Bryn Loosley is methodical when it comes to his music. “If you locked me in a room for two hours and told me I could come out after I’d written a song, I’d still be in there at the end of the two hours,” Loosley chuckles. This helps explain why his forthcoming release, Blood Year, is coming out five years after his last record, 2008’s The Wrecker. A full-time teacher, Loosley cannot write, record and tour as often as other musicians do, so sometimes he has to challenge himself.
Blood Year, each of whose 12 songs is connected to a month of the year, came about as a result of one such challenge. “It started as a writing project to encourage myself to write more,” he says. “I’ve never been a very prolific songwriter so I thought a goal of writing one song a month was pretty lofty and ambitious. When the month was almost over and I couldn’t think of anything to write about, I turned it on the month itself. I did that the next two or three months until I decided I could probably pull off a whole album like that.” Whether it’s the romantic folk of “Making it Feel Like June,” the folk pop shuffler “Like a Lamb” or the Americana and country-tinged opener “New Year’s Day,” Loosley finds a unique way to capture each month. In some cases it is a personal experience, while in others it is as simple as acknowledging the changing of the seasons. Either way, patience and quality are essential for Loosley. “While teaching sometimes costs me some opportunities to tour or expand my audience, if I want to make music I’m proud of, I have to do it slowly,” he says. Here’s hoping that slow and steady wins the race.
INFO: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $8/adv, $10/door. 427-2227. Photo: Adriane White