The returning single from rising RnB singer IYVES is everything a return should be. The aptly titled “Gold” is a love ballad showcasing her sexy and beautiful vocals over a slick captivating beat. The song explores the endless depth of feelings that come with a true and fulfilling love, i.e. ‘Gold‘. The kind of love that is hard to find as it is rare. So once you do, it feels like a dream. What clever and fun word play from IYVES.
“finding someone that treats you better than you’ve ever experienced,” a feeling that you didn’t know was physically possible to feel. The song begins with skepticism in her voice and in the lyrics, but progresses to an understanding of how rare and special this circumstance of love is”. – IYVES
The song fuses a number of genres overall including RnB, Electronic, Pop, Soul, and even Rock. “Gold” has quite an sexy, and enigmatic vibe overall as it’s a good slow burn. To learn more IYVES and to stream this song look no further than below. ⬇️⬇️
‘Savages’ is the infectious debut single from your new favorite boy band RØYLS
RØYLS is the buzzed about new band that is the brainchild of Sean Killeen, Liam Ross, and Drew Dirksen. Their debut single “Savages” is co-written with renowned songwriter John Feldman (Panic! At The Disco, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Blink 182) is a fresh and lively pick for a debut, featuring a hugely melodic chorus. The super catchy song also takes notes from multiple genres such as Pop, EDM, and even a bit of reggae, melding them altogether quite well. Overall it’s a great first outing for what promises to be a super fun Pop Rock trio.
Hey Violet (Singer Rena Lovelis, her sister and drummer Nia Lovelis, Lead Guitarist Casey Moreta, and Bassist Iain Shipp), the four piece Alternative Pop band is back with a fun new single titled “Better By Myself”. It’s the first release from the band since their 2017 debut album “From The Outside”. The song is a catchy, and groovy pop rock number featuring a hooky sing along style chorus. The subject matter of relationships and freedom is albeit nothing new but very relatable, makes “Better By Myself” perfect for Pop radio. To check out more on Hey Violet and the link to stream “Better By Myself” see below.
KIANJA is the latest signing to the Best Laid Plans record label. Her latest single “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a fantastic second offering, showing major promise from this young talent. The song oozes heartache that is reminiscent of artists older than she. As KIANJA vocals dance about the track with what seems like such an ease, the emotion she evokes is clear and evident. It is a love song but one of heartbreak, of letting go even when you don’t want to making the track bittersweet. KIANJA is a rising talent that’s a must listen, so to learn more about her and to stream her new track “I Can’t Make You Love Me” look no further than below.
Maya B is the Los Angeles based R&B singer and songwriter recently signed to Capitol Records
I chatted with Maya Babout her latest single “Dollar to a Diamond“, music, touring, and even her favorite children’s book …
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Red Vines or Twizzlers?
MAYA B: Red vines. I have them in every green room.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: For my readers at The Reclusive Blogger can you us how you got started as singer and songwriter? Who and what inspired you to take that journey?
MAYA B: I’ve been writing and singing ever since I can remember honestly. I fell in love with music when I was 5 and started making music when I was around 7. What made me get into music was my mom putting my sisters and I into a girl group. As time went by I started taking it very seriously.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your current single “Dollar To A Diamond”. Can you tell me more about the creative and writing process behind it?
MAYA B: Yeah, so Hydrate (upcoming producer) and Soulshock made this track one night together and played it for me the next day. I fell in love with it and started writing. I wrote and we recorded “Dollar To A Diamond” in a single day.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You not only also express yourself as an singer-songwriter but in other art forms as well. What’s a typical creative process like for you?
MAYA B: I don’t have a creative process set in stone honestly. It’s ever-changing because I hate structure haha. The only thing that’s inevitable when I create is: I like looking at photos or colors when I write a song. I like listening to music when I paint or draw.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Since you are currently on tour. What are three must have items for you?
MAYA B: My beats headphones because I’m an antisocial fuck. My iPad because I draw my digital art on there. And my lucky pants because lucky pants are a must.
TRB: Switching gears now … What was your favorite children’s book as a kid?
MAYA B: ‘No David, No’ for sure!
TRB: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you guys as a band lately? What music have you been digging?
MAYA B: We’ve been jamming to Juice WRLD and we all really love jazz so the guys recently put me on to Gretchen Parlato. I’ve been listening to a lot of XXTENTACION, King Krule, Brigitte Fontaine, and Celebration.
TRB: And what’s next for you, Maya B?
MAYA B: I’m gearing up to release my EP. I’m super excited for everyone to see some different sides of me. I’m also getting ready to drop the “Dollar to a diamond” video.
TRB: Anything else you would like to add? Thank you for your time!
FRENSHIP are a platinum selling duo. Most known for their global hit “Capsize” with Emily Warren. They are set to release their debut record “Vacation” on May 17th. The album is full of warm harmonies and beautiful propulsive melodies, and the themes such as love, relationships, happiness, home, and Los Angeles. FRENSHIP has released two songs from the album including “Remind You” and “Wanted A Name” which features Yoke Lore. The band are festival favorites, selling out headline shows in 2018 after previously touring with frequent collaborators Bastille.
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‘Deja Vu’ will definitely have you hitting repeat!
Deja Vu’ is the highly relatable new pop song from Nashville based singerBrit Daniels. On the trackBrit Danielsmulls over a relationship that is going nowhere or around in circles where she feels like she’s stuck in “Deja Vu”. The lyrics are vulnerable and along with Daniels heartfelt singing make for quite the moody yet catchy track. You’ll be singing the chorus in no time.
Check out more onBrit Danielsand follow her on social media below. As well as listen to “Deja Vu”.
Alison Wonderland hopes to find ‘Peace‘ on this heartbreaking new track
‘Peace‘ is the catchy and emotional new tune from DJ, Producer, and Singer-SongwriterAlison Wonderland. Released today with an equally stunning video from Venice, California based creative duo Cue the Bird who helped bring her vision to life, along with Jake Kasheta who produced it. The visuals capture the song well. The struggle to find solid ground after a relationship goes wrong and ends. It’s an intense internal journey, the juxtaposition of light and dark, and hope and despair. Alison Wonderland takes the listener on a strong emotional journey on “Peace” hoping we all come out in the end with at least a little bit of it. Check out the video for “Peace” below and link to stream and buy. Also links to Alison Wonderland socials and official website.
Grace May is the New York based and Toronto born R&B, neo-soul singer and artist. Her stunning new single is a must listen. The song “Quiet” is a treat featuring captivating vocals set against a minimalistic backdrop of what appears to be as a few instruments as possible. The production bare as well.
“I wanted the instrumentation to be as raw as the lyrics”.
– Singer Grace May
The lyrical content is all at once honest, raw, and immediately engaging to the listener. Grace May’s dazzling falsetto is what is most notable on this track, only enhancing to what is already a beautiful and highly emotional song.
Singer Haley Reinhart (and former American Idol alum) released her fourth album “Lo-Fi Soul” today. The soulful singer-songwriter brings together a unique perspective to this thirteen track collective.
Haley’s jazzy and often smokey timbre is the highlight on “Lo-Fi Soul” as she runs through the in’s and outs of love and heartbreak. Something we all can relate too, in one way or another. On the gospel-tinged opening track “Deep Water”, the 60s Doo-Wop inspired “Oh Damn”, and “Shook” where Reinhart’s playfulness and sexy appeal are most apparent. Reinhart’s vulnerability on this album goes beyond that. On songs like “Don’t Know How to Love You” and “Crack The Code” she ruminates over a relationship and all of its issues. The album is peppered with musical analogies (i.e. “Lo-Fi Soul”) some of which are cliche, but fitting hence the album title. The album overall is a cohesive piece of work if perhaps a bit sleepy towards the end. Any fans of Haley Reinhart will be thrilled with delight, while she’ll definitely gain new fans and listeners as well.
Fresh off her opening tour slot with Bastille, Best Laid Plans Records, Singer & artist Akine talks music, her band members and collaborators the Wavewalkrs, plus more at The Reclusive Blogger …
The Reclusive Blogger: Hi, Akine. I always start with a fun ice breaker question so …
The Reclusive Blogger: Morning Bird or Night Owl?
Akine: Definitely Night Owl. I’m most productive from 10pm and 2am. That’s usually when i write too.
The Reclusive Blogger: Can you tell us how you got started as a singer and songwriter? Did you always want to be that?
Akine: Yes. As long as I remember I’ve always wanted to be a singer/ songwriter. It was either that or becoming a Pirate. There was no third option. I started writing lyrics and melodies when I was 11 or 12 and it gradually became an obsession, compulsion. By 16 I had enough material for a few albums. Some of it will never see the light of day but some of the songs are now released or will be later this year. My sister helped me record a few tracks and get them to a label. So here I am now.
The Reclusive Blogger: You released your debut EP, Don’t Foster Fear last year? What was the writing and recording process like for you? Especially being a young debut artist?
Akine: I had written a few songs that came together into a theme. I was going through a rough time at school, feeling like an outcast and just very anxious and fearful of everything. These feelings came to form the concept of the EP. Recording was pretty awesome. James Earp is a fantastic producer and now a great friend. He immediately got me and the music and the lyrics. It was so easy working with him. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by people who believe in me so i cant say that I’ve had to struggle in that sense.
The Reclusive Blogger: You are currently playing a few shows with Bastille? How has that experience been for you? Have any you gotten any touring tips from your fellow tourmates?
Akine:The experience of touring has been a real eye opener. Watching BASTILLE, their work ethic, the way they prep and perform its just all done on such a high level of professionalism. They have been so supportive of my music from the very start. It’s pretty surreal that I went from being a Bastille fan to performing on one stage with Dan Smith. It’s been incredible, the experience, the people who make it all look so easy when there’s actually a ton of preparation that goes into playing every single show. I cant wait to do more live, its such a high. Also, being able to perform with my friends and band mates the Wavewalkrs it just didn’t feel like work. Physically demanding but also emotionally rewarding, that’s how id summarize touring.
The Reclusive Blogger: Speaking of Bastille … what’s your favourite Bastille song?
Akine: I have a few but I guess I would have to say “Two Evils”.
The Reclusive Blogger: What musician would you love to collaborate with? And Why?
Akine: There’s so many! I would love to collaborate with Fiona Apple, Modeselector, Mitski, Brockhampton or Ben Howard.
The Reclusive Blogger: Is there a lyric that you’ve written that has the most meaning for you or is your favorite?
Akine:In “Cashmere” I wrote about a girl I used to be close with and as we grew apart as friends, our values also changed and it broke my heart a little bit. I guess at one point being cool and popular became a priority for her and in a way I felt like she chose that over our friendship.
“Everything you do, you do it for the camera, the likes and the views. Writing your name on the walls, i was here. Gotta remind them or they will forget”
– Cashmere by Akine
The Reclusive Blogger: Throwing in a fun one here… If you could live in any fictional universe, which would you choose?
Akine: I would either live in Pirates of the Carribean themed universe or Harry Potter world. Definitely somewhere really spontaneous where anything could happen.
The Reclusive Blogger:Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been digging?
The Reclusive Blogger: And what’s next for you Akine?
Akine: More music. Hopefully I’ll get an album together before the end of the year and release that. Like I said before, I want to travel and play live, I love meeting the people that listen to my music.
The Reclusive Blogger: Anything else you would like to add? 🙂
Scottish Singer-SongwriterNina Nesbitt played to a packed house at The Roxy on Sunset last night (March19th, 2019). Hitting Southern California on her “The Sun Will Come Up” tour with openers SophieRose and Plested, the love was loud and clear for her in West Hollywood …
Sophie Rose started the night out leaning towards a more Pop Rock style of songs that were carried by her heartfelt songwriting and airy vocals. She is definitely one to watch, she mentioned that Taylor Swift has playlisted one of her songs. Plested was next and it was him and a guitar, his unique voice brought a soulful quality to his indie guitar music.
