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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VIDEO PREMIERE: MONEY FOR ROPE // ACTUALLY

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 […]

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MARY POPPINS RETURNS – A REVIEW

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.

Until then,

Brittney W.

MY TOP 5 … FIVE FAVORITE SONGS THIS WEEK … by Sabrina A.

Be My Mistake
The 1975

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.

-Sabrina A. 

INTERVIEW WITH … MAY

The Dawning Of MAY …

Meet MAY, she’s the Melbourne born and New York City based singer-songwriter who voice and lyrics are beautiful and haunting. She is signed to Bastille’s Best Laid Plans where she will release her debut EP, Phantom and video “Last September” come November 2nd.

This week I not only had the privilege of seeing her play live in the most intimate setting in Los Angeles but I also got to interview her. You can view MAY’s answers below ….

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always start out with an with ice breaker question. So Early Bird or Night Owl?

MAY: I am a night owl, that is for certain… It’s the most enigmatic and curious time… When the best ideas come… Also, something mysterious and thought provoking about wondering who else is awake and who/what they are thinking about too.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us how you got started as a Singer-Songwriter? What was the catalyst for you?

MAY: I have always written since I was a child and gravitated towards the piano. I would play how I felt from as young as I can remember. Writing and music have always been very sentimental for me.

TRB: Can you tell me more about your typical creative, recording and writing process and what goes on behind that?

MAY: For me, it purely begins with a feeling. I have to write about something almost immediately after it happens. I sit down at the piano and my hands find chords, depending on that feeling, and the story and words come from within those chords.

“MAY’s voice is instantly iconic and hauntingly beautiful.” – Dan Smith/Bastille

TRB: You just released a new song this past Friday called “Northern Lights”. Can you tell me more about that track it’s really is quite haunting in it’s sorrow.

MAY: Northern Lights is written in memory of my late father. I wrote it just outside of Hudson, New York, in the midst of the woods. I went up there for a few days and it, more so, wrote itself. To this day I cannot sing the whole song without a tear falling from my eye. There’s something about memories living on forever though music that has a profound effect on me.

TRB: Speaking of lyrics, Are themes of love and loss and human relationships where you feel most comfortable in your storytelling?

MAY: Definitely. I write when I cannot comprehend something or someone or a situation… It’s a natural exploration of my questions and findings in life; a way of moving on and making sense of the world.

TRB: Is there a lyric that you’ve written that has the most meaning to you or is your favorite?

MAY: I think as a whole, the lyrics in ‘Baby Save Me Tonight’ are my most favorite. It came almost word for word from an actual conversation I had, one whiskey filled night, with a friend in Montreal while I was working on the EP. I feel many people can relate to the meanings in this song.

TRB: Are there any current artists that have been “On Repeat” for you as a band lately? What music have you been digging?

MAY: I tend to listen to the same songs over and over again… My playlist is rarely updated… Mazzy Star, Leonard Cohen, Cigarettes After Sex. I am loving Erik Satie right now and Chopin – Prelude in E minor. One of my favorite songs to listen to whilst walking around New York is Tchaikovsky – Waltz of the Flowers.

TRB: Throwing in a fun one here… What was your favorite Children’s book growing up?

MAY: What I loved most was actually a series that my father used to make up and they were called ‘Mary Stories’ – About a little girl with green eyes and red hair and her brother Tom and all the mischief they would get up to. It was such a treat when he would be home early to put us to bed and tell us a ‘Mary Story’. Imaginary and made up stories were always my favorite.

“Insane voice “ Jessie Ware

TRB: How have your adoptive city (NYC) and hometown (Melbourne) inspired and influenced your songwriting?

MAY: New York has definitely influenced my writing. I feel, I have grown up a lot in New York and many significant life events have happened to me since moving. The imagery is all through my music and the very interesting characters I meet in the city play major roles in my stories and in my life.

TRB: And what’s next for MAY?

MAY: My EP, ‘Phantom’, will be out on November 2, along with a video for the next single ‘Last September’. I am also currently working on my next record, which I am very excited about…

WATCH MAY:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM585Mu1T5T7Iv9GJYEf68A

STREAM MAY // SPOTIFY:

https://open.spotify.com/artist/5BOL6IPAKcXHbgXpiyoHUv?si=wEvKu2m6TkC-k2K89_lS3w

FOLLOW MAY // SOCIALS:

INSTAGRAM: www.instgram.com/thedawnofmay

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/thedawnofmay

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/thedawnofmay

Until then,
Brittney W.

MY TOP 5 … FIVE FAVORITE SONGS THIS WEEK … by Sabrina A.

Here are my top 5 favorites from last week, the week of October 21st! Enjoy!

DRUNK ON HALLOWEEN

Wallows

Drunk On Halloween is the definition of new age Simply Red. It’s retro motif touches onto what would typically be heard on classic alternative radio stations. The lead singers voice has a grungy and raspy tone, yet it has a welcoming feeling that makes you want to hear more from the band. The clever keyboard riffs intertwined with catchy vocal melodies combine and make a song that lingers with you.

WHEN THE PARTY’S OVER

Billie Eilish

The 16-year old performer, Billie Eilish, has once again created another beautiful melodic tune for her ever growing fanbase. Billie is one of the few female artists who can change her persona in songs and therefore make the moods be so different from one another. On when the party’s over, the track is haunting and beautiful with a certain melancholy to her lyrical approach. Billie’s effected lyrical style helps helps her pull off the feeling of the song very effectively, tying the song altogether.

MIDNIGHT IN TOKYO

Mini Mansions

As an Arctic Monkeys enthusiast, it’s easy to match the idea that Mini Mansions are one of the bands I frequently listen to. But this band does more than just emulate the ideas and concepts of Arctic Monkeys. Mini Mansions consistently deliver high quality music and this song is no slouch. It features a heavy moving bass line that match to intricate guitar riffs that they have built their lyrical melodies off of. The band also hints at a new age David Bowie with their production.

YOU TOO.

Chase Atlantic

Chase Atlantic has been rapidly growing as a band and with this newest release, it makes total sense as to why they are gaining more in popularity. When explaining their genre, there isn’t one topic that the band falls directly into. YOU TOO. perfectly displays that idea with it’s saxophone riffs playing through the music, it’s a quick-paced lyrical construction, matching drum skills that hint towards rap. Chase Atlantic never disappoint bringing with them an interesting instrumentals and amazing compositional skills. Catch the band on their upcoming tour and I can promise you will be dancing the whole show.

CAUGHT IN THE STARS

Cherry Pools

Cherry Pools are one of the best indie-pop bands out on the scene currently. With very little following and very few songs out there under their name, the band is still building up a fanbase to call their own but I do believe that this band will be blowing up the scene with their newest 6-song EP in which Caught In The Stars is featured on. Caught In The Stars includes a synth-pop sound that is catchy but yet unique when matching up the lyrical production. The lead singers vocals come into the track with a clear sound to them that is totally a Cherry Pools trademark. Not only do the band produce music that is aesthetically pleasing to the ear but their show doesn’t disappoint. Their stage presence is one of the best I have seen and their stage setup is even more memorising. The band will be touring with Chase Atlantic in late fall, this tour is one I recommend attending as both bands always produce an amazing show.

– Sabrina A.