Words by Sommer Brugal Photos by Eric Morales
Miranda Dodson arrived in Austin in 2007 after spending a year in Oxford, England. Dodson and her husband knew going back to their college town of Dallas wasn’t an option. It didn’t, at the time, have the creative energy they craved. Luckily, east Austin did.
Dodson’s love and affinity for music began early on. Her father, a youth minister with a guitar, taught her a few chords when she was fourteen. As soon as she could put them together gracefully, Dodson said songwriting just “started happening.”
In the years that followed, singing and songwriting became her hobby. Though she produced a few records she hopes “never see the light of day,” it wasn’t until Dodson lived in England that her perceptions changed. “I said to myself, ‘if I surround myself with [songwriters], I’ll start thinking more critically about [my] music.’” Her prediction proved correct. Dodson had found her voice here in Austin, and music was no longer a hobby.
“If I can make something true, something that is beautiful I can be proud of that work that is what I want to do.”
When it comes to songwriting, Dodson strives to include elements of both truth and beauty. Her Christian beliefs inspire her, and she aims to echo those teachings in her songs. Still, though, she’s cautious not to alienate people with her words.
“I never want someone to feel like I’m preaching,” said Dodson, “but I do feel like everyone can resonate with simple truths—like the longing for peace and the struggle for hope.”
Her last album, Love Is Real Try Again, reflects on personal loss and recovery. One song, “Try Again,” she describes as “very raw and very human.” Dodson says that while she wrote it for herself, she later learned her lyrics had touched women all over the country after being featured on NPR and Parenthood. She remembers feeling the power of music in those moments.
Dodson says the goal is to be honest with people on a human level connecting with them through the beauty of music. “If I can make something true, something that is beautiful… I can be proud of that work… that’s what I want to do.”