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Hear Jason Isbell’s Springsteen-esque New Song ‘Cumberland Gap’

In advance of the release of The Nashville Sound, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit have released another of its new songs. Readers can press play above to hear “Cumberland Gap.”

“This song is about working class desperation, really,” Isbell tells Noisey. “It was written as a tribute to the children of the coal mining regions.”

“Cumberland Gap” will draw comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, both melodically and in terms of lyrical content. The song is filled with blistering guitars and pointed percussion as Isbell paints a picture of the cycle of poverty, alcoholism and depression that befalls so many — in mining towns, yes, but the message will ring true outside of those regions as well.

“I thought about moving away / But what would my momma say? / I’m all that she has left, and I’m with her every day,” Isbell sings. Throughout the song, its protagonist explains his pattern of drinking away his troubles and reflects, “Maybe the Cumberland Gap just swallows you whole.”

“Cumberland Gap” is Track No. 2 on The Nashville Sound. Previously, Isbell released “Hope the High Road” as the album’s first single.

The Nashville Sound is due out on June 16.

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