The new release from JC Townsend dubbed "GhOStS" is an almost angelic, acoustic drive singer songwriter track that keeps undertones of alternative rock beneath its skin.
Vocal harmonies fill the air and whirl around you as you listen like the ghosts for our pasts Townsend sings about.
At times the track feels like a drinking song passed down through the years. A group of men at a pub somewhere decades ago singing along in drunken embrace.
There is something very pure and fulfilling about the song as its progression and melodies begin to warm you. Almost like a story that comes to a close at the end, you feel satiated.
"GhOStS" is a wonderfully performed song that brings to mind Simon & Garfunkel or Elliot Smith at times as the track keeps you floating just above the ground.
There is something beautifully haunting about this song but I think that's part of the point of its existence.
With a powerful track like this one, we had to have a sit down with Townsend to talk shop.
Check out our interview with JC Townsend HERE.
Wildlife Moon has been releasing a string of singles throughout this year and the most recent and awe inspiring is "Mirrors Of Each Other".
The track brings a beautifully ambient neo-folk style with feels of Pink Floyd, Elliot Smith, and Nick Drake all thrown into a pot, boiled and seasoned, and damn does it taste good.
This single has dream-like vocals and scattered bending sounds flowing through its atmosphere at all times.
It's easy to see this as the soundtrack to a scene in a film and upon its first listen you feel like your walking alone in a forest. The sung peaking through the trees. Being taken back by the beauty of it all.
"Mirrors Of Each Other" is cinematic and has a way of surrounding you and letting you fall back into it fearlessly.
A perfect counterpart to other singles released in 2020 like "You Don't Have To Hide" and "Darkness", the new single is a wonderous time.
We wanted to sit down with Wildlife Moon to talk about where it all comes from. So we did just that.
Check out our interview with Wildlife Moon HERE.
An Interview With Occult Stereo
The new album coming from Occult Stereo is a masterfully woven display of audio visualizations and textures.
Plasma is a 6 song EP built on an array of sound bending cinematic landscapes.
The record feels like the place you get to as you wake up. Still in a fog and clinging to an alternate reality.
Utilizing synths, vocals, and stringed instruments along with live and digital percussion stirred and brewed to a strange perfection.
Fusing in rock and grunge with these elements creates something out of this world.
We had to sit down with Occult Stereo to find out more about this release.
TSWS" Okay let's start with the Plasma record. This album has a variety of genre bending sounds including pop, rock, acoustic, and more. Where did this come from?
OC: This album is like a sonic collage or weird alchemy. Occult Stereo (OS) initially started as a side/solo project focused on experimental guitar noise, ambient sound exploration, and live improv with guest musicians/friends.
Similar to my main band Impuritan (http://www.impuritan.net), specific genre isn't a direct consideration. "Genre-bending" emerges from a desire to capture different sounds, tones, and moods. I like the term "experimental rock" because it implies a freedom to defy conventional expectations. There are consistent psychedelic or drone-like elements throughout the album, some parts are guitar-driven noise rock, at other times vocals and electronics take the forefront. It all kind of blends together.
"Plasma" started as a collaborative recording idea in February 2019. I reached out to friends/musicians across the USA and Europe - some who I've had previous bands with, others whose music I enjoy. Many seemed excited about it, so I recorded core tracks on guitar, bass, vocals, synth, drum machines, and live loops that I then shared.
The remaining effort was largely improvised by all - some people recorded their tracks in my San Francisco studio, others contributed from their individual locations/studios. The last creative phase was me in "mad scientist" mode, editing and mixing to create finished songs.
TSWS: The record feels very ethereal and cinematic at times. Did it take you long to create this? Did it come out how you expected?
OC: I like your descriptions. It definitely took many months of recording & tracking, plus gathering others' contributions. "Plasma" ended up being 6 songs.
Mixing was split into pre- and post-COVID. Three songs were mixed by Donny Newenhouse & me at El Studio (where great bands have recorded & mixed - Trans Am, Feral Ohms, Carlton Melton, Terry Gross). Once COVID struck, I finished the final three mixes myself at Distant Spore Audio (my SF studio).
Mixing the final ingredients into something cohesive took longer than actually recording it. The album just released on Nov. 6, 2020 - so it feels like it took a while! So much has happened during that time...
I didn't have a specific result in mind for this album beyond having fun with the process. Some people are seasoned improvisers, others thrive more with structure in place - so I tried to ensure there here was an established song flow & vibe for sections before bringing others in. Beyond that, it's quite a unique album that I could not have made 100% myself.
TSWS: With such a wide array of sounds can you tell us what artists, or bands really influence you?
OC: My musical influences are too many to name (pick a decade...right?)
Ones I hear on this specific album: Amon Düül, Oneida, Sonic Youth, Coil, Dick Dale, My Bloody Valentine, Royal Trux
TSWS: This is quite an achievement musically. Is there any sort of advice you'd give to other aspiring artists out there trying to create and get heard?
OC: Practice music (or any art) a lot. Stay as prolific as possible. De-program your consciousness from mental pollution and social propaganda. Perform live frequently. Work hard at your creative goals but don't forget to enjoy yourself.
TSWS: What's next for you? Anything more in the works even now?
OC: Yes, always something in the works. My music projects & recording studio have a new home base in April 2021 - Athens, Greece. Time to be based out of Europe for a while, but will continue to visit & tour the US.
Solo-wise: definitely working on some new material that is much heavier/noisier and will be easier to replicate all-live organically (guitar, bass, vocals, synth, and live loops - with triggered bass samples + drum machines).
With COVID and no live shows currently, I've been improving a livestream setup to do more online shows, plus learning some video editing. I'm also taking on remote mixing projects for bands/artists' albums - I recently mixed Drumwolf's Free EP, a space-rock solo album from John Lee (Laytcomers, Impuritan).
TSWS: Is there ever a plan to perform live?
OC: Assuming you mean "Plasma" - it will probably never be heard live in its album form again. Too many people spread too far & wide were part of making it.
I've played stripped-down versions of these songs solo numerous times, which involves me playing live guitar, bass, vocals, and loops - but with sampled backing instruments (live drums, bass, and synth as on the album). It served a purpose to give the songs "live form", but pre-recorded backing tracks are honestly weird for me live. I much prefer live looping and triggering of bass or drum samples to thicken stuff up rather than performing with a "ghost band".
Both of my music projects - Impuritan and OS - have played many live shows & will continue to tour once a vaccine is out. More than anything, I look forward to playing music with others again - it's way more fun!
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're NOT working on music?
OC: Enjoy time with my wife, loved ones, and my turtle Cruz. Meditate 30 minutes (or longer) a day. Eat good food + work out. Play video games.
TSWS: What else influences you to create that's non-musical?
OC: Film has always been a big influence, particularly (good) horror, (good) sci-fi and underground, cult, or foreign stuff. Connection to nature and relationships with other living things. Astronomy. Cannabis and coffee have their place too.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to express to fans of the music?
OC: To current fans: we appreciate you and thanks for enjoying the music. Reach out on social media, email, whatever - we love hearing from people. Come see us live when that's a thing again.
To not-yet-fans - here is some headphone listening for you (let your ears decide if you like it):
- Occult Stereo "Plasma" is out on 12" vinyl, digital, and streaming platforms: http://occultstereo.bandcamp.
- Impuritan has released 5 albums since 2011: http://impuritan.bandcamp.com
An Interview With Warbler BC
Warlber BC just dropped a brand new single called "Just What I Wanted" and straight from the get go it kicks in with bendy guitars reminiscent of Iggy Pop and The Stooges and transforms into rock anthem of sorts as it breaks into a classic punk feel with a twist.
One of the key elements that makes this track different is the percussion and the time changes surprising you around each corner.
The song has a deep rooted soul and feels almost like an Native American chant but in classic rock form. The track builds and bellows as it plays on and the hooks get embedded in your head.
Warbler BC has no problem letting his guitar rip and having a good time doing it.
We had to sit down with Warbler and have a chat about where this all came from and what's next for the artist. Here's what happened.
TSWS: So, let's begin with "Just What I Wanted". This track has a real deal classic rock riff and some different percussion, a blues feel and a genuine attitude. Where did this song come from?
Warbler BC: It comes from dead end jobs, methadone clinics, and correctional facilities. It comes from a system that is designed to break people. It comes from pushing people too far.
TSWS: This single feels like a step in a different direction from your other singles releases earlier this year. What made you start writing a harder rocking song?
Warbler BC: I have many harder songs that I have written. I am working on creating a strong and solid platform to release them from.
TSWS: How did this all really start for you?
Warbler BC: I lost everything I ever cared about. And the illusion of time and control becomes broken down. The field is laid bare, and there comes the realization that pain, suffering, and ones own fate are inescapable. Therefore, one must do what one was born to do.
TSWS: With the songs we've heard, there seems to be some different influences going on. What are your favorite bands? Who really influenced you musically?
Warbler BC: I like all music as long as it is well written and composed. My musical influences are too many to mention here, but the flame of love I carry for indie music has been fanned by artists such as Angel Olson, Phoebe Bridgers, Sharon Van Etten, and Kate Stables from This Is The Kit. I have also been very impressed by the work done by artists like Beck and Vampire Weekend.
TSWS: Do you perform most of the instrumentation on your own? Will you be putting anything together to perform live when the time comes?
Warbler BC: Yes. However, I am always looking for talented musicians to perform with, and to do collaborative works.
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're not working on music?
Warbler BC: Right now I am compiling a book of excerpts from poetry that I have written. I also paint and draw. I used to box, but now I practice sword fighting with HEMA. Apart from singing, it’s one of the few things that clears my head.
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist? is there anything in the works even now?
Warbler BC: Something is always in the works. The next album is already being mapped out. And I am currently working on a song called Blood-born. It will be the next to be recorded in a studio.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to express to your fans?
Warbler: I will be at Herman’s Hideaway on Nov. 11th, and touring as much as possible during the current situation. If you find that the songs have meaning for you, and that they resonate with you, then follow me and we will continue on this journey together.
An Interview With The Agency...
The latest album release from The Agency... dubbed In The Haunted Woods gives you that warm feeling you get listening to bands like Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds or Tom Waits.
Deep vocals and a dark undertone plays out super well with this record. As it unfolds it feels like you're listening to an old western concept album.
Touches of jazz and ambient rock fill the atmosphere and songs swell with intensity and whirlwinds of sound surround you.
Tremolo guitars and detailed storytelling creates somewhat of a different world as you listen on.
The Haunted Woods has a way of giving you the calm before the storm, and then the storm hits and you're thrashed.
The next track begins, and you get up and do it all again.
This is an absolutely astounding album to indulge in with headphones by yourself. Like a good film, the less interruptions the better. It's a massive piece of work to soak in but damn it's fun to do.
We wanted to sit down with The Agency... to find out where this came from. So that's what we did.
TSWS: Okay guys, let's start with In The Haunted Woods. This is a huge album and at times feels theatrical and ambient. Very cool genre bender of a record. Where did this come from?
The Agency...: Thank you. I like the term ‘genre bender’. It’s hard to say exactly where it comes from. Lyrically there is a lot of story-telling that maybe borrows from folk tradition. But sonically its even more ambiguous. We have such mixed influences and really want to explore them all and even try to get them all out on the same record. The other thing is that there’s four of us (Andy, Steven, Ben and me) that are the set line-up…but as a collective we can have as many as twelve on a recording or on the stage with us. We really try to encourage different people to leave their stamp. To create space for themselves on the songs. To start with I write the melody and lyrics but things bloom from there. It’s also taken us a long time to put this record together. We think its time that’s been well spent - to fuse all the layers of sound and introspection together that you hear on this album.
TSWS: Listening through the full album it almost feels like a concept record. Is that true?
The Agency...: We try to write albums around themes rather than concepts. So, ‘In the Haunted Woods’ is about being lost in all of its guises. In ‘To Fumble is Divine’ the narrator seems most literally lost, but the other tracks are more about feeling lost. There’s some pretty unscrupulous and misanthropic characters on the album, which is typical of our writing. I think one of the reasons people often feel lost is because they don’t take responsibility for themselves and their actions. ‘Affluent’ is a good example where the narrator seems to blame everyone but himself for the loss of one love while treating another in a pretty despicable manner. Sometimes people can’t see what’s in front of them. ‘Numb’ is the story of a banker going on the run, our ,mini-epic, and ‘Poor Robin’ is about a guy getting caught up in the middle of a political conspiracy. It tends not to end well for the characters on this album. That’s especially true of the last song ‘Two Strangers’ where an entire village is lead astray…it’s a meditation on human fallibility and mob mentality. Fitting given the current political landscape…
TSWS: You guys have been releasing music professionally since 2013 and have accomplished things most indie bands would love to. Is there any advice you'd give to aspiring bands or artists trying to get heard out there?
