SPEELBURG

Speelburg-12.jpg

Speelburg (né Noah Sacré) is in a good mood. Having spent the last few years living in England writing what he calls “pop music for important people,” Speelburg relocated to Los Angeles seeking the kind of weather he grew up with in the south of France. He made quite an impression during his time in Great Britain, earning BBC Radio 1’s Chillest Record of the Week for his single “Headlights” and praise from Clash magazine who described his sound as “startlingly unique electro pop.” Pigeons & Planes took it a step further: “Speelburg...is a force to be reckoned with.”  

In recent months, the Belgian-American musician has completed work on two solo albums, the second of which will confusingly come out first, but only he will ever know the difference. Character Actor (coming late summer 2019) is a sunny collection of ten songs to be accompanied by Arcobaleno, a (very) short film he directed himself, drawn from Instagram and beyond.  

Whether it is paying homage to three Sofia Coppola films in his music video for “Screener Season,” hand-drawing and animating the video for the aforementioned “Headlights” (which Clash called in true English fashion “a corker”) or showing off his fondness for short-shorts and watermelon in the video for his upcoming single “Oxy Cotton Candy,” Sacré is as much a compelling visual artist as he is an innovative musician.  

Having just completed a short tour of the West Coast and with a European trek on deck this fall, Speelburg’s good mood looks like it is going to stick around for awhile. 

 

411 Music Group

411 music group.png

411 Music Group was founded in 2012 for writers by writers and has grown into an international music brand. 411 provides synchronization licensing, custom music, music directors, curated playlists, online and offline databases, and publishing services for music rights holders. The team strives to raise the bar within the audio/visual community by adding unique artists to the roster and developing forward-thinking models for brands and production companies. The 130+ genre-specific composers write music for brands, TV shows, films, trailers, video games, and interactive media. 

MIRANDA GLORY

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | SOUNDCLOUD

Miranda Glory, born Miranda Glory Inzunza, is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. 

Growing up, she first fell in love with music doing musical theater and listening to everything from John Mayer to Joni Mitchell, Nirvana, Coldplay and Michael Jackson. It was through her consumption of all of these different genres and artists that she started her love affair with music and was inspired to start writing her own songs, learning to play the guitar, piano and the drums. Miranda graduated from the Professional Performing Arts School in NYC, whose halls have been graced by the likes of Alicia Keys and Britney Spears. After high school, she headed to Boston to attend the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where she earned her degree in early 2016. She scored her first major solo success when she was selected to record a vinyl LP in Valencia, Spain, under Berklee’s in house label. 

Miranda continued writing and recording, and began to release her music independently online.  In late 2016, she was discovered and selected to the exclusive Neverland Songwriting Retreat in Costa Rica, which put her on the map as a songwriter.  After that, she went bicoastal, ferrying back and forth from New York and Los Angeles, writing with established songwriters and producers, including Autumn Rowe (Fifth Harmony, Cher Lloyd), Sheppard Solomon (Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears), Zac Poor (Tori Kelly, MNEK), David Brook (Eminem, Charlie Puth), The Fliptones (Jason Derulo, Flo Rida), and more.  For Miranda the writing process is all about honesty. She sources material from all different areas of her life. Ideas can be sparked from anywhere, a conversation with a friend going through a hard time, a random phrase or word, someone or something that she observed on the street.   

Last year, Miranda released her debut singles “Blue Eyes feat. Matty Owens” & “Take” on iconic NYC-based label Tommy Boy Entertainment, gaining attention from prominent streaming playlists and media outlets.  Of the Alt Pop/R&B infused “Take,” the music blog Gems and Secrets wrote that it’s “a slow jam that’s perfect for getting yourself in the mood.”   

In late 2017, Miranda signed a worldwide deal with Selected/Sony Music Germany & Ultra Music U.S. for her single “Instant Gratification” released on December 15th, while simultaneously co-writing and featuring on RYNX’s single “Want You”, which has amassed over 10 million plays across streaming platforms.    

2018 is off to a great start as Miranda collaborated with established European Artist & DJ Tujamo on the single “Body Language (feat. Miranda Glory & Haris)” which can be heard in clubs all over the world.  Next came a collaboration with one of the world’s top DJ’s, R3HAB, & Noah Neiman for the single “We Do (feat. Miranda Glory)” which debuted on 25 of Spotify’s New Music Fridays worldwide, released in April.  Most recently, Miranda released her single "Stain" with Colin Chase & Gill Chang on KnightVision Records.   

