Tag Archive: Sarah Jospitre


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By Sarah Jospitre, Contributing Writer at Elite Daily and Contributing Music Critic, HorizonVU Music

Tarah Who?
Federal Circle of Shame
Tarah Who?, 2016

Federal Circle of ShameReleased on February 14, 2016, Federal Circle of Shame is the follow-up EP to Tarah Who?’s successful sophomore album, Little Out There. Front woman/lead vocalist Tarah Carpenter is candid and straightforward in explaining why the French LA-based punk rock band released the EP in a YouTube video titled, “Making of Federal Circle of Shame Teaser”: “After releasing my first album, I wrote more songs. I wanted to release those songs…so I recorded the second album!”

The 5-track EP stays true to the band’s signature style of taking their fans on an angsty, musical whirlwind of fast-paced, menacing guitars going head-to-head with high-powered, pounding drums. In the opening track, “Cough Drop,” Carpenter’s emotionally charged wails of “self destruction” throughout the song’s chorus paint an angry and chaotic backdrop for the heavy bass (played by Ash Orphan) and equally enraged drum instrumentals (played by Jo Ko). This continues in “Bitchcraft” and “Someone Else Will”—with the latter showcasing a distorted, 90s-grunge feel created by Carpenter’s hard-hitting guitar riffs.

The pace is slowed down dramatically when the listener reaches “14 Months” —a tune that repeats the line “it’s a great day at the beach” but is actually juxtaposed by Carpenter’s Alanis Morissette-inspired yodel and by Jo Ko’s commanding drums that take the lead in guiding the song’s overall dismal tune.

However, Tarah Who? picks up the pace once again with the closing track, “Kids Of Ireland.” No Celtic undertones will be found here but what fans can expect is what the band has become known for: unexpected lyrical content (“beautiful kids/…it’s time to wake up/I’m talking to you”) and as always, a high-powered, anthemic chorus.

Tracklist:

01. Cough Drop
02. Bitchcraft
03. Someone Else Will
04. 14 Months
05. Kids of Ireland

Tarah Who? is made up of Tarah G. Carpenter (vocals, guitar), Ash Orphan (bass) and Jo Ko (drums).

Check out the Federal Circle of Shame EP on iTunes and CD Baby.
Track the band’s every move on Facebook

Sarah Jospitre, Editor, HorizonVU Music Blog

Sarah has an ever increasing pool knowledge of the fast-changing music industry landscape. She has earned a Masters in Music Business at New York University (NYU) and she has worked for hip-hop music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, EMI Music Publishing, CBS Radio and most recently, Russell Simmons’ celebrity blog, GlobalGrind. As Editor, Sarah brings not only her knowledge, but her passion for music journalism and discovering emerging talent.

22 August 2015

Ransom Pier “I Must Say,” If They Can’t Take a Joke (EP)

Whether they’re labeled as folk, rock, blues or a subgenre keyboardist Dan Crowley calls “old country folk rock,” the newly formed Ransom Pier has no plans of enshrouding their sound into a conventionally stale (music) box.

The three-piece band formed this past February after lead vocalist and guitarist Hayley Harrington spent a year collaborating and recording with Crowley at The Motel Room Studios in Long Island City―the same site where the band’s debut EP was recorded. Mix in equally talented bassist/vocalist William Carrigan and it can now be declared that the roots rock revival in the NYC music scene is in full force with no apparent end.

Ransom Pier (L-R: Dan Crowley, Hayley Harrington & William Carrigan).    Source: RansomPierBand.com

Ransom Pier (L-R: Dan Crowley, Hayley Harrington & William Carrigan). Source: RansomPierBand.com

Having been compared to the likes of roots rock band Alabama Shakes, Lake Street Dive and blues/folk rock trio The Lone Bellow, it is more than safe to say that Ransom Pier are placed in good company. However, the roots rock group is already working towards showcasing the varying degrees and depths of their music. Carrigan states, “I’m pretty confident that we’ll eventually show we’re capable of far more than being a standard folk rock band, though, so hopefully that answer is more nuanced in a year.”

Ransom Pier, whose influences include The Band and The Beatles―largely due to each group’s remarkable ability to tell exceptional stories by using every member’s voice―have released the track “I Must Say” off their debut EP, If They Can’t Take a Joke. Harrington’s raspy, sultry vocals are reminiscent of blues/folk rock singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt. The way in which Ransom Pier’s female lead effortlessly drags syllables showcases an enticing juxtaposition of soothingly vulnerable tones one minute that then quickly transform―within the same verse―into a masculine soulful quality characterized by unforgettable bluesy, gruff vocals similar to blues rock singer-songwriter Susan Tedeschi.

