Concealing his identity behind a red tasselled Stetson hat, alternative-rock artist Red Leather is one of those mysterious yet brilliant artists whose anonymity only heightens his appeal. His new single ‘BURN IN HELL’ shows why he deserves your attention.
Red Leather has shared his new single, ‘BURN IN HELL,’ taken from his debut album, RENO.
The artist wears a red tasselled Stetson over his head to hide his identity from the public. Despite this, Red Leather’s music, visual aesthetic, and the rumors about his escapades have meant that he has already become a runaway star.
All that is currently known about Red Leather comes from what he has revealed in interviews and social media. We know Red`s from Reno, where he fell in love with music from a young age. That love led him to find solace in playing the guitar and trying to write songs of his while also being inspired by the anthemic, era-defining ballads of artists like Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles.
Despite being focused on a music career, the young man who would go on to become Red Leather faced a tough battle with addiction during adulthood – particularly cocaine addiction. This plagued him throughout the last few years and was most acute when he moved to LA in 2021.
In a roundabout way, Red Leather’s battle with addiction – and his journey to sobriety in the last 20 months – have helped turn him into the artist he is today. Now on the road to recovery, Red Leather’s debut album, RENO, is packed with songs about the dark journey he has been on and the road to potential salvation.
‘BURN IN HELL’ is one of these songs. Defined by dark, penetrating guitar chords, this song features poignant lyrics about being in transit – about moving from one state of being (addiction) to another (sobriety). The song begins: “I’m alone on a train, I made my escape/But I know what’s at stake, on Judgement Day.” He then sings: “I was living off of dirt cheap cocaine/On my way south to LA.” The lyrics are clever because “south to LA” might be literal, but it also conjures up the image of him moving “south” to the place that LA represents for many struggling artists (i.e., hell itself).
The big drum crescendos in the song capture the anthemic sound of someone like Imagine Dragons, but lyrically, Red Leather is far more profound. He reminds you of Neil Young, Tom Petty, or Johnny Cash. His lines are sharp, perceptive, and filled with profound, dark truths that could only come from a life on the fringes.
Red Leather might be anonymous, but that doesn’t mean the listener doesn’t know him. In songs like ‘BURN IN HELL,’ Red Leather gives more of himself to his audiences than most modern-day artists would be brave enough to do.
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