Brian Robert writes Americana music that is heavily influenced by the South. His album 1117 Magnolia features a powerhouse backing band and includes a cut where he is joined by Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses). The album’s closer track “Strawberry Girl” with its smooth bassline and restrained drums feels like watching the landscape glisten past from the window of a streamlined locomotive.
His record 1117 Magnolia, which includes “Strawberry Girl,” is available from 10 Foot Woody Records here.
“Strawberry Girl” sounds like a funky song, but the joyful music seems in direct opposition to its bittersweet lyrics. How do you see this tension working in the song?
"Strawberry Girl" was definitely new ground for me recording-wise, I normally do like rocky guitar stuff or acoustic-y quiet stuff, but not funky stuff. I think the tension works out nicely, because I like that the song sounds happy, and I don't have many songs like that.
song in my pocket—so to speak—and try and fit lyrics based on whatever is inspiring me. Sometimes I hang onto songs for years before I write lyrics, some ideas expand and some I just kind of let go of after awhile.
How does your community of songwriters influence your writing?
There are so many amazing songwriters in South Carolina, they are a constant creative influence and set a high standard.
Repetition is one way to keep your audience interested in a song. Many songs rely on the repetition of, if not complete phrases, then fractions of the main hook during their transition from their chorus to their chorus. For instance, if your key chorus line is “and I have to shake my head” you might repeat the line “and I, and I, and I” during your verse. An example might look like:
The Sound Connector is an online magazine for songwriters. We feature songwriting challenges, monthly interviews, and the opportunity to discover new songwriters. We are interested in all things related to the craft of songwriting.
Do you want to be featured on The Sound Connector? Send us your songs!