While My Morning Jacket became one of the biggest rock acts in America over the past five years, guitarist Carl Broemel was casually tinkering away on his own material, an unfussy but elegant collection of mellow, acoustic-led Southern rock, with a touch of Nick Drake-esque whimsy. He just released his debut solo album called All Birds Say, featuring the lead single "Heaven Knows." Watch an exclusive acoustic video performance of the song below.
Broemel says the support of his bandmates helped him summon the resolve to actually release the songs. "They gave me really honest feedback about the music as it was coming together," he tells SPIN.com. "Their blessing, their collective thumbs-up helped me get the confidence to put myself out there."
MMJ frontman Jim James even helped Broemel nail down the tracklisting for the album. "I was kind of desperate at the end because I had to turn in the album, and to me, the sequence was super crucial," he says. "Jim came back with a really interesting sequence that basically ended up being what I used."
The performance video below was filmed at VinnyLinks, a nine-hole, all-par-3 course in Nashville. Broemel and his childhood pal, Andy Snyder, made the video on a steamy, hot day this summer, when the course was nearly empty. "We just snuck out there," Broemel says. "I mean, I paid my six dollars to go play and we just kind of goofed around."
In the video, Broemel sings, whistles, and strums away on an autoharp during a break from the golfing action. And while his performance of the song is quite pretty, his athletic prowess is not: At the end of the clip, his scorecard shows a score of 84 -- almost 60 strokes over par.
And while they could have made the guitarist seem like an ace player, they opted for stark realism. "We were trying to stage a really long putt that went in, but it stopped a little short, which was actually funnier," admits Broemel.
Golf actually provides a frequent escape on the road for Broemel and MMJ bandmates Bo Koster and Patrick Hallahan, but he'd like to see one other musician join the trio in a dream foursome: "I heard Alice Cooper's a really good golfer," he says. "I'd love to hang out with him and play."
While he's busy with My Morning Jacket's ongoing recording efforts, and their upcoming five-night stand in NYC where they'll perform each of their albums in its entirety, Broemel will play a few live shows to support All Birds Say. Click here for dates.
Watch the video and tell us what you think in the comments section.
WATCH: Carl Broemel, "Heaven Knows"