Currently supporting stunning singer Paloma Faith on her UK headline tour, Gigslutz managed to catch up with folk-pop artist Brett Dennen to talk touring, the world today and climbing mountains.
Gigslutz: Firstly, how has your time in England been so far?
Brett Dennen: It’s been really great. I love touring over here. There is so much green, it’s really inspiring. I love being surrounded by so much history as well.
Gigslutz: How did you get to know Paloma Faith and most importantly are you enjoying touring alongside her?
Brett Dennen: She asked me to come along, because she likes my music; so that’s how I met her. I have really been enjoying touring with her. She’s one of the best artists I’ve ever supported, she’s a true star. I watch her from the side of the stage every night.
Gigslutz: Your latest al,bum Smoke and Mirrors, has been out for just over a year now – are you happy with the response it’s received? Is it what you were aiming for?
Brett: Yeah I’m happy with it. People really respond to the songs when I play them in concert. More importantly though, I love singing these songs. Every song comes from a different place emotionally or from a different headspace. Each of them are good.
Gigslutz: You come across as a very thoughtful writer, how do you contemplate the world today? Are you led by politics as other folk artists are?
Brett: Not really. I come from a place of sincerity. I write about what I see and feel. I write about what I want, I don’t have a political agenda. Politics may enter into a song but it always comes from the heart.
Gigslutz: Did your time counselling help influence you to write deeper lyrics?
Brett: Maybe. I think I’m just drawn to this stuff no matter what the outlet is.
Gigslutz: You say that Paul Simon’s LP Gracelands is a fantastic album, and I’m sure others would completely agree. But what is it about this his work as a solo artist, you enjoy so much?
Brett: His honesty for one. Have you ever heard another album about a mid-life divorce and slump that spoke so straight from the heart? His melodies are outrageously good too. Most impressively, he is the master of restraint. He doesn’t over sell anything.
Gigslutz: What do you think of the current UK folk scene?
Brett: I don’t really know anything about it. I’d love some education. I’m not as hip to new music as one might think. I’ve heard a lot of UK soul, you guys do it so well.
Gigslutz: How about the US? Are there any songwriters you would recommend anyone giving a listen to?
Brett: Give a listen to Sturgill Simpson. He’s my new fave. Real country. No pop country blah blah… Real outlaw country.
Gigslutz: You have been referred to sounding like musicians such as Jason Mraz, David Gray and Passenger, how do you feel about these comparisons?
Brett: I don’t mind them, but I don’t really agree with them. Actually, I love David Gray. He’s a true artist.
Gigslutz: How would you describe your music to those who haven’t heard it before?
Brett: Singer songwriter. California sounding. Sincere. Thoughtful.
Gigslutz: And finally, what can we expect from Brett Dennen next year?
Brett: I’m hoping to be touring a lot more and put out some new music in the fall. I’m climbing Kilimanjaro in January with Love Hope Strength foundation. The money we are raising on the hike goes to the impact plan, a children’s cancer centre in Tanzania.
Brett Dennen is currently supporting Paloma Faith on her UK tour.