Posts Tagged ‘Mama Bird Recording Co’

Johanna Samuels broadens the definition of pop music. The melodically and lyrically focused singer-songwriter stands on the shoulders of the great musicians of the 1960’s and 70’s she manages to create a sound and sense of musical place that is completely her own. Although Johanna Samuels has been sharing her music with the world since back in 2016, there’s a certain buzz around her of late that suggests an artist very much on the up. Back in October, Johanna shared a new single, “High Tide for One”, the first offering from her upcoming Sam Evian-produced album, due this Spring as a co-release between up-and-coming UK label, Basin Rock and Mama Bird Recording Co. The album was recorded in the Castskill Mountains alongside a small band of musicians, and features guest vocals from a stunning array of female singers, including the likes of A.O. Gerber, Lomelda and Courtney Marie Andrews.

Born in New York, and named after a Bob Dylan song, Johanna’s path to music was never really in doubt. After re-locating to Los Angeles, Johanna has spent the best part of a decade honing her song writing craft and learning to find a way to balance her inherent way with a melody while crucially finding plenty to say. Thankfully, High Tide for One was a particularly exciting example of Johanna achieving exactly that. The track was written in response to watching Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as Johanna recalls, “it felt a bit hopeless. I felt exhausted, and for a while, I didn’t have the strength to explain it or try to talk it through with anyone who wasn’t working to change it”. These feelings are set to a perhaps contrastingly lush backing, as warm Rhodes-piano and a gorgeous-meander of slide-guitar, the breeziness of the musical backing set against the steely quality of the vocal, as she sings, “last night I saw that man on TV, his tears tasted like silver bullets and supremacy“. It may only be a single track, yet there was plenty within it to suggest Johanna Samuels might just be one of 2021’s most important musical voices.

Released October 27th, 2020
2020 Mama Bird Recording Co.

Despite its hefty title, James Wallace’s second album under the cosmic moniker Skyway Man positively blooms with vivacity. Wallace explores the very fabric of living through both ends of the telescope: Maybe it’s reminiscing on that singular feeling, way back when you were 18. 

The sophomore long-player from cosmic country innovator James Wallace’s Skyway Man project, World Only Ends When You Die is a ramshackle road trip billed as a “psych-folk opera” that evokes a Muscle Shoals-backed Grateful Dead piloting a boogie van into the Greek underworld. A classic hero’s journey spurned by the twin existential crises of paternal death and a world being torn asunder by disease and competing political ideologies, the ten-track set is awash in metaphysical angst, yet positively ebullient in its response to it.

Recorded at Spacebomb in Wallace’s native Virginia with the studio’s house band and Big Easy vocal duo the Lostines, Skyway Man effusively combines elements of country, folk, blues, gospel, R&B, and indie rock, sometimes all at once — sonic touchstones include Randy Newman, Lee Hazlewood, Daniel Romano, Norman Greenbaum, Flaming Lips, and Dennis Wilson. Commencing with the slow-burning “Muddy Water,” Wallace knows that the road to enlightenment is fraught with danger (“Muddy water like a piece of ancient church glass flowing/We’re on the darkest stretch, but the bend ahead is glowing”), but he remains sanguine throughout the expedition. The radiant gospel-rock suite “Sometimes Darkness/Railroad/Sometimes Darkness Reprise” looks to Jesus for affirmation, while the airy “Rise of the Integratron” peers into the inky blue, pairing billowy Canterbury-style progressive rock with a snippet of a 1953 speech by UFOlogist George Van Tassel. It’s heady stuff, but Wallace and company imbue the proceedings with so much heart and soul — and considerable pop acumen — that the compulsion to hear and see where this sci-fi Canterbury Tales will go next never abates.

