New EP Launch: Which Way?
I am excited to announce that I am launching an EP of original music in early 2022 called Which Way? The songs blend an acoustic indie sound with driving hand rhythms, playful lyrics and soul. The EP will make you think and tap your feet in equal measure. As Frank Agbro, a Washington DC-based musician, empresario and radio DJ (89.3 WPFW) put it, "The songs here a highly original and thought-provoking, with a strong underlying groove and deep lyrics."
This project comes on the heels of my extended demo Unwind Your Mind in 2019 and Side Hustle, a collection of covers completed in 2018. Having played all the instruments in the first two projects, including guitar, vocals and over a dozen percussion instruments I am now joined by some of DC's finest up and coming musicians on Which Way? These collaborations add melodic layers and textures to my hand rhythm-driven sound, blending in sax, flute, violin, bass and additional vocals. The result is hypnotic, with lots of space for improvisation amid a 'live sounding' recording.
Something unexpected happened on the way to making Which Way?What started off as another project of covers morphed into originals, with most of the songs coming about mysteriously, pried loose by intuition. Cooking up lyrics and melodies has been an unexpected joy verging on obsession.
My music combines hand percussion, quirky melodies and lyrical word play in a soulful indie vibe. I rely heavily on intuition, rhythmic exploration, and subconscious thinking in my songwriting approach. Hopefully this promotes originality, allowing me to retain a distinct voice while straddling different genres and influences such as soul, Indie, world music, rock and folk music.
Layers of percussion drive these songs forward, creating an ambient and syncopated backdrop that is a bit unusual in melody-driven Indie music. The lyrics may dominate the conscious mind but the beat comes first and sets the parameters on where the songs go. Dan Lipton, a masterful singer-songwriter, said, "This project is a percussive lyrical journey—from political commentary to introspective scrutiny, and the spaces where public and private meet."
There’s no overarching theme here but recurring ideas loop in and out of the tracks. There are songs that veer into politics, others that explore ethical and psychological dilemmas, and others that mostly play with words and beats. The disorientations of our “plague life’” are not front and center but form a background context, as does my hiatus from office life, adventures in fatherhood, an uneasy dependence on technology and environmental degradation, amid the toxic setting of Trumpian chaos. But it is not all gloom and doom as the sometimes-dark commentary is leavened by fun beats, lyrical wordplay and elements of hope and redemption. I’ll leave it there. Hopefully Which Way? will fill in the gaps even if the way forward remains uncertain.
Below is a sample of originals from Which Way? and my next project called Escape.