West Coast Beats: The Dark Pop Of Zosia

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Zosia is many things. She is a singer, producer and songwriter. She is a dark-pop lyricist inspired by the philosophies of Isaac Asimov and Pythagoras. She is the spirit of her grandmother also named Zosia, a seamstress who fled Poland during World War II for a better life. Los Angeles based Zosia (born Anneke Lada) began writing songs at the age of nine. As she matured into her teens and early twenties, she began honing in her own philosophy, one that reflected her growing need to create a sense of meaning.

With a diverse set of influences, today Zosia creates alternative electro-pop with elements of trip hop, rock and alternative R&B. Using her strong vocals and cinematic synths, Zosia has built a world of her own filled with strength and knowing. With lyrics focusing on overcoming depression, anxiety and finding fulfillment, the songwriter explores solutions in her intricately introspective music.

Zosia’s debut single entitled ‘Water’ released in fall 2017 received critical acclaim and was lauded by Live Nation’s One’s To Watch as “a bold entrance into the music scene.” Her highly anticipated upcoming single ‘Overthrown‘ is a stunningly poignant product of her frustration with society’s treatment of sexual assault victims.

‘Overthrown’ perfectly articulates the songwriter’s pent-up thoughts and emotions through layered vocals, honest lyricism and ethereal synths. ‘Overthrown’ was written to encourage others to change their perception of victims, to help each other heal and understand that abuse doesn’t have to be a permanent scar or lifelong struggle. Zosia confides, “As a victim myself, I have spent my life battling shame and issues of self worth. I was depressed and angry for ever other victim who has faced and will face this sort of dismissal of their pain.” Zosia has succeeded in composing a beautifully raw anthem that embodies the range of emotions that so many women deal with on a daily basis. “We don’t have to be either vulnerable or strong; vulnerability is just another form of strength” explains Zosia.

 

ARTIST LINKS

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A Modern-Day Civil Rights Song About Police Shootings by Phil Cook

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Phil Cook’s new single “Another Mother’s Son,” is now available.

The track is a a modern-day civil rights song about police shootings, and a plea for community in a world full of disconnect.

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Cook enlisted hip-hop artist and slam-poetry champion Kane Smego to help write this deeply personal track.

Cook says, “We live in a society that is both connected and increasingly apathetic toward the human experience. As a parent, I know that having fears and worries for my children is universal to the role. However, to be the parent of a black child in America is to send your kid out the door each day with a target on their body. This is a worry that my family will never know. We exist in the same communities, but the systematic injustice of our country has divided us into two different worlds. Empathy begins when we share in the fight for protecting black children from the disproportionate violence that they face in their everyday experience.”

CLICK HERE FOR PHIL’S FULL STATEMENT   

Cook heads out on tour on June 7, kicking things off with a performance at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC. He also joins Daniel Norgren on the road for a few dates in July and August. Cook is also confirmed for the 2018 Pickathon Music Festival in Happy Valley Oregon August 3-5, as well as ACL Music Festival in Austin, TX Oct. 12-14.

Tour Dates

6/7 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle %
6/8 – Washington DC – Songbyrd %
6/10 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade %
7/31 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom*
8/1 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent*
8/3-5 – Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon
8/7-8 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern*
7/6-7 – Eau Claire, WI – Eaux Claires Music Festival
10/12-14 – Austin, TX – ACL Music Festival

% w/ Jake Xerxes Fussell
*Co-Headline with Daniel Norgren

 

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK     TWITTER

 

Preview and Purchase New Music From Singer Songwriter Ike Reilly

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Indie rock singer-songwriter Ike Reilly’s 7th studio album, Crooked Love, in now available via Rock Ridge Music.

Since his major label debut, Reilly has been making punk/folk/blues influenced rock ’n’ roll records that lean heavily on stories of outsiders with keen details and broad strokes that insinuate a crack in the American dream. Reilly’s band, The Assassination, has been called one of the best live bands in America, and the body of recorded work they’ve turned out has been poetic, rebellious, wholly original, and critically acclaimed.

