Troy Cartwright has earned numerous accolades over the past year; not only was he the recipient of 2013’s prestigious B.W. Stevenson Songwriting Competition, he received the 2014 Rising Star Texas Music Award and was named one of the Dallas Observer’s “5 Artists to Watch in 2015.” In addition, Cartwright has shared the stage with artists like Radney Foster, American Aquarium, Chris Knight, Jason Boland and Jason Eady, among others.
Now, the Dallas based singer songwriter is prepping to release his full length self-titled debut record on February 3rd. The album, produced by Grammy nominated Wes Sharon (Turnpike Troubadours, Parker Milsap) features nine songs all written by Cartwright. At twenty three years young, Troy possess an ability to write about relationships and life, both the positive and negative aspects, with the depth of someone more seasoned. The album is a complete one, full of story songs that will resonate with listeners of any age; songs told by a clear, young voice that will surely age like a good whiskey.
The first single from the project, which features Ryan Englemen from Turnpike Troubadours on pedal steel, is “Next Flight Home.” The mid-tempo song is a love letter, reassuring his love that she is where he belongs even though he knows that the pull of the road and following his dreams can be difficult on her. “I know that you’re burdened by my lifestyle/But I got dreams they need tending/It might take me awhile. Hope you know I love you and I always stay true if it’s ever too much for you…..I’ll be on the next flight home.”
The infectious radio ready sing along “My Girl” is about being in so deep with someone that even though she’s hard on him and pushes him, he doesn’t mind. “Ain’t that the way it goes sometimes you get beat up until you see the light.”
The flipside of love and relationships are on display in “Fool” and “Tell Me Why.” The former deals with a lover’s lies and being unfaithful. In it, he admits to being a fool because “You were clearly wearing a disguise when you broke into my heart.” In the latter, with its clock ticking cadence, he simply wants to know why she left, with questions many of us have asked, “Did I overthink it/Do too much/Or not enough?”
Things turn somber and emotional in “Stuck.” Both the melody and Cartwright’s delivery of the lyrics express the gut wrenching sadness of being left by a lover and as his heart shrinks, he wonders if she still cares or would come to help him if he needed it.
There’s a welcoming optimism in “Come Home” which speaks to the one place where people understand you; one place you can return to when you’re young and things may not initially have worked out the way you planned--home.
“A Simple Song” is just that, a lovely “quiet” acoustic tune about wanting to be with the one that “fits on my soul.” This is followed by “Long Way Down” the grittiest song on the record. The southern rocker is full of electric guitar and lyrics about letting go of your burdens because the “the longer you hold on is the further that you fall.”
The album concludes with “Paper Hope,” a sadly beautiful acoustic song (that packs an emotional punch) about losing a love and wanting another chance. “Do you wanna try again/Do you wanna make amends/Do you wanna be my friend?......Do you think about my heart how you’re tearing it apart. How many chances have I blown/I just need to get you on the phone/Hey darling now tell me where did you go/And why do you leave me all alone?”
Cartwright’s record should firmly plant him as one to watch, both in the Texas music scene and beyond.
For more information visit his official website
Pre-order the album on iTunes starting January 20th