Robbie Vozza, a 26-year-old singer-songwriter as well as the lead singer and guitarist for DawnMother, a Danbury, Connecticut-based “indie-mathy-experimental-heavy-ambient-rock” band on the rise, is releasing a new solo album this weekend at Heirloom Arts Theatre in Danbury. Vozza, along with Corey Stroffolino, Brian Stankus, Chelce Hessler, and What’s Left of The Trees will be performing on Saturday, April 6 at 7pm to celebrate Vozza’s record, Swim Like a Sponge.
Vozza’s solo music is trance-like and simple – in a good way. His songs range from gentle and melodious to hypnotic and lyrically dark.
“I want my music to grab hold of your deepest inner emotions,” he explained in an interview.
Vozza, whose influences include Elliott Smith, Bon Iver, Jose Gonzalez, and The Beatles, places great emphasis on the craft of writing and song structure. His poetic lyrics weave tales that storyboard the human condition, and his chord progressions and instrumentation is accessible yet intricate.
Vozza’s father bought him a guitar when he was twelve years old. It sat in the closet until he was fifteen, when he really started to get into music.
“I would bring a Walkman CD player with me everyday to school,” recalled Vozza. “I think some of the other kids thought I was weird, but I just couldn’t get enough.” He wrote his first song at age 16. “I remember playing that song for my girlfriend and her saying, ‘Wow! I didn’t know you could play like that!’ She was a nice girl because it was a terrible song, but in all honesty, that little boost of confidence was all I needed. I was hooked!”
Vozza was born in Flagstaff, Arizonaand moved from Phoenix to Fairfield, Connecticut with his mom and sister after his parents divorced. “My mom drove across the country with my sister, and sent me, at age seven, alone on a plane to meet my grandmother in New York. It was actually exciting to me at the time. I might have been a little nervous, but I don’t remember being scared.” Vozza attributes this first experience of wanderlust to his constant longing to tour and travel.
Vozza performing in Providence, Rhode Island
Vozza said he started out playing pop, punk, emo, and emo-core (“I guess everyone has to start somewhere,” he said jokingly), but as he was exposed to more and more bands, he began to think about music in a different way.
“I’ve really tried to let go of all reservations and just listen,” he said. “If it sounds good, it sounds good. I think a lot of musicians within the more avant garde, experimental genre of music start to lock themselves up into a mindset that if you’re not going crazy or pushing the limits there’s no point.” In Vozza’s opinion, it all comes down to songwriting and craft. “You don’t need to be shredding through an entire song to get your point across. No one wants to sit and watch someone shred on guitar for two hours straight.”
Heirloom Arts Theatre is located at 155 Main Street in Danbury, Connecticut. Tickets for Vozza’s Swim Like a Sponge record release show are available at the door for $5. Doors open at 7pm. For more information, visit heirloomarts.org. For more of Vozza’s music, visit robbievozza.bandcamp.com.