Karen Elson, the British model and musician, has released her second album following a seven year hiatus since the release of “The Ghost Who Walks”. Elson’s “Double Roses” brings to mind the singer-songwriters of Laurel Canyon and the counterculture musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Carole King. The album has numerous highlights, but “Hell and High Water,” “Raven,” and most certainly “Distant Shore” cannot be passed by. This is an album not to be missed.
Sallie Ford’s second album “Soul Sick” is all about…well…soul sickness or those feelings and emotions that give rise to fear, anxiety and troubles of living in one’s own skin. Ford is certainly not the first to pick up on the themes of the album, but what makes this recording worth the time is her energy and abililty to bring together disparate sounds such as retro Top 40, rock, and psychedelia. Check it out!
Alabama native Allison Crutchfield has released her first solo album “Tourist in This Town”. Produced by Jeff Zeigler, the album makes use of Zeigler’s knowlege of synthesizer music lending space to the recording. As for Crutchfield she artfully captures feelings of that go with breakups (anger and sadness), but the listener won’t feel trapped in the past. It’s clear that Crutchfield has moved forward. While there’s a sense of popishness on the album there’s still plenty of rock influence.
Rachel Browne and Andrew Futral (Field Mouse) Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez
Field Mouse is a four-piece dream pop band from Brooklyn, NY. Seamlessly interweaving influences from shoegaze, indie, and power pop, Field Mouse offers lush sonic textures and expansive soundscapes to complement the airy, wistful vocals of singer/guitarist Rachel Browne. Through complex and delicate harmonies, the songwriting of Browne and guitarist Andrew Futral breathes new life into common themes of lost love and renewal.The band has been honing its sound since its formation in 2010, and has solidified its lineup with the recent addition of bassist Danielle DePalma and drummer Geoff Lewit. Their first release on Small Plates Records (http://smallplatesrecs.com/) finds the group realizing its musical vision, incorporating rich synthesizers and feedback to give an edge to its soaring arrangements and pop sensibilities.Brooklyn’s Field Mouse are recording their first full length album this winter. During the process, they will be self-releasing a few songs. The first,
Tomorrow is Yesterday, is an energetic take on melodic early-90s indie rock, with singer-guitarist Rachel Browne’s sweet, wistful vocals over a surge of feedback mixed with dreamy pop.
See Field Mouse on Tour 2013
4/19/13-PA, Philadelphia @ MilkBoy
4/20/13-DC, Washington @ Rock N roll Hotel
4/21//13-NC, Chapel Hill @ Local 506
4/23/13-FL, Gainsville @ The Atlantic
4/24/13-FL, Orlando @ The Social
4/26/13-GA, Atlanta @ The Masquerade
4/27/13-TN, Memphis @ Crosstown Arts
4/28/13-TX, Dallas @ The Prophet Bar
4/30/13-TX, Houston @ Rudyard’s
5/1/13-TX, Austin @ Mohawk
5/3/13-TX, El Paso @ Gallery 127
5/4/13-AZ, Scottsdale @ Pub Rock
5/6/13-CA, San Diego @ Soda Bar
5/7/13-CA, Los Angeles @ Echo
5/8/13-CA, San Francisco @ Bottom Of The Hill
5/9/13-OR, Portland @ Doug Fir Lounge
5/11/13-WA, Seattle @ Sunset Tavern
5/13/13-UT, Salt Lake City @ Urban Lounge
5/15/13-CO, Denver @ Larmier Lounge
5/16/13-KS, Lawrence @ Jackpot Music Hall
5/17/13-MN, Minneapolis @ Triple Rock
5/18/13-IL, Beat Kitchen @ Beat Kitchen
5/19/13-MI, Lansing @ Mac’s Bar
5/20/13-OH, Cleveland @ Beachland Tavern
5/21/13-ON, Toronto @ The Drake Hotel
5/22/13-PA, Pittsburgh @ Club Cafe
5/23/13-MA, Cambridge @ TT the Bear’s Place
5/24/13-NY, New York @ Bowery Ballroom
Andrea Soler is an Australian singer songwriter with compelling vocals and insightful lyrics who has just recently toured the UK summer festivals including Isle Of Wight, Larmer Tree and the Sunrise Festival. Musically inspired by the passionate joie de vivre of her French ancestry she exudes a distinctly European influenced sound, yet maintaining her own take on indie folk. Likening herself and her music to the old ways of gypsies and travelers; expect a swathe of moods and emotion from Andrea’s soulful live performances.
