Out of Print! Only a few copies available! Limited Edition Yellow Vinyl EP!
Debut EP From Denver-Based Singer/Songwriter Brent Cowles!
A few years ago singer-songwriter Brent Cowles had no idea he was stumbling
toward a deeper self-actualization and the record that would likely break his
career wide open.
The most meaningful relationship of his life was dying, and so was the band to
which he’d given his everything. Rudderless in self-doubt, Cowles narrowed his
focus to zero in on his music – moving into his truck for five months,
reevaluating his artistic pathos and surrounding himself with community in his
adopted hometown of Denver.
As Cowles reordered his headspace, his music began to fall in line. A poignant
shared moment with a respected friend and colleague helped point Cowles in a new
direction, and it wasn’t long before he traded his acoustic guitar for an
electric and charged forward with the renewed sense of purpose and energy found
on Cold Times, Cowles’ amped-up solo debut for Dine Alone Records.
But before choosing to release music under his own name, Cowles and his
profoundly soulful voice wooed audiences and industry alike as frontman of indie
folk troubadours You Me & Apollo. The band’s buzz and timely aesthetics made
them a top draw throughout Colorado rock clubs, and it wasn’t long before they
were being booked by The Lumineers’ agent at Paradigm Talent Agency and opening
multiple gigs for Brandi Carlile and touring with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers.
But as that chapter slammed shut, 27-year-old Cowles not only went electric for
the songs that would become Cold Times, he dug deep into his vocal chords to
find a new persona – that of the rare rock ‘n’ roll frontman whose nuances
behind the mic still allow him to create a genuine connection to his fans.
Cowles had already felt himself veering away from the country-tinged folk music
of You Me & Apollo, and advice from a good friend helped seal the deal.
"I was talking with Nathaniel Rateliff after a Night Sweats show, and he told
me, 'Listen, man. There have been a lot of guys with acoustic guitars who have
been a huge influence on me, but get an electric guitar – and start a band.'
Ever since then that rock 'n' roll side has been pouring out of me, and it feels
The Cold Times referenced in the raucously soulful title track are intensely
For the first 16 years of his life, Cowles spent three or four days a week at
his pastor father’s nondenominational churches – an experience that left him
cold on organized religion but inspired by the many church hymns that surrounded
him. It’s a backstory that helps make sense of songs like lead single Lift Me
Up, a roadhouse rager that tips a hat to Cowles’ long-held stubbornness – "My
Mama said I’m unavoidable," he snarls several times – before erupting into a
gospel-inspired bridge that takes you straight to church before diving back into
The song was revelatory for Cowles. It marked the first time he had ever
connected with that musician-specific desire to make people move. "I remember
thinking, 'I can make this loud as shit, and people are going to want to move to
it'," he said. "And that’s not something I’d ever thought about before."
Elsewhere on Cold Times, Cowles experiments with dynamics and levels. In Maybe
We’re Fine, Cowles and his otherworldly vocal gymnastics are anything but
unsure. Cowles shows a tender, more vulnerable profile in 9th and Lafayette,
which intimately documents a break-up that taught Cowles to love himself. When
he sings "I’ve come to live and die at 9th and Lafayette," he’s talking about a
tumultuous rebirth – set inside an apartment he shared with his ex in Denver’s
Cheesman Park neighborhood.
"One of the things that influenced this record the most was Honky Château,
that Elton John record, because it’s just so groovy – especially that first song
(Honky Cat)," Cowles said. "There’s just something about that record. I
listened to it on repeat for a long time when I first started doing this rock
‘n’ roll stuff."
You can feel that jittery, revisionist groove in Hold Up, a song that evolves
into a chorus of hallelujahs that push hands to the air and hairs to stand on
end. While Cowles isn’t a believer in his father’s faith, they still share a
deeply close friendship – and the singer-songwriter clearly feels the spirit of
rock ‘n’ roll music.
• Limited Edition
• Yellow Vinyl
• 12" Vinyl EP
• For fans of Nathaniel Rateliff, Ray LaMontagne
1. Lift Me Up (Leave Me Here)
2. Cold Times Side B:
3. Maybe We're Fine
4. 9th & Lafayette
5. Hold Up