Lots of fans talk about music saving their lives, but The Gills frontman Jesse Wheeler can personally attest to the strength music can provide when you’re at your weakest. Battling leukemia as a child, Wheeler began writing funny songs in his teenage years to bring himself and his friends some laughs as he coped with the illness. Over time, his health began to rejuvenate and his songwriting skills started to flourish. What started as an escape soon led to Wheeler starting a band with his friends after his recovery.
The upward spiral only continued from there as the band relocated from Pensacola, Florida to Nashville. There they’ve cultivated their gritty guitar rock anthems over two records, 2009’s Forget What You See… and 2012’s Motor Running. Now, they’re extending their life-affirming aesthetic with their upcoming self-titled album, out sometime early next year. Ahead of the release, they’ve shared a wild and spastic new track called “Lemonade”.
“All the songs on the record were completed pieces, and then we had one extra writing session and ‘Lemonade’ popped out like magic,” the band tells Consequence of Sound. “It created itself. Most times when a band makes a record this type of thing happens — or at least they hope it does.”
That sense of spur-of-the-moment inspiration permeates the track. The band feels unhinged, sprinting forward mercilessly as Wheeler growls about snorting cocaine and smoking a crack pipe. He sings about these acts with an appropriately dangerous tone, twisting his words over chugging guitars and pummeling drums. It’s an energetic and spirited track for a band that emerged from a need for catharsis.
Listen in below.