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.
The idiosyncratic-sounding quartet, Skittish, from St. Paul, Minnesota have released their newest album, Two Legs Bad. Since their inception, the band has maintained a steady trajectory through the indie wilderness; playing SXSW and Summerfest and opening for some notable acts including The Lone Bellow.
Members include Jeff Noller, Brianna Tagg, Jeremy Krueth and Lazarus Ulysses Clearwater. Skittish began as Noller’s recording side project when his college band reached the end of the line. He was content to explore his potent musical ideas alone in his basement until he met Brianna Tagg, a classically trained pianist and voice major, whose knack for ear wormy melodies offset Noller’s neo-folk sensibilities. Jeremy Krueth and Lazarus Ulysses Clearwater rounded out the band, having been bouncing their rhythm section off the walls of dark Midwest clubs for years.
The title of their newest record, Two Legs Bad, was pulled from a line in George Orwell’s Animal Farm and is one of the many literary, economic and historical references peppered throughout the album.
Small Bear Records are happy to announce their latest release, the Over The Ash Tree EP by Dave Woodgett. You may download it via bandcamp.
Woodgett is a 23 year old musician from Norwich. After recently moving to the Isle of Man, Over The Ash Tree was recorded on the stage of a local music venue co-founded by Woodgett, using only an acoustic guitar and a drum kit. Woodgett’s music was brought to the attention of Small Bear Records via his pal Jon Price, also band-member of Small Bear Records’ Veto. Veto are Jon Price, Paul Nicholson, Maz Norton and Simon Densham.
Price suggested Small Bear Records founder, Phil Reynolds, give a listen to Woodgett’s material, so he did. What he heard was three songs of stripped-down, swampy magnificence, reminiscent, possibly, of early Black Keys or maybe La Hell Gang, Other Lives or Ty Segall.
Singer-songwriter Kalsey Kulyk moved to Las Vegas at the age of 19 to work with famed record producer, Richard Dashut (Fleetwood Mac). She had a successful debut EP in 2014 and headed right back into the studio to follow it up with the uplifting single “Rewind.” The song has poignant lyrics which paint a picture of someone finally saying goodbye to the heartbreak and chaos left behind by a past love. It also possesses a lush sound with big percussion, untamed banjo, and warm vocals.
A native of Hudson Bay, Saskatchenwan, Kulyk’s battle with cancer at the age of seventeen inspired her to adopt the mantra, Sing And Be Heard — one that she has carried with her throughout her musical journey. Her infectious mix of country storytelling and whimsical folk instrumentation is filled with messages of hope, strength, and perseverance.
Have a listen to “Rewind” via the player below or via Soundcloud. Plus, you may view the official video via YouTube.
“Rewind” by Kalsey Kulyk
Image and mp3 courtesy of Sera Roadnight of M T Press
As a teenager living in London, Patti Yang found herself smack dab in the early 90’s electronic music bloom. By the time Yang had developed her own musical voice, she was being courted by Sony and Warner Music in Poland. Yang’s impressive CV includes solo support for the Depeche Mode and over 10 major film score credits. Since the early 2000′s, Yang has delivered a steady stream of stunning EP’s and acclaimed remixes that have drawn comparisons to Zola Jesus and Icona Pop.
Yang was introduced as a solo artist in the UK in 2012 when she teamed up with Hurt’s breakthrough producer Joe Cross on two EPs, Wires and Sparks and Hold Your Horses. Shortly after releasing her last EP, she decamped to Joshua Tree, California for several months to write and begin tracking her full-length follow up, War On Love. The album was her first to be recorded partially in the US and the textured soundscapes hint at the psychedelic heritage of the Californian dessert.
Earlier this year she returned to London to flesh out the recordings with her trusted bandmates, combining her electronic sketches with live instrumentation to achieve a lush blend of ice-cool, boundary pushing pop. The release date for War On Love is undecided.
Portland, Oregon-based northwest soul band, My Brothers and I, deliver an eclectic mix of pop on their debut album Don’t Dream Alone, released on September 18 via Expunged Records.
