Over the course of a calendar year where work and creativity may have been hard to come by, Sam Bowlds has certainly been busy.
Just under a year ago, Bowlds released her debut EP, My Own; one of our favorite EPs of 2020 that put her vulnerable songwriting and smooth voice on our radar.
By year’s end, Bowlds was back with “Coffee & Cigarettes,” a more rocking song than what was featured on her EP as she delved into everyday coping mechanisms.
As March came, so did another single, “Wasted Time,” showcasing her impressive vocal range. Bowlds says it’s been important for her to keep new music flowing and keeping listeners engaged, while also previewing a special new release coming next month.
“I’ve had to learn so much about marketing on my own and what really benefits my brand, as well as listeners. It’s just kind of a trial and error, learn as you go thing! I’ve noticed people are definitely more engaged when I keep releases closer together, so I have been trying to do things more back to back instead of multiple months in between, which also helps to keep me on the map,” says Bowlds. “Actually, with that said, and this is the first I’ll have shared on this, I will actually be releasing something extremely special in late April. It’s a cover of one of my all-time favorite songs by one of my favorite artists, and it’s actually not common for a female artist to lead it, especially not in the way we delivered it. I’m extremely excited to get that one out into the world and hopefully reach even more ears and hearts with it. I’ll be sharing more of that very, very soon, so stay tuned with me through socials!”
“Wasted Time” is a sequel of sorts to “Coffee & Cigarettes;” both examining how one copes after the end of a relationship, making her newest single the perfect follow up.
“I think the stories between the two songs correlate in the sense that they’re both storylines of a back and forth, on and off again relationship,” says Bowlds. “‘Coffee & Cigarettes’ explains the relationship dynamic with something you can’t put down; addiction, a bad habit, or even a person. You’re stuck in an endless cycle of needing to fill a void, whereas in ‘Wasted Time,’ it’s clear a person is reflecting on good, healthy memories, but is also able to acknowledge that that seems to be all they have going for them anymore in their relationship; they’ve exhausted all options, and making due isn’t enough anymore, no matter how good it used to be. It’s almost like they realize they deserve better than what they’re getting. There’s honestly so many things I can say about both because while I write from personal experiences, I do love to leave my songs/stories open for each person’s personal interpretation.”
After being struck by the song’s melody in the middle of the night, Bowlds says she looked deep within herself and created an all-too-relatable song for anyone who has experienced a heartbreak.
“‘Wasted Time’ is one of those where the melody hit me at 1:00a.m. and I just had to run with it,” says Bowlds. “The lyrics just came from a deep place, because I think aside from my personal experience with a story like this, it’s so common for people and relatable. It paints so much imagery, and that’s one of my favorite things to do as a writer. I love to create a setting that anyone can see themselves in.”
With “Wasted Time,” Bowlds has released her first solo-written song, something she says brings forward some nerves, but also brings a sense of pride as she’s already receiving excellent feedback from listeners.
“It’s such a vulnerable and slightly nerve-wracking thing for me to take full responsibility for a song where I have been the only writer. On the other hand, I’m super proud of it, and the feedback I have received has just been incredible, which makes it all worth it! I had a lot of confidence in this song because the storyline is so strong and personal,” says Bowlds. “I think once we hit a certain age, we’ve all been there with someone. I was actually told that because it was written alone, the storyline seemed a lot more clear and black and white, which makes a lot of sense because I’m a super black and white person [laughs]. Sometimes it’s a risk writing alone because you are only putting in one perspective, and while I do love that, I also love being challenged by other talented writers and musicians.”
After “Wasted Time,” Bowlds has no plans to slow down with releases, as she has a diverse mix of tunes set for release this year.
“This is the first year of my life where I have a solid lineup of songs for the next year to year and a half. I have some personal career goals to reach before releasing another EP, but until then, I’ll be releasing so much fun material. Some of it is more cruising with the windows down and chill, to then some honkytonk tunes,” says Bowlds. “It’s going to be a great mix of stuff that really showcases me and my brand as an artist, but is also relatable to my listeners!”
Those new songs come courtesy of Bowlds using her down time in 2020 to tap further into her songwriting and creativity. Though she’s not one to force new songs and ideas, she says she has enjoyed being creative, both alone and in co-writes.
“With writing, I’ve never really been one to force stuff out. I love to write when I get the urge and overwhelming feeling to do so, because that is usually when my best content comes out; ‘Wasted Time.’ But I also love co-writes where maybe I’m not always feeling it when we go in, but we come out with this incredible song,” says Bowlds. “I love to be challenged in a room where people may not think the way I do and they present different ideas that cause me to think deeper or differently. It can be tough at times, don’t get me wrong [laughs], but by the end, it’s usually something we’re all proud of. So to answer your question, I guess I’ve just been continuing to stretch myself and allow myself to be challenged with writing and who I am writing with.”
*”Wasted Time” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*