Sign up for our mailing list Real artists creating records on their own terms
Close

Sign up for our mailing list

News

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Sean Rowe To Release New Album

Acclaimed singer and songwriter SEAN ROWE will release his new album Madman on September 9th. NPR Music is currently premiering the video for the record’s title track. You can also watch a video Inspired by ROWE’s recent string of intimate house concerts here: npr.org

On his new record, ROWE, who The Wall Street Journal wrote “recalls the ecstatic intensity of late-'60s Van Morrison and stark subtlety of late-era Johnny Cash” has created a beautifully primal work. Madman is deliberately, if not defiantly, simple in both arrangement and composition. It is soul music in the purest and most literal sense, hypnotic rhythms, warmly distorted guitars and ROWE’s incredible voice recalling a time, real or imagined, when music and people seemed distinctly more connected.

ROWE has spent much of the last year traveling the country with his guitar, performing in people’s living rooms for a series of house concerts. In a deliberate contradiction to the prevailing expectations of a professional musician, ROWE chose to interact with fans in the most intensely personal manner. This simplification or stripping away of excess is powerfully conveyed in the video for “Madman. ” We see the musician performing in a series of unconventional venues, as well as shots of ROWE in nature juxtaposed with images of him in crowded city streets, literally and figuratively walking against the crowd and blazing his own trail.

The sound of Madman is influenced, in large part, by the hypnotic driving guitars of Delta blues. “I was listening to records by R.L. Burnside and John Lee Hooker and others which are basically just guitar and drums and really raw sounding,” ROWE explains. “I was also listening to the early soul records like Otis Redding and Ray Charles. I didn’t want to try and duplicate those sounds, just take aspects of them and make them my own.”

The title track features a rhythmic guitar, lilting piano and melodic bass, punctuated by horns, all of it in the service of ROWE’s incredibly soulful voice. “My singing is definitely more playful on this record,” he says. The record was produced by Sean himself and engineer, Troy Pohl. ROWE says he wanted to strip away much of the production and focus instead on the voice and guitar style he had perfected in theaters, nightclubs and living rooms. “I came to this realization that the songs don’t have to be structurally heavy to be intense,” he explains. “It’s more about the honesty and emotion behind the delivery. A lot of these songs are pretty simple but I was really thoughtful about that, it was intentional. I wanted to go right to the heart.”

Madman is a record of extraordinary honesty intent on establishing a connection. In its deliberate simplicity there is pure sonic emotion. “I wanted to go right to the heart with this,” he explains. “And sometimes that meant seeing how much we could remove. It helps to have a great recording. But I would rather have great performances and that’s what I was after here. Sometimes when you’re listening to a piece of music you don’t have to think about it, you just feel it. It’s primal and you trust it.”

Browse by Artist

1803All Artists 97Tom Waits 71Mavis Staples 57Neko Case 51Lost In The Trees 50Sean Rowe 48Dr. Dog 45The Milk Carton Kids
41Jolie Holland 40Bettye LaVette 37Man Man 35Tinariwen 33DeVotchKa 33Son Little 33Tim Fite 31Grinderman 31Islands 28Saintseneca 27Galactic 27Wilco 24Glen Hansard 24Michael Franti and Spe... 22Bob Mould 22Doe Paoro 22William Elliott Whitmo... 21The Frames 21Nick Cave & The Bad Se... 20Christopher Paul Stell... 20Joe Henry 20Andy Shauf 19Sage Francis 19Booker T. Jones 18Deafheaven 18Gary V 18Delicate Steve 17John K. Samson 17Xenia Rubinos 17Yann Tiersen 16Ramblin Jack Elliott 16The Drums 16Jason Lytle 15The Antlers 15Cass McCombs 14Calexico 14Daniel Lanois 13Billy Bragg 13The Dream Syndicate 12Xavier Rudd 12Peter Silberman 12Yves Jarvis 11Lyrics Born 11Mose Allison 11Roky Erickson 11Ryan Pollie 11The Weakerthans 11Jade Jackson 11Rain Machine 10The Swell Season 10The Melodic 10Jeremy Ivey 10So Much Light 9Marianne Faithfull 9Cameron Avery 9N.A.S.A. 8Greg Graffin 8Solillaquists of Sound 8Hey, King! 8Cadence Weapon 8The Coup 7Ben Harper and Charlie... 7Beth Orton 7Kelly Hogan 7Elliott Smith 7Dead Man's Bones 7Girlpool 7Richard Reed Parry 7Japandroids 7Alec Ounsworth 7Title Fight 7Wynonna 7Eddie Izzard 7Ben Harper 6Danny Elfman 6Os Mutantes 6Lido Pimienta 6Kate Bush 6Boy Scouts 6Darrin Bradbury 6A Girl Called Eddy 6Deradoorian 6Glitterer 6Busdriver 6Broken Twin 6M. Ward 6Rafiq Bhatia 5One Day As A Lion 5Josiah Johnson 5The Field 5Keaton Henson 5Foxwarren 5Beat Connection 5Combo Chimbita 4Marketa Irglova 4Curtis Harding 4Ersi Arvizu 4Purr 4Pops Staples 4The Good Ones 3Danny Cohen 3Half Waif 3Petra Haden 3Mothers 3Walter Wolfman Washing... 3Alfa Mist 3Sierra Leones Refugee... 3Marc Ribot 2Jeff Tweedy 2Various Artists: RANGO 2Christian Lee Hutson 1Madi Diaz 1case/lang/veirs 1Fleet Foxes 1ANTI- Records 1Merle Haggard 1Kronos Quartet with Br... 1Rogue's Gallery 1Simian Mobile Disco 1Youth Group 1Blackalicious 1Tricky 1Porter Wagoner 1Antibalas 1The Locust 1Joe Strummer And The M... 1Various Artists: ROGUE...
See Full List+