Tear Your Heart Out (Darling Recordings)

Contact Jaycee Rockhold about villagerrr

villagerrr, the project of Columbus-based musician Mark Allen Scott, makes patient songs that are mesmerizing and unmistakably Midwestern. Scott thrives on pinpointing quiet, mundane moments and imbuing them with disarming emotional clarity. Today, he announces his new album, Tear Your Heart Out, out March 22nd via Darling Recordings, and shares its first single “Neverrr Everrr” which features Merce Lemon. Tear Your Heart Out is for long drives where the light shines through the sunroof, small-town get-togethers, and the times when you realize more about yourself and who you want in your life. Across 11 home-recorded songs of tasteful indie rock with understated twang, Scott solidifies himself as one of the most essential young Midwestern songwriters.


Scott is based in Columbus but was raised in Chillicothe, in southern Ohio alongside the Scioto River. It’s a rural town that felt small and stifling growing up but, for all its faults, now feels like home as Scott got older. “I want to wear where I’m from and my family on my sleeve,” says Scott. “I’m proud of the twangy influence in my music from corny country songs I’d hear on the bus rides to school. I feel like I’m reclaiming where I come from and making it my own.” He started villagerrr in early 2022 as a solo recording project and as a way to make music on his own terms by writing, recording, performing, and releasing everything himself.


2022 marked an exceptionally prolific period for Scott. He released three albums, Brain Pain, Ohioan, and Like Leaves as well as an EP, Something or Somewhere Else. All of these releases were quiet uploads on Bandcamp and streaming services, but as he started to perform these songs live they began to resonate beyond his circle. After playing shows with acts like Merce Lemon, feeble little horse, and Greg Freeman, he began to write more music immediately.


When he sent Lemon a new song he was working on called “Neverrr Everrr,” her enthusiastic response inspired him to push himself and grow as an artist. “Meeting artists who are a few steps ahead of you who are encouraging of your art is so validating,” says Scott. “Neverrr Everrr,” the album’s opening track, is a warm song anchored by a gentle, shuffling beat. Scott and Lemon harmonize on the chorus, “Come and look at what you’ve done / Let me know when it’s all done.” The track serves as the north star for the other ten songs both in how it is delicately arranged and how it deals predominantly with tenuous interpersonal dynamics. It’s an album about how people can hurt each other but also how we can forgive and move on. About the video, directed by Trevor Hock, Scott adds: “We looked for deer and found some swimming in the creek in Glen Echo, but it was too dark to record them that day.”


Although villagerrr is Scott’s solo outlet,  it’s evolved into a much more collaborative affair with a five-piece live band. To record, he enlisted Teethe’s Boone Petrallo and his brother Dutch, alongside Scott’s touring band bassist Cam Garshon, drummer Zayn Dweik, and guitarists Ben Malicoat and Colton Hamilton. The resulting Tear Your Heart Out is an album about relationships, friendship, and heartbreak and how you internalize and deal with the conflicts and pain happening in your life. It’s the most assured and fully realized effort from Scott yet. It’s a new leap for an artist uncompromisingly doing things their way. “I’ve always felt a little bit like an outsider,” says Scott. “I wanted to convey the emotions and everything in a healthier way than I have in the past with recordings. It’s hopeful, a little melancholic, but smoother around the edges.”