For a guy whose songs seem to get more depressingly introspective with each album, BJ Barham, the lead singer and songwriter for American Aquarium, is incredibly upbeat about the band's latest, Burn. Flicker. Die., which comes out this week. "It's by far my favorite record that we've done," he says. Barham and the Raleigh, N.C.-based band have made a name for themselves by playing more than 300 shows a year for the last three years, and have been described as "a country band with a punk-rock mentality." The band feels at home on the road, Barham says, although most of the songs on the new record seem to focus on the hardships the road presents and semi-existential questions about girls, drugs, drinking, and the touring lifestyle. "It's about consequences, pushing 30, wondering what the hell we're doing, if you made the right decision," he says. "Sometimes, especially on this record, it makes me look like a giant asshole. I get a lot of good and bad criticism for being too honest, but no one's ever said I'm fakin it." Burn. Flicker. Die. was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Ala. and produced by Jason Isbell, who Barham describes as "one of my top five songwriters."
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