Hayley Harrington Source: RansomPierBand.com

Hayley Harrington Source: RansomPierBand.com

In finding an innovative path to maneuvering roots rock in 2015, Crowley declares, “We’ve got our own way of achieving this folk rock thing. It’s not groundbreaking, but how I see our uniqueness: We’re taking a rather traditional approach but using some of the conventional instruments to play unconventional parts. For example, we’re fixated on the pedal steel introducing dissonance rather than the typical sweet or satisfying harmonic bed. Also, we’ve set out to have the electric piano and clav play percussive guitar-like parts. We’ve included the harmonica and there’s a bunch of vocals―there’s texture!”

Ransom Pier Source: RansomPierBand.com

Ransom Pier Source: RansomPierBand.com

The foundation and ever-present backbone of “I Must Say” are the richly textured, ‘twangy’ guitars, bass and electric piano that strengthen the old country feel of “I Must Say.” Such instrumentation propels the track and the roots rock genre into present-day as they create a modernly, nonchalant rebellious mood from the song’s opening to its simplistically bold finale. Reinforcing this and the song’s ultimately significant blues factor is the powerful harmonies present in the pre-chorus (“What a lovely imagination I have/I Must say, yeah”).

Hear Ransom Pier’s “I Must Say” and the entire EP, If They Can’t Take a Joke, on Spotify and the band’s SoundCloud page.

MORE RANSOM PIER:
*LIVE MUSIC ALERT: To see Ransom Pier live in musical action, check them out on September 26 at The Bitter End. Click here for more info!

*Check out Ransom Pier’s “I Must Say” Official Lyric Video on YouTube!

*For all things Ransom Pier, head over to the band’s official website, Facebook and YouTube page.

Sarah Jospire receives comments and suggestions at sarah@horizonvumusic.com


4 August 2015

Sarah Jospitre, Editor, HorizonVU Music Blog

Sarah has an ever increasing pool knowledge of the fast-changing music industry landscape. She has earned a Masters in Music Business at New York University (NYU) and she has worked for hip-hop music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, EMI Music Publishing, CBS Radio and most recently, Russell Simmons’ celebrity blog, GlobalGrind. As Editor, Sarah brings not only her knowledge, but her passion for music journalism and discovering emerging talent.

She defines her sound simply as “soul retro pop.” Yet nothing is simplistic when it comes to Karolina Rose and her music. The multilingual singer-songwriter is rapidly making her way up in the ecclectic NYC music scene, recently taking part in this year’s New Music Seminar festival, and demonstrating a hustle like no other with nonstop performances throughout the countless venues in New York City. Her drive is only the beginning; world, meet Karolina Rose.

SJ: Your Twitter profile is impressive, listing your many talents as tango dancer and even a linguist. Very diverse. Are these possibly alternative career goals or is music your sole focus?

KR:Thank you for your kind words! It’s true I’ve had a variety of passions and pursuits in my life, but music is my first love when it comes to career focus. I combine my passion for languages, culture and dance in my music by default through my experiences.

SJ: Right, you’ve definitely shared your passion for languages; singing in English, French, Polish and Spanish. Which do you mostly prefer to sing in? Is there a language you feel conveys a certain emotion (i.e. sadness, anger, etc.) better than the others?

KR: I mainly sing in English, French and Polish. These are the languages I am fluent in. English to me is more flexible and more of a universal feeling and expression. But you nailed it that each language definitely brings about a certain feeling. It also depends on the song, but there is a part of me that assumes the character of what the culture means to me. In French, I typically feel compelled to express a very strong romantic, wistful quality and emotion. The Polish songs typically have more “umph” and dynamics. As I am 100% Polish by ethnicity, born in Philadelphia, there’s also a wave of national pride going through me when I sing in Polish.

SJ: For the potential music fans who have yet to hear and become familiar with a signature Karolina Rose track, what is it you feel distinguishes your music from what’s already out there?

KR: My music comes from my perspective on various ideas and experiences. I’m constantly writing about life and all that it entails. I think my cultural background, life experiences and dreams in an urban city all tie into my signature perspective. My music often comes from a place of idealistic concepts or adjectives like romance, dreamy, unrealistic, quixotic, starry-eyed, fanciful—that’s Karolina Rose music.

SJ: You’ve expressed that music is your main focus and choice of career. So, what
are your goals/plans for the rest of 2015? Can we expect any new music from you within the coming months?

KR: I’m planning on more studio recording later this year. But I’m really looking forward to doing more live performances over the summer and experimenting with a few more instruments in my live shows. Connection is also such an important aspect to me which is why this summer I’ve been working with Musicians On Call to spread the healing power of music to patients in hospitals across New York. Ultimately, I hope to continue connecting with fans online and off.

