|Making a record can be a difficult task, but for Nashville’s Anderson East the notion was one that took time and well-thought exercise.
An Athens, Ala., native, the idea of making a record was one East had always toyed with and one that eventually led him to Murfreesboro.
After enrolling at Middle Tennessee State University, East started turning in time in the studio and learned hands on as he recorded his first album in a space within the Walnut House in downtown Murfreesboro.
“There was a lot learned from the first one and now. (First,) I was grabbing anyone around me that could play. I was figuring out how to do things instead of having a solid vision,” East said about the transition in recording from his first effort to his current work, Flowers of the Broken Hearted.
On his latest album, East explores similar stories and subject matter with unparallel soundscapes over 15 total tracks.
East wasn’t originally planning on a double-disc album, but after recording the first batch of songs, he went back to the studio to tell the stories from an opposite point of view. The first set follows more of an Americana sound, while the latter paints a more ominous and morose trail.
The title track, “Flowers of the Broken Hearted,” is one that has a literal meaning to it and is more than just a metaphor of sorts.
“The song is about my girlfriend getting flowers delivered to her from someone other than myself. The title spans the whole record where each song is a petal of the entire work,” East said.
The song, “Lonely” is another standout, because it surveys the excessive hubris that all men fall victim to from one time to another.
“That one is a pretty sweet song. It’s like you’ve done the right thing when you let somebody go, but you still miss it,” East said.
While “Lonely” looks at a man who knows a relationship can change with his or own doing but had to let go, “Expiration Date” examines the subject of mortality and one’s own existence in the world.
“That one is a somber realization that you’re going to end up dying. You face your own mortality and you’re OK with it.
“For me, it’s like you have to be productive. You have to run your own race. Go ahead and make the most of what you got. If you haven’t thought about dying before then there’s probably something wrong with you,” East said regarding “Expiration Date.”
The album was recorded in Los Angeles with Chris Seefried, who was also the producer for Fitz and The Tantrums, and featured a plethora of musicians, which include Don Heffington, Charlie Gillingham and Rob Wasserman.
The latter portion was recorded in Nashville with East, an audiophile at heart, playing both guitar and keys on the album.
At times, East is reminiscent of a mix of Ryan Adams with a hint of Alabama soul, the soul that resonates not far from the town in which he was raised.
Through it all, he crafts a fine-tuned album that delivers a pleasing mix of Americana and soul, equipped with a great blend of Hammond B-3 and Wurlitzer organ.
“I kind of go with what the song wants to be and worry about it after the fact. With this record, I put the songs together and let the listener take their own path. Musically, it all fits together nicely,” East said.
Next up for East are a couple of local dates at 3rd and Lindsley in support of Donavon Frankenreiter on Nov. 10 and Mercy Lounge on Nov. 12
“We’re sticking around here for a little. We’re going to do some Southeastern dates and then we’ll be back at it,” East added about his upcoming plans.
For more information on East and Flowers of the Broken Hearted, visit www.andersoneast.com.