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We Can Die Happy
Mutually Detrimental

Visit Tennis at Facebook and iTunes

This indie pop duo comprising husband and wife Patrick Riley (guitar, keyboards, production) and Alaina Moore (vocals, keyboards) have release “We Can Die Happy”, a five-track EP. This work follows closely on the heels of the year’s earlier album release “Yours Conditionally”. While the album is worthy of attention, there’s reason to show favor for the EP. It’s technically a bit better than the album and the songs have an edge with their very upbeat mood as in the pop “Born to be Needed” or the danceable “Diamond Rings”. This Pick of the Week is sure to make you feel good and put a smile on your face.

Sequoyah Tiger
Morr Music

Visit Sequoyah Tiger at Facebook and iTunes

Leila Gharib’s release features off-centered electro-pop. Her unconventional or idiosyncratic songs are melodious and sometimes dreamy or other-worldly. But the music tracks are really only part of the story. Gharib is a gifted performance artist and her self-directed videos are very much a part of the Sequoyah Tiger tableau in the sense that she really does put forth an artistic grouping of audio and visual arts. If you’re wanting to indulge or give yourself up to the avante guarde then you do not want to miss out on this release. Don’t overlook the videos as part of the artist’s creative exhibition.

Elizabeth Ziman, who performs as Elizabeth and the Catapult, is a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter from New York, living and working in Brooklyn. She’s toured​ with the likes of Sara Bareilles​ and Sara Bareilles; collaborated with Esperanza Spalding, Gillian Welch, Blake Mills​ and ​Ben Folds; scored, with Paul Brill, a variety of international award-winning documentaries including Trapped, a Peabody winner; and won the 2015 Independent Music Award for Songwriting, Folk category. Her songs have been featured in national television campaigns for Google, Amazon, Sky TV, and “​So You Think You Can Dance”​. In 2014, “Like it Never Happened” her third studio album was released by 30 tigers and produced by Dan Molad, Peter Lalish and Paul Loren with string arrangements by Rob Moose. In 2015 “Like it Never happened” was nominated for best album, best song, and best video by The 14th Annual Independent Music Awards and “Someday Soon” won the award in the “Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song” category. In October, “Keepsake” was released and was HorizonVU Music’s pick of the week

HVUM: Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us! We feel like we know quite a bit about your musical history from the time of your growing up in Greenwich Village, your training as a classical pianist, and your connection with Patti Austin and other prominent musicians. We understand that Elizabeth & the Catapult came into existence in 2004, and included Danny Molad on drums and Danny Molad on guitar.

Would you fill out the history a bit? Tell us about how Elizabeth & the Catapult came to be. Was the project conceived with a special identity and sonic signature in mind?

EZ: I started writing songs throughout college and when I left school, I moved to new york with some other college buddies and we started recording our first self titled EP at home. A year or two later it caught the attention of Verve Records, and we made our first album “Taller Children”.

HVUM: “Keepsake” is your fourth album following after “Taller Children” (2009), “The Other Side of Zero” (2010) and “Like It Never Happened (2014). Is there a continuity to your music over time? Is there a thread that we can follow from your training at the Berklee College of Music through to today?

EZ: I went to Berklee College of Music for composition and film scoring, so I feel like the main thread across all of my albums is that my ear usually leans towards more cinematic arrangements, sometimes the flourishes give it a bit of a theatrical flare and I have to hold myself back, but in general I’m drawn to layers and wide variety of instrumentals.

HVUM: Thinking back over your musical training and your success at bringing together multiple genres including pop and jazz, who do you consider to be your key influencers? Did you have a certain mentor who played an exceptional role in setting out your musical roadmap?

EZ: when I was very young I was a member of the New York City Young People’s Choir which was run by a brilliant composer and teacher named Francisco Nunez who recently won the MacArthur award for his compositions. By the time I was 10 years old we were competing professionally, and I was singing solos in carnegie hall. I left the chorus by the time I was 12, and I wouldn’t make it back to playing Carnegie Hall until another 15 years later with my band. Both the experiences and Francisco’s unusual classical writing style most definitely had an influence on who I am today.

