Art&Seek is highlighting new music from North Texas every Thursday. Click above to hear me talk with Arlington singer/songwriter Andrew Delaney for our Music Minute, which airs on KERA FM and KXT 91.7. For more North Texas music, tune in to the KXT Local Show at 7 p.m. on Thursdays. And tell us what you’ve been listening to on Facebook, Instagram or @artandseek on Twitter.
Andrew Delaney knows a thing or two about songwriting. He got his start at 11, using his compositions for weekly creative writing assignments given to him by his 5th grade English teacher in Cedar Hill. These days, Delaney is noted for his work: he was named as a 2018 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist, won the Songwriter’s Serenade in 2017, and has been a Kerrville Folk Festival finalist multiple times.
Delaney describes his music as “folk music from a grown-up wallet-chain goth”. He grew up listening to ’80s and ’90s country as a kid and then frequented Dallas goth club The Church in his 20s. He still listens to bands like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson, but turned more to country and Americana when he started seriously making his own music.
“I was just driving around one night flipping around the radio and found an Americana station that was playing Steve Earle and I was like ‘Oh, I remember these songs,” Delaney said, “When I sat down to write songs after that, I was like, ‘Oh, I can do these things. I still have these muscles and familiarity.”
Delaney has also grown as a musician through the years. He now plays bass and guitar, and says he can also make sounds happen on mandolin, banjo, keyboard, and harmonica. But one of his signatures is the dark humor that tends to show up in his lyrics. His new song, “Home” is a great example.
It was written to share with a songwriting class he was teaching:
“I like that last part of the flight/When Dallas rushes in to view/Yeah, like a million ants living a million ant lives/I guess it ain’t far from the truth/But maybe now is not the time/For philosophizing, no/Maybe I’m just glad to be back home/I’m just glad to be back home”.
“I was just trying to write a sequence of events- just very dry- in this case, it was coming home from tour… and just sort of recognizing whatever that barrier is between when you’re on the road and when you arrive at your place and everything is different, and you turn off the character of touring musician and you just walk through your own front door and become who you are most of the time, I guess,” Delaney said.
He wanted to stress a dry, unpoetic writing style for “Home”.
“I think if somebody just writes through their own voice, the poetry comes up on its own,” Delaney said. “You don’t have to use flowery language; you can just tell a story from your own perspective as it happened, and it will come out in your ‘artist voice’.”