Written by James Wallace

The Musicians: James Wallace Guitars – Alan Parker Additional Guitars – Sean Thompson Drums/Percussion – Pinson Chanselle Upright Bass – Nate Mathews Electric Bass – Ric Alessio Piano/Keys – James Wallace Saxophone – Caleb Hickman Background Vocals – Casey Jane, Camille Weatherford

James Wallace’s new album as Skyway Man, The World Only Ends When You Die, is a cosmic and chooglin’ tour de force … he’s achieved something extraordinary here.”
– UNCUT

“A psych-folk opera of spaced-out country and sci-fi gospel and blues, laced with mythology and nods to George Van Tassel, legendary ufologist … The new Skyway Man album is really incredible.” 
– AQUARIUM DRUNKARD​

“This thing is something else, folks.”
– NEW COMMUTE

The tenth and final chapter from Skyway Man’s ‘The World Only Ends When You Die’, out now from Mama Bird Recording Co. Released October 23rd, 2020

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Since announcing her third full-length record “New Truth”, Jenny O. (full name Jennifer Anne Ognibene) has shared a new song every two weeks. Now she has shared the album’s fourth single “Even If I Tried.” New Truth is due out June 19th via Mama Bird Recording Co. On the new song Ognibene delivers an upbeat and sunny melody about breaking free from the toxic people in your life. She rejoices in discovering she is better off without the “dead inside” accomplice: “But good news!/No one has to talk to you/The world keeps turning/And you, you fade away.”

In a press release Ognibene shared her inspiration behind the new track: “Everyone knows somebody who is always a critic and just won’t listen. Often those with the strongest opinions have the most uninspired lives. People exist this way for years, decades, generations. Fortunately, you can ditch them for supportive friends and a life of curiosity and fun.”

Prior to “Even If I Tried,” Ognibene released the track “What About That Day,” a cathartic daydream featuring Ognibene’s gentle timbre and surrounding ethereal harmonies. She also recently shared this note relating to her forthcoming album:

“Hey, Here’s my new album, it’s called “New Truth”New Truth is coming to terms with my deaf ear. It’s any new accepted reality. It’s the hilarious way I wore my hair for a week before cutting it away from my face. The songs are as personal as ever—continued misadventures of an introvert in Hollywood. I think it’s relatable—heartache and epiphany—I hope people like it?

I’m singing lower sometimes, I always assumed I’d move back into my lower register, I finally have. Hard to get power that way, but I don’t sound like a little kid. I’ll have to practice singing them a lot, and it will be trickier to pull off live. I recorded this album with Kevin Ratterman, who is so fast, so patient, willing to try anything, and so much fun. It was important to me to have a good time while making it, and we did. I played all the guitars on this record. I wanted to channel the freedom of the Home and Work EPs, but recorded way better. I took solos! I played bass, except Rachel Goodrich did the funkier two songs because her time is better than mine. The past couple albums were tracked live to tape with a rhythm section, so someone would quickly learn something great and close to my demo but not exactly. I wanted to play bass this time.

Kevin set up his nice microphone at my place so I could do all my vocals alone while he was making another record. It’s the best way—much faster and more free to experiment by myself. Building harmonies on a whole album with an engineer can get frustrating, communicating between each take.

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All songs written by Jenny O.
Jennifer Ognibene – The Sleepy Anne Publishing Company

Releases June 19th, 2020

2020 Mama Bird Recording Co.

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“What’s New, Tomboy?” could be considered Damien Jurado’s finest collection of music to date, with songs exuding the inviting warmth of a lone porch light gleaming amidst the disorienting darkness. Though more stripped and grounded in their execution, songs like “Sandra”, “Ochoa” and “Alice Hyatt” are generous and candid in their vocabulary, eschewing the sometimes abstruse imagery of Jurado’s previous releases. “There is no hiding on these tracks.” Though What’s New, Tomboy? is the first Damien Jurado record that ends with a question mark, he has never sounded more assured and content in giving up his ghosts: “I’m only living sentences // That were long before I got here.”

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Damien Jurado: Guitar, Vocals, Percussion, Mellotron
Josh Gordon: Bass, Electric Guitar, Drums, Percussion, Hammond C3, Rhodes, Mellotron, Drum Machines

All songs written & performed by Damien Jurado
Released May 1st, 2020
Mama Bird Recording Co.

jenny o

Since the announcement of her upcoming new album, ‘New Truth,’ musician Jenny O has released a new single every two weeks, dropping most recently “Even If I Tried,” a 60s pop adjacent banger that revels in its newfound confidence as the single captures the sentiment of a person whose finally said “F You” to all the nonsense and toxic people.

