Mitch Rowland is best known as a key collaborator with Grammy-winning artist Harry Styles both in studio and on tour. He is credited on some of Styles’ biggest tracks like “Watermelon Sugar,” “She,” and “Music for a Sushi Restaurant.” For his solo debut, Rowland shifted away from pop-rock music and embraced folk-inspired music in his debut album Come June, one of the first projects that have been released under Styles’ label Erskine Records.
In an interview with LA Magazine, Rowland explained, “My wife got me into José González at the time, who is very self-sufficient — just shows up with a guitar and plays a show. I wanted to live in that kind of world with the album.”The tracks on the album share Rowland’s personal experiences both before and after the birth of his first child.
Rowland worked on the majority of the album with his wife and Styles’ drummer Sarah Jones during the pandemic. In his interview with LA Magazine, Rowland shared that “With or without the pandemic, I was going to write these songs, but that was the easiest time to just shut the door and keep it that way.” Rowland also explained, “The songs are all snapshots [of my life] but nothing’s in order.” Through his work with Styles, he learned how to convey his personal emotions in a way that was also relatable to listeners as well, which is something he made sure to incorporate into his music.
In “Bluebells”, one of the first singles released from the album, Rowland’s gentle instrumental and singing convey the emotions around finding out his wife was pregnant with their first child. In the press release for the track, Rowland explained “We were stranded out in the English countryside for a little while and caught the bluebells blooming during that time. Seeing them is kind of like waving goodbye to the cold. Quite a sight.” Lyrics like “All the moments passing by / While the tub is overflown / Find a shady patch inside of the bluebells / Let a melody run wild” convey the joy of the arrival of spring and a new era in their lives.
One of the latest singles from Come June “Here Comes the Comeback,” which includes Styles in the background vocals, was written in collaboration with his wife Jones at the height of lockdown. Rowland recalled to LA Magazine that “It was Sarah’s idea to show it to Harry. I was a bit embarrassed by it because it was such a 180 from other new songs I was doing.” Styles ended up loving it and asked to keep the song for Styles’ third album Harry’s House. Rowland eventually took the song back and put it in his own album when it ended up being shelved. In the interview, Rowland remembered, “When I took over the ownership again, I told [Styles], ‘I still hear you in my head, so why don’t you just jump back on it?’ and that’s how it all made the most sense.”
The track “All the Way Back” included Ben Harper, who played lap steel in the background of the song. In his conversation with LA Magazine, Rowland said “I played the demo for Ben and he talked about putting some lap steel on it. He really worked on it, he was up there for a few hours singing and putting harmonies together. It was a shared thing that made him want to rise to the occasion as well and we got a really cool song out of it in the end.”
On the release day of his solo project, Rowland performed at the iconic Troubadour in Los Angeles in celebration of the project. Rowland also recently announced his North American tour, taking place in the early part of 2024. He and his wife Jones will be performing in venues like The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, Irving Plaza in New York, and Newport Music Hall in Ohio.