Savannah Conley: A Rising Singer-Songwriter Taking Flight
Like the winged bird on the pickguard of her Gretsch White Falcon, Savannah Conley’s career of late has really taken flight.
Since 2018, the rising singer-songwriter has signed with a major record label, released a critically-acclaimed EP, made Rolling Stone magazine’s “Artists You Need To Know” list, and increased her growing fan base by touring with Brandi Carlile, Ben Folds, Violent Femmes, Anderson East, Ruston Kelly, and Brent Cobb.
And she’s only 22!
Savannah’s been around music all of her life. Literally. Born and raised in the Nashville area by professional musician parents (her dad is a studio and touring guitarist; her mother was a background singer), Conley starting singing and recording at the young age of seven.
As a teen, Savannah admits she wasn’t into country music very much; she was obsessed with British indie rock. And it sneaks into her current style of music which is hard to neatly categorize, but can be sprinkled across the indie/folk/pop/roots/country categories.
In 2016, Conley was awarded a BMI Foundation John Lennon Scholarship for her impressive songwriting and composing skills. Shortly thereafter, Conley’s debut EP, 18th & Portland, an independent and locally-released project, quickly generated buzz in the music industry. It especially caught the ear of Grammy-Award-winning Nashville producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Anderson East).
When Savannah was invited to play for Cobb and the Elektra team, she was only a third of the way into her first song when Cobb asked her to stop. Fearing the worst, she was relieved when Cobb told her he had heard enough; he wanted to sign her to his Elektra/Low Country Sounds label. (A label that also includes Brandi Carlile, Anderson East, Brent Cobb, Rival Songs, and Shooter Jennings. Not bad company!)
In April 2018, Savannah released her first Dave Cobb-produced EP, Twenty-Twenty, to very strong, positive reviews. With sharp lyrics people could relate to (the songs were written during the middle of a breakup), and delivered perfectly by her alluring, standout voice, the three-song Twenty-Twenty left listeners wanting more. Hopefully that wait won’t be too long. A full-length album is rumored to be released in the near future.
Onstage, Savannah’s electric guitar of choice is her dazzling, single-cutaway Gretsch White Falcon. It was even front-and-center in her recent “Never Be Ourselves” music video. Check it out below. When you’ve got a catchy tune, cutting lyrics about how people try in vain to be something they’re not, smooth vocals, and dreamy, surreal visuals (Savannah is fab as a throwback mid-60s British Mod Rocker), you’ve got the recipe for a most-memorable video. The Gretsch Gang loves it.
Perhaps Neil Young has something to do with her guitar choice. The Hall of Fame Rocker has been playing White Falcons since his Buffalo Springfield days of the late 60s. And photos of Neil and his Gretsch have shown up several times on Savannah’s Instagram page.
Plus, in a recent interview with Digital Journal, Conley was asked who would be her dream collaborator of choice in music. “A Neil Young collaboration would be the absolute dream,” she said with a laugh. “That’s a big one for me.”