Miranda continues to write & record in the studio from a place of honesty and self-expression. It’s important to her that her music is relatable, set to a heavily R&B and electronic influenced beat. Above all else, she wants people to connect to the vulnerability and honest nature of her music and make others feel that their experiences are universal. She’s currently gearing up to release her next single “Hypochondriac” this summer, as well as an EP set to release later this year.   

NEXT CItY

Next City - Blue Star 1 (B&W).jpg

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

NEXT CItY, formed in the heart of Los Angeles, California, is the brainchild of renowned actor, vocalist and musician Samuel Larsen, best known for his work on Glee as Joe Hart and his supporting role in the current hit film After, based on the novel by Anna Todd that became a worldwide phenomenon. Larsen always had a strong passion for true rock n’ roll and it inspired him to start a band rooted deep in garage rock grit, layered over a foundation steeped in groove. His vision began taking shape when he met guitarist Philip Paulsen on tour and the two wrote the band’s debut single “Blue Star” together. Rounded out by the unwavering rhythm section of bassist Nick Diiorio and drummer Ben Brinckerhoff, the quartet has come together to perfect their brand of guitar-driven rock influenced by heavy hitters like Death From Above 1979, The Dead Weather, and Queens of the Stone Age, all while encompassing the electric energy of funk driven pop music that takes its cues from Prince and Michael Jackson.

As the main songwriters for the band, Larsen and Paulsen most commonly write as a synergetic experience. Growing up, they were both inspired to become musicians by listening to the music of AC/DC and Elvis Presley. Combining catchy hooks with soaring guitar riffs and Larsen’s vocals, the two came together to create music that aligns with their personal taste and focus.

NEXT CItY has a unique way of fusing their experimental energy with the modern era of rock n’ roll. With fuzzy, funk-tinged guitars and pocket beats, their sound is familiar on the ears, yet unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. They’re making their sonic assault on the world with the release of their debut single “Blue Star” inspired by the dichotomy between the dream vs.  reality of Hollywood and how it can be the ultimate fantasy, but also a nightmare. They’ve recently written a record of honest and soulful tracks they hope bring fans excitement, inspiration, escapism and newfound energy. Larsen said “I've always loved how music can make you face your feelings while also helping you escape them at the same time. I want our songs to do just that, as well as make you want to move. I want people to feel confident when our songs are on.”

NEXT CITY – Lineup  

Samuel Larsen - Vocals

Philip Paulsen - Guitar


Nick Diiorio - Bass

Ben Brinckerhoff - Drums



THE MOWGLI'S

Cr_Cortney_Armitage_3.jpg

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | SOUNDCLOUD | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | PRESS MATERIALS

Formed in 2010 by the coalescing of a Venice music collective, The Mowgli’s began as a 10+ member group playing house parties and warehouse gatherings.  

The release of their first major-label LP Waiting For The Dawn in 2013 saw immediate success with the hit single San Francisco. The record - which focused on the joy of bringing people together -immediately connected in a cynical world. The band quickly found themselves playing to sold out crowds in clubs around the US and inundated by requests for press, sponsorships and partnerships. Appearances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Firefly, Osheaga, Bottlerock and many other festivals followed as did performances on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, CONAN and a stint as the SXSW House band for Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live (Bravo) The follow up LP, 2015’s Kids in Love (which spawned the feel-good single "I’m Good") saw the band explore personal relationships including their own inter-band ones, and their third LP Where’d Your Weekend Go? which came in the fall of 2016, often found the band working on songs together from their very inception - giving much of the record a relaxed and communal feeling.  Always with a mission to bring hope and positivity into the world, The Mowgli’s have been involved with numerous charities including The IRC, Heal The Bay, Happy Bottoms and many food banks and homeless shelters.

