Posts Tagged ‘singer songwriter’

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“Smoke Inside”, the crunchy blues waltz from Australian singer-songwriter Harmony Byrne, is definitely worth a listen this week. The track is taken from Byrne’s upcoming album Heavy Doors and features her amazing voice alongside some really slick production.

“As a child I was told that I was a drama queen,” Harmony Byrne says of the track. “Initially, I mistook this as being a negative aspect of my personality and struggled to express myself. But thankfully, I was also taught to have self-worth, honesty, integrity, and that I only ever need be myself in a world full of frauds. “Smoke Inside” is all about valuing who you are, no matter how wild or tame, and that if someone you love doesn’t let you light up inside, then they are not the match for you.”

Harmony Byrne – “Smoke Inside” (Official Video) “Smoke Inside” from Harmony Byrne’s upcoming debut album, “Heavy Doors”

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I’ve loved Maria Taylor for such a long time. She’s a singer/songwriter that came up on Saddle Creek Records at the same time as Conor Oberst. She just knocked me out years ago with this record called 11:11 that I just loved so much. Hew new album In the Next Life came out about a year or two ago. “If Only” is such a beautiful song from it. She sings this double vocal melody on it and it’s so beautiful. It reminds me of Elliott Smith when I hear it. It’s this really simple arrangement of just acoustic guitar and then these little bits of strings and xylophones come in, really sparse, to accentuate the end of it. And then these drums come in with a military building beat and a little arpeggio guitar, but it’s such a great build and a hooky song. I keep seeing it on TV shows, too.

“If Only” music video from Maria Taylor’s forthcoming album, “In the Next Life,” out on Flower Moon Records.

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There’s a prevailing image of The Tallest Man of Earth — Swedish folk singer Kristian Matsson’s musical moniker  of a wayward, sometimes homesick vagabond in the constant pursuit of adventure.

Gotta say, I really wasn’t expecting to say this, given my love of the previous albums The Wild Hunt and “Shallow Grave”, but The Tallest Man on Earth has possibily just put out the best record of his career (and among my favorite records of 2019 so far). This is, what he should sound like, what he’s been trying to sound like the last few records and didn’t start to really get his footing on until the demo project a few years back and the EP he slowly dripped out last year. There’s an urgency to it, but a considered one, one that comes with time and heartbreak and rebuilding your life and figuring out what exactly matters. It’s lush in all the right ways and at all the right times, and bare in all the right ways at all the right times, and a combo of the two in all the right ways at all the right times. It’s an astoundingly gorgeous and engrossing album, and I’m so glad we finally hear the sound he’s seemingly been chasing for over a decade.

The Tallest Man On Earth’s album ‘I Love You. It’s A Fever Dream.’

If you’ve ever heard an Angie McMahon song, then you’ve heard just how big her voice can be, and how cleverly she can craft a phrase. In person, though, she’s more soft-spoken, her words carefully chosen—the former due to a compromised immune system thanks to a pretty hectic touring schedule. Not that McMahon’s complaining.

The Australian singer-songwriter is on one of her rare visits to the United States, where she just wrapped her first U.S. tour, which included several headlining gigs, a stop at South by Southwest, and opening for the Pixies in Knoxville. “We had a gig in Nashville that was a headlining show and it was really chill—it was a cool little venue which are the most fun to play,” she said. “And then we drove three hours to Knoxville to open for the Pixies at the Tennessee theater, which is this giant old cinema from the ‘20s. It was amazing. I’ve found the crowds really attentive. The hardest gig that we’ve played was the Australian South By showcase, because Australians are very chatty. That took a lot of energy. But mostly, the crowds have been so nice.

If you didn’t get the chance to check out McMahon or if you’ve never even heard of her at all, that’s soon about to change. Today, she’ll roll out her latest U.S.-released single, the crowd favorite “Slow Mover,” making the States aware of what Australia already knew: McMahon could be the next big thing.

Only in her mid-twenties, McMahon has been playing music since she was a teenager. “I started covering pop songs,” she explained. “I was really obsessed with female single-songwriters, but I would also cover like Maroon 5 or Bon Iver. I started uploading them to the Internet, and thank God they are taken down now, because they were not good. I just really love doing that in school, and I started taking singing lessons which didn’t last very long. After I left school, I joined a soul band and that was really good practice to play gigs and learn how to deal with crowds. I got sick of being around boys and the loudness, so I went back to doing my own thing.”