“I’m in mono now forever / It was there and now it’s gone” Jenny O. sings on the opening track to, and debut single from, New Truth, her first LP since losing hearing in her right ear. This shrugging happenstance tends to populate much of the rest of the album, which often touches on the recent memory of a soured relationship, as well as the performative and totally meaningless conversations we suffer through on a daily basis.

In spite of this state of resignation, though, New Truth has a much-needed calming tone to it, with O. delivering smooth layered vocals over chilled-out guitar solos. Even if the playful details were omitted from the final recordings—such as the “Muppet background harmonies” on “God Knows Why” detailed below—the songs all still feel breezy, especially with the help of the newly published “Old Habits” video.

Finding the perfect balance between an upbeat melody and more serious lyrics, “Even If I Tried” sounds at first like a tune that could have been pulled right from the feel good catalogue of a California coast band straight out of the 1960s. Dig deeper, and this psychedelic pop song unfolds as it follows one person’s realization that the people letting her down will never change.

“Everyone knows somebody who is always a critic and just won’t listen. Often those with the strongest opinions have the most uninspired lives,” O says. “People exist this way for years, decades, generations. Fortunately, you can ditch them for supportive friends and a life of curiosity and fun.”

Jenny O’s latest string of singles and subsequent upcoming album come after a label change — O is now with Mama Bird Recording Co. — and since the loss of hearing in one ear. Personal and uninhibited, O notes she is back doing what she loves as she continues to push her music to new places.

1. “God Knows Why”

Well, I lost most of the hearing in my right ear so I wrote this after that happened. Each verse is about a different inexplicable event. Originally it had really funny Muppet background harmonies, but they were fighting with the guitar so in the end I took them out. They still make me laugh in their absence and I can’t wait to do them live sometime.

2. “I Don’t Want to Live Alone Anymore”

I had been living alone for a few years when I wrote this. I’m amused by the effects of solitude and obsessed with the arrangement of my few possessions.

3. “Color Love”

I want this song to feel like getting in a small boat with a partner and rowing all night through a dimly lit, rainforest-river kind of Disney ride, with creatures and plants and thousands of stars. I imagine we both have to work in the morning, but we’ve managed to have this night for ourselves. It’s about growing-old-together love, and how lucky that is, and how important it is to always be maintaining it and not take it for granted.

4. “Old Habits”

This is the crux of it all, the journey. Trying to improve or connect, missing, trying again with insight, missing differently, and on and on. We can transform, and decades later we can still mess up. The key is to enjoy and be in awe of the unending process. Also, what’s funny to me is while I was first writing it, it felt like a distraction. I was trying to finish all the songs for New Truth and I kept hearing this one and playing it, just chords and melody, searching for lyrics, but felt like I should be working on another one that was closer to being finished. It was weeks before I realized it was important for the record and, in fact, a favourite. How stupid it is to feel guilty when working on one song over another.

5. “What About That Day”

This is about looking back at a romantic day after a relationship has soured. It’s over—the actual day-to-day has been wrought with conflict. The only reason it went on so long was because of the magic of that one day. We’ve repeated its memory over and over again.

6. “Not My Guy”

I gave this one a long guitar solo in elegy to the twentieth century (RIP). I can’t wait to play it live with my band.

7. “Even If I Tried”

I wrote this chorus for my last album, Peace & Information, but I couldn’t figure out the verse lyrics until I was writing New Truth. I was excited about achieving my second song ever to start with the chorus. This was, for me, an accomplishment, as I love a pop song that starts with the chorus, but it just never comes together that way. I was crying over a breakup while I recorded the guitar solo, but had to finish the final session—that’s funny to me now.

8. “Small Talk”

I’m awful at small talk. If I don’t simply excuse myself and walk away because I’m overcome with nerves and have a flight response, I try to find something I really do want to discuss, which takes a second, so sometimes I’ll say nothing. I don’t want to just fill space. I find many typical entry questions problematic, so I’ll try to keep some good questions at hand. Everybody is suffering, and I heard that a truly uniting question could be, “In which ways do you suffer?”

