John Vincent III releases his much anticipated sophomore album, Songs For The Canyon

John Vincent III

Last month, singer-songwriter John Vincent III released Songs for the Canyon, his long-awaited second full-length album.

His 2019 debut album, Songs From The Valley, cemented him as one-to-watch, having racked up over 190 million streams on Spotify alone. With those numbers, it’s fair to say that this album has been keenly anticipated. The successor to his debut album didn’t come easily. The spectre of the curse of the  ‘difficult second album’ loomed large, but fortunately, with patience and a change in direction, he overcame it.

On the back of the success of Songs From The Valley, John was touring extensively, and then the pandemic struck. Unable to tour and feeling disillusioned, he re-appraised his love for creating music. Should he continue on, or should he find a new career path? Something had to change. John and his partner packed their possessions into their van, left their home comforts, and spent the next eight months exploring more than a dozen states in the US.

Despite being somewhat ambivalent about continuing as a musician, John stuck with his daily practice of writing songs. This journey had him rediscover his love for his craft, and from there, they headed back to Los Angeles.  He signed a new record contract with Concord Records and set to work on Songs For the Canyon.

About the tracks on the album, John writes: “It’s difficult to put into words what ‘Songs for the Canyon’ is, as it’s simply who I was for close to  three years. Looking back, it’s almost strange to remember a time without this thing  that my nearly every thought revolved around, which is something I have never felt before  regarding a musical project.” 

The songs on the album are shaped by his time on the road. There is a timeless quality to them, with nuanced and thoughtful takes on life, paired with some really lovely guitars and keys. None of it feels forced and there is a cohesive soundscape throughout the album. The gentle rhythms and songs from the heart give off early Bon Iver vibes. If you feeel the need to disengage from the never ending cycle of social media, the daily grind of a job, or just wish to-reimagine yourself in a happy place then this is the album to listen to.

John writes of what the album means to him: “I suppose SFTC is a self-exploration and acceptance of what I found, a representation of my life  as it was. Making this album turned out to be far more difficult than I had ever anticipated, but  I’ve grown so thankful for all that I’ve learned in the process. In the canyon, much like our lives,  there is sunlight and rain. I hope there is a song here for whatever your day may bring.”

The album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York, and was produced by Tony Berg (Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers), as well as Ryan Hadlock (Brandi Carlile, Vance Joy, The Lumineers) and Jonathan Gilbert (Kurt Vile, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever). The executive producer was 6x Grammy Award winning engineer Tom Elmhirst (Adele, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Frank Ocean). Heavy hitters indeed!

Songs For The Canyon is out now via Concord Records on all streaming platforms.

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Header image credit: Kaitlyn Renee

Bruce Baker

Probably riding my bike, taking photos and/or at a gig. Insta: @bruce_a_baker