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Single Premiere: Sean Rowe's 'To Make It Real'

By Amanda Wicks

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Alt-folk singer/songwriter Sean Rowe has released a new single, premiering exclusively at Holler. Listen to 'To Make It Real' below.

'To Make It Real' looks at the aftermath of heartbreak, when the reality of a relationship's end sets in.

The song begins with a more traditional folk-rock sound. "All this sky/ All this music floating by/ One day it will be the last time/ You won't get it again", Rowe sings on the second verse before 'To Make It Real' shifts its soundscape and sets off into more vibrant alt-rock.

"Sonically, I was very much influenced by Radiohead’s In Rainbows with the feel of this track and the direction of the instrumentation", Rowe told Holler. "Lyrically — this is for me — a kind of recurring theme that I find in many of my songs. Which is to say that I’m alluding to the duality that I feel is in all of us. All the hidden parts and all the guts that spill out when we’re faced with tragedy, adversity, or a broken heart."

'To Make It Real' appears on Rowe's forthcoming album The Darkness Dressed in Colored Lights, which developed from the serious work Rowe's been doing to understand and better himself.

"The heaven and hell that swirls around in our head — to a large extent, we make both", he said. "So, in realizing that, you begin to realize that you have the ability to decide which one you’re gonna make".

Rowe recorded the album at Hive Studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, so he could work with Bon Iver engineer Brian Joseph. He also partnered, once again, with producer Troy Pohl.

The pair tapped a strong cohort of musicians to bring Rowe's new music to life, including Shane Leonard (drums/percussion), Jeremy Boetcher (bass), Ben Lester (keys/pedal steel), Courtney Hartman (background vocals/guitar) and John DeHaven, Jeff Nania and Joel Yannuzzi (brass section). Chris Carey provided additional bass.

Rowe's album The Darkness Dressed In Colored Lights is out October 8.