If there was ever a way to bookend life, it would be through a birthday and a funeral. The journey of life begins on your birthday and, for most people, does not end until that final form of remembrance via a funeral or memorial service. Some don’t partake in funerals or birthdays, and that’s okay. In the end, these events are metaphors for the gains and losses in life, the ups and the downs. This year, Nashville-based artist Caleb Hearn, has had a few highs with the release of 1200 sq ft in May, an EP that detailed his experiences growing up. It received extensive praise from fans and notable critics alike and brought him around to working with acclaimed producers and creators for his new EP Birthdays & Funerals. With the help of David Hodges (Ed Sheeran, LANY), Dan Swank (All Time Low), Andrew Tufano (Ben Rector, MercyMe), and Marc Scibilia (Quinn XCII, Lennon Stella), Caleb was able to craft a precise project that brings together where he was, where he is now, and where he wants to be in the future as a partner, father, and established adult.
On Birthdays & Funerals, Caleb displays his growth as an artist. Musically, he adapts to different styles, blending his inviting indie vocals to the sounds of acoustic-driven melodies or creating texture through folk-pop harmonies. Through the lyrics, he displays a more mature side of his storytelling, openly asking questions or addressing private thoughts that have been holding him back. On the title track, for instance, he breaks down his personal expectations as a partner, singing, “I wanna hold you close / Through all the highs and lows / Birthdays and funerals.” He also explores expectations as a future father on “Dear Son or Daughter,” wanting his child to know that he will “be everything you need.” It’s tender and optimistic, just like the closing track, “How Did You Know?” On this stripped-back song, Caleb seeks guidance from his father. Over the finger-picked notes, he asks, “How did you know / When it’s time to say you love her? / How did you know / When to pack up and start over?” While he does not reveal the answers, he makes a good point in that there are moments when life cannot be fully explained – it just has to unfold.
Telling us more about the EP, Caleb explains,
“These songs are really special to me. This past year has been especially reflective. I’m getting older and hopefully wiser. For the first time, I’m musically taking stock of the last ten years of my life. I’m trying to dissect and explore some of the good and bad things that have happened. The EP is looking back while being present in the moment.”
If you would like to catch Caleb in action, you can check him out at the dates below. Find tickets here.
November 28 – Decatur, GA at Eddie’s Attic
November 29 – Nashville, TN at City Winery
December 1 – Carrboro, NC at Cat’s Cradle Back Room
You can listen to Birthdays & Funerals on platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Spotify.