PREVIEW: SAVANNAH CONLEY at THE BASEMENT EAST on 11/8/18

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Nashville is my best friend and my toughest critic all the same time,” says Nashville singer/songwriter Savannah Conley. “It’s great. It’s super intimidating. But it’s the most gratifying thing if you do play a good show, and if people tell you that you played a good show they’re being straight up with you,” she laughs. “It’s exposing and it’s vulnerable and it’s it’s scary, but it’s super fun.”

On November 8th, Conley will perform for the hometown crowd at the Basement East in celebration of the release of her new EP Twenty-Twenty out via Elektra Records. Growing up the child of a guitar player and a backup singer, Conley was surrounded by music, but her parents never forced her participation. “It was kind of a ‘you could take it if you wanted or you could leave it if you wanted,’ there was no pressure, but it was there if you needed it,” she recalls. “It was kind of always there, but they let me come and do it on my own.”

And she did. After obtaining a guitar, she began to write songs at the ripe old age of 12; the self-described “nerd” was into to reading biographies and historical fiction, the subject matter of which she mined for songwriting fodder. That, and boys. “Which has carried with me until now,” she laughs. “I wrote mostly about things I read about, I kind of just put myself in situations that I that I saw from afar.”

Now, with life experience under her proverbial belt, Conley writes those kinds of songs that are a hug and a gut-punch in the same breath. On Twenty-Twenty, her smoky lilt and lyrical prowess are on full display; one particular song, “Same Old Eyes” is the quintessential embodiment of that honest, stylistic sentiment. “As I got older, there was a shift– somebody put it as I was writing looking out my window–when I was young, watching other people live,” she explains. “As you get older you start living, and I started writing more about my personal experiences. ‘Same Old Eyes’ is probably one of the most deeply personal songs that I play. It’s about my struggle with depression, which kind of clouds your view of the world. You try to get out of it and just can’t, it’s a very defeating experience, but writing that was a little bit of a freeing acceptance but also, kind of a cry for why this was happening at the same time. It’s kind of a give and take; it is hard, but at the same time, the alternative is to either be something you’re not or just not talk about it,” she continues of baring her soul in her music. “I’m not okay with either of those so it’s either do this or what else are you going to do? It is hard and it’s kind of strange to turn your journal into revenue, but it’s a weird profession, and always will be. It’s the only thing I could imagine myself doing.”

The only downside to Twenty-Twenty is that houses just three songs—but Conley assures that she just finished her full-length album, one which incorporates the songs on the EP as well, with Nashville-based producer extraordinaire Dave Cobb. Conley is signed to his label imprint, and her label mates, like Anderson East, have been an integral part of her musical creation and execution. “It really is like a family,” she explains. “Working with Dave is like nothing I’ve ever done. It’s just a very natural experience. It’s very fast but in a good way. We really didn’t give ourselves time to think about what we were doing as we were recording, and it really it made it more conducive to capturing something,  capturing a feeling. It’s an amazing team to work with, and I’m super lucky to have the people that I do. It’ll probably be out sometime next year, early spring, at least that the’s plan right now.”

She also broadened her writing horizons in experimenting with co-writing in her forthcoming project. “I would say probably a third of the record or maybe a little bit more are co-writes. I found a group of people that I was able to be vulnerable with, we brought each other up,” she reveals. “It got me out of my comfort zone which was a good thing. I tend to if I sit down with my guitar alone, nine times out of ten, I’m going to play something in 6/8 and it’s going to be sad, and you can’t do that all the time,” she laughs. “So it was really nice to find people that who allowed me to do that if it was the right time, but if it wasn’t then it was super great to have somebody encourage me to do something different. I wrote a lot of the songs with Trent Dabbs, he’s my dude, we partner really well. He’s such a great melody writer–he’s a great writer in general, but I align mainly in lyrics, so it’s a great partnership. It also boosted my confidence, honestly,” she continues. “There are things that I thought that I couldn’t do or that I wasn’t suited for. I would write angry songs and be I was like, that’s not what I am, but I wrote ’em. Then I’d get in a room with somebody and they’d be like, ‘no that is a part of who you are you can you can do that all you want!’  Growing up in Nashville, you kind of put co-writing in the in the Music Row Nashville co-write world, and that’s totally not what it is always,” she adds. “You can make it one of the most beneficial processes that there is.”

[Click HERE for tickets and show information.]

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