|Photo by Alaina Broyles|
From her forthcoming album, Roses. Gregg, on the intensely personal nature of this poignant song:
All of my grandparents died of dementia and Alzheimer’s. I remember thinking when I was young it would be an easy way to go, to just slowly forget. After I met my husband, I realized that would not be the case. That it may be the hardest. Mando Saenz and I wrote "Have You Ever Tried to Lose Your Mind" about remembering to hang on to every moment as hard as you can because you may not get to keep all the memories. Corey Pitts really brought the song to life in this video. Even in a socially distanced environment and a one person cast with very little experience in front of the camera (me) he was able to dig into the meaning of this unusual love song and I think it turned out beautifully.
FTM readers get an exclusive look at the video today. Tomorrow, she’ll take over the “Women of Americana” Instagram account, which you can check out here.
Roses will be released on Friday, August 14. On Monday, August 10, we’ll post our in-depth interview with this talented singer-songwriter.
More information about Skylar below!
Skylar Gregg engages in a gripping cocktail of hard work, humor, and self-discovery, expressing vivid lyrical imagery and raw grit that soaks into every note of her songwriting. The Nashville native musician translates that into a mixed bag of retro southern music immersed in old soul, 60’s and 70’s country and blues.
Gregg’s sound stems from being raised around musicians. Her family moved to Nashville to pursue music careers - her dad as a songwriter and her mom as a piano major at Belmont University. Their influence led to Gregg performing at the age of 6. During her early college years she joined her first real band. In 2013, she started pursuing her own path as a songwriter, which included the release of two records, Walkin’ in The Woods (2015) and Time Machine (2018). Both were self-produced and recorded with her husband, Taylor Lonardo, in their home studio. On her upcoming record, Roses, she elevates her homegrown roots by enlisting producer Jon Estes, whose contributions on stage and in the studio have included John Paul White, Steelism, Robyn Hitchcock, Langhorne Slim, and Andrew Leahey.
Exuding a Muscle Shoals meets Nashville vibe, the upcoming album compiles stories spanning Gregg’s life over the past decade. Gregg says, “I think I have spent the past ten years learning who I am. And by proxy who my artist is. And that discovery has been my biggest life lesson. This record is the realest I have ever been.”
Some of the songs were written at the start of the ten-year journey and some were written in the studio as late as 2019. When songs take a multi-year journey, it’s inevitable that growth will follow: both in the songwriting and the subject matter itself. The first single, “Long Way Back,” which is also the oldest on the record captures a snapshot in time - a plea from Gregg for her brother to find himself.
And then there are songs like “Landfill” which almost grow with her. A song inspired by driving past a landfill, the song serves as a reminder to recycle, and about how much garbage we make as humans, both literally and metaphorically. Two years ago Gregg started therapy which led her to know what the song was really supposed to be about. She says, “As southern people, or maybe just people, in general, we tend to really pack our troubles down and keep marching on. I thought that was a sign of strength. But in reality, it was making me weak. I had become a giant pile of trash. I was indeed a Landfill.”
Songs written in the middle of this ten-year stretch revolve around themes of addiction, mortality, and abuse. A folkloric tale co-written by Alexis Thompson about “The Bell Witch” explores the story of a witch that lives in a cave in Adams, TN on a property that once belonged to John Adams. The story goes that Adams’ family would show up in town and have bruises and cuts all over them. And John would say “ We have a witch in our house!”. Thompson and Gregg revisited the story giving it a Jordan Peele type twist where John was actually the assaulter.
The final song in the chronology, “Everythings Gonna Be Fine” showcases Gregg’s more peaceful state of mind. A song she wrote in the studio, it’s a reminder to chill out and to not worry so much.
Gregg’s evolution as a songwriter expresses itself in an interesting dichotomy. She says, “It is interesting looking at these songs compiled together in a timeline. My own writing seems to get increasingly more complicated and then simple again. Maybe that is something I have learned about music over the last decade. Complicated isn’t always better. Sometimes a simple message can really resonate.”