Timothy Edward Carpenter describes his new collection of songs, “the boy from ohio,“ as an “uncensored peek” into the current chapter of his life. After taking some time off songwriting, the artist displays an attitude of healthy perspective and growth in these new tracks, giving listeners a chance to rest in whatever life is right now, maybe finding passion in something that has been there all along.
We asked Carpenter to give us insight into the songs and walk us through the process of creating this project. Read the full interview below.
You’ve mentioned some re-discovery of yourself as an artist and writer with this project – what has that process looked like for you? How would you describe the significance of this project to you as an artist?
Songwriting took somewhat of a backseat for me last year after the closing chapter of my previous band and amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. I started working a steady job which provided a much needed rest from the grind that became chasing a career in the music industry. The consistency in my daily routine coupled with separation of career and craft afforded me a chance to reassess my motivators for making songs and to rediscover the creative process entirely. For me, what had previously all too quickly become work, was transforming into play again.
With the much needed encouragement of a few close friends, I recently quit my day job to work on a seven week tour with one of the greatest songwriters I have met to date. As a man of faith, the timing of such an opportunity felt in no way accidental. My incredible wife, Emilie Jane, alongside one of my best friends and longtime producer, Jon Class, convinced me that if I take the leap, I ought to go all in, and that ‘it may just be time for a Timothy Edward Carpenter record.’ As I write this now, I find myself more aligned with the beat of my heart than ever before and bewildered at what might happen if you are only willing to take a chance on yourself.
These three songs to me are the most honest songs I’ve written up to now and as someone who has a longstanding struggle with identity, writing these songs has allowed me to begin unpacking who I believe I am at my core and tear away at the layers of who I’ve believed others want me to be.
With Christian Lee Hutson and Gregory Alan Isakov as some influences you’ve named for these songs, what do you hope to convey both sonically and lyrically with this EP?
I’ve always felt that I try my hardest to fit a full-length record worth of ideas into whatever size record I’m writing and I feel as though songwriters such as Hutson and Isakov do the very same. the boy from ohio is my attempt to avoid overthinking throughout the creative process and rather to create with a minimalist perspective. I limited myself to one studio day, my acoustic guitar, my voice, and the genius of my good friend and longtime producer, Jonathan Class — the result is an uncensored peek into what feels like current chapter of my life.
As you collaborated with Abby Holliday on “TV”, how would you define the importance of community in the songwriting process?
Honestly, co-writing is a newer practice for me. I have only co-written a handful of songs up until now and writing “TV” with Abby was one of them. Of the songs I’ve had the pleasure to collaborate on, I’ve learned that, while not all relationships prove productive, some fellow songwriters have a unique ability to draw out the best in your art if you’ll allow them. The majority of songwriters in my circle of friends are wicked talented and continue to teach me new tricks every day.
Who do you hope to reach with this EP? Who do you anticipate connecting with and enjoying these songs?
I wrote the boy from ohio largely to prove to myself I hadn’t given up on chasing after my own dreams. I hope that some or all of these three songs find listeners in a similar manner to how they found me — tenderly and without warning.
Following this release, what can listeners expect from you the rest of the year and into 2022?
I haven’t thought that far ahead just yet. As an individual who has spent the large majority of his life focused on the future, I am (perhaps for the first time) doing all that I can to take on one day at a time. That being said, I’d love nothing more than to share more of my songs very soon if fate allows.
“the boy from ohio” release date: 09.17.21
Image Credits: Samuel Greenhill