Article by Jon Bauer | SAT, JUL 13, 2019, 8:00PM – 2:00AM
Article by Jon Bauer | SAT, JUL 13, 2019, 8:00PM – 2:00AM
Article by Małgorzata Stanek
Still in the world, but not of the world
– Adam Mickiewicz from Dziady (“Forefather’s Eve”)
November is a month of solemn and important celebrations in Poland. November 11 is Polish Independence Day and early November is dedicated to honoring the departed. Specifically, November 2 is All Souls’ Day called Zaduszki in Polish. Zaduszki can be translated as “a day of prayer for the souls”. The eve of this holiday is known as All Saints’ Day. On these two days families visit the graves of the departed, lay flowers and light up candles. The cemeteries emanate otherworldly and solemn beauty as the sea of candles flickers as far as the eye can see. The words of Polish Romantic poet, Adam Mickiewicz from Dziady (“Forefather’s Eve”), aptly capture this atmosphere: “still in the world, but not of the world”. There are many folk traditions related to Zaduszki. It is said that on this day the spirits of our forefathers come to inhabit the world once more.
Thus, on November 2 in Lublin, an interesting annual event, now in its third year, is held. Translated roughly into English as “Souls ardently in tears”, it is an open gathering for singing traditional songs accompanying death.
The gathering is open to all, regardless of singing abilities. You are given a singing book – which you can pay for what you will – a token to help the organizers cover their costs. The songs come from traditional repertoire and speak about death and what comes after, they offer a moment to meditate on death and mortality. The lyrics are characterized by solemn beauty. There’s a distinctly poetic feel to them that sweeps you into their meditative mood.
The songs deal with a sense of paltriness of worldly things, show the departing soul saying farewell to their family, the village – they give voice to the dead. Some of the songs are prayers for them. However, the organizers say that while singing the songs, they also think about the living, to help them go through difficult moments. One of the organizers thus speaks about the songs: “They are very varied. Some talk about death in a literal way, reminding us about the decomposition which awaits us at the end; other use more delicate comparisons, focusing on the spiritual side of the process. It’s interesting that melodies which are used for these songs aren’t always as clam or sad as you might think. Frequently, we encounter dance tunes and only the lyrics remind us that it’s a song about a death. I think that this ambiguity and changeability of “moods” makes people want to get to know more songs. Every song brings in something new, even though it deals with a subject as old as death.
The group gathered in the cemetery filled with ancient graves – the resting places of people who came before us and are a part of the history of every day. The singing began right after dark. The voices carried above the lit-up graves, resonating with honesty and the sombre mood of the moment.
Even if your own individual singing isn’t particularly good, the group’s shared voice sweeps you away and your voice melts into the others. You distinctly feel a part of a community, it is a strongly shared experience. The organizers highlight that it is an important aspect. One of the initiators of the event recalls that he had to sing such songs alone on the occasion of one funeral he attended and that it’s really difficult because one singer focuses all the ritual tension on him or herself. For this reason, community is important. Moreover, the group of attendees increases every year and the sense that singing gathering rather than a concert becomes stronger every year – say the organizers. And even if your singing might not be the best, when it joins the others, what in the end comes through is one voice, singing as one, in honor of the dead. It’s a strongly reflective and moving experience.
Article by Natalie Wiser
Based on the 2007 movie directed by Adrienne Shelly, enter a small town the deep south, where our heroine Jenna is stuck in a bad marriage, working overtime at a diner, and just found out she is pregnant. The one thing that keeps her going is her gift of baking pies. She can take any problem in her life and turn it into a delicious dessert that everyone loves. With the help of her coworkers at the diner, she is determined to win the national pie competition and get enough money for her and her new baby as a last attempt at happiness. However, she faces many challenges along the way, including a doctor who is new in town.
My take: this musical is exactly what you would expect in a musical. It’s fun, it’s heartwarming, and the songs will keep your toe tapping through the whole show. While it could be overly-cheesy at times, it still didn’t fail to make me laugh along with the characters and feel what they were feeling. What I liked most was that characters were well-written and real. They were dealing with real challenges that others in the audience might be facing.
