Some may know Shane Tutmarc as the front man for Seattle-based indie-pop band Dolour, which featured Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes). However, after packing up Dolour, Tutmarc packed his bags in 2010 and moved to Nashville, where he refined his sound, blending garage-rock, folk, blues, country, gospel, and pop to create an Americana flavor that pays homage to its predecessors, but also knows when to expand on and experiment with different influences. The result is something that has been described as Nashville rock-n-soul; but, after one listen to Tutmarc’s music, you won’t be worrying as much about labels and genres as you will be singing along.
Having recorded a full-length in Nashville, Borrowed Trouble, which has since been placed on the back burner due to an investor in the album pulling out at the eleventh hour, Tutmarc has kept busy playing around Nashville and the Northwest, as well as producing other artists. However, he recently has decided to release a single a month throughout 2015, with plans to compile the songs and release a full-length in 2016. The singles will be released by Portland, Oregon-based indie, In Music We Trust Records.
June’s single, and the 6th overall, scheduled for release on Tuesday, June 30th, is “Out of the Dark.” A late-night, subdued song that contrasts the darkness of the Tutmarc’s reserved voice and the trickling guitar notes with a relaxing, soothing melody, the song is the perfect example of Tutmarc’s ability to create something soothing and slow, all while reeling you in with an undertow melody that won’t soon be forgotten.
“This is the newest song of the singles released so far. I finished writing and arranging it just days before getting in the studio. My good friend Aaron Tosti played drums (as he has on almost every single so far), and I played everything else,” Tutmarc says of the song. “With all the synthesizers and vocal harmonies, it might sound more like my old band, Dolour. But, it also feels like a step forward production-wise. It’s less roots-based, and more experimental. I hope to do more songs like this in the future. Like April’s single, ‘Suicide Weather,’ the song deals with trying to work your way through a dark period. Music is the outlet that helps me the most during rough patches.”
The first single, “Poison Apple,” digitally released January 27th, found Tutmarc delivering a melodic garage rocker. Produced by Tutmarc, the song features his uncanny ability to carve out a melody while creating a fun, but also serious rock beat, allowing him to weave between genres without sounding forced or contrived.
The second single, “Tennessee Girl,” released February 24th, took a 180 and found Tutmarc offering up a more traditional country song, an upbeat love song about a man traveling, yearning to get back to his girl in Tennessee.
The third single, released March 31st, “When You Found Me,” was originally recorded for Borrowed Trouble, but re-recorded for the single-a-month plan. A guitar-driven, muddy blues-influenced, mid-tempo rocker, the song showcases Tutmarc’s ability to get gritty, without losing his melodic sensibilities.
The fourth single hit on April 28th and is “Suicide Weather,” a psychedelic-infused, 60s throw-back pop number.
The fifth single is “Til Daddy Gets Paid” and hit on May 26th. A country-fied dance number, the song finds Tutmarc re-visiting his adopted hometown of Nashville’s roots, all while putting his own stamp on it.
It’s this ability to vacillate between styles, and also merge them effortlessly when he wants, that has made Tutmarc a go-to man for co-writing in Nashville, as well as a producer. His agility in his songwriting and musical breadth help him carry out his vision, whether it’s a dense, lush, or sparse song that Tutmarc feels he needs to carry out his message.
That is why he looks forward to 2015, and the freedom to slowly craft an album, while releasing singles each month, keeping new music outpouring, and not tying his hands with the pressure to go in and create a collection of songs immediately for a release.