The Topanga-based troubadour uncovers an era-spanning style of his own at the crossroads of traditional folk songcraft, impressive guitarwork, bluesy gusto, and 21 st century pop adventurousness. The singer and songwriter sifts through a lifetime of influences in order to assemble a vibrant, vivid, and vital vision.
This poignant, passionate, and personal style resounds throughout his 2018 EP. “It’s a mixture of popular music that I respect and the classics I grew up on, because they will always be a part of who I am,” he explains. “I started out by making a lot of Americana folk rock, but I really wanted to explore new sounds. For the first time, the new music reflects everything—from what inspired me to be a musician and a guitar player in the first place such as Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jackson Browne to artists I’ve just discovered in recent years like Ed Sheeran. There are those songwriter elements as well as the modern nuances. I feel as if I’m moving with a new generation.”
Since his emergence in 2015, he has quietly set the stage for such an evolution. At 19-years-old, Corey dropped out of college in Eugene, Oregon, grabbed his guitar, and relocated to an eternal haven for creatives of all kinds: Venice Beach, CA.
Just blocks away from the Pacific Ocean, he spearhead the genesis of an arts collective and hangout known as Winston House. After reposting clips of Corey on guitar, Cody Simpson tapped him to handle six-string duties on a national tour. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber caught a
Winston House performance and invited Corey to open up a run of Pacific Northwest dates on the sold-out Purpose Tour in 2016.
Teaming up with producer Andrew Wells [Meghan Trainor], he unveiled the On The Run EP following his appearance on the historic tour. Its title track racked up 7 million-plus streams as he garnered widespread acclaim from Rolling Stone, Billboard, American Songwriter, Teen Vogue, Baeble Music, and more. Along the way, he toured with the likes of Allen Stone, Noah Kahan, and more.
In early 2018, he relocated to a studio in Topanga, CA. Exploring new sonic territory, he started amassing an arsenal of guitar pedals to “come up with new riffs and sounds” and channel “what the past year looked and sounded like into a six-song EP.”
Now, Corey introduces that EP by way of the single “Wild Nights.” It juxtaposes a cinematic piano-driven soundscape with bluesy guitar and handclaps before culminating on a slick, soulful, and soaring confession, “I’ll give up all the wild times, jump into the wild fires, just to have one more wild night with you.”
“It’s about knowing that you’re so in love with someone and satisfied that you’d never want anybody else,” he says. “If you were ever separated from this person, you’d give up everything just for one more memorable night together. You’d sacrifice everything.”
Elsewhere on the EP, “Dried Blood” stretches from stark and stripped verses into a powerhouse chant. Meanwhile, “Closer” pairs a steady and strong beat with plaintive acoustic guitar and another hard-hitting hook, “I just want you closer, closer than my demons.”
In the end, Corey emerges with a striking signature sound that immediately connects. “I’d love to inspire others to have a voice of their own and be themselves,” he leaves off.“Music did that for me. I feel like I have the opportunity to hopefully do the same thing for listeners.”