Singer-songwriter Brie Capone first moved to Asheville when she was a teenager, but her musical journey would eventually take her far afield. Capone studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and then moved to New York City to get her career moving. Her group the Humble Grapes recorded a self-titled album, but that project didn’t last. “My band broke up,” Capone explains. “Amicably.” By that point she realized that solo work was her real goal.
And she wanted to leave New York. “I had a few songs already in my mind,” she says. “I also needed some healing time and a new project to do so.” Those circumstances led her back home to Asheville. She would record her first solo EP, Orbit, at Echo Mountain Studio. “My roots here aren’t really deep,” she says, “but I do feel that Asheville is home for me.”
An Andrew Anderson-directed video for “Scars,” one of the standout tunes on Orbit, won the Judges’ Choice prize at the 2017 Music Video Asheville awards. The elegiac tune exemplifies the rich and expressive character of Capone’s music. The next month, she won the NewSong Singer-Songwriter Competition at LEAF.
For her solo work, Brie Capone has made the decision to use the EP format – rather than albums – to release her music. Her reasons for doing so come down to two things: time and money. “I really just wanted a simpler format to put out as much music as possible,” she explains. “I really like a smaller batch of songs. I’m also thinking about producing more singles; that’s how people listen to music now.”
Capone believes that her latest EP, If I Let You In, reflects the character of Asheville. “This batch of songs has all come from this past year and a half,” she says. “I was really inspired by the different pace of Asheville. And I felt like I learned more about myself over this past year.”
The first single from the EP is “Weigh In.” Capone says that the song grew out of a lyric that got stuck on a loop in her mind. “I had the line, ‘I want to go downtown, I want to go to bed. No one’s interesting,’ and I thought that was sort of a funny problem,” she says. “Two different wants at once, on a scale, going back and forth.”
For her EP release show at Isis Music Hall, Brie Capone will share billing with Stephanie Morgan’s group, Pink Mercury. Capone’s carefully-arranged songs are sure to provide a contrast with Pink Mercury’s improvisational approach. Capone jokes that there’s another difference between her and Morgan. “She has better stage moves than me,” Capone says. “I’m not mad, just aware.”
Capone’s ambitions might someday lead her to move beyond the EP format into full-length albums. Musing on that possibility, Capone suggests a possible concept: “Robots from the year 2045 who learn to love. I’d want a full orchestra for that.
“But,” she hastens to add, “I’m not there yet.”