Colter Wall Addresses Changes in His Voice & Approach

Canadian Cowboy & Western artist Colter Wall continues to set the world on fire, and in the most curious of ways—with archaic old cowboy tunes nobody thought would ever be commercially applicable in 2020. But he’s been one of the hottest names in the independent country ranks, bolstered by viral videos and major endorsements from high-profile celebrities who like many country and Western fans, are blown away by the talent this young man possesses.

But many have noticed the slow, but palpable shift in the 25-year-old Saskatchewan native’s voice and style since releasing his debut EP Imaginary Appalachia in 2015, and recording a live version of “The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie” at Original 16 Brewery that now has over 12 million views (his most popular video). When Colter Wall started out, his voice was even lower than it is today, and his style had more Gothic tinges. He played a bass drum with his boot heel.

Since then, Colter has dried his style out a bit, singing in a way that seems more natural to him, and more natural to the material, which tends to be more in the cowboy poetry vein than the more gritty, underground style he started out with that involved devil tales and murder ballads. Some have wondered if this shift is purposeful, or if they were imagining it. According to Colter who addressed the matter on Twitter recently, it’s a conscious move.

“I’m glad folks still enjoy those brewery sessions from 2015,” Colter says. “I can’t watch them without cringing. The vocals are very forced. I’m grateful for what their popularity has done for me, but I hope folks are able to accept that I simply don’t play/sing that way anymore.”

Colter Wall’s voice continues to remain quite distinct, and is what draws people to his music. But like many artists over their careers, their influences and approach changes, while they’re often turned off by what they did in the past. But don’t worry, if you like the old Colter Wall tunes, he’s not nixing them from his repertoire anytime soon.

“As per live shows, I always make a point to play at least a few songs from every record I’ve put out, along with the new stuff,” Colter says. “I know a lot of folks prefer to older tunes. Honestly, just glad anyone likes any of them!”

When you start out at such a young age like Colter Wall did, there’s bound to be some growing and changing as you go along. For Colter, it has led him to be more true to himself, and find his place as a popular champion of old cowboy tunes that otherwise may have fallen by the wayside. Where he goes in the future, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Colter Wall’s latest record Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs was released in August.

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