Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Stephen Kellogg is releasing his first independent album in 10 years, and Taste of Country readers are getting to hear one of the songs early via this exclusive premiere.

Kellogg is flaunting his freedom by releasing an ambitious four-part album titled South, West, North, East, spanning 20 songs that encompass Southern rock, indie rock, singer-songwriter and Americana styles.

"You often hear about the importance of 'picking a lane,'" he says, "And while I completely understand the marketing savvy and focus of that concept, I picked my lane a long time ago — it's called the 'words that describe what I believe to be true' lane."

The first song revealed from the North section of the album is "Wallpaper Angel," a rootsy mid-tempo acoustic track. "She was fading from view when I met her / And in just a few months she was gone / I lost my perspective like I often do / I was moving toward something that was moving on," Kellogg sings.

"The initial inspiration for this song was a beautiful young girl I met in the intensive care unit of a pediatric cancer ward," he says. "You really realize what beauty is when you're faced with so much reality and I wanted to write an ode not sure to her, but to all those angels out in the ether."

The South portion of South, West, North, East began streaming on Spotify on Oct. 30. North will follow, with streaming starting Nov. 28. The album is set for release on Feb. 12, 2016.

Listen to Stephen Kellogg, "Wallpaper Angel"

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