Lee DeWyze formally launches the pivotal next stage of an already high-profile musical career with Frames, his Vanguard Records debut. The 27-year-old’s hook-laden song “Silver Lining” succinctly sums up where he’s been and where he’s headed.
“This past year, I hunkered down and wrote an album,” the Chicago native explains. “I wanted to take it back to what I’m really about, which is writing emotionally charged, meaningful songs. It wasn’t like I wanted to find a label and then decide what kind of album to make. I knew what kind of album I wanted to make and knew I could make. It’s going back to the kind of music I’ve always loved. I grew up listening to Cat Stevens, Simon & Garfunkel—folk-based acoustic music. Don’t get me wrong—my experience on the show was great. But for someone like me and the kind of music I make, that only takes you so far. It feels really good to get back to the grass roots of what I’m about. The way I see it, everything that’s happened throughout my career has happened so that I can make this record.”
The show DeWyze is referring to is American Idol, which he won in 2010. Ironically, the vast majority of the hordes of fans he made during Season Nine have no idea that this powerful and expressive singer is at his core an uncommonly gifted and distinctive songwriter as well as an accomplished musician. DeWyze played guitar, piano, mandolin, banjo and drums during the recording sessions, during which he collaborated with renowned producer/songwriters Toby Gad, Drew Pearson, Matthew Wilder and Phil Allen, as well as mixer extraordinaire Jim Scott. “I’ve never felt a connection with my music, more than I do right now,” DeWyze says, making no effort to hide his excitement. “It’s a very real thing, and it feels right.”
“It’s like that lane is open now,” DeWyze says in anticipation of what he’s preparing to unleash on an unsuspecting world, with assists from his simpatico support team. “I’m finally in the lane I belong in, and I feel like I can just go.”
Ladies & gentlemen, start your engines…”