Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Downhaul - PROOF

Downhaul returns with their sophomore album, “Proof”, this May. Listen to the new single, “Standing Water”, out now on all music and streaming services. 

Downhaul‘s new album Proof is a definitive step towards a sound tangled in the dense mystery of the South. It’s unabashed, dense, and jarringly honest. No bullshit, the opener is seven minutes long and the tracks are surrounded by atmospheric, blurry transitions fine-tuned by producer/mixer/engineer Chris Teti (TWIABP, Fiddlehead). An album that truly exists in its own universe, Proof comes out on May 21st. 

Today the band shares a new song called “Standing Water,” and it works as a sort of map through the very environment that bred these songs. Visions of college in a harbour-side Virginia town are woven throughout the verses, just detailed enough to sketch the base of a portrait, but leaving you to fill in your own details. “Memories are vignettes—the corners darken first,” vocalist/guitarist Gordon Phillips explains. “Supporting details or peripheral elements of lived experiences are hard to hold onto as time passes, but the stuff in the middle of the picture hangs around awhile, for better or for worse.”

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Wanting to preserve what the song meant for him, he drove the hour from the band’s new base in Richmond, back to the place where the “water doesn’t go anywhere. It stands.”

Built brick by brick with soaring synths, drawling guitars tones, rumbling bass, and topped by Gordon’s southeast born and bred accent slinging witty cynicisms, Proof is Downhaul embracing the weight they always toyed with. They’re putting their foot down. All gas, no brakes.

Andrew Seymour – drums, percussion, vocals
Patrick Davis – bass guitar, vocals
Robbie Ludvigsen – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming, vocals
Gordon Phillips – vocals, baritone guitar

Evan King – vocals on The Ladder
Maxwell Stern – lap steel on Bury, The Ladder, Interlude, About Leaving

Releases May 21st, 2021

Lucy Dacus is teasing new song ‘Thumbs’

Posting some pictures of mysterious blue VHS tapes yesterday, it looks like Lucy Dacus is teasing new song ‘Thumbs’. With similar VHS packages sent out to fans, one lucky Reddit user and VHS receiver said, “She has performed it live a bunch (I actually heard her perform it at Webster Hall in 2019). This version is super sparse and the song itself is devastating. There is no video to accompany it — it’s just a blue screen with a looping image of a VHS spinning.”

Lucy Dacus previously tweeted that the track, which is a live fan favourite, was her favourite lyric ever written, when asked back in December.

And if you’re still not convinced that ‘Thumbs’ is destined to wow when its dropped, there’s was even a dedicated Twitter account called “Has Lucy released Thumbs Yet?”,

Lucy Dacus, shares a devastating new single, “Thumbs.” The Richmond, Virginia native penned the song during a 15-minute drive to dinner in Nashville, about a moment she shared with a friend during her freshman year of college. She describes what happened as “significant,” but something she hadn’t thought about for a while. 

Dacus first performed the song more than two years ago while on tour with Boygenius—the group she formed in 2018 with Phoebe Bridgers and Julien Baker. With her bandmates’ encouragement, she shared a gut-wrenching memory on stage. 

“Like most songs I write, I wasn’t expecting it, and it made me feel weird, almost sick,” she says. “I knew I wanted a long time to get used to playing it since it made me feel shaky, so I ended sets with it for about half the shows I played in 2019. Before I played it, I would ask the audience to please not record it, a request that seems to have been respected, which I’m grateful for.”

The single is her first of the year. After releasing a series of singles throughout 2019, her EP, 2019, was released on November 8th of that year. 2020 was quiet for the artist, who shared one collaboration with Hamilton Leithauser, “Isabella.” Between her 2016 full-length debut, No Burden, and 2018’s Historian, Dacus stripped back the rock-edged percussion-driven production and began honing her heartfelt song writing and lyrical delivery. Dacus grows more sure-footed with each release, chronicling a coming-of-age narrative with evolving perspectives and musical approaches. 

