Editors’ Notes In the spring of 2020, in the midst of a global health pandemic, South Carolina rock group NEEDTOBREATHE’s co-founder Bo Rinehart left the band he started with his brother 20 years prior, just before the release of their seventh full-length studio album, Out of Body. But no fear—the band is known for committing resiliency to record in ascending arena-rock songs, a tradition they’ve continued as a trio. “Out of Body is about getting past your ego and anxiety and all those things that come along with growing up,” NEEDTOBREATHE lead singer and principal songwriter Bear Rinehart tells Apple Music about the band’s latest chapter without his brother Bo. “I have some young kids. This is the first I've made a record with kids. When they walk into a room, they're just completely vulnerable and open, and I love that. I want more of that in my life.” That hunger for candor comes across throughout the album, from the familiar bluesy gospel of “Survival” to the twangy Southern rock balladry of “Seasons” and the rash, rowdy, and rootsy “Riding High.” “Our band always feels like we're telling parts of a redemption story. It could be personal or spiritual, but we're always talking about the tough parts of that journey, not the end,” Reinhart explains. “I feel like this record is a companion for times that are not great, or times you question yourself.” Below, he discusses each song on Out of Body, track by track.

Mercy’s Shore
“I wrote this song with Tyler Burkum, a guitar player we've collaborated with over the years but never written with before. We built this song based on this idea of what it's like when a kid is asleep in their car when they get home, how a parent or loved one takes them inside, there's a complete trust, and they don't wake up. Everybody either has kids or at least remembers being a kid when that happened and how sweet that was. The song is about the realization that we all need somebody. It's awesome that kids have that innately, and it takes us a lifetime to figure it out.”

Alive
“This was a fun one. It’s probably the song that's been around the longest, and it was a trick to get right in the studio. We recorded this song about four different times in different ways. It sounded like a Queen song or something at first. We wanted 'Alive' to have that spirit of running downhill—you can't keep running this fast when you get to the bottom, but there's a freedom to it. That's what we were trying to capture.”

Hang On
“I approached it thinking about things I experienced in life—the first things, the first kiss and the first sunset. What was it about them that made them so special? I think a lot of it was how open and vulnerable I was to the experience more than the experience itself. To me, it's a reminder of what it takes for a moment to impact you—you have to show up, too.”

Survival (feat. Drew & Ellie Holcomb)
“Drew and Ellie are some of our oldest friends. We thought that Ellie's voice would sound insane on this track. We've done some collaborating live before but never on the record, and it's always been a ballad. There's a real nervous energy about it. That's where we're most comfortable: Southern rock, blues rock, a little bit of gospel. It's what comes easiest to the band, that vibe. And in my opinion, Ellie steals the show.”

Child Again
“Somebody asked me this question: ‘When do you feel like you're at your best?’ It took me a long time to think about it. Onstage sometimes, I forget where I am, I'm just in the flow of the moment. I'm fully giving myself to the songs. That’s crazy for me to say as a really serious person. That's what this song is about: losing some of the critical attitude that I have, the seriousness that I have, and going into things in a more childish way.”

Out of Body
“Our perception of ourselves is so different than other people's. More often than not, people think a lot more highly of us than we do. The idea of 'Out of Body' for me is when you get beyond insecurity and trust that and question, 'How do you see yourself the way they do?' That's easy for me to say, going back to the kids, because they can do anything and I still love them. I really want to feel like I have that kind of love in my life. And that’s outside of my body and outside of my experiences and outside of my armor that I've put up over all these years.”

Who Am I
“Love—the real thing—is being accepted for who you are. That is the biggest struggle for most people. That's a battle for me, because it's also saying, 'I do want to be loved, I need to be loved,' and so there's a sort of confession in there, and that's strong. I think that people have already interpreted the song in numerous different ways, and I don't want to take that away from them, but I approached it just amazed, honestly, by how much love I have in my life.”

Banks
“My wife had this phrase that I did not adopt when we first got married—she was like, ‘You cage in the crazy.’ She's a really strong, independent woman and has always been smarter than me and works harder than me, and so I think [the phrase is] a metaphor for being supportive but not in the way. The truth is she doesn't necessarily need me, but she could use me sometimes. That was what I was trying to write.”

Riding High
“I’m a big Black Crowes fan. I've never made any secret of that. We wanted to do some more of what we call 'jingle jangle' on the record. [Stuff like The] Rolling Stones, that sort of soul rock thing. Sometimes we call it 'maraca rock.' 'Riding High' was one of those where it's just the band playing it live in the room. The lyric ['Bad decisions/They don’t feel bad at the time'], we laughed at it. I remember when we wrote it, we were on the road, and we were like, 'That just sounds so redneck and ridiculous,' but it's also the spirit of the song. It’s fun. As serious as this record is, I think this song is a light moment to be like, 'A little rebelliousness is okay.'”

Bottom of a Heartbreak
“I have a lot of friends that have gone through a crazy time, and some people's advice for that scenario I think is the worst. It's always like, 'Well, just move on. Find someone else.' The song's really talking about how you sometimes need to take a break and make sure you're okay. Relationships don't fix anything within you.”

Seasons
“‘Seasons’ is about a story that a buddy of mine told me. He and his wife had all kinds of problems with adoption and some fertility things. They'd gone through years of this. He said he came home one day and his wife was crying on the kitchen floor. She's like, 'I can't take this anymore. It's just too much.' He was like, 'You know what, I'm not going to work again until we figure this out. We [need to] get our priorities together and basically know that we're not going to live up and down with the seasons.' I don't know if I've ever written a song that came out of a direct story like that, but I feel like it's very powerful to a lot of people. The way the world is going, we should all fight as hard as we can. The band's gone through a lot of changes. My brother left the band. That’s why we wanted to cap the record this way. It’s like, 'Man, we're in a time where we all have to lean on each other.' This is what we're supposed to do.”

SONG
Mercy's Shore
1
4:50
 
Alive
2
3:08
 
Hang On
3
4:15
 
Survival (feat. Drew & Ellie Holcomb)
4
4:27
 
Child Again
5
3:49
 
Out of Body
6
3:30
 
Who Am I
7
3:27
 
Banks
8
4:00
 
Riding High
9
4:06
 
Bottom of a Heartbreak
10
4:32
 
Seasons
11
4:03
 

Music Videos

  • Hang On
    Hang On
    NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Mercy's Shore
    Mercy's Shore
    NEEDTOBREATHE
  • Who Am I
    Who Am I
    NEEDTOBREATHE

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