Songwriter Brendan Wixted got behind the wheel and hit the highways to inspire The Model School’s third album Backwards Down The Highway.

The open road has long provided a rich mine of metaphor and inspiration. Your car is surging forward, the destination not as important as what’s left behind, or the journey to get there.

As Wixted sings, “The highway rolls on forever like the fadeout of a song” letting you “Follow that white line around the world”.

The lyrics and mood glow, pass and fade like taillights across the ten songs. The very reflective nature of driving can inspire so many thoughts.

The world in front of you comes in sprawling wide-screen glory – the possibilities as endless as the distant horizon. While what you are leaving behind shrinks into a small reflected glimpse of the mirror, our narrator left sitting in the present, partway between the past and the future.

Breezy guitars, violins and rumbling countrified rock puts the air in your hair and your elbow out the window.

The songs contemplate places and people left behind both fleetingly “when you live in a small town the only idea is getting out” and fondly “home is where your heart lies when you’re out there on the road”.

And in Lonesome Valley hits that point in every trip where the wanderlust runs out and all you crave is the familiar comforts of home. The album turns the corner and the journey home begins.

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