Lael Neale directs and stars in the official video for “Acquainted With Night,” the title track from her new album, which is available worldwide from Sub Pop Records.  
Neale says: “‘Acquainted With Night’ is another homemade video that explores my complex relationship with technology. I am drawn to archaic machines, but that doesn’t mean I want to slip backwards into some idealized past. I’m more interested in stepping out of time entirely.”

Acquainted With Night features ten tracks, and includes the previously released standouts “Blue Vein,” “Every Star Shivers in the Dark,” “For No One For Now,” and the aforementioned title track. The album was composed and arranged by Neale, produced and mixed by Guy Blakeslee, and mastered by Chris Coady. Lael’s new album Acquainted With Night is a testament to this poetic devotion. Stripped of any extraneous word or sound, the songs are lit by Lael’s crystalline voice which lays on a lush bed of Omnichord. The collection touches on themes that have been thread into her work for years: isolation, mortality, yearning, and reaching ever toward the transcendent experience.

Lael grew up on a farm in rural Virginia, but for nearly 10 years called Los Angeles home. Those years were spent developing her song writing and performing in venues across the city, but the right way to record the songs proved more elusive. She says, “Every time I reached the end of recording, I felt the songs had been stripped of their vitality in the process of layering drums, bass, guitar, violin, and organ over them. They felt weighed down.”  

Acquainted With Night has seen international praise from the likes of MOJO, who in its 4-star review, raved, “Who knew the world was lacking a country-folk version of Broadcast until now?” France’s Télérama said, “Stripped of frills, young Lael Neale sings the starry nights of her native Virginia. With grace and grit. And the soul of an old bluesman. Lael Neale confirms her talent with an intense second album.” Meanwhile Uncut in its feature on Acquainted With Night, offered this, “A thing of shimmering beauty, led by Neale’s otherworldly voice with its shades of Vashti Bunyan and Julia Holter.”

Neale and producer Blakeslee, recently performed songs for Flood’s Magazine’s “Neighborhood Sessions,” who says, “The pair took turns filming each other perform their new tracks—appropriately shot with grainy, camcorder-esque quality—on a farm in the area where Neale grew up. The back-to-back solo guitar performances of Neale’s “Blue Vein” and Blakeslee’s album opener “Sometimes” prove just how much musical chemistry the two share together.  In a moment of illumination the solution presented itself: do the simple thing. In early 2019, in the midst of major transition, she acquired a new instrument, the omnichord, and began recording a deluge of songs. Guy Blakeslee, who had been an advocate for years, set up a cassette recorder in her bedroom and provided empathic guidance, subtle yet affecting accompaniment and engineering prowess. Limited to only 4-tracks and first takes, Lael had to surrender some of her perfectionism to deliver the songs in their essence.
 
Acquainted with Night is now available through Sub Pop Records. In the U.K., and in Europe will receive the album on white vinyl (while supplies last).

“Why We’re Excited: A little serendipity never hurt anyone, and it seems to be the very thing songwriter Lael Neale needed. In this case, that stroke of fortune was a friend loaning Neale an omnichord. That loan led the recent Sub Pop signee to tap into a wellspring of inspiration that directly led to her upcoming album, Acquainted with Night. With three singles, including the gorgeous “Blue Vein”, to judge from, we can only hope that Neale’s friend let her keep that omnichord. They’re a perfect match.” 

“The grandeur of the organ tones, joined by a tinny drum machine, give it a similar feel to Beach House’s more recent albums.”  [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] – Brooklyn Vegan

“Against a beat and organ based tones, Neale belts the vocals out like she’s singing to anyone who will listen. Her voice echoes like a ringing bell or alarm, the simplicity of the song’s structure works with her voice as the catalyst.”  [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] – Closed Captioned

…Lael taps into something universal, city or country, that we all long for, connection…and if you find the time to listen to Lael’s music, you’ll find plenty to love as well.”[ “Every Star Shivers in the Dark”/“Five Things We Liked This Week”] – For the Rabbits

