2018 was a rough year for Boulder singer-songwriter Daniel Rodriguez.
Elephant Revival, his band that had become a staple in Colorado’s folk music scene, split up. And his 14-year romantic relationship ended.
Rodriguez turned to music and writing.
“I'm still working my way through it,” he said. “Of course the music and the writing process has always served as something to help gain perspective and heal through.”
The result is his first full-length solo album, “Sojourn of a Burning Sun.” But this isn’t a breakup record. Rodriguez said he wrote many of these songs as a message to his future self.
“I think a lot of times those sometimes perceived traumatic situations or very tough situations, end up making us stronger and give us more perspective on life,” he said. “And actually it doesn't seem that way when you're going through something, but it provides a much more rich palette of emotions and experience.”
A sentiment that can be found in tracks like “The Unknown,” where Rodriguez somberly but courageously sings:
The storm is over, the chaos took me down to a place where no one really knows anymore. And I'm getting older, but I'm a new man again. I've gone down in a ball of flames, I've shattered, but I'm getting up again...
The release of “Sojourn” didn’t turn out the way Rodriguez expected. Before COVID-19, he had plans to be on tour with The Lumineers and Gregory Alan Isakov when the album dropped last Friday.
But Rodriguez takes an optimistic view on it.
“It’s a beautiful time to release music,” he said. “I think people have the time to actually listen to a record all the way through and people are looking for — I know I certainly am looking for — some new music to digest and feel.”
Arts During COVID-19
“Sojourn of a Burning Sun” follows an EP Rodriguez released in 2019, “Your Heart, The Stars, The Milky Way.” He said he not only wanted to continue the celestial theme, but the title track is also one his favorite songs, lyrically.
“Just the imagery that came out of my pen for that song,” he said.
Another possible plus to releasing the record right now: he isn’t sick of playing and listening to the songs yet. So much so, Rodriguez still sings along with the album at the top of his lungs when he hears it.
“Usually when I put out a record, I've listened to it a thousand times and mixed it and mastered it and don't want to hear it,” he said. “But for some reason, this one still resonates. And I can't wait for that day when I can play these songs on a stage again.”