The Agency...: Well, we’ve listened to a lot of ‘industry advice’ over the last seven years, but have tended not to follow it. The old cliché about being true to yourself is really important. If you’re told to only write pop songs that last three minutes thirty seconds and to release as many tracks as you can to feed Spotify algorithms ignore it, unless you don’t really care about your art. Steve Lamacq just chose to play the track ‘Numb’ off ‘In the Haunted Woods’, which is a six-minute epic – if its good enough the music finds its reach. Also, consider that there is no easy money and that the whole shebang requires a lot of hard work. We always get PR type stuff ‘wrong’…it’s important to keep ‘stirring the pot’ with contacts and letting them know you’re there. We kind of disappeared while we wrote and recorded this album and are just super grateful that people seem to have picked back up from where they left off with us.
TSWS: How did all of this start for you?
The Agency...: We’ve all been in different bands for years before the Agency… Me and Steve were in our first band together as teenagers. We’re also of different generations…so I guess it started at different times to. The Agency… was actually an accident. I was working on songs for what I thought was a solo collection and got Andy, Garry (currently residing in Berlin) and Steve to help. Then it became apparent it wasn’t really a solo record but something more. I only started writing songs after I asked Garry to write with me. He said he wouldn’t write with me, but he would play if I wrote the songs. It was a bit of a challenge. By the time the second album, ‘Of Ghosts’ came around I was writing for a band and for ‘In the Haunted Woods’ we really seem to have found our sound. Hence, some pretty sonically different songs now sound like they belong to a collection.
TSWS: Did you used to play live? Will you get back to that when the time comes?
The Agency...: Yeah, we love to play a bustling live show and we were really looking forward to the album launch gig. We did a tour and played festivals in the summer after we released ‘Of Ghosts’. We’re planning to do something similar again to celebrate ‘In the Haunted Woods’. Obviously, the world is a bit changed at the moment, and all that is delayed for now – so we’re biding our time but plan to get back out there as soon as we can. In the meantime, its been livestreams on facebook and mosaic videos.
TSWS: So, there are a bunch of combined styles throughout your catalog. What bands or artists influenced you? ANy bands that really changed you?
The Agency...: I spoke to the others about this. For Andy the Beatles were a big influence and discovering them really changed the way he approached music. But Andy has dabbled and still dabbles in dance music and trance. Steve also digs the Beatles but mentioned Velvet Underground and Pink Floyd among his influences. He’s also a fan of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, which helps explain our occasional post rock tangents. Ben has been really getting into classic son g writers like Tom Waits, Elton John and Rufus Wainwright. My tastes are so varied. I used to DJ Jazz, Soul, Funk and House Music, but I also love good song writing. So I never stopped listening to Bob Dylan (I’d sneak Dylan songs into DJ sets at the end of the night) and at the minute I’m getting into Christian Kjellvander in a big way. Anyway, I guess you put all those influences together in the shaker and you get something like the Agency…
TSWS: What's next for you guys? Anything in the works even now?
The Agency...: Lockdown has been productive and I more or less have the sketches for another album. We’ve already been memoing back and forth…hopefully we won’t be quite so long between albums this time.
TSWS: What do you do when you're NOT working on music?
The Agency...: We work. Andy is soundman on film and television productions. I’m busy working on a PhD at the moment. Otherwise we pick up what we can that allows us to keep making music.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
The Agency...: We’d like to thank everyone for their support. We supper appreciate every listener – we’re a bit of a niche sound. And also, we promise to get the next record out for you all sooner.
An Interview With Olivia Castriota
The brand new release from Olivia Castriota dubbed I Need A Minute is completely loaded with colorful pop songs with soulful and passionate R&B vocal stylings and endless hooks.
A polished combination of radio ready choruses and powerhouse tracks showcase the artists knack for songwriting and natural ability for performance.
Castriota ushers along some killer attitude and brings that edginess to shimmering pop songs and it all totally works.
Songs like "Leaving You" hits the way a country song does with a slight roughness and twang that sticks while others like "Damaged" is more of a building indie-pop ballad that gets her unique and alluring vocal touch.
That's the thing with this record. The songs are amazingly well produced but it's her vocals that keep you coming back. Incredibly feverish and intense at times, and sultry others. Sometimes both at once.
This is a genuine pop album that contends with those in the big leagues. Olivia Castriota has certainly put herself on the playing field with I Need A Minute.
We wanted to talk with her about this release, so we did just that.
Here's What Happened.
TSWS: So Olivia, let's start with your single "Fixed". This is a passionate track and very emotionally driven. Where did this song come from?
Olivia: The Story:
The phone call lasted longer than expected. Forty-five emotional minutes later, I hung up and couldn’t get it out of my head. Normally, I don’t talk to you about this kind of thing, but that day was different. I couldn’t mask my feelings any longer.
You’ve never known me to be anything but happy, but lately internal waves of sadness, fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness overwhelmed me. I finally told you. I went from airplane mode to my unfiltered truth. Bluntly you uttered ‘we need to get you fixed’ and the call was over.
February 2019 is when ‘Fixed’ all started. I had just gotten off of a phone call that was extremely emotional and honest and the best way for me to personally process things is by writing, so that’s what I did. I wrote about the phone call and then texted Regan McCroskey, my go-to writing partner, and told her all about it. We went back and forth with a few ideas and demos for about two weeks and then as soon as I got to LA in March to work on the album, it was ready for production.
I played the demo for Sean, we restructured things a bit and discussed how it should feel and off we went! Sean is kind of this master of all trades, musically. He’s hands down the best producer I’ve ever worked. He’s like a machine. A man of few words but he doesn’t have to say much because everything comes through in the music. In ‘Fixed’ we wanted to capture a modern electro pop sonic direction while incorporating unique sounds to keep the listener's attention. We wanted this track to begin feeling cold, spacious, distressed and sad to represent my feelings of depression and uncertainty but then move into something bright and dreamy with more feelings of inspiration, empowerment, and hopefulness.
TSWS: The video for "Fixed" is intense! Did this take a long time to create? Did it come out the way you'd hoped?
Olivia: I worked with Azur X Vibes Productions on this video. We shot everything in Rhode Island in three days but of course the preplanning / editing is much more time consuming.
Yeah, the song is heavy. The video is heavy. I think the whole point of art is to make you feel. So hearing this song and watching this video is either going to make you say “is she okay?” (sidenote: this is a personal favorite quote that my family likes to ask me after almost every release, haha) or “oh my god, that’s exactly how I feel too.” And my hope is for the people that fall into the latter category that they see they aren’t alone.
TSWS: You have some incredibly powerful vocals. What artists influenced you for this? What artist really changed you?
Olivia: For this song I was really just influenced by the creatives directly around me who worked on the song. In a short amount of time we made something really captivating and special.
In general, I'm musically obsessed with Ed Sheeran, D'Angelo, Jessie J, Etta James, Christina.... any super soulful powerful vocalists really.
TSWS: How did this all begin for you?
Olivia: I started singing when I was a little girl. I taped magazine pictures all over my walls from floor to ceiling and would sing albums back to back to my "audience." I just always wanted to sing ever since I can remember.
TSWS: What does someone like you do when you're NOT working on music?
Olivia: Well, I almost never sit still that is for sure. So, it honestly might be easier to answer what don't I do! I love cooking, biking, running, drinking coffee, working on photoshoot sets, watching documentaries and trash reality TV, traveling. I like to keep busy!
TSWS: Will you be performing live when the time comes? Someday... when will that be?
Olivia: Nobody knows. But I have a killer show ready to go when concerts are back in action!
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
Olivia: I'm going to release a Christmas cover song! And keep writing and feeling my feelings through music. Let's see where that takes me.
TSWS: You've gained a great fan base with almost 40k followers on Spotify alone! What advice would you give to other aspiring artists out there?
Olivia: Don't stop. As an independent artist, all the responsibilities fall on you. If you don't do it, no one else will. It's exhausting to self-promote all day but as soon as you connect with someone who actually digs your music and what's to be a real fan, it's amazing. So, I just keep trudging forward and hope for the moments to fuel me through all the bullshit.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to express to your fans?
Olivia: Gratitude. Thanks for listening and feeling with me. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for the support. Thanks for being part of the journey. I'm only getting better with age, so fasten your seat belts and get comfy because it's a long ride.
An Interview With 3am Tomorrow
The latest rom 3am Tomorrow brings on all the fun.
"Reaction" is a timless, boundless, and enduring pop song that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling when you hear it.
Addicting vocals and a real radio feel, "Reaction" is a tasteful track with slight alternative undertones and laden with hooks left and right.
The song is a step in a new direction for 3am Tomorrow and we wanted to have a sit down with the guys to find out all we could.
Here is what happened!
TSWS: Hey guys! let's start with "Reaction". This is outrageously poppy and feels good all the way through. Where did this song come from?
3am Tomorrow: “Reaction” initially came to our vocalist Mikael-Ja’Hon while on a bus ride home from collage classes. He showed the rest of us the song the following practice and we loved the chord progression and lyrics immediately. I think we spent almost an hour playing that first initial chord progression over and over and just brainstorming ideas. We still have a recording of the first writing session for “Reaction” and we constantly listened to it trying pick and pulled ideas before everything was set in stone at the studio.
TSWS: There are a few different styles of pop embedded in "Reaction:. What are your biggest musical influences? What bands made a real difference to you?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren bassist] I have different influences for different aspects of music. For 3AMT, I look up to bands like The Beatles for simplicity in songwriting, Queen, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and wolfmother for creativity and complexity, and artist groups with limited members like 21 pilots, the black keys, and the white stripes solely on their ability to create HUGE sounding songs with only 2 or 3 musicians present. It’s extremely difficult to sound like a full band live with only bass, drums, ukulele, and vocals, but I think with our mixing pot of various influences we manage to make it work.
TSWS: Are you guys going to be performing live again when the time comes? Seems like live shows were a big part of how you do things.
3am Tomorrow: The biggest bummer about releasing our debut single in middle of the pandemic is the fact that we will not be able play it live for quite sometime. As a band we realize that the live scene is on hold and will be on hold for while but that just gives us time to focus on music, further grow our fanbase, and hone our craft. As soon as the world opens back up and everyone is ready to go to concerts again, 3AMT will be ready to satisfy our listeners! For now we just have to do our part to get to that point.
TSWS: How did all this start anyway?
3am Tomorrow: Our Bassist Darren, and Drummer Victor met each other and immediately started a band together in high school before they even knew each other’s last names. Victor and Darren knew Mikael-Ja’Hon in high school too but didn’t ask him to join till after high school when other members of the band started getting busy with life. Mikael-Ja’Hon was a fantastic vocalist, musician, and songwriter so the band progressed dramatically after his addition. We started booking every gig we possibly could and landed on the name 3amTomorrow right before our first gig. Our guitarist eventually left for collage and we spent a good year or 2 looking for a replacement but eventually started going different directions musically while staying best friends. We eventually started writing short, catchy, simple songs again and figured we might as well use not having a guitarist as an advantage. Being an indie band with no guitarist is a cool gimmick that helps us stand out from the crowd.
TSWS: What's coming next for you guys? Is there anything in the works right now?
3am Tomorrow: Our main goal is to come out with our first EP “Am I Blind?” and a couple more singles in between. We go to the studio again early November so new music is on the horizon.
TSWS: What do you do when you're NOT working on music?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren Bassist] Aside from music we love traveling together. We try to go on at least one big trip together a year to just unwind from our busy schedules and have fun with each other without music being a factor. We go on a lot of day trips together to beautiful sights around the SF Bay Area whenever we all have free time. I know Victor is a bit of a home body so he likes stuff like cooking, reading, spending time with his dog and collecting art. Mikael is pretty active so likes going fishing, skating, and going on drives to get fresh air and inspiration. I really enjoy listening to podcasts, going to local shows, taking pictures, and watching anime. We all also try to go to local karaoke bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants at least once a week together but that has been a bit challenging since the pandemic.
TSWS: How do you guys write your stuff? Do you record with a home studio? Do you write songs together?
3am Tomorrow: Darren is a recording arts major in school and Victor’s dad is in a cover band that gigs frequently, so between them they have a good amount of decent equipment. We have a rehearsal studio Victor and his dad built in his garage so it’s a nice spot that gives us an enclosed environment to record our rehearsals and writing sessions. Usually we try to demo at home to give ourselves recordings to play along to and jot down good ideas, but we have a friend we work with that owns a studio when we record for public releases. As of songwriting a lot of the time Mikael will show up with a song structure in mind and Darren and Victor will build off it. Sometimes it starts with a bass line Darren noodles around with, or a chord progression Mikael starts but it’s never one person writing the whole song. We all contribute and play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
TSWS: Any other influences that aren't musical? Films? Life?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren bassist] I personally really like superhero team movies and a big reason why is because it relates to me and my outlook on music. At the end of the day my goal with this band is to make good music with my best friends, and to use the abilities I’ve learned to further my local music scene. Like any superhero team it’s not just spider-man or Captain America that can save the day, everyday, by themselves. They need their friends to help them make the world a better place. If I tried to make music alone there is a good chance of me failing not because I’m not talented, but because Mikael, Victor, our producer, and all our supporters cover my weaknesses and together we have a much better chance of accomplishing our goals. It’s never just one guy pulling the strings in any band or artists group. It’s the whole community supporting each other’s content that’s keeps the music alive.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to relay to your fans?
