|Bryant Vazquez – this is your life! Photo by Monica Saaty|
We love Arizona but we don’t hold to some crazy fervent love like a state-sized version of nationalism. We can accept that our desert home might not be the place for everyone forever. That being said, it is with hope that we at YabYum are sending Bryant Vazquez out into the world. And, yes, we do feel like we are sending him out into the world in case you wondered if the sense of entitlement was accidental. It’s not.
Bryant first came onto our radar a few years ago when he submitted a lo-fi home-recording to one of our song contests. We then invited him down to Phoenix a few months later to perform in one of our showcases and got our first chance to get to know the brooding man behind the music, although, he was still a bit of a youngster at the time.
Since then, we’ve had quite a few updates on the artist probably because he is freakishly prolific as a songwriter. Like Ryan Adams/ Rivers Cuomo productive (see award here). The kid just breathes out songs, it would seem. I asked him just how many songs he penned last month when he was in town to record his next solo album. Well, not his next solo album (which comes out in October), but his next-next solo album due out early next year. Nine was the answer, but he said it was a particularly productive time for him as he prepared for his final recording projects in Arizona.
|Aren’t they adorable?|
He’s produced an incredible amount of songs during the past few years. So many songs, in fact, he’s developed multiple vehicles for his songwriting skills including Vagabond Gods with his brother Chris and Murdoch with members of Them Savages. In his free time, he also played bass for Sedona band and longtime YabYum favorite, decker..
Bryant moved to Flagstaff for college six years ago from Yuma with his brother Chris and now the pair are gearing up for their next big migration: New York.
The really great thing is, if you’ve been following along over the years, Bryant’s growth and development as a musician reveals the potential contained therein. He’s not afraid to experiment with sound or instrumentation. He adapts and he learns and he’s always creating. Just take a gander at the man’s Bandcamp page here. Starting with 2009’s From the Grave on through to “Dirty Sheets, Blue Walls”, a demo track he shared earlier in September, it’s easy to get a sense of his commitment to his craft.
Older brother Chris perhaps said it best when he claimed, “New York is a good place to experience new things.” That is a statement I can definitely get behind. Artists should be ever striving to increase their knowledge base, experiential and otherwise. As the Brothers Vazquez told me their plans for making it out and exploring the East Coast region, they talked about opportunities to take their work in new directions, to expand, and to maybe find some piano bars.
|Could he look more dramatic?|
The recordings I got to hear him working on at Triskele Resounding won’t be coming out until early next year so I have an extra long time to anticipate the project. Bryant referred to the collection as a “winter ale.” For some folk, music seems better suited to certain seasons. I am one of those people. For example, Anthony & the Johnsons (an example Bryant’s new piano work brought to mind) I prefer in the coldest months while other artists hold my attention in the dreaded summertime. Many its just seasonal affective disorder or maybe there’s some truth in the theory.
Alex Begay was recording the project: a man who I might have offended by my asking if that is his real last name, but if the tracks I heard are any indication of what’s to come, it’s a name worth knowing. A few other key Valley players will be making appearances on the Triskele tracks like David Moroney on chello, Wayne Jones on upright bass, and Shane Kennedy on drums. This is the first time Bryant has gone for a studio experience over the home four-track.
*We removed a band link above at the request of said band.