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

MYYLO // ‘CYBORG’ – A REVIEW

Myylo, the Nashville based emerging pop singer-songwriter dropped his new single ‘Cyborg‘ today. The uber catchy song mixes the singers penchant for idiosyncratic lyricism, catchy hooks, unique melodies and his notable falsetto. The song evokes the spirit screw ups in love and heartbreak oh so well leaning into the singers whimsical vibe, where he often draws inspiration from not only classic 70s singer-songwriters like Carole King to pop artists of today such as Kim Petras and Rex Orange County. The Twilight Zone intro to the song says it all and truly introduces you to Myylo as an artist.

“One thing I’m proud of with this song is that it manages to address something heavy while sounding joyful. I’m literally wishing I could talk to God to figure out why I F’d things up with my ex. Its like, yeah, my personal life may be a dumpster fire right now, but we’re still gonna dance about it and laugh through the tears.” Myylo

Listen to MyyloCyborg’ –

Myylo Socials:

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

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/myylomusic

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

Until then,
Brittney x

INTERVIEW WITH … MODERN POP SINGER-SONGWRITER, LEAH VOYSEY

Leah Voysey, New Jersey native and Modern Pop singer-songwriter. She has just released a new single ‘Poison‘. Leah is at heart a singer-songwriter but her vocals and the production on ‘Poison‘ are in the vein of many modern female pop artists but with a twist. I got to chat with Leah about ‘Poison‘, her songwriting, music in general and much more below …

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Red Vines or Twizzlers?

LEAH VOYSEY: Definitely Twizzlers…and maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but the black licorice is my favorite.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: So Leah can you tell us how you got started? Did you always want to be a singer and songwriter?

LEAH VOYSEY: I’ve always been a lover of music, and I always wanted to be a performer (specifically an actor). It wasn’t until I was in college that I started to believe in myself as a singer and a songwriter. I didn’t think I had the chops to create music until I sat down and actually tried.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: You used to play acoustic shows in London as well before returning to your roots in Asbury Park in New Jersey? What are some of the ways the music scenes in both places are same? In what ways are they different?

LEAH VOYSEY: In London and Asbury Park, I feel this strong sense of community. Everyone supporting everyone instead of making it feel like a competition. The biggest difference is the accessibility to music. London is so huge, so if you wanted to go out and support your friends, you could really only see one show a night. In Asbury Park, you can hit up 3 different venues a night if you wanted. Maybe even more. It’s a musician’s playground.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your song ‘Poison’. Can you tell me more about the writing process? The recording process as well. The backstory to this song?

LEAH VOYSEY: To be vague (I don’t want to give away all my secrets), Poison is about fighting with the angel and devil on your shoulder. It’s about realizing you are the one driving your own destruction. I wrote the song in one night. I actually filmed the entire process for some reason. It was really cool watching that back and seeing how the song progressed. I wish I could release that video, but it’s too embarrassing! The recording process was so smooth. Working with MaYaY0 (producer) and Joe Pomarico (sound engineer) was extremely collaborative and encouraging. The three of us have a few more songs up our sleeves for the future!

TRB: It you had the chance to cover any song and give it the ‘Leah Voysey’ treatment what song would you pick? And why?

LV: Well, if you come see my shows on February 23rd and March 6th, you can see this answer come to life! I am covering Pat Benatar‘s Hit Me With Your Best Shot. For the February show, our rendition will be pretty close to the original. But in March, we are going to slow it down and make it jazzy and sexy. I think Pat Benatar is such a cool rocker chick. Even though I am recording modern pop music, I want to show people I have that grit and smoky quality to my voice like a lot of women of the 70’s and 80’s.

TRB: Since your roots are in the acoustic singer-songwriter genre but lean towards pop sensibilities. Who are some pop leaning singer-songwriters that have influenced your sound?

LV: My answer to this is always the same. Halsey, Bishop Briggs, and Billie Eilish. They are all leaning towards pop, but with their own little spice added. They all fit the genre enough to be considered pop, but with very distinctive voices, lyrics, and production techniques. I don’t want to be just another voice in the crowd. When people hear my songs for the first time, I want them to think, “That’s Leah Voysey.”

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

LV: My friend Diana showed me this duo, Overcoats. They are so cool! It’s two women, who I would consider to be pop artists, but their sound is heavily influenced by folk music.. The juxtaposition of those two genres is really intriguing.

TRB: Do you have any dream collaborations?

LV: Well, I might as well aim high for this question, right? John Mayer would be an amazing person to collaborate with. His lyrics are so descriptive and unique.