Nina came onstage to loud cheers and many in the crowd wearing the merch that they had just bought. From the start of the first note and line her fans were singing along, and dancing, many with their camera phones up not wanting to miss anything for prosperity. Running through such songs as “Sacred”, “These Are The Moments I’m Missing”, “Colder”, “Psychopath”, (where she brought out Charlotte Lawrence and Sophie Rose), “Empire”, and “Somebody Special”. Nina then came back on for an encore of “The Sun Will Come Up” and “Loyal” (which was an absolute crowd sing-along favorite). The biggest surprise though was Nina (excuse me Nina Nesbitch) covering Britney Spears “Toxic”, while she and her Keyboardist repped two fan-made “Nina Nesbitch” hats from fans in the audience. The entire show was fresh, fun and all about the music and vocals from start to finish. If you haven’t seen Nina live or heard her current album “The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change” please do so, you’ll thank me. Check out my photos from the concert below and to learn more about each artist …
I chatted with ‘Austin songtress’ Saint Spicer about her current single ‘On Repeat’, music inspirations, Anime, and much more. Check it out all below!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Red Vines or Twizzlers?
SAINT SPICER: Twizzlers…if I have to choose.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us how you got started as a singer and songwriter? Did you always know you wanted to do this?
SAINT SPICER: Yes, I did! When I was a child I had a Barbie karaoke machine and I knew I wanted to be just like Shania Twain. Then when I was 10, I wrote my first song about a crush I had on one of my YMCA instructors.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: So you just released a new song “On Repeat”. Can you tell me more about the creative and writing process behind that? The backstory for this song?
SAINT SPICER: The producer of this song is Born Soul. He actually heard me perform at my first ever concert in Austin. It went horribly, the sound people completely messed up my track and I ended up getting kicked off the stage after my time went up. I was really mad. But everyone who saw that performance came up to me afterwards and said even with the tech issues they were impressed. Born Soul was there and reached out to me after and wanted to work on a new project. So we got in the studio and he pulled out this sample, and I just started singing “I remember back when I was 18…” And he put together the first verse and I wrote the first verse. Then I went home and sent over the finished song the next week. Jason Cherry is the bassist and I realized the song needed a bass player. This was the first song we did together, and now we’re working on a whole album.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about the song’s cover art … How do you feel the cover art for “On Repeat” fits in aesthetically with this song and with you as an artist right now?
SAINT SPICER: A creative partner of mine, Aleksandar Tinkovski, took that photo of me. I knew I wanted it black and white, and he had the idea to take it in a bar with the long exposure. The cover photo is very reflective of being still and pensive in a time of chaos. Also, alcohol.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Are themes of love and loss something that you feel most comfortable in telling? Or just telling about human relationships overall? Be it good or bad.
SAINT SPICER: Yes, unfortunately. I feel the market for love songs is way oversaturated, but it’s what comes naturally. So when I do write about love I try to be brutally honest about what I’m feeling. The rest of the time, I try to tell stories!
TRB: Where do you normally draw inspiration from as artist and musician?
SAINT: I draw inspiration from ANIME. I cannot state that enough. Anime is cathartic to me. Japanese culture can be very intense, and their art is a designed as an amazing escapist experience that I can’t get out of my head.
TRB: You mentioned that artists like Nina Simone, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé were huge influences for you. Why have these artists like these have been so inspiring for you? And if you could cover one of their songs which one would you choose and why?
SAINT: These women are amazing songwriters. Their work holds up over time. Nina has done amazing things outside the boundaries of blues, soul, and jazz, and has an extremely nuance understanding of rhythm. Beyoncé and Gaga are absolute rockstars. I would cover “Save Me” by Nina Simone because it’s saucy and has a good bassline.
TRB: Dream concert venue to play at?
SAINT: Super Bowl
TRB: Throwing in another fun one here…If you could live in any fictional universe, which would you choose?
SAINT: Avatar the Last Airbender! I’m tryna fly.
TRB: And what’s next for you, Saint Spicer?
SAINT: Jason Cherry and I are working on an album called Space Cowgirl. It’s based on an anime Cowboy Bebop and follows the archetypical story of the Ugly Duckling. It’s a story everyone can relate to—feeling like you don’t belong, being lost, and then eventually finding your people. It’s a funk album and it’s amazing.
TRB: Anything else you would like to add? Thank you for your time!
SAINT: Please stream “On Repeat” and consider supporting our recording for Space Cowgirl online at saintsaidso.bandcamp.com! We release new songs every month.
British band You Me At Six (Josh Franceschi, Max Helyer, Chris Miller, Matt Barnes, Dan Flint) made a triumphant return to Los Angeles on Monday night with a packed show full of their biggest fans in Los Angeles. The band has been playing shows across the U.S. on their ‘Back Again‘ tour with Synth Pop band machineheart and Alt-Pop trio DREAMERS as openers. You Me At Six rocked the venue charging through a set of 18 songs …
Los Angeles based Synth-Pop band machineheart started out the night in dreamy fashion, bringing beautiful harmonies and gorgeous melodies from lead singer Stevie Scott. The band itself was in sync and their vibe was a great way to kick off the night. Alternative Pop band DREAMERS were next and the band walked out onto the stage to a massive amount of cheers as their fans had shown up to support. The band played a fast-paced and fierce six-song set (as did machineheart) which featured some fun Alternative Rock dance numbers.
You Me At Six hit the stage at around 9:45 pm coming out on stage to an already very excited and loud crowd. The crowd stayed like that the entire night. The band tore through 18 tracks from 5 albums, playing through such songs as “Reckless’, “Loverboy’, to “NightPeople’, “IOU’, and “Bite My Tongue’ and many more (full set list pictured above). The band also performed a four-song encore coming back onstage to a crowd of fans chanting “You Me At Six!’, featuring “Room to Breathe‘, “No One Does It Better‘, “Straight to My Head’ and “Underdog’. You Me At Six had every single fan in the room matching their same high energy, happy and excited to see their favorite band. All singing along word for word, dancing having a great time. It was fun to see a band that was not only in sync with each other but was clearly having a ton of fun on stage. You Me At Six, lead singer Josh Franceschi made sure to interact with the crowd physically but through banter as well, yet he didn’t over do it. The show overall from openers to headliner was an exciting, high energy show (on a Monday night no less) filled with an engaged audience and lots of good music. See my photos from the show below …
I chatted with singer, songwriter and guitarist CraigStickland about music, life on the road and his upcoming album “StarlitAfternoon” which features the current single “BurnItDown“. You can read the interview below and learn more about Craig and his music …
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Coffee or tea?
CRAIG STICKLAND: Coffee.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: So you just dropped your latest single “Burn It Down”. Can you tell me more about the creative and writing process behind it? A bit on the backstory?
CRAIG STICKLAND: In the final stretch of the album making process, Cat Lewis and I were writing and producing a ton of music in search of a few more up tempo songs to round out the mid tempo feel of the rest of the album. “Burn It Down” started as a song about rebellion against governments that try to oppress those who are trying to live a life of freedom. After about a month’s worth of re-writes, it ended up as a song about coming together with your fellow human being, living a life of your choosing, while maintaining a theme that no one should be able to tell you how to live the life you want to live.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Your second album “Starlit Afternoon” is coming out this Summer. Can you talk a little bit about how the recording and writing process has been for it?
CRAIG STICKLAND:Starlit Afternoon is a collection of songs that I’d been writing for the last few years while traveling across North America in a sprinter van that I renovated to be my home away from home, as well as while traveling around the world playing guitar in her band, as well as opening up for Alessia Cara. They’re songs about my relationships and experiences during that time period. After trying to find the right production sound with a variety of different producers, and ultimately ending up liking my home demos more than the fully produced versions I was ending up with, I decided to co-produce the album with a few good friends of mine; Cat Lewis and Gray Hawken. Alessia’s keyboardist Eric Rusinski, Cat and I had just finished converting a guest house garage into a studio in LA, so I parked my van in front, AirBnb’d my apartment, and we got to work over the better part of a year. We were in the studio every day, sometimes making 6 or 7 versions of the same song until we got it right.
TRB: Have you always known you wanted to be a singer-songwriter and guitarist? Who are some guitar heroes of yours?
CS: I knew I wanted to be a singer songwriter when I first picked up the guitar at age 16. When I first saw John Mayer play live, that’s when I knew I wanted to be a singer-songwriter and guitarist, and that I needed to step my guitar playing game up.
TRB: Let’s talk a bit about your music video for “Burn It Down“? What was the inspiration behind it? What was the filming like for you on the music video?
CS:Emma Higgins who directed the video is incredible, and she was the true visionary behind the video. We knew we wanted a live performance element to capture the energy of the recording, and it was Emma’s idea to drive around California and capture total stranger’s initial reaction to hearing the song on 16mm film.
TRB: Is there a lyric that you’ve written that has the most meaning to you or is your favorite?
CS: One of my favorite songs on the album is the album closer “Good Love” which is a very personal song written about how hard it is to find pure love, especially with my career choice. The verses are very personal, and I really like the way they came together.
“Staring at the city and I feel like crying out. The words you used to whisper, I now hear so loud. If I’d known you’d be so precious, I would have been more kind. Tell me now why is good love always so hard to find. Lately I’ve been drinking to escape my state of mind. As I pull up to an empty bar, I read your script inside. It tells me not to be reckless, and that everything will be fine. Tell me now why is good love always so hard to find. Maybe it’s the way I live, different city every night. They say that you get what you give, when you left I felt the plight. Maybe things would be different if I wasn’t working all the time. Tell me now why is good love always so hard to find.” – Craig Stickland // ‘Good Love’
TRB: Are there any current artists that have been “On Repeat” for you as a band lately? What music have you been digging?
CS:Tom Misch has been one of my favorites for a while now. His first two albums, Beat Tape 2 and Geography are on heavy rotation. I’ve also been listening to Gary Clark Jr.’s new album, and Nathanial Rateliff & The Night Sweats’ album Tearing at the Seams. Emily King’s new album is incredible too.
TRB:And what’s next for you, CraigStickland?
CS:I’m really eager to share this new music. I’ll be releasing new songs from Starlit Afternoon leading up to a mid summer Album release. My Next single “Rolling River” Comes out on March 22nd. I also shot a series called ‘The Van Sessions’, where we filmed and recorded live versions of most songs from the album, fully powered by the solar panels that I mounted on top of my sprinter van. We shot a different song in each of my favorite locations around California like Big Sur, Joshua Tree, Yosemite National park and Alabama Hills, to name a few. And of course, more touring to come!
English Indie Pop artist The Japanese House (aka Amber Bain) has released her debut album ‘Good at Falling” out today on Dirty Hit. The album is co-produced by her and The 1975′ George Daniel. Whose own band you can hear has been a major influence on her production but her sound as well. On ‘Good At Falling“, her debut full-length record many influences are heard and felt here. The songwriting is honest and vulnerable, with a quiet sadness felt throughout the album. All of it set against lush electronic instruments, bright guitars, earthy drums, and clever purposeful sampling akin to what is done in hip-hop. Amber’s vocals range from soft and pretty to heady with a touch of grit. Her use of different audio processes is only to enhance the sound. Such as the intro of the album, with her use of heavy processing and samples, before segueing into a dreamy 80s like synthpop. Songs like ‘Maybe There’s A Reason“, and ‘We Talk All The Time” we hear more synthpop influences and artists like The Beach Boys and Blondie. Even little things such as chimes and bells. A vocoder effect shows up on her vocals for the song ‘Wild”. While the track musically has elements of 90s shoegaze and modern electro-pop, Amber’s vocal delivery incorporates a bit of modern hip-hop/RnB swag. All in all the debut album ‘Good at Falling” is a promising one showcasing her songwriting talents as she hones in on the little things that make The Japanese House unique.
