Tim McNary knew it was time to turn towards music when he was working as a personal banker after college and realized doing loans and opening checking accounts wasn’t for him. After hearing his story, I think you’ll be obliged to agree. McNary’s music reflects his thirst for adventure and appreciation for the world around him. With sounds just as reflective of the lyrics that pair with them, he’s a true visionary.
I had the chance to talk with Tim about his new album set to release in the Spring of this year and the process behind creating it.
“While I was born in Chicago, I grew up in Atalanta, Georgia,” Tim started when I inquired about his adolescent home shaped his musical style. “I’d say the childhood factor that most influenced my musical style was growing up in a Pentecostal Church where services could last for hours, and we’d sing the same hymn for an hour or more. I learned a lot about dynamics and the emotional power of music from those experiences.”
In later years, Tim took the time to experience life outside of Atlanta. Really outside of Atlanta. All the way in South America, actually. During this time is when he started songwriting.
“Everything was new…It was a re-birth in many ways,” he explained. “A certain wonder overtakes you when you are in a new and captivating place far away from what you’ve known. I think it pushed me to express myself artistically in some way. The other factor was that I’d been terribly busy putting myself through school and starting a non-profit during my college years. I’d wanted to dedicate myself more to music but had never had the time. Those years in South America were the perfect time to explore the latent desire I’d had to begin developing as an artist.”
The product of that artistic exploration was, Above the Trees, Tim’s new album. A piece about the album on Tim’s website says;
Above The Trees, was written during a roller-coaster 5 year period that included periods of homelessness, 2 band break ups, the theft of my van and musical equipment, bouts with depression, the discovery of meditation and it’s life-changing impact, and moving to Nashville, Tennessee in the Summer of 2013 .
“There’s a running theme in the songs of transcending (rising ‘above the trees’) to another realm that is beyond the comprehension of our minds…A place of peace and steady euphoria. We all try to get there in different ways: meditation, sex, drugs, worship, prayer, marriage, exercise, God, etc.,” he explained.
Tim has released four songs as a teaser to the entirety of the album.
“I chose songs attempting to achieve a balance between the mood and subject matter of the selection.
First and foremost, I hope people gain an emotional experience from listening to the album. Secondly, a feeling of connection to themselves and their fellow humans and perhaps some insights into the human condition.”
He explains that he is more inspired by emotions than accomplishments.
“Nature, sincere & passionate people, poets like Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Rilke, and Rumi, and emotions that bubble up and demand to be exorcised.”
When talking to a songwriter, I always ask the question of whether or not they’ve heard a song lately that they wish they’ve written.
“There are too many to name,” Tim said honestly. “Two that comes to mind immediately are ‘Yellow Eyes’ by Rayland Baxter and ‘Set My Body Free’ by my good friend Joel Levi. Both are Nashville based artists.”
Tim has shared the stage with many amazing names in music, off the top of his head, his favorite being the Civil Wars. He’s been compared to the sounds of Ryan Adams, but I think he’s unique enough to be categorized in a league of his own. You may have seen his face around Nashville lately on the walls of your favorite coffee shop or BBQ joint as he had a show at The Basement on Monday night.
His music transcends and takes you to a simpler time and I’m excited to share it with all of you: