Paul Bergmann will release his debut full-length album, Stars And Streams, on August 26. The album is the follow up to the critically acclaimed Romantic Thoughts EP out now on Fairfax Recordings. Paul Bergmann tells American Songwriter, “I recorded Stars And Streams in one day. I needed to purge. I had a backlog of material and these were some of my favorites. It’s a short album because I scrapped two songs in order to keep things concise and cohesive. It’s my most intimate and unaffected release, and in that way it’s very meaningful to me. It’s a slow burn. Cosmically, it’s a field recording of the subconscious; literally, a documentation of feeling and experience. Either way, I hope some people find its warmth.”
Paul Bergmann would never call himself a singer-songwriter. While the Los Angeles-based solo artist sings and writes songs, he doesn’t find the term endearing. Such a label makes it easy to identify a type of solo artist, but it also conjures up a desperate effort to impress an American Idolized public. And Bergmann isn’t writing songs to be so “right now.” He’s taking influence from the deep cuts, the soulful cuts, the timeless cuts of American pop—Phil Spector girl groups to Elliott Smith B-sides—Leonard Cohen’s vulnerability to Nebraska-era Springsteen’s simplicity. But Bergmann’s going full Wittgenstein, searching for and establishing a new timelessness.
Writing and performing primarily acoustic-centered songs—stripped down, vulnerable, presented as they are—they either mean something to the listener, or they don’t. He’ll walk down the street, but you have to meet him halfway, ok? Now is Bergmann influenced by Orbison? Of course. Are there vestiges of Cash and Dylan? Obviously. Is he crooning? Yes, he’s crooning. But is he re-dishing yesteryear aesthetics just to trigger pleasant nostalgia? His latest series of videos for the Romantic Thoughts EP suggests otherwise. Take“Drunk (Alone, And New)” for example. It stars Bergmann, adorned by only his signature blazer and his boxer shorts, dancing about in his bedroom; a belabored pink filter implies a humorous dystopia, a confluence of music’s sweet past and tomorrow’s hilariously doomed future.
“It’s obvious that Bergmann is a voice worth your attention, both lyrically and sonically.” – Paste“A lovely little ode to loneliness” – Noisey
Stars And Streams Track List
1. No One Tells Ya (You’ll Feel This Way)
2. Stars and Streams
5. Under the Moon’s White Spoon
6. Always, Forever (stream)
7. In the Morning
9. 100 Years (stream)
Photo courtesy of Clarion Call (photo credit: Samantha West)