The cast at SHN Golden Gate Theatre was extremely talented. Although I wish I was able to see Sara perform it herself, Christine Dwyer gave her own unique take on Jenna and performed flawlessly. My favorite character was Dawn, who was played by Jessie Shelton. Even though she had only one solo song, she sounded incredible. Not to mention she made it seem like she was a true American Revolution enthusiast.
Article by Natalie Wiser
If you’re looking to be amazed by raw talent, real music, and lots of witty banter, be sure not to miss the musical duo of EVAN + ZANE! featuring Evan Rachel Wood, actress in the HBO series Westworld and movie musical Across the Universe, and Zane Carney, guitarist for John Mayer, U2, Spider-Man on Broadway, and more.
On Monday (October 29, 2018), EVAN + ZANE came through my city of San Francisco and performed at the Great American Music Hall. I will say I was a bit tired and worn down from a tough workday. Fortunately, this show turned my whole mood around.
It was my first time at the venue, which has such a unique and intimate charm as a music venue. Evan + Zane simply walked onstage: no introduction or opening acts. As they welcomed the crowd, they jumped right into the music immediately afterward. Their set was Halloween themed and they covered lots of spooky Halloween favorites.
One of my favorite aspects about their set was that the first half was heavy on long guitar interludes. Zane is absolutely incredible! I wasn’t as familiar with him before the show and I was astounded on how fast his fingers move. He is brilliant and was nice enough to give us a mini music theory lesson on parallel minor chords. You could tell how passionate and knowledgeable he was about his craft.
Evan was equally amazing. She sounded like a 1920’s jazz club singer mixed with Gwen Stefani. I knew of her as an actress on Westworld and quickly realized she is just as good of a singer as she is an actress! Truly a double-threat. What I enjoyed most about Evan’s performance is that she took on the persona of the singer of each song they covered. While she kept her own personal flair, she really sounded like Dolores O’Riordan from the Cranberries when they covered “Zombie.”
My favorite aspect about this whole event is that Evan + Zane were so real and down to earth. They decided to throw in a last-minute song after the first half just for fun, and they still sounded amazing! The audience cheered for an encore and they told us that they played all of the songs they knew already. We got to hear them sight-read “Creep” by Radiohead, which again was still incredible. Oftentimes, I feel that concerts these days can be so artificial and focus more on the show than the music. This concert definitely was not that.
Overall it was a fantastic show. I hope they come back to San Francisco soon. Make sure you are able to check them out next time they come to your city!
Article by Miranda Caravalho
Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana – MACLA is a squat building on the tail end of the SOFA District in San Jose that’s painted in shades of steel grey and fluorescent pink. In the first half of the building you’d find the headquarters for MACLA’s programs, from which over 30,000 children, families and young adult get indispensable experience in visual, performing and literary art. But if you go past the first set of doors and onto the second, you’ll find MACLA’s studio with their current solo exhibition: Carlos Rólon’s Classic Tracks: Migrating Rhythms.
Enter the room. It’s not big, but it’s very open, with white walls and vaulted ceilings. But most of the white has been covered up by a mosaic of vinyl record covers, affixed to the wall in lines of faces and names that tower up to make a barricade. They’re mostly Spanish artists. Perhaps you recognize some of these album.
The room can be easily experienced in about twenty minutes. You can circle slowly around the murals and the checkerboard walls of record covers, or maybe stand in strange reverence in front of the sculpture made from working speakers. Or maybe you stray to the back of the exhibit and discover the small party that awaits there.
It’s a traditional travel cart with a spinning disco ball hanging from the woven roof and casting moving fish scales of light across the walls. And below that, embedded into the wood of the cart, is a turntable. There are more covers in small shelves, Ray Barretto, Roberto Blades, and De Todo Un Poco. It’s a weird intimacy, as if you’ve broken into someone’s house for the sole purpose of leafing through their music collection. Eventually you find the record that’s already placed on the turntable – Prince’s Purple Rain.