New Orleans Alternative Rock band The Revivalists have released a new music video for the song ‘Change‘. The track is off of their fourth studio album Take Good Care, with the music video filmed at Meow Wolf’s spellbinding House of Eternal Return. The art collective that is backed by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. ‘Change‘ is already a Top 3 Triple A radio hit and is quickly climbing Alternative radio charts! So check out below the very trippy and colorful video below that’s directed by Zev Deans who has also directed videos for St. Vincent and Ghost. I have also listed The Revivalists upcoming tour dates as well so be sure to check them out on the road! The band has sold out dates in St. Louis, New Orleans, Austin and Downers Grove already. Check out the full list of dates below.
THE REVIVALISTS 2019 TOUR DATES –
3/8 — Madison, WI, The Sylvee 3/9 — St. Paul, MN, Palace Theatre 3/10 — Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theatre 3/13 — Tucson, AZ, Rialto Theatre 3/15 — Tempe, AZ, Marquee Theatre 3/16 — Las Vegas, NV, The Chelsea Theatre 3/23 — St. Louis, MO, The Pageant 3/25 — Downers Grove, IL Tivoli Theatre: Classic Cinemas 3/27 — Dallas, TX, South Side Ballroom 3/29 — Houston, TX, Revention Music Center 3/30 — Austin, TX, Stubb’s BBQ 3/31 — Austin, TX, Stubb’s BBQ 4/3 — Orlando, FL, House of Blues 4/5 — St. Petersburg, FL, Jannus Live 4/6 — Key West, FL, Key West Amphitheater 4/28 — Panama City Beach Florida, Sandjam Fest 5/02 — New Orleans, LA, The Fillmore New Orleans 5/19 — Columbia, MD, DC 101 Kerfuffle
Crywolf is the boundary pushing music project of the talented artist Justin Taylor Philips. On his current single ‘DRIP‘ from his full length album titled widow [OBLIVØN] Pt.I] that’s due out March 22nd.
Crywolf says of the single, “one of the themes of this album is the exploration of the shadow – the darker, more difficult aspects of the human psyche. People often think they have one unified “personality,” but the truth is that we are made up of up to a dozen different personalities that are only loosely tied together. We feel like we have so much control over our actions and personality characteristics, but often when we pay close attention and are honest with ourselves, we can see that we can’t actually control or even explain large parts of who we are. ‘DRIP‘ is the my process of staring into my brain and being brutally honest about some of the really difficult aspects of what I see there. It might not be, but it’s uncomfortably real.”
The song itself is heavily influenced by a lot the darker toned Electro Pop and Electro Rock that is emerging right now. The beat that pulses through out lends itself to Trip Hop, but there are many influences overall. Crywolf’s frenetic vocal delivery hovers somewhere along the lines of a punk rock melodic sing-along and actual rapping. It’s quite the vibe with the different found sounds and percussion in the background. The song ends as Crywolf’s vocals suddenly flip and turn into a softer tonality, almost a whisper as some acoustic guitar comes in fading out almost as fast as the track started.
‘Dreaming‘ is the super catchy and fun new single from Brooklyn based band VHS Collection. The band comprised of longtime friends Conor Cook, James Bohannon, and Nils Vanderlip wrote the 80s tinged euphoric track in Los Angeles, during one of the bands’ writing sessions. ‘Dreaming‘ is the first single that VHS Collection have put out sincethe band released Retrofuturism in 2018and if you’re wondering if this band sounds familar you’re right. The band has recently been featured in quite a few tv shows, including the hit Netflix show ‘YOU‘, Younger and Showtime‘s Shameless. So do yourself a huge favor and go check out the groovy new single from VHS Collection out now below!
Singer and GuitaristGary Clark Jr. is back with a brand new album ‘This Land’. The debut single and title track is already impacting radio. Garnering praise from the likes of Keith Richards, Alicia Keys, and even Former PresidentBarack Obama. Gary is taking no prisoners with this album. His unique ability to seamlessly blend so many genres, Soul, R&B, Blues, Rock, Pop, Funk … really too many to name but it all works well together on ‘This Land’.
We begin the journey on ‘This Land‘ with the title track that is at once a soaring anthem and a super personal track about growing up a Black Man in America. Where getting your own it could still change nothing. It is angsty, driven and is devastatingly beautiful. It’s the perfect opening statement for the record. We segue into tracks ‘What About Us‘ which has a slightly slower tempo but is still riding that same bluesy funk rock feel as the opener. On ‘I Got My On Eyes You’Gary first slips into his falsetto which is featured heavily on this record. This track with all of its old school soul influences has lots of fuzzy guitar shredding throughout. There are also some notable electronic elements peeking in and out. On the pleading and lovelorn ‘I Walk Alone‘ he maintains the falsetto for most of the song with the guitar matching the vibe and feeling as well, harkening back to 60s RnB with just a bit of the Blues as well. Gary picks up the pace significantly with the next two tracks, ‘Feeling Like A MillionBucks‘ and ‘Gotta Get Into Something‘. Both songs are on the opposite ends of the musical spectrum, with ‘Feeling Like A Million Bucks‘ being a feisty, slinky and reggae-tinged track while ‘Gotta Get Into Something‘ being a harder edge bouncy punk influenced song. Yet, they both fit. The reason for this is the signature guitar sound snaking throughout not only these two songs but each and every track on ‘This Land‘. Tracks like ‘Got to Get Up‘ and ‘Feed the Babies‘ have so much Swagger and 70s Funk influences (love the 70s funktastic horns flittering about both songs).
His latest release ‘Pearl Cadillac‘ is just beautiful and a sweet ode with the guitar softly shredding along not too much but not too little. One of the highlights on the album that is so full of standouts. It is a shame because my least favorite song on the album is right after ‘Pearl Cadillac‘. ‘When I’m Gone‘ is a bit clunky amongst the rest of tracks on ‘This Land‘. While there truly isn’t too much wrong with the track as a whole it’s a pretty groovy song. It doesn’t quite come together for me with this one. ‘Guitar Man‘ is a fun blues inspired track that sounds most like classic Gary. As the song continues you’ll find it’s quite the foot-stomping number. ‘Low Down Rolling Stone‘ starts off with some heavy fuzzy guitar and drums. The track feels like a new ageRock anthem for the broken and indifferent. The heaviness in the instruments and only adds to the soulfulness and emotionality of the track. It’s another highlight for me. ‘The Governor‘ is just straight up blues and rock and roll, with the use of an acoustic guitar. This is just a fantastic track overall. Gary’s vocals have a gruffness we don’t hear on much of the record. Gary does a complete 360 on ‘Don’t Wait Til Tomorrow‘ and brings in strings, beautiful harmonies, and more modern influences, like 90s RnB. His vocals shine best on this track. The album ends on tracks ‘Highway 71‘ and ‘Dirty Dishes Blues‘. ‘Highway 71‘ is an instrumental track that opens on a cool sultry electro beat with the guitar riffing along the top of the beat. ‘Dirty Dishes Blues‘ is just a good old fashioned honky tonk blues jam about heartbreak, a perfect way to close out the album that is ‘This Land‘. This record encapsulates so many styles of music that is America, but also the heart and soul of Gary Clark Jr.
Myylo, the Nashville based emerging pop singer-songwriter dropped his new single ‘Cyborg‘ today. The uber catchy song mixes the singers penchant for idiosyncratic lyricism, catchy hooks, unique melodies and his notable falsetto. The song evokes the spirit screw ups in love and heartbreak oh so well leaning into the singers whimsical vibe, where he often draws inspiration from not only classic 70s singer-songwriters like Carole King to pop artists of today such as Kim Petras and Rex Orange County. The Twilight Zone intro to the song says it all and truly introduces you to Myylo as an artist.
“One thing I’m proud of with this song is that it manages to address something heavy while sounding joyful. I’m literally wishing I could talk to God to figure out why I F’d things up with my ex. Its like, yeah, my personal life may be a dumpster fire right now, but we’re still gonna dance about it and laugh through the tears.” – Myylo
Leah Voysey, New Jersey native and Modern Pop singer-songwriter. She has just released a new single ‘Poison‘. Leah is at heart a singer-songwriter but her vocals and the production on ‘Poison‘ are in the vein of many modern female pop artists but with a twist. I got to chat with Leah about ‘Poison‘, her songwriting, music in general and much more below …
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Red Vines or Twizzlers?
LEAH VOYSEY: Definitely Twizzlers…and maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but the black licorice is my favorite.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: So Leah can you tell us how you got started? Did you always want to be a singer and songwriter?
LEAH VOYSEY: I’ve always been a lover of music, and I always wanted to be a performer (specifically an actor). It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to believe in myself as a singer and a songwriter. I didn’t think I had the chops to create music until I sat down and actually tried.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You used to play acoustic shows in London as well before returning to your roots in Asbury Park in New Jersey? What are some of the ways the music scenes in both places are same? In what ways are they different?
LEAH VOYSEY: In London and Asbury Park, I feel this strong sense of community. Everyone supporting everyone instead of making it feel like a competition. The biggest difference is the accessibility to music. London is so huge, so if you wanted to go out and support your friends, you could really only see one show a night. In Asbury Park, you can hit up 3 different venues a night if you wanted. Maybe even more. It’s a musician’s playground.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your song ‘Poison’. Can you tell me more about the writing process? The recording process as well. The backstory to this song?
LEAH VOYSEY: To be vague (I don’t want to give away all my secrets), Poison is about fighting with the angel and devil on your shoulder. It’s about realizing you are the one driving your own destruction. I wrote the song in one night. I actually filmed the entire process for some reason. It was really cool watching that back and seeing how the song progressed. I wish I could release that video, but it’s too embarrassing! The recording process was so smooth. Working with MaYaY0 (producer) and Joe Pomarico (sound engineer) was extremely collaborative and encouraging. The three of us have a few more songs up our sleeves for the future!
TRB: It you had the chance to cover any song and give it the ‘Leah Voysey’ treatment what song would you pick? And why?
LV: Well, if you come see my shows on February 23rd and March 6th, you can see this answer come to life! I am covering Pat Benatar‘sHit Me With Your Best Shot. For the February show, our rendition will be pretty close to the original. But in March, we are going to slow it down and make it jazzy and sexy. I think Pat Benatar is such a cool rocker chick. Even though I am recording modern pop music, I want to show people I have that grit and smoky quality to my voice like a lot of women of the 70’s and 80’s.
TRB: Since your roots are in the acoustic singer-songwriter genre but lean towards pop sensibilities. Who are some pop leaning singer-songwriters that have influenced your sound?
LV: My answer to this is always the same. Halsey, Bishop Briggs, and Billie Eilish. They are all leaning towards pop, but with their own little spice added. They all fit the genre enough to be considered pop, but with very distinctive voices, lyrics, and production techniques. I don’t want to be just another voice in the crowd. When people hear my songs for the first time, I want them to think, “That’s Leah Voysey.”
TRB: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been digging?
LV: My friend Diana showed me this duo, Overcoats. They are so cool! It’s two women, who I would consider to be pop artists, but their sound is heavily influenced by folk music.. The juxtaposition of those two genres is really intriguing.
TRB: Do you have any dream collaborations?
LV: Well, I might as well aim high for this question, right? John Mayer would be an amazing person to collaborate with. His lyrics are so descriptive and unique.
TRB: And what’s next for you Leah?
LV: Besides my live performances coming up, I’ll be releasing a music video for Poison in the next couple of months. Diana, who I mentioned above, directed such an amazing concept that really brings the meaning of the song to life. I’ll also be back in the studio on March 3rd recording with producer, Andrea Morgan. There definitely isn’t a shortage of updates about my career!
