Coyote Cry

Ian Munsick

Coyote Cry

“I’ve always been a huge fan of stories,” Ian Munsick tells Apple Music. “That’s why I originally fell in love with country music, because of all the stories.” Munsick brings his narrative-driven, Western-influenced take on country to Nashville with his debut album. The singer-songwriter tells stories of ranching, rodeos, and riding the long haul on Coyote Cry, doing so with a sound rooted in heartland rock, ’90s country, and just a touch of contemporary pop. Tracks like “Mountain Time” and “Humble” dig into his Wyoming roots while employing clever metaphors, with his reedy croon steeping the songs in sincerity without treacly sentimentality. And Munsick’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s omnipresent “Dreams” is a surprisingly fitting addition to the LP, with his take on the classic song just faithful enough to the original but still showcasing a sound all his own. Below, he walks Apple Music through each of Coyote Cry’s tracks.
Solo “It was one of those that just kind of spilled out, which rarely happens. But when it does, I always feel like it’s a good indication that it’s a good one. Then I came home and just laid down those guitars on there and got the demo going at my home studio, and Caroline, my manager and my wife, came in the room and was like, ‘What is this?’ And I was like, ‘Well, it’s one that I wrote with CJ [Solar] yesterday.’ And she’s like, ‘It’s a banger.’ Any time those are the first words that come out of her mouth, I know that it’s a good one.”
Mountain Time “I was in a write with my buddy Carlton Anderson, who’s one of my best friends in the world, and we’ve known each other for about eight years now. I had a line in a song that had ‘mountain time’ in it and then after, Carlton came up to me, then was like, ‘Man, no one is going to hear the song that we just wrote. We should write another song that’s called “Mountain Time.”’ It always kind of stuck out as a good title, because not only is it the time zone that I’m from and that I was born and raised in, but I’ve also spent a lot of time in Switzerland and the Appalachian Mountains. So, it kind of translated into how Mountain Time isn’t just a time zone—it’s wherever home is.”
I See Country “That one was inspired by a trip in 2018 that I took with my two older brothers and my dad. We all played in a family band growing up in Wyoming, and we got hired to play a rodeo in France, of all places. I had never been to France, and obviously I don’t speak French, and everything was just extremely foreign to a Wyoming boy. But we took the train a few hours out, and then the festival crew picked us up at a train station, and we drove about an hour into the mountains, and we stepped out of the van, and there were cowboy hats and cowboy boots everywhere, in this small little place where they were having this rodeo. Then, that title just hit me—how you can travel 10 hours across the ocean and still see country music and country living no matter where you go.”
Dreams “So, growing up in Wyoming, obviously we didn’t have a lot of live concerts and these global artists at our fingertips who we could go and watch live, but what we did have was albums, and my parents had tons of albums. My mom had this Fleetwood Mac album, and I believe it was the Greatest Hits album with the green label and the flower on it. And ‘Dreams’ was one of the songs on there, and I would play it just every single day on the way to school and on the way back from school. So, in 2018, I started a cover series called One Minute Mondays, and I chose that tune as one of the songs I played, and I kind of cloned myself playing the banjo and covering it, and it kind of did well on Instagram and YouTube and all that stuff.”
Long Haul “We wrote that song in 2018, and I was dating my wife at the time, so I kind of had the idea, but it wasn’t the exact title. The title that I brought into the writing room was ‘Coyote Cry,’ which ultimately became the name for the album, but it’s also a lyric in ‘Long Haul.’ And that kind of got the imagery of the Wyoming landscape rolling in the writing room, and Jamie, my cowriter, looked at me and was like, ‘Man, I am picturing a couple riding horses in Wyoming and just going through the whole Wyoming landscape.’ And then that’s when I looked at him and said, ‘Yeah, man, it ain’t a one-day ride.’ And the rest of it just flew by.”
Humble “I came into the writing room with the acoustic guitar, doing that ’90s country hammer-on, and then we just started to vibe on it, and it immediately felt like an uptempo Shania Twain-meets-rodeo rock ’n’ roll. So, that’s kind of what inspired the Chris LeDoux lyrics and the general idea of what a cowboy is all about, and it’s about being humble. I just think that growing up in Wyoming, I was always surrounded by cowboys, and the Nashville kind of misinterpretation of what a cowboy is, but outlaws aren’t really out there anymore, and outlaws are usually bad people, whereas cowboys are still out there, and they’re the people that you want in your corner.”
Like It Ain’t “Majority of times, when we’re heartbroken, that’s exactly what we want that person to say to us, even if it’s not the truth. You just want them to tell it like it ain’t and continue the lie of love, even though you know it’s not true.”
Might Be Everything “Writing with older, more experienced, more wise writers is always something that I had been trying to do, but it’s always been hard to get in the room with those people at that point, because I hadn’t really made a name for myself yet. The first thing that the great Billy Montana did was put down his guitar—which I thought, ‘OK, that’s kind of weird’—and then he started to just stroll around the room and pick up a few books that were on the wall, and was quiet for a while. And then he just said, ‘Everything.’ And I was like, ‘What? What are you talking about?’ And then he said, ‘Everything, man. It’s everything. It might not be anything, but it might be everything.’”
She Was Right “Post Malone’s album beerbongs & bentleys had a huge influence on me, and nonstop I just listened to that album. And Eminem obviously had a huge impact on me as well, because he was huge when I was in junior high and high school, and I just always loved all his records. I just always wanted to try my hand at combining that sonic energy with country and really relatable lyrics. I’ve always been a huge, huge fan of bluegrass instrumentation with instruments like the fiddle and the banjo. So, once they kind of had a cool drum groove going on, I just picked up the banjo and that was the first thing that came out.”
Come Home to You “This was a unique one because, at the time, I was writing it about [my wife] Caroline, but fast-forward a couple of years, and we have a child now, and now I’m able to come home to him every day. I have just been there so many times, working on the ranch and just everything is not going your way. But then at the end of the day, it’s all good because you get to come home to the person that you love and it makes it all worth it.”

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