“An absorbing two-chord hymnal” [“Every Star Shivers in the Dark”] – Joyzine

‘Every Star Shivers in the Dark’ is far more reflective in its delivery, there is an undeniably optimistic undertone and a dreaminess liberally sprinkled throughout. It brings a crescendo of twinkling key changes at the end of the track which linger long in the mind like the last rays of sunshine on the perfect Summer day.” – Still Listening

While Lael returned to her family farm in April 2020, Los Angeles is a player on this album, and “Every Star Shivers in the Dark” is an ode to the sprawling city, the outskirts of Eden. One can envision her walking from Dodgers Stadium to downtown, observing strangers and her own strangeness but determined to find communion with others. “Blue Vein” is her personal anthem, a Paul Revere piece that gallops through the town as a strident declamation. It is an amalgam of thoughts, concerns, and lessons as she nearly speaks the words, unmasked by flourishes, ensuring the meaning cuts through.

Normally a morning person, Lael recorded most of these songs in the darkening of the early evening, and so became Acquainted With Night.

Neale impressed us with ‘Every Star Shivers In The Dark,’…she’s back with another new track, the entrancing “For No One For Now.’ Like Neale’s prior single, this one is minimal and reflective while maintaining a strong backbeat. But rather than build to a cathartic breakthrough, ‘For No One For Now’ lingers in the unresolved tension, less a song than an atmosphere to exist inside.” – Stereogum

“‘For No One For Now’ is deceptively simple and strangely haunting and hypnotic.” [#1/ “Song of the Week”] – Under the Radar<

May be an image of 3 people, people playing musical instruments, people standing and food

Lush, jangly charm is evident throughout “How Come?” — the latest from Stray Fossa. The band has impressed with multiple singles over the years. As such, I’m strongly anticipating the Virginia-based band’s debut full-length album, due in April. “How Come?” is the album’s first single, recorded in a single session at the band’s Charlottesville, Virginia attic studio. Interlocking guitars carry two separate melodies, weaving between each other like two lives meeting. Sometimes they’re in harmony, sometimes they compete for dominance, each telling their own story while influencing the other. The melodic layers of trickling guitar jangles assemble an engrossing intro, percussively accompanied past the 30-second mark as the vocals glide in. Sections heavier on bass and synth emphasis, like 01:40, also play with captivating qualities. “How Come?” is a hypnotic, jangly gem.

Stray Fossa explain more about the upcoming album below:

“The band’s first full-length record was written and recorded entirely in the first half of 2020, a period of time that the world will collectively remember. The songs do not so much play into the zeitgeist as accompany it – weaved in and out of the record are themes of social isolation, anxiety and dissolution; inter-independence; restlessness; nostalgia; and collective memory, the last of which, given the band’s lifetime of friendship, has long underlined their writing process. The songs are personal both to the three songwriters as individuals and to the group as a whole. A shared living room and late night discussions spun the thread that winds through the record from start to finish, while collaborative arrangement and Will Evans’ meticulous production make it seem as if the ten tracks were carved from one sonic medium.”

our debut album “With You For Ever” out April 9th, 2021

Ask Jack Tatum what ‘Wild Nothing’ means and he’ll answer: ‘a contradiction’. In 2010, 21 year old Tatum released one of the finest cult pop records of the summer whilst ensconced in his senior year of college in Blacksburg, VA, a small mid-atlantic town better known for producing football fans and engineers than musicians. Tatum lives in contradictions.

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On Laughing Gas, the third EP from Wild Nothing, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jack Tatum delves deeper into the territory where he thrives: namely, the synth and sophisti-pop of the 1980s. Working within a more mechanical and synthetic framework than his previous releases, Wild Nothing continues to delicately toe the line between the organic and the unnatural. These are still pop songs, but there’s an underlying sense of uneasiness that threads the music together.

Recorded in Los Angeles, CA and Richmond, VA with the help of Jorge Elbrecht, these five songs were originally imagined alongside last year’s Indigo and were written and tracked simultaneously with the album. When work on the full-length was nearing completion, Tatum set these ideas aside; they seemed to fit better on their own. In spare moments between tours, Tatum began to look back and piece the songs together at his home studio in Richmond, reconnecting with Elbrecht to mix the EP. With Elbrecht in Denver and Tatum in Richmond, the two went back and forth on the final touches, molding a common thread from the Lô Borges inspired new wave of “Sleight Of Hand” to the propulsive, icy synth funk of “Foyer”.

Often considered a secondary or transitional format, Wild Nothing has always used the EP to further explore new ideas and influences. Laughing Gas is no exception.

Releases January 31st, 2020

Ask Jack Tatum what ‘Wild Nothing’ means and he’ll answer: ‘a contradiction’. In 2010, 21 year old Tatum released one of the finest cult pop records of the summer whilst ensconced in his senior year of college in Blacksburg, VA, a small mid-atlantic town better known for producing football fans and engineers than musicians. Tatum lives in contradictions.

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A year following the release of Wild Nothing’s fourth studio album, Indigo, Wild Nothing share a look into their sweeping live set ahead of the band’s November 2019 tour dates. Recorded in November 2018, Live from Brooklyn Steel is in-depth survey of the band’s celebrated catalog, showcasing songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jack Tatum’s versatility and strength in composition.
Released September 27th, 2019

After spending years writing and recording music by himself in various bedrooms and basements, Andrew Carter hit his stride with the debut Minor Poet album, And How!. Made on a creative whim with no outside expectations, the eleven-song collection combined Carter’s love of carefully-crafted pop with a loose, fun, off-the-cuff recording aesthetic. The album was released in 2017 and developed a small but loving fan base, and Minor Poet has grown from a passion project into a cross-country touring band with write-ups in publications such as American Songwriter.

Minor Poet’s second album, The Good News, is a six-song collection that expands the boundaries of what constitutes the band’s sound. In just twenty-two minutes, the songs take apart the standard formulas of guitar-based rock and infuse them with vibrance and energy. On opener “Tabula Rasa,” interlocking guitars and a Farfisa organ carry the song through until everything drops suddenly into a doo-wop section that wouldn’t be out of place on a 1950’s greatest hits compilation. Warped noise envelops a tropicalia-flavored Casio beat in “Tropic of Cancer” before a slick groove and sliding bass line lead into the chorus’ pure pop bliss of of horns and vocal harmonies. “Museum District” begins with a drum intro reminiscent of an off-kilter “Be My Baby,” and “Bit Your Tongue/All Alone Now” features a midsection with a glam-rock guitar solo amidst trumpet fanfare. These are a just a few of the infectious moments on an EP filled with many more.

The Good News was made over four days at Montrose Recording, in Minor Poet’s hometown of Richmond, VA. In the past, Carter has played all the instruments and handled all the production, but he knew he that he had to reach outside himself to do justice to these songs. “I couldn’t capture the sounds I heard in my head,” Carter explains. “I wanted something that was vast and expansive but that at the same time could hit you immediately in the gut.” Paying homage to the “wall of sound” techniques made famous by Brian Wilson and Phil Spector, Carter and co-producer Adrian Olsen (Natalie Prass, Foxygen) overdubbed layer after layer of Carter playing an array of guitars, pianos, organs, synths, and percussion, as well as singing all the harmonies. The members of Minor Poet’s touring band were brought in to perform the core rhythm section, and local musicians stopped by to add crucial flourishes, such as the harmonizing guitar riffs in “Reverse Medusa” and the saxophone solo that closes out “Nude Descending Staircase.”

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At the center of everything is Carter’s voice, singing lyrics that seamlessly mix allusions to religion, mythology, art, and philosophy as he questions himself, his place in the world around him, what he owes to his relationships, and, in turn, what he needs to ask of others in order to stay healthy. Tabula Rasa is a concept that argues that humans are born blank slates, shaped through experience and environment. The last two years couldn’t have felt more applicable for Carter, who started out as a fresh face with little-to-no experience in the music industry and slowly grew into himself as a stage performer and bandleader through both good and bad times. During this period he began to come to terms with lifelong struggles, such as the depression that permeates “Tropic of Cancer” and the social anxiety that runs through “Museum District.” Rather than be one-dimensional, however, Carter dives deeper into himself and his motivations, such as in “Reverse Medusa” when he sings, “Hide my love in poetic half-truths/never was one to dwell on my issues.” Carter’s ability to balance emotional honesty with a tongue-in-cheek self awareness adds to the richness and originality of the music. Short but memorable, catchy yet meaningful, The Good News is another promising step forward for Minor Poet.

Releases May 17th, 2019

Very, very happy to share my new single ‘Blue Wings’ with you today. It’s one of a handful of other songs that were recorded around the same time as ‘Indigo’. It didn’t end up on the record but it’s always felt like a really special song to me. There will be a super limited pressing of 500 ‘Blue Wings’ 7″vinyls available (along with another new song on the B-side….) at our shows in Europe. Only 15 available per show. Check out all our upcoming tour dates below and pick up tickets if you haven’t already! So many places we haven’t been to in ages and even some new cities in the mix, can’t wait to see you all there.

02/12 – Birmingham, UK – Mama Roux’s
02/13 – Leeds, UK – Belgrave Music Hall

“There were a number of songs that were kicking when I was finishing [recent album] Indigo and ‘Blue Wings’ was very nearly included,” he says. “I had sent the album off to mastering, but the song didn’t sit right with me and I decided, at the last possible moment, to leave it off the album.

“It’s intentionally a very bittersweet sounding song. I asked Ben Talmi who did the string arrangements on ‘Shadow’ to help out with this very simple dissonant string part I was hearing in my head which is now my favorite element in the track. It’s a song about walking through to the other side of crippling self-doubt with the help of someone you love.

Wild Nothing performing live in the KEXP studio. Recorded November 1st 2018,

Songs: Wheel Of Misfortune Letting Go Flawed Translation Partners In Motion

Natalieprass

The album was written, the tour scheduled, the pieces all in place. It had been almost two years since Natalie Prass’ self-titled debut garnered rave reviews for its luscious, baroque-pop sounds. At the end of 2016, the singer-songwriter’s sophomore follow-up was almost ready to be released. Then the election happened.

“I had a record ready to go,” Prass says. “And I scrapped it.”

What followed was a trying time for the Richmond, Virginia, native, full of soul-searching, dark thoughts, and a protracted fight with her (now former) record label. But Prass was insistent. “I can’t release a neutral record right now,” she says. “I need to contribute to the conversation.” Her determination and focused songwriting has finally led her to her new album, The Future and the Past.

It’s been three-and-a-half years since Prass’ debut, and her newest effort has her returning in fighting form. She once again worked with producer Matthew E. White and the Spacebomb House Band, who are quietly earning a reputation as one of the best house bands around. Prass’ gorgeous orchestral strings are back, but with a smaller role this time around. Instead, she’s rummaged through the thrift shops of music history, dusting off artifacts of funk and soul, Brazilian tropicalia, indie folk, and bedazzled LA rock. The result is eclectic, fun, and thoroughly groovy — a polished statement of raw feeling.

“Oh My”:
At the time I was writing these songs in 2016 and 2017, right after the election, I was pretty raw and feeling so many emotions. The news was just pounding down on all of us. It was a lot to handle and feeling like my life was changing and the country was changing and the world was changing really quickly.

So, I would go to my little rehearsal space — I shared this shitty rehearsal space with metal dudes for a while. I would go there in the morning time when there were no metal people playing and lie on the floor and cry. Read, write, play piano for a little bit, and cry. I felt like it was my responsibility to try and put some positive energy into the world and talk about things that were very real. The only thing that was hard about it was convincing the label I was with at the time that it was a good idea, because they were not into it at all.

