When Neil Young gets fired up, sometimes his best music comes to pass. Just weeks after the election, Neil Young released his second album of 2016, the quietly optimistic Peace Trail, recorded in "about a week" according to The Los Angeles Times, with drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Paul Bushnell. The largely acoustic record's title track closes with classic electric-Neil, but is driven by classic lyrical-Neil:
Think I'll hit the Peace Trail
Take a trip back home to my old town
'Cause everyone back there says
Something new is growing
There's a sense of both sadness in the way the world is changing and vigor in a mission to keep the planet on track as Young sees it. All of these sentiments are set to beautifully spare animated vignettes directed by Darcy Prendergast and Mike Greaney.
The pair told me via email that this song had inspired them to use a traditional approach to accompany that "rich, organic, Neil Young sound. [We] felt the paint-on-glass technique was the most symbiotic. This approach, combined with the painterly compositions of sweeping American landscapes, is narratively served up as a love letter to the older generation."