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
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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

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

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

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.

Buy on iTunes
Stream on: Spotify, Apple Music, & Soundcloud
Pre-order: widow [OBLIVIØN Pt. I]
Follow Crywolf:
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Soundcloud

Until then,
Brittney x

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 since the band released Retrofuturism in 2018 and 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!

Stream ‘VHS Collection‘ // ‘Dreaming‘ – https://open.spotify.com/album/2DSYAM4Rzqf86gs5apt1hq?si=ffwIJnyWQ-W7juSAYvkfoA

VHS Collection Socials:

http://www.vhscollection.com/

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Until then,
Brittney x