Texas musical maniac Andy Evans‘ latest record, Miracle is a representation of everything that makes this kind of music great. A soulful poet, his straightforward guitar-playing accompanies vivid lyrics that show his knack for poignant storytelling. Evans shares his boundless creativity and ongoing experiences through introspective live performances and polished recordings. He has been inspired by great classic rock, folk and alt-country artists and musical philosophers, including Rush, The Allman Brothers Band, Tom Petty, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Shovels & Rope, Jack White and Ryan Adams.
Evans’ solo debut, Miracle is a sultry, saucy and bittersweet mix of groove-heavy songs that stroll through stories of love, heartbreak, joy and hope.
Evans grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, where there was a steady stream of songs in his childhood home. He was introduced to Texas country, gospel and the red dirt music that was coming out of Oklahoma after joining the Navy and getting stationed in Ingleside, Texas. Moved by the sound, he began to write his own songs as a release and a way to document his journey.
Now blazing a new trail with his solo career, Evans has been active for many years on the local music scene in central Texas, playing guitar, singing and building a following as the front man of the blues-rock outfit Andy Evans & The Brotherhood. He has played shows with Brandon Rhyder, Sam Riggs and has frequently collaborated with North Texas singing-songwriting fixture Clayton Landua of Six Market Blvd.
With his feet planted in Austin, Texas, Evans is currently putting together a series of live shows in support of his first release. Miracle will be available in January 2016.
“Miracle” by Andy Evans
NYC-based singer-songwriter Jordan Okrend premiered the new music video for his soulful single “Go My Way” on PureVolume. The music video was made gorilla-style, shooting in the chaotic streets and subway systems of NYC.
“Go My Way” is from Okrend’s new release, World Keeps Turnin’. The album can be streamed in full via SoundCloud.
Okrend blends the old school with the contemporary. From his love of artists such as John Lennon, Marvin Gaye and Bob Marley, Okrend struck upon his own soulful sound; vintage pop imbued with an infectious jazzy, bluesy-rock edge and socially conscious lyrics.
Okrend released his first two EP’s, Unpredictable and Rising Up, between 2010 and 2012 while attending Berklee College of Music in Boston and supported both releases by performing throughout the East Coast in North Carolina, New York and Boston. Okrend, like his trusty Martin acoustic, which has accompanied him since he began his musical journey, has now seen thousands of performances and has gained a lot of attitude along the way.
“World Keeps Turnin” by Jordan Okrend
Like his hero Jim Morison, singer-songwriter, Ted West, carries around a book of poetry he started as a teenager. Many of the songs on his latest album, True West, were drawn from those poems. The collection has been compared to Nick Cave and Chris Isaaks. The full album is available for streaming via Soundcloud.
West’s covers of Marianne Faithfull and Leonard Cohen showcase a keen ability to crawl inside and breathe new life into the already iconic songs. He premiered his lead-off single “Bittersweet Decent” on Popdose who noted “West’s sound walks the line between urban decay and psychedelia, often melding the two together to create a sound that’s modern Los Angeles.”
“Bittersweet Decent” by Ted West
Vancouver singer-songwriter, Andre Chrys, delivers roots rock songs that blend eclectic influences from rock, classic pop, Americana, blues, and soul. Chrys began his music career in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He paid his dues in hardworking bands that toured across Canada, playing clubs and festivals. Life, love and reality took him down a dozen different roads since then, finally drawing him to the west coast. Window to Nowhere is a new record, with an old soul. It introduces colorful characters, and themes of love and loss.
Chrys has always responded to music with a timeless quality to it. He considers Tom Waits, Townes van Zandt, and Steve Earle “some of the real greats.”
Chrys explains the inspiration for the title track, available on cdbaby: “I have a room at home where I do most of my writing and recording. It has a window that looks out onto the wall of the house right next to mine. It’s East Van, and the houses are built really close to each other. I’m not even sure why they put the window in the room in the first place. It’s literally a window to nowhere. I’m trying to capture that desperate, out-on-a-ledge feeling you get when the walls are closing in around you. I’m sure that most people who live in shoebox-sized digs in Vancouver can relate.”
Accompanying Andre on Window To Nowhere are long-time bandmates Jeff Younger (guitar), Bill Briscall (bass), and Mike Magnusson (drums). Guest musicians lending their talents to the record include Aiden Briscall (violin) and Tyson Naylor (organ and accordion).
“Window To Nowhere” by Andre Chrys
British Columbia sweethearts, Violet Night, have crafted a distinct sound described as “deeply emotional indie pop magic” with their debut EP, I Hope You’re Well. The band’s vocalist and guitarist Connor Pohl is also known for his work in City Light Vigil.
There is a depth to the sound on this album, and a profound artistry to Violet Night’s sonic constructions. Visit examiner.com for more on the four-track EP. Plus, have a listen to the entire EP via SoundCloud.
“I Hope You’re Well” by Violet Night
From a young age, musical theatre gave Sarah Petrella a great opportunity to gain experience performing and honing her writing abilities. At 15, Petrella left for Nashville to write and record with several prominent musicians including the famed songwriter, Don Goodman. Petrella continued onto a successful career in musical theatre, but was still drawn back to songwriting, her true love and passion.