PREVIEW/PURCHASE CROOKED LOVE

Still, Reilly and co-producer Phil Karnats (Secret Machines, Tripping Daisy, Polyphonic Spree) felt that Reilly’s best takes had never been recorded. The lucidity and rhythm of Reilly’s performances that Karnats had witnessed in hotel rooms, backstage, and on tour buses had never been captured. “I wanted to create a setting where Ike could sing and play guitar at the same time, with the band in the same room… no headphones and minimal isolation,” says Karnats. “There’s always been a freshness to playing the songs together that’s hard to harness when recording in the more common, modern, sense where you do rhythm tracks first, then overdubs and vocals last. This time, Ike did his thing and we developed the arrangements based on his vocal approach, cadence, phrasing, intensity and all that. I think, in the end, we ended up with some killer songs that have a strangely unique, slightly off-center, vibe.”

 

One Crooked Love song that Reilly feels is the lynchpin to the record is “Been Let Down,” which moves from shuffle to backstab in the blip of a heartbeat. The album’s opener, “Livin’ in the Wrong Time,” also evokes a certain kind of “real feel,” with a cool, steely tone and a psychotically festive sonic twist during its ear-grabbing solo section. Crooked Love shares the timeless quality that records that stand the test of time are able to evoke. “I’ve always been trying to get that timeless sense all along, but I think this record actually does do that,” Reilly concedes. “I know I’ve fallen into the modern trap a couple of times in my recordings and with some of my lyrics maybe being a little too in the moment at times, but I hope I’ve been able to achieve something else with the direction and attitude of this one.”

Walking that fine line between being topical and universal is another goal Reilly wanted to attain with this album. “I’m not sure if all the songs reflect what’s going on right now,” Reilly says. “The songs were written under the shadow of all of that, but most people still just need and want love, affection, sex, and the simple pleasures of human contact. I have optimism for society and for its survival, though I am pretty fatalistic in the sense of, ‘This is what it is. It’s right here, it’s right now, and this is it.’ That can either drive you crazy or motivate you to squeeze every last drop out of it, you know?”

 

Reilly plans to tour in support of Crooked Love and recently announced additional tour dates in support of the album release, including a late-June residency at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, and shows in Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, Asbury Park, and Washington, DC. (See tour schedule below for a list of all confirmed dates.)

Tour Dates

May 23rd – Minneapolis, MN – Icehouse (w/Natalie Lovejoy)
May 24th – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music (w/Half Gringa [solo])
May 31st – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Folk Music (w/actor-comedian David Pasquesi)
June 16th – Pittsburgh, PA – Kollar Club
June 20th – Cambridge, MA – Atwood’s
June 21st – Cambridge, MA – Atwood’s
June 22nd – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
June 23rd – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
June 25th – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
June 26th – Asbury Park, NJ – The Saint
June 27th – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
June 28th – Vienna, VA – Jammin’ Java
July 20th – Sturgeon Bay, WI – Makers Space (w/Brett Newski)

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE           FACEBOOK      TWITTER

 

Philly Beats: New Music From Hometown Heroes – Low Cut Connie

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Philly’s Low Cut Connie released their fifth album, Dirty Pictures (Part 2) via Contender Records .

The band travelled from their home turf of South Philadelphia to the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN where they cut their critically-acclaimed 2017 release Dirty Pictures (Part 1).

The record was featured on NPR’s Morning Edition with NPR Music critic Ann Powers claiming “[Adam] Weiner’s songs share something in common with Bruce Springsteen’s. ‘ He’s looking at characters who are a bit on the edge, but who are also all-American,’ she says. ‘This is classic stuff, from Steinbeck to today. And he taps into that on this album in really tender, moving ways.'”

PURCHASE DIRTY PICTURES PART 2

Frontman Adam Weiner recently sat down with Rolling Stone at a diner in South Philly to discuss the record. Jonathan Bernstein wrote ” The new album, the band’s fifth, just may serve as the moment when the rest of the country finds out about the Philadelphia rock & roll outfit, who have developed a small but devoted cult following with their unusually unfiltered, exuberant live performances during the past decade.”

