Stephan Hogan is a breath of fresh indie air

Leia Ostermann

It is hard to think of an artist who blends several genres and audiences into one catchy and lyrically-based record. Stephan Hogan’s breakout album, “Hello,” reaches out to a variety of ages and speaks to indie, folk, rock and pop devotees.

This Sacramento-based singer/songwriter and guitarist combines the styles of many artists, ranging in style from John Mayer to Crosby Stills and Nash, and writing ballads that speak to true-life experiences.

“My songs are about reality. Love. Optimism. Life. These are the human experiences that make a good song. Music is about growing through the pain, anxiety and affection,” Hogan said.

He seems like he would be that neighbor who keeps you company, that friend who shares the pain of a break-up or the hope of a new tomorrow. The lyrics are heartfelt and speak to every mood without flip-flopping between a migraine and a depressant.

One of the best songs on the record, “Feelings Will Fade,” talks about the always-relatable topic of trying to figure yourself out and not knowing how to cope with your own emotions.

“Feelings will fade like the latest trends/as I sit back and try to make love happen.” The song speaks to the lonely heart that longs for love but cannot find it, “I’m pushing through the fog/I’m searching I can’t find.”

Despite the melancholy lyrics, the music is not depressing, but thoughtful and vulnerable – true to Hogan’s desire to reach that level of honesty many artists fail to grasp. Connecting emotion between his audience and Hogan is the repetition of being unsure about the next step. Life is full of so many changes and Hogan’s music captures that insecurity.

The breakout song from “Hello” was Hogan’s collaboration with Melissa Lingo, “Always,” which was featured on 100.5 FM as well as introduced by Hogan in the Mountain Democrat and El Dorado Hills and Cameron Park Style Magazine. Hogan’s music does not reflect the current trendy music scene, but his motto – “A good song is a good song” – means it doesn’t have to.

Hogan’s music reflects transitions which suit him perfectly because of the change he has started in the already crowded underground scene. He is a pearl among the uprising indie-folk musician base where in only a few months, his locally-produced album has already sold hundreds of copies and hundreds more individual songs online.

His uplifting music is something to keep an eye on as his talent alone should be a good reason to eagerly anticipate his upcoming music. We will all be able to see how the world is exposed to love, reality and time through the eyes of his music.

In a fast-moving society, Hogan’s music is a sweet relief. The world needs to be reminded of good music, tunefully and lyrically.

Hogan’s next show is October 16th at Club Retro in Roseville. See to buy tickets in advance.

Leia Ostermann can be reached at [email protected]