TRB: Anything else you would like for me to add? 🙂
Hopeless Records Emarosa’ just released their highly anticipated album ‘Peach Club’ and to celebrate they held a record release show at The Hi Hat LA in Los Angeles on February 9th, 2019. For the originally post-hardcore band, ‘Peach Club’ is a huge leap into a new sound but a welcomed departure. For fans it is a way to hear their favorite band spread their wings, and Emarosa’ fans were very present at The Hi Hat LA this past Saturday showing their support for them at this sold out gig.
The three openers Alke, Modern Maps, and UFO UFO all brought something exciting to the table of varying degrees. Alke is a female singer-songwriter whose heartfelt lyrics and melodic vocals filled the venue, Modern Maps brought the party and had lots of fun energetic electro tracks that the crowd loved. UFO UFO kept up that same vibe with their stylistic indie rock leanings. All in all the openers brought a bit of everything for everyone.
The fans were there early for Emarosa (and in the cold or at the very least what is considered cold for California), many of them in Emarosa merch particularly ‘Peach Club‘ merch as Emarosa also held a ‘PeachClub‘ Pop Up to celebrate the official release. I could tell from the atmosphere in the line already that these fans were devoted. In speaking with a fan who was wearing a jacket similar to lead singer Bradley Walden, she told me I was going to love the show as it was very high energy. She was right. The band tore through a relatively fast paced and fierce set that had the crowd going from start to finish. There wasn’t a member of the band that was low on energy. The entire audience was singing along word for word with front man Bradley Walden. This was a crowd despite how late it was that came here to party and to rock out. So for someone who was not familiar with Emarosa walking in, the energetic show they put on complete with band member acrobatics, lots of crowd interaction, and the fans being so happy to see their favorite band was so contagious. I not only left the show with a smile on my face, but I also left with total appreciation for a band and it’s fan base who are first and foremost all about the music.
Check out my photo gallery of all of the artists from the show below!
Host Bodiesisa live Electronic duo based inSan Franciscocomprised of MC/producerJames Collector(aka Swoop) and multi-instrumentalistNick Hess. They have just released a new EP ‘Diamondfruit’ of beautifully chill songs that you’ll be sure to add to at least one or two of your Downtempo or Mood playlists. Theseven track EP opens with the track ‘Stories’ the notes are soft and lush. It later picks up in speed bringing in other instruments to the track most notably twangy guitar. We transition to ‘Wildcat Beach’ where nature one of Host Bodies biggest influences starts to become even more evident. Sounds of water and the beach forming the better part of this song. Tracks like ‘Accept’ and ‘Orange Marble’ are two of the more groovier tracks on the EP. Even with‘Accept’ clocking in 8:36 it’s the standout track with twisting and turning through all of it’s 8:36. On ‘Diamondfruit’ nature and the organic sounds found within it is the basis for the music. That combined with live guitar work, and electronic music elements,Host Bodiescreate a unique and beautiful soundscape blending two different palettes and it works quite well. It’s a great EP to put on and just mellow out. Therefore allowing yourself to fully feel the melodies created and just escape.
Melbourne garage band and psych-rockers, Money For Rope have released an artsy video for their new single ‘Actually’. The track is lifted from their upcoming album ‘Picture Us’ which is due out on March 8th, is in full black and white, fast paced and created in one night by one of the the bands two drummers (yes, I said the band has two drummers), Eric Serba. It features a series of sequential photos taken at the bands rehearsal space.
Speaking about the process, Scerba says; “The photos were very much on the fly although I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like. It was pretty much impossible to know the timing of everything, but there’s a part in the song where the crash hits with a shot of me hitting the crash and it just worked.Sometimes that shit happens. There’s a kinda psychedelic aspect to it all which I liked –using the images to do different things like capture some of us in two places at once. The black and white makes it more nightmarish. We wanted to have all the shots happen at once so it had a constant flow of momentum.The hardest part was editing,as 25 frames a second doesn’t match the song’s bpm.”
View the fun and unique clip for ‘Actually’ below and to learn more aboutthe band ‘Money For Rope’ as well as pre-order ‘Picture Us’…
I want to introduce you to New York based gender-fluid musician and artist Areté. The concept-popsinger-songwriter and producer has released a scorching and futuristic Electro-pop number, ‘Trip’. With chilling yet fierce vocals atop a cool stuttering beat. ‘Trip’ tells the tale a dark tale of making bad decisions of which could only end in disaster. Yet it being one of the best feelings in the world. Areté says of the track “It’s a sci-fi road trip fantasy – like the beginning of a futuristic lesbian Thelma and Louise or Bonnie and Clyde – you know it will end with the deaths of its thrilling rebel protagonists, but you want to go on the ride anyway. It’s about the danger of being an adrenaline junkie and jumping in when you don’t know where you’re going.”
Areté by Alicia Fischmeister
Check out more from Areté and hear the daring song ‘Trip’ below.
Alex Barnes otherwise known as Girl Wilde has released another angsty and fun single. ‘Fake Louis‘ features Alex’s raspy yet soft vocals (showing off hints of early Fiona Apple in just the right places) highlighting the mid-tempo electro-rock number. The track is also an introspective one lyrically. It speaks to the singers’ ups and downs in struggling with her sense of self. In dealing with ones quirks no matter how weird, or big or small. The backstory though is quite funny and the songs origin story. Girl Wilde would carry around a fake designer bag and her friends nicknamed it her ‘Fake Louis‘. Girl Wilde so aptly turned an odd joke amongst friends into a song that is easily relatable and enjoyable.
Alex Barnes aka Girl Wilde
Girl Wilde on ‘Fake Louis‘ is proving to be an artist that does her own thing. She doesn’t fit into any particular one genre or just tick one box. So if you want a song you can not only rock out to but will have you in your feels. Put on Girl Wildes’ ‘Fake Louis‘ you’ll thank me.
Northern Ireland quartet, Brand New Friend have just released a roaring new single titled ‘I Was An Astronaut’ off their debut album ‘Seatbelts For Aeroplanes’. Brand New Friend (fronted by sibling pair Taylor and Lauren Johnson) have been championed by the likes of Radio 1 and Matt Healy and are currently signed to XTRA Mile Recordings.
The title track ‘I Was An Astronaut’ is reminiscent of early to mid 90s Alternative Rock and Emo leanings. The way the band approaches it’s songwriting especially at such a young age is quite refreshing. The melodic pop style vocals add an effervescence to the track. Which is quite assertive with it’s loud, bright punchy guitars and hard hitting drums. The song overall is quite the catchy one, with a very hooky chorus and with easy to remember lyrics perfect for singing aloud to at shows and festivals. The accompanying track ‘You Make Me Want To Grow Up, Sometimes’ is another fast paced track (both songs clock under 2:40) in a similar musical vein as ‘I Was An Astronaut’. The lyrics are as angsty as any early oughts song but the underlying theme is love. Both tracks from Brand New Friend I would definitely add to your current music rotation. Also be sure to check out the video for ‘I Was An Astronaut‘ as it is quite the sweet one!
I got the chance to chat with electronic band Host Bodies about music, their upcoming release ‘Diamondfruit’ (due out February 8th) and much more. The band blends beautiful soundscapes, live instruments and electronic beats to create a sound that is uniquely their own. Their latest song ‘Accept’ is out now and you can check out my interview with them below!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always start out with an easy ice breaker question. CD or Vinyl?
HOST BODIES: Vinyl.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I tend to never ask a follow up to this but how big is your Vinyl collection?
NICK HOST BODIES: Ah, it’s growing. We’ve been collecting for years. We’ve got our first record on vinyl and thinking about pressing this new EP on vinyl. Not for the release day, but soon after.
JAMES HOST BODIES: Here’s the reason why vinyl is better. It’s apocalypse proof. Everything goes down and the CD players don’t work anymore. You can turn a crank on some kind of apparatus for your vinyl records.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: See, I never thought of that …. That was a new concept to me. But yeah, I started collecting vinyl recently too. And it’s great.
TRB: So for my readers who don’t know about Host Bodies how did you guys come to be? How did you guys get the band together? Was this something that had just organically come together?
NICK HOST BODIES: James and I had been friends since middle school and then high school. We would play rock and roll and garage band type of stuff. He was the drummer and I was the guitarist. Then we lived together in college and that was the first time we collaborated on more electronic music. James was making a lot of beats and he was inviting me to collaborate on some of the writing and some of the recording and yeah, that’s essentially how Host Bodies got started. It was a name that James had for himself and luckily I was able to become a collaborator on it. And ever since then we’ve been creating songs together and releasing music. We’ve had other collaborators over the years but it’s mainly been this core duo of James and me.
TRB: Were there any bands from the early electronic music days that you guys both bonded over?
HOST BODIES: Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9). Early Tycho and Bonobo.
“You know we live in such a crazy time development and modernization that you’re always sort of seeking an asylum or refuge in nature”
– Host Bodies
TRB: How do you transfer your sound from studio to stage when touring? How is that entire process like?
NICK HOST BODIES: Real instruments are a big part of our recording process so we try to incorporate them on stage as much as possible. Of course, we still use computers, pretty much everybody does these days. But electronic music is almost more of a technique for us than a genre, even though we still identify with the electronic genre. So on stage we have electric guitars, bass, analog synthesizers, stuff that we can touch and play with. James has live rap vocals on the hip-hop style tunes. Then the backing tracks fill in whatever we as two people can’t do live.
TRB: Since you guys specifically mentioned that a lot of the EP is inspired by the sounds of California and Colorado. How so? How are the soundscapes used for each state differ from each other?
JAMES HOST BODIES: We try to spend a lot of time outdoors getting out of the city. Getting to the beaches and the mountains. And there’s something about being in nature that is inspiring, that out of that silence, out of just those kind of natural sounds, bird songs, wind, the hushed silence walking on fresh snow or pine needles or rushing water in a river, that really kind of flows into you like a well. And when you get back into the studio and get on an instrument, it passes through you into the sound. So there were definitely specific places in mind in Colorado and California that inspired the music.
TRB: If you could collaborate with any musician? Who would you choose and why?
NICK HOST BODIES: Little Dragon, that’s easy we’re huge, huge fans of them. And Yukimi Nagano especially is one of our favorite female vocalists. She’s magic. She worked with Gorillaz too. And they’re another band that’s all live but in the electronic genre.
TRB: Yeah, I could see that being something that would work. It doesn’t seem like a stretch or where did this collaboration come from?!
TRB: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you guys lately? What music have you guys been digging?
HOST BODIES: Christopher Willits, Tycho, Snuise, some of our local electronic music makers. At the gym lots of Run The Jewels and Disclosure. And in 2018 Chrome Sparks, DJ Koze, Maribou State and Ólafur Arnalds put out amazing albums.
TRB: Throwing in a fun one here… What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
JAMES HOST BODIES: The Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack, Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics.
NICK HOST BODIES: Fatboy Slim, Chemical Bros, and really early Daft Punk.
TRB: And what’s next for Host Bodies?
JAMES HOST BODIES: Our album release show at a really special venue in San Francisco that I won’t name yet! Also a remix or two.
NICK HOST BODIES: I’m a graphic designer myself so I am really interested in more video stuff for the band.
TRB: Anything else you guys would like to add? Thank you for your time!
NICK HOST BODIES: We’ve been in SF a while and have been looking for this kind of community and family of electronic musicians. We feel lucky that we found some talented peers to play local shows with and they continue to inspire us at the same time.
JAMES HOST BODIES: Also I think we need to mention the EP ‘Diamondfruit’ drops February 8th. It’s really coming from an intention to provide our community and listeners with music that’s a refuge and a healing resource. Whenever they just want to chill out, whenever they want to dive deep into what they have been going through, or reconnect with joy—that’s what the EP is for.