SJ: Wow, that’s really amazing! You are definitely making a difference in the world of music. So, with the end of 2015 soon approaching, what will 2016 look like for Karolina Rose?

KR: Thank you so much! That means a lot. Well, my plan for 2016 is to release some new music, collaborate with other artists and focus on live shows and performances. I just hope to reach the people that may relate to or feel my music and make it a positive experience for them.

*Artist Look-Out: Check out Karolina Rose perform at the BronxNoise Music Festival on August 8th. Purchase tickets here. For more info, check out the Facebook Event page.

Information for all of Karolina Rose’s shows can be tracked via Bands In Town on Facebook and her official website.

Stay up to date on all things Karolina Rose:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karolinarosemusic
Twitter: @karolinar0se
Instagram: @polkalubispiewac
Youtube & Soundcloud: Karolina Rose

Sarah Jospire receives comments and suggestions at sarah@horizonvumusic.com


3 July 2015

Sarah Jospitre, Editor, HorizonVU Music Blog

Sarah has an ever increasing pool knowledge of the fast-changing music industry landscape. She has earned a Masters in Music Business at New York University (NYU) and she has worked for hip-hop music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, EMI Music Publishing, CBS Radio and most recently, Russell Simmons’ celebrity blog, GlobalGrind. As Editor, Sarah brings not only her knowledge, but her passion for music journalism and discovering emerging talent.

Villanelle_Maura Kennedy_200x200

Maura Kennedy
Villanelle: The Songs of Maura Kennedy and B.D. Love
(Varèse Sarabande Records, 2015)

(Not) Formerly one-half of the folk-rock band, The Kennedys, Maura Kennedy is back with her sophomore studio album, Villanelle: The Songs of Maura Kennedy and B.D. Love. The concept for Villanelle first came to the singer/multi-instrumentalist after reading Love’s collection of short stories entitled, A Day in the Life of a Severed Head. One particular story, “Stitches,” inspired Kennedy to write a song using the poet’s dialogue and literary characters. From that, a musical genius plan was born: the writer/poet/professor would send Kennedy poems and she would fit them to music―Love’s only ingenious twist being that he would make no effort to craft the poems in music-friendly form; challenging Kennedy to think outside the box to work a melody into them.

The result is a 15-track collection with the album’s title and opening track taking on the form of a 19-line poem consisting of five tercetsMaura Kennedy_2014_200x300 (any three lines of poetry, rhymed or unrhymed, metered or unmetered) followed by a quatrain (a type of stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines). With effortlessly soothing vocals similar to a mother’s calming lullaby, choir-like melodies strengthening the chorus as well as dominant “twangy” guitars that solidify an ever-present old western feel throughout the album, Villanelle sets the tone for the rest of Kennedy and Love’s musical lovechild.

The beautiful, complicated and fragile tones and textures present in Kennedy’s vocals as well as the country-like guitars found in the opening track can also be heard on the folk rocker “Bicycles with Broken Spokes,” the love-and-longing-themed “Mockingbird,” and the powerful “Borrowed Dress,” which offers an emotional tale of immigration. As a result, such titles are reminiscent of the works of country-folk singer-songwriter Tish Hinojosa and Kennedy’s mentor, Nanci Griffith.

An incredible element that holds true throughout Villanelle, thus, elevating its words and music to a higher level of artistry is the juxtaposition of effortlessly sweet melodies to emotionally-charged, heavy lyrics. In “Darling Cutter”―which discusses the hardships of a teenager’s life that results in the youth physically harming himself―the same vibrant old-time country guitars (acoustic guitars, bass and percussion played by Maura with a gut string solo by Pete Kennedy) remain powerful yet do not overpower Kennedy’s voice, which in giving off a surprising 1990s alt-rock, angsty vibe sings, “Your stupid face/that nappy hair/You ugly slut/You’re fat and fatter/Why don’t you just jump off/Some roof somewhere?” The same technique is found in the slow and ethereal “I Cried to Dream Again” (with acoustic guitars played by Maura; drums, bass, electric guitar and banjo played by Pete): “I had a dream/I was circumscribed by flame/When I heard you call my name” and in the bluesy, “She Worked Her Magic on Me” (acoustic guitars played by Maura; bass, electric guitar, mandolin and a gut string solo played by Pete): “She put me into a box/And then secured all the locks/And then she cut me in half/Said it was good for a laugh/She worked her magic on me.”

Ranging from old time country to upbeat and bluesy to slow and ethereal, Villanelle: The Songs of Maura Kennedy and B.D. Love proves that the East Coast veteran singer-songwriter’s effort to intertwine her voice and B.D. Love’s words in an effortlessly magnetic way was a success. Kennedy has composed a musically innovative collection where rhythm and phrasing follow poetic image instead of the other (conventional) way around.

