On their new single, “Get Clean,” Appalachian soul outfit 49 Winchester put their best foot forward in a down-and-dirty ballad of struggle with substance abuse and spirituality. But in the context of their upcoming third LP, simply titled III, the Castlewood, VA quintet actually saved the best for last; “Get Clean” is the album’s closing track, and according to singer/guitarist Isaac Gibson, it could also be its most powerful moment.
“I think this is probably going to be the most meaningful song on the record to a lot of people,” says Gibson. “It’s a series of vignettes that sort of represent a person’s conscience struggling with doing wrong, while the people who give a damn about you want so badly for you to do right.”
Those well-wishers give the song its titular plea, time and time again, like the concerned angel on your shoulder: “You’ve got to get clean.” It comes first from a worried partner, then from a parent, and finally, from a preacher who sends the album off with a fiery altar call.
The words are paired with electric organ–courtesy of Don Eanes, who features alongside the band–and a kick drum like a tell-tale heart. Whether you come from Southern Baptist stock or not, Gibson’s vocal performance on the final verse is downright spirit-shaking–maybe even liable to make your ears sweat under your headphones.
You can stream the single below, and the full album is slated for October 2 release. Preorders are available through Bandcamp. You can also catch 49 Winchester’s powerhouse live performance this Thursday, September 10 during the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Live Stream.