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Music Blog

Liner Notes: Burnell Washburn

by Austen Diamond
- Posted // 2012-04-05 - Burnell Washburn is up to his word sorcery again. The local 21-year-old producer/emcee takes a second to talk about several tracks off his new EP, which drops Saturday.

His 2011 release Food of Love was one of the best local releases of the year, which -- along with his killer work ethic and sweet rhymes -- helped to land him in the 2012 City Weekly Music Awards. It was a good year for Washburn.

Now the beat doctor is ordering you to eat (with your ears) An Apple a Day EP, a short & sweet 10-song album to tide fans over until he drops his full-length LP in August. This Saturday—with its veritable who’s who of the local hip-hop scene providing support—will kick off Washburn’s West Coast tour. Stay current on Washburn over at his website, BurnellWashburn.com.

The An Apple a Day EP release will be at Kilby Court (741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 7 p.m., $10) and The Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $8) on Saturday, April 7.

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Washburn talks about a few of his favorite tracks off of An Apple a Day:

“The Power”:
The first song on my new EP is dedicated to the book The Power by Rhonda Byrns, who is also the author of The Secret. "The Power" played an enormous role in shaping my mentality during the making of this music and An Apple a Day owes a great deal of its teachings to the book. Secondly, the song is dedicated to yoga. I recently started practicing yoga, and something my instructor stated during a root chakra meditation inspired the first line and allowed the rest to naturally pour out. The beat was sampled from a chakra meditation CD, so all the keys used resonate with the root and brow chakras. This song was made with the intention to ground listeners while simultaneously opening the brow and healing everything in between. “From the cosmos/ to the earth’s core.”

“Green Pass”:
This is my ode to Salt Lake City. Growing up heavily involved in the snow and skate scene, it’s impossible not to write this type of music from time to time. The song brings out my inner James Bond and foreshadows my upcoming full-length album. “From the trees of Brighton to the bowls of Guth/ to Belgian Waffle and the lake up Bell Canyon”–SLC holds my heart.

“Mountain Ears"
This is my favorite song on the album as of right now. The beat is completely sample-free featuring guitar by Taylor Richens (Teaser), bass by JJ Gaiten (optamystical) and piano by me. The song came straight from a dream … well, straight from two different dreams. The first verse came from a recurring dream up in the beautiful mountains of Utah. The second verse came from a dream in which a beautiful woman visits me and yada yada yada. (laughs) The song, like most dreams, is very hard to describe and will mean different things to different listeners. “Mountain Ears” is an attempt to bring you into my dream world; I don’t expect you to understand exactly what I’m talking about, but I’m confident this will give you same feeling the dreams gave me.

“Occupy Salt Lake”:
Having attended the Occupy movements in almost a dozen cities, I became inspired to express my views on some of this subject matter. I tend to stray away from politics most the time, but I had to get this off my chest. “Occupy Salt Lake” showcases how the state of the world has affected my life and many lives around me. I didn’t write this song to complain about how messed up everything is, I wrote it to say, “Hey, this world is screwed, but let’s fix it.” We aren’t helpless, and we haven’t passed the point of no return yet, so let's stand up for what we believe in and start by making the proper changes in our own lives. I’ve gotta be the change I wish to see in the galaxy and illustrate a frequency that keeps me empowered.

“Tender, Love & Careless”:
Even the most positive, happy people get depressed sometimes. “Tender Love & Careless,” along with “Occupy Salt Lake,” provide the balance An Apple a Day needs to serve as a functional healing album. I personally have faced many difficulties mentioned in these songs, and, if I haven’t faced them personally, they are about people who are very close to me. We all have friends and family members going down bad paths, struggling with addiction, depression and a wide array of other hardships, and it’s okay to talk about it. This song expresses some sad truths of our harsh reality but has a strong undertone of hope. We all go through this stuff but we can all get out of it. Let this song be a prayer for all our loved ones struggling and hope that our positive energy may bring more beings towards the light.


Washburn gives a sneak peak into his new EP.

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