" Without You" talks about the effects of depression on a relationship or partnership. It’s Sarah Hiltz's way of saying that for better or worse, when one person in a relationship is suffering, it can bring them both down, whether they want it to or not; and that when you commit to living life side by side, it means living through all the peaks and valleys you both go through- together.
Sarah Hiltz's new album "Beauty in the Blue" is coming out on November 7th. The album is a compilation of songs and stories culled from Sarah’s multiple journeys across Canada as a traveling musician on cross-country Via Rail passenger train, “The Canadian”. Hot off a UK tour supporting Canadian darlings Running Red Lights, Beauty in the Blue is Sarah’s first studio project featuring long-term stage collaborators, drummer Jordan Michaelis and multi-instrumentalist David Puzak.
Beauty in the Blue (2017), co-produced with Kevin Howley (Running Red Lights), is a response to those stories, a full-hearted return to Sarah’s Canadian folk roots, rounded out with the cross-country experience of her train travels and the desire to dive deeper than most pop artists her age with a rich voice that belies a soul in tune with the balance of both pain and beauty, suffering, and art.
Independent singer/songwriter Kev Minney began his musical career at the age of 30. Battling with a stutter, Kev had to overcome severe stage fright to get performing. Fueled with drive he spent the first two years practicing 6 hours a day before going to work as a guitar teacher in the evenings.
"I have an obsessive nature, when I want to achieve something, I think of little else, everything around me relates to what I'm focused on," he explains.
In 2015, when NASA's New Horizons was broadcasting photographs of Pluto, Kev was hooked. "I was in awe at how science could take us as far as 322 light minutes to the most distant planet in our solar system. At that point it felt like that's how far I was travelling to achieve my artistic ambitions.”
Now in 2017 Kev is announcing his astronomically inspired debut album, ‘Stories of the Sky’ and beautiful video-single "Like I Always", produced by the Mercury-nominated Jag Jago.
"Like I Always" documents the anxiety that affects a person trying to beyond his/her horizons. Minney explores this state of mind and the challenges it poses. He takes a sensitive but positive stance, showing how to tackle fear: resilience and determination get highlighted and their importance is driven home through the chorus.
The accompanying video (filmed by Kenny McCracken) is a visual tour-de-force. Beautifully shot in black and white, the video vividly illustrates the song’s message. Shadow, light leaks and dreamlike blurring evoke the emotions, whilst time-lapsed shots of unfurling flowers show that life finds a way.
The process of creating the album has proved a rollercoaster of excitement, involving collaboration with an impressive array of musicians, video teams, artists and so forth. Without the backing of a record label, Kev worked hard to pitch his project to the Arts Council who granted him an award in 2016, enabling him to make the album independently.
“My whole record is based around space themes,” Kev told Acoustic Presents Mag. "Even though not all of the songs are about a specific physical event in space, I intentionally used the language of science to present an emotional landscape. It's imperative, that our generation finds a way of emotionally connecting with what’s going on scientifically in and around our planet. Emotion is what inspires change."
While the music is important, Kev also believes strong visuals enhance the songs. “The visual has a double impact when folks first listen to the songs. If they can see and hear it, they’ll probably feel it a little more too.”
Singer/songwriter Bradley Palermo has fronted the bands The Sudden Passion and Femme Fatality for the past 15 years. His solo work is equal parts indie folk and Americana. A fan at a recent show described his sound as “Hank 3 meets Bright Eyes,” which is right on the money with his strongest influences. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Bradley is currently based in Los Angeles.
Lie in the Sound blog wrote, “I usually fall for distinctive vocals.... Bradley Palermo’s voice got my heart within seconds.” His lyrics are no less heartbreaking than his vocals—autobiographical, alcohol-soaked tales of bar fights, arrest warrants, and failing at love. It’s what you might expect from a guy who has spent the majority of his life playing smoke-filled dive bars across the country. He manages to put a poetic spin on even the lowliest events. As Incognito Magazine put it, Bradley “shows some wordplay that would make Bob Dylan proud.”
As The Sudden Passion, he released two full-length albums (one on vinyl), an EP, a few singles, and a collection of demos. From time to time his music appears in unlikely places such as NBC’s The Voice, The CW’s 90210, and UFC’s Ultimate Insider. Lately Bradley has focused on his solo work, performing live as a one-man show with his guitar, harmonicas, and a ukulele. Bradley is currently recording new music and performing shows in various regions of the US.
08/17 San Francisco, CA - Neck Of The Woods (facebook event)
08/18 Victorville, CA - Kennedy's Pub (facebook event)
08/19 Las Vegas, NV - House Show (facebook event)
08/20 Los Angeles, CA - The King Eddy (facebook event)
09/06 St. Louis, MO - Foam (facebook event)
09/07 Chicago, IL - House Show (facebook event)
10/08 Portland, OR - Analog Cafe & Theater (facebook event)
Matt Paxton recorded his new EP 'Hunter Street Station Blues' in early Spring of 2017. "I've found myself often coming back to my hometown to record when I needed a break from the west coast. Recently I decided to move home. Hamilton is where my label Other Songs Music Co is based out of as well as Threshold Recording Studios where the album was recorded. Not to mention it's homebase for a lot of friends and family. For the past while I've lived primarily on the West Coast of Canada. Yet, I've always drawn a ton of influence from the place and people I know back home. This first track 'Baby Don't Go' is largely about holding on to love and trying to make it all work. When writing these tunes (last year and up until early this spring), I was indeed hauling a heavy heart. It's kinda funny though, I'm happier than ever nowadays, which makes it weird singing the sad ones live, but I got this - sad songs are my thing."
This self-produced EP is the first work by Go Ask Alice: eight instrumental tracks, composed between 2012 and 2013, recorded and mixed by Matteo Spinazzé, in collaboration with Curzio Ferri playing drums and Andrea Oggiano with his acoustic guitar. Perfection is terrible is the first verse of Sylvia Plath's poem "The Munich Mannequins". "Perfection" here is completeness, closure, inability to evolve and reborn, perfection is death. Perfection is indeed terrible, can't have a child, just as Plath's Munich Mannequins, cold marble statues, beautiful and perfect, frozen with us in a never ending present, the immense futureless present of the "capitalist realism": the end of history.
Crafting a concept album is an incredibly difficult task. Tying together a cohesive narrative across a record’s worth of songs isn’t just daunting, it’s an endeavour that even some of the industry’s finest have failed to do memorably. This task, however, becomes notably more difficult when you’re dealing in the abstract via instrumental soundscapes. That is what Chronotope Project, the moniker of composer Jeffrey Ericson Allen, attempts to do with his latest project, ‘Ovum.’
NAAL is an eclectic music project led by Chicago composer Dave Mantel. This talented musician has a true passion for great melodies and haunting musical textures. His blend of ambient, shoegaze and experimental drone music feels personal and unique, echoing the work of artists such as Slowdive, Boards of Canada or Sigur Ros, just to mention a few.