Local singer/songwriter Peter Stone is on the cusp of releasing his first full solo project. It puts personal emphasis on his relationship with music, local activism, and his own emotional journey.
Stone’s new music won’t release all at once. The first song “Yellow Breeches” releases this Friday, April 23. Every three weeks, he will release a new track for a total of eight new songs.
With the staggered releases, Stone hopes to capture a bit of hype around each song while building on the narrative of the tracks.
Peter Stone: Going Solo
Stone has been performing solo since his return from Los Angeles, where he was in a group called The Rare Occasions.
He said that being a one-man act gave him a more personal connection to the music that he didn’t always have in a band.
“The songs I am writing now have a broad focus on personal life events,” Stone said. “For example, in the song Pacific, I talk about my move from L.A. back to PA, and the loss of a home and relationship that came with that.”
Stone’s life experiences weave their way through not only his lyrics but the shape of his sound as well.
“Personally where I am now is more seeking the calming side of music,” Stone said. “I like soothing sounds, and I like being able to produce that style.”
Calming side of music
Both tracks, “Yellow Breeches” and “Pacific,” give off the mood of a quiet slow morning with your favorite cup of coffee.
“I’d say to listen to this quietly by the river or maybe alone in your car at 3 a.m.,” Stone said.
The melodic guitar in the opening of Yellow Breeches sets you into a trance as the guitar hook continues to loop in a wholesome melody, as Stone describes it.
“I think I created something that’s sparkling, delicate, airy, and bright,” Stone said. “I was trying to capture the feeling of the flow of water in the creek.”
Stone said “Yellow Breeches” has a little more ‘oomph’ than other tracks. The song ends with a crescendo that combines the main theme with a lyrical guitar solo.
On first listen, Stone hopes listeners get into the feeling of the song and melody. Then, on subsequent listens, he anticipates the story will become more prevalent through lyrics.
Musicians always have influences for their sound, and Stone is no different. He’s passionate about local musicians like Shine Dephi and Hollan, with whom he has performed in the past. He even has a dedicated local public Spotify playlist called “Central PA Goodness.” Listen to it here.
Stone said he gets really into lyrics, and a lot of his music is non-fictional about life experiences that he hopes can connect with the listener.
“I write about shit that I am scared to write about,” Stone said. “About the loss of my long-term relationship or my own depression and anxiety.”
While lyrics have deep personal meaning, Stone said he tries to convey it into a broader sense that isn’t just him bleeding onto the page.
“I always joke that if I could make a teenager cry with my music, then I’ve done a good job,” Stone said.
“Pacific” is an example of how Stone takes something very personal and expands it to a wider audience.
“I sing about ‘returning home to Appalachia’ because I lost my physical home and the home of having a partner,” Stone said. “I hope people see their reflection about what home is to them and what it means to lose that.”
Making an impact
Stone’s music isn’t always just about what you hear through the speakers. He also uses his talents, especially live events, to impact positive social changes.
“A lot of what I have done is set up concerts that are connected with activist groups,” Stone said. “One, in particular, has been Extinction Rebellion, where I’ve done series of concerts that are fundraisers and teaching experiences.”
Stone said he’s always liked to use his music to bring people together, and going solo has allowed him to pursue this even further.
“That’s one thing I love about being a solo artist,” Stone said. “I say whatever I want. No one is there to ask me to dial it back.”
Activism was always woven into his time with his previous band, but he always wanted to push further.