“Short Court Style”:
So, “Short Court” was already gonna be on the other record. For that one, I already wrote the music for a short film called Oh Jerome, No that was written by Teddy Blanks and Alex Karpovsky. They asked me to write the music for it, and I wrote maybe five or six tunes for that little short film. That was the opening track, the montage, without lyrics or anything. Then when the short film came out, people were hitting me up like, “Where do I get that song? I need that song.” So, I was thinking, “Oh, I should just write lyrics to this and make it an actual song I can put on my record.” Usually, the melody and chords come to me pretty effortlessly, and then I start building from there. Usually, when I co-write, I have people who help me fill in lyrics and help me put my thoughts together. Usually, the chords and the melody are what I feel most confident about.

“Interlude: Your Fire”:
It’s funny, I didn’t intend for that to be split up. Everybody was like, “”The Fire” should be a single, but we need to split up that intro and make it a separate track,” and I was like, “No!” But I get it. It was intended to be all one piece, but it’s kind of cool; a lot of my favorite records have interludes, so I was like, “Ok, ok, I’ll split it up.”

“The Fire”:
I wrote a version of that song in Nashville with my buddy Mikky Ekko. We wrote that a long time ago, and then I couldn’t remember how it went.  That song was on an old laptop that died. I’m really bad with technology, so when a computer dies I’m like, “Well, that’s it.” But that one…I went from memory, and kind of re-wrote the whole thing. I thought it was a good story of feeling in-between, of knowing you need to get out of something but feeling stuck at the same time. The whole…the future and the past… stuck in-between, very much in the present – knowing what has happened and what led you here – But what’s going to happen in the future?

“Hot for the Mountain”:
That one is a protest song, a political song for staying focused. You might feel like you’re the only one, but you’re not. “Hot for the Mountain”, like, it’s not gonna be an easy way, but just stay positive. It’s kind of like, “You’re not alone.” I feel really numb to a lot of stuff now. I’m just trying to focus on the big picture, doing what I know I can do, making sure I always vote — that is so important to me now. It’s like, “Oh, I’ll do it on the big election.” But now it’s like, “No, I am always going to stay up on it” and be involved in my local elections, especially. I knew it was important before, but now it’s a very high priority.

“Lost”:
That one goes with the Me Too movement. I really didn’t want that song to be on the record. I didn’t want to give the person it’s about any kind of ammo against me. The Me Too movement has been really hard on me, personally, because it’s really painful to remember things that have happened to you — but I’m so grateful for it at the same time. Now there’s all this language, there’s all this support, when you just felt like you were so alone … People were like, “You just have to deal with it and move on.” Which, yeah, you have to move on. You can’t live your life in pain like that. It’s nice to know there’s brave women out there and they’re telling their stories. I’m a pretty private person, but I think it’s important to have solidarity with people who have had experiences like myself.

“Sisters”:
Matt’s
the producer. He’s been my buddy for a very long time and is like a big brother to me, and he lives a 10-minute walk from my apartment. I went to his house almost every day during those couple months and spent a lot of time sitting in his kitchen drinking coffee. He had this drum machine, and he had this beat he made on his drum machine, and I was like, “Oh, that’s what I’m feeling right now. Let’s write to this beat.” It was a heavy-hitting kind of beat, and I wanted it to be kind of like a fight song for how I was feeling. I was feeling extremely hopeless at the time, feeling that people don’t want to listen to women, people don’t want women leaders, women cut each other down, men cut women down, there are so many deep stereotypes, and women are pitted against one another. Basically that entire song is A Minor. I was listening to a lot of gospel music when the election happened. I wanted to put some of that feeling into the new music I was writing.

“Never Too Late”:
The label I was with before I parted ways with them — after this record (laughs) — they were like, “How would you feel about going to LA and writing with some people?” I was like, “Sure, I’ll try it.” And that was the worst month of my life. These people… All right, they’re just trying to get by, like me, and they have to hustle way more than I do because I live in a very cheap city, and they live in LA. Of course, they want to write music that could potentially make money. But that’s not where my interests are. I was miserable. It made me feel like the one thing I know how to do very well I don’t know how to do. People were treating me like I didn’t know how to write music. We couldn’t agree on anything.

