Album: Ocotillo EP
Label: Atlas Aurora
Release date: August 30, 2019
With a simple tease, Texas troubadour and songwriter Drew Kennedy said, "expect something that’s a little different than you’re used to from me (and Davis Naish and Whakaio Taahi) tomorrow." And with that, a pop music side-project was unveiled to the world under the band name Ocotillo.
Kennedy is a roots-leaning singer-songwriter who has won over bars and listening rooms with just his voice and guitar for the last 15 years. His smart story songs fill nine albums––and counting––and he has become a sought-after collaborator in Nashville writer rooms. In mid-2018, Naish––long-since a favorite co-writer and good friend of Kennedy’s––approached him with an idea. “Davis said, ‘Look, your singing style––whether you know it or not––is very pop-oriented,” Kennedy remembers. “I was like, ‘I don’t know…’” He laughs, then adds, “But the three of us wrote a song called ‘Backpack,’ and halfway through, I thought, This might actually work.”
Whakaio Taahi is a multi-instrumentalist and the former guitarist and principal writer of the internationally-touring Australian band Tonight Alive. Now residing in Los Angeles, California, he is a fulltime writer/producer and shares a studio space with Grammy award winning David Hodges. “No one says no, which is fun and how it should be when you’re creating,” Ocotillo’s Whakaio Taahi says of the trio’s collaborative process.
Octotillo track listing:
5. Black and White