"It's the stuff you dream about," says Troy Cartwright of his whirlwind year. The young Dallas native began to see a lifetime of hard work pay off in spades in 2015, as he signed with Sunfire Entertainment, released a critically acclaimed debut album, cracked the top 25 on the Texas Music Chart, and shared bills with Hayes Carll, Randy Rogers, Turnpike Troubadours, Green River Ordinance, and more. "This is all I wanted to do since I was 14," he reflects, "and now I'm doing it."
With so much momentum on his side, it's no surprise that Cartwright titled his new release 'Don't Fade.' It's a note-to-self that he more than lives up to on the EP, bringing together the heartfelt vulnerability of Ryan Adams and the arena-ready anthems of Eric Church into an infectious, genre-blurring masterpiece. The tracks showcase Cartwright's considerable growth, both as a writer and performer, while honing in on the sharp lyrics and soulful delivery that earned his self-titled debut widespread praise in Texas and beyond. The Dallas Observer called that record "one of the very best of 2015," while the Fort Worth Star Telegram raved that "there’s an ease and a polish…belying Cartwright’s relative youth," and Red Dirt Nation said that it "stirs what makes us all feel young and poignantly reminds us how fragile we all are when it comes to love, heartbreak and home." For Cartwright, though, it was only just the prelude.
The ability to capture such intimate, meaningful moments is the magic of Cartwright's songwriting. These are tunes about coming and going, uncertainty and change, finding yourself and what you're willing to sacrifice for your dreams. There are no dramatic revelations here, just the steadily deepening understanding of self that comes with maturing. Cartwright renders the sound of growing up beautifully and in vivid detail, capturing the anxiety and the ecstasy in all its messy, human glory. For a kid who grew up worshipping songwriters, to craft such exceptional music is to truly live the dream, and with another full length album on the way, it's safe to say Troy Cartwright's years are going to just keep getting bigger and bigger.
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