Some of the best collections of music are tough to pigeonhole emotionally. The roller coaster ride of emotions that those collection evoke is a big part about what makes them so special. To that point, Drew Haley injects several into her new EP Wildflower.
Released in early October, Haley runs the gamut of emotions on Wildflower, ranging from the heartbreaking standout “Fool to Remember” to overcoming adversity with the fan-favorite title track and unconditional love on the touching “Listen to the Sound,” Haley weaves her way through the EP’s five tracks to create an EP of the year candidate.
We caught up with Haley about whittling down hundreds of songs to select the five that made Wildflower, about each of the EP’s five songs, making music that speaks to the soul and more!
Pro Country: The last time we talked, you mentioned that you were sifting through hundreds of songs for the ones that would make your new EP, Wildflower. What was the process like for you of narrowing down so many songs that would make the EP?
Drew Haley: It’s always tough, because if I could, I’d be in the studio all the time recording as many songs as possible. Hearing a song come to life from start to finish is one of my absolute favorite things to be a part of. I rely on my mom, close friends and producer to be my “ears” a lot of times, because it’s important to get feedback.
PC: You released the single “Wildflower” in 2019, which has since become your most-streamed song. Why did you decide to make it the title track of its EP?
DH: It definitely has been the song that most people relate to the most I think. It’s about finding yourself and overcoming adversity. I definitely feel like I’ve been on that journey myself a lot lately, especially since releasing it last year.
PC: You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that “Fool to Remember” is one of the most personal, vulnerable songs you’ve ever written. What has the response in the four months since its release meant to you?
DH: It’s a heartbreak song for sure, and one that I wrote once I knew my marriage was over. I love sad songs and tend to write those more than anything.
PC: “Mood Swing” is a fun, sonic curveball in the vein of Little Big Town in the middle of the EP. Can you talk about the sonic approach and influences you drew on in the studio with the song?
DH: That one is very different from the songs I normally write, which is why I thought it was a good one to add to the EP. It’s got a very rockabilly vibe to it and it’s really fun to sing live!
PC: “Listen to the Sound” is a song that gives life advice and promotes resiliency. How much of that song was a message to yourself? What do you hope listeners take from the song?
DH: Ya know, that song I actually wrote for my kids. After going through divorce, it was really hard on them and I just wanted them to always be reminded of how much I love them no matter what. The best feedback I got on that song was from a friend who said her kids actually ask her to play it all the time. They also went through divorce ironically, and told her that they felt like it was written for them. Hearing that literally made me cry.
PC: “Whole Wide World” is one of our favorite songs on Wildflower. Can you talk about the inspiration behind the song?
DH: I wrote that song after my son was born, and I just remember staring into his beautiful, perfect little face thinking how I’d been waiting for him my whole life and he was finally here! He’s nine now and gets embarrassed when I sing it to him, but that doesn’t stop me.
PC: Do you have a favorite song on Wildflower? If so, why is it so special to you?
DH: That’s tough! Because as you can see, they’re all very special and personal so I couldn’t choose a favorite. 🙂
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from the Wildflower EP after listening all the way through?
DH: I hope they feel all the feels. From the heartache to the crazy ups and downs of life and all in between. In my opinion, that’s what makes a good record. It’s gotta speak to your soul.
PC: The last time we talked, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding live music and a tour that you had booked. What are your plans for the rest of 2020 and going into 2021?
DH: I’m ready to get back in the studio! Like everyone, I’m hoping to play and attend more concerts next year. I miss the energy in the crowd and everything about it pretty much.
*All images courtesy of Drew Haley Facebook page*
**Find Drew’s music featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!**