Play it. Turn it to side B and put it on the blank space in between “When Dove’s Cry” and “I Would Die 4 You”. With such a small space the music fills the room in a massive wave of sound. Others might stop to look, and some might even twist their faces slightly at the sudden noise. Or maybe you’re alone, just you and Prince.
I hope thats the case. I hope you’re alone with the music as your eyes drift again across the towering walls of album covers. These are the songs and artists brought from the culture of migrating immigrants. Every album has countless memories stuck to them like ghosts. A record that may mean nothing to you may have been someone’s first dance at their wedding. It could’ve been what their mother sang to them as a child, or what they heard through a open window as they left their home for the very last time.
When you’re immigrating you’re leaving everything you’ve ever known behind. But the things you’re able to take with you – your music, your clothes, your food and your language – that becomes the type of home that lives in your blood.
My grandmother is a first generation immigrant that spent time as an infant in a Japanese internment camp. Her parents refused to teach her or her siblings Japanese, and when their radio was on it was almost always playing country-western music. With the politics of the time they thought it would be best to keep their heads down and make a new life for themselves.
But when I was a child, she used to take me to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in San Jose, where I’d eat shaved ice and pet the dogs under clouds of pink petals. And even now she still makes inari sushi better than any restaurant I’ve ever been to. It’s impossible to miss – she’s definitely held onto something.
And what about you? Do you remember the meals your family made, the ones you learned to make yourself and for your loved ones? Think about the words you spoke to each other, the ones of sorrow and joy, and the stories told to you at night when you couldn’t sleep. And maybe it was a rainy morning, or starry night, or a warm afternoon like the one it was right now – but there was music, wasn’t there. Whether it was a radio or the tinny headphones of an old walkman, it was there and it left a shadow on your heart.
That’s not what’s playing now, though. Right now the synth of Prince is fading, and before the next track starts you lift the needle and put it back in its place. And with nothing else to explore you walk back out into the day, the words that song in your head making your mouth shift into long-lost shapes.
Article by Jon Bauer
In a castle in the San Fernando Valley lies the lair of music icon Gary Numan. Outside is an enormous statue of a dragon, inside a St. Bernard (almost as large) greets you on arrival. He’s a new addition to the family – a rescue pup, and huge. The lord of this manor could be as outwardly intimidating as this entire set-up, but he’s a humble presence. Notorious for hits such as ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric?’ and ‘Cars’, Numan’s early career was too often misconstrued, tainted by a sometimes fraught relationship with the media and challenged by the hostility of the music industry at the time, still deeply committed as it was to the guitar, bass, drums approach of old. Numan, however, stuck to his guns, outlasted his naysayers, and became renowned not just as a pioneer but as an institution. Today, with a career that has spanned nearly four decades, his approach to electronic music remains an inspiration to artists across genres and eras, from stadium goliaths such as Depeche Mode, Prince and Nine Inch Nails to alternative heroes such as Beck, Damon Albarn and Marilyn Manson. Even Kanye West owes him a debt and David Bowie once credited him with ‘ writing two of the finest songs’ in British music. It’s no surprise he recently received the Ivor Novello Award for Inspiration.
Named after a skateboard movie from an 80’s skate film, Los Angeles band Nightmare Air emphasizes sonic momentum, during both live performances and in the studio.
Nightmare Air’s Dave Dupuis, a veteran of L.A. shoegazers Film School (Beggars Banquet Records), and Swaan Miller, whose stark acoustic album on Important Records melted hearts and faces everywhere, meticulously layer boy-girl harmonies, pulsing pop synths, psych noise loops and glam soaked walls of guitars. Add to that Detroit heavy hitter Jimmy Lucido on the drums (The Strays / TVT records) in their combined years of touring, these road veterans have supported heavyweights from Smashing Pumpkins to the The Jesus and Mary Chain. Headlining clubs and playing festivals around the world Nightmare Air have shared stages with The Kills, The Dandy Warhols, Teenage Fanclub, Cat Power, The Black Lips, The Soft Moon, No Age, The Wedding Present, The Buzzcocks, Ringo Deathstarr, Fishbone, The Cult and many more.
