At the end of 2008, Delaney Gibson was in a rut. Dealing with everything from the end of a long term relationship to her recently released debut record, The Worst Kind Of Way, that despite critical praise, was buried by her then record label, the singer songwriter, much like the country, was knee deep in recession and moving fast towards a depression.
From great misery though often comes great art and that’s exactly what happened in Delaney’s case. Her nomination in multiple categories to a local music awards show came to the attention of producers and songwriters, Aaron Goldberg and Chris Jay, who are best known as members of the popular rock band, Army of Freshmen. Goldberg and Jay, who also live in Gibson’s hometown of Ventura, California had never met Gibson before and without her knowledge, came to see her play in December of 2008 at a local show. Blown away by her natural vocal ability and songwriting strength, immediately after her set, the two introduced themselves, and on the spot offered, to produce Gibson’s next record.
“I was losing sight in who I was personally and professionally,” explains Gibson. “I had released an album and had some success with it but I still felt like I was up against a wall. I was seriously considering moving to Nashville and just singing other people’s songs. Giving up in a way. It was a scary time in my life but when I started writing again and putting my feelings into the music, the songs came pouring out me. Looking back now I wasn’t losing sight of anything. I was finding out who I really was.”
Inspired by the new year and working relationships, Gibson embarked on a whirl wind period of the most expressive songwriting of her career. Touching on all her recent highs and lows, the result is Hurricanes and Forget Me Nots, a powerful 10 song collection of introspective and moving songs.
From the anthemic opener, “Paper Boats” to the closer, a haunting jazz laced hymn, “Happy New Year”, the album is filled with striking imagery as well as a respectable share of hooks like the radio ready, “La Di Da” and the rocking, “Better Version of Me”. As for the ballads, you’d be hard pressed to find more achingly beautiful songs than “Careful” or "Kill Me Now".
“Well... I am a singer songwriter and with that things can get a little serious from time to time.” laughs, Gibson. “Still I always try to have fun at my live shows. I try and keep it light and off the cuff. I wanted that to show through on this album and in these songs. So lyrically I try to approach some of the subject matter from a different light.”
This isn’t "woe is me girl loves boy fluff.” Gibson’s observations on life and relationships both good and bad have a unique lyrical perspective presented with her already well documented vocal and musical ability. Performing nearly all her life, Gibson, a pianist and guitarist, has studied opera and as a vocalist has backed musical legends such as Barbara Streisand and Andre Bocelli in concert. While she can be seen and heard in multiple commercials and TV shows and despite all the professional work her vocal ability has provided, her real passion has always been her own songwriting and performing.
“In 2008 I played over 200 shows. West coast, East coast, Midwest, anywhere that would have me. Almost secretly. No label pushes. No internet campaigns. It was more for me than anything else. I really wanted to focus on my craft. Watching how people react to certain songs that a stranger is playing was fascinating. I found that as long as the songs were real and honest they got it. I didn’t intend to make my second record so soon after my first but the way my life was going, I almost had to. It’s the record I also wanted to make.”
It may be the record that Gibson has always wanted to make but it's also the record that proves Gibson is no longer “that girl with the amazing voice” but, now too that girl with the amazing songs.