Posts Tagged ‘Charlottesville’

“I wrote this record partly to strip mental illness of its power,” says Charlottesville’s Juliana Daugherty of her full-length debut. Captured in the Virginia countryside, Light reveals a songwriter finding quiet confidence amidst personal strife and the political tumult of her hometown. Songs gently sway and swell with understated narrative and unwavering purpose. Daugherty’s nuanced craft—moody, minimalist folk penned with an MFA in poetry, lightly supported at times by keys, bass, and drums—brings to mind “anything from Joni Mitchell to Angel Olsen,” says BrooklynVegan. Through darkness and difficulty arrives a stunning collection, out on Western Vinyl.

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It’s hard to imagine that Juliana Daugherty’s softness and subtlety could materialize amid the tumult of current-day Charlottesville, VA, to analyse their every word for some hint of the planet altering political turmoil that engulfed the city during last year’s riots, but every mode of being continues in the people of Charlottesville, as it does elsewhere, despite the impressions headlines might give. Despite the societal ills that dominate our screens, private struggles still exist, and Daugherty’s debut Light gives them palatable, manageable, and satisfying form.

“I wrote this record partly to strip mental illness of its power,” Daugherty says. She adds, “There is nothing useful or beautiful to be gleaned from the experience of depression.” Though this statement seems contrary to the romantic tone of Light, it’s refreshing to hear an artist speak of their own depression with objectivity, unwilling to be charmed by the gloom. Daugherty wields her songcraft like a sword, not a diary to be buried in a drawer.

As one listens, it becomes clear that Light was not a title chosen despite the gravity of its subject matter– romantic struggle, abject depression, and throbbing vulnerability– but rather in service of it. Light, so to speak, comes when we give shape to what haunts us.

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Listening to Juliana Daugherty though, you’re reminded of something arguably more important, reminded that as world events occur, the everyday lives of people must carry on. Juliana’s debut album, Light, is a reminder that the private struggle remains. That album will arrive at the start of next month, and ahead of its release, this week Juliana has shared the latest offering from it, new single, Baby Teeth.

Discussing the track Juliana has suggested it is, “essentially a breakup song”only presented with the clarity of time and distance, it serves largely as a chance to, “get the final word in”. Juliana’s background may be classical music, on Baby Teeth though, any sense of layering and complexity is stripped back, to the rawest, most vital bones. Juliana is, for the most part, accompanied by just a muted, rhythmic guitar, allowing her dancing, pirouetting vocal melodies to shine brightly and beautifully. The wonderful vocal tone is easy to get lost in, yet make no mistake, in the lyrics are some painfully barbed words, as she sings, “when it’s just us two, you fill the room making your righteous pronouncements like someone is counting.” Brutal, beautiful music, a winning combo in our book, Juliana Daughtery is shaping up as one of the year’s most intriguing newcomers.

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From the debut album Light. Available June 1st, 2018 from Western Vinyl.

Gold Connections’ debut EP was home-recorded in the spring of 2014 in Williamsburg, VA, and features production, engineering, and mixing by Will Toledo (Car Seat Headrest). It is comprised of the band’s five best, earliest original songs written by Marsh while he was an undergrad of the College of William & Mary in Virginia. It was there that Marsh met Toledo; Marsh a freshman, Toledo a sophomore. The fated meeting is recounted below in the words of Toledo and Marsh themselves. Though Toledo won’t be a member going forward, he also plays drums, electric guitar, bass, and backing vocals throughout the EP. Fat Possum will release Gold Connections’ debut album later this year.

Will Toledo:
“When Will Marsh strolled into his first WCWM meeting with his solo EP tucked under his sleeve, like I had done the year before, I knew I’d found a worthy competitor. I asked him to play guitar in Car Seat Headrest. He deigned to for a time, then told me to eat a peach, and formed Gold Connections instead. I walked in on their first practice and started playing drums. He told me I could play with them at the show, then stole Car Seat Headrest’s drummer, who moved away, so I came back and drummed with them again. I also recorded an album for them. I thought it was good but Will didn’t like it, so I started working on songs with rock riffs like Gold Connections did that I could play on my own, and eventually put them on my album ‘Teens of Denial.’ Two years later, I phoned his manager and pleaded for Will to release the master tapes to the college album. Instead he suggested I remix the best tracks for a debut Gold Connections EP, so I did. This time he liked them, I think.”

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Will Marsh:
“I was that kid with the EP in hand. My slick studio exposé in folk rock was placed on A-list rotation, chafing against the newest lo-fi relic by sophomore Will Toledo. I met him weeks later at a show. My solo act was harmonica and acoustic guitar, troubled fingerpicking, original tunes and Dylan covers. Then a rock band hauled their gear on stage. That night they asked me to play rhythm guitar for one show, and I agreed to go electric. What they pitched as a “collective” was actually Car Seat Headrest. I had been duped. Will and I soon recognized that I was both too wild for rhythm guitar––judging by the icy side-glances on stage––and equally stubborn as a songwriter. I had to take my newfound ruckus somewhere else, so I formed Gold Connections. I don’t remember stealing a drummer…at least none with any strong allegiance to Car Seat Headrest. When he left town I handed Will the sticks. But he didn’t just drum: Toledo was determined to produce the project. Why settle for your own campus band when you could rule all two? We tracked during finals in my moldy basement, and by mid-summer Will proclaimed the mixes ready for public consumption. Yet take note of the complications. I wanted to sound more like the Stones than Guided By Voices. My new drummer who wished to play so bad moved to Seattle. I had a taste of the peach. Going into my last fall semester, William and Mary’s library was far more promising than its rock scene. A year later, when I graduated and fell out of the academic illusion, I got back to my first dream. And yes, I dig the new mixes! Are you happy now, Will?”

Music and lyrics by Will Marsh
Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Will Toledo
Recorded at 504 South Boundary Street, Williamsburg, VA

Will Marsh: Lead Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Gabriel Hunter-Chang: Rhythm Guitar
Stephen Axeman: Bass
Will Toledo: Drums, Electric Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
Alaric Powell: Synth (Isabel, New Religion)

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We’re excited to announce the singing of VA-based band Gold Connections! Gold Connections’ debut EP was home-recorded in the spring of 2014 in Williamsburg, VA, and features production, engineering, and mixing by Will Toledo (Car Seat Headrest). It is comprised…“New Religion” is an animal of its own. Languid atmospherics give birth to howlingly aggressive rock ‘n’ roll.” “Just when you think great guitar music is on its way out, there’s always a track or two that keep you holding onto the thin threads that represent today’s indie-rock scene. Gold Connections’ new track “Icarus” is a solid reason to clutch hold of the great roots of guitar music, and to keep fighting for it to stay alive.”

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Gold Connections – “New Religion”
Off the self-titled debut EP out March 31st on Fat Possum Records

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Bruce Springsteen cut a video for his record store day release, American Beauty a 4 track EP before the start of the Charlotte Show,