Breakups, by their very definition, signify the end of something, usually pertaining to a relationship. For alt-country and folk artist Tim Vlieger, a recent breakup served as the inspiration behind Ivan Homeless, the latest musical project from the Denver-born, Boston-based solo performer.
Though he’s been playing in bands around town for the past six years, Ivan Homeless is set to take the stage all to itself with the release of debut album Make You Blue, out July 28. The first single off that record is “Wrestling”, a track with a seemingly positive acoustic underside juxtaposed with Vlieger’s baritone voice and the sober lyrical themes that emerge from it. Even his stage moniker is at odd with each other: In world history, Slavic name “Ivan” is synonymous with power and conquest, while his surname of “Homeless” suggests a struggle that is just the opposite.
It’s these two forces combatting each other that gives the Ivan Homeless project a depth that’s starting to become rare in the world of alt-folk.
“I`ve always been a bit of a storyteller with my songwriting, and for the first time in a while I`d turned that scope on myself,” he says in a proper introduction. “I was experiencing the dissolution of a serious relationship at that time; this was the woman I thought I’d marry one day. It`s hard to say what really caused it, but one thing is for sure, I wrote a hell of a lot of songs about it — before, during, and after the breakup process.”
He adds: “The breakup was, in many ways, the true birth of Ivan. Not only in terms of thematic content, but also in allowing me the time I never had while in this relationship. Sometime over the summer I realized I had enough material that I felt strongly about to make an album. I also, for the first time in a long time, was in a financial position to bankroll such a venture.”