Andrea, it’s really a pleasure to meet you and to be part of your journey! We know a bit about you from earlier talks and your bio, but tell us a bit about your musical path and how has your career has developed.
AS: When I was 18, I went to the Woodford Folk Festival here in Australia. I’ll never forget the feeling I had watching band after band blow me away. I knew then, one day I would play that festival, all I wanted was to be a musician! So, I then bought a guitar and started playing and writing songs. I went busking on the streets with my sister. After recording a home made demo, I decided to try my luck overseas and bought a one way ticket to Paris. I ended up living there for over a year and played in bars in Montmatre and even Fete De La Musique in 2007! I then went to the UK where I was then sponsored to record my first EP ‘Better in The Sunshine’ at The Sonic Kitchen Studios. I played festivals such as the Larmer Tree, Isle of Wight and Sunrise Festival, UK. I got on so well with my producer that I went on to record my debut album ‘Earth On An Axis’ with him as well. Since coming back to Australia I achieved my dream of performing at many festivals and lastyear I played at the Woodford Folk Festival, the place that kick started my musical career!
Is there anybody who has really helped you along you path, Do you have a mentor?
AS: I am very lucky to say that I have had so many people help me along the way. My biggest mentor is Alan ‘Big Al’ Hill. He was the incredibly brilliant man who produced my first two records. He believed in me and taught me so much about the recording process, about music and about life. He truly was an incredible man, a world class musician (played bass for Jack Dejonette – Miles Davis’s drummer, produced for Shirley Bassey & many more). Sadly, Al passed away a couple of years ago, is greatly missed today by so many people around the world. I still count him as my biggest mentor. I always think – what would make Al proud?
What’s next for you? What’s coming up for you live and recorded?
AS: I have just finished recording my brand new EP called Daydreamer. I’m going to be launching it here in Australia at the beginning of June, and then embarking on a twelve week tour through the UK and Europe! I’ve booked 18 shows already which includes four festivals in the UK. We’ll also be making a documentary about this tour to inspire independent musicians to manage themselves and book their own international tours. I am very excitied about this trip, especially to return to Paris!
Do tells us a bit about your latest album.
AS: Daydreamer is a five track EP. It’s a collection of songs I’ve written on the ukulele. A lady once said to me that you can’t write a sad song on the ukulele. Well, one day I was sitting at home and wrote a song called ‘Heart Break Floor’. It’s about my first heart break. At least I can prove to the lady you can write a sad song on the ukuele! Then there’s ‘Love at First Sight’ which is a true story about a guy who was lost, walked into a cafe to ask for directions and fell in love with the girl behind the counter, and there’s Daydreamer which is the title track. It’s a song to remind people how important it is to believe in their dreams. Lonesome Traveller is a haunting tune, and The Palmreader is a song about.. well, I guess you’ll just have to hear it and find out!
It’s hard to believe that anyone would have the nerve to break your heart! Let’s take a few minutes out to let everybody in on what’s going on as we watch “Daydreamer EP”
We work with a lot of young emerging artists. Can you share a certain moment in your career – good or bad – that’s kept you moving on?
AS: I think I’ll share a good and a bad if that’s ok? The bad moment was when I lost one of my best friends and producer Big Al. He means so much to me. He always assured me along the way. Gave me advice, feedback about my songs and made me laugh too! He brought out the best in me, and I’ll never forget all that he did for me.