I actually tried it a few times with near-strangers. I tried mentioning suffering a couple times on stage, it didn’t work, so I stopped doing it. I still don’t know what to say to an audience. It’s just so absurd to say to a group of people at a concert, “How is everybody doing?” And then everyone goes “Wooo!” Because it’s like, man, someone in here just lost somebody. Someone in here is fighting cancer. Definitely. But we all go “Wooo!” and that’s the same as the cashier asking how you are and you say, “Good how are you?” because what are you going to tell them, “I’m depressed, actually”? I’ve tried that too. It’s all completely fascinating to me. So that’s what this song is about. I want to deepen the conversation. Let’s get into it. I mean, with friends and family. I actually just prefer not to talk to strangers.

9. “Psychedelic Love”

I didn’t really want to put this one on the record, but other people liked it. I was seeking a major love, and at this point I was able to be very specific about what I wanted in a partner. Everybody has different dynamics and desires, but this was a personal spell for me and it worked.

10. “A Different Kind of Life”

Sometimes we spend too long in a situation trying to figure it out—exactly why it doesn’t work, trying to solve some riddle or move mountains, and I am here to say stop doing so much math. Some things line up and others don’t. Things can just flow, and you can expend energy more efficiently. An easier, more peaceful life is around the corner.

11. “Hard to Say”

This is written about finding oneself around someone new while still hurting over something else that just ended. Trying to describe that—not quite heartbroken, I wouldn’t really call it “love” because it never really got there, it was something else. And now it’s over, and I’m hurt, but there’s this new person (that’s who I’m singing to). And I’m struggling to be present but I don’t want them to leave. It’s sort of an emotional purgatory. Moving on can heal us, but if we haven’t sorted out or learned from what just happened, we might destroy the new thing.

12. “Seek Peace”

This is a meditation for trying to do right in the world while trying to survive. Asking some questions I have to keep asking. I was pretty blissed out after recording all the vocal parts.
New Truth is coming to terms with my deaf ear,” shares Jenny O. “It’s any new accepted reality. It’s the hilarious way I wore my hair for a week before cutting it away from my face,” says O. The songs are as personal as ever–continued misadventures of an introvert in Hollywood. I think it’s relatable – heartache and epiphany – I hope people like it?”

The official music video for Jenny O.’s “I Don’t Want to Live Alone Anymore”, the second single off her forthcoming album ‘New Truth’, out June 19th on Mama Bird Recording Co.

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Jenny O (full name Jennifer Anne Ognibene) invites you into her cathartic daydream in her new music video for “What About That Day,” the third single from her forthcoming album New Truth, due out June 19th from Mama Bird Recording Co.

The video was shot on Kodak Super 8 film by filmmaker and cinematographer Sam Gerzai while on a beach trip to Malibu. But with Ognibene’s gentle timbre and ethereal harmonies wondering “What about that day?” the peaceful crashing of the waves lend itself to a more melancholic, semi-nostalgic vibe.

In a press release Ognibene says the song captures “an obviously bad partnership that has been riding on the fumes of one or two magical days, tops. The romance is done, but that one day kept us grasping at something that could have been and wasn’t.”

Ognibene adds: “I never would have thought this song would come out while the world was in isolation, but I guess this is its time. The only time I ever lived truly alone, I felt nuts. I am amused by obsessive rearranging and celebration of my things.

Jenny O. (bass, guitar, synthesizer, vocals)
Kevin Ratterman (drums)
Josh Adams (cymbals)

The official music video for “What About That Day”, the third single from Jenny O.’s forthcoming album ‘New Truth’, out June 19th from Mama Bird Recording Co.

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Singer-songwriter Coutney Marie Andrews shares the latest single from her forthcoming album Old Flowers, the beautifully melancholy “Burlap String.” The single is accompanied by a music video, featuring Andrews hiking a nature trail, picking flowers and laying in fields as the sun eventually sets.
You can’t water old flowers. Yes, you fall in love, you make mistakes, and so do they. You run through blackberry fields in the summer of your youth, dream in passenger seats gazing past towns and fields, imagining a future life where everything works out. I fell head over heels in love at nineteen. The kind of love where you call up your best friend and say, “I think I’ve found my soulmate.” The pull towards that first true love is strong. It consumes you, makes you question your own dreams.

We taught each other, grew up together, we were family. We fit just right, for a time. Then one day, after a long and rocky nine year road, life changed and became a complicated mess too hard to untangle. We couldn’t get our love back, no matter how many dreams that shadowed this hard truth. We grew resentful, selfish, harboring past mistakes and holding them up like armor from every blow. We grew up and our paths diverted.

