Crafty, heartbreakingly honest lyrics and soaring melodies make a Bobbie Townsend song a sonic journey, and it only takes a few bars before you find yourself singing along on the ride. But the one thing that stops so many of her listeners in their tracks is that déjà vu feeling that THEY are the subject of the song.
“People can completely relate to the music I write because they have experienced those same highs and lows,” said Townsend, a textbook Gemini who is energetic and upbeat, but not without her quiet, introspective side. “Even if they are going through a difficult time, people find comfort just knowing that others are struggling too.”
A native of New York, Townsend’s musical inspiration comes from her eclectic roots. Growing up a large, happy Italian family, Townsend was influenced by a diverse range of musical genres: classic rock, new wave, disco, country and jazz. “My three older sisters played just about everything and I soaked it all up,” recalled Townsend.
A prolific singer and performer, Townsend released her first CD in 2006. Teaming with producer Jay Weaver and Grammy award-winning engineer Charlie Pilzer, she recorded Liquid Emotion. This diverse collection of rock songs, with an occasional detour down a dusty country road, takes the listener on a musical trip to the emotional destinations where all of us end up, at one time or another.
Whatever genre Townsend delves into, there is one unmistakable common thread: her music deals with the truth - or the absence of the truth. “My themes deal with the cycle of attraction, love, separation and reconciliation,” said Townsend, whose music is often compared to Sheryl Crow and Liz Phair. “Some of these songs are from personal experience, some are from my friends’ experiences and some even come from my dreams. It’s good for my creativity that I have a very active dream life!”
To keep up with her prolific output of material, Townsend has set up her own home studio so she can write and record daily, penning songs for other recording artists and producers, including German hit-maker Ulli Weigel. Always looking for new venues to showcase her music, Townsend also wrote three instrumentals for the Jay Kuntz film, Chasing The River (2009).
Townsend is eager to license her songs to artists, bands and producers that are looking for a uniquely different song for an upcoming CD, film/TV soundtrack or commercial.
“I love to sing, which is probably why melodies are so important to me, but there’s something strangely satisfying about writing the script, and hearing how someone else plays the part,” said Townsend, a member of ASCAP who divides her time between Pittsburgh and New York City. “I think that’s why I love songwriting so much. I get to set the scene - just like the playwright does for the actor. It’s an exciting collaboration.”