Wrabel - "The Village" & "Bloodstain"
In June we will be featuring all LGBTQ+ artists in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month
I've written about the enigmatic Stephen Wrabel before, and in much detail, to check that out head here:
However, for the Cliff's Notes version, here goes. He's got the kind of songwriting prowess that has been likened to Sia or Sam Smith, and the kind of upbeat urban pop sound that calls back to the classic pop singers like Fleetwood Mac & Elton John. He's charming, and funny, and a fairly silly on stage, but that all simply serves to help him create an atmosphere of honesty about his music.
He has written songs for Ellie Goulding, Will Young, Prince Royce, Phillip Phillips, Adam Lambert, Pentatonix, Katharine McPhee, Lea Michele, Léon, and many more, and that same honesty rings through his music, no matter whose voice is leading it.
I was lucky to catch him opening for Léon at the El Rey theatre here in Los Angeles a while back, and I can tell you the show was great. He did a short set of mostly piano tracks, but his vocal intensity and honest performance make you smile and shake your head in agreement with every word.
So to continue my theme of Queer Artists during #NationalPrideMonth, I choose “The Village”, which has been resonating with me through the week. Wrabel told us the story of how he met a couple of trans kids after a show, and ended up befriending them, and as they stayed in touch he reached out to them on the day that trans protections were taken away from schools, and he wanted to see how they were, and what they were going through. The song itself rings so clearly true; there is NOTHING wrong with you ... it's true. Whether you're gay, straight, trans, of color, different in any other way, or simply shy, there is nothing wrong with you.
The second song, “Bloodstain”, I chose because it is a beautiful simple love song to a lover you haven't met yet. It's honest and true about the pain he's gone through to get where he is, and it's unabashedly gay. It's honest, but that's only PART of what makes it incredible, it's also just a killer song.
So today, with my heart lain open like the Grand Canyon, I choose Wrabel's "The Village" & "Bloodstain" as my, you are everything you need to be, see the strength in your own heart, vulnerability is your biggest strength, songs for a, break down your burdens, lift up your eyes, better is just around the corner, Tuesday.