HVUM: Many of our young readers are setting out in music and frequently ask about the advantages and disadvantages of D.Y. I. vs pursuit of a label. Or maybe there is something in the middle such as what John Kellogg at Berklee refers to as Doing It With Others? What is your point of view?

EZ: As is obvious, the music business over the last five years is in a very precarious position compared to the way things have worked over the last 70 years. Yes, labels shut down, people stopped buying cd’s, and everything became virtually free through digital downloads and streams- but the music business always finds a way so even super popular successful artists decided to break away from labels, start their own, and start getting involved in Kickstarter campaigns. I myself raised money for the last two albums on pledge music, and even though I’m not signed to compass, the whole album was funded by my fans. That’s a very lucky thing- and is becoming more commonplace everyday.

HVUM: With respect to “Keepsake”, You’ve stated that the lyrical ideas came to you from lucid dreams. Would you elaborate on that a bit and relate your dream experience(s) to one of the album’s standout tracks “Underwater”?

EZ: Ha. Yes, I had a terrible flu a couple winters ago when I was moving into a new house and started having fever dreams, so as my dreams got stranger I began writing everything down for posterity. There were a lot of nostalgic dreams, and I coupled those with old diary entrees I found when moving- it was as if I was filling in my life backwards through my dreams. And with that was the birth of “Keepsake”.

HVUM: Let’s take time out for a look and listen to “Underwater”, the second track on “Keepsake”.

HVUM: You give attribution for the video to Meredith Adelaide. Tell us about that collaboration and connecting the composition and lyrics to the video production?

EZ: Meredith is incredibly talented, I feel so lucky to have found her. She’s somewhat of an Instagram sensation, so I found her self-portraits online and just fell in love with her photography. Her style is incredibly raw, and somehow both vulnerable and strong at the same time- just super honest. She did a great job of capturing the chaos and joy that is New York City! It was a delight to shoot with her.

HVUM: Imagine that Elizabeth Ziman is a book. What would be the title? Why?

EZ: well my intials are EZ, so maybe “EZ DOES IT” ?

HVUM: Finally, what is on the horizon for you and your work? Any tours ahead?

EZ: Hopefully tons and tons of touring this year! We’re going to Nashville this month, an east coast run in December and then hopefully out to the west coast in January. There will be plenty of running around ahead!

Elizabeth, thanks again for interviewing with us. We wish you continued success and we hope to see you in Paris very soon!

Visit Elizabeth & the Catapult at Facebook and iTunes

Emily Zuzik

Visit Emily Zuzik at Facebook and iTunes

Emily Zuzik first appeared on HorizonVU’s pages in 2011. We’ve been privileged to follow her work since then – The Wild Joys of Living (2011), Detours (2014) and Angelenos (2016). She consistently shows her willingness to cut across all kinds of music including folk, pop, electronica and pop-rock. Amongst her many projects she has collaborated with notables including Moby (Destroyed, 2011) and Tim Lefebvre (Angelenos, 2016).

Emily’s most recent release, “Tender” is a three track collaboration with Geoff Pearlman (recognized composer, singer, guitarist, producer and engineer). The title track is a soulful song, which is on the lighter, pop side of soul. The vocal works well in the mix from Geoff Pearlman (lead guitars, bass, autoharp), Michael Blumstein (keys), Alex Budman (horns) and George Sluppick (drums). The second track, “Ernst Kirchner” (German expressionist painter and printmaker known to be motivated by fears about humanity’s place in the modern world, its lost feelings of spirituality and authenticity) draws somewhat on sensual Teutonism for the vocal, but the blend of Zuzik’s vocals with Gerald Menke’s pedal steel and Tim Lefebvre’s bass gives the song it’s own place. The final song, “Winter In California” is up tempo contemporary country pop-rock, which will likely get you tapping your feet. “Tender” offers three very different recordings each of which is exceptionally performed. In addition to the recorded performances, clearly, Pearlman deserves a thumbs up for mixing and mastering. In part because of its diversity, this is a recording that you can shuffle the tracks on repeat and stay well-connected. Enjoy!

