In a move many critics are referring to as daring and cavalier, local singer-songwriter Connor Overton announced that he is genre-fluid.
“I don’t adhere to the genre binary,” he declared Monday night at a Garland Central Library open mic event. “People like to pigeonhole me into either folk or rock, but honestly, my genre identity is somewhere between.”
Overton says that labels are for jars and clothes. The folk-rocker says he can't pick between the two genres, as he identifies with both.
Audience reception to this bold announcement was mixed.
“I’m sick and tired of these liberals trying to change truth to fit their beliefs,” said attendee Jason Lavery. “When I was growing up, your genre was determined by what instrument was between your legs.”
Aspiring music scene influencer Beatrice Norton, however, glowed with praise, calling the singer "brave."
“He’s not like most artists. Most artists ensile themselves comfortably within the confines of a music genre, but not Connor Overton. He’s taking everything we thought we knew about folk and is turning it over its head. He channels the intimacy of Townes Van Zandt while showcasing the experimental tendencies of Holy Modal Rounders, and his penmanship reminds me a bit of Will Oldham’s Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy project.”
While some responses to the performance were rather polarizing, most of them were lukewarm at best.
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“I, uh, guess it’s admirable,” opined open mic performer Julie Gaskin. “I mean, every musician with any semblance of a legacy made a name for themselves by taking the styles of preceding artists and putting their own spin on it. Plus, rock and folk are very commonly infused, so why he felt the need to clarify that is beyond me, but I guess good for him.”
“I went downstairs as soon as he went on,” said Daniel Padilla. “Why is there an open mic at the library in the first place, and what the hell does ‘genre-fluid’ even mean?”
At press time, Norton sat down with Overton after his set and discovered that he had never heard of Van Zandt, Holy Modal Rounders or Oldham, and that his main influences are Oasis, Neil Young, Smashing Pumpkins and Paramore.