BRENT COWLES / VELORAMA
SAT AUG 18
“HOW TO BE OKAY ALONE.” That’s what Brent Cowles scribbled in a notebook one afternoon as he grappled with the complexities of his newfound independence. It was meant to be the start of a list, a survival guide for navigating the solitude and loneliness of our increasingly isolated world, but instead, it turned out to be a dead end recipe for writer’s block. Months later, the Colorado native stumbled back onto his list, empty as the day he started it, but this time he recognized that the blank white page actually held a profound revelation, one that was hidden in plain sight.
“I realized then that I actually didn’t know how to be okay alone,” reflects Cowles. “But I also realized that it was okay not to know, because having friends and family—and the kind of friends you turn into family—is what really matters.”
That epiphany lies at the heart of Cowles’ rousing debut solo album, ‘How To Be Okay Alone.’ A deeply honest, intensely personal portrait, the record channels loss and anxiety into acceptance and triumph as Cowles discovers that our relationships with each other are only as strong as the relationship we have with ourselves. That insight introduces a newfound maturity into both his personal and artistic lives here, leading him to redirect his search for satisfaction and fulfillment inwards for the first time. Blurring the lines between boisterous indie rock, groovy R&B, and contemplative folk, the music showcases both Cowles’ infectious sense of melody and his stunning vocals, which seem to swing effortlessly from quavering intimacy to a soulful roar as they soar atop his exuberant, explosive arrangements.