3am Tomorrow: [Darren bassist] I personally want to thank you all for sticking around. “Reaction” is doing extremely well and it’s because we have the best supporters we could ask for. 3amTomorrow isn’t just me, Mikael and Victor. It’s every single person that engages with us and together we will reach heights higher than any of us can imagine. Keep an eye out for our next single “It’s Everything.” The title says it all.
An Interview With Lochness Monster
Lochness Monster releases a brand new "Glass Jar" single and it's everything you could want from a damn good alternative rock song.
The single reaches into a late 90's radio rock sound bringing bands like Deftones, Far, and even some Pixies lurking beneath the surface of this theatrical and powerful romp.
Passionate vocals belt over anthemic riffs creating a different world to crawl into and explode with the swells of the songs' energy.
With such a great sound, we had to have a chat with Lochness Monster to find out where this came from.
TSWS: So "Glass Jar" is a very theatrical alternative rock track and comes through incredibly descriptive. I love the whole feel of it.Where did the track come from?
LM: This song is one of our darker ones lyrically, I’m not going to speak for our singer who wrote the lyrics on this one but to me there’s definitely an intense internal struggle going on. Our singer Bruce has experience singing opera and that theatrical quality to the music comes from his background in opera. Musically this track initially came from an interest in doing something in an odd time signature, we chose 5/4 for the versus, and then switching into 6/8 on the choruses. It was definitely a challenge for us all to sync up to 5/4 at first but once we all locked in it became much easier over time. I think we were also listening to Tool a lot while writing this one who are all over the place with their odd time signatures.
TSWS: I can hear some classic and newer influences on this song. I'd love to know your top 5 or 6 actual musical influences. Who really made a difference for you musically?
LM: It’s always tough for me just to name a handful since I have so many influences so I’m going to try to focus on just influences while writing this particular song. Deftones, Tool, Hum, My Bloody Valentine, Interpol.
TSWS: "Glass Jar" is an anthemic style of rock. Is the rest of the upcoming LP going to be more along these lines?
LM: We have one or two other songs that will be on the LP that are on the heavier/anthemic style side. I’d say there is an organic quality to the production of the new songs that really gives you a sense of what we’d sound like if you were sitting in the room with us while we’re playing.
TSWS: When is the LP due to drop and are you doing a physical release along with it?
LM: We are in talks with a label to handle the release and physical distribution so we don’t have a release date yet.
TSWS: Do you think Lochness Monster will be playing live shows when the time comes?
LM: We currently are playing live shows at clubs where people can safely social distance. Our manager is working on a 2021 tour for us in South America, we’ll release these tour dates and venues once everything is finalized.
TSWS: How do you actually write these songs? Is it lyrics first? Is it riffs and then you go with it from there?
LM: We almost always start with guitar riffs first or sometimes a combo of guitar, bass, and drums first after trying different things in our practice space. Many times I’m inspired to pick up my acoustic at my house and play whatever comes out while filming myself on my iPhone, so I can remember what I did if we choose to pursue any of the licks. There’s a period of time where we refine the song with our singer and after this usually comes the lyrics, after we are content with the song musically. By the point we get to the recording studio the song is mostly structured already except the 2nd guitar parts and any keyboards or extra effects. I like to be spontaneous with the 2nd guitar parts and some of the solos, usually writing them right at the recording studio.
TSWS: "Glass Jar" sounds like a video would be great for it. Are you planning on doing any videos for songs from this LP?
LM: Yes but not sure which song will be used for the music video yet.
TSWS: Will "Glass Jar" be available as a single before the full LP releases?
LM: Probably but not sure yet because we are in talks with a label about this.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to relay to your fans?
LM: Thank you for giving us a chance! Stay strong during this challenging time and don’t be afraid to ask for help, we all need it sometimes!
An Interview With Kristi Flagg
Bursting out with soulful vocals and an Americana rock sound, Kristi Flagg hits the ground running with her brand new album release Brave New View.
One thing is for sure, upon listening to this record you get the understanding that Flagg holds nothing back. There is a lot of love on this album and it's laden with radio friendly feel good songs that range in style without losing it's folk rock vibe.
Songs like "Heart Skips A Beat" sounds like something written in the 1950's with a doo-wop cross over feeland those passionate vocals.
One of the best on the album is a track dubbed "This Love"; a powerful and slightly 90's radio pop song that really feels inspirational.
With such a gorgeous album, we had to sit down with Kristi to talk about the record and more. Here's what happened.
TSWS: So Kristi, "This Love" is an incredibly uplifting song and is beautifullyladen with vocals. Where did this song come from?
Kristi: This Love was inspired by three things: coming back “home” to music after a long time away, celebrating a love affair I was newly wrapped up in and exalting the ever presence of Love. I had felt somewhat isolated for a long while, and as I moved back into writing and music I felt reunited with an ecstatic aspect of life: like falling in love with life’s possibilities. The musical expression and uplifting aspect of the arrangement is intended to be celebratory: shouting out loud the joyful aspects of life. The bridge lyric and shift in melody and feeling is when I am reminding myself about the trials of life’s ups and downs. All ofthese life events are part of the larger journey. In every apparent struggle is the opportunity for increased awareness. Awareness in turn offers peace of mind.
The mantra “Om Namah Shivaya" in the chorus is one of the mostfamiliar of Hindu mantras and means "O salutations to the auspiciousone!” In addition, when broken down into syllables, Na sound represents earth, Ma sound represents water, Śi sound represents fire, Vā sound represents Pranic air, Ya sound represents sky or ether,so it also refers to the five elements that make up all of life. Its total meaning is that "universal consciousness is one”. I was inspired by Jai Uttal’s writing on his album Thunder Love where he skillfully fuses aspects of the sacred and profane into divine love songs. Having Jai’s voice complete the song’s ending was a beautiful gift. The vocals I created were my version of a The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s
horn section but I decided to create the horn parts with vocals instead. As I sang them, I was picturing animated horn players bopping around
TSWS: "This Love " is just one song from your Brave New View album. What was the inspiration behind this album's creation?
Kristi: I returned to writing music after many years away from it. I began going to a weekly open mic where playing new songs felt safe. After getting my feet wet initially playing cover tunes, my hand reached for the pen and paper one day. I was messing around with the guitar and liked the progression I had stumbled upon. This started happening a lot. At times the words and melodies seemed more like downloads as the writing happened quite readily. In a years time I had penned 40 songs. This was not normal for me, by any stretch of the imagination. As I shared the songs at the open mic (sometimes the tunes were only hours old) the lyric content and melodies landed with people quite readily. I was inspired by my fellow songwriters and listeners alike and came to realize that the way I was musically digesting the last few decades of my life had a particular resonance: sharing my ups and downs through song was offering support to others. That truly was my inspiration to go to the next step, which was recording.
TSWS: Listening through the record in full, it almost feels like a concept album of sorts. Would You say that's true?
Kristi: I really appreciate that comment. Yes. I would agree. Brave New View’s collection of material is about shifting the moments where I had
felt blind sided by life. I looked at the lessons and the bumps without a filter. In doing so I was able to finally and truly process some of the pain I had experienced (Our Story) and also, on the flip side, some of the new unbridled joy I was becoming more familiar with (Shelter Me). This helped me to look at my life’s journey with a new lens, affording me a Brave New View with which to move forward. I also had a ring side seat to a few friends who were also going through big life changes. As I watched them get caught up in fear of the unknown it was like watching salmon trying to swim upstream to get home to a heart fully in love with life. Songs like “If You Return to Me” and “Lost in the Thought of You” contemplate what happens to the individual when they finally sense a union with unconditional love, be it with a partner or with a more divine sense of love, which comes in many shapes and sizes and spiritual flavors. The songs on Brave New View are about letting go, diving in, experiencing unbridled joy, and realizing
that it’s our birth right to find happiness. If there is one over riding theme it would be: do not shy away from change. It gets harder as we move into adult responsibilities to sometimes accept that we have made a “not so healthy” choice. To recognize that and change course is very brave. I ended a 20 year marriage, a choice that has afforded me an incredible new chapter in my life.
TSWS: I'm hearing lots of combined styles both musically and vocally. What bands or artists really influenced you? Who changed you?
Kristi: I grew up listening to my siblings LP’s so I was weaned on Carole King, James Taylor, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Neil
Young, CSN, The Hollies, The Turtles. The list goes on. As I headed through grade school and high school and college that singer songwriter / folk rock vibe continued to influence me. Add in Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, Rickie Lee Jones, George Harrison, Bruce Cockburn, Jane Siberry, Fred Astaire, U2, Dean Martin, Bonnie Raitt, Valerie Carter. I would say the most influential singers to me over the years were Bonnie Raitt, Valerie Carter, Jane Siberry, David Crosby and Linda Ronstadt. The most influential musically were Jane Siberry, Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin & John Leventhal, CSN, Brain Wilson, Neil Young, George Harrison, Lucinda Williams, Jai Uttal and Jeffrey Foucault.
TSWS: How did all of this begin for you?
Kristi: I guess I answered this question a bit before when I spoke of the open mic... But if you mean begin with a capital B I would say right in the
craddle. My Dad would sing to me, and I apparently responded to major and minor key changes. My Dad would test out his theory, and when he would shift from major to minor I would start to cry...Nice experiment, right? LOL. From early grade school and church choirs I landed leads and featured roles in musicals. In high school and college I studied classical voice. My interest eventually moved from musical theater to the singer songwriter scene in Boston when I was living there. I had recently bought my first guitar and was playing out at coffee houses doing opening acts for folks like Jonathon Edwards and Odetta.
TSWS: You are doing a series of live performances via YouTube which I think is a great idea. Do you think in the times we are in now, that focusing
on creating content is important for an artist?
Kristi: Definitely. It’s an odd time to “return” to this industry. When last I was truly active, I was driving a Honda civic up and down the coast playing
in coffee houses and bars and private house parties. My hope is the festival circuit will return next year, but in the meantime I will put on mini home concerts, and stay as engaged as possible through FaceBook and Instagram. I love performing live, and it’s an entirely different experience when folks are not in the room with you. Another avenue I plan to focus on is TV/Film. That’s a sure way to share with many listeners at one time and often an effective way to get people to really listen to song content, because they have a visual to connect it to. We opted to do 5 music videos to help promote this record for the same reason. Some folks connect more readily to a story when its presented through film. We often put music on in the background, but we are less inclined to put a film on and not engage by watching it. I think the videos help get the messages across.
TSWS: What advice would you have for other aspiring artists and songwriters out there trying to get heard?
Kristi: I’ll let you know in 6 months...LOL But one thing I will say, it’s never too late to return to music to express yourself. The boat only sails away if you let it. Often times it is docked, patiently waiting for us to step back on.
TSWS: It sounds like a lot of passion and love went into this record. Are you proud of this release?
Kristi: I so appreciate that. Yes. In a word, I am. Sometimes after a vocal take I would turn to Tracy at the mix console and nod my head: “That
felt true...” and we’d leave it at that. Overall my goal with both guitar and vocal takes was not to over do anything. Oftentimes it was the first take we would use for the record’s performance. It was important to me to work with a full take; performing the song top to bottom. Tracy said I was very “old school” that way. For me it’s about telling the story, and the best way for me to do that is to get inside of it and sing it to the listener. I wanted to offer an intimate connection so the listener could experience the lyric as personally as possible. I feel good that I held strong to that throughout the recording process.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to express or say to fans of your music out there?
Kristi: Thank you for listening, first of all. And for reading this interview! I guess I would like to remind folks if they dig what they hear, that it truly
takes a village to get music heard. Sometimes it’s who knows who knows who and then magic happens. I would like to thank folks for sharing via posts, and shares, and likes and forwards...In this era when we can’t grab concert tickets it’s even more important to ask for that support. So in advance I say: thank you. I’d love to hear what you think of the music. Please sign on to my mailing list and/or email me any thoughts you’d like to share. Deep bow of gratitude to you all for taking the time. And thank you for these groovy interview questions. Appreciate your time and efforts to help spread the news about the record...thank you.
