Fowlie shares the second single from his forthcoming sophomore full length ‘East of Nowhere’ due out later this year.
Whether he’s driving his kids to school, on a solo trip to the grocery store or making a long haul between gigs far away from his hometown, Colin Fowlie is forever jotting down ideas and phrases that could later find a home in a new song. No matter where or when, there’s a good chance any line worth repeating will find its place within his ongoing collection of tiny fragments and rare gems scattered over various files and working documents he keeps on his phone. It’s all part of the process.
“Every song comes from something,” said Fowlie, talking about his new single. “Donovan Woods once said, when someone asked him if his songs were truth or fiction, he said all of them are both. I think that’s best way to describe it. I’ll get inspired by a news story or a story somebody tells me when I’m out on the road. Often times I’ll have this clever smartass lyrical line that I think of and when two lines marry up, then I have half of a chorus. Sometimes I have two good lines that don’t even have meaning, but I’ll start to assign meaning to them by exploring what picture they paint, and I’ll start writing around that. Eventually things start coming together.”
His latest single, Someone’s Favourite Song, was co-written with multi-instrumentalist Liam Keith-Jacques while the pair were on tour in Western Canada sometime in the early fall of 2019. The song is the second single from his upcoming album, East of Nowhere, and follows the album’s first single, To Mend, released in February.
“There’s a direct inspiration behind all my songs, even if the story itself is completely fictionalized,” said Fowlie. “I have a song called Ready to Say on my new album and it’s about an elderly person saying goodbye to their spouse and giving themselves permission to move on in their life despite having this long history together. The details of the story are fictional, but it’s based on a story a woman told me when we were on tour in Edmonton. She came up to me after the show and told me that one of the songs I performed was here favourite song ever. No qualifiers. So, there’s actually two songs that came out of this story.
“Whenever someone says, ‘You should write this song,’ I usually just file those suggestions away and don’t give them much more thought. But on the night before Christmas Eve 2019 I thought about that woman and I wrote Ready to Say,” he said.
Related: To Mend, is the first single off Fowlie’s upcoming sophomore album produced by Ariel Posen.
In a way, Someone’s Favourite Song is a bit of a qualifier for all career musicians, and came to Fowlie and Keith-Jacques after a particularly rough patch of experiences on the road.
“We had this pretty rough tour of Alberta back in September of 2019,” said Fowlie. “We landed in Calgary and had an apartment for a few days to warm up for the tour. Then we played a gig in Calgary which was not very well attended, but we knew we were coming back to Calgary and had a big show booked that we were excited about.”
The next several days were largely defined by their long drives and a series of memorable incidents and encounters that would leave many musicians questioning their career choices. Fowlie lost his voice, nearly got in a fight with a guy wearing a monster mask at a gas station due to a case of mistaken identity, got into a fender bender while driving a rental and then had to drive back to Calgary during a blizzard which caught the entire region off guard. It wasn’t even October yet.
“After all that happened, we did a two-hour drive in six and a half hours and because of the storm, the big show we were looking forward to was poorly attended. Nobody was leaving their house in that weather,” he said.
“While we were on the road, I had been bouncing around these ideas for a song based around the idea that here we were putting ourselves through all of this, driving six hours between gigs during a blizzard and getting attacked at gas stations, all because one lady in Edmonton thinks a tune that I wrote is her favourite song ever. And so, we made that connection and thought when it comes time, are going to go out and put ourselves through all of this nonsense again? The answer was, yes. Yes we are, because I wrote someone’s favourite song.”