As he gears up for the release of his second full-length, The Jack of Hearts (out August 3), Nashville-born singer-songwriter Ferraby Lionheart is heading out on tour with the Watson Twins; leaking a gorgeous new song, "Arkansas," on SPIN.com (download below); and putting the finishing touches on a music video he just shot with Office star Rainn Wilson in L.A. for the album's first single, "Harry and Bess."
Lionheart and Wilson have been pals for nearly a decade. "We met in Los Angeles through theBaha'i' religion, back when he was doing commercials and I was a goofykid playing the Sunset Strip," the singer tells SPIN.com. "As a matter of fact, I askedhim to write my very first bio."
Still, Lionhart considers Wilson's appearance a coup: "Rainn is, in fact, an enthusiastic music listener, and I was sure hoping that he'd be willing to lend his talents to this video, but honestly I was surprised when it worked out so easily, being that he's a hot shot celebrity. Rainn had the crew charmed to the core."
In the clip -- directed by production duo Focus Creeps (whose creditsinclude Girls and the Morning Benders) and filmed in the Los Angeleshome of Annakim Violet (Tom Petty's daughter) -- Wilson plays a"strange and menacing butler [who] tries to distract and entertain"Lionheart's "daydreaming artist" character. The video will be released soon.
Until then, download "Arkansas" from Lionheart's The Jack of Hearts. Bolstered by a heartbeat kick-drum beat, the midtempo shuffle is a throwback to the crooner '50s and '60s. And like some of the best songs of that era -- Wayne Cochran's "Last Kiss," famously covered by Pearl Jam, comes to mind -- the lyrics veer into dark territory, as Lionheart sings about traveling to Arkansas to find his kin, only to discover his dad is in prison.
Tell us what you think of the song in the comments section.
LISTEN: Ferraby Lionheart, "Arkansas" (DOWNLOAD)
Lionheart will celebrate his album release with an August 2 gig in L.A., then he'll head out on tour with the Watson Twins starting August 3 in San Francisco. Click here for full dates.