Tracklist:

01. Villanelle
02. Bicycles With Broken Spokes
03. Darling Cutter
04. I Cried to Dream Again
05. Fireflies
06. Soldier’s Wife
07. Be the One
08. Mockingbird
09. She Worked Her Magic on Me
10. Borrowed Dress
11. Coyotes
12. Father to the Man
13. I’ll Be Alone Tonight
14. Breathe Deeply, Love
15. Beneath the Mistletoe

For more about Maura and her music, visit: MauraKennedy.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

To find out more about B.D. Love or to order his books of poetry and fiction, visit: BDLove.org.

Sarah Jospire receives comments and suggestions at sarah@horizonvumusic.com


29 May 2015

Sarah Jospitre, Editor, HorizonVU Music Blog

Sarah has an ever increasing pool knowledge of the fast-changing music industry landscape. She has earned a Masters in Music Business at New York University (NYU) and she has worked for hip-hop music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, EMI Music Publishing, CBS Radio and most recently, Russell Simmons’ celebrity blog, GlobalGrind. As Editor, Sarah brings not only her knowledge, but her passion for music journalism and discovering emerging talent.

Little Out There

Tarah Who?
Little Out There
(A Diamond Heart Production, 2014)

Following their debut album, In A Rush, the French LA-based punk rock band Tarah Who? have released their sophomore album, Little Out There. The much-anticipated 11-track collection will no doubt take punk rock fans on an energetically angsty musical whirlwind with its fast-paced, riveting guitars, high-powered (and head-banging worthy!) drum solos. Little Out There captures to a “T” (for Tarah, pun intended) the powerfully emotive vocals of the trio’s multi-instrumentalist frontwoman, French/American singer Tarah G. Carpenter. (A true master of the drums, guitar and bass, fans will also hear Carpenter’s enthralling guitar skills on the latest release.)

As the opening track on Little Out There, “Worst To Come” showcases one of Tarah Who?’s greatest assets: Carpenter’s killer vocal range. With emotionally-charged wails, powerful groans and a hint of spiraling yodels (yes, yodels), Carpenter’s voice should be dubbed as the vocal lovechild of Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and alternative rock queen Alanis Morissette. Comparisons of Carpenter’s vocals to Vedder’s voice are also apparent on the album’s closing track, “Burn that Shithole Down.” Still, the heavy bass and recklessly powerful drums also make “Worst To Come” a great opener for the band’s newest release.

But let it be noted: Little Out There is not just a compilation of screams and heavy basses. The theme of love also plays a central role throughout the album and is most apparent in the slower-paced track, “Human to Be” (“We can be ourselves/…Love, love, love, love”) and “Tear Apart” (“I love you, I love you/…I gave all I could”). Little Out There reaches a compelling musical climax with the track “Hear All Ears”—by far the most ballad-like title on the album. Far slower in tempo with a prominently melodic and soothing (yes, soothing) guitar throughout the track, its lyrical content runs deep; possessing a more revealing and probing nature—like one desperately attempting to crack the code of someone’s soul in order to understand their own (“Tell me what you’re hiding/ What’s your secret?/ And who’s the real you/ I know you have so much inside/ Just like I do”).

Still, with Little Out There, Tarah Who? stay true to their roots, whatever they maybe.

In an interview with the music blog, Revolution 360, Carpenter explains, “I usually say I’m rock, but people ask me what kind of rock? Truth is, I don’t even know! So far I have heard we are punk, grunge, indie, rock and alternative. I even heard “metal on the edge.” As long as we’re not called pop…I don’t really mind. But to me, it’s still just ROCK!”

And the proof is in the music.

Carpenter’s low, angsty vocals and pissed off yells in “Lower Your Tune” is reminiscent of Garbage’s Shirley Manson and Brody Dalle, respectively, while “Too Much Thinking” stands as a worthy successor to The Distillers’ “City Of Angels.”

With their hard-hitting guitar riffs, heavy pounding drums, a steady, slick and at times seductive bass (courtesy of the album’s bassist and drummer, Pilal), titles including “Down,” “Beautiful,” “Rainy Day” and “Lost ‘n’ Cold” create a punk, grunge, indie, alternative—ROCK!–world of musical drama that is a Little Out There.

Tracklist:

01. Worst to Come
02. Rainy Day
03. Human to Be
04. Too Much Thinking
05. Lower Your Tune
06. Lost ‘n’ Cold
07. Tear Apart
08. Beautiful
09. Here All Ears
10. Down
11. Burn that Shithole Down

Tarah Who? is made up of Tarah G. Carpenter (vocals, guitar), Pierre Gallotta (drums,bass, guitar).

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