**CWTV LIVESTREAM** - Marc Scibilia 'Seed of Joy' Album Release Show in the Music City Wine Garden - 11/12/20Thursday, November 12 2020 8PM CENTRAL Start
**CWTV LIVESTREAM** - Marc Scibilia 'Seed of Joy' Album Release Show in the Music City Wine Garden - 11/12/20
- 8PM CENTRAL
“How many times will I have to say goodbye?” Marc Scibilia asks on his riveting new album, ‘Seed of Joy.’ Written over the course of a trying year in which the chart-topping New York/Nashville songwriter welcomed his first child into the world only to lose his father to brain cancer shortly thereafter, it’s a remarkably resilient collection, one that spans the full spectrum of the human condition as it reckons with pain and growth, grief and hope, tragedy and blessing. Scibilia recorded the album in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, playing nearly every instrument himself and producing it all in his basement studio, and while you might expect the finished product to be a dark and somber affair, ‘Seed of Joy’ is, true to its name, just the opposite, overflowing with rich, anthemic exuberance at nearly every turn. Fueled by soulful vocals and soaring melodies, the songs here are bold and uplifting, mixing heartfelt revelations with an intoxicating intimacy, and the arrangements are bright and buoyant to match. The result is a powerful slice of self-reflection that balances nostalgia and optimism in equal measure, a thoughtful, stirring work that insists on finding silver linings, even in the face of gut-wrenching loss.
“A lot of times in life, our suffering feels senseless,” says Scibilia. “But I’ve found that if you can use that pain to create something beautiful, if you can use whatever furnace you’re in to forge something greater than yourself, that gives your suffering meaning, and you can come out of the experience with a deeper understanding of what it is to be human.”
Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Scibilia was introduced to the transformative power of music at an early age. His grandfather was a barber by day and a bass player by night (he came up performing with the legendary Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco), and his father was a talented singer and guitarist who shared freely of his gifts with his son. At six, Scibilia began playing drums; in high school, he added guitar and piano to his repertoire; and at 18, he took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. After a series of well-received independent EPs, Scibilia landed a publishing deal with Sony ATV, and in 2012, he broke out in a big way with the hit single “How Bad We Need Each Other.” The song would go on to reach #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart, land in several prominent film and television soundtracks, and rack up more than 12 million streams on Spotify alone. (Nearly a decade later, the song’s message of connection and camaraderie feels more relevant than ever: just this year, it experienced another massive surge in popularity when it landed in Samsung’s worldwide “Stay Apart, Stay Together” campaign and appeared in a Water.org PSA narrated by Matt Damon.) In 2015, Scibilia’s cover of “This Land Is Your Land” became the most Shazamed moment of the Super Bowl when it was featured in a memorable Jeep spot, and later that same year, he released his long-awaited debut LP, ‘Out Of Style,’ via Capitol Records’ IRS Nashville imprint.
“Two weeks after the album was released, Capitol shut down the imprint,” says Scibilia. “It was devastating, especially considering all the time and work and heart I’d poured into the record, but it emboldened me to take my career into my own hands.”
From that point forward, Scibilia vowed to do things his way. In 2016, he began releasing a series of remarkably successful singles on his own independent label, garnering praise from the likes of pop star Demi Lovato and Matchbox 20’s Rob Thomas and generating tens of millions of streams across platforms as he forged a more direct relationship with his audience than ever before. He continued to tour relentlessly, sharing bills with everyone from James Bay and Butch Walker to Zac Brown Band and Nick Jonas, and at the same time, he began collaborating across genres, writing with artists as diverse as German DJ Robin Schulz (the pair’s “Unforgettable” is a certified Gold, #1 single, currently boasting more than 65 million streams on Spotify) and rappers Jim Jones, Rick Ross, and Fabolous.
“After a few years of releasing singles, I decided I would compile the best of them into an album,” says Scibilia. “But then my daughter was born and my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer, and suddenly I had to put my career on hold in order to be there for my family.”
Scibilia spent the better part of the next year making frequent trips back to Buffalo to care for his father, whose condition continued to deteriorate. Their time together was profound and emotionally charged, as was Scibilia’s time back home in Nashville, where his daughter was growing up faster than he could have imagined.
“I was watching my father lose his ability to walk at the same time I was watching my daughter take her first steps,” he explains. “I was on these two parallel paths that were so difficult and so beautiful at the same time, and writing music was the only way I knew how to process it.”
In late winter of 2020, a little over a month after his father finally passed away, Scibilia headed into his studio to capture the flood of new material that had been pouring out of him. With social distancing the law of the land, he worked alone, collecting remotely recorded rhythm tracks from drummers (including his brother, Matt Scibilia) and playing most everything else himself. Serving as his own producer, Scibilia leaned into the spontaneity and singularity of live performance, favoring of an honest, human touch in his approach to capturing the music.
“After doing a lot of work with rappers and dance artists over the last few years, this album felt like a chance for me to reclaim my love of organic sounds,” says Scibilia, who played his father’s 35-year-old Lowden guitar on several of the acoustic tracks. “I wanted the record to feel as raw sonically as it was emotionally.”
It’s that rawness that defines ‘Seed Of Joy,’ which faces down heartache and grief with honest acceptance. The defiantly optimistic “How Many Times” hints at Bleachers and Vampire Weekend as it learns to let go, while the dreamy “Already Miss You” makes peace with pain, and the bittersweet “Favorite Part” interpolates Pachelbel’s “Canon” into an addictive meditation on change and enduring love. As heavy as the album’s reckonings can get (tracks like the mesmerizing “Summer Clothes,” for instance, wrestle with disappointment and disillusionment), Scibilia always manages to locate the hope and beauty in our mortality, in growing up and growing older with the people who mean the most to you. The tender “I Care For You Now” embraces the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood, while the stripped-down “Good Times” calls to mind Simon & Garfunkel as it closes the chapter on a difficult season, and the hushed “Tomorrow” promises that the future is what you make of it. It’s perhaps the hypnotic album opener “Wild World,” though, that best embodies the record’s spirit, as Scibilia reaches for a light in the darkness to carry him home.
“I wrote that song as a reminder to myself to pay attention to the good in my life,” he explains. “If you zoom too far out, the world is an utterly overwhelming place, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in anxiety and feel hopeless when that happens. Sometimes you’ve just got to stop and take stock of where you are in the moment, of all the things you’re grateful for, of all the people that keep you grounded and sane.”
Sooner or later, we’ll all have to say goodbye, but with ‘Seed Of Joy,’ Marc Scibilia fixes his focus on the little things along the way that make life worth living. “I don’t know much about tomorrow,” he sings on the gentle title track, “But I know there will be singing / There will be nights of endless laughter / Won’t hold our breath for new disasters / The seed of joy it starts so small.”