The First Single From Cuco’s Debut Album Chronicles His Healing Journey Post-Car Accident

Lead Photo: Photo by David "Suscato" Rodriguez. Courtesy of Orienteer
Photo by David "Suscato" Rodriguez. Courtesy of Orienteer
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Pain medication is no match for heartbreak. Often, it’s not even a total salve for physical pain. Cuco was experiencing both when he finally sealed the songwriting process on a track that’s been a long time in the making. “Hydrocodone,” out today, is the first single from the indie pop songwriter’s forthcoming debut full-length album, slated for release on Interscope Records this June.

It’s telling that Cuco inaugurates that relationship – a seven-figure deal born of a label bidding war – with an intimately sorrowful track. He wanted artistic autonomy, and on “Hydrocodone,” the Chicano artist owns his woe in quintessential Cuco fashion. Utter loneliness, a product of wishes that won’t come true and of hopes depleted, is conveyed with allusions to collapse and corrosion, to painful goodbyes. But despite its prolonged lyrical frown, there’s an ease to the melody of “Hydrocodone” that’s more meditative than brooding; releasing feelings from the confines of the mind seems to – at least a little bit – mollify the misery.

While the song’s origin story goes back two years to when that heartache was in full swing, Cuco didn’t complete “Hydrocodone” until a period of recovery from a car accident last October. Traveling on an interstate highway while on tour, Cuco and his band’s van apparently overcorrected, came to a stop, then was struck by an oncoming tractor trailer. He and multiple others were injured as the van hurdled toward the group, who were standing on the shoulder. Cuco was knocked to the floor; several others were severely injured. Subsequent shows had to be canceled as Cuco and the whole crew recovered. During that time, he completed “Hydrocodone.”

Now in better health and happier spirits, Cuco says he’s excited to be back releasing music. He spoke to Beats 1’s Zane Lowe about the new album and the recovery process. “Being back on the road has been a little hard, too, but I think overall it’s just a blessing,” he said. According to him, the album will have “two features, possibly three…It’s really just a lot of different styles that still correlate with what I’m doing and my sounds, but it’s really sick because I think there’s a song in there for everybody. As cliché as it might sound, there really is a song in there for everybody.”

In a press release, he added that he’s “ecstatic to put this song out after two years of working on it, having finished it on my Apple headphones in the hotel room off Hydrocodone post-surgery, recovering from our accident.” Sweetly, Cuco adds, “Hope you enjoy it.”

He also announced that he’ll be touring again this summer – his first string of dates since the accident – beginning on the East Coast and ending in Los Angeles.

Check out the song and all the tour dates below:

6/17 – Washington, D.C. @ U Street
6/19 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
6/20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
6/21 – Dover, NY @ Firefly Festival
6/22 – Monterrey, MX @ Machaca Festival
6/25 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement
6/26 – Toronto, ON @ The Opera House
6/27 – Rothbury, MI @ Electric Forest Festival
6/28 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
6/29 – St Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
7/1 – Kansas City, MO @ Encore at Uptown
7/2 – Oklahoma City, OK @ Tower Theater
7/3 – Dallas, TX @ Bomb Factory
7/5 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
7/6 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
7/7 – San Antonio, TX @ Sunset Station
7/19 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
7/20 – Vancouver, BC @ Venue
7/21 – Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party
7/24 – Anaheim, CA @ The Grove of Anaheim
7/25 – San Diego, CA @ Soma
7/26 – Pomona, CA @ Fox Theater
7/27 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo