We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
No. 10, “Lay It Down,” a mournful, country-fried ballad that’s the album’s hidden track. The lullaby coda to an otherwise hard-rockin’ LP proves that singer Ashlee Wilcox is as much a Cowboy Junkie as a Velocity Girl. With the quartet’s rhythm section on a virtual smoke break, guitarist Tom Van Veen’s high-lonesome guitar pickin’ bolsters Wilcox’s poignant rejoinder to the Band’s “The Weight”: “You carry ’round this heavy weight/And chase it down with Scotch/I hope that you can lay it down.”
“We had nine songs for the CD,” says Van Veen. “But nine just seemed like a bad number to me.” When he offered “Lay It Down” to the College Park band as a 10th entry, the quartet was enthusiastic—so long as the adagio tear-jerker kept a low profile on the record. Van Veen is similarly secretive about the song’s content. “This is sort of a relationship song…about a relationship where the split was caused by a problem,” says Van Veen. “I hate to get too specific.”
I Now Pronounce You Guitarist and Guitarist/Vocalist:
Though Van Veen won’t gossip about lyrics, he was less shy when he proposed to Wilcox. “Someone suggested a proposal on stage,” says Van Veen. “I said, ‘That’s a stupid idea.’” Yet, during a show at the Wonderland Ballroom in 2005, Van Veen asked for her hand in front of 80 audience members. Fortunately, Wilcox accepted, and the bandmates were pronounced man and wife last November. “It would have been embarrassing if it had gone the other way,” Van Veen says.