The newest release from singer/songwriter Russell Howard, Safe To Say is the first selection from his upcoming record City Heart. The fruit of a year long collaboration with producer and percussionist Lawson White (Santigold, Chromeo), City Heart represents an evolution in Russell's music. Embracing the vintage 60's sound of Yellowbirds' Sam Cohen, City Heart is awash with rich textures and distant murmurs while remaining a doggedly acoustic endeavor.
"I see this record as a bridge, both personally and musically, between my pop singer/ songwriter beginnings and a more indie/folk/alternative future. I'd like to see people on both sides of that divide connecting with the music."
City Heart set for February 28th release.
Russell Howard Bio
Born and raised in Dallas Texas, Russell grew up the only child of two professional symphony musicians. A rich artistic environment and a freedom born of parents leaving for work after dinner gave rise to a continuous series of creative projects. By the end of high school Russell had successfully skirted screen writing and taken a brief detour into architecture before discovering a talent for songwriting. In 2002 he moved to North Carolina for college and began performing at the school's open mics and battle of the bands. By his senior year he had founded a still active venue in the student center and was playing regularly on and off campus. A brief move back to Texas during the summer after graduation saw a demo project titled Too Soon/Too Late evolve into a full production. Along with the Perfect EP, Too Soon/Too Late was released winter of 2007 and was heralded as "an attractive and intelligent piece of modern singer/songwriter pop" by the Dallas Morning News. Regional touring evolved into steady engagement on the college circuit on the strength of Russell's 2009 Too Soon/Too Late 2.0 EP, which featured two unreleased songs from the original sessions.
In March 2010 Russell signed with Good Child Music, a publishing and production company spearheaded by percussionist and producer Lawson White. After cutting demos in Lawson's Brooklyn apartment, plans were made for a full scale project. Scheduled to begin in July 2010 at Clinton Recording, the project was delayed by the sale of Clinton's building on 10th Avenue. Displacing Good Child with only a week's notice, the closing put the future of the project in question. Seizing the opportunity, Russell launched a Kickstarter campaign in August, raising $11k from fans for the production of City Heart. With Good Child moved into a temporary home in a basement adjacent to Flux Studios, work finally began in October and continued on and off through the new year. Early sessions with Sam Cohen of Yellowbirds set the tone for the record - a vintage treatment of Russell's unique alternative singer/songwriter sound. By January, Good Child's time in the basement had run its course and once again the project was put on hold while the studio was disassembled. With the record nearly finished but the timeline uncertain, Russell traveled back to Texas to complete the vocals for City Heart. Finally reconvening for a handful of days over the ensuing months to finish overdubs and begin mixing, Lawson and Russell completed City Heart in Lawson's Brooklyn apartment, where the original demos had been cut.