While the excitement of a relationship has inspired some of the most jubilant pop songs, and some of the most heart-rendering ballads, in “Lay Low,” bedfashion humorously captures the exact opposite. In his newest song, out today, bedfashion highlights the monotony of a really poorly-functioning relationship, and through his musicality, even makes the most boring situations danceable.
Bedfashion is Grant Cowan, a musician originally from Georgia and now based out of Austin, Texas. “Lay Low” is bedfashion’s second single, after releasing “Anime Dream Queen” earlier this year. While bedfashion has only released a few songs, Cowan has been working professionally in music for years, previously releasing work under his own name. His new artist name is representative of a shift in style for the artist, and one he’s excited to embrace.
“I’ve been playing music forever, since I was a kid,” Cowan said of his musical background.
His mom’s family is from New Orleans, and he attributes the culture of that city seeping into him throughout his life with part of his passion for music.
“The culture there is obviously music as a form of expression, liberation, fun and communication,” Cowan said. “I was just surrounded by it, I couldn’t avoid it, and I decided that I wanted to do that for myself at some point—tell my own stories with my own music.”
He was also encouraged by some of his teachers to get involved in music during high school. Cowan said that his chorus teacher would let him play on his piano when he would occasionally stay late at school. A jazz teacher at the school gave Cowan a CD by British jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum, which he would listen to on repeat on his CD player at home.
“I remember from the first song just instantly feeling less alone,” Cowan said. “The music felt like music that I had been waiting to hear. It felt like it was made almost exactly for me, for what I wanted.”
That CD served as one of the biggest inspirations for Cowan to start creating his own music. He said that he hoped to recreate the feeling he had when he first listened to Jamie Cullum for people listening to his music.
“I think at that young age, having experienced that at 15 or 16, I decided for myself that at some point I wanted to be writing music that did the same thing,” Cowan said.
In addition to Cullum, bedfashion draws a lot of inspiration from Stevie Wonder, although that may not be initially evident upon first listen. Cowan said that the first time he listened to the iconic hitmaker “blew his mind.”
“Although it’s not reflected in my style of music, the way that I put my music together and some of my chord choices are inspired by Stevie Wonder,” Cowan said. “His songs have a lot of complexity to them, but they also have a lot of listenability. They’re palatable. He’s an expert at creating tunes that didn’t have to be boring or uninteresting, and could still be popular and well-loved and I think that inspires me as well in the way that I write songs.”
He tries to be well-balanced throughout his songwriting process, something that’s evident in “Lay Low,” but he said that he never sticks to the same process for every song.
Before the pandemic, Cowan found a lot of inspiration while driving across the country performing shows. While driving, he would think of one line that would stick with him and would eventually be able to derive an entire song from it. That was the case when he was writing “Lay Low” as well.
“I had the line ‘You’ve got me in boxes like tic-tac-toe, and you just called exes,’” Cowan said, basing the line off of a real-life relationship that he was in at the time, but also creating his own fictional characters within the lyrics. “I like the playfulness of it, and the idea of being in a relationship with somebody where communication isn’t the first line of defense.”
“It’s not a straight up love song, it’s not even an encouraging song but I think it’s a funny song,” Cowan said. “It talks about relationships in a pretty tongue-in-cheek way.”
“Lay Low” is out now.