October 9, 2020
Brit Drozda doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into any categories based on others’ preconceived notions, and she’s making a bold musical shift to re-introduce herself to the world. The Charlotte-based singer-songwriter has been releasing music under her own name since 2016’s debut album Let Me Hang the Moon. Her early music was heavily folk influenced, with her singing about cowboys and sheriffs on top of acoustic and slide guitars. Her knack for storytelling gave many the impression she should be a pop country artist. But, as a long-time fan of musicians who craft huge, anthemic songs, like Coldplay and Florence and the Machine, she decided to embrace a new collaborative partner to shift into pop-rock on her new EP, Seashells & Stories.
“Seashells & Stories,” the title track and first single, is a bright and rhythmic introduction to this latest release. The song was first born out of collaboration with New York-based Grammy Award-winning producer Scott Jacoby, who produced five of the six songs on the EP. After playing a show in NYC in August of last year, Drozda was itching to record a new song that she had written, and enlisted Jacoby to help create the sound that she was looking for. Bringing “Seashells & Stories” to the session at Eusonia Studios, Drozda and Jacoby quickly found the creative synergy she wanted. Jacoby was able to incorporate guitars, keyboards, and drum beats, to bring the sounds in her head to fruition.
“It literally just came together in a couple days, and then I did the vocals,” Drozda said. “So from that experience, I had a catalogue of several other songs. I’m like, I have to do more.”
Drozda and Jacoby continued to collaborate throughout the year, sending files back-and-forth virtually, with Drozda providing the initial demos and notes on how she envisioned the final production. Jacoby then worked in his studio to create the layers of instrumentation that bring the songs to life. She returned to NYC for a week in December to record the final vocals, wrapping up the experience.
As a songwriter, Brit Drozda is constantly surveying people and environments around her, and writing about people and their relationships with each other. This makes her songs personal, but also universal in how everyone experiences similar struggles and difficulties in their lives. “Spotlight,” for example, finds Drozda praising a friend for finding the courage to step out into her own truth, and feeling pride in seeing someone close to her achieve that kind of success.
“I think that ‘Spotlight’ especially was written after a conversation with a friend but it’s also like I can imagine so many different friendships in that song as well. So part of it’s a little bit fictional but a lot of it’s based on real life experience,” she said.
“I Don’t Want To Dream Without You” finds a unique place on the album with the stark juxtaposition between music and lyrics. Musically, it’s bright and bubbly, complete with a whistled refrain peppered throughout the track. But lyrically, Drozda was digging into some darker material.
“It’s based on a nightmare: this car crash dream and the person that you love is ripped away from you and then you wake up. It’s the idea of ‘I don’t want to dream without you,’ literally,” she said. “But the other side of that is… my dreams are being a musician and being a songwriter and being a performer, but it’s so much more fulfilling having my people along for the ride with me.”
“Seashells & Stories” examines the concept of seashell radios from Ray Bradbury’s classic 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, and shows how eerily accurate his predictions around the future could be.
“I think I was in Uptown at one point, and I looked around, and it was like everybody was just looking down or had their earbuds in… It was almost like this moment where I was like, gosh, this is what he was talking about,” said Drozda. “And here we are with these little seashell radios in our ears. And the idea behind this song is it features that kind of relationship of someone trying to break through to somebody who has those seashells in their ears.”
Each track on Seashells & Stories has musical and lyrical depth to keep the listener intrigued and hooked on repeated listens. From the battles against fear displayed on “Avalanche” to the dreamy, meandering piano lines in “You Were Right,” each song is distinct and engaging. The album, as with all of her music, is self-released, which provides Drozda with complete control, allowing her to explore new sounds and choose the visual art to accompany the releases. The artwork for “Seashells & Stories” and “Spotlight” was even created by Drozda’s friend and Charlotte-based artist Windy O’Connor, whose work is also heavily featured in the lyric video for “Spotlight.”
Seashells & Stories proves that Drozda is a sincere and authentic songwriter, and that anyone should be able to follow their dreams and work to create the art they want to. This is something that she is deeply passionate about, and wants to encourage others to follow in her footsteps. “When I was younger, I just thought like, there was an endpoint, or like, when you have kids, you can’t keep pursuing your dreams. And this is just another step forward. And I really plan to continue to put music out for my lifetime,” she said. “And if there’s anybody out there who’s wondering if they should pursue their passion, I think absolutely, there’s always a step forward.”
Listen to the new EP Seashells & Stories by Brit Drozda.