TRB: Congratulations on the upcoming release. I love the album you guys and it was nice talking to you about it.
Listen to Host Bodies below! You can also pre-order ‘Diamondfruit’ as well
The 91st Academy Awards® nominations in all 24 Oscar® categories will be announced in a two-part live presentation on Tuesday, January 22, via global live stream on Oscar.com, Oscars.org, the Academy’s digital platforms – Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
You can view the list of 91st Academy Awards® nominees below and congrats to all of the nominees!
Below is the list of categories to be announced by Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Tracee Ellis Ross (Blackish). Along with the schedule ….
5:20:00 a.m. PT: (Not listed in order of presentation) Actor in a Supporting Role Actress in a Supporting Role Costume Design Film Editing Original Score Animated Short Film Live Action Short Film Sound Editing Sound Mixing
5:30:30 a.m. PT: (Not listed in order of presentation) Actor in a Leading Role Actress in a Leading Role Animated Feature Film Cinematography Directing Documentary Feature Documentary Short Subject Foreign Language Film Makeup and Hairstyling Best Picture Visual Effects Adapted Screenplay Original Screenplay Original Song Production Design
Tweet along with me as we watch the nominations announcement and use the hashtags listed below provided by The Academy. I have also embedded a live stream as well. What else can I say but it’s officially Awards Season! #OscarsNoms #Oscars
I chatted with Maine singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist, Alice Limoges about music, songwriting, her inspirations as an artist, and her current single “Hungry For A Vice”. Check out the interview and more on her single below ….
THERECLUSIVEBLOGGER: Hi, Alice It’s nice to e-meet you! I always start out with an easy question. Morning Bird or Night Owl?
ALICE LIMOGES: Hello! I am a morning bird at heart, but tend to self sabotage and stay up too late.
THERECLUSIVEBLOGGER: So how did you know you wanted to become a singer and songwriter? What was the earliest song you remember writing?
ALICE LIMOGES: I had an existential crisis in 8th grade when I realized my heart was devoted to this crazy career. I’ve always sung and wrote my first song with chords and a real structure in 6th grade. It was pretty dark. A girl had a horse they won all sorts of competitions until the barn burnt down and the horse died. It started “She is a sad one, she sings a lonely song”. Maybe it was foreshadowing for how a lot of my music now is pretty dark!
TRB: Can you tell me more about the backstory behind your current single “Hungry For A Vice”?
AL: Sure! I’d quit smoking and kept feeling a tickle in the back of my mind desiring something self destructive. Soon thereafter, I ended a really awful relationship and now when I sing it, my ex has become the missing vice.
TRB: Being both singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, where do you draw a lot of your inspirations and influences from? In particularly on the song “Hungry For A Vice”?
AL: I have a lot of influences. Musically, I listen to a really wide range of things from jazz to Gamelan to Debussy. And of course a lot of singer-songwriters and bands like Bob Dylan, Sufjan Stevens, and Mitski. Lyrically, I draw a lot from my own life.
TRB: Looking over and listening to your music are themes of love and loss something that you as an artist feel the most comfortable telling? Or is it just human relationships overall? Be it good or bad.
AL: I struggled a lot for most of my life with bipolar, so a lot of my songs on my last album The Space Between are about that (specifically Save My Soul, Dog Is Barking, and Winter Nights). Those songs also all span relationships and the interplay of the isolation of mental health battles and trying to connect with other people. For some reason, darkness has always moved me the most, so even on songs that aren’t about me, I’ve tended to lean towards the dark, like on Red Cigar and Aleppo. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot better and am gearing up to release some new stuff which is a bit lighter, so stay tuned.
TRB: Let’s talk about the album art … How do you feel the album art for “Hungry For A Vice” connects to the lyrical nature of the song?
AL: I made the art myself actually! The picture of the face with crazy makeup is based on a still from the music video, where I walk through this crazy old theater with all of these strange doll-people. I guess it connects because it’s about masking your identity and throwing yourself into chaos? Mostly I just like how it looks though.
TRB: If you had the chance to cover any song and give it the ‘Alice Limoges’ treatment what song would you pick?
AL: I’m dying to do Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean!
TRB: What lyric have you written means the most to you?
AL: The lyric that means the most to me is probably in my song Daydreams, which we’ll release later this year. The starting line is “There’s someone else inside my head, my worst and closest friend” and it’s about mental illness. It’s a really difficult song to work on in the studio because it’s always really triggering though.
TRB: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been digging?
AL: Lately it’s been a lot of Fiona Apple and Hiatus Kaiyote!
TRB: A fun one … Do you have a dream concert venue to play at?
AL: Governor’s Ball or Bonnaroo!
TRB: Anything else you would like to add? Thank you for your time Alice! 🙂
AL: Thanks for inviting me to do this interview! I am working on a bunch of new material in the studio that I can’t wait to share, so I hope readers will stick around for it all.
I am not one that is moved easily and emotionally by watching films. Not to say I don’t love films or I don’t appreciate the craft or technique that goes into making films. From the very first frame of Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘ROMA’ something switched in me. This film was different, a good different and I knew I was in for what would be an emotional journey. Told through harrowing film making, acting, unique and dynamic choices in storytelling and plot line. All of this from the perspective of two domestic workers of a politically charged 1970’s Mexico. Although as the movie progresses the storyline focuses more so on one domestic worker than the other (there’s a reason).
Cléo (played superbly by newcomer Yalitza Aparicio in her first acting role no less!) as a central character shines throughout the movie where a story such as this could get boring or trite. This doesn’t. Yalitza with just the smallest of gestures shows how aptly she ingested this character coupled with brilliant acting from the rest of the cast as well. You feel as if you’re not watching a movie but getting a sacred glimpse into a family’s home. This also holds true to Alfonso Cuarón’s editing style and choice of film. The use of a Kodachrome black and white style make the film have a simple look and feel, akin to a 70s home movie. To a viewer these choices may seem pointless as they are quite minute. Cuarón’s choices no matter how big or small serve us the viewer two major things watching this … To put you into a nostalgic mood and in the perspective of Cléo’s character. In real is a person who often goes nameless and faceless in society. Cuarón by doing so allows the viewer to relate to Cléo the most as we draw empathy for her and her situation with the use of Nostalgia. Cléo represents not only herself but countless others in her position. So Cuarón drew less upon a backstory per se unlike other characters in the film, most notably Sofia, the wife and maternal figure of the family Cléo worked for (who is played by the brilliant, Marina De Tavira). All in all I got exactly what Cuarón was trying to convey across the screen and that’s the goal of a filmmaker. Especially from a film that is so well acted across the board and with so many tiny intricacies you could write a term paper on it. This also was the first film I’ve seen from Alfonso Cuarón so you can bet I will be watching more.
Here it is after careful consideration and many many rewrites. These are my top ten albums of 2018. This year my list features a lot of EPs so that’s a big difference than previous years. So without further ado and of course in sequential order from the number one on …
“Other People’s Heartache Part 4” caught me off guard in the most fantastic way. The EP opens onto one of the most beautiful covers of the Cat Stevens classic “Wild World”. It ties a thread between the last Bastillerecord “Wild World” to next one “Doom Days”. We then segue into the next cover of a somewhat obscure song “Would I Lie To You?”. To which Bastillegave it a much-needed update leaning towards a more RnB and Trap music sound. The next song is “Grip” which is a fun and straightforward EDM track. My only criticism is it just seems a bit out of place on an EP filled with RnB, Hip-Hop and Trap-Pop jams. But the song is so good though. The two stunners for me are the En Vogue cover of “Don’t Let Go (Love) and “Flowers” where the music and vocals by everyone (in particularly Dan Smith) are so on point oozing just enough sex appeal to not overdo it. The EP ends on “The Descent” which is just such a badass track and has the most heart aching surprise towards the end. We rightly close out on the “Warmth (Outro)”. The fact that Bastille uses these “Other People’s Heartache” mixtapes as a thread between records is so brilliant. I love that they also wanted to feature new British talent as well. The artist on the opening track is Kianja and her vocals blend so well with Dan’s. She’s featured prominently on this EP, along with the likes of Jacob Banks, Moss Kena, Lily Moore, Charlie Barnes, S-X, Craig David, SEEB, Swarmz, Rationale, and James Arthur. All in all Dan’s vocals, the production, and Bastille as a band have never been better on this very diverse and very unique mixtape style EP. That is why it’s still ‘On Repeat’ for me.
Standout tracks:“Would I Lie To You?” , “Don’t Let Go (Love)”, “Flowers”, and “The Descent”.
I don’t think there has been a more inspiring album for me this year. “Church Of Scars”has a vulnerability to it that’s raw and Bishop Briggsvocals pack so much emotion throughout each and every track. For a debut album, this is a stunner, one that hits you in the heart lyrically and melodically. Having seen her twice this year; where I heard this album live in both a quiet acoustic setting and full throttle live show; just adds another dimension to “Church Of Scars”. Therefore making Bishop Briggs not only of one of my favorite new voices and artists currently, but “Church Of Scars” my number two pick for favorite albums of 2018.
Standout Tracks:“Tempt My Trouble”, “River”, “Hi-Lo (Hollow)”, and “Wild Horses”.
The Wombats’ “Turn” ended up being one of my absolutely favorite songs this year. “Turn” is also track number three from “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life” which has landed at the number three spot on my songs list. The Wombats are a trio hailing from Liverpool, their 2018 release is a fresh and lively rock number with guitars reminiscent of 90s Brit Rock and Pop. It’s chock full of quirky and fun lyrics relating to the aches and pains of love that just scream The Wombats. The numerous danceable melodies and catchy hooks populate songs like “Cheetah Tongue”, “Lemon to A Knife Fight” and “Lethal Combination” from start to finish. On the extended version release, we got new songs like “Bee-Sting” (which is fantastic live) and “Oceans”. By the end of “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life,” The Wombats had me fully converted. This is an album worth hearing and also a band you should definitely see live if only to hear this record.
Standout tracks:“Turn”, “Cheetah Tongue”, “Bee-Sting”, “Lemon to a Knife Fight”, “Out Of My Head”.
Though I had been following his musical career since I heard “Stitches”, I thought the song was catchy but I never thought that same guy would come to create this Soulful Pop Rock gem. From the massive stadium rocker and first single “In My Blood”which speaks to the frustrations of anxiety and social pressures of being young. To the funky and come hither “Nervous”, and the acoustic ballad “Like to be You” which features Julia Michaels. But the super funky smash “Lost In Japan” is the stellar standout. The song has a super cool “Lost In Translation” inspired video to go with it and an EDM remix from Zedd. Overall, this was my favorite “Pop” album this year featuring, great hooks and choruses, fantastic production, and Shawn’s guitar and songwriting skills amped up several notches. We should also take into account Shawn’s creative and business savvy in choosing to continue to work with the perfect people on this album, most notably his longtime songwriting partner, Teddy Geiger.
Standout tracks: “Fallin’ All In You”, “Lost In Japan”, “Nervous”, “Particular Taste”, “Why”, and “Mutual”.
MAY is someone that truly only comes around once in a blue moon. I used this phrasing because she evokes that type of nostalgia and so does her absolutely mesmerizing EP, “Phantom”. Harkening back to days of Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack and when jazz standards were the Pop hits. MAYand her Phantom EP brought some of those ghosts forward in the most heartbreaking and beautiful manner. With elements of gothic charm strewn throughout, the “Phantom” EP was not dated whatsoever. Her voice was a siren call to anyone who has ever felt any type of loss or heartbreak. The personal interludes from her life interspersed on the EP were a lovely and thoughtful touch. The only other thing I would tell you to do besides listening to MAY is too see her live, as that is a special experience all on its own.
Standout tracks: Falling, Last September, Northern Lights, and Baby Save Me Tonight.