An Interview With Odhran Murphy
Odhran Murphy recently dropped his newest single dubbed "Ous Tonight" and it's an outrageously cinematic and powerfully uplifting track with building musical swells and tons of soul.
This song is built on passion and hooks. Driving acoustic guitars, pianos, and massive orchestral string synths get you spinning in awe. The song feels like what you'd hear in your head once you've reached the top of a mountain you've climbed.
It's a love song that, when you close your eyes, you can see your person. You can feel the love that went into the song and the inspiration behind it comes through clearly.
With a track so heartfelt and moving, we sat down with Odhran and found out more about where he is coming from with hsi music, his influences, and much more.
TSWS: So "Ours Tonight" is a very heartfelt love song and comes through very passionately and
powerfully. Where did this track come from?
Odhran: When Lockdown began I wanted to use the time wisely with regards to music, I tend to put
myself in love story scenarios when I’m writing, not necessarily personal, but I like to create
an idea of a modern love story and take it from there. Ours Tonight for me however, is
personal in a sense as I had a realistic scenario to recreate through song. The song is basically
about meeting someone in a nightclub which in fact I funny enough, I did actually meet my
girlfriend in, so I guess you could say that was my inspiration for the song.
TSWS: It looks like you have been releasing singles throughout the last few years. "Lost" was also a
very deeptrack but totally different from "Ours Tonight". I love how your styles vary. Tell us
how you write your songs. Is it lyrics first? Do you come up with a melody? What's your
Odhran: So, I like to start off with a melody or chorus. I would always start by picking up the guitar
and playing a few chords, melodies and seeing which one suits best. I then would continue by
writing a chorus and usually find myself getting lost in the music and the flow comes natural
after a while. I listen back to the song several times and if there is something that I’m not
happy with I would perfect it and change it.
WSTS: With your different styles, I'd love to know, who are your biggest musical influences? Who
really changed you as an artist?
Odhran: My biggest musical influences would be my parents. Growing up at a young age listening to
them singing and playing music really had a huge impact in my love for music. It was my
mother that got me into playing the guitar at the age of 13, ever since then the music really
kicked off for me. I would always have the urge to lift up an instrument and try and play it,
teaching myself the Piano has also benefitted me when it comes to recording, giving me a
much wider variety of instruments to use at my own leisure. My parents would always say to
me that no matter what you do in life, to “always be yourself” and that’s really what I’m
doing and my main goal in return is to make them proud.
TSWS: With almost 6k followers of Spotify, it looks like you've been able to gain some real deal
fans. Any advice you'd give to artists out there trying to get heard?
Odhran: My advice for anyone who is trying to get their music out in the industry would be, to be
yourself and focus on something you’re good at whether it is singing, playing guitar, piano,
whatever it is. There’s a massive following on all social platform, so maybe if you’re just
starting out as an artist you could create a page on Facebook, Instagram, twitter etc. I
remember when I started out I posted my first cover up in 2015, the response I got from it
was amazing, so it gave me that buzz when posting more music.
TSWS: How did this all start for you? Have you always been musically inclined?
Odhran: As I said it really started with my family, I always have had a huge love for music, my
passion for it has grown since I started playing it at a young age. It started for me more so
when I built up the confidence to post videos on the social platforms and also with my first
release on Spotify “By My Side”. Thankfully enough since my first post in 2015 on
Facebook, I have grown a much wider fan base and have improved as an artist.
TSWS: What do you think is next for you? Are you working on new material even now?
Odhran: I guess with the pandemic that we’re in, it is so hard for musicians as there are no live gigs
going on at the moment. So my main focus is to really use my time wisely and write as many
songs as I can. I am actually in the process of recording yet another single which I hope to
release within the next few months. I will also be started up a few Facebook live gigs which
you can keep up to date on my Music page @odhranmurphymusic.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to express or say to fans of your music?
Odhran: I would like to begin by saying, thank you so much for listening and streaming my music,
especially my latest release “Ours Tonight”. I am thrilled with the response I am getting so
far and I hope that it continues. Music is something that I hope to pursue a career in and
obviously with the continued support from everyone it is allowing me to edge closer and
closer to the goal that I hope to achieve. If you haven’t already, check out my latest track on
all platforms and also give my pages a like and share! It helps so much. You can find me on:
An Interview With MoSoule Hill
MoSoule Hill just released an honest and relentless track called "Womanizer".
The flow is flawless and the infused guitars and R&B feel of the music gets addicting.
It's easy to get pulled into this track right from the get go. Scattered with smooth backing vocals and hooks all over the track, this becomes incredibly addicting.
The chorus is everything and this is an absolute banger from start to finish with a tasteful fire and passion.
We had to have a chat with MoSoule Hill to get an idea from where this all came from.
TSWS: So, "Womanizer" has some great flow and style to it. I think this song has some radio appeal. Where did this track come from?
MoSoule Hill: It actually came from some past experiences. I'm not really proud of some of my past moments but it made me who I am today and I've learned from them. (Lol)
TSWS: When you write songs, does it start with a beat? Or is it lyrics first for you? How does your process work?
MoSoule Hill: Most of the time I hear the music first and write to it. If the lyrics come first it was probably a poem originally.
TSWS: Listening to this track, it's pretty clear this isn't your first time around the block so to speak. How long have you been writing?
MoSoule Hill: I started writing poetry in middle school. My father likes to write songs and my mother is a poet. I wrote my first song in high school titled, "Butterflies,".
TSWS: How did this all start for you?
MoSoule Hill: I've always loved music. I gave my first on stage music performance when I was two. I grew up in the 90s and that was a great time for R&B and Hip Hop. It didn't matter what people were doing music was involved. I wanted to be apart of what brought people together.
TSWS: There seems to be a mix of older and newer styles on this single. Can you tell me what artists really influenced you? Who changed you?
MoSoule Hill: My favorite artist is Jill Scott. I love the way that she grabs your attention and takes you on a very detailed ride with her . Other artists that influenced me are the late J Dilla (R.I.P king), Missy Elliott, Timbaland, Jay Z, Aaliyah, India Arie...etc
TSWS: Are you planning on performing live when the time comes?
MoSoule Hill: Definitely! I want to share that connection with other people. There's no greater feeling than seeing someone singing your song with you.
TSWS: What's next for you? Anything coming up release wise?
MoSoule Hill: I'm just getting started. I have a new single called, "They B on 1", that I'm about to release and also a project that I'm releasing with Sha Denali. Check her out!
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to your fans?
MoSoule Hill: I just want to say that I can't wait to begin this journey with y'all. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to growing with you. Follow me on instagram: @mosoulemusic or Facebook, Spotify, Soundcloud, and YouTube @MoSoule
An Interview With Mandolynne
New to the scene, Toronto native Mandolynne is already making waves with her fresh single "The Pines".
With a sultry and slightly brooding musical style, "The Pines" is an outstanding debut from the young artist and beautifully combines Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with Mazzy Star and sprinkles some PJ Harvey on top to boot.
This track gives off a visual aspect as it plays through and you become engulfed in her singing while guitars swim around her.
Then, suddenly, things pick right up and build into a dream-rock epic.
With a track so in depth and dripping with enticing sounds we had to have a chat with her to find out more and what's to come next.
TSWS: So Mandoylnne, "The Pines" has a great spaciness to it and even feels cinematic at
times. Where did this song come from?
Mandolynne: This song is about facing your demons, stepping into your power and learning to let
go. I wanted this song to be representative of my emotional journey, so I came up with
an arrangement and vibe that showcased that.
TSWS: This is a brand new single and you already have followers and fans growing by the
day! Is there advice you'd give to other aspiring artists out there?
Mandolynne: Yes! My biggest piece of advice is to do your research and reach out to people who are
doing it if you're stumped on something! This industry is ever-changing, and there is so
much to learn in terms of business, marketing, analytics, promo, etc. You can't possibly
know everything right off the hop, and there's no shame in that!
Secondly, and this is probably the most important. Surround yourself with positive,
encouraging and genuine people. A solid support system is essential and is going to
help you when things get real.
I'm at the very beginning stages of my career, and it's already been a ride!
That being said, I’ve been fortunate to have a really solid producer and some
incredible musicians in my corner to help me navigate this process. I've also had some
really amazing fellow artists reach out to me and offer advice. You know who you are
and know I appreciate you.
Lastly, put in the time, put in the time, put in the time. You will never regret this
because it will eventually be worthwhile. Oh, and be a good person! That's number
TSWS: How did all this start for you?
Mandolynne: Well, I've always loved to write. I've been writing since I could pick up a pen. I used it
throughout my childhood as a release but never really took it too seriously.
Truthfully, I've had a pretty coloured past and never really felt like pursuing music was
something I'd ever be capable of. Also, quite honestly, before the age of 24, I wouldn't
have been in a place mentally to pursue it anyway.
At 24, I made a conscious decision that I was going to try to get into music school. I
think my partner at the time thought I was insane, and hey, maybe I was. So, I took
some online songwriting classes, took a few months of vocal lessons and then
auditioned at a few schools. To my surprise, a couple of them actually accepted me. I
then settled on Metal Works Institute, where I spent the next 3 years. Boy, was that a
learning curve! I literally knew zip going in and left with a wealth of knowledge. I will,
however, forever be learning.
While in the program, I met some really amazing people and started a little Alt band
called Lady Indigo with some schoolmates. I will forever be grateful for that period of
my life, the music we created, and the time we shared. We're all off pursuing our own
creative projects now, and I'm really excited about my former bandmates' creative
TSWS: I'm hearing some different influences in this track.Tell us what your top 5 artists
are. Who changed your life musically?
Mandolynne: Ahhhhh, this is such a challenging question for me. I listen to everything. However, if I
have to pick, my top 5 artists who inspired me are as follows:
Radiohead, Cat Power, Metric, Placebo, and Arcade Fire.
I'm going to say Radiohead. I have to say that they were the first band that really
opened up my mind as a young listener. I remember listening to them and being taken
to another place. Their music was unlike anything I had heard before. It truthfully just
hit me differently than anything I had previously been exposed to. I actually had the
privilege of seeing them a few years ago and it was an absolute dream!
TSWS: So how do you record your songs? Is it a home set up? Did you go to a studio or
have a producer work with you?
Mandolynne: Yeah! I worked with a really incredible producer, Alfio Annibalini! We worked together,
pre-pandemic, and then I recorded at home. My home set up is as follows; KRK
Speakers, Rhode Mic (taped to the stand), a Universal Audio Apollo Twin interface, and
TSWS: What's next for you? Working on anything new?
I am! Expect music soon!
TSWS: Your look is rad! Was this always a part of your aesthetic as an artist?
Mandolynn: Oh, wow, thank you!
I've always had a dark/wild streak, and I've always loved to play with different looks. I'm
also continually reinventing myself. Lately, I've definitely been stepping more into my
power, and I've been exploring looks that make me feel badass, haha. Is badass a
style? Anyway, I think we all deserve to feel badass; life is too short not to.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to say to fans of your music?
Mandolynne: Well, I don't know how many of you exist out there! But, for those of you who are
diggin' the music, thank you. Whenever I receive a message letting me know that the
song has resonated with them, it fills me with so much freakin' joy I can't even begin to
tell you. Please keep listening, and please keep reaching out. I love hearing from you!
An Interview With The Boos
The Boos released a split EP with Under Ego dubbed The Rune The Iron and the EP has a virtual ear full of twangy punk rock and blistering alternative rock styles rolled into one super fun record.
One of the songs from The Boos is called "August Winds" and plays out like a heavy metal old western standoff.
Deep and shattering, the riff sounds like something Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) would write while the vocals give off a raspy and theatrical performance.
A driving song with outstanding musicianship all played with lots of heart. You can hear the fun these guys had making this song. But what's better is you can see it too.
The video for "August Winds"just dropped and it is indeed an old western.
With all this action, we had to have a chat with The Boos to talk shop.
TSWS: Hey guys! So, I wanted to start with "August Winds". The song when listening (even before watching the video) feels like a dark heavy western film. Was this always the concept? Where did this song come from?
The Boos: I’d have to say overall that yes a ‘dark heavy western’ was always the concept for the song once it had started. ‘August Winds’ started off as a few notes that turned into a riff and a feeling, slowly turning into the tale it became. A lot of my songwriting is storytelling or writing songs about stories I’ve read or movies I’ve watched. But once the tone is set the rest is usually pretty easy for us to put together. There were a few slight differences between the recorded version and our live version, such as the acoustic guitar tracks which are normally played on a cleaner guitar tone, but for the most part it was recorded as it was written.
TSWS: So the video for the single plays out even cooler than it did in my head! Very well shot. Feels like a lot was put into this project. How long did this video take to shoot? And did it come out the way you wanted it to?
