Five Exciting New Singer Songwriters
Kevin Garrett – Mellow Drama
-If you’re a fan of Sam Smith, take sometime to listen to Kevin Garrett’s single “Coloring.” It’s soothing and simple but really engaging. Although some would say we’re late to the game on Garrett, he’s still not getting the air play deserving of his talent. He’s got a vibe that can be a little soul, a little R&B, and a lot of pop singer songwriter. He’s definitely the kind of talent we love to hear around here. The bass on “Control” is enough to make you pay attention; the vocal will keep you around for more.
Alex Culbreth – The High Country
-It might not be fair to call Culbreth a “new” songwriter. He’s been making music for some time, but his new sound is really exciting. It’s a raw and real country-influenced sound. There are parts of bluegrass and down home country music. Mostly you’ll notice a high energy, high quality picking style. With tracks called “Mustache Ride” and “Choke That Chicken,” Culbreth is definitely not a family act. Rather, he’s perfect for the gritty, salt of the earth folks who like to have a few drinks and laugh the night away buzzed up on a substance of choice.
Zac Saber – Clearer
-If you’re a fan of beautiful fingerpicking and acoustic guitar work, Zac Saber is someone you will enjoy. His lines are perfectly clean, creating both harmonics as well as solid tones that are supremely pleasing to the ear. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a long day, or need something to help you focus on your work, Saber is exceptional. The lyrics on tracks like “Soak Up the Sun” and the title track “Clearer” show a thoughtful mind behind the eloquent melodies. This is really a delightful album.
Ben Freeman – Providence
-There are a variety of styles on this album and they aren’t all for everyone. But one of the reasons why this album stands out for me is because of the pure artistic energy behind it. The lyrical content is often inspired by homosexual romance. The songs are rooted in a variety of styles. My favorite is definitely the title track “Providence,” written in a gospel style. Freeman’s vocal runs and piano skills are both outstanding. He’s definitely a talented songwriter worth a listen.
Nate Currin – The Madman and the Poet
-If you found the early 2016 rise of Chris Stapleton to be surprising, give Nate Currin a listen. He carries a similar kind of grit and songwriting power that Stapleton has. He’s a superbly talented songwriter, pulling thoughts and ideas from deep, confessional places. It’s the kind of album that will have you reeling from track to track. It’s not something you can just listen to idly; there’s so much energy in each track. In the middle of writing this, I tweeted Matthew Mayfield to say that Currin’s “Birmingham” sounds like a Mayfield-Isbell cowrite. Other tracks on the album strike similar powerful chords lyrically and musically, with my favorite being the heartfelt finale, “Let Grace Fall Down on Me.”