Austin Plaine's Powerful Simplicity
  • TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2015

  • Posted by: Patrick Pilch

"Losin' don't mean nothing when there's nothin' to lose/livin' isn't livin' when I'm missing you" is the line that originates in the roots of Austin Plaine's latest track, "Houston." From one simple line can come an entire idea for a song, blooming into something that one may have never thought possible at the moment of the idea's conception. That's exactly what happened for Austin Plaine's latest single that's set to be released on his self-titled debut album via Washington Square Music.

"Houston" is a folk-rock track that takes influence from music legends like Bob Dylan, Ryan Adams, and Bright Eyes with finely tuned production and a modern twist. We got to ask the singer-songwriter a few questions about the track, as well as his songwriting process.



I would describe the lyrics in the debut single "Houston" to be relatively hazy, yet paradoxically assured and definitive. While writing the piece, did you find yourself aiming for a universal message to a more personal one?

In "Houston", there are a lot of personal feelings and emotions littered in the lyrics. I try and take my feelings and emotions and branch out to a more universal theme or message. We all feel and relate in different ways and we all want to have a personal connection with a song. A certain word or phrase or melody might connect with someone in a completely different way than someone else. I like to keep things open-ended and let the listener interpret what it means to them in their own way.

So from the sounds of it, becoming a full-time musician was an unexpected plunge that manifested through your song-writing skills. Up to the point of take-off, how have you incorporated instrumentation and song-writing in your previous life as an aspiring lawyer?

I've always used songwriting as a personal outlet. I spent a lot of late nights writing songs instead of studying in college, and it wasn't until I was applying to law schools that I realized continuing my education wasn't in the cards for me anymore and I needed to get out and see the world. I basically hit a tipping point where I didn't like school anymore and couldn't relate to anything I was learning in class. I realized that pursuing music is what I needed to do because it was the one thing I could connect with.

At face value, "Houston" may be immediately recognized as a country-folk number. But as the song progresses there are poppy choral vocal chants, classic guitar bouts, rhythmic claps, and other subtle deviations. How would you personally describe "Houston's" sound?

I don't consider myself a country artist but I can definitely see why "Houston" is recognized as a country song. People have called it pop-country before because of the hand claps and catchy vocal chants but I think it's grittier than that. Lyrically, it doesn't fit in with all the country songs you hear on the radio today. I guess country-folk is a good word for it.

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