nerves. She drops scant details about what she’s leaving behind – “No couple acres, no screened in porch” – but puts them to the back of her mind and focuses her eyes on the horizon, the future, and happiness, even if it hurts right now.

Watch the video for “Abilene” below or find it on streaming platforms.

Plains’ debut album I Walked With You A Way comes out on October 14 through Anti- (pre-order/save). You can find the project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.