Over the past few years, she’s released a string of singles in her home country, and toured the area several times over. Soon, she’ll release her first full album, to be named Salt, which by McMahon’s own account, has been a long time in the making. “I wanted to take my time with making a record, so some of those songs are written a year or three ago. I feel like they’ve lived several lives,” she said. “It was probably a good thing, because it gave me time to feel good about my decisions. Because this is my first record, I didn’t want to fuck it up or rush it.”

Fans of the singer are already familiar with some of the songs that will appear on the album, including last year’s “Missing Me” and crowd favorite “Pasta,” which McMahon has taken to introducing by simply saying, “This is a song about pasta.”

“It’s about being tired and being down on yourself, but it’s easier for me to be like, ‘This a song about pasta.’” McMahon clarified with a laugh. “Now it’s a joke, though, so I should probably dial it back and be like, ‘I’m a serious songwriter.’ But it’s good to have humor. Even this industry can be sort of harrowing and I don’t want to lose this sense of humor that I have in my writing.”

She’s also trying to keep her stamina up, as well, thanks to a pretty busy schedule leading up to the album that includes a European tour and a stop at London’s All Points East festival alongside The Strokes and Interpol. “I’m trying not to get too burnt out,” she said. Luckily, there’s nothing like the adrenaline of releasing your first album—and what comes next—to keep you going. “I want to give this one away and have people enjoy it,” she said. “I’m ready to pass it on, so I can wash the slate clean creatively. And I’m excited to write new ones.”

Billie Marten - UK Tour 2019

The young singer-songwriter’s sophomore album is a gorgeous work of textured indie folk that generously gives space to her fluttering vocals; it soothes and enchants in equal measure. recorded on four track tape at producer Ethan John’s house – the result is an honest, imperfection-speckled album from an artist unbothered by the idea of achieving a flawless gloss. if you’re a fan of artists like Julia Jacklin, Haley Heynderickx, or Nadia Reid , you owe it to yourself to hear this! “this collection of softly sung songs forms nothing short of a gentle and reserved masterpiece”

Billie Marten: Feeding Seahorses By Hand (Live Album) – BBC York Feeding Seahorses By Hand, the album out now

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Sardonic and self-aware as ever, Donnelly’s “Die” offers a chipper outlook on the passing fear we’ve all experienced numerous times, most often while driving to work or enjoying an afternoon al fresco: Holy shit, I’m gonna die one day. Donnelly is the victim with a knife to the heart, the frantic nurse trying to administer a shot, the hearse driver; she’s dead, seemingly portraying a fallen runaway bride waiting to be buried alive. (Have we also mentioned that there’s a tuxedo-sporting dog? .

Stella told us she wrote ‘Die’ as a song for her to run to,” the directors explain. “There’s a stark contrast between the title of the song and its actual mood and musicality. We wanted to make a video that complemented the upbeat spirit while still touching on the idea of death. Couldn’t have done it without our dog Thinly.”

Donnelly’s “Die” comes from the Perth native’s stunning 2019 debut, Beware of the Dogs. The upbeat, ‘80s dancercise cadence of “Die” stands out from the rest of the 13-song affair (“I’m just as shocked as you that it’s on there,” fusing elements of pop, folk and rock for storytelling that’s as empathetic as it is in-your-face. “You know that I love you / Wanna buy you more shit / But I can’t afford it,” Donnelly laments. It’s the kind of self-awareness that demands a visual with camp and absurdity, and deliver camp and absurdity it does. Donnelly offers more camp in the video’s three-minute, 11-second run-time she deserves an invite next year as compensation. Thinly deserves one, too.

“Die” by Stella Donnelly off ‘Beware of the Dogs,’ out now on Secretly Canadian Records.

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After the success of 2017’s There Are No Saints, things just seem to keep getting more and more exciting for this Scottish songwriter, Siobhan Wilson. Siobhan was recently granted a PRS Momentum Music Fund grant, had her song featured on prime time television, and appeared in session on BBC Scotland. All of which might just seem like a sideshow to the upcoming moment of excitement that will be the May release of her upcoming album, “The Departure”.