ASHRR

ASHRR_@jennicamaephoto_JennicaAbrams2018-9.JPG

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Spotify

LOS ANGELES HAS A LONG RICH HISTORY OF CULTIVATING SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST INNOVATIVE AND PROGRESSIVE ENDEAVORS, BRINGING TOGETHER TALENTED INDIVIDUALS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE WHO THRIVE IN COLLABORATION. THAT HOTBED OF ARTISTIC EXPRESSION IS WHAT ALSO LED TO THE CREATION OF ASHRR. 

 FORMED THIS YEAR, ASHRR IS AN ALTERNATIVE ROCK / SYNTH POP MUSICAL COLLECTIVE MADE UP OF SINGER-SONGWRITER STEVEN DAVIS AND ARTISTS / PRODUCERS ETHAN ALLEN AND JOSH CHARLES. WHILE SOMEWHAT NEW TO THE MUSIC SCENE IN LA, THE TRIO HAS A LONG ECLECTIC MUSICAL BACKGROUND THAT MELD EXPERIENCE AND INFLUENCE FROM A MULTITUDE OF STYLES AND GENRES. 

 STEVEN DAVIS’ COMES FROM A FASCINATING MUSICAL PEDIGREE RANGING FROM HIS MIDWESTERN CHURCH ROOTS, SINGING GOSPEL TO HIS BOOMING CAREER AS A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN. SELECT HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE HEADLINING RESIDENCIES AT NYC’S ESTEEMED RAINBOW ROOM; (SHARING THE STAGE WITH ICONS SUCH AS DIANA KRALL AND TONY BENNETT, HEADLINING ROCKEFELLER CENTER'S RAREFIED RAINBOW & STARS) AND CO-WRITING WITH POP LEGEND JOHN OATES. HIS MUSIC HAS BEEN FEATURED IN TELEVISION AND FILM INCLUDING, GRITTY TECH INFUSED THRILLER “STARTUP”, CBS HIT SHOW “CRIMINAL MINDS” AND THE TITLE SONG TO THE TOMMY LEE JONES AND MORGAN FREEMAN FLICK “JUST GETTING STARTED". 

 ETHAN ALLEN IS A GRAMMY-NOMMINATED RECORD PRODUCER, MIXER, ENGINEER, WRITER, MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST MUSICIAN ORIGINALLY HAILING FROM AUSTIN AND NEW ORLEANS. HIS CREDITS INCLUDE BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, BEN HARPER, THE 88, TRICKY, LUSCIOUS JACKSON, THE CULT, GRAM RABBIT, SHERYL CROW, TIM FINN, BRANT BJORK, DONITA SPARKS, MEG MYERS, PATTY GRIFFIN AND BETTER THAN EZRA, AS WELL AS MANY LICENSING PLACEMENTS IN FILM AND TELEVISION. 

 JOSH CHARLES IS A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PIANO PRODIGY, GUITARIST, SINGER, PRODUCER AND SONGWRITER MENTORED BY ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAMER DR. JOHN. HE HAS RECORDED FOR COLUMBIA RECORDS/SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, ISLAND RECORDS AND ELEKTRA RECORDS/WARNER MUSIC GROUP, AND HAS PRODUCED/CO-PRODUCED AND WRITTEN/CO-WRITTEN SEVEN ALBUMS, INCLUDING HIS OWN LOVE, WORK & MONEY (2010) AND 1974. HE HAS BEEN PRODUCING EXCLUSIVE SOUND CONTENT FOR NATIVE INSTRUMENTS AND SPLICE. JOSH HAS MANY SONGS ON RADIO, FILM AND TV INCLUDING SEVERAL CUTS WITH JOHN OATES. 

 THE COLLECTIVE CAME TOGETHER AFTER MEETING THROUGH MUTUAL FRIENDS IN MUSIC AND EVENTUALLY MADE THEIR WAY TO THE THE STUDIO BEGINNING IN 2018 WITH ONE GOAL: CREATE MUSIC FOR THEMSELVES AT THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE LEVEL. “OUR COLLECTIVE LOVE OF ANALOG SYNTH POP, CLASSIC NEW WAVE MELODIES AND SONGWRITING, AND TAKING MODERN PRODUCTION TO THE LIMITS, DEFINES US,” SAYS CHARLES. “WE ALL COME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS WHICH IS WHAT CAN BE HEARD INSIDE THE MUSIC. WE'VE MADE A BAND FOR OURSELVES THAT WE WANTED TO HEAR IN TODAY’S CLIMATE. ASHRR SOUNDS LIKE ASHRR.” 

