The Owl and the Full Moon, the latest from Los Angeles, California-based singer/songwriter/musician/producer Adam Marsland uplifts - but only after several harrowing detours into the depression Marsland intermittently suffered from since 2005.  "It started with this illness that never got diagnosed properly and never quite cleared up, though it got a lot better," Marsland said.  "It made me sluggish and sometimes it was hard to hear, and it really messed with my social life.  I did get better but then every time I tried to make it back out into the world, something seemed to knock me back into my hole.  I still did good work, but in terms of my life, somewhere along the line, I lost my confidence and ability to move forward."

The Owl and the Full Moon is his first album in three-and-a-half years, and first since he abandoned his fifteen year career as a singer/songwriter in favor of behind-the-scenes production and sideman work.

"I was up in the Santa Monica Mountains hiking.  It was after dark, warm, beautiful night, huge moon out, and an owl flew over my head and perched on a nearby tree. I felt so at peace and inspired.  And I went home and wrote the music to "The Owl and the Full Moon" and thought, 'when I get that feeling again, I'll finish the song, and maybe write a whole new album that's happy and inspirational and uplifting.'

"A year went by, and I never got that feeling again."

Marsland has had an astonishingly eclectic career.  He has proven himself a true uniquely multi-talented survivor, successively taking on the roles of punk frontman, tireless D.I.Y. road dog, meticulous arranger/bandleader and finally, multi-instrumentalist sideman/vocalist/engineer with an impressive resume, having worked with members of The Beach Boys, the legendary Wrecking Crew, 2008 Tony Award winner Stew, Earth, Wind and Fire, Three Dog Night, and others.  (Not to mention, when the mood struck, an extremely accomplished Elton John impersonation).  Marsland also racked up some artistic wins of his own, hitting Amazon's Top 40 with two successive releases, the 2008 compilation Daylight Kissing Night  and the stylistically-diverse, lyrically thematic double CD Go West (2009).

However, the pressures of sustaining a D.I.Y. career on the musical margins for a decade and a half had worn down Marsland's resilience.  After Go West failed to build on its initial success, a depressed Marsland took his road band into the studio for one blistering 8-hour session, yielding the scathing Hello Cleveland, a snotty, satiric kiss-off to the music business, and headed home.

The only problem was the solitary nature of life as a studio musician, which further exacerbated the growing sense of isolation.  Having retired from the road, and inside alone for days on end building tracks for other artists, the walls started to close in.  Slowly, Marsland was starting to lose it.

Finally, the day of reckoning came.  "I was in the deepest funk.  I felt like I had drifted so far from where I used to be, and I didn't know where I was going and didn't feel worth caring about.  I just felt useless and isolated, and I knew I was in danger of doing something pretty self-destructive."

So, Marsland set up a keyboard, plugged it into the recording console, and forced himself to lay down basic tracks for The Owl and the Full Moon.  "I had zero desire to do it.  I already spent most of my time recording other people, and to me, making my own music was a 15-year exercise in getting your heart broken.  But, it really felt like it was either that or jump off a bridge.  I had a studio with everything I needed and ample chops to do it.  So I sat down and started bashing things out."

Marsland had a unique strategy for keeping himself engaged in the album recording.  "I already had a couple of things I had laid down, so I made sure to track just enough more that it could form the base of an entire album.  That way, I could listen back to a rough sequence of the whole thing right away, kind of hear how it was gonna sound, and trick myself into continuing recording.  Because like the first chapter in a book, you wanted to see how it was going to turn out.  And so then you'd add on a bit more, listen back, and so on... "

The result is the ten-track collection The Owl and the Full Moon.

With these ten emotionally revealing pop and soul tunes nearly finished, two funny things happened.  One, this casual offspring of Marsland's fertile but fatigued creative mind began to reveal itself as the best and most focused work of his career.  And two, the depression that had periodically dogged Marsland for seven years suddenly vanished.

"It happened almost overnight.  There were a few catalysts for it that I won't get into, but the shift happened very fast.  The way I would explain it is you're in a dark room, and you know you need to get the lights on, but you're fumbling around forever trying to find the switch. Then one day, you find it and turn it on… and bam!  Light."  With it came back Marsland's "swag" and the energy to not just release The Owl and the Full Moon, but to mount a massive effort to get the music heard - a two-month tour of the U.S. and his first-ever trip to Europe, a six country jaunt that began in May.  Six months ago, Marsland was totally disinterested in his own work.  Now, he is about to get behind it to a greater degree than he ever has before.

"Life can suck," a newly reinvigorated Marsland mused recently.  "But the trick is, don't take it personally.  It's not about you. Life isn't about the crap.  That's the background noise.  It's the beauty in small gestures, the warmth of a friend, the smile of a stranger, the quality of the journey, the great moments… that's what life's about."

Moments like the inspiration found in an owl silhouetted against a full moon...and a long journey out of darkness into the light.

Tour dates:

8/5/13 - Alberta Street Public House (with Rob Wynia, Eric Lovre) - Portland, OR
8/6/13 - Railway Club - Vancouver, BC, Canada
8/7/13 - Owl n' Thistle - Seattle, WA
8/9/13 - Luna Lounge (with Blame the Bishop) - Sacramento, CA
8/10/13 - Pistol Pete's (with Blame the Bishop) - Auburn, CA
8/11/13 - Hotel Utah  (8:45pm, with Leisure McCorkle, Adam Zwig) - San Francisco, CA
8/23/13 - Brennan's Pub - Marina Del Rey, CA
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