On Tuesday (Sept. 13), Kate Vargas will release Strangeclaw, an 8-track project full of Vargas' "outlaw Americana" tunes. In advance of the record's release, Vargas is sharing the inspiration behind her new songs with readers of The Boot.

A Berklee College of Music grad, Vargas moved from Alburquerque, N.M., to New York in 2011 to begin her solo career. She's performed both nationally and internationally, including at Ireland's Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival. Influenced by Tom Waits and Nina Simone, among others, Vargas combines folk, blues and rock and channels her Southwestern roots to create her sound; she found inspiration for the songs on Strangeclaw in everything from old Navajo tales and New Mexican transplants to a final conversation with a friend and blissful childhood days gone by.

Flip through the photo gallery above to learn the stories behind Strangeclaw, track by track, in Vargas' own words. The singer-songwriter's music is available on iTunes, and her upcoming shows are listed on her official website.