You might recognize Payson Lewis from his unique YouTube videos and social posts. He's covered everyone from Taylor Swift to Drake and has won over thousands with his unstoppable positive energy.
Lewis just released his latest single "Can't Go Back," a track that delves into his feelings on the state of the union and whether or not people would have voted differently looking back on the election. It also sees the up-and-coming singer, songwriter, actor, and viral YouTube sensation straying from his usual dance-worthy pop to a heavier guitar-and-drum-driven sound.
Payson told us three facts to know about "Can't Go Back." Check them out below!
1. I wrote this song shortly after the election of 2016. It's all about the angst and apprehension I felt about the way our country was headed and the great divide that exists between our people. About a year and a half later and things somehow feel just as bad, if not worse. I wrote "Can't Go Back" hoping to one day have a conversation with someone on the "other side" from me, about how they felt in hindsight. How they feel history will view their choice. And as we continue to split down the seam, the song feels even more relevant now than the day it was written. I'm optimistic about ultimately healing and bridging that gap...but it admittedly feels a very very long way off.
2. I kind of stumbled into writing this song actually. It started when my friend Selda Sahin came by my studio to finish writing my first single, "When Love Was Young," which is a much more optimistic and lighthearted song. And when we sat down to work on that song, it was a real struggle for both of us to get to that positive head space. So we took a break to talk about why we were feeling that way, and we both basically blurted out "the election" simultaneously. So we just said, you know what, let's write what we feel. And literally about an hour later, we had written "Can't Go Back" in it's entirety. The song just poured out of us, effortlessly. It's what we were meant to write that day.
3. "Can't Go Back" was definitely my favorite song to track during the recording process and I think my band would agree with me. This song is the most straight ahead "band" song on my record. So in the studio when we were laying down the basic tracks, it was the closest to a finished product right from the get go. The other thing that was so fun about it was that it was the song that left the most up to interpretation as far as arrangement and musical choices. We played it a bunch of times in studio. Every time was different. We even had a version that was like a minute and a half longer with this huge epic guitar solo. It was really hard choosing which take would be the one, but I'm really happy with the one we chose, ultimately. I think it captures the mood of the song and puts you in that place, but doesn't drag you through the mud. It's about as much "dark" as I can handle at a time. Maybe one day I'll release the extended version as a bonus track or something!
Listen to "Can't Go Back" below.