Article by Jordan Miller
Every year, beginning in the month of August, Nashville’s very own independent radio station, Lightning 100 (100.1 FM), pulls together local vendors and musical acts of all sorts to put on one of the best shows you can experience in the area for free. The festival is called, Live On The Green (LOTG) rightfully named, as it’s held on the Public Square Park lawn that sits right in front of the Davidson County Courthouse. You can expect to see an average of four bands, every Thursday evening, leading up to the headlining acts that play during the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. 2018 was the ten-year anniversary of this local festival and it showed all the signs of continuing to prosper.
With an average weekly attendance ranging from 16,000 to 20,000, it is truly an amazing representation of the community coming together to enjoy everything this free event has to offer. Attendees are able to come and go as they please, find a space on the grass to enjoy the music, or walk around and taste the awesome food being offered. The food trucks that lineup around the venue are also all local favorites, who are eager and excited for the newcomers to try their great tasting creations. You can find anything from hotdogs, to main entrees, to the most delicious desserts.
One of my most pleased facts with the festival is how Lightning 100 does such a great job at keeping a vast majority of the lineup open to those who are local acts, or live in the Nashville area. Personal favorites of mine who have all shared the stage consist of bands such as Bully, The Wild Feathers, and Republican Hair to name a few! Even if you are not familiar with the names on the bill for that evening, I can promise you will leave a fan. If you are already a huge fan of the lineup, the festival does offer VIP tickets reasonably priced for those who want to get the full experience. I have done this in the past and I can attest it is worth it!
Whether you are a middle-aged mother, looking to spend some time with your daughter for the evening, or on a road trip with some of your college roommates, this is an event for everyone! It is truly an event that gives back to those who want to enjoy live music and the talent Nashville has to offer.
Article by Małgorzata Stanek
Imagine spending a sunny August afternoon in the streets of a charming Old Town filled with colourful stalls, the hustle of bustle of various languages (Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Slovak) and traditional music. This is what happens in mid-August in Lublin, Poland.
Lublin is a charming city in eastern Poland that has much to offer. Beautiful sites, places of remembrance, pleasant, calm atmosphere, residents passionate about their heritage and many fascinating events that take place all year round when many of the residents as well as tourists gather together in celebration of culture, art and tradition and of a sense of age-old community.
One beautiful annual event is the Jagiellonian Fair, now in its 12th year. The Jagiellonian Fair is, broadly speaking, a meeting with traditional culture of Central and East European countries in many forms: concerts, workshops, presentations but also direct meetings with another person. The event historically refers to 15th century fairs that took place in Lublin. Lublin, located on the crossroad of trade routes, attracted traders and merchants from various corners of Poland and Europe. The event aims at showcasing the most beautiful, authentic aspects of traditional culture of this area and how it inspires more contemporary forms of art, or how they can engage in a dialogue and draw inspiration from one another.
The event focuses around a craftsman’s fair – wooden stalls scattered around the Old Town erupt with colour. The organizers highlight that unlike in many other similar events, the stalls at the Jagiellonian Fair cannot be simply bought – the artists are hand-picked; the organizers strive to invite only those artists who represent genuine local or family traditions. We meet around 300 of them from various countries (Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, this year even Sweden), always kind and eager to tell us about their craft, what drove them to begin, to show and explain the skills. They are happy to answer any questions, they are happy to demonstrate and explain their work, including at various workshops they run.
You can learn from them – they are happy to teach us so that the tradition and awareness of it live on. Their stories are varied, interesting and usually do highlight one fact – they carry their crafts in their heart. This openness, honesty and authenticity strongly resonates. As I walk among the stalls, listening to their stories, observing the skills and admiring the meticulous work, work that is the result of absolutely pure passion and love, I feel moved to tears. It is pure delight to meet them and learn what it means to have a genuine passion and love of traditional handcraft, to be reminded of a certain lifestyle, values and to feel like a part of a warm-hearted community.