ASHRR’S UNIQUE SOUND SHINES BRIGHT ON THE BAND’S NEW EP, THAT’S DUE OUT IN OCTOBER. MUSICAL DIVERSITY CAN BE HEARD THROUGHOUT THE RECORD WITH EACH SONG WRITTEN AND PERFORMED WITH DISTINCT PURPOSE AND METICULOUS SKILL. THE BAND’S CONTRASTING BACKGROUNDS ALLOWS FOR A COLLISION OF INFLUENCES FROM NEW WAVE AND ART ROCK TO INDIE ELECTRONIC POP. 

 “WE ARE INTERESTED IN TRUE EMOTION AND INTENT, AND HAVING SOMETHING REAL TO COMMUNICATE,” ADDS ALLEN. “WE ARE ALSO INTERESTED IN EXPERIMENTING AND PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES TO FIND SOMETHING NEW.”

NOAH LEKAS

SNS.png

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Medium

Noah C Lekas is a poet, essayist and journalist. His first book, Saturday Night Sage (April 13, 2019) is a collection of narrative prose exploring mysticism and menial labor in contemporary America. After calling all four corners of the country home, his work is as uniquely American as his perspective. The first literary release for San Diego record label Blind Owl, the collection gives voice to an often overlooked and undervalued, working-class experience. Hailed as “A punk séance for the beat spirit,” Saturday Night Sage weaves the unwavering ethos of post-industrial Wisconsin with the poetic tradition of New York City and the eccentric Rock ‘n’ Roll soul of San Francisco. 

Even before its official release, the collection inspired other artists to take Lekas’ words beyond the page with audio recordings and visual art. San Francisco artist Alan Forbes, best known for his work with The Black Crowes, Mars Volta and Patti Smith, brought the title piece to life with original cover art. Saturday Night Sage is the first poetry collection to feature Forbes’ work. Six recordings were also made featuring Lekas reading with accompaniment by members of Mrs. Henry and Taken By Canadians. Those recordings were then interpreted by film makers Scott Rosenbaum (Sidemen: The Long Road to Glory), Shelby Baldock (North Mississippi Allstars) Joshua and Jeremiah Zimmerman (The Silent Comedy), Blake Cook (Visual Artist), and Elizabeth Lekas (Visual Artist) for a series of promotional short films.   

 In a time when spirituality is often confrontational and nuance is trivialized, Saturday Night Sage fearlessly digs into American culture. In its unique rhythm of Thoreauvian romanticism and punk contrarianism, Lekas defines the poetic voice of blue-collar mysticism.  

 Saturday Night Sage pre-order begins March 2nd with an official release on April 13th.  

ANiiML

ANML color cry copy.png

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM  | TWITTER | PRESS MATERIALS | YouTube

 

Puking rainbows, gun to head, exploding animals, human road kill, a pregnant woman on a cross, a forest covered in recycled plastic… ANiiML will put herself in the way of comfort in order to bring her vision and message into the forefront.  

Whether her music has slipped into your consciousness behind hit TV shows including Fox’s Lucifer, The Royals, Wentworth, VICE, BULL, So You Think You Can Dance, Mustangs FC, the trailer for VICELANDS’ World of Sports, the trailer for Black Market, Slutiver, Beerland, Reed Krakoff adds, or from her visually stunning live multi-media concerts, ANiiML’s message is strong, her voice is quirkily recognizable, and her passion is contagious.  This Canadian born, LA based singer, songwriter, producer, film-maker and activist isn’t afraid to walk the edge in sound and in sight. 

ANiiML has warmed the stage for acts such as MOBY, Emily Wells, Raury, Dreamcar, and Waka Flocka Flame, among others. The live show is a multi media experience which incorporates elements of performance art, dance, and theatre, featuring the three drummer band; Daniel Burdman on the electronic drums/guitar, Ryan Fyeff on the acoustic drums, and Lila Rose as their fierce, hypnotically “possessed” front person, and third drummer.  

