Flatland Cavalry is breaking out into a gallop. After years of hot trotting across their native Texas, the country outfit is primed for a breakout with the release of their third full-length album, the sonically sprawling and wistfully written Welcome to Countryland.

The Texas sextet--bandleader and chief lyricist Cleto Cordero, guitarist Reid Dillon, bassist Jonathan Saenz, drummer Jason Albers, fiddle player Wesley Hall, and recent newcomer utility instrumentalist Adam Gallegos--continue to embrace their trademark sound while further pushing into the wild unknown. When it was time to embark on recording a new album, resting on their laurels was simply out of the realm of possibilities.

After the release of 2019's critically-acclaimed Homeland Insecurity and their 2016 full-length debut Humble Folks, they’ve been on a healthy trajectory rising through the country ranks. After years of working with Lubbock stalwart Scott Faris in the friendly confines of Amusement Park Studios, Flatland decided a change of scenery was necessary. Despite some hesitation and a mix of emotions, they instantly knew recording at Nashville’s Sound Emporium Studio A with rising producer Jake Gear was the right move.

"With our last two projects, we knew that room and setup. There's comfort in working with Scott," says Albers. "I think it was important to try and further expand with this album. Sonically, this album is definitely something bigger."

“I think everyone kind of experienced this bit of nervousness going from Scott’s studio to Sound Emporium,” adds Dillon. “That first day, everyone was a little fidgety and shy. You eventually fall into this comfort zone.”

While the roster of collaborative confidants and colleagues (Spencer Cullum, Jim Hoke, Billy Justineau, Hailey Whitters, and Kaitlin Butts) has continued to expand with Flatland's sound stride for stride, Countryland isn't a cut and paste effort with Nashville studio musicians. Rather, it finds the rootsy Texans delivering their A-game due to countless tour runs zig-zagging across the country and becoming seasoned performers and musicians.

Since their humble beginnings out in the Panhandle town of Lubbock, Texas, Flatland Cavalry has embraced their surroundings and rural West Texas roots. Formed in 2014 while attending Texas Tech University, Cordero and company made their presence felt within the Hub City's songwriting circles and dancehall circuits. Banking on Cordero's earnest pen and the band's blend of country instrumentation, toe-tapping grooves, and earworm choruses, Flatland quickly became a regional sensation.

What started as an early and catchy descriptor -- "Easy on the ears, heavy on the heart" -- slowly turned into a motto of sorts for the band. All these years later, it's remained the tried and true pulsing heart of Flatland. Even all these years later, that’s still the foundation on which Flatland begins and builds their albums.

Combined with 2020's touring slate wiped off the calendar, Flatland found themselves with ample time to cultivate, challenge, and broaden their ideas of just exactly what could be achieved going forward. After years of lengthy tour legs and finding themselves in the eye of the storm, 2020 was Flatland’s first time to sit back and reflect. These moments of clarity began to take hold and shape Cordero’s writing.

“West Texas is very much in our hearts,” says Cordero. “But the more you travel, the more you learn these different places, they still reflect a sense of home. It may not be my home, but it’s home for someone else. And you think about where you’re from and how they’re really not all that different despite the terrain.”

With that in mind, Countryland is a journey through the country--both in sense of sound, place, and identity. The blazing opener “Country Is…” sets the table serving as a thesis and profound statement that they return to time and again throughout. What started out as an exercise on a typewriter--Valentine’s Day gift from Cordero’s wife and fellow songwriter Kaitlin Butts--soon shifted into the inviting declaration.

“I’d sent over a draft to [Jake] Gear and he thought it was cool,” says Cordero. “But he said, ‘what’s cooler is that country music is about family, love, working hard, chasing a dream, having faith, and all these other things.’ I stepped away from that conversation agreeing and knowing I had to reexamine that song.”

“Every region has its own sound and there’s a bunch of songs about different places,” adds Dillon. “Everywhere we’ve traveled, I like to think a little bit of that has rubbed off on us. And hopefully, we have too on them.”

Those sentiments seep into other moments like the hometown visits of “Some Things Never Change” and crisp & twangy morning dew of “It’s Good To Be (‘Round Here Again),” and the sultry barn-burning scorcher “Dancing Around a Fire,” They cut a rug on the star-kissed cowboy sunsetter “A Cowboy Knows How” -- a Luke Combs penned offering -- and morph into cosmic songbirds on the moonlight porch picker “Fallen Star.”

“‘Fallen Star’ was total poetry,” says Cordero. “That was the first time that’s happened outside ‘No Shade of Green.’ It reads like a poem and I just had faith and belief that there was a melody in there.”

Much of Countryland’s rich and diverse country, folk, and regional tangents were informed by a shapeshifting playlist curated by the band and weekly Zoom meeting discussions. It pushed the band’s sonic palette in varying directions often opening doors to realms they didn’t realize were possible within the Flatland sound.

“You kinda get in the same headspace and pick up on the same vibe,” adds Saenz. “When you’re all trying to find that same theme and feeling, your collective brains come together and you start filtering out things. You start finding paths to music that compliment something you’ve been working towards the whole time.”

If “Country Is…” is Countryland’s thesis, the spirited “...Meantime” is Flatland’s bowing closing remarks. Written by Cordero and country riser Lainey Wilson and with harmony contributions from Hailey Whitters, “...Meantime” finds Flatland seasoned well beyond their years. “Time feels like it takes forever when your heart looks too far on down the line,” sings Cordero and Whitters on the stoic, introspective, and rousing sendoff.

Welcome to Countryland finds Flatland Cavalry in their finest hour as they reflect on the past, look towards the future, and appreciating the present.

For more information, please contact Asha Goodman, Catherine Snead 615.320.7753 or Carla Sacks 212.741.1000 at Sacks & Co.