A good moment – I think it was just recently, when I walked onto the stage to play at last years’ Woodford Folk Festival! It had been my dream for over ten years to play at this festival. I had to pinch myself a couple of times to realise that I was literally living the dream. It taught me to never give up on my dream, keep working hard, and enjoy the journey!
I always like to ask our guests about personal heros, so here goes…who is your hero? Why?
AS:There are so many people that inspire me. When I read the biography of Edith Piaf, I felt so inspired by her zest for life and for everything she achieved from her humble beginnings as a homeless girl on the streets of Paris. Then there’s Joni MItchell who got Polio at the age of 8 and started singing to get better. She is another woman who overcame obstacles in her life and achieved her dreams. I think another of my heroes would be Sally Dastey. She is an Australian singer and is such a beautiful person and gives her whole heart to her audience. I like artists that give their all.
I have to tell you, that my colleagues here at HorizonVU Music are not to wild about that question (they’ve heard me ask it so many times), but I think you saved me…we’re all Joni Mitchell fans! Andrea, again, thanks so much for your time and we look forward to going live in September. We’ll be posting your gigs!
As good luck would have it, we’ve been in contact with Nashville-based Lisa Hannah. Her new CD ”Brand New Sun” brings us eight tracks all written or co-written by Lisa. The CD was produced by Paul Nielsen along with local luminaries Paul Taylor and Chip Martin, who share the guitar and keyboard credits. A stellar lineup of musicians also contributed to the project, including Tony Morra and Derek Mixon (drums), Glen Snow (bass), Mark T. Jordan (keys) and Jon Conley (slide guitar). Here at HorizonVU Music, we really like what Lisa has done on this album – she does have a pop-vibe sound with diversity spanning across the title track, “Brand New Sun” through to the folk-style ‘Home”.
Lisa grew up in a small Tennessee town, just outside of Nashville. She was first exposed to country music and the Grand Ole Opry, but her musical interests quickly expanded to other genres,such as hard rock, pop rock, alternative, progressive, and new wave. “My mother was a rocker! You would never know it by looking at her, as she was a mild mannered, sweet southern lady. She love-love-loved The Beatles, The Doors, Aerosmith, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. We would go to concerts together and run over each other trying to touch Eddie Vedder!”
Lisa sang in church choirs and college musicals, and eventually she started fronting cover bands. She had always been writing songs, but she didn’t take it seriously. Having a successful career in medical sales, she moved to New Jersey (just outside of New York City) to take a corporate position in marketing. But soon, Lisa longed to be back home. “While I loved the music scene and excitement of Manhattan, I missed the beauty of Tennessee and the music community in Nashville.” Lisa moved back to Nashville after a year-long stint in New Jersey.
Lisa was an only child and had a very close relationship with her mother Donna. “We were like two children growing up together, since we were closer in age than the typical mother-daughter scenario.” It was shortly after Lisa moved back to Tennessee that Donna was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Lisa moved in with her Mom to take care of her. “It was during those months of taking care of my Mom, as I watched her struggle for life, that I realized that each day, each moment,and every breath is precious. She inspired me to take my music more seriously.”
Lisa’s debut CD “Brand New Sun” is the latest testimony to her decision to engage her artistic side. The project is dedicated to her mother. “She was such an inspiration to appreciate every moment, every person, and everything in this beautiful life. That even in despair and pain, there is beauty and love, which sustains us all.”
Donna passed away the day before Lisa’s birthday in 2004. “I wanted to have this CD completed by the anniversary of her passing, which this year was the day before Thanksgiving. Miraculously, that happened – a miracle.
“Writing and recording this record has been such an emotional journey, but I had the help of many musically talented Angels and friends to help me through. It’s been very therapeutic. Music allows you to express emotions you can’t express in any other way.”