Adventures with Vultures makes the perfect musical getaway.
The Plymouth indie folk-rock singer-songwriter quickly escapes the doldrums of everyday working life on his latest audacious single, “Speaking French,” which dropped today via all streaming platforms.
“This is one of the first songs I’ve ever co-written. I usually write everything alone, but I went over to Jimmy Showers’ house one night for band practice, and I said, ‘I’ve got this little new tune.’ This was in December maybe, and I had the hook already done. The verses were empty, but I had a melody, and we were spitballing random stuff,” said Matt Sauter, aka Adventures with Vultures.
“It was gonna be about a drunk dude who got everything ripped away from him, and then once the girl started chiming in, it became more of a love song about two people down on their luck, but together they can get through it.”
For the cinema-inspired track, Sauter collaborated with Jackamo’s Ali Wiercioch and Tess Wiercioch (harmony vocals), Dalton Thomas (drums), brother Dan Sauter (bass) and Showers (guitar) at Plymouth Rock Recording Company. As a 3.5-minute sonic road trip, “Speaking French” beautifully blends swift acoustic strums, deep electric guitar, pounding kick drum and rattling cymbals.
In turn, Sauter gravelly sings in Springsteen-esque vocals, “We joined the circus, and we both changed our names/Sold that ’57 Chevy, starting jumping trains/And we flew to Paris and started speaking French/Till she found a corner out there to help pay the rent.”
Throughout “Speaking French,” Sauter chronicles the high-flying adventures of working-class fictional couple who follow the open road. Together, they represent a spontaneous road-trip relationship akin to Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette (minus the violence) in 1993’s “True Romance.” The track also references several pop culture gems, including “Billie Jean,” “River Jordan” and Credence Clearwater Revival’s 1971 Top 10 single, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”
“I was strumming that riff over at their house, and while we were taking a break, I was picking at it, and Ali kept going, ‘I wanna know have you ever seen the rain?’ We thought it would be cool to tie that into the bridge without stealing it. We made it sound like the girl in her bare feet saying that little part,” Sauter said.
“When I write songs, I don’t really have any structure. I just started humming, and I kept humming ‘River Jordan’ and ‘Billie Jean.’ I was just saying that in the hook, and I’m like, ‘Oh, OK.’”
To reflect the track’s movie-style appeal, Sauter also includes a film poster look in the single artwork for “Speaking French,” which humorously includes a 2-star rating of out 10 and displays, “This song is s***.”
“A lot of people were getting that same vibe from the song. That it kinda reminds them of a movie. When I was making the art, I thought, ‘What if I make it look like more of a movie poster than like song artwork?’ I was going to put all the members’ names at the top like a movie poster, and I was like, ‘I’ll just put a review on there,’” said Sauter, who also plans to release a lyric video for “Speaking French.”
“Speaking French” is Sauter’s first new single in nearly a year. Last July, he released “Youth & Danger,” a 7.5-minute, two-part track that takes inspiration from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He also dropped the lush alt rock single, “Back to Normal,” which features clever lyrics and an infectious play on words.
Three years ago, Sauter started Adventures with Vultures as an emerging indie folk-rock solo act while attending the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME). In 2017, he released an introspective four-track EP, “Junction,” via DIME’s now-defunct Original 1265 Recordings label.
Today, Sauter has evolved Adventures with Vultures into a full-band project with Dan Sauter, Showers and Thomas. The quartet will continue to record new material before compiling the tracks into a full-length album.
“We’re definitely going to drop at least one more single this year, and then we’ll go record six brand new unheard songs. We’ll release a record with those new songs and include the other singles that have already been released,” Sauter said.
“We don’t want to rush it. Everything I’ve done in the past felt really rushed, and we need to get together to see what songs we already have. If it takes two years to come out, then it takes two years, and if it takes three years, then whatever. It will eventually get out.”