Nashville’s Paul Pfau (rhymes with “wow”) is a modern-day troubadour, a skilled and eager listener, with a gift for setting the truths of love, life, and loss to music. His talent for taking in and re-interpreting life’s narrative was honed in six months of personal silence brought on by a threatening polyp on his vocal chords.
During this period of forced quiet, Pfau made ends meet by playing guitar in other bands and by studying the stories of others. His musical inspiration was drawn from his parents’ relationship, and from the great music of 70s singer-songwriters like James Taylor, as well as current artists like John Mayer and Dave Matthews. Upon healing, Pfau took his talents to Season 8 of The Voice, where as a member of Team Pharrell, he was fortunate enough to work with and be mentored by the likes of Lionel Richie and Nate Ruess (of Fun. and The Format).
Behind the Music
The “Great American Love Story” EP is a concept album, a collection of songs with a finite beginning, middle, and end. Boy and girl meet, fall in love, drift apart, work through struggle, and build a life together. Even though the story does have a classically happy ending, the real pain of relationship is present, unblinking in its ambiguity. Pfau is specific enough to draw listeners in, without giving away the goose.
“The lyrics definitely tell a love story, but only one drawn in black and white. The colors are meant to come from the person listening, they can paint their own experiences on to what they’re hearing”, says Pfau. “The record uses a male-female relationship, though the genders assigned to each character are meant to channel stereotypes more than anything. The notion of gender is flexible, as well.”
Pfau is a natural collaborator, and the album was produced and co-written with Austin Bello (bassist and vocalist, Forever The Sickest Kids), with one exception. The EP’s denouement, “See You Better” was co-written with Nashville songwriter Jordan Lawhead. Pfau is also collaborating with fans on social media, regularly sharing the love story of others on his Facebook page. He is currently touring in support of his latest single, “I See the World”, a song about love and family, understanding and perspective.