This summer, the band will hit the road for an extensive tour with Social Distortion as well as make appearances at Bonnaroo, Bottle Rock, Newport Folk Festival, Pickathon, Rock The Garden and more. Find a full list of tour dates below.

5/26: Napa Valley, CA – Bottle Rock
5/27: Berkeley, CA – The UC Theatre ^
5/28: Petaluma, CA – Live at Lagunitas ^
6/01: San Francisco, CA – The Masonic #
6/02: Rohnert Park, CA – SOMO Village Event Center #
6/03: Redding, CA – Redding Civic Auditorium #
6/05: Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO #
6/09: Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
6/15: Winnetka, IL – Winnetka Music Fest
6/16: Minneapolis, MN – Rock The Garden
6/27: Columbus, OH – Express Live! #
6/28: Sauget, IL – Pop’s Nightclub #
6/30: Pittsburgh, PA – WYEP Summer Music Festival
7/02: Lincoln, NE – Bourbon Theatre #
7/04: Denver, CO – Fox Street Compound #
7/06: Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot #
7/07: Boise, ID – Knitting Factory #
7/08: Bend, OR – Midtown Ballroom #
7/10: Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory #
7/11: Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre #
7/12: Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre #
7/14: Bozeman, MT – Live From The Divide
7/17: Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
7/18: Newport, KY – The Southgate House Revival
7/28: Newport, RI – Newport Folk Festival
8/3-5: Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon
8/24: Detroit, MI – El Club %
9/02: Bethlehem, PA – Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks
9/15: Los Angeles, CA – Vintage Vibe Festival
9/21-23: Bristol, TN – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
9/22-23: Franklin, TN – Pilgrimage Music Festival

^ – with St. Paul & The Broken Bones
# – with Social Distortion
% – with Tank and the Bangas

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE       FACEBOOK      TWITTER       INSTAGRAM  

 

Nashville Beats: New Music From Gretchen Peters

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Acclaimed Nashville singer/songwriter Gretchen Peters will release her new album Dancing With The Beast on May 18th.

Her new track “Wichita,” Peters says, “a lot of the beginning part of writing the song was sitting down and asking ‘Who is this girl? What happened to her? Just hashing it out and living for a while with this character until we felt like she was real and we had a story that came together.”

Peters previously released the singles “Arguing With Ghosts” on Taste of Country, and “Disappearing Act” via Rolling Stone Country who describes the track as “a vivid portrait of a woman who’s lost too much to care about appearing genteel, Peters’ character sounds like she knows better than to get too comfortable.

There’s a bittersweet beauty to the passing of time — the changes it brings are just as often heartbreaking as they are heartwarming. The inevitable tension that arises from that sway is Gretchen Peters’ most trusted muse.

PURCHASE DANCING WITH THE BEAST

After moving to Nashville in the late 80’s, Peters quickly established herself as both a talented performer and in-demand songwriter, writing songs for Martina McBride, Etta James, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Anne Murray, Shania Twain, and Neil Diamond. She also collaborated with Bryan Adams on the soundtrack of Dreamworks’ animated movie, Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron.

Dancing with the Beast puts female characters at the fore, from teenage girls to old women, and intentionally so. With the 2017 Women’s March and #MeToo Movement as bookends to her writing, Peters knew that a feminist perspective would be the critical core of the record. “Those two events just put everything — as so many things in 2017 — in really stark relief,” she admits. “You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to ‘Independence Day’ and probably before. The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and center. It was very easy to kind of go to sleep for a while and just not think about that stuff because we were lulled into complacency for eight years.”

Beauty tempered by dread, sorrow buoyed by hope, this is the ever-present tug of war that make life worth living and songs worth writing. And they are the over-riding themes that make Gretchen Peters one of her generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters.

