Stephen Neal is an independent artist who left his Shorewood, Illinois roots in the fall of 2016 to lay a new foundation in Nashville, Tennessee with the dream of furthering his career as a country music artist. Stephen’s latest EP, Forgetting Everything, will make you forget about everything else you thought you were going to do for the next 20 minutes while you listen and enjoy this musical experience.
Stephen explained to us that this EP took a different direction than anything he’s done in the past,
“I found myself trying to ‘force’ things while writing and the last few months I got back to how I started 4 years ago – for pure enjoyment, which lead into what you will hear on this new set of songs.” He also admitted that while touring the past two years, he’s kept a close eye out for what catches on in the crowd, and that has influenced this sound. “I learned a lot about what I enjoy singing and what the crowd enjoys. I took that and tried to build songs that I could also develop into a great live show. After all, that’s what shows are about – getting to have a rowdy-fun time while letting go of whatever happened during the week and remembering that life isn’t as serious and tough if you’re surrounded by the right people.”
If you haven’t seen Stephen Neal live yet, you’re in for a treat when you do.
As the sole writer on every track of Forgetting Everything except “Heartstrings” (musical conceptualization and inspiration from friend/guitarist Jeff Glasscock) Stephen Neal has had his hand in every part of the creation of this EP, down to recording the mixtapes in his walk-in closet. Matt Stanfield programmed the EP, and Dave Bechtel mixed and edited it in the final stages. The end result is a high-energy, lyrically invigorating set of five songs which pack chart-topping potential that breaks genre barriers. Stephen told us he hopes that when people hear this EP they,
“find themselves connecting with the lyrics and can easily drift off in their own worlds visualizing themselves in these songs.”
“Forgetting Everything” From the first note of the title track, “Forgetting Everything” is mysterious, exciting, and buzzworthy with the potential to thrive on country radio if given the opportunity. It explores the trance one experiences when they’re with a lover that completely whisks them away, making time stop in its tracks while they’re together.
“Hot Damn” This song has zero chill factor. From the breathy sighs to the bouncy beats, the momentum keeps building and rolling. Stephen naturally has a countrified Marvin Gaye type feel to his music, but this track explores his “pop” side while keeping his sexy tone, and HOT DAMN it works for him. It’s a song you’ll want to crank up while pre-gaming before a night out with your friends or anytime you need a “feel good” jam.
“Heartstrings” If you’re crushing on someone, this is the hypothetical situation you don’t want to be in. Simplistic guitar strums and passionate vocals to enhance the lyrics that describe what it’s like in an almost relationship when someone is essentially playing with your heart.
“Guess You Were Right” This one is basically the sonic version of flipping the bird to an ex who led you on for too long, only to move on with another lover and leave you in the past. Joke’s on them though, because they turned out to be the one who settled, while you’re out living it up. It comes alive with heavy drum beats and a mixture of soft and strong vocals appropriately to convey the feelings described in the lyrics.
“Inside and Out” Lyrically, it expresses what it’s like to be in pursuit of a real relationship when all you’ve experienced in the past is hurt, games, and toxicity. With lyrics like, “first you need to let go, erase what you know,” its mellow tone and heartfelt message are a perfect way to close out the EP.
“first you need to let go, erase what you know.”
Its mellow tone and heartfelt message are a perfect way to close out the EP. Check out his lyric video for the first single off of this EP, “Forgetting Everything.”
Stephen has a special thanks to his support system who keep him grounded, especially this past year,
“It’s the people you surround yourself with that will make the worst days laughable and I have been so blessed to have some amazing people in my corner rooting me on. I could never thank those people enough and I hope this project puts a smile on their face as much as they have done to mine over the last year.”
Make sure to keep up with Stephen Neal, he was on our list of 7 Country Newcomers You Need to Know, and the guy is going places – I can guarantee that. Keep up with him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and check out his list of upcoming tour dates.