The Boos: First of all thank you, but actually however not nearly as much as you’d think haha. My sister’s boyfriend shoots and edits footage and I took a couple film classes in high school so I figured we could pull it off. Making the shot list was probably the hardest part which took about a week. My sister did the special effects with makeup we’d made the night before, and it took about a day to shoot. As with a lot of things that start off as an idea and then becomes a reality there are always a few things that change along the way. Certain shots got left out or changed and there were a lot of things we learned while making this video that we’ll apply to the next one, but over all we’re definitely happy with the way it came out.
TSWS: There are so many cool influences coming through on this track. Can you tell us what bands you guys are really influenced by? What bands changed you?
The Boos: We draw from a very wide variety of influences and try to never really pin ourselves down as one thing or another. D’s influences swing from 50’s /60’s pop to 80’s hardcore. Taking heavy inspiration from bands like Motorhead, The White Stripes, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath.
For Jordan’s influences, inspiration comes from an equally broad range and it shows in his playing style. From Elvis to Zep, from Pantera to Mars Volta, with John Paul Jones and Flea sitting comfortably at the top in regards to bass. As for me a lot of my earlier playing and writing style is based in folk and punk rock taking inspiration from bands like Simon and Garfunkel to The Cramps. Preferring a simple and more emotionally driven approach to music. However my love for heavier music has begun to show a lot more in the newer music as our skills as musicians continue to grow. Drawing inspiration from players like John D. Cronise of The Sword as well as many other great guitar riff masters.
TSWS: Listening to the epicness of "August Winds" makes me want to see you live/ Did you used to perform live a lot? Are you planning to play shows when the time comes?
The Boos: Yes, yes we were playing a lot of shows. Since we came back from hiatus in early 2019 and released our first album we’ve been steadily playing shows around the bay area. Right up to the beginning of the shutdown, our last real show was on march 7th. We even had to cancel a small west coast tour we booked for July because of covid. August 29th we played a small ‘live stream’ show for our split with Under Ego at a DIY event. Right now we’re slowing down and laying low for a while though while we keep working on what our next moves are.
TSWS: How did you guys get together and start this whole thing?
The Boos: How we started being a band usually comes down to two main stories. The first one being that back in the early 2000s I used to play folk punk music and party a lot, all three of us used to party a lot. One night however me and my friend Dima were drunk on a friend's couch and he said to me that he’d been thinking about buying a drum set, to which I replied you totally should. Shortly after that he bought his drums and we started jamming as a two piece. The second main story is one day I was longboarding across town on a particularly hot day to jam with D. Jordan, our soon to be bassist was working as a sign waver for a pizza joint at the time. I ended up skating by him and stopped to talk, he asked what I was up to since he was getting off soon. I told him I was going over to Ds to jam and that he should come. After hearing us play a few of our songs we asked him what he thought, to which he said ‘I think yall could use some bass’ and we haven’t looked back since.
TSWS: What's coming up next for you guys? Anything new in the works?
The Boos: We actually have quite a bit in the works right now. Our main focus is completing the second album which is almost done being written but we also have other things planned out for along the way. Later this month we’ll be dropping a collaboration track with Edgar Blood, as well as some other cool stuff. Maybe we'll do a live video, who knows haha
TSWS: The Boos are accomplishing things a lot of bands aspire to do. Any words of advice you'd give an up and coming band?
The Boos: This is definitely the easiest question. Dont. Give. Up. on your dreams or your passions. If it doesn’t work one way try another, things will work out in the long run. It just takes a lot of drive and determination. Another thing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You're not gonna know everything, reaching out to people and getting yourself out there is one of the best ways to get yourself exposure with people.
TSWS: Before we go, is there anything you'd like to say to fans?
The Boos: All we have to say to new fans is thank you. Thank you for giving us the time of day to listen to a song, watch a video or any other way you choose to interact with us. If it wasn't for fans or people who believed in us, we’d still be a garage band dreaming of taking that next level of playing shows and recording. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And keep your eyes peeled, we’re not done yet.
An Interview With Keith Tryfle Hudson
Keith Tryfle Hudson released a very unique tell all from chapters in his life entitled "Lost Rebel".
Combining music and spoken word to tell his stories, this is more than a concept album.
We had to ask a few questions to the man behind this peice of work.
TSWS: Welcome! Thanks for chatting with us today! Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?
Keith: Hi, thank you for having me. My next project is the soundtrack for a fantasy novel that I'm writing called "City Of Monsters" . I take the whole artistic nerd thing very far.It's about some city kids who get way in over their heads and change forever. I'm writing the music from all of their personal perspectives.
TSWS: What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to music?
Keith: 80's music all the way. I'm currently listening to the Cobra Kai soundtrack on repeat.Music in the '80s was made with nothing but heart and drugs.
TSWS: Who was your first celebrity crush?
Keith: "Topanga" from boy meets world. followed closely based "Ashley" from the fresh prince
TSWS: You’re so stylish! Who is your fashion inspiration?
Keith: It's a cross between how old is Will Smith now and will my partner Staci like it.All jokes aside I think of hip hop fashion as a whole and age it respectfully.
TSWS: How do you unwind after a busy day in the studio?
Keith: The ID channel crime shows because I don't care about baseball since the Yankees lost again and totally over it.
TSWS: Where can we listen to your music and connect with you on Social media?
Keith: My music is on Spotify, Bandcamp, Itunes, and all streaming services.Instagram is my most active social media account. You'll see all of my drawings and quotes because I write too much. Don't worry you'll hear my music as well https://open.spotify.com/
Press Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
An Interview With Jordan Massey
We recently sat down with Jordan Massey for an interview. His latest single "3AM" is a smooth R&B dance cross over that just hit Spotify.
We wanted to find out more about the man behind this track.
TSWS: Welcome! Thanks for chatting with us today! Can you tell us what you’re currently working on?
Jordan: So right now my latest EP “Heartless” is not available for pre-order and I’m also working on 3 projects that’s soon to be released and I’m very excited to announce them soon!
TSWS: What is your guilty pleasure when it comes to music?
Jordan: Hmm, I'm really a sucker for a good beat and harmony. It hypnotizes me everytime!
TSWS: Who was your first celebrity crush?
Jordan: Hands Down, Mariah Carey! I watched the “We belong together” video a thousand times when it came out and was just in awe of her and her talent!
TSWS: You’re so stylish! Who is your fashion inspiration?
Jordan: Aw thank you! I’m not sure if I have one in particular, I’m usually a “ what am I feeling “ type of person . I feel like a lot of the time you could tell how I felt by looking at how I dressed that day, you know?
TSWS: How do you unwind after a busy day in the studio?
Jordan: This is tough because I’m usually so excited about being done with a song so I’m immediately in the mindset of “ I’m about to go straight home and listen to this like a million times! “ haha but food and a good Netflix show doesn’t hurt!
TSWS: Where can we listen to your music and connect with you on Social media?
Press Inquiries: email@example.com
An Interview With Sarah Sunday
The latest single from Sarah Sunday is a completely refreshing pop song with alt-edginess sprinkled on top.
"INK" is an outstanding song that shows Sunday's ferociously bubbly side without being afraid to really rock.
Think Avril Lavigne but more colorful. Much more colorful. The video for "INK" is an excellent example of what we mean.
It's hard not to fall in love with Sunday's shining personality after watching it.
"INK" has a radio friendly feel to it and almost sounds familiar even. A strong and boisterous release from Sarah Sunday. So much so, that we wanted to have a talk with her about the single and video.
TSWS: So Sarah, "INK" has a killer pop-rock style and a ton of youthful energy. Where did this song come from? What's it about?
Sarah: Ink is a Anthem dealing with Teenage Angst!.. From a somewhat innocent era where the height of rebellion was threatening to “Ink My Skin” ah, Get a Tattoo lol!
TSWS: There are some great influences in this track, can you tell us what bands or artists really inspired you? Who changed you?
Sarah: I love 80’s bands, The standards and some not so standard, The Smith, The Go Go’s, Blondie, PIL, the entire 80’s Vibe.. A kind of Character/Creature type Vocalist…ah Remember Adam Ant..Boy George...
TSWS: How did all of this begin for you?
Sarah: I always loved music and the potential to perform, I love style, makeup and music but really never merged all three in together until I met my Producer Mbj, between the both of us we tried to develop a unique Combo of Pop Punk, Electro Pop, Dream Pop..We started just with an idea of Him writing a Song, kick it back to me, I listen, make some notes, go back and forth and hence, the next thing .. we are recording vocals in his Studio. That was the real beginning.
TSWS: Did "INK" come out how you expected? Do you have some help on the production side?
Sarah: Ink came out better than expected..and the response has been all too good,,,we recorded the vocals right before the Virus and the tracks was slated to be #3 in line. Since there was a quarantine, Mbj mixed and masted the final version at His location so we could release something really, just to keep busy, stay visible. I still need to record vocals on #1 and #2 slated for the next singles!
TSWS: I love that you've been releasing singles. In today's world that's the smart way to go. With each single you release it seems you gain more fans. With over 10k followers on Spotify alone! did you expect this much of a fanbase when you started?
Sarah: Truthfully I really did not expect anything, I knew my 1st single “Come and Find Me” was good, catchy…and really caught on….”Mental Zoo” My 2nd Single really took off and I had a Blast working on the video.After 3 Successful Singles, all # hitting #1 on Starfleetmusic’s Record Pool charts INK, My latest Single, solidified a real strong following as seen with the growth of my presence on Spotify and the general Scene...
TSWS: Is there any advice you'd give other aspiring artists out there?
Sarah: Yes, 1,Find the right Producer..Def. most important…2, Write Catchy Hook…and never Stop.!
TSWS: Do you think you'll end up putting together a full band for live performances? Is that something you plan on?
Sarah: If times were different I would have had a band already..IF there was a show tomorrow, or ideally on a Sunday,,! I could have a cool little set up ready to play live consisting of me on vocals, a Guitarist, and a drum/synth player, all set..!
TSWS: Before we go, what would you say to your fans right now?
Sarah: Appreciate all the listens, stay well and be safe, Visit my facebook and instagram page for my latest adventures..!!
An Interview With Kendra Muecke
Sometimes we're all in need of some indie folk-rock with a little extra flare. Enter Kendra & The Bunnies.
The new release ofThank You is littered with harmoneous guitars and a beautifully lo-fi sound.
The songs feel like you just put on a vinyl record and hit play. Smooth and slightly mysterious, Kendra gets descriptive and joyously edgy at times. Almost like a cross between PJ Harvey and The Pixies but with female vocals the songwriter has her sound nailed down.
The coolest thing about this record is that she holds nothing back. You can feel the level of fun that went into this peice of work.
We took some time with Kendra to talk about whats going on with her now.
TSWS: Great to have you here today, Kendra. Please tell us more about your latest album.
Kendra: Thank you for inviting me to interview! My most recent album is very near and dear to my heart. It marks a phase of my life where I was honing in my expression as a strong singer with wisdom to share. This album is somewhat of a concept album that developed over the span of several years.
I had this particular idea on my mind for a psychedelic Americana sound, and since the album is centered around the feeling of freedom, I let these particular ideas for songs blossom on their own timeframe. Luckily, that was still pretty quick, I think.
TSWS: Was this album written during Covid times? How do you feel the current situation has affected your music and creativity?
Kendra: A few of the songs were written during the beginning of Covid times. However, a few of the songs are from before... Like "Buffalo Walk" and "Whoooo Are You?"-- these started as poems that I wrote in 2017. On the other hand, songs like "Thank You" and "A Tall Order" are from March 2020. "Well Toiled Routine” is from September 2019. I feel like 2020 has given me time to open up my music vocabulary. It's delightful, the inspiration.
TSWS: You live in LA, but are originally from Texas. Please tell us about that journey.
Kendra: Growing up in Texas was pretty great. I love the Lone Star state so much. There is a sense of belonging and family that I feel like Texans bring to one another. It always makes me think of what's best for a community because it was so great growing up there. On the flip-side, I have always wanted to live in Los Angeles for the entertainment industry. I moved out here when I was 18 to start college at Pepperdine University to study Theatre Arts.
I really do like California. It's a tremendous state.
TSWS: Do you have a favorite song from the new record?
Kendra: I am currently listening to "Daisy" and "Well Toiled Routine" a lot.
I also really like "Requiem for a Night Sky" and "1776 to 1976".
I like them all!! ... "Buffalo Walk" is closed to my heart.
TSWS: Tell us about your recent tour dates in Denver, CO!
Kendra: It's been so much fun. Last night I played at Quixote's True Blue. It's a rock 'n roll Grateful Dead themed venue. I truly rocked the show. It was a great time. I got to see a lot of friends. Such great vibes. Tonight, I played at Black and Blues Music and Brews in Loveland, CO. Wonderful venue.
