Portlander Joe Gallant just released his debut EP, “My Own Divide,” a half-dozen entirely enjoyable pop songs sung with a smoothly quiet yet effective voice. You can find him online at reverbnation.com/joegallantmusic

 

GO recently caught up with Joe to find out where he came from and what “My Own Divide” is all about.

How old are you, where do you live, when did you first start playing music, and what was your first instrument?

I just turned 25, and only really started writing music in the past two years. I grew up between Bath and Wiscasset, and currently reside in Portland. Guitar is my first instrument. 

What was the most difficult part about making “My Own Divide?

Being so new to singing and playing my own stuff, I think my biggest challenge in the studio was being able to speak up and take ownership of the songs. Being in the studio with Jonathan Wyman, Matt Cosby and Dan Capaldi, who were all new faces to me at the time and are all very well-decorated members of our music community, it’s safe to say I felt a bit overwhelmed. It all ended up feeling and sounding better than I could have hoped for.

What was the most rewarding part?

The best reward in my eyes, aside from all the amazing relationships I’ve developed in the past year, is that I was able to set my sights on a goal, decided I was going to make a record, and then actually went out and did it. There had been too many times in my life that I woke up with grand plans without taking any tangible steps. This was huge for me.

Can you describe your songwriting process? What inspires your lyrics?

I almost always start with a groove. It’s a really beautiful thing when an instrumental alone evokes a given emotion and is then polished with lyrics that can evoke a congruent feeling. This first record, lyrically, was inspired by the push and pull of making tough choices. Being someone who came up and took the “right” path (i.e. grades, sports, participate, go to college, etc.) and in time realized that I really did none of that for myself, which was tough to swallow. Experience with an old relationship that I fought with for a long while holds consistent on three tracks as well.

What’s your favorite song on the EP and why?

The title track, “My Own Divide,” is the song I’m most proud of, as it synthesizes so much of what I’ve gone through over the past year. I think “Divide” will have the longest lifespan out of all the songs for me personally, because it can be applied to so many different contexts and stages of life no matter who you are. We all wake up sometimes and question our current methods, and “Divide” is a song addressing those feelings, right or wrong. 

Where can people pick up a copy of “My Own Divide”?

At Bull Moose Music and online at joegallant.bandcamp.com.

How’s the local music scene treating you?

I’ve met a wonderful group of folks in the past 18 months in being part of this scene. I try as best I can to learn something from every new person I meet that has, in one form or another, gone through what I am currently going through as a new artist. Ralph Graceffa and Aaron Cloutier of Marion Grace have been particularly good mentors to me at this stage. 

Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at [email protected]