Tracy Bryant has taken on blues piano, ‘50s doo-wop and punk rock. But his indie album Hush is his biggest project yet. He spent years working on it and opened himself emotionally in ways he’s never done before.
On Hush, Bryant strays from his past gritty, garage sound. He’s polished his melodies to burst emotionally with slow indie riffs, smooth vocals and slide guitar, giving it a hint of twang.
Instead of doing his usually get-in-get-out recording approach, he took his time creating Hush, which came out in August and collaborated with a new musical partner: his wife, Kimberly Fitzner. They worked together at home before heading to the studio together. The result, he says, is all about real life stuff.
“It’s probably more literal than that other stuff I’ve done, less vague,” he says.
Tracks like “Mask” and “Nightmare” get straight to the point, discussing topics like insecurities and disappointments without holding anything back.
Bryant named the album after a call for silence ironically to counter the music’s confessional outpouring.
“I feel like a lot of people shy away from conversations that get too honest,” he says. “People don’t want to go too deep, so I thought it was kind of the opposite, you know, like, ‘hush, don’t say too much,’ even though the album is saying a lot.”
Living in Los Angeles, Bryant finds the city’s residents often live up to their reputation for being shallow and superficial. His frustration with dealing with people who only live their lives on the surface inspired him to go deeper with this album. Hush puts everything out there.
Bryant and Fitzner were able to escape L.A. for some of the album’s creation. They wrote a good amount of the album in Berlin, where they focused more on their relationship—adding the romantic side to Hush. “You got a lot of bits about Los Angeles in the U.S. and Berlin,” he says. “You know, different perspectives.”
Tracy Bryant plans on doing a small tour around the U.S. in October and then concentrating on releasing more music. In the meantime, listen to Hush and the entire interview with Bryant on this week’s episode of The Music Meetup.