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER    YOUTUBE     INSTAGRAM

 

ANGLO FILES: London Grunge Rockers – The Kuts

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Infused with the fuzz of 90’s grunge and alt.rock, The Kut is the alter-ego of multi-instrumentalist, Princess Maha. Live, they’re a trio. Think Deftones, L7, Nirvana, Hole, Lunachicks, Incubus and Placebo. On record, they roar.

Rock category finalist of the UK Songwriting Contest 2017 and Semi-Finalist of the International Songwriting Competition, the hard rocking, female trio’s first full-length album Valley of Thorns debuted in the UK Top 200 (#136) and have confirmed a massive tour in support of the new album.

The Kut will be taking Valley of Thorns on tour this summer, hitting the main stages of some of the hottest independent UK festivals, as well as supporting Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies / Thin Lizzy / Whitesnake) on three dates of his incoming tour. As if that wasn’t a busy enough schedule, The Kut has now announced three weeks of consecutive tour dates across July and August. 

Tour Dates

13/05 BBC INTRODUCING STAGE, TNFOM – BLACKBURN
26/05 STRUMMERCAMP FESTIVAL – OLDHAM
27/05 NICE N SLEAZY FESTIVAL – MORECAMBE
02/06 CAMDEN ROCKS FESTIVAL – LONDON
03/06 ANVIL ROCK BAR – BOURNEMOUTH*
07/06 REBELLION – MANCHESTER*
08/06 CORPORATION – SHEFFIELD*
30/06 RAT INFESTATION 2, FACEBAR – READING
06/07 AMPLIFIED FESTIVAL – GLOUCESTERSHIRE
07/07 THE COTSWOLD INN – CHELTENHAM
14/07 WEMSTOCK FESTIVAL – WEM
22/07 TRAMLINES FRINGE, RS BAR – SHEFFIELD

ARTIST LINKS

WEBSITE    FACEBOOK    TWITTER   INSTAGRAM

Americana Artist: Lydia Luce

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There are some artists who are born to make music. Lydia Luce is such an artist: her mother, a gifted organ and piano player, and her brother, a cellist. Luce’s first instrument was viola, and by age 13 she was performing with her mother’s orchestra. Set to release her debut full-length album, Azalea , on August 17, her music combines her classical training with Americana and folk influences for a collection that feels organic and comfortable in a way that only lifelong talent can create. The album’s second single, “Helen,” premiered with Folk Radio , and is now available.

Luce worked with Jordan Lehning and Skylar Wilson for the album, which she wrote after she moved from Los Angeles to Nashville. Azalea offers 10 tracks that span everything from loss and heartbreak to new infatuations and all-consuming love – a complete collection of human emotions. The first single, “Sausalito,” provides Luce’s insight into a universal experience: missing a relationship but knowing it wasn’t quite the right time. “Helen” is a love song; an imaginative extension of Harry R. Truman’s story, the eccentric and infamous keeper of the Mt. St. Helens Lodge who refused to leave when the volcano erupted in 1980. “Like You Do” is a quintessential tale of loss, Luce’s voice lilting above all the reasons to not forget someone – a combination of comfortable recollections and what it feels like to be the person remembering them. Title track “Azalea” adds a gritty guitar to the collection, a look at human interactions and ways they can be complicated.

The record was written after moving from Los Angeles to Nashville. Some of the songs are reflections of my time out west and the unbelievable nature that I miss,” Luce said. “I have spent a lot of time in beautiful places with people that I love and my mind often wanders to those memories and relationships.”

Luce grew up in South Florida, where her mother conducted her own symphony orchestra. For Luce, her instrument of choice was viola; later adding guitar to her set of prodigious talents. By age 13 she was performing with her mother’s orchestra, Ars Flores. She studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., and earned a master’s degree in viola performance from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Her first EP, The Tides , landed in 2015. She followed that debut with a finish as finalist in the 2016 Rocky Mountain Folk Fest songwriting competition and hit the road as a fiddle player for Sam Outlaw . In 2017, Luce graced the stages of Merlefest and AmericanaFest , as well touring as an opening artist for singer-songwriter Peter Bradley Adams .

 

ARTIST LINKS

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