To be creative is to be restless. Ask any artist and he or she will tell you just that. When you are making music or painting or writing, you have to keep moving forward or you will risk drying up and blowing away.
Garrett Pierce understands this spirit. So much so that, even with a new full-length in the can (City of Sand, to be released later this year on Narnack Records), Garrett was inspired to record some stunning brand new material. The fruit of these labors has been collected on an EP entitled Everybody Breaks.
The title comes from the lead track from his new LP, but, too, it was chosen because it captures the essence of Garrett's songwriting. On that song, he speaks to the struggles within his own spirit, while echoing a sentiment we have all felt but have never been able to put into words this well: "Everybody breaks without knowing quite why."
For his newer songs, Garrett points his lyrical camera at the sweeping vistas of human experience. He takes you along a harrowing journey on "A Bus In Africa" where a man gets pulled off the titular vehicle at gunpoint, while sending messages of love to his family. It is a terrifying and beautiful tale, with a humane touch redolent of fellow songwriters like Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Bill Callahan.
The other new tracks here contrast that tale by following the well-worn path of personal exploration that Garrett has walked. On them, he pulls pages from his internal diary, paying homage to the troubled life of his younger sister ("In Silence") and his own fears of losing his way and his hometown of San Francisco ("Shape Us Like Waves").
Again, this striking work is only the precursor to Garrett's next defining statement: City of Sand. His third full-length, and his first for Narnack, was recorded in the hills of Bennet Valley, a small wooded hamlet just up from Santa Rosa, CA. Like everything he has written to date, the songs here were inspired by Garrett's real life experiences in the jungles of Guatemala, the streets of San Francisco, and the unending fields of California's flatlands.
Though Garrett Pierce's songs are rich with his own life experience, he does what all great songwriters do: balancing the personal with universal so it is able to strike a chord with anyone who listens.