INTERVIEW WITH … AUSTIN SINGER-SONGWRITER ‘SAINT SPICER’

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.

Stream ‘Saint Spicer’ // ‘On Repeat’

https://open.spotify.com/track/5sgG67Y7zhaDxueH7gTknO?si=OSGMHKyfQquiSQu5w7ulUw

Until then,

Brittney x

 

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YOU ME AT SIX // A CONCERT REVIEW + GALLERY

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 …

YOU ME AT SIX set list

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.

Josh crowd surfing at the end of the show!

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 “Night People’, “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 …

Until then,

Brittney x

INTERVIEW WITH … CRAIG STICKLAND

I chatted with singer, songwriter and guitarist Craig Stickland about music, life on the road and his upcoming album “Starlit Afternoon” which features the current single “Burn It Down“. 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, Craig Stickland?

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!

TRB: Thank you for your time!

Listen To “Burn It DownHERE

New Album “STARLIT AFTERNOON” Due Out This Summer!

Until then,
Brittney x

THE JAPANESE HOUSE // ‘GOOD AT FALLING’ – ALBUM REVIEW

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.

Stream/Buy The Japanese HouseGood at Falling

The Japanese House Socials:

Twitter: @Japanesehouse
Instagram: @thejapanesehouse

Until then,
Brittney x

THE REVIVALISTS // ‘CHANGE’ – NEW VIDEO

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 // Change

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

Until then,

Brittney x

FINNEAS // ‘CLAUDIA’ – A REVIEW

Claudia‘ is the uber funky new single from musician and singer-songwriter FINNEAS (aka Finneas O’Connell). FINNEAS who you might recognize as Brother and main collaborator to Pop singer Billie Eilish (Ocean Eyes and Bury A Friend). On the song ‘Claudia‘, FINNEAS showcases his talent not only as a songwriter but as a solo artist. The track written about his girlfriend, YouTuber Claudia Sulewski is a song that’s full of vulnerability, honesty, and passion. A flirty and playful song, with heartfelt lyrics that’s all wrapped up in a fun, easygoing groovy pop bop, that’s as perfect to dance to as it is to vibe out to. You can listen to ‘Claudia‘ below plus learn more on FINNEAS in the links below!

Buy on iTunes
Stream on Spotify & Apple Music
Watch the lyric video on
YouTube

Follow FINNEAS
Spotify
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Until then,
Brittney x