Posts Tagged ‘South Carolina’

Columbia, South Carolina-based singer/songwriter Austin Crane has released his third album as Valley Maker via Frenchkiss Records. The follow-up to 2018’s Rhododendron, When the Day Leaves finds Crane melding folksy acoustic sounds with more entrancing electric textures, all of which evoke the unknowable natural forces that are the focus of much of his song writing. Contemplative and serene, though never at the expense of their many tendrils of melody, Crane’s new songs are soothing in a way we all need nowadays.

I’m excited to share that my new record, When The Day Leaves, is out today I’m so happy for these songs to be out in the world, and I hope the record can be a meaningful companion for you in these strange times we’re living through. I recently did an interview with KEXP about the making of the new record, along with a live video. There’s a kind and thoughtful review, out today, of the album from The Line of Best Fit. And here are two other interviews fresh out today from Beats Per Minute and Gigwise.

I also want to let you know that I’ll be playing a special livestream concert of the new album (plus a few old songs) on Saturday, March 20th: the premiere will be at 8pm EST, and then it will be available for 48 hours thereafter (for those in other time zones, or those who prefer to have a Sunday viewing).  The LPs (on limited edition sky blue vinyl) and CDs are available at your local record store and various places online. Shirts, hats, totes, etc. are also for sale in my merch store.

Thank you all for listening, I hope you enjoy the new record. I’ve been thinking a lot this past year about the community of people that surround this project, and how truly fortunate I am to be connected to you all, even in this socially distant season. I’m grateful for the support and care – it means the world.

With much love and gratitude, Austin

No One Is Missing” is from Valley Maker’s new record, When The Day Leaves, out February 19th on Frenchkiss Records.

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Valley Maker has shared new single ‘Instrument’ – tune in now. The South Carolina singer songwriter produces work of incredible richness and nuance, matching indie rock tropes to elements of Americana.

Valley Maker  new album ‘When The Day Leaves’ is out on February 19th, and his new single ‘Instrument’ gives an indication of the riches in waiting. Valley Maker is the contemplative psych folk project of songwriter Austin Crane. Crane uses billowing, revelatory metaphors to narrate his own journey through cosmic mystery and the essential search for meaning.

Recalling Conor Oberst’s earlier work or even aspects of Elliot Smith, it’s a rainy rumination that carries within it a spark of optimism.  The track is lifted from his forthcoming release When the Day Leaves, which drops on February 19 via Frenchkiss Records. The video, filmed and directed by Joseph Kolean and Zach Gutierrez, incorporates film footage that Austin captured on a Super 8 camera in the North Carolina mountains. They collaborated on the clip for previous single “Mockingbird” and Austin notes, “through mixing mediums and blending human and natural worlds, we wanted the ‘Instrument’ video to visually be in conversation with what we created for ‘Mockingbird,’ and with the landscape of the album cover.”

A song about suffering and renewal, ‘Instrument’ is a tender portrait of perseverance, an ode to carrying on.

He comments…”I wrote ‘Instrument’ as a meditation on the challenges of persevering, of loving the world and other people, and of maintaining a hopeful vision for the future in these times we’re living through.”

“The uncertain future of our planet, with climate change and related natural disasters, always feels very present for me in these considerations. So the song and video reflect both upon anxieties and affections for our world; they explore what it means to remain a part of it all, to carry on amidst human and elemental uncertainty.”

“Instrument” is from Valley Maker’s new record, “When The Day Leaves“, out February 19th, 2021 on Frenchkiss Records.

Quavering vocal harmonies and delicate acoustic accents roll through a blissful backcountry scene on Valley Maker‘s “No One Is Missing”, in part recalling the dusky lo-fi plains of Kurt Vile and Cass McCombs – lyrics interpreting the organic unison of nature and the art of music as a form of remedying the pandemic’s myriad social repercussions.

Seattle-based for the last ten years, Crane, along with his family, recently decamped to South Carolina – an uprooting and re-assimilation that finds a voice in the upcoming third album “When The Day Leaves”. Crane expands upon the bearing this had on the premise of his latest track: “I wrote this song, along with much of When The Day Leaves, as a way of grappling with the partiality and temporality of how we connect with one another, I guess as an attempt to collect and reflect on recent experiences of loss, love, leaving, returning, missing, etc. While recent months of social distancing have often felt isolating, I’m continually grateful for how music and the natural world can remind us we’re not alone.”