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Sally has helped her clients heal vocal damage, expand vocal range, land a Broadway show, record their own music and tour internationally without vocal fatigue or strain.

The way you sing is a direct result of how you think about singing. When someone yells, “Watch out!” your body tenses When you think, “Watch out! Here comes the high note!” same response Muscles tense to hold the voice-not let it go! Singer Training Video


Darlene Shrugg
Darlene Shrugg
Upset the Rhythm

Visit Darlene Shrugg at Upset the Rhythm and iTunes

Darlene Shrugg brings together Maximilian Turnbull (Slim Twig), Meg Remy (U.S. Girls), Simone TB (Fake Palms), Carlyn Bezic (Ice Cream), and Amanda Crist (Ice Cream). The band isn’t really all that well known. You won’t find them promoting on social media and their live performances are on again, off again, Nevertheless, if it’s hard rock that suits you, this is the album for you. You might start your day with Darlene Shrugg. From the opening track “Inherit the Wind” through to “Freedom Comes in a Plastic Card” you’ll get the adrenaline rush blasting you into the day ahead. There is a softer, beneath the waves track “Strawberry Milk” which will cool you down a bit four tracks into the journey. This is assertive, cocksure rock. There’s plenty of gain, so crank up the volume and go!

Elizabeth & the Catapult

Visit Elizabeth & the Catapult at Facebook and Compass Records

New Yorker Elizabeth Ziman’s (Elizabeth & the Catapult) “Keepsake”, produced by Dan Molad and featuring collaborations with Richard Swift, is our Pick of the Week for three reasons. First, in the big scheme of things, thinking about pop music and a continuum from great pop (Carole King) to undistinguished pop (no names, please), “Keepsake” clearly falls toward the upper end. Second, Elizabeth Ziman’s controlled vocals deserve recognition from the outset. The vocals stand out among singer-songwriters. Further, Ziman’s classical training shines through and her mastery of piano plays a big part in making this album a success (“Magic Chaser”, “Mea Culpa”). Third, technically, the album deserves kudos for the fact that form is consistently well-matched to melody. Dan Molad deserves credit for his role in the production process. This is an album you’ll be able to enjoy, and enjoy again.

Courtney Barnett/ Kurt Vile
Lotta Sea Lice

Visit Courtney Barnett at Facebook and iTunes

Australian singer, songwriter meets up with American singer, songwriter and the outcome is really darn good. Perhaps a bit surprising given stylistic differences; Barnett’s sometimes weird, rambling spoken-word style and Vile’s blend of rock, folk, new wave, and country-pop. The duo does come into alignment, but it seems as though Vile is the dominating influence, i.e., Courtney drifts closer to Kurt’s sonic signature than vice versa (take “Over Everything”, for example). There is some foot tapping to do through “Continental Breakfast” and “Blue Cheese”. This is a nice autumn release; maybe find the groove by thinking bright-colored leaves on sunny New England day. Even if you’re not into one artist or the other, or both, open up and give it a listen.

[Traduction française ci-dessous]


For the first time, the International Songwriters’ Retreat will take place in Merlimont, France, from the 16th to the 21st of April, 2018.The retreat will take place in beautiful woodland, and in walking distance of the Golden Merlimont beaches. Add to this the fully furnished lodges, bar, and super restaurant, and it’s the ideal setting for singer/songwriters in which to create great music!

The retreat is run by the two well-established artists, Eva Hillered and Annika Fehling from Sweden, on request from the production team behind the artist services company, HorizonVU Music.

“We are so excited to start this in France together with HorizonVU Music.” Annika Fehling says.

“We have heard so many times how a retreat can have a revolutionary effect on musicians’ lives, and so it was for us too, when we started. It’s nothing magical or strange. We have a clear structure around our work, and when you add that frame to a group of creative and talented artists, then anything can happen!”

