A year later and it’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact the masses. But as musicians have been hit especially hard with live shows on a global and national scale subjected to cancellations prompted by shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, there is a collective hope on the horizon and singer-songwriter David Cook is acknowledging that light with his new six-track EP, The Looking Glass, out now.
While chatting with PopCulture last month about the songs embracing both the positives and negatives of the last year, the American Idol alum and award-winning artist opened up about the creative depths he has taken with the new EP produced alongside Andy Skib, further sharing what he wants fans to take away from the entire listening experience.
“I always want my music to make people think a little bit and I do feel like with this collection of music… there is a through-line, but underlining all of that is hope,” he said in our remote series, PopCulture @Home. “I think this last year has been such a gut punch for everybody and while me and my family, thank God, have certainly had it better than most, this year’s not been without challenges for everybody.”
Revealing he was also the creative mind behind the album’s interpretive cover art as well, Cook says the collection’s significant accent played an influential role in how he wanted to encapsulate the vibe of the six tracks. “That was one of the added little challenges of doing an album in this pandemic, is everybody’s got their different line and I just didn’t feel comfortable or ready to get into a space, and have somebody take photos, and do all that stuff,” he said of his album’s strong visual. “I think it’s the first piece of music I’ve ever put out — my first album at least — where my picture is not on it anywhere, which is kind of freeing, honestly, because I feel like the focus is purely on the collection of music, which is exciting for me.”
Further sharing how he was inspired by the connotations of Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice in Wonderland and an enchanting oval-shaped window in his home that felt “a little fairytale-ish,” Cook said it was looking at this very opening that he realized how he hadn’t experienced anything outside his home in months. “Playing with the window theme, then it became like this visual thing, so the album cover is a stained glass that’s in black and white, and then there’s like a paint swath coming over it,” he said. “That paint swath kind of brings in this semblance of color and really… kind of creating your own reality a little bit, and building a new normal for ourselves.”
Adding how he wishes for fans and listeners to “embrace the hope that kind of sits in front of us right now,” he is optimistic about getting to the other side of this entire pandemic. “I think I want this album to be a reprieve,” he said, later sharing most humbly that while he is “proud of every record” he has made so far in his musical career, he is “extra proud” of this one.
Grateful to announce the U.S. leg of his 2021 tour beginning Sept. 11 in Cincinnati and continuing to the northeast before wrapping up in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 25 and then heading overseas with fellow Idol winner Kris Allen, Cook has been keeping busy in quarantine hosting several virtual StageIt shows. While chatting with PopCulture about the experience, he shared how getting the chance to finally perform these tracks for a live audience will be “awesome” not just for fans but himself as well.
“The StageIt shows have been such a welcome experience that I was very scared to dive into and they’ve been great. I think just the opportunity to continue to connect in some way with people who enjoy my music, that’s kind of why I like doing this,” he said about the digital communications via platforms like Zoom. “Those have been great, and I think having new music’s always exciting.”
David Cook’s EP The Looking Glass is now available. For more on David and all your favorite musicians, keep it locked to PopCulture.com!