“Singer-songwriter” is used to define popular music artists who write and perform their own material, which is often self-accompanied generally on acoustic guitar or piano. Such an artist performs the roles of composer, lyricist, vocalist, sometimes instrumentalist, and often self-manager. According to AllMusic, singer-songwriters’ lyrics are often personal but veiled by elaborate metaphors and vague imagery, and their creative concern is to place emphasis on the song rather than their performance of it. Most records by such artists have a similarly straightforward and spare sound that placed emphasis on the song itself.
The term has also been used to describe songwriters in the rock, folk, country, and pop music genres including Henry Russell, Aristide Bruant, Hank Williams, and Buddy Holly. It came into popular usage in the 1960s onwards to describe songwriters who followed particular stylistic and thematic conventions, particularly lyrical introspection, confessional songwriting, mild musical arrangements, and an understated performing style. According to writer Larry David Smith, because it merged the roles of composer, writer, and singer, the popularity of the singer-songwriter reintroduced the Medieval troubadour tradition of “songs with public personalities” after the Tin Pan Alley era in American popular music.
My name is Guilhem, and I’m a singer/songwriter from Montreal, QC Canada. I play in a punk/rock band called Lost Love (since 2013), and I’ve also been performing solo/acoustic shows since then. After playing 500+ shows with both projects in 20 different countries (4 different continents), I thought it was a good idea to release a full-length album finally.
“I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free.” I like those lines from the famous gospel song “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” especially as sung by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who convey in both their instruments and voices all the hardship and pain that often precede or surround the moments of happiness and freedom that singing can create, the way one really depends on the other to achieve its full impact.
I create a lot of different kinds of things. Singing is the one among them that always gives me more back than I put into it, leaves me feeling happy and free. Whether it’s dark or light in my life at that moment those sounds are being made, I always feel that a good eye is still on the sparrow.
Middle age –
Some buy a motorbike or go skydiving, some swim with sharks or hunt for ancient treasures…. me I started to record all the songs I’d scribbled on little bits of paper over many years! As the technology made it infinitely easier to set up a studio at home… that’s what I did, and here am 😉 7 albums, two e.p.’s and a couple of compilation albums in 4 years, and many more still to come!!
My name is Danny M. Cohen, and I’m one half of the Chicago-based gay folk-rock duo They Won’t Win. My “music husband” is Greg Lanier and we wrote and co-produced our debut album over a few years of life’s ups and downs. For me, parts of ‘Lost At Sea’ reflect what it was like to witness a dear friend fall into a dark, frightening place, but, ultimately, our album is about finding your way out.
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota called Elbow Lake. There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the “sticks” of MN, so I found love in rock ‘n’ roll at an early age through my older brother’s music collection. He moved out when I was young, joined the Air Force and was stationed in England when I was in middle school, so our family took a trip overseas to see him. When I got there, he showed me his electric guitar. I picked it up, and he showed me a couple of licks. I played that damn thing the rest of the time I was there. My parents heard me playing it the whole weekend and later that year, for Xmas, I got my first guitar. I was obsessed. I quit all sports and just focused on that.
Hello friends. We are from the prairies of southern Alberta where it is sparse and dry, kind of like us. We don’t know what we’re doing or what we want, but we think we will continue. Join us as we try not to suck, but also don’t worry too much about being great. We’re just trying to be ok.
The different settings for my latest album, Desert Cities – Part One, span from Denver to Seoul. Track three, Brooklyn, is a love song for the gritty and enigmatic Bushwick neighborhood and track four, Coming Home, rides the metro north to Midtown where home is not a place but a person (and a lovely oasis at that). Track two, Lost in Seoul, reflects on the foreign shores of South Korea, “the crowded streets, the angry East Sea, don’t mind if I belong here for a while.”
Only track one, Hold out Thirst, mentions a dry, barren, lifeless, sandy desert. Its brief and stark first refrain, “I went to the desert and held out my thirst,” captured something much bigger in me when I first listened back to the completed album. The desert, in this case, is where one goes to reflect deeply, to test themselves against the elements, physically and emotionally and to experience thirst as a fundamental sensation of life, to feel acutely alive. The remainder of the album (part two included, TBR Fall 2019) is born of this same desire.