Mid-Week Intermission Friend Edition: The Song Confessional Podcast Booth Has a New Home
Don’t quite know what to do with that crazy story your friends can’t bear to listen to one more time? Song Confessional wants to hear it 🗣️. Whether or not you’ve listened to the podcast that takes your “confessions” and turns them into hit songs, now’s a good time to check out the confessional booth for yourself! Now located in a corner of the ground floor lobby of the Long Center, we checked in with hosts Walker Lukens & Zac Catanzaro to get the scoop on all things Song Confessional.
Hello! Please allow us to introduce ourselves as Song Confessional.
Here at Song Confessional, we seek to enable today’s top songwriters to create new songs inspired by everyday people’s experiences through collecting anonymous recordings of people telling stories, then giving these ‘confessions’ to songwriters, inspiring an original song.
Started by Austin musicians Walker Lukens and Zac Catanzaro, the project was initially conceived as a music festival activation. In pre-pandemic times, the duo traveled to various festivals around the country in their 1948 blue camper trailer / recording studio. Festival attendees could hop into the trailer and be recorded, recounting any experience they wanted.
These ‘confessions,’ as we like to call them, would then be shared with songwriters who would write and record an original song inspired by that anonymous confession. Once recorded, the song was pressed to a one-off 7″ record and sent to the confessor who inspired it.
More recently, the project evolved into a podcast in co-production with KUTX. Each episode features the anonymous story, the song it inspired, and an interview with the songwriter. Outside of the trailer, Song Confessional now operates two automated confessional booths, one outside Fort Collins, CO, and one right in our hometown of Austin, TX (more on this one later). People can walk into the booths and record themslves confessing their stories 7 days a week.
When you step into a Song Confessional recording booth, you’re immediately transported into another world full of mystery, possibility, and vulnerability. What if your story were to become a hit song you could hear on the radio? How personal would that connection be? When we think of our favorite songs, there’s always an inherent emotional connection. Maybe it’s a feeling, maybe it’s the time or place… whatever it is, we find music to be deeply personal.
The Song Confessional recording booth allows people to share that raw emotion on its own in a safe and comfortable environment. No one will ever know it’s you that made this confession. That anonymity is where the magic happens, allowing you to explore the depth of your experience. The more detail and emotion shared, the more likely it is to inspire a great song. Not only is it cathartic in that moment, but the possibility of your confession surviving an eternity through song is down right exciting! We are always collecting confessions and courting songwriters to give them the tribute they deserve.
When we started this project, we weren’t aware of how vulnerable people were willing to be with a stranger. There is such beauty in having an unabashed, completely truthful conversation with someone you don’t know and are unlikely to ever see again. It almost makes talking about the hard stuff easier when you don’t have a personal relationship with each other. I guess that explains therapy!
Since launching our podcast in 2019 and almost not making it through the pandemic, Song Confessional has evolved in how the project is presented. Something we hadn’t fully planned was the automated concept. Originally launched at Hotel Magdalena on South Congress, we’re thrilled to be in our new spot at the historic Long Center in the heart of downtown Austin. Being surrounded by people that believe in art and have the ability to push things forward is an opportunity that’s unmatched, and we can’t wait to see what kinds of stories Long Center patrons share with us.
In addition to the original format of confession-song-artist interview, we’re now doing public call episodes. We choose a confession that we love and put it out there for the listeners of the show to write and record their own songs. We’ll choose our favorites and share them on the following episode. We also plan on launching a ‘Just The Confessions’ addendum podcast later this year. We get so many great confessions that it’s impossible to make them all into songs so we’re always looking for new ways to expand how we use our content.
If you haven’t yet checked out an episode of the show, we love recommending an episode from last season with the artist Boyfriend or the very first episode with Croy and The Boys. Both are great stories, great songs, great artists, and a perfect introduction to the show.
If you like what we do, follow along and check out our socials @songconfessional wherever you prefer!
— Walker & Zac
You can find the Song Confessional booth at the LC, tucked away in a corner of the Rollins Lobby on the Ground Floor. Time to repent your synths!
📸 photos by Brynn Osborn.
At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.