The weather is finally getting cool in Dallas, and Brody Price is taking the opportunity to sit outside his home with his dog and reflect on the upcoming release of his new album Hoop Dreams.
The record is not your typical country album, but then again, Brody Price is not your typical country artist. Beginning his career as standard singer-songwriter doing the stereotypical country thing expected of a man who sings with a distinct Texas accent, Price is now stepping outside the lines to make indie music with a twang.
“I feel like there's so much more freedom in being an indie artist, or even a folk singer or something like that, than saying you're a country artist,” Price says, “but I can't really cover up where I'm from. That would feel pretty disingenuous.”
Not only does the album feature two tracks with a spacey experimental approach that make them more fitting of an Alan Parsons production, but the album’s six other tracks are glittered with atmospheric loops, instruments that echo with understanding and lyrics that sing of lost love and the struggle to find personal strength in loneliness.
“I never have a motive or a plan of action,” Price says of the departure he is taking on the new album. “It just always seems to end up being more of a cohesive story. I wasn't really trying to do anything with this one. I was just trying to express the things that I have felt and experienced over the past year.”
In order to express these ideas properly, Price stepped outside of the confines of country music standards and took some notes and some old equipment from his brother-in-law Jeremy Gastrock (aka Phase), a Los Angeles producer who's worked extensively with rapper WHOOKILLEDKENNY and has also produced music with the likes of Offset, Cardi B and Ciara.
Don’t worry, though: country musician Brody Price did not record a hip-hop album. Instead, he used the equipment to break down the barriers he perceived in the “country music” label, to find a better way of expressing himself.
“I guess I've just grown tired of whatever the phrase of the day is to describe Americana music, alternative country, indie folk or whatever you want to call it,” Price explains. “I've recently felt that it's so limiting to try to write to a genre. I felt like I was probably doing that before, and I felt like the production elements in the recording were very limiting. I was trying to sound like what I thought people would find digestible and cool, but on this one, I have forsaken all of those beliefs and decided to just do whatever is fun.”
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The result of Price's experimentation is an album that uses electronic elements like drum loops, discordant noise and recorded voicemails, used as a way to distance the singer from the current soundscape in popular country music — and show 'em how they might be using their technology in the wrong way.
“I think what they're doing is almost like an algorithmic style,” Price says of current music production techniques. “If they make a song that has this number of beats per minute and in this progression then it will be a hit. But for me, I make music for people who want to be more challenged. I feel like there's a small population of weird music listeners who may appreciate having more creative elements than what you hear in pop country or in a stripped down acoustic Americana thing.”
Price admits that his approach to the country music thing may not sit right with fans expecting a more typical country music show.
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“We start off a lot of our shows with a bunch of voicemails from my friends and family and make these electronic tracks out of them. We’ll loop them in between songs or at the start of the show and just play like noise over them,” Price explains.
“We played a show sometime in the summer and we had just started the first song when I saw a guy like peek his head around the corner and look at the stage with the most concerned look on his face.”
For now, Price is happy to be recording independently, as it allows him to craft his albums and shows in the way he wants to, allowing him to build a fan base that is happy to test the limits of country music with him.
“It could be nice to have some label’s support,” Price says, “but I'd rather maintain as much autonomy as possible.”