James Bay is the third artist of three on this list I saw twice this year live (the other two being Bishop Briggs and Bastille). “Electric Light“ really was all over the place but in the best way possible. We saw James dip his musical toes into so many other genres such as RnB, Pop, Soul, Electronic, and even a bit of edgier Rock on “Electric Light” and for what it’s worth it made a solid effort that grew on me as the year wore on. Seeing him play these songs live from the record and hearing how hard he worked on these tracks gave me a new perspective on the album. Edgier cuts like “Pink Lemonade”, with its punk leanings, “Fade Out” with soul and RnB swagger, “Us” and “Wild Love” in there soft beauty stand out the most for me. “Slide” and “Wanderlust” and “Stand Up” are all also great moments. The album despite its confusing genre blending moments turned out to be a favorite of mine because of the talent behind all of it. Something that is still quite hard to find.
This soulful EP by Childcare bassist and newcomer Emma Topolski truly came out of nowhere for me. If you follow this blog you know I have previously reviewed it but as the months wore on and after repeated listens it just stayed with me. The overall haunting and forlorn vibes flow throughout the EP. Although the genre leans towards Electro and Indie you can very much hear other elements and genres that Saint Clair found inspiration in. The EP opens up with the groovy electro-pop jam “Human Touch” and Saint Clair’s smoky sexy timbre sets the tone for the rest of EP. On the utterly tragic “I’ll Stay” you can hear echoes of nightclubs and smoky jazz clubs amidst the track. The pumping 80s like synth beat you hear dropping in and out only adds to the dark mystery of the song. “D2” for being something that came out of nowhere was certainly a welcome and beautiful surprise.
Standout tracks: “I’ll Stay”, “I’m Still Standing”, and “Human Touch”.
From the opening notes on “Explosions”, I can tell that the “High Hopes” EP has Rationale in a much different head space and form. His influences have gone far beyond his home base which is London and cultural influences of Africa (in particularly Zimbabwe). The opening track opens with sounds that any touring musician is familiar with, sounds from an audience before transitioning into a throbbing bass line. A sound that is more familiar in Hip-Hop and RnB songs in America. The rest of the EP unfolds at a lovely pace with Rationaledigging in quite well to what he’s great at …creating heartfelt and emotional songs with lyrics that can be felt amongst a cross-section of people. On the title track “High Hopes” his voice is strongest I’ve heard and “One by One” we see him fuse London, African drums and beats as well as the influences gained from touring to create an absolute banger. No wonder this EP stood out for me garnering repeated listens.
Standout tracks: “Explosions”, “High Hopes, and “One By One”.
This is such a heavy set of songs lyrically that you would not expect it to come from someone so young, 16 to be exact. Akine is a wise artist and old soul, something you find out quite quickly as the EP plays out. The use of electronic instruments is not drastically overdone so Akine’ slightly raspy and haunting vocals are not drowned out. Songs like “Money In Your Mouth” can speak to anyone having to deal with a certain type of guy that uses his fame (or power) and wealth to show off. The track also has a slight disco feel to it. My favorite tracks “No Gold” and “Pray for the Prey” stays with you long after you’ve heard it. The vocals have a pleading feeling to them, making the messaging behind those lyrics all the more urgent and Akine well aware.
Standout tracks:“Pray for the Prey”, “No Gold”, and “Money In Your Mouth”.
Technically a playlist/album but I think one of the most cohesive yet underrated albums this year. Lauv had a banner year with his mega-hit “I Like Me Better” that seemed like it came out of nowhere. That song is also how this album playlist opens up, introducing you to Lauv‘ “Blue World”. So through beautifully layered vocals, melodies, electronic elements combined with live instruments and lovelorn lyrics, Most notably in songs like “Reforget” and “Paris In The Rain”. Lauv creates a world with this album, that not only has encapsulated young love and heartbreak for this era but beautifully tells his story. It’s no wonder people have been flocking to his shows.
Standout Tracks: “I Like Me Better”, “Paris In The Rain”, “Reforget”, “Comfortable”, and “Easy Love”.
So there it is a little late then normal but done with care. Let me know you thoughts in the comment section or on social media! 🙂
It has been 54 years since the beloved original had it’s Disney debut on the silver screen. Now Mary Poppins is back and finer than ever, drawing inspiration from the P.L. Travers book series. Director Rob Marshall (Into The Woods, Chicago) brings the film some 20 years forward to Depression Era London with the Banks children, Michael and Jane Banks now grown up and requiring some much needed help and possibly a bit of magic…
In Mary Poppins Returns we see the beloved nanny (played by Emily Blunt in a role where she absolutely shines!) return to sprightly form to help out the Banks children who are now adults in London. Jane Banks (played by Emily Mortimer) has moved back in to the Cherry Tree Lane family home to help out her Brother Michael Banks (played by Ben Whishaw) after a recent tragedy. Michael now has three small ones of his own (played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson so adorably and brilliantly). After several losses including what could possibly be the loss of their home. Mary Poppins re-enters the Banks family life when they most need it, when all of the hope and magic from their childhood has long gone.
Along with the help of a street lamplighter named Jack (played by Lin Manuel Miranda superbly in his first movie role) who just so happens to be a friend of Mary Poppins herself. Through the teachings of Mary, many friends along the way (be on the lookout for some fun guest appearances including Dick Van Dyke who was in the original from 1964), and lots of fun sing-along song and dance numbers. The absolutely grand spectacle that is ‘Trip A Little Light Fantastic’ and the teary and beautiful ‘The Place Where The Lost Things Go’ which is so well suited to Emily Blunt’s voice, are absolute standouts in the film. Mary slowly but surely works to restore the magic and joy that once was at Cherry Tree Lane with the help of the three younger Banks children coupled through the elder ones and all that seemed impossible becomes practically perfect in every way. It got me thinking that maybe we should all go and fly a kite.
As I stated before it’s that time of the year again. Yes, it’s definitely Christmastime but also that lovely time of the year where all of us music bloggers and journalists reminisce via online media, about all of the fantastic music that has been released this past year. So yesterday I posted part one of my 50 and as promised here’s part two of my top 50. Please enjoy and I hope you came across some songs you never heard of as 2018 gave us some pretty fun, innovative, creative, unique and just all around great music if you looked or listened hard enough. So without further ado here is The Reclusive Blogger’s Top 50 Songs Of 2018 …. Part Two
P.S. This list is in sequential order!
25. Troye Sivan // My! My! My!
24. Blinky Bill // Showdown
23. Marian Hill // Subtle Thing
22. Eliza Shaddad // My Body
21. Olivia O’Brien // Care Less More
20. Lauv // Paris in the Rain
19. Saint Clair // I’ll Stay
18. King Princess // 1950
17. St. Vincent // Fast Slow Disco
16. Avonlea // Cars And Boys
15. Florence + The Machine // Big God
14. Ariana Grande // No Tears Left To Cry
13. Arctic Monkeys // Four Out Of Five
12. AFI // Get Dark
11. Kendrick Lamar + SZA // All The Stars
10. The 1975 // Sincerity Is Scary
9. MAY // Falling
8. Twenty One Pilots // Chlorine
7. Khalid & Normani // Love Lies
6. Rationale // One By One
5. Shawn Mendes // Lost In Japan
4. Amy Shark // Don’t Turn Around
3. James Bay // Pink Lemonade
2. The Wombats // Turn
1. Bastille // Quarter Past Midnight
[Special shout out toDon’t Let Go (Love) from Bastille’s Other People’s Heartache EP for being so darn good and an absolute favorite of mine but … a Quarter Past Midnight just blew me away from the beginning and is my most played song this year! Thanks Spotify!]
And that’s it for this the list for 2018. Thank you for reading, watching, listening and please comments below and Tweet me back your faves from this year or faves from my list. Just get involved with me here and on my socials! Click that follow blog button. I want to make this upcoming new year bigger and better. Also, of course, listen to all of these artists as many of them are fairly new and indie and would very much appreciate it. Plus stay tuned for my top ten albums of 2018 list which is coming very very soon!
It’s that time of the year again. Yes, it’s time for me to reminisce via blog post all of the fantastic music that was released and that I listened to this past year. Trying to narrow down and figure out which tunes stayed with me and stuck out the most has proven to be quite the challenge but I finally completed it. I also ended up supersizing the list to 50 songs (posted in two segments) since 2018 had so much fun, innovative, creative, unique and just great music. So without further ado here is The Reclusive Blogger’s Top 50 Songs Of 2018 …. Part One
P.S. The list is in sequential order! Also be on the lookout for my Top 10 Albums Of 2018.
Here we go with part one numbers 50-26 …
50. Childcare // Man Down
49. Leon Bridges // Bet Ain’t Worth Hand
48. Moss Kena // Square One
47. Loom:gs // Fault Line
46. Kiiara // Gloe
45. Bebe Rexha // I’m A Mess
44. Meg Myers // Numb
42. Robert DeLong + K.Flay // Favorite Color Is Blue
41. Tsar B // Rattlesnake
40. Ella Mai // Trip
39. Akine // No Gold
38. Virginia Wing // Glorious Idea
37. The Regrettes // Come Through
36. Kilo Kish // Elegance
36. Hozier // Nina Cried Power
35. Haux // Heartbeat
34. Charlie Barnes // Will & Testament
33. Jacob Banks + Seinbo Sey // Be Good to Me
32. CHVRCHES // Miracle
31. Kacey Musgraves // Slow Burn
30. Jorja Smith // Blue Lights
29. Bishop Briggs // Tempt My Trouble
28. NAO // Another Lifetime
27. Imagine Dragons // Natural
26. S-X, Nevve // Stay
And that’s it for part one stay tuned for part two coming up tomorrow! Comment below and Tweet me back your faves from this year or from my list. Just get involved with me on my socials! Also stay tuned for my top ten albums of 2018 list coming very very soon!
What I think might be the sweetest song off the new alum from the indie-pop band’s long awaited third studio album. The soft acoustic guitar with the melancholy strumming pattern reminds me personally of songs Matty has done in the past such as 102 and She Lays Down. The guitar is so beautifully done, listeners can get absorbed immediately by the calming sound of the guitar. Matty’s voice comes in with an exclusive sound which can give you a feeling as though you’re sitting right next to the band as they record this piece. There is this everlasting personal piece to this song that makes you feel like you’re seeing it live or with the band sitting right there. I truly hope that when the band comes around for touring, they will consider throwing this song onto their setlist as it already sounds elegant from recordings and I would love to see their take on the song live.
Anyways Arctic Monkeys
Alex Turner’s eccentric production from Tranquility Base flows through to this song which acts like a B-side to the title track Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. This song has so much going on it and is so packed with production that can knock anyone’s socks off with one listen. Right off the bat, the contrast of Alex’s voice with the guitar is so flawlessly done, it’s mesmerizing to me how Alex can manage to make every song flow with one theme and stick with that theme even beyond album tracks. But it’s not only the flow of this song that catches my attention. The production is so clear on Alex’s voice, there isn’t a single thing off on the way he sings his words. If you have ever seen the band live, you know of Alex’s peculiar yet enthralling act which he delivers every concert, this song matches Alex’s attitude with lyrics fitting his personality almost seamlessly. Alex has yet again delivered a song so out there yet so musically advanced, something that is true for any Arctic Monkeys song. You can never fall off this band as every song has you entranced by something new. Alex has taken us by surprise with this release and yet again delivered superior quality in his work.
Faking It Sasha Sloan Sasha’s production takes me by surprise every time I hear one of her songs. For an indie artist with little songs on platforms, you would never imagine such an astounding piece of music coming from her name, but this song proves everyone doubting her wrong. Right off the bat, Sasha has a unique and noticeable sound, she has an interesting reverb to her voice, but it is clear, and her production is top of the line matching ones of The 1975 or Arctic Monkeys. This song is catchy,something I can hear many people, whether fans or not, falling in love with. This will be a song that gets played almost everywhere. She has added the exact touches into this song to make her really explode on the music platform.
