Rowan McGuire is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter whose music deals predominantly with his experiences living in Northern California. Throughout his music, McGuire paves his own road— a road full of grit and innovation. His songs orbit themes of love, loss, acceptance, loneliness, and transition. Every word conveys depth, resonance, and relatability, securing his songs a spot in each individual listener’s complex life.
McGuire’s second EP release, White Brittle Bones, was written during a proclaimed, “heavy” period of his life. Inspired by the musical work of Ben Howard, The War on Drugs, and Gregory Alan Isakov, McGuire established himself as someone who is capable of synthesizing his influences to make his own ideas speak. While the influences are felt, they are distant; instead McGuire’s poignant lyrics and arrangements foreground his music, drawing the listener in closer to his unique ideas which stem from his heart, mind, and tongue.
Recently, McGuire has begun to explore new sonic possibilities. His new single, “Sweet Little Love” out October 25th, tracks a gradual departure from the initial alternative folk mindset that he adopted when he first started seriously writing and performing his original music. Instead, McGuire has turned to influences such as Sturgill Simpson, Jenny Lewis, Waylon Jennings, Phoebe Bridgers, Bruce Springsteen, and Faye Webster in an attempt to bridge the gaps among folk, rock, country, and pop music. Composed during his travels between a flammable farmhouse in San Luis Obispo County, a high rise in San Francisco, and his home studio in Davis, CA, McGuire’s new song actively calls to mind images from his travels and the subsequent feelings they engendered in him. Yet, while the apparent “on the road” mentality is felt throughout the tune, an intimacy still remains. Listeners are encouraged to get past the “night in the city” and find the “light within”—a metaphor for wading through the temporary neon glow of society and getting to the real, consistent flicker of an individual’s inner experience. On “Sweet Little Love,” McGuire has successfully continued to display his knack for blending his experiences and influences into something new, pertinent, heartfelt, and incredibly catchy.
Currently, McGuire performs live with a talented group of musicians throughout Northern California. He spends his time writing, recording, and performing music that he plans to release to the public soon. Stay tuned.
-Zam Tylan and Shied Hobson