My publisher, who I’ve been working with since I was 23 years old, was like, “Hey, Nat, there’s this guy out there, Steve Lindsey, this old LA scene kind of guy. I feel like you might like him.” He’s this old LA session dude. Used to play with Toto back in the day. He knew exactly where I was coming from. It was this bright light in the middle of all the terrible. I was having fun, relaxing, like, yeah, “Let’s write this glitzy, shiny, Steely Dan kind of song.” Of course, I don’t relate to the people my age or the people younger than me. I relate to the people 70 and up. That’s so me. We wrote that song super fast. I had the melody already. For the chorus, either, “It’s too late,” or “It’s never too late.” They helped me tighten up the loose ends. But I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted to do already.

“Ship Go Down”:
I really love psychedelic tropicalia music. Tropicalia music was a huge political movement, and I was taking inspiration from how they expressed their political views. Brazilian music has the most beautiful melodies, harmonies, and it’s groovy: it takes from jazz, pop, R&B, and american blues. The lyrics are really meaningful and thought-provoking and poetic, talking about politics in Brazil at the time.

No place is perfect, and I always thought America had a ton of problems. But I at least felt like we were moving in the right direction. I thought, “There’s no way people are going to vote for this…” I was so naive. I knew it was going to be close. Then the shock. Going out in Richmond — and Richmond is very progressive — but going out, thinking, “Who did they vote for? Who did they vote for?” Feeling like I don’t know where I live anymore. That’s definitely the darkest song on the record.

“Nothing to Say”:
I’ve had that one for a long time, and I’ve always wanted to record that one, and I thought the time is right now. There’s so many talking heads. That one was funny when we were recording it in the studio, because Matt was all, “I don’t know what to do with this song,” and I was like, “I got it, I got it, I got it! We’re going to record this marble bouncing off the floor, and then we’re going to have this bell sound!” And then Matt just basically cleaned up the huge mess I made.

“Far from You”:
That one’s written about Karen Carpenter. I’ve always loved her; I’ve always thought she was this beautiful soul. She’s very misunderstood, and people often only think about her in terms of how she died [from complications due to anorexia]. But there’s so much more than that. She was from a time when women didn’t play drums; women were up front and singing. She didn’t have a choice. Her label and everybody pushed her out from the kit. Once she got pushed out front, the body shaming started. It got to her head. She started to feel like she didn’t have any control over her career and what she was doing musically. The one thing she could control was her diet. Always in a competition with her family, who favored her brother. You can hear how kind she is and how much she just loves singing and gets a joy out of music. I wanted to write a tribute to her.

“Ain’t Nobody”:
That was straight up trying to bring joy into a harsh reality. You have to keep moving and stay energized. We weren’t intending it, originally, to be such an upbeat tune. We were thinking it would be a little more subdued, almost more of a piano, mid-tempo groove sort of thing. But once we got in the studio, I was like, “This isn’t what I need right now. We gotta pick this up.” It took a long time for us to figure out where that one was supposed to sit, but it got there. That’s what’s so fun about creating and putting a production together. If you have a pretty solid song you can mold it to be whatever you want it to be. I wanted to end on a high note.

The Future And The Past is bursting with a myriad of grooves and Natalie’s vocals float on top, light as a feather and tough as nails. Short Court Style dials the tempo into 90s R&B territory – punctuated by handclaps, sampled “woos,” and a Dr. Dre-esque whistling synth line. Lyrically she wields a sharp knife as well. The love torn Lost begins with: “Turn up the fader, its like a lightning bolt / we can’t be saved, so now I’m listening on my own / Once there was a time when you had me hypnotized / you realized that your finger prints were on my bones.” Funky feminist anthem Sisters is an empowering rallying cry: “I want to say it loud / for all the ones held down / we gotta change the plan.”

thanksconsequenceofsound.

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.