Ahead of The Departure’s release, Siobhan has this week shared her, “defiant hymn to female empowerment”, April. The track, perhaps unsurprisingly from the title, focuses on the idea of re-birth, and regeneration, and how that gives us all a chance to decide who we want to be; tough, beautiful, even both, as Siobhan sings, “be a mountain if you want…or a mountain flower”. Of the track, Siobhan suggests, “It’s my way of trying to send a direct message out to do whatever the hell you want with your body, your time, and make your own decisions about your life.” Some of the possibilities Siobhan points out seem quite generic, ideas that could be aimed at anyone and everyone, however others feel deeply personal, there’s a certain sense of the pressure women are under to be mothers, and her own desires, to be loud, to fear failure and to embrace success, “you make your own rules, you break the ones you choose”. Siobhan Wilson is walking her own musical path, and sounding this exciting that’s exactly how it should be.

The Departure is out May 10th via Suffering Fools Records.

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Quickly becoming one of the year’s break-out new voices, Toronto-based songwriter Dana Gavanski has been operating in the fringes of the folk scene since her 2017 EP, Spring Demos, which came out on Fox Food Records. Now signed to Full Time Hobby, Dana looks destined for great things, yet it could all have been so different if Dana had stuck with her original plan to follow her father into the film industry. Thankfully film’s loss was music’s gain, after an ex-partner left Dana with a guitar and she began crafting the songs that would maker her name.

Late last year I had the opportunity to work with Mike Lindsay (Tunng and LUMP) in seaside Margate, England and it was a beautiful and unforgettable experience. ‘One by One’ was written as a tender embrace of the feeling of being alone in the world and moving on with it. Of the dark interiors of the mind and remembering to open the windows.

This week Dana will share her first release for Full Time Hobby in the shape of a 7″ single, “One By One”, a track described by Dana as, “a tender embrace of the feeling of being alone in the world, and moving on with it”. The track has a gorgeously wistful quality, the unwavering, stoic vocal accompanied initially by a gentle flutter of acoustic guitar, the whole track gets gradually weirder and more intriguing, as a simplistic, and unusually prominent, bass-line propels the track, while synths and backing vocals drift in and out of earshot.

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The accompanying B-side, Do You?, is an exploration of moving cities; of struggling to connect with new people and a new place in the world, set to a delightful piece of finger picked guitar and that rich, Joan Baez meets Sharon Van Etten vocal. Not content with all that, Dana also has some upcoming high-profile shows in the UK supporting Chris Cohen and Tomberlin, as well as contributing three songs to the final instalment of the, Song By Toad Split 12″ series. A songwriter as busy as she is brilliant, Dana Gavasnki won’t need any introduction for long.

Hannah Cohen will release her third album “Welcome Home” on 26th April via Bella Union Records.

“It was the beginning of September and NYC was in the midst of a big heat wave.” Cohen says of the track. “I was staying with my partner at the time and had locked myself in the bathroom to work on this song. It was very early in the morning, the air conditioner was buzzing away. At the time we were searching for our first apartment together, and had seen about 27 apartments in person. All were gross or out of our price range. It was definitely a catalyst for wanting to move out of the city – and it all came rushing at me. I really needed a change. Locked in a boiling hot bathroom, playing my nylon-string guitar, I realized that this is it… my life is crazy, it’s time to make a big move.”

Hannah Cohen has arrived home. From the title of her new album to the depth and beauty of the music, the Woodstock, NY-based singer-songwriter’s third album, “Welcome Home”, displays a new level of confidence and comfort with the many creative tools at her disposal. Cohen’s remarkably evocative voice is surrounded by dreamy, swooning incantations, from the rippling ‘This Is Your Life’ and the slow-burning, forthright statement of ‘All I Want,’ to the soul swagger of ‘Get in Line’ and dramatic vocal leaps of ‘Wasting My Time.’

With Welcome Home, “I don’t feel I have to cover up anything, or not be able to share,” Cohen says. “There’s less to interpret, I’m more visible. And as to reflecting on the past when things didn’t go well, I’ve left that behind. It was all worth it, to make my way to this point.”

