Welcome back to The Friday Download, T+L’s weekly roundup of articles, music, and internet culture that promise to carry you through the weekend, whether your itinerary is jam-packed with travel or you’re staying put, staycation style. This week: the latest from Josh Abbott Band, daily space pics, and more.
"Front Row Seat" by Josh Abbott Band
Concept albums are few and far between in country music, especially as digital single sales continue to grow. But Texas-based Josh Abbott Band is bucking that trend. Their new record Front Row Seat, out November 6, was designed to be listened to in its entirety, making it ideal for a long road trip.
“This is going to be that album for when you’re driving from one part of the state to the next part, or you’re in the airport," Josh Abbott said. "And maybe it’ll be that moment when you start the album on track one and listen to it the whole way through.”
Over the course of 15 tracks (and one intro), the band explores the rise and fall of a relationship, with the title track highlighting the closeness and the intimacy of a partnership.
“The point of [Front Row Seat] is saying, whether you’re married or in a long-term relationship, you have these front row seats to each others lives. And that’s essentially what it’s about," Abbott said.
"It’s the idea that the rest of the world doesn’t get to appreciate you the way they do. And so we named the album that because we felt like first of all, that dramatic narrative really helped with the storytelling of what we’re trying to accomplish on the album. And secondly, it’s a front row seat to our band.”
Josh Abbott Band's "Front Row Seat" premieres exclusively on T + L, below.
Consumer space travel may be out of reach for the average astrophile, but NASA is giving space lovers the means to take a mental trip into the stratosphere with their new website, DSCOVR:EPIC. The site showcases a daily photo taken from almost one million miles away, with a camera on the organization's Deep Space Climate Observatory. Check it out, here.
THE U.N. DEVELOPMENT GOALS
A few weeks ago, the United Nations spelled out their development goals for the next 15 years. On the list: ending poverty, promoting sustainable agriculture, and ensuring education. Check out the full list, on NPR.com, because we could all use a little mid-day motivation.
Say goodbye to excess baggage charges. Weigh-to-Fly is revolutionizing the luggage scale, with a product that tracks the weight of your bag as you pack it, sending the data to your phone. It works on any size luggage, and costs a cool $76 for early backers. Check it out, here.
Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.