I spoke with Sacramento Indie Rock band Keys and Vices. We chatted about their latest and highly emotional release “Chronic Nostalgia”, songwriting and influences, and music traditions. Check it all out below …

Photo Credit: Jennifer Valdez

Photo Credit: Jennifer Valdez

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Pancakes or Waffles?
ALL: Waffles 100%!

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us how you guys got started as a band?
KEVIN: We were in a band prior to Keys and Vices so we were already family and synced up with
each other. After the split, Jenn created Keys and Vices as her solo project then slowly pieced it
together by first adding Kris, then reached out to me a while later. We knew we had something
after our first practice as a trio.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell me more about the recording process for this EP “Chronic Nostalgia”?
JENN: I recorded 5 of the songs myself which is where you’ll hear some difference between all 8
of them. The songs I recorded on my own took a lot longer having to write all the parts myself, but the 3 songs recorded with Kris and Kevin were so much faster since we could bounce ideas off each other.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How was the writing process for this EP? Having come from a place heartbreak did you feel this was a cathartic experience?
JENN: Absolutely! Writing music has always been therapeutic and helps me to move on. Sometimes I’ve come to discover things about myself during the writing process that I hadn’t thought of before, and it’s simply because i’m searching for a different way to explain the story.
KRIS: For me it was more on feel. The songs Jenn and I wrote together came from locking ourselves in a room for hours and just playing together till something felt right, and we just knew.

TRB: Being not only musicians but creatives where do you normally draw your inspirations and influences from?
KRIS: I draw inspiration from the talent my bandmates bring to the table. It’s hard not to see and
hear them play and not become inspired to be the best I can be.
JENN: My personal experiences, and collaborating with musicians like Kris and Kevin. Just like Kris said, it’s so much better writing songs with people who know where you’re going with the music before you even get there.

TRB: Do you guys have a lyric that you’ve written that has the most meaning to you or is a favorite?
JENN: Wow that’s a very hard question! I love all the lyrics I write because they all have a lot of
meaning to them. If I had to pick a favorite lyric, I would say one of the lines from the song “Ghost Love”. The lyric, “trying hard to hold back the water in my eyes, I don’t want to show you the wake you’ve left behind”. A way to explain how much you’re hurt that you feel the effect isn’t a small ripple in the water, it’s a wake. I think that’s very relatable for anyone who has been hurt.

TRB: If you had the chance to cover any song and give it the ‘Keys and Vices’ treatment what song would you pick? And why?
JENN: My favorite song to play as a cover is “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. I’ve always loved that song, and now I give it a different feel with the way I sing/play it.
KEVIN:Won’t back Down” by Tom Petty. I think the song speaks for itself!
KRIS: Any song by Hall and Oates. I loved that band as a kid and I still do.

TRB: Are there any current artists that have been “On Repeat” for you as a band lately? What music have you been digging?
JENN: I listen to a lot of different artists (old and new), but the artists I always have on repeat is Sam Cooke and Elton John’s album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. At my house we have “Sam Cooke Sunday” where we listen to my Sam Cooke vinyl albums every sunday, it’s become a fun
tradition along with cooking a big breakfast. A few months ago I found Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road vinyl album buried in a sea of old vinyls at a shop. I couldn’t believe it was only $3.99, and in amazing condition! It’s one of my favorite albums and every other Friday night
you’ll hear it blaring throughout my house!
KRIS: Lately I’ve been listening to Chris Stapleton’s Traveler album. It’s the perfect mix of blues, and country but it’s also surprisingly soulful too. The man has a great sound.

TRB: If you turn any book into a song what would you choose? And why? KRIS: The Count of Monte Cristo.
The idea of waiting so long to get revenge is crazy and would make for a great song.
TRB: And what’s next for Keys and Vices?
ALL: Although we just released “Chronic Nostalgia”, we have a lot of new music ready to get out there within the next year, and if listeners love our current album, we can’t wait for them to hear the next one!

TRB: Anything else you guys would like to add? 🙂
ALL: Thank you for taking the time to listen to the album! Please hit us up on social media and let us know what you think of the music!

You can follow Keys and Vices on their social media links below as well as listen to their current release “Chronic Nostalgia” (embedded above).

Facebook: @keysandvicesband
Twitter: @keysandvices
Instagram: @keysandvices
https://www.keysandvices.com/

Like always be sure to hit that follow button or subscribe to my emails to catch the latest and greatest in music, entertainment and pop culture from The Reclusive Blogger.

Until then,
Brittney x
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Host Bodies is a live Electronic duo based in San Francisco comprised of MC/producer James Collector (aka Swoop) and multi-instrumentalist Nick 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. The seven 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 Bodies create 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.

HOST BODIES

Listen to ‘Diamondfruit‘ below!

Stream ‘Diamondfruit‘ elsewhere 
http://hyperurl.co/diamondfruit

FOLLOW:

Website I Facebook I Instagram I Twitter

Until then,
Brittney x

So I did my first phone interview with Nashville based Singer-Songwriter Sam Hale. His new EP; Somewhere Between Love & War is out October 12th. We chatted music, Nashville, family and his Iranian heritage …

[The interview has edited for clarity and context]

The Reclusive Blogger: Hi, Sam, How are you today?