Produced by Cohen’s partner Sam Owens, the producer/writer who performs as Sam Evian, the artist began developing the material that became Welcome Home in 2017. Taking her time with the songs, she wrapped herself in the fulfilling quiet of a new home, and a new creative partnership that supported finding a clarity in her writing and vocals. Many of the songs were written on an old, nylon-string guitar painted with Hawaiian scenes of beaches and palm trees (which can be heard on ‘This Is Your Life’), that, no matter the final arrangement, gives the songs a lighter touch, a warming glow that suffuses the whole album. Listeners may find echoes of folk and R&B, radiating with vocal-powered pop production, electronic accents, and bursts of pulsing guitar/bass/drums energy. Irresistible echoes of soul enchanters such as Carrie Cleveland (an early touchstone for Cohen and Evian), Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and their friend and sometime collaborator Nick Hakim blend with the reflective shadings of singer/writer forebears such as Carole King and Harry Nilsson.

Welcome Home is almost brutally honest in its self-examination, as Cohen couches home truths in velvet-lush settings. As she explains, “A lot of the album is about checking in with reality and taking the wheel, being honest with myself and my intentions. Being transparent as much as possible. They’re about exploring why I’m here. And the songs question love – if it’s real or something else, finding love that’s healthy, mature and supportive.”

All of Cohen’s new material was crafted in Brooklyn except ‘Big House,’ which was written in an isolated stone farmhouse in upstate New York where they sometimes recorded, preserving the intimacy at the core of Welcome Home. The album was mostly tracked with a live rhythm section: bassist Brian Betancourt (from Evian’s live band) and drummer Vishal Nayak (Nick Hakim). Says Cohen, “We wanted to capture the essence of the song, quickly, and not toil over details for two years.”

That straightforward immediacy marked an important change in Cohen’s relationship with her music and the recording process. After growing up around professional musicians, she moved to New York from the Bay Area at 17, an intrepid adventurer who was drawn to New York’s singer-songwriter world. “New York became my world and my community, and formed me as a person, though I have never felt settled here until the last two years.” Her first two albums, Child Bride and Pleasure Boy, document the sound of a young artist finding her feet on a stage populated by established performers, a very public evolution toward the lived-in experience and command of Welcome Home. The desire to live on her own terms has recently led her to the less-crowded vistas of Woodstock, NY, a no-less iconic musical destination.

‘Old Bruiser’ documents that feeling of escape, specifically a west coast road trip (“Made it back to the city by daylight and we turned to each other as if to ask why /did we make something special just to go and leave it all behind?”). ‘Build Me Up’ also reflects Cohen’s desire to move: “Living in the city has such extreme effects on your body, your nervous system, the constant grind, living on top of people and never really having any true personal space. I am naturally a very sensitive person, I feel a lot of energy and people are really intense in NYC. I have been inspired by that energy but after fifteen years it became exhausting trying to keep up with the grind and hustle. I wanted a change of scenery and a new pace. It was hard to let go after putting so much time and work into building my life and community, and in a way I went from one extreme to another. But I felt I needed to make a big move to break free from all the noise. Welcome Home chronicles my last year in New York City before moving on. Onward and upwards.”

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releases April 26, 2019

There is a warm haziness in the musical landscape of the song. Melchor’s vocals wax emotion while the backing vocals punctuate and echo the sweet sentiments. Though the time difference from the East Coast to the West Coast coast may seem like a mere three hours, many of us know just how much of a difference those few hours can make. We’ll be looking to hear more from this precocious new artist!.

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“I Don’t Wanna See You Cryin’ Anymore” is a simple folk sound with a brilliantly played acoustic guitar lines that pulls from elements of jazz, blues, and folk music. The slow picking, sets a perfect tone for Adam Melchor’s gorgeous voice to float on top.  In reality the song is an apology type song. Adam is singing to a close friend that he has let down, and he is owning up to the mess that he had made with this beautiful song. He comes across as being a caring and genuine person through the emotional and heartfelt delivery of the vocals. The acoustic nature of the song gives more room for the lyrics to really be heard and digested, and hopefully that means Adam Melchor’s apology has been accepted. Adam Melchor is a singer-songwriter from New Jersey who is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. “I Don’t Wanna See You Cryin’ Anymore” is the closing song on his 2019 EP titled “Plan on You.” 

I Don’t Wanna See You Crying’ Anymore – Adam Melchor