Photography by Heidi Ross

Musician Peter Bradley Adams talks with C&I about his upcoming album A Face Like Mine.

Since leaving the early 2000s pop-rock-folk band Eastmountainsouth, Peter Bradley Adams has been growing as a solo artist. Now after five solo albums, the soulful folk-pop singer is on the verge of releasing his sixth studio album, A Face Like Mine, available April 21. Recently the Alabama native talked with C&I about his upcoming album, what inspires his relatable lyrics, and what we can expect musically from him down the road.

Cowboys & Indians: You started out in the band Eastmountainsouth in the early 2000s before becoming a solo artist. Since then, you've released several solo albums. How has that transition influenced your songwriting? 

Peter Bradley Adams: We started Eastmountainsouth in 2001. Some of the songs I wrote for that record were never intended for me to sing, so I wasn’t always dealing with my limitations as a singer. Going solo got me writing more for my voice and all its limitations. Sometimes limitations can be liberating. I think one of the aspects of Eastmountainsouth that has unintentionally stuck around in my writing is harmonies. I keep writing melodies which are crying out for a harmony part on them.

C&I: What was the writing and recording process like for your upcoming album, A Face Like Mine? Where did you draw inspiration for the sound and lyrics?

Adams: The songs start out without any intention. And then as I’m writing them, I realize what they’re about and follow that with a lot of intention. As far as the sound of the record, I wanted it to be simpler. More direct. I’ve hidden behind nice production in the past. Probably still am, but I’m beginning to step out.

C&I: In songs “A Face Like Mine” and “Good Man,” you sing about not knowing a father figure and being insecure in a relationship. What was it like to put yourself out there and create this personal album? 

Adams: I think of myself more as a storyteller than a confessional songwriter. My songs are a mix of stuff from my real life and stuff I make up. So I’m never just laying out a journal entry. “A Face Like Mine” is told from the point of view of my grandfather. It is his story and he’s telling it when he’s further along in life than I am now. At the same time, his story resonates with me right now. “Good Man” was co-written with Caitlin Canty. Again, it’s a mix — a response to a relationship I had been in, but told through a story that is not mine. I think that approach always feels better. And bigger.

C&I: On to more positive feelings: What are you most excited about for the release of A Face Like Mine?

Adams: It’s hard for me to remain excited about a record once it’s done and I’ve already moved on to writing new songs. But I definitely am excited about getting out and playing shows this spring and summer.

C&I: Do you have a song that you are most proud of in your career as a solo artist?

Adams: That’s hard to say. It always changes. And there are some songs that I love, but I would go back and fix a few things about them if I could. But there’s a few that always feel good when I play them live: “Los Angeles,” “My Love Is My Love,” and “Hey Believers.” There are others that feel good, but those are just the ones that come to mind.

C&I: Are there any songs that didn't make it onto A Face Like Mine that we can expect later on down the road?

Adams: Yes, indeed. There are a couple that arrived a little too late to make the record, but I plan on putting them out as singles or part of an EP late this summer.

Find out more about the Peter Bradley Adams and his tour dates on his website.