Heartbreak Hotel

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

There’s a good chance Drew Gatlin won’t ever say “thank you” to his ex-girlfriend, but perhaps he should.
After all, their relationship and break-up fueled his music for the past year or so.
Ask him why he got into music, and he’ll tell you straight: “I did it for a girl.”

‘River Days’
Gatlin, 22, now lives in Saltillo, but hails from Tishomingo.
For a while, he dated a woman from Memphis, and she’d spend her weekends with him at Pickwick.
“I had a guitar, so it gave me something to do when she wasn’t there,” he said. “I wrote songs for her.”
Then, their love was over.
The romantic songs turned into pained break-up songs.
“This EP kind of is the break-up record, the closure record,” Gatlin said.
The singer-songwriter decided it was time to cut an EP with these songs, to get them out.
“It’s self-produced, self-recorded, self-everything,” he said. The EP was recorded at his home.
“It was decided on and done within a month,” he said. “All of the music was done in one take, no more than five. I thought, if I can’t get it in five, I shouldn’t record it.”

Live wire
Gatlin’s style is quiet and folky.
His influences include Joe Purdy, Ryan Adams and Joshua James, “people who can sing sad songs, but sing them in a way that they’re not really somber.”
Gatlin said he doesn’t mind letting listeners in on such a personal, painful record. That’s why the recording process was so quick.
“I just don’t like singing these songs to myself, but I don’t mind singing them to someone else,” he said.
Gatlin has written the tunes for a full-length album, which he hopes to record and release later this year.
The songs on this album won’t be about his ex, but they’re still close to his heart.
“This is the get-past-it record. They’re still personal,” he said.
Gatlin envisions a more diverse full-length record.
“It will have a little more instrumentation, will be more up-tempo,” he said. “And not as much angst.”