Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/3/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: KALEN
Singer-songwriter Kalen’s six-song debut EP, Falling From The Sun, is rock noir. The bruised beauty of her lyrics, her dark and shimmering compositions, the haunting expressiveness of her singing, and her dynamically cinematic producing skills imbue the music with a visual layer of intrigue. It is a moody blend of blues, trip-hop and rock with bits of dub step and world beat that’s artfully accessible.
The New York-based singer first gained notoriety fronting the avant-funk band Ladybug Stingray, a band that combined performance art with abstract dance grooves. With that band she performed from coast to coast, from NYC’s Webster Hall, to Brooklyn’s The Knitting Factory, to LA’s Whiskey A-Go-Go. She also headlined The Wassaic Project’s summer festival twice. As a solo artist, she’s channeled the adventurousness, theatrics, and dynamics …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/27/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Rachel Potter
A rock ‘n roll baby, Rachel was born in New Orleans to southern parents who connected over their mutual passion for song. Potter’s earliest memory of music was at age three, standing on the steps of her Baptist church next to best friend Jamey Ray singing in her hometown of Seminole, Florida. Exposed to music from day one Rachel remembers “My dad played guitar around the house and my mom would always sing harmony to oldies in the car.”
After graduating from college she moved to New York where she got a gig singing in a wedding band. After auditioning for Broadway shows for over a year, she booked the WICKED national tour and THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Rachel was ecstatic to fulfill her dream of Broadway but still couldn’t get …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/13/2013
Support Women Artists Sunday: Annie Dressner
Recently moving from her hometown of New York City to the UK, singer-songwriter, Annie Dressner is about to release her newest work – an EP titled “East Twenties” (release date: April 8, 2013).
Dressner’s poignant songs are delivered with such conversational ease, it often seems as if she is reading from an intimate letter or a book, set to music. Her straightforward lyrical style, sharp ear for wordplay and crisp, lilting vocals offer listeners a front-row seat to her stories, as they take shape above the understated music.
Her quirky debut album, “Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names” (2011) was featured via iTunes. As seen in the reviews, Dressner is making a strong connection with listeners. The collection of 11 original songs at times evokes Bright Eyes, an up-tempo Mazzy …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 09/9/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
By the sound of them, you would think Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings started making funk-threaded soul music together in the 1960s. Few devotedly retro acts are as convincing. Few singers as skilled as Sharon Jones at stuffing notes with ache and meaning might be willing to invest in a sound so fully occupied by the likes of Bettye LaVette and Tina Turner in the Ike years, too. But what Jones brings to the funkified table has legs of its own — eight of them, to be exact — and they belong to Binky Griptite, Bugaloo Velez, Homer Steinweiss, and Dave Guy — her Dap-Kings.
Jones, like James Brown, was born in Augusta, GA; there she sang in her church choir, and from fellow parishioners picked up the kind of …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/26/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Emeli Sandé
Gracefully flaunting her rich voice and penchant for sophisticated melody on her debut album, Our Version of Events, Emeli Sandé is instantly revealed as an uncompromising creative force. A fervent singer-songwriter since the age of 10, the now 24-year-old Scottish recording artist got her first big break while still a teenager. But instead of signing to a label, she put her music career on hold and embarked on a six-year degree in medicine. It wasn’t until 2010, with just a year to go, that Sandé decided to take time out from her studies and dedicate herself to her music full-time. After writing a slew of songs for British acts like Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Tinie Tempah, and Cheryl Cole (and being noted as Simon Cowell’s “favourite songwriter at the minute,”) …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/22/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Shilpa Narayan
Shilpa Narayan, the woman behind the Youtube username Shilax0929′s musical rendition videos had an unlikely beginning that sets her apart from the vast majority of musical acts these days. As a young child, Shilpa gained a sincere appreciation for music. Her parents exposed her to a variety of genres and a particular influence for Shilpa was the Indian music that her mother would sing. As a busy student at Georgia Tech a few years ago, where a musical scene “wasn’t too widespread,” Shilpa did not have much of an opportunity to become involved in exploring her love of music and singing. However, her musical interests still continued to flourish despite her surrounding environment. Shilpa’s final motivation to begin recording covers and share them with the world via Youtube came during …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 07/8/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Haim
According to California-based sister trio HAIM, the origin story of their band starts with their parents’ shared love of music. As a teenager in the 1970s, their mother won an episode of The Gong Show, singing a rendition of a Bonnie Raitt song, while their father spent time as a drummer.
“It might have been why they fell in love,” says Alana Haim, guitarist and, at 19, the youngest of the three. “They met at some disco in the eighties. I guess back then it was kind of hard to find a cute girl who could also play guitar.” As a result, the siblings were raised on a strict diet of classic rock, like the Rolling Stones and Fleetwood Mac, and old-school Americana. When they reached middle school, Mama and …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/24/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Gemma Ray
The early 2000s had their share of retro-soul and R&B acts, but British singer/songwriter Gemma Ray had a more complex m.o. than simply aping the greats. Reaching back to pre-Beatles rock for inspiration — but tossing in a jumble of influences as disparate as Tom Waits, Kate Bush, film scores, flamenco, and the sparkly indie pop of the ‘90s and 2000s — Ray sculpted a sound that was familiar and warm, but also appealingly off-kilter and full of noir-ish touches that were part homage, part pastiche. The Essex native released her first album, The Leader, in early 2008 on the U.K.-based indie label Bronzerat. Aloft on a cloud of positive reviews from the British press, she was about to embark on a tour when she became ill and had to …