Singer-songwriter Ryan Brewer started young. He, as so many others, got his musical start church, as his parents were pastors and encouraged him to participate in musical events. In seventh grade, he fancied himself a poet but didn’t know what to do with the words, so he decided they could be lyrics. And then he found Dashboard Confessional.
“When I heard them, I thought, that’s it. That’s what I want to do. It was the perfect combination of that intense introspection that poetry provides, while also allowing me to be onstage and perform, doing what I love,” Brewer says
After some time in a full band, he eventually decided that he preferred performing as a solo artist. Brewer’s first album, which was self-titled and independently released, was recorded in the hopes of shedding his band image and promoting himself as a solo artist. He recorded the record over the course of four days, but in the weeks prior, Brewer scrapped every song he had ever written and wrote entirely new material for the album. He relied on his friends to help him record the album and add instrumentals for him, including some violin and banjo. Brewer called the experience an “artist’s collective,” as they spent days locked in a house recording together. And he did rewriting on his latest release, too. His second album Trails, which will be released on July 26 at The Speak Easy, was rewritten at least two times.
“I wrote a full album, listened to it, and then decided I didn’t like it, so I wrote another one... and did that again,” Brewer says. admits to being a bit of a perfectionist. While he had help from his friends for his first album, the second was a solo mission. Brewer did all the instrumentals for Trails on one microphone.
“We took it one song at a time; we had to record every song like it was an entire album. Each song was its own story. We were able to follow that story wherever it needed to go,” says Brewer, who wanted each song to sound different and give his record variety. He tries to listen to a wide variety of music while writing to keep his mind open.
“It’s stuff you wouldn’t expect me to listen to… I mean, I have the latest Kesha album in my car,” Brewer says.
After the album was recorded, Brewer sent it over to his label, Shine Indy. Brewer says that Shine Indy has been instrumental in planning his launch party. VIP tickets are sold out, but fans can still buy a ticket to the party for $10 (and look forward to Upland sponsoring the bar). Jeremy Johnson from the Bleeding Keys and Jeremy Vogt will open. All the proceeds from his launch party will benefit 913 Sports, a charity that focuses on keeping kids active and promotes bicycle riding. Brewer says he’s glad to have the help planning the party, because he tends to get obsessive when it comes to details.
“I’m like, is the lighting going to be right? Is everything going according to plan? Are people even going to show up?" he jokes. “Creating a record is like... it’s your child. For a certain time, you want to keep it under your wing, but eventually you want it to go out in the world and stand on its own. And I’m ready for that.”
Brewer hasn’t been playing shows recently so he could be focusing solely on Trails, but after the launch party, he’s leaving for 18 shows in 18 days to promote his album.