Written by Ashley Paskill
American Idol winner, David Cook, returns with his first new music in three years, The Looking Glass, which is set to be released on April 16th.
Cook exploded into the music scene in 2008 after he won the seventh season of American Idol. Since then, he has been making music for his fans all over the world. He released his first album pre-Idol, and after Idol, he released three albums and has a new one due to be released in April of this year.
In 2018, Cook also made his Broadway debut when he starred as Charlie Price in Kinky Boots. This musical tells the tale of Charlie Price, a factory owner trying to save his family’s business when he meets Lola, an entertainer with a few ideas to help him. Cook wanted to find a creative outlet outside of music, and he resonated with the message of the story.
Aside from music and other creative outlets, Cook has been passionate about supporting the National Brain Tumor Society, since he lost his brother to a brain tumor back in 2009. The organization is based in Washington D.C. and participates in cutting-edge research in brain cancer and brain tumors. Cook takes part in the Race For Hope-D.C. each year to help raise money. He and his fans alone have helped raise over $1.5 million for the organization, something that Cook cites as one of his biggest achievements.
Cook’s latest album, The Looking Glass, is his first since 2018 and his album, Chromance. When he looks back at how he has grown since American Idol, he can see how much he has discovered over the past several years.
“I feel like, with every record, I find something new,” said Cook. “Whether that be some piece of musical knowledge that I stumble upon or a new way to find lyrical inspiration. So, to consciously look back and see 2008 Dave and then assess where I’m at now, can be a jarring comparison. But, that’s a good thing. I don’t think any musician or creative wants to be static.”
With the pandemic rocking the world over the past year, everyone has gone through immense challenges, and Cook was no exception to this. As a songwriter, he was able to put his experiences into his new songs. He says putting his own personal experiences, especially can be daunting, but the reception of his new singles has been great.
“Just the anxiety and isolation of this last year, for everyone. It seems so palpable,” said Cook. “And, with the inability to get out and experience much else, that’s just what the pen put on the paper.
On “Strange World” and “Red Turn Blue,” Cook talks about his own personal experiences with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, as well as his struggles with anxiety. With everything going on this past year, Cook chooses to rely on his family and try to see the best in every situation.
“I try to choose to focus on the silver linings,” said Cook. “And I’m fortunate to be able to do that. I’ve been able to be home with my wife and our dogs for longer than ever before. I definitely miss being out on the road, playing shows. But when I’m out touring, I miss being home. So I’m allowing myself to enjoy this time.”
These first two singles have been out for a bit of time, and is happy with their reception so far, especially since they were so deeply personal about all he was experiencing during the pandemic.
“It’s always a bit daunting to extend yourself in that way,” said Cook. “I think, maybe subconsciously, I wanted to verify that I wasn’t the only one who was experiencing the things those songs talk about.
Even with the challenges, Cook has been able to make new music. He currently has two new singles out, “Red Turn Blue” and “Strange World,” with a third one, “Fire” being released March 19th. Recording his new album, set to be released on April 16, was a bit different in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The process for this EP was, admittedly, more difficult,” said Cook. “But I think those added challenges existed more in the peripheral aspects odf it. There was more safety prep for each session. Packing masks and hand sanitizer along with the guitars and pedals and everything. But once you start getting your hands dirty with recording, everything tended to fall into place.”
Leading up to the release of the album, fans have a chance to help crowdfund the album by preordering the album and buying merch and experiences. When fans buy merch, the album, or an experience, they are also given access to the blog for exclusive content.
Aside from the new music, Cook has also been doing live online shows through StageIt a couple of times a month, to stay creative and help promote his new music. These shows have featured collaborations with Kris, and he even announced his new album during one of the shows in February. Despite the challenges of life right now, he finds release in sharing his music with his fans.
“Acknowledging that we’re all going through this if dfffmaking some noise and bad jokes for an hour is something that others want to tune into and enjoy, fantastic. I’m on board,” said Cook.
As for the future of Cook‘s music, he says he is just taking it one day and one step at a time, letting his creativity lead the way.
“dI made a conscious decision years ago that I was going to be open to the idea of any creative opportunity that presented itself and tries to lean into things that expanded the definition of me, you know? And, so far, it’s been a good formula for me. So I’ll keep riding that wave and let the future figure itself out.”
The Looking Glass will be released on April 16th and is currently available for pre-order.
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