On April 28th, acclaimed singer-songwriter Sean Rowe will release an EP entitled Her Songs. The release presents songs written by six of Rowe’s favorite female artists – Sade, Cat Power, Neko Case, Regina Spektor, Lucinda Williams and Feist – and showcases the interpretive side of Rowe’s vocal and guitar work.
Rowe recorded each of the tracks in a single live take, just his soulful baritone, an acoustic guitar and occasional harmonica. In addition to the audio recording, each performance was filmed live in the studio as Rowe performed, creating a multimedia document of Rowe’s sensitive interpretations. These videos will be offered to fans as part of the EP.
Rowe makes no attempt to recreate the delicate magic of the originals here, but instead focuses on the emotional core of works. The Cat Power song “Colors and the Kids,” originally featuring Chan Marshal accompanied by a lone piano and offering a distinct sense of fragility, now features a hypnotic guitar and Rowe’s muscular voice, but still capture the vulnerability at the heart of the song.
“By Your Side,” originally recorded Sade, and currently available for streaming via Flood Magazine, has long been a favorite of Rowe’s. “I remember being just out of high school and watching a live video of her and her band,” he says. “Nobody sounds like her. And it just felt really natural to me because I’ve always been drawn to emotional soul music. That ’s what came first for me even before folk music. Music you don’t have to think about. You just feel it.”
On his previous full length record Madman, Rowe showcased his skill as a songwriter. GQ proclaimed the record “the kind of album that's at once recognizable and nothing like you've ever heard before.” With Her Songs, Rowe demonstrates in the studio what live audiences around the world already know: he is an unparalleled performer with the ability to transmit the emotional heart of a song with a powerful and intuitive simplicity.
“This whole experience reminded me of how good these songs are, “ Rowe says. “If you can cover a song with just a voice and a guitar, you know there’s something there. It really confirms my belief in how important space is in a song. And of being content in using very few elements to create something.”