Sometimes you just need to get in your car, roll the windows down, and see where the road takes you.
Brooke Stephenson’s title track, “Backbone”, from her upcoming EP of the same name, which drops tomorrow May 14th, gives you just that feeling.
This Americana songwriter covers a wide variety of messages and magnetic sounds in each song on her anticipated new album. From supportive, resonating lyrics of, “When your troubles are overgrown, I’ll hold you up” in “Backbone,” to the belted powerful notes within her lyrics “When the rain comes, I’ll be right here” in “Cry To Me,” Stephenson creates a sense of comfort in each song, and reminds listeners of the importance of community.
With influences of soul, folk, country, and even rock n’ roll, she creates a sound all her own. According to her Spotify bio, “Brooke Stephenson tells stories that draw you in with beautifully compelling lyrics and dynamic melodies.” And after listening, I would have to agree.
With “Backbone”, you get acquainted with a familiar country melody incorporating steel guitars, drums, fiddles, and more. Giving a feeling of ease in the music with an upbeat rhythm, Stephenson dives even deeper into the lyrics mixing her artistic storytelling with her folk-country sound. Her vocals and dynamics show a loose and country side of her while emphasizing passionate lyrics.
The EP consists of a precise collection of seven songs that highlight vulnerable emotions of happiness, hope, and sadness, but bringing it all together in a positive light. Stephenson collaborated with artists Scott Seiver and Alex Palazzo on this project who helped bring it to its fullest potential.
Stephenson had the opportunity to work one-on-one with singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson on NBC’s 17th season of The Voice. For her blind audition, the singer chose to perform “Let Him Fly” by country star, Patty Griffin. Not only did the judges love her musical abilities and choices, but they complimented her on her gift of storytelling, which shows throughout her singles.
With upbeat tracks like “The State That I’m In,” which shows a more rock n’ roll grit, to the sweet ballad “The Medicine,’ which is an eminent track with a beautiful piano solo alongside Stephenson’s raw vocals, the album shows a diverse palate of songs. Singing with glowing positivity, “Good days they keep on creeping in and I’ll be right here till the sky falls in,” she once again purveys feelings of positivity and hope while leading in to the last song, “When I Get Around to Living.” This track ties together all of the previous songs, which focuses on living life to the fullest. It differs from the other tracks starting off a capella and a guitar. Her gritty vocals and lyrics end the EP with a feeling of turning around and making a positive impact.
From Bolton, Connecticut, Stephenson says no one in her family is musical, so they are all curious as to where her love and passion developed. Growing up, she and her family listened to various pop and rock artists, and later on she began to listen to artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Jewel, and Whitney Houston.
We spoke to Stephenson last spring, who told us songwriting and singing have always been her outlet, which led to her ambitious move to LA to pursue the business side of the industry. She says, “This was my dream when I first came here…It didn’t allow for much room to be making my own music, so I soon discovered a piece of me was missing.”
Having experience in the business side allowed Stephenson to discover that you have to go after what makes you happy and complete, which led to the very meanings of her latest releases. From steel guitars, rock n’ roll influences, and soulful melodies, she creates beautiful sounds for people figuring out how to navigate life.
Laying her heart and soul out in the purest musical forms, Stephenson displays this most within Backbone, and we get the feeling she can’t wait to perform these songs in front of her fans once again.