Connect with us

Local News

For a year, artists in Montana wrote one song every week



Billings, Montana – Throughout 2022, a group of 25 musicians from all around the world—ten of whom are from Montana—created 52 songs apiece, each one of them inspired by 52 suggestions.

“I never felt like I was a songwriter … I didn’t think it was gonna be possible and the more I thought about it I was like, ‘Oh man, I’d love to give this a shot,” said Chris Smith, one of the musical artists from Montana.

Through the Discord app, the global cohort would get together to talk about prompts, exchange music, and give each other criticism.

“Being fully immersed in creativity for a whole year, having to bust something out every week, it’s something you develop a relationship with,” said Lindsey Jacobsen, a Montana artist.

As the songwriters were largely strangers with differing levels of musical experience, some participants said that it was nerve-racking to participate.

“It’s very vulnerable … I never once, ever, felt anything but encouragement and love and a real comradery that we’re in this together,” said Smith.

Participants reported that the 365-day challenge disarmed their creative temperaments and eliminated the chance for artists to critique their work, resulting in a torrent of creative consciousness.

“I noticed that perfectionism starting to melt away because you have to turn in crappy songs. There’s no way to do songwriting that fast and come up with good ones every week,” said Jenna Greenwell, a Montana songwriter.

The artists claimed to have realized that what makes music listenable is the hand of the creator, or as journalist Ira Glass called it, the “ghost in the machine.”

“It’s those human parts. It’s those aspects that are not on the grid, the acoustic guitars that are slightly out of tune, that are not in time perfectly, that grab your ear,” said Jake Goldberg, a Montana musician.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *