Ricky Schmidt, writer/singer/bassist of Western Settings and writer/bassist in Hey, Chels, also makes solo music as Ricky. He'll release his debut album Palm Trees on November 13 (pre-order), which was produced by Tyson "Chicken" Annicharico of Dead To Me, engineered by Brandon Mericle, mixed by Scott Goodrich, and features drums by Shane Hendry and vocals/co-writing by Ricky's partner Jax. Ricky says:

I started writing this record with 100% focus as soon as we finished writing the last Hey, Chels LP titled Everything Goes. The oldest song dating back to 2018 is "Vietnam," a song about running away and never coming home, a fantasy that only grew stronger since the song came into fruition. The rest of the songs started during the second half of 2019 and a couple of them didn’t find their final resting places (writing wise) until we were in the studio recording them.

Palm Trees encompasses mid 2019 to pretty much present time for me. I leaned hard into this project to keep me sane during this crazy year and the content is very much so relevant to the year 2020. It’s nothing groundbreaking, I don’t think, but I feel like I’m not alone in feeling the way I do. I wrote this record to remedy those feelings for myself and I hope that maybe someone will be able to listen to these songs and feel good when they do.

We're premiering the lyric video for lead single "Escape Artist," which Ricky tells us "is about needing to step away from the world and allow yourself time away from everything. We all need breaks and especially during a time like the one we are currently all in." Compared to the driving punk of Western Settings, "Escape Artist" is a little more on the mid-tempo, crunchy power pop side, and if you're into stuff like Weezer and Superdrag and Nada Surf, you should check this out too. Watch/listen below.

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