The Nashville-based uke-bard Garrett DeVaughn returns with a conceptual and emotional EP titled "Adam the Astronaut."
An origin story and continuously under construction, the friendly and personable Garrett DeVaughn is here to share his inner monologue. Blending the sounds of Folk, Progressive Metal, and Rock elements through his trusty ukulele, Garrett DeVaughn keeps listeners engaged with his lyrical storytelling abilities as well.
Recently releasing his 5-track concept EP "Adam the Astronaut," Garrett DeVaughn takes listeners through picturesque and descriptive scenes while keeping them locked into the energy and strength within his vocal portrayal. Although he's known for his blend of Rock elements, this EP gives us more of a Folk feel, especially with his bright ukulele instrumentals.
Garrett DeVaughn opens the EP with the intro track, "Adam the Astronaut, Pt 1: Death of an Astronaut." As he opens the project with his bright and fluttering ukulele, we already admire the tones and atmosphere that the project has to offer. Through the intro track, Garrett DeVaughn delivers more of a reflective message of reminding himself that he's not alone in the abyss that is space.
As we move into the project's second piece, "Adam the Astronaut, Pt 2: Splitting the Adam," we feel more of an upbeat and energetic tone through Garrett DeVaughn's uplifting delivery and descriptive lyricism of attempting to head back home after facing the horrors of reality. This piece still takes us into the serene sounds of his ukulele, but with minimal background synths that add a dynamic feel to the EP.
Jumping into the third tune, "Riding Shotgun without a Driver," again, we can feel another heavily lyrical and conceptual track grace our speakers while Garrett DeVaughn begins singing of the lingering feeling of emotional pain. This track marks the turn of instrumentation as Garrett DeVaughn delves deeper into his Rock roots and shoves a hefty bassline in our faces alongside the freshest of drum patterns.
Continuing with the brightness and warmth of his ukulele on the next piece, "The Climb," we've already familiarized ourselves with this song's empowering theme through a recent feature. When asked about this piece, Garrett DeVaughn stated that the only theme on his mind was resilience. While singing a message of chasing dreams and pushing full-throttle towards his destiny, Garrett DeVaughn gives us an incredibly passionate performance through his tenor ukulele and soothing vocal abilities.
Reaching the end of the EP, we're graced with the final and outro track, "Enter Pinhead." Through this piece, we hear more of a melancholy tone through the layering of DeVaughn's ukulele melodies that soak our speakers with passion. Garrett DeVaughn enters the track with a heightened sense of energy as he begins singing the need to escape a puzzling situation that drains every emotion within. Ending the EP on a powerful and reflective note, we truly admire the lyrical depth that Garrett DeVaughn has placed into this project.
Don't miss out on Garrett DeVaughn's concept EP "Adam the Astronaut" as he expands on themes of reflection, loneliness, resilience, and change. Catch the EP on all streaming platforms.
We're excited to have you back to chat about your recent EP, "Adam the Astronaut." What inspired you to create the project?
The inspiration for the EP title tracks started over 10 years ago, after watching "A Space Odyssey: 2001". The scene where "HAL" flings the astronaut out into space got me thinking about what it would be like to go spinning into the infinite...The fear of the unknown and to be literally all alone in the vacuum was fascinating to me. Over the years, the idea evolved into a story about the feeling of isolation and feeling like an outcast and the difficulty that comes with change. As I started putting the tracklist together, I wanted to continue looking at resilience and struggle, and isolation in their different forms.
What was your collaborative process like with producer Corey Horn for your EP "Adam the Astronaut"? How did he help bring your sonic visions to life?
I really cannot say enough about Corey's help. Corey's experience with recording and mixing, and his musical knowledge, were exceptionally helpful to me in finding the heart of the album. When we sat down to talk about the album and what I wanted from it (and what it needed), it was literally just me and my ukulele. We quickly started to see that there were places that some of the tracks could really be cultivated and given some depth. Particularly speaking about the two title tracks, I knew I had something powerful, and that there was room for expansion, I just wasn't sure about exactly where to go. So, throughout the recording process, we worked hard to not force anything and to really stay present with what each song needed. I feel like maintaining this openness really allowed us to bring life to the songs, and what Corey added to Adam the Astronaut Part 1 and 2, was just amazing to me. It all sounds like a really long and tedious process but all-in-all, we had the full EP recorded and ready for mixing within a few days of studio work.
Within your EP "Adam the Astronaut," you delve incredibly deep into your lyrical content. What messages did you want to share with your audience through the EP?
First, I appreciate you saying that. Lyrics are often the most difficult part of writing for me. Between my insecurities, ego, inner critic, and desire to be authentic, things get gnarled up pretty quickly inside the ole' noggin. Elaborating further on the themes of resilience and struggle and isolation, I wanted to show these ideas from different perspectives, and different degrees of intensity, and different stages of healing. For instance, "The Climb" is very much about acknowledging how hard it can be to push through, and still knowing that you have the strength to do it. "Enter Pinhead" on the other hand is more about being in the depths of shame and fearing that you don't have the ability to pull yourself up and out of it (even when there are people trying to support you). Pretty much every track touches on the feeling of isolation and being alone in the struggle.
Is there a track on your EP "Adam the Astronaut" you feel is the most personal to you? Why do you relate to this piece the most?
I don't know if there is one track that feels the MOST personal, generally speaking. So, I have two answers ... "Adam the Astronaut, part 1 and 2" is probably the most personal in the sense of my own growth. In the last couple of years, my wife and I have worked hard at shedding old ideas and beliefs that were passed down through the generations and being open to finding our own truth. There have been some very challenging times through this, and there will be more to come. "Adam the Astronaut" is all about leaving what you "know" and leaning into the unknown for new answers to old questions. "Riding Shotgun without a Driver" is extremely personal to me in that it is about a very painful piece of my life. The song is about the survivors of those that complete suicide. I wanted to be sure I did not shame people that complete suicide, but acknowledge their pain and also acknowledge the feelings of those of us left to figure it out. So, context...My literal oldest friend, Ashley Kelley, completed suicide several years ago, and "Riding Shotgun.." is about the inner turmoil left in the wake of his actions. The range of emotions in the fallout went from anger at my friend for his actions, to guilt at me for not doing more when I knew he wasn't doing well, to relief that he was no longer in pain, to rage at how the community around him handled things, to sadness for the loss and for his young children, to worry for what the future would hold for his children, and to pretty much any other emotion you want to throw in the mix. A tricky part for me about knowing someone that completes suicide is that we don't get closure from the source of the pain, so we have to figure it out within ourselves and it can feel very out of control.
Through your previous interview with us, you stated that a goal for your music this year was to deliver to those who need it. What sort of audiences and listeners do you feel need to hear the EP "Adam the Astronaut?"
I think the album is for anyone that is anxious about the uncertainty of things (externally or internally); and anyone struggling with the knowledge that old norms are no longer helpful, but also afraid of letting go of things that have been a constant for so long. It's for everyone that feels so very alone in the world. I'm not saying the album can solve your problems, but I believe it can be a companion and validation for how hard things can be.