Shawn Colvin 

Sixty Seconds with Colvin


Indy: You've said the songs you wrote on your current CD, These Four Walls, weren't as personal or autobiographical as on earlier albums. Has your approach to lyrics evolved?

SC: When I was younger, I was much more prone to take the drama and the discomfort in my life and express it in my lyrics and the music. It was a real outlet. That just doesn't [happen as much now]. There's less drama [in my life], for one thing.

Indy: That said, These Four Walls includes one song, "Tuff Kid," that certainly is revealing. It talks of your mother never understanding you and references being hit by your father and turning to your friends for solace. Did you question whether to get into those subjects?

SC: It's questionable, my doing this. It is, and I can't really defend it. When I do a piece of work like that, I feel on some level, it's not so specific. I just feel tons of people can relate to that, this feeling alienated for certain reasons in their own home when they're teenagers or whatever. ... That's just a portrait of a situation, and I just don't think it's unusual.

Indy: Your previous album, Whole New You, came after your commercial breakthrough with the 1996 album A Few Small Repairs. You've said you and producer John Leventhal felt pressure to have another hit then. Were you able to set aside those feelings for These Four Walls?

SC: We didn't feel pressure. We just felt like this is the record we're doing, and we're going to do the best work we know how to do on this record. We didn't have an agenda for it, and that's just when we work best.

At Taste of Fort Collins, June 15.


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