I don’t think I will stop raving about this album for the foreseeable future.
This was one hell of a debut album from Stephen Wilson Jr., and the intention woven through each song on the album is so beautiful, profound, and heartbreaking.
Søn Of Dadis an ode to Wilson Jr.’s late father for those new here. The album highlights his feelings of love and loss through the experience of losing his biggest supporter and healing through the creation of this album.
“Writing and making this album has been very therapeutic for me to learn who I am and what my existence looks like after my father.
Because life has to go on.
I’m living my own life, but it’s like his death bookended what life he should have had onto mine, and I’m carrying it around like a train car.”
The track “Grief is Love” has stuck to my ribs since hearing it. The other week, he released a beautiful acoustic version of the track, sharing how hard it was to get through it that day in the studio.
“Took all I could to get through this one. Dad was heavy in the air that day.”
Wilson Jr. took the heavy-hitting song a step further, vulnerably opening up about the song’s creation. Written with Jeffery Steele, he shares that one of them is always late for their writing sessions. Steele was late for that session, and the line “grief is only love, that’s no place to go” was a thought running through his brain as he waited outside the locked studio.
“I wasn’t writing it because that was the song we were going to write that day; I just was wanting to write it because it was happening… the song was already happening…
It made a lot of sense for that day because I was literally writing with someone who has a PhD in grief.”
He goes on to share that Steele has also suffered severe losses in his life, and he and Wilson bonded over processing their grief. Once Steele showed up, he shared the chorus that fell into his lap while sitting on the porch, and they both agreed that was the song that needed to be written that day.
“It was real easy to kind of sing about and write about at that point. We really got deep into the grief part. He talked about his son’s death in great depth that day…we both cried. It was a very emotional two hours, to be honest.
We’ve written like 50 songs together, so this was not just another day in the office for us; this was a special day.”
Wilson then goes on to say that he felt like he saw the instant healing from Steele when they made the demo and felt that within himself. While he thought it was special that day to them, he saw how much it related to fans once he took it to the stage.
“That song has probably been one of the most transformative songs I’ve ever performed. That song came from a very special place, and I think it was meant to, you know, do something and help people get through some really hard times.
And that’s why it showed up on a porch that night in… front of two men who have, you know, had some hard times.”
He then goes on to share that “Patches” was written right after they finished that song, another standout track from the album.
Wilson wraps up the healing power that “Grief Is Only Love” related to the loss of his father. Watching the ending portion of the clip brought me to tears, hearing him speak about how the song helped him process the experience.
While grief looks different for everyone, Wilson captures the essence of trying to understand what to do with your love for someone you love. The feelings are written out perfectly through the song’s chorus…grief is a heavy form of love.
“Yeah, grief is only love that’s got no place to go From my great granddad in the ground All the ghosts in my hometown Yeah, they’re the ones that find me down the road Yeah, grief is only love that’s got no place to go Grief is only love.”
There is no doubt this is just the beginning of the songwriting mastermind that is Stephen Wilson Jr.
“Grief Is Only Love”
Check out the acoustic version of the song while you’re here, too.