After exploding onto the independent music scene at the age of 19, Willy Mason sought refuge from the hectic life of touring in the comfort of his home on Martha’s Vineyard. From the lush serenity of Martha’s Vineyard comes what Mason hopes to be an equally lush, textured album, he said.
The American singer-songwriter is set to perform Friday at The Basement, with the product of his five year hiatus. His latest album, “Carry On,” is focused on introspection and self-acceptance accompanied by a new, deeper sound.
“I wrote these songs slowly over the course of those years … I wanted to make it a bit more textured to support the songs so that they worked on a few different levels with music, tone, sounds and lyrics,” Mason said.
It took Mason six years to create a new album, but most of that time was spent gathering inspiration and writing songs. When Mason met producer Dan Carey, who has worked with artists such as MIA and Franz Ferdinand, the two quickly discovered the right sound, Mason said.
“I went in search for a collaborator, found Dan Carey, and we made the album in 10 days,” Mason said.
The title track, “Carry On,” is one of Mason’s personal favorites.
“I don’t always play it live because it’s pretty introspective, but I’m particularly proud of the lyrics on that one,” Mason said.
Coming off the tail end of a tour with Mumford and Sons’ Gentleman of the Road tour, he is now traveling solo for his Communion Club Night tour. This series of shows will encompass smaller, more intimate venues, Mason said.
“This will be a bit more mellow,” Mason said. “You really get to look the crowd in the eye and see if they are feeling it or not.”
Mason’s last visit to Columbus wasn’t as intimate. He opened for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros Aug. 29.
“I am not sure how much success he had individually, but the audience seemed to enjoy his performance,” Marissa Luther, marketing director for PromoWest Productions, said in an email.
Although he wasn’t the headliner, the concert generated some student interest in the lesser-known singer-songwriter.
“I was just there to see Edward Sharpe, but I do remember the opening (act) being catchy,” said Ellen Gurley, a third-year in international studies. “I would be interested in seeing him again depending on how much tickets are.”
Mason heads into the Midwest portion of his tour excited to visit new places and invigorated by the success of his East Coast shows, he said.
“I’m just trying to set the tone of the night and set people up for being honest with each other and themselves,” Mason said.
Doors open at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.