TRB: And what’s next for you Leah?

LV: Besides my live performances coming up, I’ll be releasing a music video for Poison in the next couple of months. Diana, who I mentioned above, directed such an amazing concept that really brings the meaning of the song to life. I’ll also be back in the studio on March 3rd recording with producer, Andrea Morgan. There definitely isn’t a shortage of updates about my career!

TRB: Anything else you would like for me to add? 🙂

LV: If you would like to follow me in my career, check out my Instagram @LeahVoysey, and my YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/leahvoyseysa.

Listen to Leah Voysey’ ‘Poison’ here:

Stream Links:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/61rSdmmO15mDxT1WvgqkfB

Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/poison/1447375862?i=1447375864

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/telegraphhillrecords/leah-voysey-poison-master-12

Until then,

Brittney x

INTERVIEW WITH … WILDERADO

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In the basement bar of Music Hall of Williamsburg a couple days ago, I got the chance to sit down and chat with the indie band Wilderado. We chatted about all things ranging from the start of the band to their first ever album. The band later performed an unbelievable show as an opener for the psychedelic, eccentric band Sure, Sure. Read below to hear more about what Wilderado band told us about their past, present and future.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you guys start off by telling me how Wilderado came together as a band?
Yeah! Three of us went to college together [total of 4 members]. Two of us are from Texas and two of us are from Oklahoma. We all started out in LA. We all ended up out there and started playing music [together] and next thing you know we were recording songs up at a house in Malibu. Now three of us are married, two of us are back in LA while two of us are back in Tulsa and we’re just writing and touring pretty constantly.

Where did you guys go to college in Texas?
Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Three of us attended that school.

You guys have been touring with Sure Sure for a little bit now, is there a connection between the two of you guys that made you two want to tour together?
Our agencies just linked us up. It’s pretty unromantic. But there’s a lot of connection going on between us now. We really love those dudes. Very, very beautiful people. Quite honestly, it has been one of the more fun trips just because of them. I think we’ve had a lot of fun just getting to know them. They’re sweet guys and easy to work with. So yeah, we’ve really enjoyed it.

Do you see a collaboration?
Oh man, I would. If they ever wanted to collaborate on something I would say yes pretty fast.

And you’re just touring the US on this leg of tour?
Just the states but we are going all over the place. We started in San Diego and going as far as Boston and then end in LA. We will be hitting 23/24 towns. It’s cool to see new places. In 30 days.

You guys are embarking on a tour across the United States, do you have favorite locations? Is there a specific reason as to why?
Ah, New York for sure. We have a pretty good draw here. We have a sort of romantic connection with it. It was kind of one of the first things we did, we came to new york. There is also kind of this buzz around coming to this city with a purpose so it feels cool to be coming to this city to be playing a show. You know, like this world class, world famous city, putting on a show is pretty fun to do here. It feels like a bit of an honor. To be coming all the way up here [from Oklahoma and California] to be playing a show is special.

What have you guys enjoyed most so far on this leg of tour?
This leg, like where we are right now, I mean this is the part of the tour where the set start to really feel good, you start feeling confident, reactionary rather than trying to remember your parts. I’ll say it over and over again but, honestly, the best part of this tour so far has just been hanging out with this band [Sure Sure]. It’s just been fun to watch them, they’ve been cool and it’s fun to watch them, learn from them, hear them. Their music is just really sophisticated.

You guys don’t have an album out yet, correct me if I am wrong here.
No, we just have EP’s.

Can we expect an album sometime soon from you guys?
Yeah, I mean it’s something we are working on but we don’t just want to put out a record to just put out a record for its own sake. I think right now we are really just collecting songs, and writing, and touring but for sure that’s the idea. We are all very romantic about it, we want Wilderado LP 1 very badly, it’s a huge goal.

Who are your musical influences?
I think for the band it’s a lot of Third Eye Blind, Kings of Leon, and real early Coldplay. Crosby Stills and Nash. It’s a lot of thing honestly.

If you collaborate with any artist dead or alive to write a song who would it be and why?
Max:
Miley Cyrus! I wanna sing with Miley, I wanna know what it’s like. I’m dead serious. I think she’s awesome.
Tyler:
I may be saying this because we just saw Paul McCartney, but I think George Harrison. I’ve always liked his solo stuff and the way he told stories about himself. I think he had a lot of influences on the guitar melodies and guitar lines we’ve wrote.
Colton:
Since you brought up The Beatles, I think Paul.
Justin [Drums]:
I’m just gonna agree there with The Beatles!

– Sabrina A.