Gary DeMichele’s early years loom large on his latest release, the five track EP September. “There’s this period in late adolescence and early adulthood when you’re moving from the relatively protected space of childhood into the seemingly limitless space of adulthood. It’s a time of discovery and discernment, scary and exciting and confusing all at the same time. Life is leading you forward one minute and knocking you back the next. To be honest, a part of me feels like I’m living through that to this day. These songs all relate to it in some way and so they mean a lot to me.” 

The songs were culled from DeMichele’s ambitious 2013 songwriting project 52 in 52, for which he set out to write, record and release a song a week for a year. He admits it was touch-and-go at times but he succeeded. “I’ve been writing songs and making music since my teens but I’d reached a busy time in my life where it had really taken a back seat to the needs of raising a young family and keeping a freelance video career going. I suppose this was my attempt to move it a little more front-and-center for a year. It worked.”

The project also gave DeMichele an opportunity to dive into today’s rapidly evolving world of independent music making. “For good and for bad, more and more is being done with less and less. And so much of what is being done is then going straight to the internet. There’s no question that I wanted to challenge myself as a songwriter, but at the same time, I wanted to get more familiar with the digital tools currently being used to record music and engage an audience online. Even after doing it for 52 weeks, it still astounds me that in a matter of a few short days, what would start as a fragment of a song idea on my iPhone’s voice recorder would turn into a fully produced track up on my website being heard by folks as far away as Europe and South America. The whole 52 in 52 experience is one I wouldn’t trade for anything - even if the thought of doing it again scares me to death.”

So what’s next? “I took some time off after wrapping up 52 in 52. I needed it. But then it was back to work.” For DeMichele, that meant heading down to Nashville to get started on September. “After a year of recording alone in my little home studio, doing every last thing myself, it was such a luxury to work with a talented producer like Greg LaFollette. It was a wonderful experience.” 

And now with the release of September, it’s back to more of what he loves. “Music moves me. Most of my thoughts and memories are marked by songs. It’s been like that most of my life, like some Cameron Crowe film running in my head. So to find myself on the other side of that process now, writing and recording music that moves others to tears or smiles or self-reflection, it’s just such a privilege. I’m grateful to be able to do it and hope I can continue for many years to come.”