In Petrella’s music one can hear elements of folk, rock, blues, and country, with her main influences ranging from Patty Griffin to Grace Potter and Bonnie Raitt. KCRW describes Petrella’s vocal stylings ranging “from light fun, to Broadway, to alt-folk rock.” She covered Pearl Jam’s “Daughter” and KCRW called her rendition “strong, sweet and I think better than the original, which is a classic.”
Her latest single, “Mister Mystery,” showcases her sultry vocals and dramatic tendencies as she evokes intense passion in this bewitching tale. The dark melodies and grooving rhythms delve into a steamy story of romance. View the official music video for “Mister Mystery” via YouTube.
Petrella hopes that her music, derived from her life experiences and relationships, will connect with people on a deep and personal level. Have a listen to more of Sarah Petrella on SoundCloud.
“Dancing with the Devil” by Sarah Petrella
Upstate New York psych rock prodigies Debris of Titan have been crafting and recording songs since they were in elementary school. Childhood friends Winston Dunlop and Michael Diaz met in the 5th grade and quickly bonded over their love for Joy Division and Animal Collective. But their mature musical tastes weren’t the only thing they had in common; both possessed a dizzying talent for playing multiple instruments.
Debris of Titan combine world sounds, blending acid jazz with dreamy pop melodies, hip hop groves and freaky folk progressions to create new psychedelic, progressive rock that is worth taking note of. Needless to say, they have developed a pretty far out musical language, drawing comparisons to Tame Impala, MGMT and King Crimson. Their EP, On The Home Slope, was released on October 23.
When these boys were 12 years old, they formed their first band Retro Lake and their first album was released in 2010 when they were 14. Their second album came out two years later at which point Dunlop and Diaz reevaluated the bands sound and switched their moniker to Debris of Titan.
Howl & Echoes included Debris of Titan’s debut single “Anime” in their Ten Best Songs of the Week, noting the track manages to “somehow feel both vintage and futuristic, it’s like if Animal Collective and Tame Impala took acid and had a sunny, funky, lo-fi baby.” Have a look at the list here.
The duo also premiered “Anime” via PopMatters. And, they premiered “What’s In My Cocoon” via Sunset in the Rearview.
Have a listen to more of Debris of Titan via SoundCloud and Bandcamp.
“Anime” and “What’s In My Cocoon” by Debris of Titan
Las Vegas-based rockers Rabid Young premiered their first single, as a prelude to their debut EP, on PopMatters who noted the bands “grandiose synth pop holds nothing back on its cinematic groove.” Check out the PopMatters Premiere. “Not Enough” is off the bands forthcoming, EP 1, which was released on October 2.
Next, their single “Beautiful Things” premiered on A Music Blog, Yea? who branded the single an “infectious electro-pop tune.”
In addition, the band premiered their video for “Pieces” on MySpace. Seriously? Does MySpace still exist?
Have a listen to more of Rabid Young via SoundCloud.
In 2014, Las Vegas musician Eric Rickey (lead vocals, guitar and keys) found himself at the end of a well-traveled road wondering where to go next. That year Rickey’s previous band, Most Thieves, had opened for the Killers through Europe and Canada, playing arenas and getting a taste of international success. Back in Vegas, Rickey joined up with friend and fellow musician Jackson Wilcox (bass) and the two began plotting their new endeavor with fellow Most Thieves alum Bobby Lee Parker (guitar), as well as Matthew Long (drummer for Roky Erickson) and Alex Stopa (Drums). Later, Megan Wingerter (keys) and Mason Bundschuh (guitar) joined the group.
With Rickey’s studio, Electric Animal, at their disposal, the group began experimenting with instrument layering; cutting layers into snippets and looping them into ambient hooks, essentially sampling themselves.
“Pieces”, “Not Enough” and “Beautiful Things” by Rabid Young
Back in the mid- to late-eighties The Train Set emerged from the Crewe/Winsford indie music scene to make an impact on the Manchester and Liverpool gig circuit. The band released two 12″ singles which both broke the Indie Chart and performed at venues across the country. Clive Jones (vocals), Andy Boote (guitars) and Mark Shaw (Bass) met at school. They recruited Adam Halford (drums) from Winsford and Dave Hassall (keyboards) from Chester.
The new compilation album Never California was released on Firestation Records on September 7. It features The Train Set’s highly sought after singles including “She’s Gone” which was the title track of the band’s first record. This compiliation also contains previously unreleased tracks. The original members have come together to oversee the release of this retrospective album, providing a vital listening experience and an opportunity to discover their material again, or perhaps for the first time.
“She’s Gone” by The Train Set
The latest effort from Winnipeg-based, singer-songwriter Elessar Thiessen was released on June 10 and is titled A Rainy Week in Paradise. It is a reflection of the growing influence of blues guitar licks in a modern pop rock context. It exposes us to longing, angst and agony, fear and shattered confidence, and yet comes through it all with hope and joy, rooted in love, truth and deep faith.
Filled with all sorts of tasty musical twists and turns, the ebb and flow of what Thiessen does on the album is inspirational. Members for the album include Cam Friesen (drums, percussion); Brody Britton (percussion); David Landreth (bass); Jordan Jackiew (organ, piano); Alexa Dirks (vocals); Catherine Wylee (supporting vocals); and Thiessen himself on vocals, guitar, organ, piano and programming.
Stream or purchase the record via bandcamp. And, for a glimpse of a new song taking shape, watch the video for “A Song in Carlsbad” via Youtube.
“A Rainy Week in Paradise” by Elessar Thiessen