When most of his peers were attending college, singer/songwriter Tyler Verhagen took to the road, spending two years on the off-ramps and in the truck stops and 24 hour diners that are part of the hitchhiking life. Some of that included catching rides in semis, sleeping on benches, busking on the streets and when he would pass through Ohio, he would crash with then-future bandmates Jordan Finke, Tom Konitzer and Brett Gregory, who were all students at Ohio State.
As you can imagine, Verhagen’s experiences have played an instrumental role in his work – his life on the road was the basis for the material that appeared on Emily and the Complexes’ debut effort Styrofoam Plate Blues. And although a great deal of those experiences have influenced the band’s forthcoming album Dirty Southern Love, the album focuses more on the realties of early adulthood, and were written and recorded in a more deliberate manner. In fact, the first single off Dirty Southern Love, “Jersey City Blues” is a twangy, yet straightforward blues that evokes the loneliness of the road and yet also conveys the sense that sort of freedom is fleeting in the adult world – at some point, we have to look after others.