Dallas Singer-Songwriter Jason Corcoran Releases Peel, His Critically Acclaimed Debut Album as Gaston Light
PEEL Chronicles Struggles And Dark Lows During A Three-Year Stint In The City Of Angels
“Your French tongue in our Southern town. Your scarlet lips and eyes of brown. I saw your silhouette in my gold headlights…”
And so the layers of colour begin to reveal themselves on Peel, the remarkable debut album by Gaston Light, the musical alias for 22-year old Dallas-based songsmith Jason Corcoran.
Like the varying landscapes of Western America, Peel explores the trek of trials, tribulations and revelations bestowed upon this native Texan while navigating the peaks and valleys of three years spent in Los Angeles from 2008-2010.
Rooted in the blood, sweat and tears of heartland Americana, the ten-song opus conjures a warm feeling of familiarity while forging an evolutionary path. Jason surmises, “Peel is intended to portray the melting pot that comprises the heart and soul of American Rock & Roll.”
From the very first listen, songs such as “In A Casket,” “Radio King” and “Xanax Blues” evoke a feeling of a freewheeling road trip along Highway 66 to the classic FM strains of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Dire Straits, Tom Waits, David Gilmour, Warren Zevon and The Eagles while repeated listens reveal flourishes of folk, blues, soul, gospel, rockabilly, honky-tonk and Western.
Much akin to the sojourner of the 60’s, Jason vulnerably explores his personal journey, for better or worse. Plagued with economic hurdles and addiction, songs such as “Half Awake” and “Kiss the Hive” explore the darker side of his excursion while “Close Your Good Eye” and “Crown” offer moral glimpses into the harsh, unalterable reality that “coming of age” presents when facing the varying tones of life.
Written and recorded on a limited budget in a mere two weeks in a converted garage in Venice, CA, the nature of the situation added a punk rock ethos to the aural proceedings and, ultimately, required several “first takes” to be used on the Master recording. This underlying sense of urgency recalls the lightning-in-a-bottle nature of The John Peel Sessions, whereby four tracks were recorded and mixed in a single day for later broadcast on the iconic BBC Radio show. As such, both Peel and The Peel Sessions share a common lineage, that of a rough and ready, demo-like feel, somewhere between an impassioned live performance and a finished recording.
In April of last year, the realization that one’s roots often represent a foundation that no assemblage of isolated experiences can replace led Corcoran back to the doorstep of Dallas, TX where he played his first shows at clubs in Deep Ellum as a wide-eyed 13-year old musical progeny.
The moniker Gaston Light bore itself out of Corcoran’s tumultuous and, ultimately, redemptive journey. It’s a nod to Gaston Avenue in east Dallas, which, coincidentally, is home to his label Idol Records and serves as a written commandment for his enlightened spiritual passage. Jason recalls, “When I returned from Los Angeles, after a brief stint in Idaho, I was living with a couple of buddies because I was really struggling with my addiction. Gaston became this house/street where the fog started to lift and I felt hopeful for the first time in years. It became the place where I was able to redefine myself. It may not last or continue forever, but it was, and still remains, a powerful time in my life. I found a new home in my hometown.”
With a reconstituted appreciation for his Texas roots, Jason will continue to peel back the ever-morphing layers of life as a Gaston Light illuminates the next chapter of his discovery.
“A melodic traipse through folk and Americana with undertones of sadness and hope.”
“Jason’s got the hard-lived, gruff delivery of Jay Farrar, combined with the occasionally off-the-rails screaminess of Conor Oberst.”
“The breadth of Jason Corcoran’s creative muse on Peel is nothing less than transfixing. You won’t soon forget his voice, or his songs.”
Dallas Morning News
“Gaston Light goes from that traditional sonic point and speeds towards a garage-rock rowdiness that never detracts from his sharp writing and keen sense for what just sounds good.” Twangville