Hot Gig Alert (8/30): Wrabel offers New England an early taste of his debut solo album
You may not know Stephen Wrabel’s name, but you’ve probably heard a song he’s written. With writing credits on songs for the likes of Ellie Goulding, Kesha, and Backstreet Boys, his songwriting has resulted in multiple Billboard Hot 100 hits. Now he’s stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight on his debut solo album These Words Are For You. “With any creative person, it’s their unique perspective and experience and language that makes their art special. For a long time I was so caught up in looking around at what everyone else was doing and comparing myself to them, but for this album I really just stayed in my own little world. And because of that, I ended up making the record I always wanted to make” says Wrabel speaking about the songwriting process for the album.
For one song on These Words Are All for You, Wrabel selected a song he wrote nearly a decade ago, the heavy-hearted but transcendent “Love is Not A Simple Thing to Lose.” “At the time I was signed to my first major-label deal and went to London to make what was supposed to be my first record, and while I was there my first boyfriend and I broke up,” he explains. “I’d been up listening to ‘The Dumbing Down of Love’ by Frou Frou on repeat and smoking cigarettes out the window of my extended-stay flat, and I went in for the last day of writing and just put everything I wanted to say into that song. To this day I can’t sing it without falling to bits.”
With the release of These Words Are All for You, Wrabel hopes that his personal catharsis might ultimately provide solace to others. “My favorite songs are the ones that have quite literally saved my life, like ‘This Woman’s Work’ by Kate Bush—they’re the songs that have made me feel like they were written for me, and expressed the things I didn’t even know how to put into words,” he says. “With everything I create, and especially with this record, there’s always the hope that it will help people to feel less alone. So while I don’t believe it’s an artist’s job to create something for everyone, I do hope these songs find their way to whoever needs to hear them.”
With his debut LP due to drop on September 24th, Wrabel is headed out on a short promotional tour that will feature just him and his piano on small stages to give fans a look at what’s to come.
Wrabel performs at City Winery in Boston, MA on Monday, August 31st at 8pm. Tickets start at $20 and are available HERE.