The acoustics in the place were legit awesome. There was a warmth to the place from the exposed brick, and get this... the section where I was playing was behind plexiglass, but to be honest. It caused my sound to swell in such a beautiful way with natural reverb from the walls reflecting sound. The silver lining of performing live in somewhat post Covid times. On Sunday, I am playing at Herman's Hideaway with a few great artists, including Ten o Two band and Chris Ruiz.
TSWS: Where can our readers stay best in touch with you?
Kendra: I have music streaming on all platforms. Follow me on Instagram, I'm @kenbunny. Like me on Facebook as "Kendra & the Bunnies Music".
Subscribe to my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.
For Press Inquiries: https://www.
An Interview With Brett Mitchell
Brett Mitchell just released a great new single called "Almost But Not Quite (The Story of My Life)". The track suggests a slightly darker style than it actually is, as its humorous approach to life’s little failures is something to which anyone can relate.
Plucking guitars and whistles provide a fresh, almost ‘beachy’, vibe as the song goes on and gets you pulled in more with each chorus.
The great things about his song is that musically, it's ageless. I think from kids to adults can really get into this track with ease and that kind of makes it timeless. Funny thing is, we can pretty much say the same for the lyrical content.
We had to have a chat with Brett about well..everything.
TSWS: So Brett, "Almost But Not Quite (The Story of My Life)" has a very radio friendly pop feel to it with bopping guitars and even whistles. Where did this song come from exactly?
Brett: The music for Almost But Not Quite came from a guitar riff. I was just sitting around and playing my guitar over and over and out popped the whistle melody. I always seem to hide sad and depressing lyrics under happy music. It wasn’t until I recorded it in my studio that it became sort of a reggae vibe. Reggae always makes me happy. This is a song about how, no matter how hard you try, you just never seem to get there all the way. Based on true life, in second grade I really was put behind a wall. My story was, and is, about not fitting in or being able to learn the right way to succeed.
TSWS: It's a pretty relatable song of course. So, you used to be a drummer? What made you switch things up and take on your own project?
Brett: When I was around the age of 20 or so, I wrote a chunk of songs that I didn’t think would amount to anything. Some close friends enjoyed them, but it wasn’t until my manager, Jan, bought me a gift certificate to a local studio that things grew into something more. I quickly realized that I needed to make an album. So that’s exactly what I did. It was predominantly performed by myself, with the help of the engineer on bass, and few musical guests. As I started to play professionally more, as a solo artist, the album gained some local buzz and I began interacting with more and more musicians around the area and eventually had a band and that just grew into what has become a 15 year career thus far.
TSWS: The single is very well written. You've obviously been writing songs for quite some time. Can you give me some actual influences for this project musically? Any bands that really changed you?
Brett: Thank you. Yes, I would say that I have been writing songs for a good part of the last 20 years. However, I didn’t really start developing my songwriting skills until my first album came out in 2005. My father grew up in the 40s and 50s so I grew up listening to a lot of the music that he and my mom loved, like oldies and stuff like that. So I have always loved older music. I would say probably some of the biggest influences on me have been musicians like Neil Young, Ben Folds, The Beatles, obviously, and I am a huge Wilco fan, and admire Jeff Tweedy’s lyrical style. But when it comes to my influences, we could do a whole separate interview just on that. There are too many.
TSWS: Are you playing most instruments on this track? If so, how do you record? Everyone has their own process. What's yours?
Brett: Yes, I am playing all the instruments on this track. I recorded it myself, as well. This entire album is all written, performed and played by me. I am by no means an engineer, but I made it work with what I had. Most people record on a computer using Pro Tools, but I used a TASCAM SD card unit. I always wanted to have my own home studio because I am a night owl by nature. By the time I am up and around and wide awake and have inspiration to record, it’s usually already after midnight. So it is nice for me to be able to record at any given time of the night. Usually I start with a rough guitar track. Then I will start to layer some better parts over that. And then move onto vocals and then drums, and usually add bass last or just random percussion like tambourine or hand claps or something.
TSWS: Is "Almost But Not Quite" just the beginning? Is there anything more in the works right now?
Brett: Well, Almost But Not Quite (It’s the Story of My Life) is my second single that I’ve released so far. Those two songs will be on my album. My upcoming album will have 10 tracks. The album is already finished; it’s just in the last part of mixing and mastering right now. So there’s definitely more music to come! I also plan on recording a cover album this winter and who knows what new music will come out of that.
TSWS: When things get back to normal, are you going to put together what you need to perform live?
Brett: Well, I was fortunate enough to have played a few outdoor shows throughout the summer. But I definitely plan on having some full band shows that will showcase the new album. I definitely plan on making up for lost time.
TSWS: This track seems to be a great follow up to "You Are The Only One" released earlier this year. It seemed like there was a few years before that where you slowed down a little. What happened there? Were you focusing more on drums?
Brett: Unfortunately it has been almost 10 years since my previous album was released. In 2011, I released Falling Apart at the Seams. And just after that my father became sick with cancer. I lost him at the end of 2012. Shortly after that, I moved from the Midland area, and I have been up here in Northern Michigan ever since. I have been playing full time since 2005, so I stayed busy, performing and traveling to shows with my band. Besides staying busy with performing, I continued to write songs that would eventually be on this new album. I started recording this new album three years ago, when I first built my studio. I had some ups and downs and went through some dark times but tried to work as much as I could. That’s the one downfall about making your own deadlines. You sometimes put more off than you would if you were paying for studio time, or making appointments. So it’s not like I’ve been working on this album for 10 years or anything, but it certainly has seemed like it’s taking forever. I am definitely excited to get it out there.
TSWS: Anything you'd really want to say to fans before we go?
Brett: Well, I guess I just want to say thanks for supporting original music. And thanks for being so patient with me. But I am very excited for this new album to come out. I am very proud of it in many ways. Seeing that it took so long and that I did it all on my own, it’s something that I feel is very personal. And I can’t wait to share it with people. And let’s hope that the future is brighter than it has been, and that there will be a new chapter in my career once this new album comes out! So stay tuned!
Check Out Brett Mitchell HERE
An Interview With Crystal McGrath
We recently had the chance to have a chat with the multi-talented Crystal McGrath.
From her knack for entrepreneurship, to her killer attitude, Crystal has a lot to offer that goes beyond her music.
Her new single "Game On" is one example of the attitude we're talking about.
From her artistry to her love of all things sparkly, here's what we found out.
TSWS: Hi Crystal! We're so glad to have you here today.
Game On is such a fun and inspiring song. Tell us about its beginnings!
Crystal: We wanted to write a song that we could perform live and get people moving. Women empowerment is a huge part of my brand so it was important to tie that theme into the writing process!! Ironic I wrote this girl gang power anthem with 2 guys ahaha
TSWS: Tell us about being an independent artist in Canada!
Crystal: As an independent artist anywhere you have to have a collection of hats in your "closet" that you interchange throughout the day!! Examples of my workday can range from answering emails, connecting with people on social media, reading through contracts, now with Covid doing interviews from my "at-home stage", writing new songs/cowriting on zoom, creating content, scheduling meetings, brand development, photoshoots, video shoots, live streaming shows, and the list could continue on!!! It is important to have a grasp on the business side because that's how you turn your passion into a career, by having an understanding of how your business runs best and how to set measurable goals on your personal success journey. Whether or not you have a team working alongside you or a label above you or if it's just you doing the hustle alone, I can not stress enough how important it is to learn and educate yourself on running your business!!! I have been fortunate enough to grow up in an entrepreneurial family so this mindset was instilled in me at a young age. Along the way, I have had amazing team members and mentors to learn from, including being a part of the Canada's Music Incubator Artist Entrepreneur Program, where I was provided with a toolbox of information to pull from for the day to day tasks and planning of the music business! Today I am grateful to have amazing team members that support and execute my ideas and visions so I can focus more on the things I love doing like connecting and creating!!!
TSWS: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Crystal: Smiling on a mild temperature beach working on my business from a laptop!
TSWS: You seem to have a love for sparkles and all things glitzy! Tell us!!
Crystal: I was trying to think of when this love of sparkles all started.....I do have a memory of making cards as a kid and just covering them in sparkles lol. I would stand at my dad's work and sell them to customers, just a sparkly mess of love! If sparkles were a color, that would be my favorite! There's something about sparkles that just light up a room and bring joy!!
TSWS: Your podcast is very fun and informative. Please tell us what makes a great guest?
Crystal: The best guests are the ones that are vulnerable to sharing their stories. When we get real with our thoughts and feelings we connect on a deeper level and those are the conversations that remind people they are not alone in a feeling. Change is constant and it's okay not to be okay, but it is so important to move through it with support and tools to find your sense of self and grounding again. I think one of the greatest strengths is being vulnerable and getting comfortable being uncomfortable!!!
TSWS: SIRIUS XM Radio charts in Canada! Does this feel surreal?
Crystal: Ahhhh When I first posted it I literally had to recheck my email to confirm it was accurate...may have checked 4 times hahahah !! I really am proud of this song and the work that has gone into putting it out into the world. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to put music out into the world and thankful for everyone supporting and listening to it!!!!!
TSWS: Where can we continue to be up-to-date with your latest moves?
Crystal: Join my mailing list at www.crystalmcgrath.ca and follow me on all the socials!!!
For Press Inquiries: Bsquaredmgmt@gmail.
An Interview With Caleb LaDuke
Caleb LaDuke has been pumping out bangers all throughout 2020 and they all hit that sweet spot between R&B, hip hop, and indie-pop.
With an youthful style and a raw energy, Caleb has mesmorizing voice but even so, his strong point is song writing.
His songs are from real places and come through brave and intese while remainig smooth and sultry.
One of the best examples of what we mean is a single called "idk how 2 b ok"
Swiming through emotional waters seems to give Caleb the power to create and come through shining bright.
We had a chat with Caleb to talk about as much as we could.
TSWS: So Caleb, "idk how 2 b ok" is a very radio friendly track but also feels like it's a bit personal. It's refreshing to hear a song that pops the way this one does and still comes from someplace real. Tell us about this track. How did it come about?
Caleb: “idk how 2 be ok” came from this never ending feeling of panic. It was like no matter what I
did I couldn’t escape the feeling of “I’m not good enough” or “I’ll never succeed at anything
in my life”. In the past, I have turned to many things in order to try and feel okay. I know that
Jesus is the answer, but even then my faith seemed a place that did not give me peace at
times. So I decided to write a song about that feeling.
TSWS: You've gained a solid following with almost 1k on Spotify alne. Did you expect to have such a great fan base when you started?
Caleb: When I first started putting music out I had zero expectations. I was in college when I
started releasing music. I was just having fun and then my song “K.” just blew up out of
TSWS: How did this all start for you?
Caleb: My dad owns a studio and he played a track and there was a guitar part and I immediately
felt this rush like I’d never known before. I asked for a guitar after that and it just grew from
TSWS: Your tracks seem to range in style a bit which is great! We'd love to know, what artists really changed you as an artist or even as a person? Who are your biggest musical influences?
Caleb: Neyo, Chris Brown, Drake, Jason Mraz (guitar influence), my dad is a huge one, Andy Mineo.
TSWS: It seems like you've really been growing as an artist. Do you think you've been able to take advantage of quarantine in terms of writing songs?
Caleb: Oh, most definitely. I was kind of forced to hone my craft. I work on music pretty much all
the time, but the quarantine really isolated me and made me think a lot about what I wanted
my career to look like.
TSWS: You've done some virtual live dates. Did you used to perform live?
Caleb: Yes, I love performing live. I just did my first show in Nashville before everything got shut
down. I’m super excited to resume that part of my career.
TSWS: What's next for you as an artist?
Caleb: I’m not sure to be honest. I’m droppin a pretty dope Rap-Pop track in November and
probably will drop another track in December. I have project ideas in mind, but it usually
takes me a little to think of a whole concept.
For an artist that's gaining traction, can you give any advice to aspiring rappers and artists out there?
Caleb: Don’t be afraid to try new things out. It helps you learn what you don’t like and what you do
like as an artist. Find management; I am a creative and would be lost without the
organization my manager Sam brings.
TSWS: Before we go, anything you want to say to your fans?
Caleb: I can’t thank you guys enough for investing in me and listening to my music. I love that I get
to experience this gift with more people than just myself. It is truly an honor to be on this
journey with anyone who loves me and my music.
Check out Caleb LaDuke HERE
An Interview With Elizabeth Lyons
In her latest release, Elizabeth Lyons hits the pop-rock arena with "Prove It".
A bright, high energy banger that really shows her flawless pop queen character shining through.
"Prove It" has all the qualitites you want from a radio pop song and this song certainly proves it!
We sat down with Elizabeth to talk shop.
TSWS: You have a new single on the way! WHEN and HOW do we get ahold of it?