LIKE A ROCKSTAR Chase Atlantic Keeping consistent to their usual sound, Chase Atlantic released this song that is catchy yet interesting. There are so many aspects to this song that are very popular in music overall but the way that the band has been able to interlock in some unique drum tracks here and there along with melodies that are quite unusual to hear is exclusive to their sound and follows their aesthetic. This song is no different and includes some of the best vocal arrangements from the band I have heard yet.
whatare you so afraid of XXTENTACION
Following alongside The 1975’s song, this song is an acoustic piece off of the rappers newest album SKINS. I personally love the take on this song as the singing is slurred, a common melody-line for xxtentacion, but has this beautiful strummed out guitar in the background which sticks with the whole song and is the only instrument played. The whole song in total has such a beautiful feel to it. It’s one of those songs that I can see true fans of the artist really falling in love with as they can pick apart all of the musicianship that x has put into this piece of art.
For the Holidays I interviewed Indie Singer-Songwriter Rändi Fay whose new Christmas single may seem a bit out place on my blog but once you hear it and read my interview with her you’ll see why I featured it …
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always start out with an easy and quick question. So CD or Vinyl?
RÄNDI FAY: Vinyl. I will call myself out that I don’t have a record player anymore, and I rarely listen to CD’s anymore. I am a part of the current musician’s nightmare! I do buy Mp3s still, but I mostly stream. However, if I could re-create and embellish my collection of vinyl that I basically gave away for $5 twenty years ago (I know… right?), I could brush the dust from the tip of my cartridge and then hang out listening to the faint scratch of a record starting and all of that amazing sound that follows… I would LOVE that!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was your biggest inspiration behind the song Joy Whispered? And why?
RÄNDI FAY: The inspiration for “Joy Whispered” came in a songwriting challenge where I had to choose five words from a list of ten and write a Christmas song using them. Two words really stuck out to me: “silent” and “light.” I don’t think I had considered those two words together before, giving me a fresh image of the familiar manger scene. There must have been the feeling of “hush” among the people gathered under quiet starlight in awe of the new born baby, whispering excitement – so human and so divine! Picturing the scene, I saw joy crossing cultural, socioeconomic and “earthly” boundaries; hard-working native shepherds, wealthy kings from afar and heavenly angels, all sharing love for an infant and his impoverished family – a magical sight! We are one in this world. We can’t be reminded of that too frequently.
TRB: What is your all-time favorite Christmas song?
RÄNDI: “White Christmas.” I am soooo nostalgic, and I can’t get enough of the mood that song captures.
TRB: If you could collaborate with any musician who would it and why?
RÄNDI: Hmmm… so many!! I have so much to learn! I am going to go with Sir Paul McCartney because of his beautiful and resonant melodies, but also his fearless blending of instrumentation and genre. And his easy style and vocals. I wonder if he is really that charming in person?
TRB: Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you lately? What music have you been digging?
RÄNDI: I have been listening to some really “off the beaten track” Christmas music and found Hayley Westenra. Wow, does she have a voice! Another cool, less known group is Alique. Wow. Again the vocals are inspiring, and the vibe is just the right mix of haunting and enthralling, with eclectic beats, unexpected harmonies and a classical yet magical approach to their production.
TRB: And what’s next for you Rändi Fay?
RÄNDI: 2019 is going to rock!! I start it out by playing “Donna” the lead in “Mamma Mia!” Yikes! That is completely new territory for me! And also, producer/co-writer Aaron Zinsmeister and I already have five tracks finished for our new project “Intuition,” a passionate concept album further exploring “symphonic pop,” in the spirit of Moody Blues meets Evanescence meets Disney, a little Dido, a little Celine…we have 5 (or maybe 6?) more songs to go, and hoping for a late summer/early autumn release!
TRB: Anything else you would like to add?
RÄNDI: I would love to send a message of peace to all of your readers. No matter what our specific commitment to Christmas is, be it more religious or more retail ;)… or none at all, this is a challenging time of year. Take some time for yourself, but also some time for helping others who need it. There is so much joy in passing on those small favors, with asking nothing in return. Truly – give it a shot! And THANK YOU for inviting me to participate in this blog! Merry Christmas!
Today I bring you Cavey a bluesy London based alt-rock four-piece band consisting of Luke Cave on Guitar and Vocals, Alexander Chalstrey on Piano, Organ and Rhodes, Chun-Ting “Refa” Wang on the Upright Bass/Bass guitar, then Adrian Ortman on Drums. They’ve just released a smoky and soulful new song called “About to Start”. The song (produced by Blaenavon’sFrank Wright) which is a ballad harkens back to the days of smoky clubs and torch songs mixed with the precision of early to mid 2000s Alternative Rock flair. It recalls the trials and tribulations of being a working musician and what may or may not come of that. With the rather admirable use in abstract storytelling from Cavey the storyline could very well be interpreted as long lost love or friendship, as heartbreak is the central theme within the songs’ lyrics. The lead vocalist Luke Cave has a soulful tonality and jazzy vibrato to his vocals, which adds a unique touch not often seen in an Alternative Rock band. Therefore making them one to stick out a bit which could be a bad or good thing, in my opinion a good thing. So if you want something old school yet fresh and new plus are looking for something new to add your Holiday Party playlist (hint hint) check out Cavey’s “About to Start” and warm your ears this Winter.
Last week I got to spend my Saturday night surrounded by some great people and even better music. Sure Sure with supporters Plastic Picnic and Wilderado wrapped around to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to play venue Music Hall of Williamsburg for Halloween weekend. The bands delivered some incredible music to the crowd that left me quite astonished. The show they put on was just so well produced and was so good for just an indie band barely making it in this scene. Indie band Sure Sure got alternative underground band Plastic Picnic to open for them for this specific date. Although this band [Plastic Picnic] hadn’t been touring all the dates with Sure Sure and Wilderado, they are definitely to be noted when discussing this show. Plastic Picnic, for being a band with little to no releases, proved themselves to be such an interesting band. The band have a unique guitar sound that is intricate and interesting compared to other alternative-music sounds, the band matches this with a deeper vocal composition which is uncommon to hear against the chorus pedal on a guitar. The band has a remarkably unique sound to them but it’s not the only thing that caught my attention. The band had such a good stage presence. With their involvement in the crowd, you could tell the band is filled with people who care for the music and for those who support their dream to become something. Check out their photos and their links below:
The next band to find their way onto the stage with rough low-lighting was Wilderado. I got the chance to speak with the band in a personal interview before the show, I can’t wait for you guys to see what the band had to say when talking about the future of the band. The idea of an album release from these guys is so exciting to be discussing, especially after seeing what this band had to offer for us last Saturday. Wilderado are the perfect mixture of indie and rock with an almost country/blues touch to the vocal structure of the lead singer Maxim. It’s something I have hardly seen a mixture of in the indie scene but I personally love the band’s sound and I think they are going to be blowing up on their first album which is in the making. Wilderado were another band that took me by surprise this night as I didn’t know what to expect but I was blown away by what the band had shown us that night with their musicianship. Stay tuned for the interview here at ‘The Reclusive Blogger’ and check out the photos I got of their set below.
The last band of the night to come out for the show was Sure Sure. If i wasn’t already blown away by the other two acts, then Sure Sure had definitely done it for me. The band has a fascinating and distinctive sound to them. Sure Sure has a total indie rock vibe to them following suit to the aesthetic of the whole show but the way they also connect these enthralling psychedelic synth and keyboard sounds to mix with the delicate guitar that is so prodigious was something that caught my attention instantly. The guitar is something that has to be noted as the guitarist was someone who pulled the band together with the complex yet captivating sounds he produced. The riffs of the guitar were out there when it comes to something that is delicately crafted and given thought to. The way the band connected the guitar, at times, to the synth was interesting but the idea alone of the skill level of the guitarist is something that must be noted. This guy seriously knows what he is doing, the guitar is absolutely one of the best concepts of this band. To tie it together, the band had a great image and too small of a following for who they are. Sure Sure is another band, with their first album release, who are going to be blowing up the scene. The band is just simply so talented and already mesmerizing attracting large crowds. I can see such a bright future for this band and can’t wait to hear and see more. You can view their photos below …
Today I bring you nicopop. He’s a rising Pop producer and his new track “Below The Ceiling” is a must listen. It’s a smooth Electro-Pop number combining both elements of older-school electronic music and new school. Or as the artist puts it himself “y2k meets Gen Z”.
From the opening notes where we hear liquid being poured. I assume bubbly since it’s mentioned in the lyrics. I can tell this track is going to be a feel good and fun dance track. With a good dash of effervescent sexiness thrown in for good measure. The singers’ vocals bounce along the slick pop production with plenty of flirty advances for lyrics. All coming together to make a neat and quite fun electro-pop bop perfect for the dance floor. Stream + Buy // nicopop – “Below the Ceiling” Buy oniTunes Stream onSpotify & Apple Music Follow // nicopop – Facebook Instagram Twitter
I got the chance to interview Rilan, an eclectic Electro-Pop artist and songwriter from New Orleans now based in Los Angeles. We talked music (including his current single ‘Money Talk’, creativity, influences, and more. Check it all out below …
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You got invited to perform at Style Fashion Week LA and NYC. What was that experience like?
RILAN: It was surreal. I love fashion. I see it as a tool to elevate your music from audio to a full multidimensional experience. All of my biggest musical inspirations used fashion as an extension of their performances, from Bowie to Prince to Madonna to Gaga. It was great to showcase my music on such a unique stage and to see my designs on runway. I make most of the costumes for my dancers and me myself, and Style Fashion Week NYC also allowed me to showcase some of my original jacket designs. Pretty surreal.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What are some of your favourite lyrics you’ve written? Which lyrics were the hardest to write?
RILAN: Some of my favorite lyrics are from the chorus of my last single, “MoneyTalk.” I wrote it about how much I hate social media. It distorts our perception of real beauty and fantasy. The chorus says, “It’s a sad, sad city when you’re not that pretty,” and that’s exactly how I felt living in LA about a year ago. Everyone’s flawless, but none of it’s real. I always find I’m much better at writing when I’m pissed or depressed. I’m bad at happy. It’s the emo kid in me.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do you have any fun rituals that you do before a performance?
RILAN: Honestly, I’m a pacer. I can’t sit still before I go on stage and always look for something to do. Usually it’s fixing costumes or making last minute changes to outfits, but it’s always something.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Where do you draw your biggest inspirations and influences from?
RILAN: I love fashion. I love the 80s and the decade’s idea of what the future would look like, from movies like Tron and Bladerunner and Aliens. I love horror movies, good or bad, and the paranormal. Anything creepy inspires me. So mix that up together with pop music and you get this weirdo.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do you have any dream collaborations?
RILAN: To be honest I already work with my dream collaborator, Richy Jackson. I admired him so much for his dancing and choreography for Gaga growing up, and the fact that I get to work with him on my own music is still a dream come true.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Did you always want to be a Singer-Songwriter? Can you remember the first time you wrote a song? What was it like?
RILAN: I always knew I wanted to be a performer. I grew up in musical theatre, but when I was about 13 I realized I wanted to sing my own words instead of somebody else’s. I fooled around on the piano until it sounded something like a song and started writing and never really looked back. My first work was a cheesy mess of a piano ballad called “Runaway.” I still remember every word and every chord, but it will never see the light of day. Over my dead body.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell me more about the recording and writing process for “Moneytalk”? Also about the music video as well?
