THIS IS SON SOLITAIRE   |   “…opens the latest chapter in one of the indie music world’s most formidably gifted artists” 

This Is Son Solitaire (EP)

Woody Russell

"Russell's latest EP, This Is Son Solitaire, is his bold reveal of a post-punk/art-rock sound and persona. An artistic chameleon, WR presents an explosive trio of songs which set a very high bar for his ever-expansive, increasingly diverse recorded output." - CUTS Music Group

In late 2020 I began recording several new songs that were composed in
"Russell's latest EP, This Is Son Solitaire, is his bold reveal of a post-punk/art-rock sound and persona. An artistic chameleon, WR presents an explosive trio of songs which set a very high bar for his ever-expansive, increasingly diverse recorded output." - CUTS Music Group

In late 2020 I began recording several new songs that were composed in real-time with the recording process. Most often I'll write and perform music long before entering the studio to capture a recording, though not always. In the case of this new EP, This Is Son Solitaire, the focus was on creating music as a result of experimenting in the studio and utilizing the tech available, employing it a resource for inspiration rather than just a means of audio capture and documentation. I simply go about it in a very solitary manner (hence the project name, anyone?).

This Is Son Solitaire is a dynamic 3 song EP representing a side of my work which resides in the progressive post-punk and art-rock realm. The tracks are thrust in to their own individual atmospheres with punchy guitars, prominent bass, synths and massive drums leading the charge. Essentially, a proper rock band. The vocals offer an edgy narrative throughout the recording; much more of a character portrayal beyond anything I've done previously. There is definitely a sense of theater in this music. It's very liberating to work this way in the studio, blurring the lines between the recording process, songwriting and performance; any preconceptions be damned. The music begins as a somewhat blank canvas and guides itself to completion. I try not to interfere. One learns to trust the process on a gut level, with quick decisions keeping the inspiration throttle wide open. One session began with a strange, heavily effected guitar loop from a past session. Another, more traditionally, with a basic chord progression. Sounds themselves, electronic textures, grooves and good old-fashioned trial and error lead to inspirations and forward momentum if I remain open to hearing new things in my work as a composer, as an artist.

The lyrics are reflective of the uncertainty and challenges of that time between late 2020 thru ‘21; the pandemic, the vitriolic political climate in the U.S. during this period. Yet, I certainly did not write as a journalist, but often sought some optimism in the midst of a shadowy madness lurking about. I hesitated to release the songs in the moment wanting more time to work on the elaborate and dense mixes.
Since the live performance scene opened up again, I’ve been in full 200+ dates per year mode and could only come back to studio work in random and scattered moments. The 3 tracks that made the cut for this EP release are culled from the body of the work I did on this project overall. It is certainly possible to consider “Son Solitaire” as a viable identity of its own that may surface again in future releases.

This Is Son Solitaire was mastered by John Webber (David Bowie, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Echo & the Bunnymen, George Michael and many more) at AIR Studios in London.

Check out the video for 'Swinging For The Fences" at WoodyRussell.com or WR's YouTube channel (video release date OCT 16)! Created by Albanian based animator, Mr. Riddlestone, the film tells the story of a dreamer, across a dimension of unspecified time; it's older self - in a metaphorical letter to one's younger self - instills persistence, determination and courage despite the shadowy figures of Doubt, Failure, Fear, etc., aiming to derail the dreamer's ambitions. It was my great pleasure to work across continents, artist to artist, with Mr. Riddlestone on this complex concept. He achieved something beautiful. -WR
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THIS IS SON SOLITAIRE

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REVIEWS

Austin, Texas’ reputation as a fertile musical ground continues with Woody Russell’s work. His new EP release This Is Son Solitaire includes three tracks that represent Russell’s finest released material. Yet I get the feeling he’s barely scraped the surface of his capabilities. Blending art-rock conceits with sturdy pop influences is one of This Is Son Solitaire’s chief calling cards and each of the EP’s three songs boasts boisterous and lively production that frames its virtues in the best possible sonic light. - Indie Pulse Music

Woody Russell’s This is Son Solitaire opens the latest chapter in one of the indie music world’s most formidably gifted artists that newcomers and long-time fans alike will enjoy and embrace. - Top Buzz Magazine

