f you happen to be in Chicago and see Smith Westerns’ Cullen Omori out at night—which isn’t very often—send the man home if you’d like to see the band’s next album be as good as the new release, Dye It Blonde, released January 18 on Fat Possum Records. By his own admission, Omori’s hometown isn’t that fun, so he tends to stay in a lot and write songs in his room. For inspiration, he listens to other bands—four different songs from four bands, to be precise—and thinks about incorporating those ideas into a song for Smith Westerns. But listening to other bands has its limitations: sometimes he’ll hear something so good from another band that what he subsequently writes just can’t compare. And that leads to writer’s block. What I found most interesting about the band’s creative process is their willingness to put song fragments aside, sometimes for months, then return to them with a new outlook. Sitting on songs, in Omori’s eyes, makes the band more confident in their songwriting.Read More
It would be a gross understatement to say that Sonny Smith of Sonny and the Sunsets is merely a songwriter. The man writes everything: novels, short stories, poems, plays, songs. Even comic books and illustrations. And what's interesting is that all these genres are linked. He might start writing a short story, and that eventually becomes a song. Or a song might become a comic book. Regardless, it's obvious that his many different creative outlets impact each other, and he is good precisely because of his talents bleed all over each other.Read More
Are you in the market for a great songwriter who doubles as a fantastic cleaning lady? If you need someone who can clean your cabinets and pen a mean chorus, look no further than Lissie. You see, Lissie likes organization. She needs things to be clean and orderly in the space around her. For example, she likes to put things in pouches. Then she puts those pouches inside other pouches.
The irony in all of this obsession with order is that her writing process is anything but organized. Lissie is all about the stream of consciousness process, where she just lets everything flow out in one giant mess that she organizes later. For thirty minutes, she'll just write, with little regard for how it looks or what's coming out. For someone who insists on the proper placement of the salt and pepper shaker at the dinner table, this can be surprising.Read More