Braeden Mitchell doesn’t want you to simply listen to his songs – he wants you to feel them. When writing a song, his intention is for his listener to experience it on an honest level and maybe even find comfort from it, if that’s something they need at the time.

It was from this raw, emotional place that Braeden’s latest EP emerged, a record that he says came together very organically. It has been about three years since his self-titled debut EP was released and although he knew he wanted to release a new recording, he also knew that it needed to really reflect where he is in his life right now. Although proud of his first EP, which was well-received by audiences and included a song ‘If You Were Mine’ that scored high marks in CBC’s Searchlight competition, it was definitely more ‘pop’ in its style – Braeden himself even described one of the tracks as ‘bubble gum’ pop. And while he loves that genre and greatly admires artists such as Katy Perry and Bruno Mars, his style has since evolved, reflecting more mature, deeper emotions.

The new four-track EP, which was recorded at Toronto’s The Verge Music Lab and produced by Josh Bowman, showcases Braeden’s song writing in a way his previous release didn’t. Three of the four songs are newly written – ‘Her & My 6 String’ was co-written with Andrea England in 2014 – and were created from certain situations in his life – some sad, some happy, but all emotional. ‘The songs on this new release are definitely more story-focused,’ Braeden says. ‘I want them to not only showcase my lyrics, but also demonstrate my pure love for melody and music’. One example of this is in the song ‘Glory Days’, a track which Braeden is particularly proud of for its vividness and ability to connect with an audience.

This EP also demonstrates more than ever the various and somewhat diverse influences on Braeden’s song writing. From the early influences of James Taylor and Simon & Garfunkel to the writing and guitar playing of long time favourite John Mayer, he now cites names such as Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin and Lori McKenna among his biggest influences. It is the raw honesty that they bring to their songs which he not only admires but uses to hone his own style. And while these artists demonstrate a variety of styles, one constant factor is their smart lyrics and ability to write a melody that grabs hold of the listener and takes them on a journey.

One of the best parts of releasing new songs for Braeden is it allows him to go out and perform live, something that he has loved from a very early age. With a number of dates already planned in conjunction with the EP release, Braeden is always looking for opportunities to get up on a stage in front of a live audience. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, performing his songs and making that live connection with his audience is something Braeden relishes as it gives him the chance to not only see their reaction to his new material firsthand, but also communicate his songs in a way that’s just not possible from a recording. ‘I love the energy from the audience,’ he says, adding that by interacting with them he makes the performance just as much about them as it is about the music. A natural performer, it is this willingness to share his emotions with his audience that gives his live shows an intimacy that is so important to him and something he strives for above all else with his songs. And of course, his shows are always entertaining – after making that connection, Braeden knows how to leave his audience hungry for more!

Whether it’s pouring his soul into his lyrics, creating a beautiful, heart-wrenching melody or simply standing solo on the stage, guitar in hand in front of a microphone, Braeden Mitchell is a songwriter who will continue to grow and capture audiences along his journey – a journey which he hopes will inspire others and lead to new, exciting musical and creative experiences.