“In addition to the amazing songs that are always created on the retreats, they have an enormous impact on people’s lives and careers. They help songwriters to develop and to find new ways to reach out with their music in the world.” says Eva Hillered. “It’s easy to lose hope in an industry that’s so narrow and competitive. Here amazing new opportunities are presented through people’s cooperation, experience and networking.”

Tony Taylor says: “When I first heard about Annika’s and Eva’s retreats, I was intrigued. ”Their mission to create a place for community, inspiration and support amongst dedicated songwriters fits in well with HorizonVU’s beliefs, and although our company specializes in assisting female artists, we are only too happy to support all genders via the Merlimont International Songwriters’ Retreat!”

HorizonVU Music celebrates the independent music community by providing a broad range of business services to female emerging musicians in the global world of popular music. The event will be marketed and promoted internationally.

Eva Hillered is a Grammy nominated Swedish artist with 10 released CDs, touring in Europe and USA with her music. She is the author of the bestselling book about songwriting “Lathund för låtskrivare”, which has been called “the Swedish Songwriting Bible” in the Swedish press.

Annika Fehling is a world-touring Swedish singer songwriter with currently 12 CDs released. She has participated in the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest, produces the Visbyfestival and Living Room Concert Series in Gotland, and writes music for theatre and exhibitions as well.


The total cost to participants is 750€. Fill in the information below and send a 100€ non-refundable deposit to secure you place at the retreat to:

International Songwriters Retreat’s PayPal account: . If you have any problems with this E-mail ( Eva and Annika)

We will send a confirmation as soon as we receive your registration fee (part of the payment of the retreat – but not refundable)

The information should contain this info:

Year of birth:

Tell us with a couple of lines your experience of songwriting

The form should be sent to either or

HorizonVU Music – Atelier !

Les Auteurs-Compositeurs-Interprètes du monde se rassembleront à Merlimont !

Pour la première fois, un atelier internationale pour les auteurs-compositeurs aura lieu à Merlimont (France) du 16 au 21 avril 2018.

L’atelier se déroulera dans une région boisée à quelques pas des plages magnifiques de Merlimont. Ajoutez à cela les chalets entièrement meublés, le bar et le superbe restaurant, et c’est le cadre idéal pour les chanteurs/compositeurs dans lequel créer de la bonne musique!

L’atelier est dirigé par les deux artistes bien établis, Eva Hillered et Annika Fehling de Suède, à la demande de l’équipe de production de la société de services aux artistes HorizonVU Music.”Nous sommes très heureux de commencer en France avec HorizonVU Music.” déclare Annika Fehling.
”Nous avons entendu tant de fois comment un atelier pour les auteurs-compositeurs peut avoir un effet révolutionnaire sur la vie des musiciens, et c’était aussi le cas pour nous, quand nous avons commencé. Ce n’est pas de la magie ou étrange. Nous avons une structure claire autour de notre travail et quand vous ajoutez ce cadre à un groupe d’artistes créatifs et talentueux, alors tout peut arriver!”

”En plus des chansons étonnantes qui sont toujours créés dans les ateliers, ils ont un impact énorme sur la vie et la carrière des gens. Ils aident les auteurs-compositeurs à développer et à trouver de nouvelles façons d’atteindre le monde avec leur musique.” dit Eva Hillered. ”Il est facile de perdre espoir dans une industrie si étroite et compétitive. Cette nouvelle opportunité exceptionnelle est présentée grâce à la coopération, à l’expérience et au travail en réseau des gens.”

Tony Taylor dit: ”Quand j’ai entendu parler des ateliers d’Annika et d’Eva, j’ai été intrigué. Leur mission est de créer un lieu de communauté, d’inspiration et de soutien parmi les auteurs-compositeurs dévoués, tout en respectant les croyances d’HorizonVU. Bien que notre entreprise soit spécialisée dans l’aide aux artistes féminins, nous sommes très heureux de soutenir aussi les artistes masculins avec l’atelier des auteurs-compositeurs à Merlimont.”

