About a year ago, Austin based songwriter Phil Ajjarapu was preparing to record an album. This may not sound particularly extraordinary, but it is because he survived a near fatal motorcycle accident in March 2012.
Phil has played bass and pedal steel as a session musician and sideman for several years. After his accident, he was determined to make his debut. Recording a full length doesn’t come cheap though, and he had the goal of having one of his favorite musicians, Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, REM, Big Star), serve as producer. Like many musicians, Phil turned to Kickstarter, and friends and fans helped helped him complete a successful campaign so that he could realize his dream and goal.
His debut album, Sing Along Until You Feel Better, was released last week. On his Bandcamp page, he explains, “I’m a fan of albums, and I hope you like this one. It’s meant to be played in order, and if you pretend hard enough, you can pause it after track five and mentally flip the record.” He doesn’t shy away from his influences (including Beatles, Beach Boys, Big Star) but he also succeeds in putting his own stamp as a songwriter. He displays his love for hummable melodies and soaring harmonies. There is a tinge of sadness and melancholy in these songs but there is a common thread of hope and optimism that unites them and they remain true to the album title. Sometimes you do just have to sing along until you feel better.