As a songwriter, I’ve always found inspiration in the diverse landscapes of music, each note and lyric adding a layer to the canvas of my creativity. In 2023, my musical journey has been enriched by many incredible releases, each album offering a unique perspective and fueling the fire of my songwriting passion.
Colter Wall – ‘Little Songs’:
Colter Wall’s ‘Little Songs’ is a masterclass in storytelling through music. The gravelly timbre of Wall’s voice and evocative lyrics will transport you to a world steeped in tradition and authenticity. The album weaves tales of love, loss, and the timeless struggles of the human experience, making ‘Little Songs’ a poignant and unforgettable musical journey.
Chris Stapleton – ‘Higher’:
Chris Stapleton’s ‘Higher’ is a soul-stirring exploration of love, resilience, and the human spirit. With his powerful vocals and masterful guitar skills, Stapleton effortlessly blends country, rock, and blues elements. ‘Higher’ is a testament to Stapleton’s ability to craft songs that resonate deeply, creating a visceral connection. I get goosebumps whenever I hear Stapleton sing.
Pat Capocci – ‘The Press Tone’s Early Years’:
In ‘The Press Tone’s Early Years,’ Pat Capocci takes us on a nostalgic journey through the roots of rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll. The album exudes vintage charm, with Capocci’s guitar prowess and spirited vocals paying homage to the genre’s pioneers. It’s a delightful sonic experience that brings the timeless sounds of the past into the present.
Tyler Childers – ‘Rustin’ In The Rain’:
Tyler Childers ‘Rustin’ In The Rain is a concise yet powerful musical statement. With just seven songs, Childers delivers a collection that explores the complexities of life with raw honesty. The stripped-down production allows the authenticity of Childers’ voice and lyrics to shine, making each track an emotional and introspective journey.
Queens of the Stone Age – ‘In Times New Roman’:
Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘In Times New Roman’ marks a triumphant return for the band. The album is a sonic exploration, blending their signature desert rock sound with experimental elements. From the thunderous riffs to the hypnotic melodies, Queens of the Stone Age once again prove their mastery of rock’s diverse landscape.
Shawn James – ‘Honor & Vengeance’:
‘Honor & Vengeance’ by Shawn James is an epic musical saga that captivates from start to finish. With his powerful voice and commanding presence, James takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of the human experience. The album’s rich storytelling, coupled with James’ soulful delivery, creates a truly immersive and unforgettable listening experience.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s – ‘Weathervanes.’:
A sonic tapestry that seamlessly weaves together poignant storytelling and exceptional musicianship. Released against the backdrop of 2023, the album stands as a testament to Isbell’s ability to craft deeply personal and universally resonant songs. The collaboration with the talented 400 Unit creates a rich and textured musical landscape that complements Isbell’s lyrical prowess. From the melancholic reflections of “Death Wish” to the anthemic energy of “This Aint It,” Weathervanes showcases diverse emotions and musical styles. Isbell’s distinctive voice, coupled with the band’s impeccable instrumentation, captures the essence of Americana, a captivating journey through heartache, hope, and the human experience. This album reaffirms Isbell’s position as a masterful storyteller and a driving force in contemporary Americana music. If you ever get a chance to see Isbell live, do it; the guy is phenomenal.
Brent Cobb – ‘Southern Star’:
This artist was recommended to me by Jeremy King who plays pedal steel and dobro on my upcoming album ‘Built To Last’. Cobb’s album is a shining example of modern country craftsmanship, showcasing his remarkable songwriting and soulful delivery. ‘Southern Star’ effortlessly blends traditional country sounds with a contemporary touch, creating a musical landscape that feels familiar and refreshing. Cobb’s heartfelt lyrics narrate stories of love, loss, and the complexities of life in the South. The album’s production is polished yet maintains a rootsy warmth, allowing Cobb’s distinctive voice and narrative to take centre stage, offering a captivating journey through the soul of the South.
As I reflect on the musical tapestry woven throughout 2023, I can’t help but feel a renewed sense of inspiration for my own songwriting journey. I joined Australian Songwriting Retreats during the year to help improve my writing and soon discovered a tremendous, uplifting community. I found new inspirations and impulses to draw upon and gave myself permission to write from a more vulnerable and heartfelt space that I didn’t think was possible. Also, drawing inspiration from the emotional depth and sonic landscapes explored by artists like Colter Wall, Chris Stapleton, Pat Capocci, Tyler Childers, Queens of the Stone Age, Brent Cobb, Jason Isbell and Shawn James, I am excited to announce the upcoming release of two new albums in the coming year.
The first, ‘Built to Last,’ is a country-folk album inspired by the vastness of open spaces, the heartache of loss, and the hope found in self-reflection. The second, ‘Accelerated Heartbreak,’ is a visceral rock experience featuring distorted stoner rock, punk, and psychobilly influences. This album delves into the realms of heartache and sorrow, pushing through darkness to find the light. As the year turns, I invite you to join me on this musical journey, exploring the depths of emotion and the resilience of the human spirit.