HorizonVU Music célèbre la communauté musicale indépendante en offrant une vaste gamme de services aux femmes émergentes dans le monde de la musique populaire. L’événement sera commercialisé et promu internationalement.

Eva Hillered est une artiste suédoise nommée aux Grammy avec 10 CD sortis, tournée en Europe et aux USA avec sa musique. Elle est l’auteur du livre à succès sur l’écriture de chansons «Lathund för låtskrivare», qui a été appelé «la Bible suédoise des auteurs-compositeurs» dans la presse suédoise.

Annika Fehling est une auteure-compositrice-interprète de renommée mondiale avec 12 disques actuellement en production. Elle a participé au Concours Suédois de l’Eurovision de la Chanson, produit le Visbyfestival et le Living Room Concert Series à Gotland, et écrit de la musique pour le théâtre et les expositions.


L’atelier comprend les activités suivantes:

Cercles de chansons:

Les participants se réunissent en cercle et jouent des chansons les uns pour les autres, préalablement écrits ou co-écrits pendant le cours.

Co-écrit assigné:

Avec l’aide des préférences des partcipants, les leaders associent les auteurs-compositeurs à des paires de compositeurs, et la majeure partie de la journée est consacrée à l’écriture ensemble, qui comprend des exercices d’écriture de chansons. Le matériel est ensuite joué dans les cercles de chansons, et des commentaires sur les chansons seront offerts.

Préchauffage du corps et de la voix:

Eva Hillered dirigera un réchauffement du corps et de la voix tous les jours.

Cercle du matin:

Annika Fehling mène un cercle de bienvenue quotidien.

Concert de l’atelier:

Un concert aura lieu à la fin de la semaine!

Le Prix

Le coût pour les participants est de 750 Euros.

Early Bird: 50 Euros de réduction avant le 15 janvier 2018.

Nous pouvons également organiser un plan de paiement si cela est nécessaire pour rendre votre présence possible.

Ce prix comprend:

Salle de bain et douche, WC, Cuisine avec micro-ondes, Cafetière, Réfrigérateur, Cuisinière, Tables et chaises, Couverts, Assiettes, Serviettes, Téléphone. Wifi est également disponible dans le bar, et il y a un service de blanchisserie.
Un petit-déjeuner buffet et un dîner de trois plats (avec du vin) sont servis tous les jours au restaurant Club Vacanciel.


1. Allez sur la page d’accueil HorizonVU Music

2. Remplissez le formulaire.

3. Réservez votre place à l’atelier en payant 100 Euros d’acompte (non remboursable).

Pour plus d’informations et de questions – Contactez-nous!

Annika Fehling – (Questions sur l’atelier)

Eva Hillered – (Questions sur l’atelier)

Tony Taylor – (Questions sur l’emplacement et le voyage)

The World
First World Record
Upset the Rhythm

Visit The World at Upset The Rhythm and iTunes

Lots of good recordings out there this week, but in the end the HorizonVU pick goes to The Word for their release “First World Record” on Upset the Rhythm. This album is juiced up post-punk. If you can imagine X-Ray Spex minus Poly Styrene with some Slits here and there and some LiLiPUT combined with a signature wicked sax duo – you’re pretty much there. The Oakland-based band features Amber Sermeno on bass and vocals, Elyse Schrock on drums and vocals, guitarist Andy Jordan, Alexa Pantalone on bongos and Stanley Martinez on sax. Pantalone and Martinez are the saxophonists contributing in a big way to the band’s sonic signature. The album takes off with “Hot Shopper” which streaks by in under two minutes, but you’ll enjoy boppin’ along. “Chet Baker”and “Namaste” really deliver what it seems fair to say is the band’s sound. The album closes out with “I Fell in Love With a Slumlord” a melodic in sort of scratchy way accompanied by a heavy dose of sax. This is the kind of album that makes one want to see the live show. It just screams fun! Read more about this band and follow the tour schedule at Brooklyn Vegan.

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