You only ever release one first single.
Record labels spend thousands of dollars on selecting just the right song with which to launch a new act. One that introduces the artist conceptually and that finds as big an audience as possible. These first singles can be the difference between million dollar paychecks and record contracts ending.
I didn't have this problem. I didn't have label-like money. I didn't have a record contract. Choosing the lead single is easier as an independent musician.
Bottle Down was not my first choice. I always liked the idea that a new album project had a uptempo track to start with. Initially I was going to lead with NeverGrowUp or Trip The Alarm. They had energy and they were indicative of the theme of the album, though they were both about being in the throws of addiction and I just didn't feel they were relatable enough for casual listeners.
"I'm sitting in darkness and it's silent
Thinking just how violent my heart it feels tonight
And I find it so ironic
That I'm sounding demonic, you're my Angel, right?"
Yep, Bottle Down is dark. Dark n' stormy, even. But ask any young person how they dealt with their first heartbreak (or second, or third, for that matter) and it's a safe bet that they chose to submerge their pain in as deep a well of alcohol as I did.
"And so I'm self-medicating
Enduring, waiting for this hurting to pass
And yo for real though, for sure
I'ma find the cure up in the next glass..."
Bottle Down is a mood. Contemplative, reminiscent, and yes, kinda bitter. But haven't we all been there? I love the production of the track too - the bells, the vocal hum, the strings - they all help to evoke that adolescent futility that comes with nursing a broken heart.
It might not be the most immediate song on Lost Boy, but it has it's own unique charm and I'm happy I went with this as my first cut. It's an important scene in my own story, and a turning point on the album.
It's also that midtempo R&B goodness that I grew up loving to listen to. And I would argue that you can never, ever have too much of that.