L.A.-based singer songwriter Elijah Ocean knows a thing or two about finding inspiration on the road. Raised in rural Maine, he landed on the West Coast a few years ago and he’s spent the years since traveling the freeways and rural byways of America. It’s that sense of restlessness and the realization of the cyclical nature of life at the heart of his latest single “Down This Road.”
The first single from his upcoming fifth album, “Down This Road” is a song nearly four years in the making. Ocean first started writing the song when he moved to L.A. in 2014. He then teamed up with his friend and keyboardist Zach Jones to co-write the track. After putting it aside for a few more months, Ocean finished writing the song in Las Vegas on a particularly difficult day.
“I ended up finishing the chorus and third verse in a hotel room in Vegas last fall. I was in town doing some casino gigs and I had been spending my days writing and finishing up the (Tom) Petty bio by the pool,” Ocean tells Wide Open Country. “It happened to be the same weekend Petty died and there was that horrible shooting. It felt like the sky was falling. Anyway, I decided to take it into the studio with my band and we tracked it live to tape, overdubbing the doubled 12-string acoustics, and a few other things.”
Tom Petty ended up being an obvious source of inspiration in the studio, along with Laurel Canyon legends like The Byrds.
Ocean says the song is inspired by our habitual need to repeat our own patterns in life and how that impacts our relationships.