American Authors

Nothing brightens your day (or evening) quite like a song does. The right tune at the right time will flip your whole mood upside down. American Authors pen the kind of upbeat, uplifting, and undeniable anthems that windows-down-singalongs and breezy morning movie montages were made for rife with hummable hooks, inventive instrumentation, and cleverly quotable lyrics. It’s why the group continue to captivate audiences worldwide. It’s why they’ve clocked over 1 billion streams, reached multiplatinum status, and consistently packed venues on multiple continents. It’s why they’ve managed to collaborate with everyone from Santana and Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty to Guy Fieri. It’s why the pop rock trio—Zac Barnett [lead vocals, guitar], Dave Rublin [bass, keys], and Matt Sanchez [drums]—can always be your go-to in order to feel good.

That holds true on their fourth full-length offering, Best Night of My Life.

“We wanted to write classic up-tempo American Authors songs,” states Zac. “It was a conscious decision. We agreed, ‘Let’s not pay attention to what other musicians are doing; let’s just do what American Authors does best—which is hopeful feel-good music’.”

With friendships dating back to their days at Berklee College of Music, their official introduction came in the form of 2014’s gold-certified Oh, What A Life. It boasted the triple-platinum smash “Best Day of My Life,” which catapulted to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and proved inescapable in countless movies, TV series, video games, and sporting events. Thus far, they’ve earned a staggering 600-plus syncs and counting. Following What We Live For [2016] and Seasons [2019], the guys remained prolific with the Counting Down EP [2020] and the 2021 fan favorite single “Nice and Easy” with Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray. Beyond praise from American Songwriter and The Honey Pop, mega-chef Guy Fieri jumped at the chance to officially remix “Nice and Easy.” In its wake, they joined forces with Santana and Rob Thomas for “Move.” As a perennial live staple, they’ve toured with Andy Grammer, OAR, OneRepublic, The Revivalists, and The Fray and ignited festivals, including Lollapalooza, Firefly Music Festival, BottleRock Napa Valley, Reading Festival, and Leeds Festival.

Enjoying over a decade as American Authors, the boys carefully pondered their next move during a series of candid conversations often well into the night. Their general consensus would be to leap forward by looking back…

“At the 10-year mark, it made sense to bring it back to the beginning,” recalls the frontman. “Obviously, we’ve grown a lot in the last ten years and are in different places. However, we’re still the same band with a positive message. We’ve noticed which songs resonate live, so we thought about how we could maintain those elements that the American Authors family really enjoys. It was nostalgic and updated. Best Night of My Life sounds like it could’ve been our second album, but it took us ten years of growing in the music industry as songwriters and producers to get here. Rather than looking at what was going on around us, we looked at who we are.”

Taking the reins and self-producing, the band recorded the entire album in Las Vegas and Nashville over the course of just two weeks. “Blind For Love,” the album’s 1st single and now one of their highest charting radio hits to date, was released alongside companion Piano, Acoustic, and Instrumental versions of the song.  “’Blind For Love’ is a song for the romantics,” Matt opines. “It’s about human connection and believing in possibilities that lie within a single kiss.”

The title track and 2nd single “Best Night Of My Life” marks a full circle moment. Of course, it harks back to the seminal hit “Best Day of My Life,” yet it also evokes a renewed spirit. Musically, plucky acoustic guitar and high-register harmonies glide over a bouncy beat as Zac promises, “Oh hey, it’s gonna be the best night of my life. I got everything I need, good friends and my family.

“We were having so much fun it felt right to nod to ‘Best Day of My Life’,” he reveals. “Even though it’s a completely different song, it encompasses what people know and love about us.  We knew if we were going to do this, it had to be undeniably us. We aren’t chasing trends. It embodies who we are.”

Sunny handclaps, whistling, banjo, and harmonica (which they Postmate’d to the studio) light up the instantly unshakable “We Happy.” Co-written and co-produced by Greg Wattenberg [John Legend, O.A.R., Goo Goo Dolls] as the album’s sole collaboration, the interpolation of Bobby McFerrin’s classic “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” pops off with a chantable chorus.

“It’s the first time we’ve used harmonica on one of our songs,” adds Zac. “We tried to keep it simple and pure. We had heavy feelings the day before we recorded it, but it ended up being this really fun track.”

Then, there’s “Live On.” Stark ukulele underlines gentle verses as the refrain promises,  “When I step into the night, I’ll leave the light on, so that you always find your way home. In my heart, you’re never gone—you live on.”

“In December 2019 I lost my sister,” Dave reveals. “’Live On’ reflects on the loss of a loved one. The times you spend wishing you could have them by your side; when the world gets quiet and you have a moment of focus. I wanted to tell her I’m still here, and that I’ll never forget her.”

Organs hum in the background of “Madness” as a funky bassline adds a confident strut to the hook, “All this madness, madness, madness, it’s bringing me down. He adds, “It’s got this ukulele vibe mixed with downer lyrics, so there’s a twist.”

Everything culminates on “Movin’ On.” Acoustic guitar gives way to one final goodbye on a buoyant, albeit conclusive chorus.

“It’s about getting out of an abusive relationship,” he notes. “Even when you leave, you’re dumbfounded because the other person never understood it was an abusive relationship. You’re breaking free, moving on, getting out from underneath the situation, and knowing the best is yet to come.”

The same could be said for American Authors as they embark on what promises to be their boldest, biggest, and brightest chapter yet.

“The three of us wanted to create the most ‘American Authors’ album we’ve ever done,” Zac leaves off. “There are Easter eggs for our fans, but it’s meant to be hopeful. This band is my best friends. We’ve had great times and some not-so great times…I’ve loved every minute of it though. I can’t wait for what’s next.”