Elizabeth: My single “Prove It” is available on 10/16 on all music platforms. The “Prove It“ Lyric Video which I made from my couch is out on YouTube on October 23 and the Music Video comes out very soon!
TSWS: Tell us a bit about your recording process!
Elizabeth: This time it was a little different as I cut an outside song and I usually only record my own songs! But when I heard “Prove It” I knew I had to record it. I loved the energy and thought the vibe was so fun and upbeat! I felt like it would be so great in my live show and it has definitely proven to be a fan favorite! At the time ole Nashville's Emily Mueller and John Ozier who pitched me the song written by Jesse Lee (Brett Young's “Like I Loved You”, Kelsea Ballerini's “Peter Pan” Keith Urban's “That Could Still Be Us”, Derrick Sutherland (Grammy winner Carrie Underwood's “Storyteller”, Kane Brown's viral Hot 100 hit “Like A Rodeo”, and Ingrid Andress' No. 1 single “More Hearts Than Mine”) and Jake Mitchell (Florida Georgia Line's "Can't Say I Ain't Country”, Luke Bryan's "Born Here Live Here Die Here", and Devin Dawson's "Dark Horse").
I went into the studio with Nashville producers Brad Hill (Maren Morris, Brett Young) and Robert Williams, mixed by Jim Cooley (Sam Hunt, Dustin Lynch, Jordan Davis, Luke Combs) and mastered by Jonathan Deans. The demo that was sent was really well produced and a great starting point so we decided to take that and then just make it even bigger! Brad and Robert hired the musicians to play on the track and I went into the studio with Katie Talbot who helped coach me vocally!
TSWS: Any rituals as a songwriter that helps keep the creativity flowing?
Elizabeth: I used to try and write songs every day but now I try to just go with the flow of what I’m feeling and go with that gut instinct. My best ideas come to me at the most random times, usually when I’m driving, on walks, or in the shower (not the most convenient) haha but luckily having voice memos helps! I then write down and record the ideas and typically bring them to the songwriter I think is going to be the best teammate to help me make it the best it can be. I typically write songs about what's going on in my life or a feeling I remember having in the past.
I love watching movies and tv shows for inspiration as well! Recently trying to get more into podcasts and books! Tiktok has randomly been a good inspiration for me as well!
TSWS: Where are you currently located and where have you toured?
Elizabeth: I’m currently located in New Orleans and Nashville! I go between the two cities, which is so lucky as they’re both filled with great music, people and culture.
Over the years I’ve worked hard to book my band and I at shows all over the US! I started in my hometown and have expanded to the Midwest and now all over! My goal is to perform abroad someday soon! Festivals and venues: Summerfest (6 yrs in a row), Country Stampede (3 yrs in a row), Country Fest (2 yrs in a row), Country Jam Colorado (2 yrs) & Wisconsin, Country on the River, Taste of Country Music Festival, Country Thunder, Windy City Smokeout, Tree Town Festival, Jam in the Valley (2 yrs in a row), Buckeye Country Superfest, Headwaters Country Jam, Lakes Jam Festival, Mardi Gras (2 yrs in a row), Iowa State Fair (2 yrs in a row), Joe’s on Weed St (5x), Joe’s Live, The Bluebird Café (2x), Surf Ballroom, The Bitter End, Printers Alley-NYC, Brickstreet, Loret- tas, Opry City Stage, and Rock the Sox at US Cellular Field, National Anthem at Soldier Field, Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, Bridgestone Arena, Fenway Park, Miller Park and more.Opened for or shared the stage with Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Florida-Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Jake Owen, Eric Church, Sam Hunt, Alabama, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Hunter Hayes, Cole Swindell, Chase Rice, Cheap Trick, Randy Houser, Old Dominion, Phil Vassar, Craig Campbell, Eric Paslay, Parmalee, Grainger Smith, Kip Moore, Brett Young and more.
TSWS: Tell us your favorite fan story!
Elizabeth: This is a great story that relates to “Prove It”! I met Robert Brower at CMA Fest fan fair at my booth. Over the years he turned from a fan to a good friend. He helped support my music album by buying an acoustic show for his dance studio, called Storytellers Dance Academy. I got to perform at the studio and see how amazingly talented he is as a choreographer. I recruited Robert to choreograph the dance in my “Prove It” music video coming out soon! It’s so fun and I can’t wait for you to see it!
TSWS: Any favorite tracks off the new album?
Elizabeth: “Prove It” is my favorite song of this chapter of inspirational singles I’ve released about empowerment!
Epiphany was to believe in yourself and ignore all the voices in your head...
24 was the journey it takes to get there...
Brave Enough was a cry to not give up and an appreciation for everyone who’s helped you get there....
Now with PROVE IT is you’re doing it and proving it!
TSWS: Where do our readers stay in touch with you?
Elizabeth: Social Media! Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tiktok you name it...! Instagram is my favorite! I’m learning Tiktok it’s so addicting! Also, through following on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora... however you listen to music... my songs are about what I’m feeling and going through so connecting with me through my music is key to what’s going on inside of me!
Check out Elizabeth Lyons HERE
Press inquires: bsquaredmgmt@gmail.
An Interview With Natalie Jean
Natalie Jean recently released her latest single "Hooked" and its airy and smooth R&B pop feel hits hard and leaves you hunting for more from this sensational songwriter.
"Hooked" is her latest in a string of single releases throughout 2020 and even though each track has its own flavor, Natalie keeps the consistency with her powerfullysoulful vocal style.
TSWS: Tell us about rockin' the NASHVILLE SIGN BILLBOARD recently! How does it feel to have reached this level of success?
Natalie: The Nashville Sign Billboard is a very exciting time in my life. To be up there for all to see is awesome. Especially as a black woman breaking into the Americana genre, they can't help but see me now. I feel as though all of my hard work is paying off. As an independent artist, you have to find so many ways to be seen and heard. The billboard makes a huge statement. Breaking Down Barriers!!
TSWS: Your sound is very modern as well as folk driven. Tell us about your genre as you see it!
Natalie: I like to change things up quite a bit. I like to do the unexpected. Every time you attend a music conference, they tell you that they want to see something different. I try to stand out and be a little bit more versatile. I love Americana/Folk. This genre really allows you to tell your story in so many different ways. It has allowed me to sing and write on so many different social issues that are impacting the world. It allows me to speak my truth on so many different levels.
TSWS: Where do you go to get into your writing mode?
Natalie: I usually write in my bedroom. But I always come up with ideas in the shower. I would love to invent a gadget that is water-resistant so that I could remember some of my famous shower hits.
TSWS: Please share more about your recording and production process.
Natalie: I will think about a theme. First, I write the chorus and then I work around that. As for the melody, I usually sing something into my phone. When I meet up with my music producer, Alexi Von Guggenberg, I tell him the vibe that I want and the instruments.
TSWS: We hear you are a member of the Recording Academy. Please share more about that with our readers.
Natalie: I am a Voting Member of the Recording Academy. Every year, we are allowed to submit our music to see if it can be placed on the first round Grammy ballot. There are 86 categories. We are allowed to vote in 15 of the main categories. But are allowed to vote in all of the general categories, such as Record of The Year, Song of The Year, Best New Artist, and Album of The Year. I get hundreds of albums and singles to listen to. It takes a lot of work, time, and energy. We only have a two week period to submit all of our entries. You can only submit five artists per category, except for the general categories. Some of those have increased.
TSWS: What is the most exciting thing you are looking forward to in 2021?
Natalie: I am looking forward to the pandemic being over. Also, being able to perform and to record new music.
TSWS: Where do our readers stay in touch with you?
Check out Natalie Jean HERE
Press inquires: bsquaredmgmt@gmail.
An Interview With Brady Shubert
Brady Shubert released a full length album that serves as a tell all about different chapters in his life.
Put together on his own, Shubert writes, and records everything you hear so keep that in mind while you dig into this record, which you really should.
Titled Back To Ground, the album is a neo-folk rock record with classic rock tendencies and an alternative undertone throughout its course.
Slamming on acoustic guitars while distant vocals paint emotional pictures and topping it all off, is aset of catchy melodies that stick with you while electric guitars float about each song creating a deepening atmoshpere for the record as a whole.
With the massive feel of the record, we wanted to talk with Brady and get to know exactly where this record came from.
TSWS: So Brady, the Back To Ground album is full of distant guitars, acoustic songwriting and a flavor of what feels like 90's alternative rock influence. A great combination obviously. Upon going through the record it almost feels as if it's a concept record. Is that true? What is the album about?
Brady: So glad you pointed that out to me because I did not intend to sound like any genre specifically. The 90s alternative and grunge are some of my favorite styles of music.
Back to Ground is a concept album. Mostly about growing up and finding your way. Discovering your inner strength and hidden talents to connect and amplify the beauty in the world around us. All the songs from this album were written between the ages of 19-24. "Ain't Nothing Wrong" being the newest. My intention was to kind of make it like a story that starts at the end.
TSWS: There is certainly some classic rock going on on some of these songs. What bands actually influenced you. What bands really changed you?
Brady: I love classic rock for sure, and this is a great question because I'm always discovering new music and changing my perception of what music can be. Part of the reason I love music so much. I really love Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix as far as classic rock goes. They were so futuristic sounding and way ahead of there time. That has always inspired me. I'm also a big fan of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.
The two bands that really changed me and drove me to make music are Circa Sirvive and Rx Bandits. I never knew I wanted to make music before I heard them. They are just so raw and genuine but extremely talented at the same time. That's something really hard to find these days. It also helped to realize that you can make the art you want to make and you don't have to follow the status quo. So that's really what draws me to those artists, and kind of sparked my passion for creating my music.
TSWS: I think something people want to know is how someone like yourself writes your songs. Does it start with lyrics? Does it start with acoustic guitar progressions? How do you write your stuff?
Brady: It varies on the song. I write a lot of poetry so sometimes I will fit those in with an acoustic chord progression. Other times it will be all guitar and music first, then lyrics come later. On the instrumental side, I just sit down and let the music pour out of me. It's very therapeutic for me that way. I record all my songs one track at a time all the way through. I don't like to piece and puzzle too much. I like the flow of one take better. When it goes right then its lovely but it can be very time consuming and gut-wrenching t times.
TSWS: Do you think you'll be playing live when that's more frequent again?
Brady: Yes, I can't wait to get back on stage. Especially with this new project I'm apart of called The FISE. Playing music for people is a great honor and I love the feelings of acceptance you find at shows. That's what originally drew me into live music as a kid.
TSWS: Are you working on anything new still? It seems like you may be the type of person who is always writing?
Brady: Always writing for sure. It keeps me sane. I am currently recording the first single for a new album I am putting together. It's going to be slightly different then Back to Ground. It's going to be more electric driven and fuzzy feelings. I'm getting more acquainted with my guitar and pedals and really want to bring that out in this next project. Stay tuned in!
TSWS: What do you think will be next for you as an artist?
Brady: I really don't know for sure. I just trust in the music and keep my mind open to many possibilities and not have too much expectation. Hasn't failed me yet!
TSWS: There are piano tracks on this record as well and we were wondering, are you playing all the instruments we are hearing on this record?
Brady: I do play all the instruments on the record. Back to Ground is a DIY project from start to finish.
TSWS: How did all of this start for you?
Brady: Dad, had a keyboard when I was little so I was always playing with that. My grandfather is a musician as well. I picked up the bass in 8th grade because my friend's band didn't have one and I always wanted to be in a band. My brother is an excellent guitarist as well. So it kind of runs in my family and music has always been present and a big part of my life. I didn't start playing guitar until I was 19. The moment I picked it up I knew I was hooked for life. Sound cheesy as hell but it's true. I have been writing songs ever since then. After playing in a couple of bands in my hometown I decided to travel in my car around the country letting my music lead the way. It's brought me more great memories and people than I could ask for. That's why I keep picking.
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to your fans?
Brady: I would love to say Thank you to anyone who has ever helped me and supported me along my journey. I know it hasn't always been easy. Friends and family. Strangers and neighbors. Thanks to anyone who has listened to my songs for even a moment. I hope you stay inspired and stay true to yourself. Life is art. We are artists.
Check out Brady Shubert HERE
An Interview With Greg Hoy
Grey Hoy dropped his Cacophony Pt1 EP and it's wonderously vivacious brand of pop-rock has the ability to invade your brain and take it over and all with the greatest of ease.
The EP packs one hell of a youthful rock n' roll punch and each song seems to compliment the last the more you dig in. And we advise you to dig in.
The noted single dubbed "Messed Up World" is a colorful indie rock romp complete with with an edgy attitude and a chorus that you'll be singing long after it's ended.
Quirky and tasteful guitars riddle the track with added spirit and it's hard to get enough.
So of course, we had some questions. Is there a Cacophony Pt2? If so when's it gonna be here? Ahhh!