“… a lyrical portrayal of a world in disarray with love as the only respite as the walls collapse all around. There’s an abundance of musical imagination driving performances such as this. Russell writes, records, and performs music with the same ease he brings to breathing and each of the EP’s three songs sound as if they were floating in the ether waiting for someone to come pluck them out and set them down for posterity. Posterity will inevitably judge these tracks favorably.” - Pop Icon Magazine

“This is Son Solitaire shows a musical artist arguably working at the peak of his powers, but it’s far from the final word. There are greater triumphs ahead for this unique talent. First-time listeners to Russell’s gifts will surely return for more and he’ll be happy to oblige. Listeners such as myself will be happy to continue listening.” - Ballyhoo Magazine

"He aspires to more than mere entertainment; Russell plots and pivots in such a way that he’s aiming for musical art every time. Marrying a friendly pop sheen with challenging arrangements and an intelligent lyrical message distinguishes Russell’s work from a bevy of lesser talents on the scene. You will get more out of these three songs than you will out of many much longer releases. It is a wonderful EP release that has something to offer every listener and calls on you to revisit the songs more than once. Its riches run deep and show a musical artist and songwriter who has a lot to say. Woody Russell’s This is Son Solitaire proves that he deserves our full attention.challenging arrangements and an intelligent lyrical message distinguishes Russell’s work from a bevy of lesser talents on the scene." - The Hollywood Digest

about

"Russell's latest EP, This Is Son Solitaire, is his bold reveal of a post-punk/art-rock sound and persona. An artistic chameleon, WR presents an explosive trio of songs which set a very high bar for his ever-expansive, increasingly diverse recorded output." - CUTS Music Group

In late 2020 I began recording several new songs that were composed in real-time with the recording process. Most often I'll write and perform music long before entering the studio to capture a recording, though not always. In the case of this new EP, This Is Son Solitaire, the focus was on creating music as a result of experimenting in the studio and utilizing the tech available, employing it a resource for inspiration rather than just a means of audio capture and documentation. I simply go about it in a very solitary manner (hence the project name, anyone?).

This Is Son Solitaire is a dynamic 3 song EP representing a side of my work which resides in the progressive post-punk and art-rock realm. The tracks are thrust in to their own individual atmospheres with punchy guitars, prominent bass, synths and massive drums leading the charge. Essentially, a proper rock band. The vocals offer an edgy narrative throughout the recording; much more of a character portrayal beyond anything I've done previously. There is definitely a sense of theater in this music. It's very liberating to work this way in the studio, blurring the lines between the recording process, songwriting and performance; any preconceptions be damned. The music begins as a somewhat blank canvas and guides itself to completion. I try not to interfere. One learns to trust the process on a gut level, with quick decisions keeping the inspiration throttle wide open. One session began with a strange, heavily effected guitar loop from a past session. Another, more traditionally, with a basic chord progression. Sounds themselves, electronic textures, grooves and good old-fashioned trial and error lead to inspirations and forward momentum if I remain open to hearing new things in my work as a composer, as an artist.

The lyrics are reflective of the uncertainty and challenges of that time between late 2020 thru ‘21; the pandemic, the vitriolic political climate in the U.S. during this period. Yet, I certainly did not write as a journalist, but often sought some optimism in the midst of a shadowy madness lurking about. I hesitated to release the songs in the moment wanting more time to work on the elaborate and dense mixes.

Since the live performance scene opened up again, I’ve been in full 200+ dates per year mode and could only come back to studio work in random and scattered moments. The 3 tracks that made the cut for this EP release are culled from the body of the work I did on this project overall. It is certainly possible to consider “Son Solitaire” as a viable identity of its own that may surface again in future releases.

This Is Son Solitaire was mastered by John Webber (David Bowie, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Echo & the Bunnymen, George Michael and many more) at AIR Studios in London.

THE VIDEO |  Created by Albanian based animator, Mr. Riddlestone, the film tells the story of a dreamer, across a dimension of unspecified time; it's older self - in a metaphorical letter to one's younger self - instills persistence, determination and courage despite the shadowy figures of Doubt, Failure, Fear, etc., aiming to derail the dreamer's ambitions. It was my great pleasure to work across continents, artist to artist, with Mr. Riddlestone on this complex concept. He achieved something beautiful. -WR 

Released September 29, 2023

Produced by Woody Russell
Recorded 2020 - '21 at Green Shoe Studio, Austin, Texas
Mastered by John Webber at Air Studios, London