For an up-and-coming artist, having a versatile sound is very important; having something for a variety of different tastes is more important than ever in today’s music climate.
Drew Moreland released his self-titled debut album on Wednesday, August 1, and honestly, it’s hard to box his sound in to one particular genre. Influences ranging from southern rock to traditional country to americana come through in his sound.
The album has a raw, fresh feel, thanks in large part to Moreland recording the album in his single-wide trailer he lives in with his family.
“I really like recording by myself, especially the vocals. I’ve done it enough that I have my ritual down for getting the results I want,” says Moreland. “Basically, for this record, I did them standing in our bedroom closet, in the dark, wearing gym shorts and an undershirt, with a glass of whiskey in my hand (laughs). The whiskey helps relax me and [helps] my voice. I have bad allergies, so it helps me get cleared out and warmed up faster. And for better or worse I feel like my singing is more “honest” sounding after I’ve had a few.”
Moreland says being able to record in a place so comfortable also helped with the feel of the record.
“The other nice thing about recording at my house is that I can do it on my time schedule. The vast majority of the work was done after 8:00pm and into the late hours when the rest of the family and the neighbors were already asleep,” says Moreland. “My producer Bill Green actually commented about how clean all the tracks were. Even though our walls are thin, there’s no city noise out in Marion. So at night it’s just quiet and peaceful.”
The album’s lead single, “You Call It Texas, I Call It Home” is set to hit the airwaves in about two weeks. Moreland has been looking forward to getting this song on the radio for quite a while.
“We had talked about releasing that one as my third single even before I had a full track list for the album. It’s one of those songs that gets a great response every time we play it live; people can just identify with it right away,” says Moreland. “It’s also one of the best co-writes I’ve done with Garland Lee Wenner and Matthew Parker (co-writers on many of the songs on the album). And, I really wanted to showcase what we could do together.”
The album, which features a darker feel than anything he has done previously, showcases Moreland’s ability to give fans a deeper look at himself as an artist.
“I guess it’s really just a result of being able to showcase more material,” says Moreland. “When you’re new to the scene, people want to hear your upbeat fun songs on the radio. They have to know who you are before investing the time to listen to all your words and evaluate more serious writing. So we held off releasing most of that material until now.”
Moreland has noticed a growth in himself as an artist, and he sees it in the music on this new album.
“When we released our first EP, it was kind of a shot in the dark. We mostly just did it to have something tangible for promoting/ booking venues,” says Moreland. “At the time, I had barely gotten a band together to start playing those songs live. So, they didn’t have much stage time in front of an audience to develop. And, as a band, we hadn’t had any time to develop a distinguished sound. It’s been about 18 months now and we’ve come a long way. Personally, I feel like the more I grow and learn, the more I realize how much farther there is to go. But I’m really starting to get comfortable with my identity and our place in this music scene.”
Moreland hopes that fans can appreciate getting a deeper look at him as both an artist and as a songwriter. His debut record is set to take listeners on a great journey, rolling through many different influences, all bundled up into one great Texas country record.
“The highest compliment I get is when someone tells me they just leave an album in their car on repeat. This one covers alot of ground. It’s got songs that are fun, serious, deep, superficial; but more than anything it’s all good listening music,” says Moreland. “I felt like I finally had some important things to say; some obvious and some hidden. But my agenda always takes a back seat to writing ‘good music’ for the listeners’ sake. And I hope that comes across.”
*Images and tracks courtesy of Drew Moreland*