Analogue Music | Glenn Thomas

Glenn Thomas

By Matt Conner

Glenn Thomas always knew he'd make the move. It was only a matter of time.

After years spent fronting the rock band Wild Sun, Thomas finally decided that it was time to follow his own creative impulses and make the move to Nashville. He left behind a solid regional following, a successful touring regimen, and the company of fellow players for a solo songwriter path, one that so many make to Music City each year.

"We were touring a lot and getting into the scenes and was doing pretty well, but all my writing was in that scope of, 'Okay, this has to be for alternative rock,'" explains Thomas. "As the band was losing steam from playing shows all of the time, all these songs I'd been writing on the side that weren't working in that setting came to the forefront. I just really wanted to see that through and the shift in writing turned a lot more solo and folk-y and song-oriented than rock in energy. So when the band was slowing way down, I just wanted to dive in to this."

That's definitely important to me, that the songs I write translate well a year later or go outside myself.

"Moving to Nashville had always been, 'Okay, I'll do that one day.' Then it hit this point where I said, 'It's time to give this a go and see what kind of diving in headfirst to the music career would look like.'"

Thomas' latest album, Reassure Me There's A Window, holds the sort of understated, pastoral beauty that would make A.A. Bondy or Tyler Ramsey proud. The results make it clear that Thomas made the right choice if these were the sorts of stunning tracks just waiting for a chance. Yet Thomas says his experience in the band was vital to his ability to put his own songs forth today.

"The band totally paved the way and gave me the confidence and know how to approach the industry," he says. "I have friends in the industry who have been here a lot longer than I have and I think being in a band that long and working in the industry just set it up a lot easier to just seamlessly move into a totally new place and direction."

What makes Thomas' songs so compelling is that nothing is wasted. Each lyric is turned again and again, shaped to perfection with such thoughtful care. Thomas says his editorial mindset is about real estate, knowing that each word and measure occupies valuable space.

"I look at a song as 'you have three minutes.' You can fit in a lot and then, at that point, each word has a lot of real estate and each line has a lot of real estate. Then I'll go back and make each word or line the best use of that space it can be."

Not only is each song pored over, but Thomas makes sure anything brought to the table has passed an internal test of authenticity. Does the sentiment or subject ring true even after time spent living with it?

"I do spend a lot of time making sure that what I'm saying, I feel," he says. "It's not a temporary, day-to-day thing, but they tend to be things I've stewed on and that I've felt for a while. That's definitely important to me, that the songs I write translate well a year later or go outside myself. That to me is why I love music, when I feel more connected. I know more about what I'm feeling based on listening to someone else—someone who feels the same way."

VISIT: Glenn Thomas