The audiences of South African recording artist Rowan Stuart have seen him progress from respected session guitarist to exciting singer-songwriter in the last few years. His unique brand of Alternative Pop music has been showcased on 3 previous albums, and Hidden Doors is his most authentic and quintessential album yet.
Having begun a successful season of solo acoustic performances in 2013, and having written dozens of new songs especially for the format, he was quickly able to see which songs resonated with his fans. "People started asking me for the new tracks on a CD, and I had to keep apologizing and saying that I'd get onto it soon!" says Rowan. The timing was right to commit the material to disc, and to make an album that was reflective of his live and true sound.
As a result, Hidden Doors contains 10 original tracks, all acoustic, with Rowan's distinctly serene vocals, clever lyrics and fluent acoustic guitar-playing at the fore, now all containing more maturity and conviction than ever before. The lyrical themes of the album range from the human condition, to past and future romance, to conspiracy theories and the paranormal/extra-terrestrial, and the album is best classified as 'alternative folk pop'. It includes a guest performance by Rowan's longtime friend and co-collaborator Jaspar Lepak (USA).
With no lavish productions, and a tasteful use of restraint, the album relies on the strength of the songwriting and performances, which really shine in this format. It was recorded and mixed by Rowan at his home studio, and mastered by award-winning engineer Matthew Fink.