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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Meet MOTTEO, an emerging independent electro alt-pop artist that is based in New York City. He is releasing the next single from his upcoming debut EP, ‘I’m desparate for you‘. The song “Touch Me” says the artist is about how we as humans sometimes want to change ourselves to be more desirable to potential lovers. The song features an underlying slinky beat with glitchy synths on top as MOTTEO‘s vocals glide along in a lower register until towards the end of the track where MOTTEO breaks out into a lovely falsetto. His debut EP is set to be released this summer with each song on the EP speaking on different aspects of relationships and intimacy. MOTTEO garners most of his inspiration from his own life but the themes of modern love, loss and dating are universal, especially when told through a good beat and catchy hook or melody. “Touch Me” is out now and you can listen to it below.

Stream “Touch Me”: https://ffm.to/touchmelive

Until then,
Brittney x

Janos is a Swedish born singer-songwriter who’s inspired by Anderson Paak, Daft Punk, and Bruno Mars. Spending his time between the streets and pubs of Oslo and London, Janos fuses beautiful pop melodies and soulful singing into his music. His newest track “Zero” is a good example of that. It’s a positive anthem about not letting other people getting you down. The song features a euphoric beat and infectious melodies. It all comes together to create a fun and dreamy dance track. “Zero” is one song you will definitely be pressing the repeat button on.

“It’s not a vindictive song, it’s more like a ‘I do me and you do you’ type of thing”, reveals JANOS, “It’s about maximizing who you are and not listening to haters, fake friends and what society tells you to do”.

Stream Janos “Zero” here:

Follow Janos here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanosMusicofficial/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanosBAndersson

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/janosmusic/

Until then,
Brittney x

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: CD or Vinyl?

CUBBI: Digital streaming

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you tell us how you got started as singer and songwriter? Was that something you always wanted to do?

CUBBI: Yeah I guess it’s just been something I’ve always done. In high school I spent the majority of my time writing songs after school. I would even bunk math class and just hide out with my guitar writing songs.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can talk a bit about the backstory and songwriting process behind your two latest singles, “White Lies, Like Flies” and “Buzzkill”?

CUBBI: I wrote WLLF with my looping station. First came the chord progression which I had playing over and over again and about 20 minutes later I had the whole songwriting was done. I was inspired by James Blake’s vocal productions so I added some interesting vocal layers and the song was created. Buzzkill was a collaborative effort between myself and Robokid. I had the vague idea of the song I wanted us to work on in our session before hand as I had written a couple of lines and melody already and felt like it could turn into something cool in the right hands. I played him some of my other music and we chatted about the song and how I wanted it to be minimal and driven by the procussion. I really love how we did a tempo change going into the bridge section, it really drives the song.

TRB: Where do you normally draw inspiration from as artist, producer and musician?

CUBBI: I draw mainly inspiration from relationships, platonic and romantic. And also the relationship I have with myself.

TRB: How has your South African roots influenced your songwriting and your artistry?

CUBBI: Mainly in the production of my music. It might be hard to hear unless you are familiar with music from here. A bunch of my drum patterns are influenced by the gom scene here.

TRB: Do you have a dream music collaboration?

CUBBI: I would love to do anything musically with Tracy Chapman or Fiona Apple. Two of the greatest songwriters ever.

TRB: I’m going to throw in a fun one here … What was your favorite children’s book as a kid?

CUBBI: I’m going to have to pick the Chronicles of Narnia, but the tapes not the books. We used to go on long road trips as a family when we were on school holiday and my parents would play the tapes in the car.

TRB: What music have you been listening to lately? What has been “On Repeat” for you?

CUBBI: The 1975’s new record is bliss. Love It If We Made It, as a song, is a masterpiece.

TRB: And what’s next for you Cubbi?

CUBBI: That’s the question. Shows and shows and touring and shows and music videos and finishing up the next record. Exciting times ahead, I’m looking forward to it.

TRB: Anything else you would like to add? Thank you for your time! 🙂

CUBBI: Hey thank you guys! Check me out on spotify, and follow me on instagram @cubculture_ for updates on live shows and new releases.

Until then,
Brittney x

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.

Photo Credit: Dana Trippe
Photo Credit: Dana Trippe

Stream Haley Reinhart‘s “Lo-Fi Soul” here: https://open.spotify.com/album/4EyTf708dFclXh8ALP4saW?si=lM_WcAYNR2GfIpEqcUJ2_Q

Follow Haley Reinhart here:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram| YouTube | Spotify

Photo Credit: Dana Trippe
Photo Credit: Dana Trippe
Until then,
Brittney x

KASADOR, the Canadian Indie Pop-Rock band have released a catchy and cathartic new single “Brood & Bloom”. After the unexpected departure of a longtime bandmate. The band had to take a step back to reflect and re-evaluate everything.

Once KASADOR set to writing again, this latest song “Brood & Bloom” was a result of that and became emblematic of that time and experience, with founding member Cam Wyatt now on vocals. The song although quiet in it’s intensity is quite the emotional powerhouse, featuring lovely and fitting vocals from Cam Wyatt. It was produced by Graham Walsh (Sam Roberts, Lights, and Wintersleep) and by The Tragically Hip’s Rob Baker and Gord Sinclair at Bathhouse Studios. But don’t just take my word for how great this track is you can listen to it below and learn more about KASADOR as well …

Stream KASADOR // “Brood & Bloom” – http://smarturl.it/KasadorBroodandBloom

KASADOR Official Website http://www.kasadorband.com/

Until then,
Brittney x