Spotlight Interview with Brendan Scott Friel
A beautiful new release from Brendan Scott Friel brings out a heavily cinematic and personal feeling track that lets him say everything he wanted to but maybe never could until it was through song.
"Through The Rain" is absolutely moving and textured with an array of intensifying instrumentation and progressions that have some real surprises around each corner from swelling strings to twangy and ambient guitars that float through the ether.
The song can surely be taken as an existential one with but that's just perspective. This is the beautify of song isn't it.
The way we put it through our own lives and filter it how we want to make it make sense to ourselves. This way the song can be even more relatable.
The song is very living and breathing with darkening and deepening sounds that end up surrounding you and sort of washing you away with it all.
This is a great example of a somewhat contemporary pop ballad that touches of a very real part of the emotional drive that lives in us all.
With such a graceful single, we wanted to have a chat with Brendan to see where exactly this track came from and what may be next for the artist.
Here's what happened.
RAG: Okay so let's start with "Through the Rain". The track had a great feel to it that made it very cinematic! Where did this album come from?
I was originally going to release two singles simultaneously and Through the Rain was going to be the “b” side. I got convinced into releasing it alone and now I’m so happy I did. I think I was trying to hide it out of insecurity because it is so cinematic which is very different from what I usually do.
RAG: I'm hearing some great styles on this release. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Gregory Alan Isakov and Donovan Woods are my big solo singer songwriter influences I think. That being said, when it came time to mix Through the Rain I was listening to a lot of Leif Vollebekk and Beck and I think that influenced the sound on this one a lot.
RAG: So how did this all begin for you really? When did you fall in love with music?
My older brother had this insane cd/tape collection growing up. I would go up to his room and he’d be playing some music and I would just look through all the album covers. When I was eight, I got my first guitar, and I was immediately hooked. I was never very athletic, sports just seemed to come more naturally to the kids around me and that was so frustrating. The guitar was the first thing I ever tried that felt natural for me. I think it was Springsteen who said the first time he strapped on a guitar and looked in the mirror was the first time he liked what he saw. I can relate to that.
RAG: What's next for you as an artist?
My next single “Piece of You” will be coming out near the end of June. This was the other track that was going to be paired with Through the Rain. I know every artist says this, but I am VERY excited for people to hear this one.
RAG: What inspires you to write a song?
I’m not sure I can articulate it exactly. Sometimes it’s a cathartic thing – I’ll use a song to try and sort something out that’s been on my mind. But no two songs are ever the same. The minute I think I have a song writing system figured out I write an absolute stinker and I have to rethink everything I thought I knew. That being said, I do write every day. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned you can’t wait for inspiration to strike, you have to actively go looking for it most days.
RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music? Teaching music. I have forty-three students a week coming for guitar, ukulele, bass and songwriting lessons. I absolutely love it. There’s nothing like watching someone play their favorite song on the guitar for the first time. They absolutely light up, and it’s really beautiful. I think that helps me stay inspired and remember what a powerful thing music is.
RAG: Who are you listening to right now?
I’m really into this artist Henry Jamison lately. Fantastic lyricist and very underrated guitar player.
RAG: Are you doing live performances?
Yes, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I released a full-length album last spring, and I obviously was not able to tour it due to the pandemic. I can’t wait to get out there this summer and start playing these songs live. Keep an eye on my website (brendanscottfriel.com) for upcoming dates.
RAG: This single seems like a big undertaking. What kind of advice might you have for other up and coming artists out there?
Excitement is your compass. Stop worrying about stylizing yourself and fitting in perfectly to a genre or sounding exactly like the music you love. Do whatever it is that excites you RIGHT now. You are free to do anything! Especially when you’re up and coming. There’s no label or management forcing you to do what you don’t want to. So take advantage of that.
RAG: Before we go, what would you all like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you so much. I know it is a very oversaturated market out there. There is TONS of great new music and the fact that my songs somehow snuck their way into your life is so incredible. Please reach out on any social media I have and say hello!