By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
“We outgrow love, like other things
And put it in the Drawer –
Till it an Antique fashion shows –
Like Costumes Grandsires wore.”
– Emily Dickinson
From the rich earth of about 20 words grew a garden of eight songs. Poet Emily Dickinson’s poem, “We outgrow love, like other things,” inspired Gatlin’s new full-length album, “Flower Press.” The Saltillo resident will release the album today at Cafe 212 in Tupelo.
“Two of the songs came from the Emily Dickinson poem, ‘We outgrow love.’ The others are based on the idea of outgrowing someone,” he said.
Outgrowing love may sound like a heartbreaking album concept, but it fits Gatlin’s style.
His first EP, “River Days,” was a kiss-off to an old relationship. “Flower Press,” he said, is more reflective, with touches of hope.
“The last one was angsty and angry. This one’s a lot less angry,” he said, laughing. “I didn’t want it to be bitter; I wanted it to be a nice goodbye.”
Gatlin teamed with Bobby Hudspeth and Cody Hickman and their new production company, House Creative, to record “Flower Press.”
Gatlin’s first EP, “River Days,” was recorded at his home, so working in a proper studio with producers was a change.
“It was a lot less stressful, not having to worry about the sound, but it was sort of nerve-wracking,” he said. “But they’re smart guys.”
“River Days” featured just Gatlin and his guitar, but Hudspeth, Hickman and Gatlin’s pal Jaime Hays, former drummer for Wavorly, all contributed instrumentation for the new album.
Hays learned to play the pedal steel guitar for “Flower Press,” Gatlin said. Hays’ performance and the sound of the instrument drove the sound of “Flower Press.”
“I think it’s more an antique sound. I don’t want to say (like) Hank Williams, but it has the sound of that era of country music, which fit with Emily Dickinson,” he said. “All the songs have a different era feel.”
More work ahead
“Wilt If You Will” is the lead single from “Flower Press,” and soon Gatlin will shoot a video for it in Tupelo with director John Wee.
Gatlin will then go on a West Coast tour with Justin Posey this summer.
When he comes home, Gatlin will get to work writing more songs.
He half-joked that he plans to channel the ’70s country vibe he hopes to achieve for a new record by growing a mustache and sporting long hair.
He’s heavily influenced these days by a different poet, Gram Parsons, and has already written three new songs.
He plans to write 20 new ones and keep 15 of them for his next album, but he has no set deadline for that album yet.
“It depends on how fast the songs are put together,” he said, grinning. “By then maybe I’ll have a mustache.”
SEE THEM LIVE
– Who: Drew Gatlin, Justin Posey
– When: 7 p.m. today
– Where: Cafe 212, Tupelo
– Cost: Free. “Flower Press” will be $5
at tonight’s CD release party,and will
be $8 on iTunes starting Friday.
– Info: (662) 844-6323