RILAN: “MoneyTalk” is a satire. Social media has completely distorted our perception of beauty, Hollywood promotes it, and because of it living in LA sometimes sucks. People are shallow and fame is fleeting and everything and you can get a twisted sense of reality if you believe all the bullshit surrounding you. “MoneyTalk” is what Hollywood looks like to me nowadays. It’s fantastical and exaggerated and ridiculous. People’s body proportions are cartoonish, their facial features are insane, and everyone buys into it. It makes you feel hideous. The song and the video were my way of getting out my frustrations with the world around me.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What was it like collaborating with Lady Gaga Creative Director, Richy Jackson? How did that come about?
RILAN: I met him two and half years ago when I was gearing up for a performance at LA Pride. I’d always choreographed everything myself before then. I was hesitant to work with someone else because I always knew exactly what I wanted my shows to look like from start to finish, and I feared another creative would try to change me, but Richy was totally different. He was unlike anyone else I had ever worked with before. He totally understood my weirdness and my quirks and my inspirations. It was a dream come true honestly. Since then we’ve worked on every one of my projects together. He’s a miracle worker. I love him.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Why Electro-pop? What drew you to that genre in particularly?
RILAN: I grew up with 80s music. I listened to my mom and dad’s favorites as a kid – Madonna, Bowie, Prince, Cher, the greats. As I got older, I discovered darker pop and industrial music. I fell in love with Soft Cell, Tears For Fears, and later Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson all while still involved in theatre and dance. I think the combination of all of these different influences led me to want to create the music I make now. It’s a little dark, it’s a bit of retro theatre, it’s a lot of dance, and it’s all brought to life best on stage.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What artists or bands have been ‘On Repeat’ for you currently? Who have you been listening to lately?
RILAN: To be frank, I don’t really listen to anything current. I love pop music, and it feels like pop music has disappeared. I don’t think it’s dead. It will never die, but it’s certainly not around right now, and I can’t stand it. My mission is to bring it back. Until then, I listen to pop albums from yesteryear like Madonna’s “Immaculate Collection,” Gaga’s “The Fame,” Britney’s, “In The Zone,” Marina And The Diamond’s “Electra Heart,” and Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill.” And then there’s my out of the box everyday favorites like Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars,” Prince’s “Controversy,” and Nine Inch Nails’ “A Downward Spiral.”
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER:
And what’s next for Rilan?
RILAN: Right now I’m writing a lot of new music that I’m excited about. I’m working a with some new people creatively and strategically as well. There are lots of things on the table, and I’m looking forward to all of them. I can’t wait to share what we’ve been brewing.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Anything else you would like to add?
Tropic, the soulful Electro-pop duo I very recently introduced you to just dropped a brand new song and it’s a lit one. The band who I just Interviewed here, have released a sexy cover of the “Earth Wind and Fire” classic “September”. Singer Jo-B Sebastian’s glossy vocals glide wondrously along the slick electronic production from Phuse aka Jarel Hill. Giving way to a super groovy electronic reimagination of the 70s Uber classic jam. The subtle addition of vocal chops on the choruses, adds a fresh new vibe to the track as well. The song is updated just enough to have it fit in with the plethora of today’s electronic-based R&B tracks, while still keeping the integrity of that era, song and Earth Wind and Fire.
“Earth, Wind & Fire are one of the many inspirations we both share, and while no one can do it like they can, we felt the need to show our respect and admiration for one of our favorite artists with this heartfelt cover of one of their biggest hits. We definitely put our own Tropic twist on the track, but we hope it still has the familiarity of a song that everyone and their mother knows and loves.” – Tropic
Bishop Briggs Brought the ‘Church of Scars’ to L.A. …
Singer-songwriter Bishop Briggs took us to Church last night (September 5th) at her sold out concert in Los Angeles, held at the very apropos The Theatre at The Ace Hotel. The gothic architecture definitely set the scene for the night. I was excited to be not only checking off another artist on my photography wish list but checking off another concert venue as well!
The band Joywave opened up the show and they were the perfect opener for Bishop Briggs. Fun Electro-pop with Alternative leanings. I hadn’t heard much from them but after seeing them live and how enthusiastic their fans were. I would definitely recommend them.
Bishop Briggs hit the stage at approximately 9:10 and with my photo pass I had only the first three songs to get my photos. I was stoked to be seeing her live again but this time photographing her set. The entire show was so fun and I was so thankful for this opportunity. Bishop’s vocals literally filled up the room and all the way to the rafters and balcony. She played a bunch of new songs including her latest “Baby”. The crowd went absolutely nuts on “Wild Horses” and you feel the emotion saturate the entire room when she went into songs like “Hi-Lo Hollow” and her cover of INXS“Never Tear Us Apart”. The night ended on a high note with her massive hit “River”. It was definitely not a concert to be missed and Bishop Briggs is an artist not to be missed. So to start check out my gallery from her epic show below!
Bishop Briggs // Photographed by Brittney Williams
Hey, guys it’s Brittney here! You know what else is here? That’s right the second inuaguaral Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena, CA. The music and arts festival which is billed as a fun also family friendly music filled weekend. It’s definitely is that.
I arrived very early hoping to a quick lay of land and scope out the media tent. Which wasn’t hard to do considering it was all right by the box office. Most of today’s adventures were prep for tomorrow where I have a much Fuller schedule. But today I decided to check out a few of Arroyo Seco’s other offerings. I stopped by the Visit Pasadena tent and did a Instagram post in exchange for a parasol which is much needed and in demand in the Pasadena heat. They also gave out super cute bandanas which were personalized with our initials. After that I realized it was 1:00pm and I had a band I needed to see. So I dropped by the Willow stage and was pleasantly surprised by the unique stylings of ‘Typhoon‘ a super groovy and hard rocking band from Salem, Oregon. The addition of a female violinist and background singer I thought was cool. The crowd was loving it too and ‘Typhoon’ ended up packing the Willow Stage. Definitely my fave today (mind you I did not stay the entire time). Although my partner in crime, my Mom loved the first band we checked out and Arroyo Seco opener, “Maxim Ludwig“. I also got a chance to come heck out the Glasshouse record store which housed a ton of cool, new and rare vinyl including tons from the Arroyo Seco artists. I made two purchases, Joy Division and Ryan Adams. I say a job well done. All in all today was for me to gain my bearings, check out the site, look at some of the activations. Some working better than others. Tomorrow I have a much fuller day (way too many artists to see!) so that means a much bigger recap! Maybe even a few surprises …
👇🏾👇🏾 Peep the official imagery from Goldenvoice in a gallery below! 👇🏾👇🏾
Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of attending Spotify’s Fans First event for James Bay at Hubble Studio. The invite was sent out a few days ago to Spotify listeners that apparently stream James Bay a lot in the Los Angeles area. Anyway I took my usual plus one and go to gal, my Mom. As she is now a fan herself after seeing him in New York in 2016 and earlier this year. So she was on her third show, I’m on my fourth.
We got there early enough where we did not have too wait long as it was surprisingly chill for SoCal. The line ended up being wrapped around the block so my Mom and I got there at the perfect time!
Inside the event the theme of ‘Fans First’ was prevalent. It was an open space where we could freely wonder and look at all of this amazing art from both fans and actual artists that are fans as well. In the middle was a tiny black stage with one microphone and a guitar. I wonder who that is for …
The DJ who stood off in the corner played amazing tunes all night not to far from the stage. Songs that have all had their debut on James’ playlist at some point or he’s talked about as being a fave or influence. Everything from The Rolling Stones to Frank Ocean to Francis And the Lights and of course his Brother Alex’ new song was played. It definitely kept you entertained waiting for James to arrive.
As I stated before I was so glad I arrived early because I was once again barricade at a James Bay show this time right in front. It was truly a “Fans First” experience. We were so close and yes there was security. But everyone respected him and those in the audience. It was such a heart warming and chill experience. I remember James saying he felt safe in this environment and that it was so cool of Spotify to do something like this for him and his fans.
James started out the night with new songs “Just For Tonight”, “Us”, “Slide”, “Pink Lemonade” and “Wild Love” ending with “Let It Go”. He then said I want to do one more song after taking a crowd picture. All done acoustically which was so amazing to hear. Especially songs like “Pink Lemonade” which according to James was written specifically for an electric guitar. All in all it was just him and his guitar. His vocals have never been stronger. He ended the night with an encore of “Hold Back the River”.
We ended a night of fun with memories of a very special event that us James Bay’ fans will never forget and the coolest poster. So once again I would like to thank Spotify, James Bay, his amazing team, Hubble Studio and Republic Records for putting on this amazing event!
It’s Brittney, Today I’m back with two more reviews. This one is of a up and coming pop artist “K-Bust”. Her album “Fearless” was released today (3/9/18). Her debut album is full decadent Electro-pop numbers that align well with her raspy rocker voice. Which, by the way has a quiet power to it. Each track has many electronic elements woven in and out dramatically. Very reminiscent of 80s Power-Pop and 90s Euro dance numbers. And her vocals add the perfect amount of grit to give the songs a needed edge. So they never cross into bubblegum territory. The best of all is K-Busts’ lyrics, which are full of emotion and at times heavy. But are very relatable as they are about life, love, lust and yearning. Even when she’s using her most abstract and atmospheric lyrics or analogies it’s still comes across very well, as it’s all in the feeling. I think a lot of that has to do with how she has portrayed her voice on her “Fearless” record. It does bring to mind many of the females of rock in the 80’s such as Pat Benatar. Which is quite notable seeing as one of the standout tracks on the record is the cover of Pat Benatar “Love Is a Battlefield”. Although similar in vocal tonality it’s unlike the original in other ways. Other standout tracks for me are, “Over”, “Shoot”, “That Sound”, “Just a Simple Taste” and “Tonight”.
Hey kiddos, I’m back with another album review. Actually two. But the first review is the stunning record by the British Singer-Songwriter, Charlie Barnes who is also a touring band member with Bastille. The album is named “Oceanography” and aptly named as well. The entire album surrounding my ears with lush vocals and guitar tones all made to sound or correlate with the ocean I could only guess. The cover even features a circle of abstract ocean blues in the middle of a colorless nothing.
The opening track on “Oceanography” is quite a usual one appropriately titled “Intro”. The uniqueness of “Intro” fully sets in when you realize it’s all drowned out chatter, footsteps and random commotion. So … wait?! Are we in a Coffee shop Charlie? Next, we segue into the title track which is very reminiscent of Brit-Pop in the 90s with added electro elements and sweeping guitars. I even hear some classical instrumentation in the back which add to the dramatics of the song. We next launch into “Will and Testament” which also show how much touring with Bastille has influenced the Derbyshire musician. Not only are Dan Smiths’ (Bastille lead singer) vocals featured in the background. You can truly hear here the electronic production the most. On songs “Oceanography” and “Will And Testament” Charlie’s voice which is so unique and unlike most voices out there soars the most. Songs like “Bruising” and “Ruins” showcase more of Charlie’s roots as a musician with heavy melodic elements and acoustic guitar. “One Word Answers” is a fun guitar jam that’s heavy on the drums and melody. The chorus is where it truly shines through, with the lyric; “And I only give you one-word answers”. Pay attention for that high note and the bits of tambourine throughout!
“The Departure”, “Legacy”, and “Former Glories” are all slower more peaceful moments on the album that remind me of the tide rolling in. Where Charlie’s voice is at the forefront with more introspective lyrics. I even hear a bit of very early Coldplay with a slight jazzy or Bossa Nova vibe. The mood picks up slightly with “Maria” which has a slight shuffle to it beat … And a quite lovely guitar solo. The mood picks up even more with “All I have” which has a beautiful message all packed into this song. Never give up your dreams (in this case creative ones) no matter how hard it gets. You also must check out the video which I’ll post below! We end “Oceanography” with “The Weather”. A bittersweet piano-driven ballad with the most heartfelt lyrics, that features a coffee analogy in the beginning just like album’s “Intro” does.