With his new self-titled release, Ethansroom delivers a brilliant coming-of-age album, filled with self-reflection, a depth of understanding and a seasoned perspective from such a young artist. Throughout the album, Ethansroom reveals his longing for answers to some of life’s most challenging questions. Whether coming to terms with growing older, navigating the uncertain waters of relationships, or pondering profound existential questions, this album takes you on a journey that will make you examine life in a meaningful way.
Ethansroom is the moniker of Nashville-based singer-songwriter Ethan Fortenberry, and he was kind enough to answer some of our questions on his incredible new album, his creative process, and more. Here’s what he had to say:
Your excellent new self-titled album, Ethansroom, is your largest release to-date. What was the creative process like for this album?
Every off day I had from the bakery I was writing (I work at a bakery). I was 21 when I started writing the songs that are on it, and once I got to 30 we started tracking. I’d go in 3 or so days a week and track in Josh’s apartment. This was also the first batch of songs that I let anyone else help with arrangements, and having Josh’s ears on them completely changed the way I saw what we were up to. It was an extremely colorful experience.
Your new album is brimming with incredible lyrics that tackle topics that everyone struggles with at some point. Can you talk to us about the overall lyrical themes of this album and what it means to you personally?
There were a lot of growing pains over the last two years concerning my faith, relationships, my panic disorder, and really just feeling kind of lost in the middle of all of it. You can divide the record into four sections: 22, Space Themed Sheets and Mud, were me realizing I hated growing up and was unsure if I even liked the person I was/had become. Try Again, Lady, and Daydream tackle hope, promise, and fear within a relationship. Ma, Learning, and WIHYNCO tackle whimsy. And then When Kingdom Come and You Were There are me talking to God asking Him where He is and where am I. I felt like I lived 35 years in 2 but wouldn’t trade any of it for anything. You have to keep going.
When writing, do you pull mostly from your own life experiences, or are you influenced by other sources?
Ethansroom is and has to be entirely autobiographical. It’s important for me to write that way so that I can properly go through different stages healthily. It’s the things I carry with me back to my room each day, whether that be a good day or a bad one.
What has your experience been so far as an independent singer-songwriter based here in Nashville?
I’ll answer this one with some things I’ve learned over the last 5 years. You have to understand being here that you are always going to want to compare yourself but you can’t. Comparison is death. Just make things and keep making things. Don’t be afraid of asking for advice either. You’re not the best and you’re not the worst, and that’s how it’s always going to be. It’s about a bunch of little moments that get you to the really big ones so go ahead.
Who are some other artists who have inspired you?
For lyrics, my all-time favorite is Chase Lawrence (COIN). The way he describes his headspaces are so tangible and empathy filled.
For production/arrangement I look up to Aidan Knight the most. He does a really good job at making an entire world live within the life of 8-10 tracks.
Do you have any concerts / tours coming up where fans can see you perform?
Ethansroom release date: 02.07.20
Image credits: Sydney Whitten