John Fullbright Explores Stark Edges Of Americana On 'Songs', The Follow-Up To His Grammy-Nominated Debut Out May 27

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John Fullbright
John Fullbright

Photo Credit: Vicki Farmer

On May 27th, John Fullbright will release his second studio album ‘Songs’ (Blue Dirt/Thirty Tigers). The new album showcases the strongest songwriting of the 25 year-old’s career and follows the breakout success of his 2012 debut ‘From the Ground Up’, which was nominated for the “Best Americana Album” Grammy and featured in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, NPR and more. Fullbright will play an intimate album-preview show at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 on Monday, March 24. See full details here (more dates TBA)

The Wall Street Journal premiered new single “Happy” this morning, with Jim Fusilli calling ‘Songs’ “a warm, winning and plainspoken Americana album that builds on the authority and charm of ‘From the Ground Up’ not by musical-muscle flexing, but by its clarity and simmering intensity.” Listen to “Happy”here.

If there’s a recurring motif that jumps out upon first listen to “Songs,’ it’s the act of writing itself. “When I discovered Townes Van Zandt, that’s when I went, ‘You know, this is something to be taken pretty damn seriously,'” says Fullbright. “You can write something that’s going to outlast you, and immortality through song is a big draw.”

The arrangements on ‘Songs’ are stripped down to their cores and free of ornamentation. Fullbright’s guitar and piano anchor the record, while a minimalist rhythm section weaves in and out throughout the album. That’s not to say these are simple songs; Fullbright possesses a keen ear for memorable melody and a unique approach to harmony, moving through chord progressions far outside the expected confines of traditional folk or Americana. The performances are stark and direct, though, a deliberate approach meant to deliver the songs in their purest and most honest form.

‘From the Ground Up’ earned Fullbright breakout critical acclaim and entrance into a community of songwriters whose work he admires. “I didn’t grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters, but I grew up around records,” he says. “One of the most fulfilling things about the last two years is that now I’m surrounded by like-minded people in a community of peers. You don’t feel so alone anymore.”

‘Songs’ Tracklist:
01. Happy
02. When You’re Here
03. Keeping Hope Alive
04. She Knows
05. Until You Were Gone
06. Write a Song
07. Never Cry Again
08. Going Home
09. All That You Know
10. The One That Lives Too Far
11. High Road
12. Very First Time