Drew Wardle to Release New Single “Little Soul”
BALLSTON SPA – With his newest single, “Little Soul,” singer-songwriter Drew Wardle paints a powerful storytelling image in an involved, yet understated fashion. Combining acoustic instrumentation with bass and random keyboard parts, the rhythm is at times reminiscent of an outlaw, Western aesthetic, all while blending chord progressions and feelings that lend themselves heavily to some pretty prominent bands that came out of the British Invasion. A tune appropriate for a Tarantino film, “Little Soul,” which is set for release on June 14th, makes for quite the compelling listen.
I had a chance to chat with Drew ahead of the song’s release. What follows is our conversation.
Lucas Garrett: Drew, nice to talk to you. It’s been a minute. How’re you doing?
Drew Wardle: Doing well. Been busy; doing more music lately. Started a new band and that’s been great. We’re four practices in. We’re playing a Super Dark [Collective] show on June 26th at Desperate Annie’s. The new band is called Cowboy Baby.
LG: Where did that name come from?
DW: It’s from Keith (Rector) – who I’m playing with – from Safety Meeting. It’s a Kid Rock lyric – that’s his sense of humor. And, I liked it.
LG: Who’s in the band?
DW: The band consists of me, Keith Rector, and Dan Burt from my old band, Paradox Saints.
LG: On top of that, you’re putting out a new song, “Little Soul,” on June 14th. Tell us a little bit about that.
DW: When I was writing it, lyrically, I was envisioning a character from a Spaghetti Western situation. But it’s also very personal. With the footage that goes with the song on YouTube, it’s Native American ceremonial dances. I didn’t put that together, it’s Clinton Hoffman – produced by him, the music itself. He edited some stock footage from 1947. I like it because it gives the song a different context. If you look at the lyrics while watching it – for me, personally – it talks about loss in general; losing someone or something, and not sure why or not understanding the reasons for why you lose things in life.
Whether it’s a relationship, or whatever, it doesn’t just have to be a romantic thing. It can be a lot of different things: a feeling; a dream that you had and its gone; a vision you had for your country and its gone. When you realize it’s all gone, where do you go? What do you do at that point? That’s the idea.
LG: When did you write the song?
DW: It’s a fairly new song. I wrote it a month ago and then recorded it. Serendipitously, I started talking to Clinton (Hoffman) – I had contacted him for a different reason. He was talking about Joseph Biss – I went to high school with Joe – and he was telling me he recently recorded his stuff… I listened to it; it was great.
Clinton and I used to jam a lot. That was a number of years ago, now. So, I said “Why don’t we get back together?” He said he’d love to, and the reason I chose that song is because I still believe – maybe it’s a little cliché – that the best songs are the ones that come out immediately. The ones that almost write themselves.
LG: It has a weird chord progression in it. You use a lot of diminished chords, and extended chords – I haven’t really heard you play like that. When I heard it, it caught my ear.
DW: Well, I mean, you might not have heard the stuff I’ve released do that, but I do use those chords a lot. It’s a lot harder to write using those. I record any idea I have – even if it’s just ten seconds – and it came from an idea I had almost two years ago, and it came out that way. I really like the song, chord progression-wise, because it’s circular. Every other measure doesn’t start with the originating chord. The outro of the song changes keys.
The whole process took us one day. It’s really hard for me to do that – I like to get hung up on every little detail. But if it wasn’t for Clinton, it probably wouldn’t be out there. I was ready to do other things to it: I wanted to change some of the vocals; add other instruments to it. Clinton was doing it as a collaboration – something to do together that was fun. At the same time, he’s busy – he has other things to do. I appreciated how he just pushed.
LG: When you wrote the parts for the song, was that improvised, or planned?
DW: Well, I had some loose ideas. Sometimes I don’t remember what I’ve played – sometimes I’ll screw around with the tunings. I might not remember the chord shapes – I won’t know what it is sometimes, but I’ll do it anyways. When I’m listening back, let’s say, two years later, I’ll go “What chord shape did I use there?” I’ll try to recreate it but something else will happen, instead. It’s what that particular moment in time called for. I’ll play it over and over until I come up with something that I like, or that I think is good.
LG: Where will we be able to hear “Little Soul?”
DW: I’d like to direct people to go to my Bandcamp, specifically. Anyone that decides to purchase and download the song, all the proceeds will go towards donations to the Legal Defense Fund in celebration of Juneteenth.
LG: So, you have that coming out June 14th, and a show with Cowboy Baby on June 26th at Desperate Annie’s. What else do you have going on?
DW: I’m playing with Seize Atlantis at Mean Max Brew Works in Glens Falls as part of the Road to GEM Fest. That’s on June 17th. I’m also doing a show at the Shirt Factory in Glens Falls as part of their food truck events. That’s on June 29th.
LG: Thank you for taking time, today!
DW: Thank you, Lucas. I really appreciate it.