The variety of items on display (and available for purchase) range from traditional pysanky eggs, lace and embroidery, through decorations (including pająki traditional, spider-like ornaments that used to be hung in households), toys, unique instruments, blacksmith’s wares – and many others. There is much to feast your eyes on – and the stories of the artisans fill the hearts too.
Every year, the festival focuses on a different theme. This year, the main theme was lace.
There were several exhibitions dedicated to this delicate and meticulous craft. One, entitled “Her majesty Koniaków lace” featured lace from Koniaków, a village in southern Poland known for its lace-making traditions and even finding new applications for this meticulous art, including g-strings. There was a lace umbrella and lace wedding and cocktail dress on display, among other things. Another lace-focused exhibition was a presentation of the organizers’ field research trip and their interviews with lacemakers. Lace was also the inspiration for a mural that adorned one of the event’s locations – the building where the office of the organizers is located, a delightful, peaceful, green-filled patio where workshops were held during the event. Moreover, a pająk referring to this year’s theme was hung in the ancient entryway to the Old Town – the so called Cracow (Krakowska Gate), an architectural symbol of the city built as part of its fortifications during the reign of Casimir the Great in 14th century. The pająk hung at homes was the guardian of good fortune and providence of the household; hung in the Gate, it brings joy to the city.
This year’s pajak was made to reflect the theme of the Jagiellonian Fair – lace.
The Jagiellonian Fair is also very much about celebrating traditional music. There is plenty of music! As we walk among the stalls, for instance, a traditional band may suddenly gallantly surprise you with a spontaneous mini-performance. One of the projects associated with the Jagiellonian Fair is the Jagiellonian Fair Orchestra – open to all enthusiasts of traditional music who also wish to hone their music skills. The Orchestra hold rehearsals throughout the year and perform at the dance parties during the event.
The dance parties are a fantastic opportunity to dance through the night to the tune of lively, fiery music. Sometimes, the band starts going so fast, it becomes hard to keep up! If you feel insecure about your dancing skills, you can always join dance workshops that teach the repertoire played at the parties, but it’s also fun to just hop spontaneously as you like. Trying to keep up with the rhythm can be a real challenge though! Aside from dancing, there are also presentations and workshops dedicated to traditional singing techniques and old song repertoires from various corners of eastern and central Europe.
Furthermore, the bands perform not just at dance parties or in the streets. There are also concerts. One of the concerts is called re:tradition, during which popular performers meet with traditional village musicians, practising authentic traditional music. They rehearse together and learn from one another. The result is an absolutely arresting dialogue between tradition and more modern sounds.
The village singers stand in the highlight, not quite used to stage performances, evident in how microphone-shy they can be at times. They present their musical skills, telling various tales through their art. This year, one of the ladies sang out the haunting, tragic story of the Ulma family – her own relatives. The Ulmas were a family living in south-eastern Poland during the Nazi occupation. They gave shelter to Jews, were denounced and subsequently murdered one early morning – first the Jews, then the Ulmas, including the pregnant mother of the family. Reportedly, she started giving birth at the moment of execution and the baby died too. The song, performed in a traditional singing technique, was a genuinely heart-rending experience.
It’s worth noting that re:tradition was performed in the courtyard of the Lublin Castle that served as prison at various times, most infamously during the Nazi occupation. Just before the Nazi withdrew from Lublin in July 1944, the remaining prisoners (around 300) were murdered.
There are also individual concerts featuring foreign bands playing their roots music, or mixing it up with personal ideas and arrangement. This year, the festival introduced the Norwegian Raabygg – a trio of delightful girls. The girls spun folk tales illustrated with their enchanting music. It was an intimate affair performed on a small stage in the Dominican Monastery, a quiet setting, slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the main artery of the festival. The big stage in Lublin Castle courtyard also featured the Cypriot Monsieur Doumani whose simple but energetic, honest arrangements easily reached the heart and Violons Barbares consisting of musicians from Bulgaria, Mongolia and France who swept us along on a musical journey featuring a combination of music traditions from their countries. All concerts during the Jagiellonian Fair are unique experiences, an opportunity to take in an incredible richness of themes, techniques and approaches. Most of all, it’s always full of heart.