‘Old Flowers’ is about heartbreak. There are a million records and songs about that, but I did not lie when writing these songs. This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with. It’s about being afraid to be vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. It’s about a woman who is alone, but okay with that, if it means truth.
This was my truth this year – my nine year relationship ended, and I’m a woman alone in the world, but happy to know herself.

These songs came to me alone, late nights in Bisbee, Lisbon, Nashville, and London. Sometimes I’d just cry and sing, and a song would come out. I drank too much wine while writing this record, lit too many candles. You could say this was my attempt to summon the muse, but that’s bullshit, because she was just standing there naked looking me in the eyes. So I told her the truth.

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Hey, Here’s my new album, it’s called “New Truth”
New Truth is coming to terms with my deaf ear. It’s any new accepted reality. It’s the hilarious way I wore my hair for a week before cutting it away from my face.

The songs are as personal as ever–continued misadventures of an introvert in Hollywood. I think it’s relatable- heartache and epiphany- I hope people like it?

I’m singing lower sometimes, I always assumed I’d move back into my lower register, I finally have. Hard to get power that way, but I don’t sound like a little kid. I’ll have to practice singing them a lot, and it will be trickier to pull off live. I recorded this album with Kevin Ratterman, who is so fast, so patient, willing to try anything, and so much fun. It was important to me to have a good time while making it, and we did.

I played all the guitars on this record. I wanted to channel the freedom of the Home and Work EPs but recorded way better. I took solos! I played bass except Rachel Goodrich did the funkier two songs because her time is better than mine. The past couple albums were tracked live to tape with a rhythm section, so someone would quickly learn something great & close to my demo but not exactly. I wanted to play bass this time. Kevin set up his nice microphone at my place so I could do all my vocals alone while he was making another record. It’s the best way–much faster and more free to experiment by myself. Building harmonies on a whole album with an engineer can get frustrating, communicating between each take.

Ok I got to go take this little black dog on a walk. See you soon, Jenny O

Releases June 19th, 2020

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Damien Jurado recently announced details of his new album What’s New, Tomboy? which sees him stepping back into a more fleshed out sound with his voice and rhythm section at the fore. it is a collection of songs that exude the inviting warmth of a lone porch light gleaming amidst the disorienting darkness.  His new song “Alice Hyatt” the sparse instrumental elements add a deeper poignancy to Jurado’s lyrics. The new song could be read as a dour one, eliciting a feeling of misinterpretation, missing something, or someone. That is until the last few moments before the final organ line chimes in and Damien cuts the melancholy by singing, “I was busy, being myself.”

Alice Hyatt is from the upcoming album What’s New, Tomboy?

On latest single Alice Hyatt, the sparse instrumental elements add a deeper poignancy to Jurado’s lyrics. The song could be read as a dour one, eliciting a feeling of misinterpretation, missing something, or someone. That is until the last few moments before the final organ line chimes in and he cuts the melancholy by singing “I was busy, being myself”.

Listen to it below, and also album opener, the beautiful Birds Tricked Into The Trees

The first single from ‘What’s New, Tomboy?’, out now from Mama Bird Recording Co.

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Upon your first listen of “Radio”, it feels like a party album. I’m reminded of White Reaper or Diarrhea Planet. It is full of big riffs and choruses that demand that you sing along to. But as you dig into it, you realize there is way more lurking behind the surface. Tom Bevitori had started Beautiful Dudes ten years ago in his hometown of Nevada City, CA before heading off to Portland to taste some success; including this gem by Denver. Bevitori was dealt with a lifetime’s full of bad news over the course of a short-term – a bitter divorce, Crohn’s Disease diagnosis and substance abuse.

Bevitori went up and resurrected his hometown band – Robbie Landsburg, Art Echternacht and Zach Peach. During the course of their first album cycle, Bevitori relapsed. During his recovery, he really dug into his feelings. Opener, The Shape I’m In is this cathartic piece of rock ‘n’ roll. Crank it up, let it out and let yourself heal. That’s followed by Lose My Head; a tune that sounds like it is full of bravado but Bevitori again exposes the reality behind addiction.

This is a great album; made better cause it seems like Bevitori is in a good place now.

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