“When The Day Leaves”, the new album from Valley Maker
will be released on February 19th, 2021 on Frenchkiss Records

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The South is a brutal place, many feel — the birthplace of American racism. It is also a Black place, and a beautiful one: the music, foodways, spiritual life and family traditions Black Americans sustained throughout centuries of attempted erasure by the white ruling caste provides much of what makes this nation vibrant. The beauty is tied to the land, from coastline to mountains to delta. Adia Victoria, born in South Carolina with more recent ties to Nashville, locates the contours of her own body and being in the Southern earth, and this blues-driven oracular statement is her pledge to it, in love and fury.

“I stood up to the mountain, told the mountain say my name,” Victoria wails over a church-born organ line in the centre of this song. That image — her confrontation with monumental, historical oppression, simultaneously a mystical union with a landscape and Black heritage that welcomes her — epitomizes Victoria’s mission to refresh overtold Southern stories by finding herself in them. (She is a blues poet, after all.) A clear reckoning, “South Gotta Change” is also a love song — “I won’t leave you,” Victoria sings, her voice breaking. Instead, she tells the land that she considers a living being, she will “drag you into the light.” With “South Gotta Change,” Victoria offers a way to consider the region in all its complexity — an origin point worth fighting about, and for.

When I began my recording career I knew that my one true muse would be the south, her people, her stories, her beauty and her blues.
as a kid I would make up stories and recite them to my little sisters. because I never saw our stories being told—stories about black girls in the south, country girls growing up on this land.
I wanna re-center black folk’s experiences in my art. it’s what i do every time I pick up my guitar and write.
The south’s gotta change—and I believe artists are the folk that are gonna bring about that change.

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Catholics is quirky hodgepodge of musicians each varying in their respective musical backgrounds. Directionally, the music tends to be slightly more loose than the principles behind the process. The bands inclusionary approach often includes various satellite members both on the road and in the studio. Guilt is a time capsule of the band’s first few years, consolidating the songs they’ve perfected through live shows but haven’t yet shared through recordings. Pieced together over the past 2 years, Guilt features a handful of heavy hitting instrumental tracks proceeded by a cover of “Asphalt” by their Virginia-based friends, Pygmy Lush.

All songs written and performed by Catholics, except Asphalt. Asphalt originally written and performed by Pygmy Lush. “Chicago On Meth: Scene Two” co-written by John Shafer.


Catholics is Tyler Beall, Tallon Knight, Andy Krepelka, and Andrew Munz.

Drums on all songs performed by Price Smith. Additional guitar on Lowercase Agenda by Cameron Davidson. String arrangements on Chicago On Meth and Asphalt by James Anderson. Trumpet on Lowercase Agenda and Chicago On Meth by Patrick Marzett. Catholics releases debut Ep “Guilt” On Refresh Records

releases October 25th, 2019

“I had a dream that we were doing hard drugs in a street alley” is a hell of a line to kick off a song, and seems emblematic of your typical rock and roll band. But Susto are far from the typical band. This Charleston five-piece covers vast sonic ground on their new album “& I’m Fine Today”, swaying between country-tinged rock “Cosmic Cowboy”, contemplative pop ballads “Mountain Top”, and any number of other genres that exist somewhere within the expansive fabric of Southern music. But the lead single “Hard Drugs” is perhaps most typical of their nakedly honest, narrative approach to songwriting, covering themes of heartbreak and loneliness with an added dose of creative flair.

“& I’m Fine Today” is our most earnest effort to create unique emotional soundscapes while speaking candidly and openly about the realities of existence,” We are a group of people, touring musicians, who feel privileged to do what we do and we have given all of our energy to create an album that captures both the pain and beauty of being human.”

It can seem like a pretty hopeless world out there sometimes, but this is the kind of music that just hits in the right way on those long, dark nights of the soul. Hell, it might even make you laugh when you’re done moppin’ up those tears. “& I’m Fine Today” is out January 13th via Missing Piece/Caroline.


Shovels & Rope are an American folk duo from Charleston, South Carolina composed of husband and wife Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. Combining threads from their individual solo careers, Shovels & Rope blends traditional folk rock country and Americana .