Sam Hale: I’m doing great. How about yourself?

TRB: I’m doing fine. So, Sam how did you get started in music?

Sam: The first memory I even have of being alive was like being around music was my parents house parties . They weren’t musicians, my Dad’s an Architect. He kind of has a little like of an artistic being in him. But like basically I grew up in Iran (I moved when I was seven years old). So my family would throw house parties all the time and there were a couple of guys that would always come over and play, one played guitar and one played piano. They would entertain everybody. Instead of like normal kids would do, I was more obsessed with the music being played. I was intrigued and enamored by it. Eventually as I got older at 12 I started taking lessons and at 16 I started writing my own songs. That was when it stuck with me when I could express myself with my own lyrics, melodies and chords. Stuff like that.

TRB: Speaking of Nashville … How has Nashville influenced you as musician and artist? Also how has your prior years in Los Angeles? In what ways can we hear both influences on the new song and EP?

Sam: I came here to just kind of change my mindset and reset myself to be focused in music and just try to see what it’s like to be in an uncomfortable setting where you have to like have to meet people all over again. And you know it was definitely a challenge. So in LA I kind of got more like the pop background you know, cool bars and clubs and music venues that they would always have like awesome synth groups. like you know. When I came to Nashville. It’s a little bit more stripped down out here. It’s like it’s back to the basics with drums, bass and guitars. So being out here I definitely got more influenced by the Americana stuff. A couple artists out here that are awesome are David Ramirez, he’s definitely influenced me. I ended up working with this producer Sam Kassirer. So that was awesome. Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, and Andrew Cohen.

TRB: Since we mentioned your new EP and song. Let’s talk about it. Your current single “Can’t Take It” is off the EP “Somewhere Between Love & War”. What was the recording and writing process like for that?

Sam: Well as far as the title goes on I just kind of felt like you know there’s a lot of emotions on the EP that all kind of just figures in a little area, “Supernatural” was more reminiscent for me as it touches on you know me back when I was in Iran. The first single called “Can’t Take It” is about toxic relationships. The EP basically about a lot of things that I went through in the last couple of years.

TRB: Who are your biggest inspirations and influences as musician and artist? They can go beyond music.

SAM: My Dad. He got us to America when we were younger. And you know, he brought us out here so we would be able to follow our dreams. have a free and easier life and he sacrificed his career he’s a great family, man, he’s been married to my mom for I think, like 45 years now. As far as music, I don’t really follow music so much these days. But I would also say, Chris Martin from Coldplay.

TRB: Who Is Your Dream Tour mate?

SAM: Thom Yorke or Trent Reznor.

TRB: What lyric have you written means the most to you?

SAM: “The Tourist” from my new EP.

“Years bend to minutes through the turns. A new generation’s driving. I’m in the backseat pressed to my seat“

Sam Hale // “The Tourist”

TRB: I usually start out with a quick icebreaker question but this time I’ll end with it… So Coffee or Tea?

Sam: I would say both! I used to be anti coffee because it gave me anxiety, but I drink Coffee in the morning for a boost and Tea (decaf) after dinner.

TRB: Anything else you would like to add?

Sam: Check me out social media and I’m most active Instagram. Check out my website Sam Hale.net and my music!

⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

Follow ‘Sam Hale’ on Social below:

Stream Sam’s EP “Somewhere Between Love & War” Here.

Sam also has EP release show in Nashville on October 20th at The Bowery Vault!

Thank you for your time Sam!

Until then,

Brittney W.

Emma Topolski (Childcare) forms new solo project as ‘Saint Clair’ …

Today I bring you, Saint Clair. It’s the solo project of Childcare Bassist (they recently toured with Bastille), musician and singer-songwriter, Emma Topolski. Her debut EP, ‘D2’ was released today (11/14/18) and it’s definitely something not to be missed.
On ‘D2’ we find Emma combining elements of Jazz, Electro-Pop, and R&B music to create a multi-layered EP that’s filled with soulful future pop gems. It provides for a unique contrast against the jazzy tones in her vocals.
The lead single “I’ll Stay” which showcases stunning production through a beautifully haunting track with richly layered power vocals and forlorn lyrics. All echoing from a bygone era of dimly lit smoky jazz clubs. All of this set against a pumping electronic beat and sultry bass line that feels straight out of a Sci-Fi film soundtrack.

Saint Clair says of the track; “’I’ll Stay’ is about wrestling with your demons, trying to keep a sometimes irresistible urge under control. But also about hope and the promise of victory.”

Stream ‘I’ll Stay’

https://soundcloud.com/iamsaintclair/ill-stay

Stream ‘D2’ – https://spoti.fi/2Ok5zY1

Saint Clair Socials:
Saint Clair // SoundCloud
Saint Clair // Facebook
Saint Clair // Twitter
Saint Clair // Instagram
Until then,
Brittney W. 🙂