Texas singer Barton Stanley David’s new album Crest released on April 22nd, 2022 is a study in shifting definitions of adulthood, class, community, spirituality, and ultimately, shared perseverance.
If, in the course of listening to Barton Stanley David’s (BSD) new album, 'Crest', you hear what sounds like a man wrestling with his decision to move back home, it’s because you are. “Honestly, it’s pretty autobiographical,” David said during a recent conversation. “Almost every tune, I love writing stuff like that, and these songs were just kind of yelling at me. Snapshots of my life at the time, chronicling what was going on.”
“Crest’ is ultimately about friendship. "We all have friends who are mirrors and measuring sticks throughout life. So long as they are doing well, we feel like the good guys are winning. I wrote the song for my best friend, who fills that role for me. More broadly, I think everyone feels, especially the past few years, that we are at the crest of a societal, technological, and spiritual wave that is about to break and are all learning how to ride it alongside one another,” says BSD.
Anchored by BSD’s arresting, melodic voice and widescreen mixes by Grammy-winning engineer Dave Schiffman (Tom Petty, Adele, The Killers), Crest has an organic grandeur and the songs and album have a remarkable story itself.
BSD had spent his formative years as a musician in the live music capitol of the world in Austin before landing in New York City in 2009 with only a suitcase. However, in 2017, after nearly a decade of recording and performing in New York City, where he worked with legendary producer John Agnello on his debut album 'Blue For East Broadway', BSD, who is a fifth-generation Texan, decided it was time to go home. Then as fate would have it he met Marketa, a Czech immigrant living in the Bronx. A romance ensued, and the singer quickly found himself torn between a person and a place which comes through loud and clear in his writing. “The city’s made of promises” he sings in the opener “Cicada,” “but I’m too old to wait.”
After moving back to Dallas where he met co-producer Jeff Saenz (Leon Bridges, Paul Cauthen), Marketa and their growing relationship eventually brought him back to New York. The couple moved in together in Brooklyn in 2018. Still, Texas kept beckoning. The pair relocated to Dallas the following year and in October of 2020, they married in a private backyard ceremony. Unfortunately their planned New York wedding was canceled by the pandemic.
With live music also lost to the pandemic, BSD formed Kenshire Records with executive producer Shane Stein and began recording remotely with Schiffman mixing from Los Angeles. Studio sessions finally began in January of 2021 with Jeff Saenz at Modern Electric in Dallas.
Tragedy struck six months into recording when Saenz lost both arms following a freak accident with a downed power line in his front yard. With Saenz still hospitalized and the Dallas community rallying around the widely beloved producer, Barton eventually turned to Scarlett Deering, a young engineer and violinist (The Eagles) managing the late Charley Pride’s studio to complete the album. Remarkably, Jeff Saenz has since returned to producing at Modern Electric, which he owns.
Other notable contributors to Crest include legendary mastering engineer Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Jeff Buckley), and additional mixers Matt Pence (Jason Isbell, Elle King) and Roman Klun (Sarah MacLachlan).
Drummer Matt Young (White Denim) turns in a break-out performance, along with bassist Chris Anderson (Martin Sexton), pianist Ben Fisher, and BSD playing many of the instruments himself.
Thematically, Crest is a heavy but hopeful ride. For Barton Stanley David, all roads eventually had to lead back to Texas. Between the two cities pulling at his heart and meeting his now-wife Marketa, Barton had a well of inspiration to draw from for his brand new album 'Crest'. Recorded alongside a Grammy-winning team of contributors, 'Crest' is a heavy but hopeful ride. “Collectively, I think there is a feeling that we are at the crest of a societal and spiritual wave that is about to break,” the fifth-generation Texan songwriter says. “We paddled out on a sea of circumstance that brought us here,” he sings on the title track, “And a storm is coming clear.”
With a spacious and clean sound, Barton and his studio players sound confident and bright. It's a great Country Folk album and the premiere lead single 'Cicad' gets right to the point. Influenced in equal measure by 60's Folk along with a steady diet of Country, Rock and Motown, Barton Stanley David has a voice as big as his home state. 'Crest proves returning home can be a very good decision. Don't miss your opportunity to listen to Barton Stanley David and his musical adventure captured in 'Crest'.