Texas singer-songwriter David Ramirez is returning to the UK after the release of his new album Fables via Thirty Tigers (Jason Isbell, Trampled By Turtles). The video for ‘Rock And A Hard Place’, a track lifted from the new LP, is available now and stars actor Keir O’Donnell (Fargo, American Sniper). Fables, Ramirez’s third LP, has been a major breakthrough, debuting in the Top 10 of Billboard’s “Heatseekers” and receiving high praise and support across the likes of NPR, Spotify, The Wall Street Journal and Paste Magazine.
“I’ve learned a lot from being alone and isolated,” says Ramirez, who until recently toured completely by himself, without a band, manager or anyone else for company. You know, when you travel around alone for months at a time, the world revolves around you. There’s no one else in the equation. Everything was just about me. It’s a selfish way of living. And I’m ready to move on from that.” It’s taken three years since that realisation, but with his new album ‘Fables,’ Ramirez takes strides towards that personal growth both as a musician and as a man.
“I hit a dry spell for a couple of years after my last album. It was frustrating. I went into the studio two years ago planning to do a whole record, and it just wasn’t coming together. So I scrapped the whole thing and took some time away from it,” he says. The delay, it turns out, was for the best. “My focus wasn’t really on my music at that point,” he explains. “I was at a point in my relationship with my girlfriend where things were getting serious. The closer we got, the more I realised that I needed to be honest with myself and with her about where my life was heading. If I want to be in a meaningful relationship with someone, I have to be honest in everything I do.” The album’s title, Fables, was inspired by “Harder to Lie,” a song on the record that captures the moment Ramirez realised, as he puts it, “I couldn’t bullsh*t with her anymore. She knew me completely. It got me thinking about how much I bullsh*t in my life – exaggerating stories, faking a smile, or whatever. Just telling fables. When you don’t know who you really are you can end up hurting people.”
That newfound maturity and clarity translated into his approach in the studio, as Ramirez travelled to Seattle to work with his friend and musician Noah Gundersen, who produced the album. “My previous albums were a bit less personal. I always went in with a certain idea of what I wanted them to turn out like. I had never just walked in and said ‘let’s just see what happens.’ And that’s what we did this time. From the writing to the recording, it was just based on instincts.”
After years on the road touring as an opening act for artists like Noah Gundersen, Gregory Alan Isakov, Shakey Graves and Joe Pug, Ramirez is currently on his own tour, which will roll into the UK in 2016. As he has learned to open himself up to other people in his personal relationships and in the studio, Ramirez has also been focused on putting together a full-time band and letting other musicians become involved in the creative process. “I’m trying to build a family of people who create together, not just a backing band,” he says. “For the past five years travelling, I get off stage and I have no one to share it with. I’ve been lucky enough to ride along with some of the bands I’ve opened for. I watch them get ready for their set and have that sense of collaboration, and I’ll just be in the alley smoking a cigarette by myself. I’ve always had a little envy for that. I’m like every kid that grew up playing in a garage. I want a band. No one has dreams of playing the world alone.”
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Artist’s website: http://davidramirezmusic.com/
‘Rock And A Hard Place’