Today, Cory Wong releases his fifth album in 2020, TRAIL SONGS: DAWN. The album was heralded last month with the American Songwriter
premiere of the song, “Bluebird” featuring Chris Thile. TRAIL SONGS: DAWN follows the July release of its sister record, the quiet, contemplative and acoustic-based TRAIL SONGS: DUSK. TRAIL SONGS: DAWN is a more rollicking affair, but was also made on all acoustic instruments.
“I wanted to release two albums over the summer that reflect my personality on acoustic instruments,” Wong says.
The beginning of lockdown was an emotional time for the guitarist and podcast host who found himself sitting still for the first time in a decade. The music that was to become TRAIL SONGS came pouring forth.
“The last few years have been a wild ride with Vulfpeck blowing up, and my solo career taking off as well,” continues Wong. “It’s been really fun
, but it’s been at a constant high-speed pace. In March, when everything went into lockdown, it was the first time in a long time I was able to just clear the calendar for a few months and take a breath. It kind of felt like there were no rules for an artist’s output…in a good sense. Some people needed time to just absorb everything going on, and others needed to express
parts of their humanity through music. I am one of those artists who needed to express
my feelings through writing and recording music, but more specifically, songs from sequester. I’ve never been in one place for this long in the last 10 years. It’s crazy, it’s different, but it’s in some ways exactly what i needed.
“The music I wrote for this album is nothing like the music I’ve put out before. It’s reflective and contemplative. It’s all acoustic music, recorded on acoustic instruments. I started by writing tunes on the guitar, and then added layers while mocking up demos. And then i sent the demos and scores out to my friends to replace the demo parts. It was really a magical thing to be able to bring some of my friends together to play music from around the world in a time where many of them felt isolated from any sense of community.
“This music is meant to be taken in and absorbed through the lens of the listener’s self-reflection. Some people dream of taking a trip
to the midwest to find a respite in nature to write. For me, I didn’t need to take a trip
. I needed to stop taking trips! The midwest is home for me, and this album reminded me of that.”