In a year that seems filled to the brim with compelling indie releases from artists such as Sam Barber to Dylan Gossett to Flatland Cavalry, Wyatt Flores keeps the independent country train rolling with the release of Life Lessons. The EP marks the second studio project from the Please Don’t Go singer.
Flores took to social media on November 2 to announce the EP’s release, sharing the psychedelic, Grateful Dead-esque cover art.
I’m proud to announce life lessons the project is dropping November 17th.— Wyatt Flores (@WyattFlores10) November 2, 2023
It’s been an extremely crazy year and I can’t thank y’all enough for joining me on this adventure. pic.twitter.com/VMQghbxKLQ
Life Lessons contains seven songs, including two pre-released tracks, West of Tulsa and Holes. Also appearing are TikTok-teased tracks such as Orange Bottles and Astronaut. Flores co-wrote all seven tracks.
Flores described the EP as a reflection of his time in the industry so far:
“‘Life Lessons is a series of stopping points in the timeline of my early career. From carefree to caring so much you wind up feeling alone. From being a nobody to being a somebody who you don’t even know. From never moving to holding on by a thread. This is the story of my pursuit of happiness while looking out the rearview.”
As for West of Tulsa, Flores described it as a song that grapples with living out your dreams on stage while simultaneously recognizing the failures that come with the territory of being a musician:
“‘West of Tulsa’ is about becoming the person of your dreams while also dealing with the shortcomings that you sometimes experience when those dreams are coming true. We all say we want to be somebody but it’s hard to realize that you actually already are somebody.”
He finished by saying, “I want fans to understand that I am them, that my feelings are still the same as anyone else. From a blue-collar worker to working as a musician on the stage, my problems are still the same and I still fight through the struggle of wanting to be somebody every day.”
In a surprising change of pace from the Oklahoma singer/songwriter, the title track takes a break from the low-fi, sadboy sound that Flores has made a name for himself with. Instead, he leans into an incredibly breezy, bluegrass-style sound. With heavy doses of banjo and mandolin throughout the production, it’s unlike anything that Flores has released so far.
It’s a nice change of pace from Flores and ultimately makes the track a delight to listen to sonically. The twangy production is paired wonderfully with some simple albeit well-written lyrics reflecting on how life and failure have taught the Losing Sleep singer the best lessons throughout his life.
In the Instagram caption announcing the project’s release, Flores noted how excited he was to finally release the project and thanked fans for their patience, “It’s been an extremely crazy year and I can’t thank y’all enough for joining me on this adventure. Choosing the path less traveled is easy to do until taking the first step. I’ve learned more in the last 11 months than I could have ever imagined with success, heartbreak and failure and it’s all part of the journey.
He concluded the caption, “I’m so excited to put these stories of my life into y’all’s hands. I hope that this project helps others choose a different path and one that only you can choose. It’s never gonna be easy and life isn’t fair but never let this world tell you how to live.”
Life Lessons is another compelling entry from Flores. With strong, introspective lyrics that feel right at home on a Zach Bryan album and production choices that play with modern country, bluegrass and even some heartland rock, the EP further diversifies Flores’ discography while simultaneously keeping the core elements present in his earlier releases such as Please Don’t Go and Losing Sleep.
Flores is currently out on the Times Are Getting Hard tour until it wraps up in Birmingham, AL on December 16.
Listen to West of Tulsa, Life Lessons and Astronaut here: