Dylan Jane is on tour promoting "Songbook Chapter 1," the first of a series of demo-style acoustic records released in September.
This stripped-down, folk-inspired album is a departure from the fuller, rock-influenced sound of Jane's first album, 2012's "Paint, Clay and Other Mediums."
"I had a handful of home recordings I wanted to use," she said. "I think sometimes the raw material carries the most soul, and I think a song in its infancy is often felt more purely. I'm always trying to learn the lesson that less is more."
Her background in literature heavily influences her music philosophy and the new album's title.
"It's the songwriting process that really does it for me when it comes to music, so I wanted to chronicle this experience. It is only 'Chapter One' because I know that writing songs is who I am, and I anticipate my catalog will continue to grow," Jane said.
Jane sees herself as a writer first.
"I knew I'd be a writer as early as second grade. I just didn't know what kind," she said. "And when I was young, I'd make up melodies and stories on a keyboard and record them with a toy recorder.
"I'd get my cousins together to put on 'shows' for the adults and try to get my teachers to let me and my friends sing and dance for the class.
"Even then I didn't know I'd actually become a musician, but in retrospect, it's pretty obvious. I began playing the drums in a band at age 16 and began playing the guitar in college. I was hooked after my first open mic experience."
It's no surprise Jane notes a number of strong female singer-songwriters.
"I also really look up to great female vocalists like Feist, Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, etc. ...
"I can only hope to keep developing my voice into something half as special as these women," she said.
Lyrically, she lists Conor Oberst as her greatest influence.
"I think he is the most important voice of my generation, and I'm in awe of how prolific he is," Jane said. "It's funny; he's beaten me to the punch on a few metaphors and now I feel like I can't use them anymore.
"And then he comes up with some great ones I could never have thought of! I basically love anything with great lyrics."
Jane often turns inward to create compelling lyrics of her own and tends to write "when I'm trying to work through difficult emotions or a difficult personal situation, so it's kind of therapeutic. At the same time, it results in a lot of sullen tunes.
"Traveling is also a huge source of inspiration. And lately I'm trying to pay more attention to empathy for others, which I sometimes feel so intensely that I have to suppress it to stay sane.
"But listening to others' stories can churn up motivation for a song, too."
She's currently on quite a roll songwriting and has nearly finished with her third LP, which she hopes to release in about six months.
Her current tour for "Songbook Chapter 1" focuses on Southern states, partly because "there are so many genres that have a close relationship with folk rooted in this region."