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 …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/17/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: The Mynabirds
The Mynabirds are a collective of musicians fronted by singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn. Founded in 2009 following the split of her previous DC band, Georgie James, the Mynabirds are currently based in Omaha, Nebraska. Their debut album, “What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood“, was produced by Richard Swift and released to critical acclaim by Saddle Creek in April of 2010.
The Mynabirds supported their debut LP with more than a year of busy touring alongside bands-become-friends, including Bright Eyes, David Bazan and Crooked Fingers. In December of 2010, they released “All I Want is Truth (for Xmas)“, a limited edition 7? on Saddle Creek, which featured an original (anti-commercialism) holiday song and a cover of the Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year”.
At the end of …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 06/3/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Ana Tijoux
Chile’s Ana Tijoux exploded onto the scene in 2010 with a sick, tongue-twistin flow that immediately captured the ears of unsuspecting listeners, regardless of the language flowing through their heads. Her style is utterly laid-back, nonchalant, and smooth – and then she’ll hit you over the head with a mad rapid-fire lyrical spit that will leave even Spanish speakers scratching their head thinking she must have learned Chinese.
With horns and strings blazing, her aptly titled album 1977 takes the listener back to the “golden-age” of hip-hop. Tijoux is determined to keep that style at the forefront of hip-hop, using the past while speaking in the present in order to build for the future. And if the world is forced to learn a little Spanish along the way, all the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 05/27/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Hello Saferide
Hello Saferide’s cheery pop/rock is primarily the work of Annika Norlin, a Swedish music journalist and radio DJ who launched her songwriting career in the early 2000s. Although Norlin had written songs in the past, she hadn’t released any material until 2004, when the burgeoning songwriter uploaded her first recordings to the Internet. She quickly received label interest, and in September 2005, the Swedish label Razzia Records released Introducing… Hello Saferide. A live band was quickly assembled, and the newly expanded Hello Saferide toured throughout Asia, Brazil, and Europe in support of the debut album.
In addition to issuing a batch of EPs and singles, Norlin released a Swedish-language record under the name Säkert! in 2007. The album went gold and won two Grammis, Sweden’s equivalent of the Grammy Award. …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/18/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Laura Gibson
Laura Gibson grew up in a small town in southern Oregon called Coquille. Her family lived in the middle of the woods, as her father was a forest ranger and her mother a teacher.
Her introduction to music began early, listening to the folk albums her parents kept around the house and learning to love the intense imagery and narrative storytelling of folks like Bob Dylan. Gibson was inclined toward music while growing up, but too shy to perform live for people.
She moved to Portland to go to school (on a math scholarship) and continued to grad school, where she studied counseling. After college, she took to playing music at nursing homes and for hospice patients. Seeing the joy it brought to her audiences, Gibson developed the confidence to …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Brian C on 02/12/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Katie Costello
As musicians and music-listeners alike venture into a creative climate in which technological elements often define an artist’s sonic and visual identity, Katie Costello emerges as a unique and timeless example of an authentic artisan shinning amidst the frequently clouded backdrop of modernity. Almost as if her spirit has been frozen in another day and age, her perspective is one that far exceeds her surprisingly young age. She writes about the human condition – Our ever present desire to find peace, identity, home, and understanding.
Katie Costello’s most recent release “Lamplight” (2011), produced by Los Angeles-based music guru Tony Berg (Jesca Hoop, Aimee Mann, Michael Penn), reflects her distinctively conversational, yet poetic lyrical approach. Deeply personal, her songs are impressionistic and beckon to the lonely, disconnected nature of our times. …