Other than concerts, workshops, exhibitions and meetings with people and tradition, there is also a place for families to spend quality time together, playing traditional games. The Jagiellonian Fair Playground, located in a huge green area directly below the Lublin Castle, offers a variety of large-scale games, some more familiar than others. Among others, you can play tic tac toe using large wooden noughts and crosses, but there is a variety of other traditional games all families can enjoy – together.
Photos by Lydia Bell | Written by Jordan Miller
“The face of a South Florida sun slowly creeps into sight, waking the lower half of the Sunshine State. It’s a typical August Sunday for most. Some are scurrying out to church. Others packing up beach chairs and a cooler. However, ten miles from the Atlantic beach shore, there’s a convoy of tour busses parked outside of Coral Sky Amphitheater. The venue is hosting the last Vans Warped Tour concert. Ever. For the band, Mayday Parade, this day is one that comes with weighted thoughts. Although recently inking a deal with Rise Records, (Sevendust, Of Mice & Men, The Devil Wears Prada,) and releasing their eighth studio album, the band has been part of this tour since forming in 2005. Thousands of eager fans begin making their way into the 20,000 seat amphitheatre. You can feel the unspoken sense of what’s to come after today. Especially for Mayday Parade.”
– Jordan Miller, freelance photo-journalist and singer-songwriter based in Nashville, TN
(pre-amble to upcoming interview with Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade)
Photos by Lydia Bell | Interview with Holly Riley conducted by Jordan Miller
Honeysuckle sweet harmonies. Melodies that dance through the night like smoke easing off a half burnt cigarette. The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn honor the heartfelt sound of traditional roots music and it shows on their recent album, Chasing Horizons. The Tallahassee Folk-Bluegrass trio released their newest project earlier this year and I had the opportunity to catch up with their violin player, Holy Riley while on the end run of their tour.
Your schedule shows you were in North Carolina last night, what other states have you visited on this tour?
We were in five different states, so Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
How’s the tour been so far? I noticed you posted a picture on the Annabelle Lyn Facebook page standing in knee deep water. What was the story behind that?
Yeah, the weather was mostly pretty good the whole time until we got to Charleston. Early that morning we were supposed to leave, and we happened to be staying at a downtown part of the city that just floods really bad. So we woke up at about 8 or 9am that morning to see everything surrounding us, just completely covered in about a foot and a half of water. All of our instruments and gear were in the car, so we actually ended up having to push the car up a hill to move it to higher ground. We had to take all of the gear out of it so we could push it, and then drive the car to dry ground, THEN carry all of our gear and instruments through about a block and a half of standing water to get back to the car.
Oh wow! The tour life, right?
Ha! Yeah, it was crazy. We were so tired by the end of it.
So I myself used to live in the Tallahassee area, and I’ve had the privilege of catching a couple of The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn shows. So I’m fairly familiar with your music, but I just wanted to ask from your personal perspective how you would describe The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn for listeners who have never heard your music?
Well, it’s certainly changed and expanded a lot over the years. The founding idea or impetus of the band originated from all our of our middle names. Anne, Belle, and Lyn. And the name, The Adventures of Annabelle Lyn was kind of intended to create this fictional character who went on adventures and was really free to explore musically. So we kind of embodied that personality. In those first few years of the band, we did a lot of themed shows. So we would actually base our shows and the outfits we were wearing, or the setting of the show, around some specific themes. We would do a mermaid theme, or an ocean scene. Or even nights that centered around one specific band, such as the Beatles. And what ended up happening was, not only did we get a really cool foundation of music from all sorts of genres and backgrounds, but also a unique and diverse sense of influences. So I think we also started developing a better idea of what we wanted our own sound to be and what our original songs would sound like. During our first two albums, we spent a lot of time focusing on sort of our folk and bluegrass roots, but I think what has come to the forefront over the past few years, is our love for vocal harmonies, along with these interweaving instrumental parts where everybody plays off each other.