ANiiML radiates goose-bumps of 'whoa!!!', entrancing listening audiences with liberating primal “witch-pop” and fierce gothic-r&b infused cinematic arrangements; weaving looming electronic soundscapes with thunderously booming layered drums. An intoxicating symphonic message straight to the open hearted, moving audiences to tears with a distinctive juxtaposition of guttural and whimsical vocals; battle cries of a big hearted lover-of-all-life. 

 

JAMIE MCDELL

JMD_50.jpg

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM  | TWITTER | PRESS MATERIALS | YouTube

Now at age 25, New Zealand singer/songwriter Jamie McDell has achieved a prolific amount for someone so young. Being signed to EMI at age 16 sparked the beginning of a successful musical journey, making Jamie McDell a household name across the nation. With the release of her debut album ‘Six Strings and a Sailboat’, she went on to achieve Gold album sales, receive three NZ Music Award nominations, winning Best Pop Album of 2013. Her sophomore record ‘Ask Me Anything’ gained global attention, seeing album track ‘Moon Shines Red’ featured on American TV series Pretty Little Liars. A lot was going on for the young songwriter throughout her formative years. 

2018 marked McDell’s return with an independently-released record that celebrates her musical roots and the sounds of her upbringing. This new recorded project came together between Auckland, New Zealand and Nashville, Tennessee where she recorded the tracks with Australian award-winner producer Nash Chambers. The record features a hearty cast of country music legends including Kasey Chambers, Bill Chambers and Tami Neilson. 

 It was the music of her childhood that would form the fundamental elements of what excited her about songwriting the most - an honest vocal, lots of acoustic guitar and deep storytelling. 

It was at age 7, while living aboard a yacht in the Mediterranean, when McDell wrote her first song. On that yacht lived a small collection of her parents’ favourite tapes, including albums by Jimmy Buffett, John Denver and James Taylor, which the young McDell formed a particularly strong bond with. She fondly remembers watching her parents perform Jimmy Buffett duets - and occasionally chiming in, learning how to harmonise vocally with her mother. An eager learner, Mcdell picked up the guitar after studying her fathers’ John Denver chord book collection and has never looked back. 

 In March 2017, McDell booked a trip to Nashville for a change of scenery and to connect with the environment that birthed the country/folk music of her youth. There she wrote the songs that would make up the fabric for her upcoming record. 

 Later that year, twelve songs (written solely by McDell) were recorded in two days with full band at House Of Blues, Studio D in Nashville, with Chambers at the helm. Recording this way would boil up feelings of nostalgia for McDell, who’s very first recording experience took place at Auckland’s York Street studios in the same vein. 

“This is the closest thing I’ve done to a live record,” McDell says. “I enjoy playing and singing in the same room as everyone, recording full takes, celebrating the liveliness of the players and accepting mistakes or imperfections as a special and important part of the body of work.”  

On this new record, McDell’s vocals are the most raw and vulnerable they have ever been - powerful and honest - and reflect her core listening inspirations which include Patty Griffin and Alison Krauss. Her Margaritaville-infused childhood sneaks through in humorous lines like “scared of looking crazy, she opens up a bottle of wine, forgets about her baby and looks to have a hell of a time.”  

This new album also marks McDell’s second independent release since going independent from 2016 - the first being a debut album, written/performed with her younger sister Tessa as Dunes. This record has been personally hand-crafted from the ground up, with McDell overseeing everything from the writing, creation, promotion and release. She also creates the visual artwork herself, as a graphic designer by day. 

Putting the overall feeling of the album into words isn’t easy, but McDell reflects on the personal challenge of leaving the comfort of home to write something that was honest and true. 

“Nashville was me getting out of my comfort zone and finding my way back to it. I like to write songs quickly and alone and quite frankly when I feel like it, and I think being away from home helped me get back to that headspace,” 

“The listener is getting a sincerely true collection of stories that haven’t been tampered with since they were written. They are exactly what I felt like saying/singing at the time - raw, unpolished and deeply honest.” 

 

WASI

WASI_katcontreras_wasimusic_pretour18-14.jpg

WEBSITE FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM  | TWITTER PRESS MATERIALS | YouTube | Soundcloud

WASI’s music and vigor is an invitation into their utopia of love, liberation and a questioning of the status quo. They’ve built a following based on their contagious live energy and anthemic indie/alt songwriting. 

