An NPR Slingshot Artist
Brent Cowles is having a pretty good year. And by that, we mean 2018. On Tuesday, he was announced as a 2018 Slingshot artist, an NPR “collective effort among taste-making music stations to introduce exceptional emerging artists.”
This big announcement follows up on a successful 2017 as well. Brent’s Cold Times EP garnered widespread acclaim, and was voted as one of the best 105 albums of 2017 by Colorado Sound listeners.
Recently, Soundcheck had a chance to chat with Brent about Cold Times and what’s ahead in what’s looking to be a very exciting 2018.
Soundcheck: Happy New Year, Brent. I’d love to start with a congratulations on your 2017. It was a quite a good year for you. What’s in store to build off that success in 2018?
Brent Cowles: Thanks Chris. Ideally we’d like to release our full length record titled How To Be Okay Alone in the spring of this year. From there we’ll tour as much as possible and continue working as hard as we can.
You have a very candid stage presence. It’s almost an oratory experience. How much of your music comes from being raised with a pastor father, and being immersed in the church environment?
My music comes from my life experience. So growing up as a pastor’s son in the church has certainly been influential. Though I would say it’s one of many.
“Cold Times” is just a great tune. Did you know when you recorded it that you “nailed it”? It combines so many infectious elements that makes your record so good – heavy riffs, elements of gospel, and timely lyrics.
Thank you. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like I nailed a song. It’s hard to gauge the potential success of a tune being so close to the process. If it feels good and I’m proud of the final product it’s time to move on.
Can you elaborate on the meaning and vision of Cold Times?
“Colorado is home. I was born here, and I love every square inch of this state.”
We’re divided, judgemental, and afraid. The leadership in this country is doing it’s best to feed our dysfunction. Times just feel cold.
In many ways, we feel here that you embody the “Colorado Sound” – folksy, but rocking, preaching, but intelligent, and exhibiting strong self-determination. Does this sound like an accurate description, and what to you embodies the “Colorado Sound”?
In my opinion good music is good music. The Colorado music scene is diverse and riddled with talented people. I say if the music is quality and born here it’s part of the Colorado Sound
The chorus in “Hold Up” sounds like a pure release. And the irony of chanting “Hallelujah” right before you tell someone “to get the hell away from me” is quite a closing statement. Where did that come from?
“Hold Up” is about keeping the positive in your life and eliminating the negative. Surround yourself with people that support, love and hold you accountable. Don’t waste your time with the rest.
I am always fascinated by the creative process. What is yours – where do you write and find inspiration?
My process is chaotic and random. The best method for me is to constantly write. I always have a notebook with me for lyric ideas and thoughts, and I try to make time every day to sit down with a guitar or on a piano.
What’s in your CD player/on your phone/on your record player that might surprise your fans?
My favorite song right now is “Lady Fingers” by Herb Albert & The Tijuana Brass.
And finally, what do you love most about being in Colorado?
Colorado is home. I was born here, and I love every square inch of this state.