Needing to have questions answered, we had a little chat with Greg to scratch our itch. Here's what happened.
TSWS: So Greg, "Messed Up World" has a great concept and the video plays along perfectly. Where did this song come from?
Greg: We had studio time planned for late March and a tour in April & May. We all know what happened there. In June, my engineer Jacob Winik, drummer Jason Slota, & bassist Ian Miller decided to sneak into Tiny Telephone Oakland for a week and make a record. I wrote the songs in a fevered few days just before the session. They emerged fully formed with themes of isolation, disconnection, and disillusionment. 'Messed Up World' is about a girl dealing with being out of touch by buying old LPs, books, and art with which to inspire a new relationship: having a tactile relationship with the art of the past.
TSWS: "Messed Up World" has this super fun classic and indie rock vibe with tons of pop undertones. We'd love to know some of your actual influences as a songwriter. What bands really changed you?
Greg: Oh, this question is the worst! I really love so much music. All the 'The' classic bands of course - Kinks, Beatles, Who, Rolling Stones, Replacements - but also classic hip hop like Ice-T, Public Enemy, and LL Cool J. Great 80's vibes like Buzzcocks, Prince, Devo, The Go Go's, Tears for Fears. Guided By Voices! Nine Inch Nails. If it has melody and rhythm, I probably dug it.
TSWS: The single is one of 6 tracks from your Cacophony1 EP and they all hold true to that pop rock style. Upon listening to the full record, it feels like a concept album. Would you say it is?
GREG: So glad you caught that! The 11 songs are sort of themed by LP side (the vinyl will be out around Thanksgiving). Each side of the vinyl LP is its own digital EP. Side one is the rock-themed stuff all about how the world is interconnected. Side two is more introspective themed around the personal struggles we're experiencing during these crazy times, and how we react to them.
TSWS: The video for "Messed Up World" is incredibly visually enticing and even has a very cool retro VHS style feel to it. Did you put a lot of thought into this one? Did it come out pretty close to how you expected?
Greg: I was in a zoom session with some college friends sometime in July. It occurred to me how we all just see this tiny sliver of each other during the quarantine, and how these boxes only represent a tiny, tiny view of our lives. There's a whole person in each little box. Luckily my friends Anna Copa Cabanna & Septymber really ran with my challenge to them to show their creative selves during a 'messed up world'.
TSWS: You've really been able to gain a solid fan base and over 13k followers on Spotify alone. Did you expect any of this when you started?
Greg: Honestly, every day is a gift. I'm grateful anytime someone listens to my music, watches a video, likes a podcast, etc. The beauty of Twitter & Instagram is this interaction where we can acknowledge each other - the things we feel, the stuff we make. It's the positive side of an often ugly platform full of negativity. That's inspiration enough right there to keep on making stuff. And when my songs have been used on TV shows & in indie films, it's just icing on the cake.
TSWS: How did all of this start for you really?
Greg: My mom was an artist, and constantly played music around the house. My sisters & brother were all musicians to some degree. Music runs in our DNA. I find it to be the most honest way to communicate.
TSWS: Did you have a band for live performances and if so did you play out frequently?
Greg: Oh yea: mostly it's Greg Hoy & The Boys, touring a whole bunch before the quarantine. We did 60 or so shows in 2019 including a really amazing east coast tour (check out www.greghoyandtheboys.com for some videos!). My rhythm section varies depending on who's available. I'm fortunate to have a roster of amazing drummers & bass players upon which to call if (and when) we get clubs back open. Save our stages, people!
TSWS: There are a lot of bands who have had a hard time taking advantage of the whole quarantine going on. Seems like you actually took great advantage and got down to getting music done. Is there any advice you'd give aspiring songwriters out there?
Greg: It's as simple as never stop creating. Never stop writing. Dolly Parton still writes several songs *a day*. For me, I write for myself. Any time I've written thinking of some other purpose, it sucks. Like I made a whole album years ago trying to get placements in TV and movies. Those songs now just don't hold up for me. So when things DO become worth sharing — like this set of songs — only then do I consider how to present them to others. Just keep making things. Keep doing the work. Even on days where I'm uninspired, I'll sit down with a pen. There's a quote I love and I'll forget the exact words, but to paraphrase Tom Petty, you have to sit down, do the work, and let the muse into the room. Sorry, Tom, if I fucked that up!
TSWS: Before we go, what would you like to say to your fans?
Greg: It can be really hard to stay inspired. Keep making stuff even on days where you can barely make breakfast. Creativity is the way through the mess.
Check out Greg Hoy HERE
An Interview With Michael Golden
Michael Golden just dropped a fresh single dubbed "Mr.Ecstasy" and it's a massive and beautifully strung together opus of sorts.
Almost like a modern day Elton John ballad but a little more current and ambient, "Mr.Ecstasy" delves into a personal and relatable topic.
To learn more about the song itself check out our full review of "Mr.Ecstasy" HERE
In the meantime, we had a talk with Michael about just what this song meant to him and where he plans to go from here.
TSWS: So Michael, "Mr. Ecstasy" is a cinematic and almost theatrical song but feels very personal. Can you tell us what this song is about really? How did it come about?
Michael: I think a lot of people may hear the drug-laced references - they're definitely there - but for me it's at least as much about the fear of getting too high emotionally, for the fear of coming back down to a more familiar state. I was just sitting in the back of my car with my guitar at Ocean Beach in San Francisco and the song just kinda arrived.
TSWS: The video for "Mr. Ecstasy" is like a kaleidoscope of swirling design. Did those come from you?
Michael: Those drawings are original artwork by an artist in Nashville, TN named Benji Anderson. He was kind enough to let me use them for the video. Juliana Arias Ruiz, a visual artist based in Colombia, brought those images to life with her art direction.
TSWS: This is a single from your upcoming album Some Kind of Holiday. When is the full record set to release?
Michael: The album's set for release November 20th. It's a 12- track LP.
TSWS: Something I think people want to know is how you write your material. Is it lyrics first? Does a melody come to you and then you work from there? What's your process for songwriting?
Michael: When I first started writing, I needed a guitar or piano in front of me. So I guess the music kinda came first then. These days, I can kinda hear the music in my body, so I don't really need an instrument around. It can come all at once. But yeah, it's a little different every time.
TSWS: Will you have other videos for songs from the album and will they be similar to the one for "Mr.Ecstasy"?
Michael: Yes, there'll be 3 more videos for this album. We'll be releasing one around October 23rd, another to accompany the album release on November 20th, and one in early-ish January. I think all these videos will be pretty different.
TSWS: We'd love to know how this all started for you. Did you always have a love for music? When did you start creating it?
Michael: My parents used to take me to Venice Beach when I was really small, and they say I used to dance like crazy to the street musicians. I remember putting on headphones when I was a little older, and just disappearing. I think it was my first experience of dissolution of ego. I started making music with friends when I was in my teens, and it just felt electric.
TSWS: Give us some of your actual influences musically. What artists or bands really inspired you to make music?
Michael: I'm into a lot of the singer-songwriters that came in Dylan's wake. Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Steve Earle. A lot of Texas songwriters. Leonard Cohen, Tim Hardin, John Prine. I've loved the Velvet Underground, The Smiths and The Beach Boys since I was quite young. I also think some of my greatest musical influences have been non-musical. My dad. The guy whose locker was next to mine in middle school and used to make fun of my voice.
TSWS: This track seems like an outlet for you to express how you feel. Would you say your music is therapeutic for you in a way?
Michael: You could say that. I also think it's just a way to imbue my life with meaning. What I took from the existentialists is that life has no inherent meaning. You have to fill your own life with meaning. There's nothing I love more than songwriting, and no 'thing' I love more than a song. It's kinda amazing - you write a song, and if it feels potent to you, you have something that can accompany you for the rest of your life. It's kinda magic.
TSWS: What would you want to say to fans before we go?
Michael: Nothing much besides stay tuned. I have an amazing group of people surrounding me, including my producer/engineer Paul Mahern. We're always talking about Brian Eno's concept of 'scenius'. The idea that the myth of sole authorship is just that - a myth. It takes a team to realize something well, and I'm fortunate to be blessed in that respect. ‘Mr. Ecstasy’ is a perfect example. I got Bill Mallers ticklin' the keys, Heidi Gluck on bass, Shannon Hayden on electric cello, and of course Paul Mahern at the helm. Monster artists all.
Check out Michael Golden HERE
An Interview With ethericashadowsound
ethericatheshadowsound just released a fresh new single called Ascension Symptoms and the track gives an ora of ambient alt-pop with a slightly 90's feel and a growing arrangment.
The song gives and honest set of lyrics and an etheral synth sound that keeps you warm while soothing vocals take the edge off.
A beautifully woven song, "Ascension Symptoms" is a follow up to her single "Rocket Days' which portrays a much more alternative rock style but shows a strong diversity in songwriting.
We sat down with ethericathesound and had a chat about these songs and what she's up to now.
TSWS: So "Ascension Symptoms" has its own synth driven style and a spacey vibe. Can you tell us about this song? How did it come about?
ESS: It’s definitely a cosmic hymn. Rather than create according to genre I’m allowing it all to come through-songwriting is at times, mystical. Also, I wanted a more obscure B side to Rocket Days. B sides are like a secret message from the artist if you choose to listen a little more closely.
TSWS: Your previous single "Rocket Days" has a totally different, more rock style. Do you write these songs as they come to you?
ESS: My first love will always be my telecaster and guitar-driven music has always resonated with me. I’m accustomed to playing as a 3 piece (guitar, bass, drums), with guitar as my primary instrument for songwriting.
TSWS: Sounds like you've been writing songs for a while, how did all this begin for you?
ESS: It began casually while drinking and smoking and hanging out with my good friend, Brian. He offered to teach me a few things on guitar so we could play together (he wanted to play drums again). I started off pretending I was PJ Harvey and then my own songs just started coming. My first artistic exploration began in college when I studied Modern Dance and Choreography. I realize now that I was always trying to be a rockstar through the medium of dance. I’ve also discovered that dance composition and songwriting are similar crafts and both make sense to me.
TSWS: With the diversity between these two songs in particular I'd love to know about what bands or artists really changed you. What are your biggest influences?
ESS: My influences are forces of sound, spirit and attitude. There are many but the Big ones are: PJ Harvey, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Chameleons, My Bloody Valentine, Catherine Wheel, Cocteau Twins, Suede, Afghan Whigs, and my star brother-Prince. (My favorite band of his being The Revolution)
TSWS: Do you have anything upcoming? What's next for you?
ESS: I’m releasing a new single called, I’m a Constellation, this month and I’m creating a collaborative, multi-discipline live performance for the pandemic-free future.
TSWS: Have you felt like you've been more focused on your songwriting this year seeing there is not much live performances happening?
ESS: Definitely. I’ve had more time and space to figure out how to compose, arrange, perform and record everything myself which I’ve wanted to do for ages.
TSWS: Anything you'd like to express to fans before we go?
ESS: Just a big thank you to everyone and anyone who has encouraged me, inspired me and supported me. Some of you know who you are and some of you don’t. xo
Check out ethericaShadowSound HERE
An Interview With OnlyChrisAng
OnlyChrisAng releases his Keeper EP and blends dream-pop with hiphop while spilling out brutal truths about himself.
The EP is an addictive listen as the artists raw emotion grabs hold and takes over you become engulfed in curiosity and awe.
An outstanding piece of work that takes some real guts to release to the world, Keeper is a tell all.
So we sat down with OnlyChrisAng to listen to wht he had to say.
TSWS: So Chris, The Keeper EP is a set of what feels like incredibly personal songs. I think the way you express yourself through your music is quite brave. How did this EP come about?
OCA: Honestly the EP was a spur of the moment decision. I've been working towards an album since May, but due to finances fluctuating for other needs due to covid and mental health battles, it's been very stop and start. The album was originally projected to come out around September 2020 but with only about 7 songs recorded around August, I just wanted more material out there for others to listen to, rather than just my debut song, "I Don't Want To Be Touched" and "Love Drug" a kind of off-brand song I wrote about Tik Tok that I rushed out during the time the app was in talks of being banned. It's not even a song I was projecting to add into the album, just a fun thing I did, separate from the main points I wanted to tackle that you see in the EP, Keeper. The EP came about as soon as I got the final mixes in for the tracks "Angels" and "Heaven", on August 20 and just being so blown away by them that I wanted them to be heard right away. Funny enough my birthday was approaching in two days, August 22, and it just felt right to me to do. No real notice or build up and wanting to show what I'm going for as an artist.
TSWS: These are very deep R&B hip-hop based tracks with a darkness to it. Was making this record therapeutic for you?
OCA: Absolutely. With most of the songs I have written and recorded, they come from a personal side of myself that I'm open to sharing and want to bring attention to. I've only started writing music sin