One of the hardest, biggest steps many take in life is spreading their wings in pursuit of a dream; leaving the comfort of home and venturing off into potential unknowns in the hopes of fulfilling that dream. California native Sam Bowlds has lived that story.
The now Tennessee-living singer/songwriter moved about three quarters of the way across the country to follow her musical dreams. With the release of her newest single, “Old & Grey,” Bowlds offers the unique perspective of wondering what the buildings in a small town would say about a person in the midst of spreading their wings and moving away.
Though that wasn’t the direction the song was heading initially in the writing room, as soon as she tossed out the idea, Bowlds says that she and her co-writer hit the ground running with the idea.
“I wrote this one with Andy Ellison, my amazingly talented steel, dobro, banjo, mandolin player, and it naturally took the direction of a ‘love song,’ but I’m not a huge fan of writing love songs constantly because they get redundant for me,” Bowlds says with a laugh. “By the time we got to the second verse, we got kind of stumped, and at the risk of sounding silly, I said, ‘What if we change the personification to a town’s physical buildings reflecting about a person?’ Andy loved that idea, so we ran with it and wrapped up the song pretty quickly. I’ve learned in writing that whether the idea in your head sounds stupid or brilliant, it’s almost always worth at least throwing it out there, because ya never know what it’ll lead to.”
Bowlds says the idea that home will always be a familiar, soft place to land upon returning is comforting to her, and though her home town wasn’t necessarily a small one, she’s able to put herself in the song and is proud of the story she and Ellison told.
“It’s definitely a special song to me because it’s a warm reminder to the person that outgrew the town, in pursuit of bigger dreams, that home, people and places will always look the same to them and be waiting on their return. I personally find that super comforting and true when I go visit my family in my hometown,” says Bowlds. “While I had my own adventures in the town I grew up in, I can only imagine what buildings around me would say in witness of that if they could talk. I didn’t necessarily grow up in a super small town, so I had to put myself in the shoes of someone who had and what they would say, or shift my perspective to it being me growing up in small town like Franklin TN, where I live now. Regardless, I feel very connected to the story we told. It’s a special song.”
As she continues to string releases together, Bowlds says she has a clear direction for where she wants to take her sound, and promises a honky tonk shake up for her next single.
“I’m fully embracing my Texas/traditional country sound and leaning into and expanding that as I create more music amongst talented musicians and writers,” says Bowlds. “I love to keep things authentic and creative, so I’ve got some honky tonk stuff up next, featuring fiddle by Billy McClaran, and it’s nothing like what anyone has heard from me so far. It’ll be a refreshing change of pace that people can feel good and move to.”
With more new music on the horizon, Bowlds says she’s committed to that aforementioned sound because it’s ingrained within her.
“My style and sound aren’t something I’d ever steer away from or compromise because it’s rooted in who I am,” says Bowlds. “With that said, my focus is just pushing out music every 6-8 weeks and being consistent with that to keep a constant interaction through streaming platforms. Expect things to remain pretty steady for a while!”
*”Old & Grey” is featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*