My Brothers and I bring a wide range of influences to their music, creating sounds that are melodic, soulful, and danceable. Their eleven-track collection is comprised of warm vocal harmonies, luscious grooves, and undeniable melodies.
The band is comprised of brothers David (lead vocals), Erik (bass and vocals) and Scott Wurgler (drums); plus childhood friends Jordan Roach (guitar) and Johnny Iliyn (keys and vocals). With this studio album, the quintet represents the idea of dreaming unselfishly. “People dream for themselves everyday,” comments lead singer David Wurgler, “but when you dream with or for other people amazing things can happen.”
Album highlights include the bright album opener “Dream,” the upbeat love song “Maddy Brown,” the late-night, dark soul of “Na Na Na,” the subtle funk of “Stay Here,” and the sparse and haunting album closer, “Scars.”
Indie-pop trio, Wilhelm Tell Me released the single “Growing Younger” via Nordpolrecords on September 7. Bandmates hailing from Hamburg and Copenhagen include Henning Sommer (vocals, guitars, keys), Matthias Kranz (bass, backing vocals) and Paul Kaiser (Drums).
Last May in Los Angeles, Sommer met with Lars Stalfors, producer and key player for The Mars Volta. The two decided to work together to release this and four other songs on an EP titled A Short Story For the Road.
“Crashing Planes” is another track found on that EP. You may view its official video via YouTube. And, you may stream songs from WTM via SoundCloud.
The powerfully dynamic folk rock trio out of San Diego, California, The Liquorsmiths, are known for their eclectic arrangements, compelling energy and poetic story-telling. Their style has recently been compared to Wilco meets Delta Spirit meets My Brightest Diamond, but retains a style and musicality all their own. Members hail from San Francisco and San Diego, California and New York, New York.
The group typically performs as a trio, but frequently features guest appearances by friends and family. Additionally, the group’s frontman, Drew Thams, is also known to perform solo when debuting new material. The Liquorsmiths have shared the stage with a variety of artists, including Mike Pope, The Marshall Tucker Band, William Walter, John C. Reilly, and many others.
After years of singing for film and television, background singing for numerous artists, performing at Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and the Special Olympic Opening Ceremonies, singer and composer Loren Smith is stepping out on his own.
Backed by the producing team of Josh Stevens of LMFAO fame and K-Kov from Israel’s The Voice comes “Beautiful Smile”, an uptempo feel good track combining soul and pop music written by Smith. He has performed hundreds of concerts throughout United States, Canada and overseas, bringing his music to thousands of people worldwide. He has been lovingly referred to as The Luther Vandross of the next generation. Last week, in honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, Smith offered his fans a live version of his new single “Beautiful Smile” for Free download on Soundcloud.
You may view the video for “Beautiful Smile” via YouTube.
“My goal is to always perform with Integrity, Excellence, Passion and Skill, and to teach everyone, as I’m learning, to love themselves and each other better.” ~ Loren Smith
Valley Shine was distilled from a love of whiskey, cats and bluegrass music. In early 2014, Jenna Blake was in search of a writing partner with an appreciation for folk music who shared her passion for songwriting. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Blake was influenced by traditional bluegrass music and roots rock like CCR, CSNY and Joni Mitchell. Blake discovered Sam Sobelman and the two met up to see if there was any musical chemistry. After a couple of writing sessions influenced by whisky, laughs and some banjo pluckin’, they quickly discovered their songwriting styles were a perfect match.
Commuting between Orange County and Los Angeles, Blake and Sobelman began to develop their unique folk-pop sound. They wanted to be more than an acoustic duo, so they sought other members to complete the band’s sound and enhance their artistic energy. The pair enlisted Troy Lawton (drums), Danny Severance (violinist), Myke Wilken (guitar/cello), and Stewart James (bass). Valley Shine’s debut EP is titled LOCA. You may view the Mikme live version of the track “Sugar Dream” via YouTube.