“I was drawing from Ennio Morricone as much as I was from the Beatles,” Juston Stens says of “When Fire Burns Out,” the first single from the debut album by the former Dr. Dog drummer. It’s an influence that’s clear and audible from the very first notes of the, which ring out full of Spaghetti Western atmosphere and attitude. “[It's] about feeling lost and alone after a period of happiness that has passed, and finding it hard to believe that you could ever find that again,” he says.
Still, just because a song conjures up images of the dusky Italian landscape doesn’t mean that it sounds like a downer, and “When Fire Burns Out” is a surprisingly dancy tune for a song about being convinced that you’ll never love again. The guitar jangles just right, and Stens’ deep, crooning vocals make him sound more like a bandleader at an old-school dancehall than he does anything else — all that, and the guy gives us a glimpse of what a Lennon/McCartney/Morricone collaboration might have sounded like. We’ll take it.Juston Stens - When Fire Burns Out