Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness Shares Origins of New Song “Lying on the Hood of Your Car”: Exclusive

Off the newly announced album Tilt at the Wind No More

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, photo by Lindsey Byrnes

    Andrew McMahon has readied Tilt at the Wind No More, his fourth studio album under his In the Wilderness moniker. The project arrives March 31st via Nettwerk, and as a preview, he’s shared the new single “Lying on the Hood of Your Car.” What’s more, in a Consequence exclusive, the singer-songwriter has shared the Origins of the new track, a synth-heavy slice of pop.

    Tilt at the Wind No More was produced by Tommy English (Kacey Musgraves, K.Flay, Børns) and Jeremy Hatcher (Harry Styles, Maggie Rogers, Lizzo). To celebrate its release, McMahon and his band will play a trio shows in Anaheim and New York City: On March 30th and 31st, they’ll perform at Anaheim’s The Chain Reaction, and on April 4th, they’ll hit Rockwood Music Hall in New York. See the artist’s full list of tour dates below, and grab tickets via Ticketmaster beginning Friday, January 13th at 10:00 a.m. local time.

    As for new single “Lying on the Hood of Your Car,” McMahon looks back to youth over a blend of electronic beats, acoustic guitar, and the artist’s go-to piano. “For me, this song is pure nostalgia,” McMahon said in a statement. “I made a conscious decision when I was writing it to imagine a whole world of important figures in my life lying next to me on the hood of that imagined vehicle. In one breath it’s a song about young love and in another it’s about those nights out with friends. Nights that ended in parking lot conversations about lives you might lead one day and places you might escape to if you could. I rarely build imagined worlds when I write songs but something about this one feels very much like a memory to me.”


    Listen to “Lying on the Hood of Your Car” below, then scroll onward for an even deeper look at the type of things that inspired McMahon’s latest.

    Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”:

    Early in the writing of this song I was trying to balance the darker elements with something that felt dreamlike and nostalgic. I was drawn to “Last Dance” because it was so successful in propping up a vivid lyric in a minor key while still delivering an anthemic chorus. It is a song that envelops the listener, insisting they enter the weird world Petty and his bandmates created. I wanted listeners to connect with “Hood” in a similar way.

    Beater Cars:

    1989 toyota corolla

    Photo via Wiki Commons

    So many of the nearly dead vehicles I drove as a teenager crossed my mind as I worked on this song. My sister’s ’89 Corolla. The Bronco II I bought from a bandmate who hid the fact that it was permanently marred by the scent of the fish he’d gutted in the trunk on camping trips. A ’69 Mustang that lived in the high school auto shop but only emerged worse with every visit and finally a BMW Coup, born the same year as me. A car I loved but would eventually quit while under my care. So much of this song is tied to my memories of late-night conversations in parking lots and those cars were symbols of the freedom we were starting to enjoy as teenagers on the verge.

    The Dana Point Harbor After Dark:


    dana point harbor

    Photo via Getty Images

    My work is intentionally visual. I need imagery to connect emotionally with a lyric. While many of the scenes in this song are imagined, the backdrop I envisioned is the California of my upbringing. There were two specific lookouts that my friends and I frequented that inspired the scenery in “Hood.” One was the parking lot in the Dana Point Harbor that used to end right where the jetty began. It has since been replaced by the multimillion-dollar Ocean Institute. The other, the island in the center of the harbor which was a rallying point for friends at the end of nights spent driving to nowhere in particular.

    Nostalgia Films:

    I want my music to feel cinematic and I often search for some reference in film to help me understand the story I’m trying to tell. Weirdly, for this song it was the intersection of Mallrats and Empire Records with the 1986 classic Stand by Me. There is a type of slacker intellect and fashion on display in both Mallrats and Empire Records that rings true to the time and the characters I was writing about in this song, but there is also this sense of longing and coming-of-age that I wanted to communicate with the lyric that I connect back to the feeling I got as a kid when I first watched Stand by Me.

    Andrew McMahon 2023 Tour Dates:
    02/08 — Brisbane City, AUS @ The Triffid
    02/09 — Melbourne, AUS @ 170 Russell
    02/10 — Sydney, AUS @ The Factory Theatre
    02/25-02/26 — Tempe, AZ @ Innings Festival
    03/30 — Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
    03/31 — Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
    04/04 — New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
    05/12 — Wilmington, DE @ The Main Hall at The Queen
    05/13 — Syracuse, NY @ TBA
    05/14 — Portland, ME @ Aura
    05/16 — Albany, NY @ Empire
    05/17 — Montreal, QC @ Corona Theatre
    05/19 — Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
    05/20 — Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
    05/21 — Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
    05/23 — Fort Wayne, IN @ The Clyde Theatre
    05/24 — Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
    05/26 — Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
    05/27-05/28 — Atlantic City, NJ @ Adjacent Festival
    06/17 — Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival
    10/21 — Las Vegas, NV @ When We Were Young (with Something Corporate)