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Austin Music Awards › 2020-2021 › Best of the Year ›

Songwriter of the Year: David Ramirez

Songwriter of the Year: David Ramirez
David Brendan Hall

(Sponsored by Desert Door Distillery)

No local artist built as steadily to earn an Austin Music Award for Songwriter of the Year than David Ramirez, and 2020's My Love is Hurricane finally sealed the honor for the raw and real troubadour. The Houston native writes with unrivaled emotional grit, fearless in confronting his own doubts and struggles with a powerfully poetic lens that first found footing on 2015's third album Fables, then upended behind the bitingly brilliant We're Not Going Anywhere in 2017.

Hurricane swirls altogether differently again, though, bound to a relationship and self-revelations that emerged within it.

"I'd always thought my loneliness and depression was fueling all this music," Ramirez confessed to the Chronicle in July. "Then I opened myself up to this woman like I never had before and found I'm still able to stumble upon songs that have richness and story. That made me realize I didn't need to be sad or an alcoholic to write something that I found to be beautiful."

The songs still storm amid Ramirez's anxieties, but the underlying anchor keeps new balance, the songwriter rising beyond his own agonies and ecstasies. Once again, Ramirez proves one of Austin's most provocative and constantly evolving songwriters. – Doug Freeman

RUNNERS-UP: Eric Burton, Bill Callahan, Eliza Gilkyson and Jana Horn
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