That’s pretty unique. I remember reading in your bio about the themed shows. Would you say that doing shows like this inspired or influenced the writing for your albums?
Definitely, definitely. One of the things that has been really special about this band, you know, we’ve all been in all sorts of different types of bands. Everyone of us has a pretty diverse musical background, and we’ve been in lots of bands with other people where we felt there was a really strong expectation to play one genre of music or have a very specific sound. And I think doing those themed shows, where we were free to be whatever we imagined, allowed us to be really creative in the development of doing our own music. So when we did start writing and producing more of our own music, we were less limited and more imaginative towards what we could be and what we wanted to sound like.
So you guys are on tour right now. Is there an artist or band who you have had the privilege of opening up for that you were just blown away by or after hearing them live, they had a significant impact on your music?
Well, at the beginning of this year, we had this crazy, amazing opportunity that we did not expect we would get in a million years. We got to open up for the band America. Which we never expected to happen. It was one of those, completely being in the right place at the right time things. We happened to be playing a show down near Panama City and Lynn Haven. The promoter for their show was there and he loved our music. He ended up giving us a call a couple weeks later and just asked if we’d like to come open for one of their shows. Said he sent the band our music and they loved it. We said “Oh my goodness, we’d love to!” So we got to open up for them at the end of January and it was completely, one of the most incredible experiences we’ve ever had. We all grew up loving their music. Our guitar player, her favorite movie growing up was The Last Unicorn, so we’ve all pretty much been in love with their music most of our musical lives. After our set, the band members asked us if we’d like to sit in on their set at the end, so we got to go back on stage for their encore and played Horse With No Name with them.
How was that feeling?
It was absolutely awesome! Here we are playing the soundtrack to our lives, our musical lives. You grow up listening to this song on the radio and now all of the sudden you’re on a stage in front of thousands of people, singing the song with the people who wrote it.
How would you describe your writing process? There’s three of you in the group. Does one person write the songs and the others write the music? Do you all write?
We’re all songwriters. We all write songs on our own mainly, or at least we will start a song individually, then bring it to the band to finish. On this record, Chasing Horizons, there’s thirteen songs and everyone wrote a third of the songs. Everybody also sings lead on a third of the songs, as well. One of the nice things about this band is everyone has different roles instrumentally, so when we write a song, we’re writing from that instruments perspective. So if I write a song on the fiddle, after bringing it to Kat and Elizabeth, they’re able to make the song come alive by adding in their instrument sounds.
Chasing Horizons is the most recent project you guys have done together. What would you say is the one thing you want listeners to take away from this album?
I think the thing that was really special to us about this most recent record, is that everything on it was creative and specific to us. It was something we sort of decided for ourselves and we knew how we wanted it to sound. We had a great recording engineer who let us have a ton of control over making that sound and what we were hearing in our heads. We put a lot of detail in to the vocal harmonies and how the arrangements would go. So if there’s any take away, I think it’s just, as a musician and especially a female musician, you’re allowed to have agency in sounding like yourself, and in putting out a musical product that is totally yours. Something you feel good about, and you shouldn’t be afraid to take that on an adventure. Make it wild, crazy, and fun. Make it 100% you.
Absolutely. I’d say you guys achieved that on this record. What’s next on the Chasing Horizons tour?
We’re wrapping up the summer tour now, but while being in the van for the past week and a half, we’ve booked a bunch of really awesome dates we’re looking forward to inside and around Tallahassee for the next year. So we will be releasing a schedule here soon. We’re going to be playing at the Suwannee Roots Revival in October. Really excited about that. But we’ve got more dates we’re announcing soon!
That’s exciting. I’m yet to attend a Suwannee event, but being from the North Florida area, it’s on my list. Is there anything else you’d like to mention before we wrap up?
We’re super grateful for our community and everyone around us. Especially everyone on this tour who has hosted and supported us along the way. It’s been really special, just the generosity from everyone that we’ve experienced. The people that make music or love music, that’s what makes this possible. So we’re very thankful.