Cold Heart Canyon is a band out of Atlanta Georgia that combines whiskey-smooth vocal lines with pop sensibilities. The song “Frankly, My Dear” off their EP Wolves, Demons, and Drunks is toe tapping kiss-off that is complemented with a nuzzling harmonica and banjo arpeggios. In “Frankly, My Dear” Cold Heart Canyon spin vivid narrative about moving on, personal growth, and our great capacity to change. Rachael Petit joined me for a brief chat about songwriting, memory, and her community.
You can get a copy of Wolves, Demons, and Drunks here.
SC: What I love about this song is how restrained and laid back the music feels while the lyrics are an acidic kiss-off. How do you see this tension working in the lyrics?
RP: First off all, that’s a really cool way to describe this song! I think it works well because the song is almost sweet sounding but when you get down to the actual grit of the lyrics it has a lot of pain and exhaustion behind them. It’s a nice way to really send a shockwave of how much a situation can be seen from two different angles. It’s a song people can relate to, whether it be a break up, or removing yourself from a toxic situation. Kind of a power anthem for realizing what a badass you truly are and to never let anyone take that away from you.
fell into place amazingly with the other instrumentation and harmonies! I wrote it about a situation from a very deep part of a heart break for me. It was a way of making amends with myself for allowing that situation to not take a hold of me anymore. Now it’s just a far away memory, like looking at the city from atop a mountain. Admiring it for what it is, but happy to be away from it.
SC: How often do you write? Do you keep a songwriting schedule or wait to be inspired?
RP: I write off of inspiration for sure. It just happens! Whether it spurs from an actual fucked up situation or just a story that seems to write itself. Sometimes months will go by with nothing and I’ll be at work and all of a sudden it just starts stewing and I have to immediately write it down on receipt paper! Or I’ll be in the car on even a short drive and just bust out my voice memo recorder to capture it to sit down with my guitar or with the band later. I definitely am NOT on a schedule. I just don’t work like that.
SC: How does your community of songwriters influence your writing?
RP: They definitely keep me on my toes! Miguel Olascuaga and I will pass songs back and forth to each other. At times where I’m feeling less than inspired I’ll have a conversation with him or a song that he'll share and it pulls me out of a block. Sharing new songs with each other seems to be a compass that points us back to where we need to be. Also members in my band will take the lead in producing a guitar part and the lyrics will just flow right out. It’s incredible how someone else’s energy and spirit can really recharge me and help me reach my full potential.
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