Nashville-based artist Brandy Zdan has been through quite a few dark moments over the last two years and she opens up about these moments in her upcoming album Falcon set to drop on October 29, 2021. Zdan describes the album as, “Falcon is my story of the last two years,” Zdan wrote. “A story of miscarriage, loss, grief, pregnancy, motherhood, trauma, isolation, depression, hope, and love. I gave birth in a pandemic, became a mother in isolation, pressed pause on my career, lost my livelihood, battled postpartum depression, and faced some of the darkest moments of life. Grand plans of big producers and fancy studios fell away, and I had to figure out a way of telling my story on my own.”
And figuring it out she did as Zdan took the time during the pandemic to reflect on her circumstances and wrote, produced, recorded, and engineered every aspect of the album using her laundry room as a make-shift studio.
Preorder Falcon here.
Share with our readers the inspiration, songwriting, and recording process behind your upcoming album, Falcon; it’s a very personal project.
I did not set out to produce and engineer this record or actually make this record at all. I had a completely different album in mind when I started writing it. The songs were taking a bit of a different form, so I decided to follow where they were leading me. These songs had no masks, and they came from a vulnerable place, more so than ever before. That quality led me to believe that maybe I could try my hand at recording these sounds on my own in my own space. Plus, it was the dark winter of the pandemic in 2020, and I wasn’t going to be heading into the studio with folks with my 6-month-old baby at home. I decided to follow my gut, instincts, and ears and it didn’t fail me.
You’ve been through quite a bit over the last several years, and putting your experience into words, I’m sure, was cathartic and may help someone struggling with similar problems. What do you hope fans take away with them when listening to your music?
This is what we are meant to do as artists, bring our experiences to our songs, writing what we know, so that someone can relate and take comfort in them. I wrote them because I had to, a way of making it through. I could only hope my fans can relate to them in some way through their own experiences.
Having written, produced, recorded, and engineered this album, what did you learn from that experience, and what impact did it have on you as a writer and performer?
Making a record on your own is all about trusting your ears and instincts more so than ever before. That has only had a positive impact in all the ways I create. Growing and learning every day as I try to develop my skills and get better. I also believe that I will continue to write from this place I discovered writing Falcon. I may not go there all the time, but I know how deep I CAN go if I need to.
Did it give you a better sense of power and control, and if so, was that a benefit or hindrance to your creativity?
Power and control were never something I felt while making Falcon. I felt as though I was giving in and surrendering to the process and how these songs needed to come out on record. It was a great lesson in trust. Trusting myself and the songs and the tools I was given to make them.
How technical did you have to get in those roles, and can you give us an example of a key learning tip that you gained out of assuming one or each of those roles?
I was happy to find out that I was able to maintain perspective over the project while producing my own work. I have been producing other artists for a while, and this has always come easy to me, but I was unsure how it would go with my own record. Luckily, I could remain objective, take a step back, see the project as a whole, and make the necessary changes without being too precious about the material.
Will this experience change your approach to new music going forward?
Absolutely. I have a newfound confidence in my knowledge, skills, and ears, as well as myself as a person, musician, and songwriter. There were skills I had always wanted to learn but hadn’t done so because of my touring schedule. This time off the road and as a new mother has really made me grow in ways I never expected. I can’t wait to make my next record in a big studio with a whole bunch of musicians and collaborators!
What’s the best advice you could offer a fellow musician experiencing similar challenges?
Go there. Do the work. Push yourself. Write the songs. Experiment. Try recording them. Tune out the music industry. Repeat.
- Dying Inside
- The Worst Thing
- Falcon’s Wing
- I Am Wild
- Everyone Wants
- Can You Be Alone
Produced, Written, and Engineered by Brandy Zdan
Engineered by Brandy Zdan in Nashville at The Laundry Room
Additional Engineering by Josh Grange at Resistor Studios
& Will Honaker
Mixed by Josh Grange
Mastered by Josh Kessler
Photography by Alysse Gafkjen
Artwork & Design by Chris King
Brandy Zdan – Vocals / Electric, Acoustic, Baritone, Lap Steel Guitar / Keys
Aaron Haynes – Drums & Percussion
Will Honaker – Bass
Josh Grange – Pedal Steel on Mama
2021 All Songs by Brandy Zdan Soul Moon Songs (SOCAN)
Published by Rough Trade Publishing
All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.
2021 Lucky Rose Records