When Brooklyn singer-songwriter Pete Sinjin finished his fourth album of original songs, he was struck with the realization that what made them all work together is that they “all were love songs in one way or another. Love in all its various incarnations: tender, lost, found, nostalgic, passionate, defiant, foolish, hopeless, awe-inducing, life-changing. It wasn’t conscious, but they all fit together and that overriding theme emerged.” Sinjin may not have consciously set out to write an album filled with love songs, but that’s what he got with The Heart and the Compass, which comes out on June 24th. Pete Sinjin doesn’t have the high profile of artists like Jason Isbell or Ryan Adams, but he is a confident songwriter who weaves poignant narratives inside a heartfelt Americana sound. His songs are honest and warrant repeat listens.
Though you might not know it, Sinjin cites punk rock as a major influence, and even though his songs are far from punk, his DIY approach to getting his music out to the world falls in line with the punk spirit. He may have toned things down from his early days making music, but Sinjin still feels like he is channeling the same energy.
“I don’t really see what I do now as being much different as I did then,” he states. “Musically, quieting things down some never seemed too radical an idea to me. I grew up listening to Dylan and Woody Guthrie, and those guys seemed pretty punk rock to me. That spirit all has the same bloodline, as far as I’m concerned.”
Ultimately, as with any great songwriter, it’s all about the story you are telling and the way you connect to listeners.
“For me, it’s always just been about telling stories,” Sinjin says. “I admire the ability to tell a complete tale by carefully placing each word in its proper place and phrasing, and that’s what I aspire to do. I was terrified the first time I ventured out and played solo. Once I got out there, though, I knew that that’s where I want to be.”
One of the standout tracks on The Heart and the Compass is the very first one on the album, “That’s My Heart”, which we are excited to premiere today on Glide Magazine. The song kicks off with Sinjin harmonizing with his band before launching into twangy sing-a-long that exudes just the right amount of grit and emotion.
Reflecting on the inspiration behind the song, Sinjin says, “Some songs you write – either with intention or subconscious guidance – become your compass for what’s to come. That’s what happened with this one. From there I knew that the record was going to be based on the notion of love in all of its many, myriad paths…some passionate, some defiant, some aching, some blissful. It’s all right there from the get go.”
Listen to Pete Sinjin’s new song “That’s My Heart”:
The Heart and the Compass will be out on June 24th. For more on Pete Sinjin visit petesinjin.com.
Photo credit: Kira Smith