Influenced by the pop tenderness of Tegan and Sara with the rebellion of The Clash, they draw influence from the west coast underground punk scene, late night dance clubs and hip hop production. Their anthemic songs speak of their experiences as Outsiders and owning your voice in a cloudy world.

Their debut album RIOT POP speaks the stream of conscious honesty of a rebel who also fights to love themselves. RIOT POP drops June 7, 2019. 

“The group is well-equipped to be a part of the resistance, providing sounds and solace for young people coming into their own, just as music had helped them before.” – Billboard

Taylor Scott Band

Promotional-1.JPG

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YouTube | Soundcloud

Taylor Scott is an international touring guitarist and singer/songwriter based in Denver, Colorado. He has consistently toured all over the US, Canada, and Europe with both the Taylor Scott Band and trance-blues legend Otis Taylor.  In 2015, he played alongside the likes of Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov't Mule) on Otis' critically acclaimed release, "Hey Joe Opus: Red Meat."  The Taylor Scott Band, based in Denver, is an original rock & roll band heavily influenced by funk and soul music.  2018 will bring the release of a new album from the band featuring Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) as producer and guest appearances by Henry Garza (Los Lonely Boys) and others.  Here is a word on the music:

"Heavily influenced by soul, funk, blues, and rock & roll, Taylor Scott's music is gaining a reputation for transcending the limitations of a single genre.  His diversely influenced rock & roll group, The Taylor Scott Band, is a high-powered extension of this mélange of sounds."

Greg Holden

IMG_5247.jpg

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM  | TWITTER | PRESS MATERIALS

 After I was dropped from Warner Bros Records in 2016, I was faced with an unexpected existential crisis; How was I, Greg Holden, — the artist with enough gall to write his own press-release — any different from the thousands of cliché-ridden white male singer-songwriters out galavanting in the world today?

 My knee-jerk reaction was that I wasn’t, and I started preparing myself for a life-shattering return home to England, tail between my legs, armed with a few good stories to tell my mates on Quiz night back in old Blighty.

 So I did what any self-respecting artist would do and Googled myself for some positive reinforcement. I realized that what has and always will separate me from the pack is that I am breathtakingly handsome. Okay, maybe that’s not it. What I realized is that the most successful songs in my career to date were written either for a special cause or ended up being used in a special cause. They were the songs I’d written without ever considering how well they’d sell, or in 2019 language how many Spotify streams they would garner. Forgive the outlandish arrogance and cringe-worthy Zuckerberg-esque tone, but I realized that my best songs had quite literally helped people. The ironic part was, I hadn’t actually meant to do that at all.

 By accident, “The Lost Boy” raised €80,000 for The Red Cross and ended up helping to — if in just a small way — build schools in Africa. I wrote “Boys in the Street” for Everyone Is Gay, an organization supporting the LGBTQ youth community, a creation that Tom Hanks of Turner & Hooch fame dubbed “the perfect song”. An unbelievable compliment that pulled me from the depths of hell in 2016 and provided me with a very obnoxious name drop opportunity in times of insecurity. “Home”, made famous-enough by Phillip Phillips after he won American Idol with it, has been used by countless organizations and charities over the years. There are more examples, but I’m sure I’ve sufficiently annoyed you with my excessive hubris.

 So, after 10-minutes of Googling myself, I decided my intentions were pure enough to make me somewhat unique and would give my 4th studio album a go after all…

 ‘World War Me’ was inspired by the Great Existential Crisis of 2016, and written during the Great Existential Crises of 2017 & 2018. The songs came during a time where I was quite literally at war with myself, and to an extent, those around me. I had moved my entire life from New York to Los Angeles for my label/career, and months later it was falling apart. Now what? What was the point in making another record after I was just crowned the most anti-climactic signing in Warner Bros history? Can I really go through all that again? I am even good at this? Do I even want to do this??

 I decided to make matters worse and record ‘World War Me’ myself.

 I recorded all but “On The Run” — recorded by legendary producer & singer-songwriter Butch Walker — in my home studio in Los Angeles, and wrote most of it with one of my best friends, the incomparable singer-songwriter Garrison Starr.

 I realize now that the record was born the day after Donald Trump was elected. We were both crushed. Myself as an immigrant, and Garrison as a gay woman, we were like the triple threat of Trump’s worst nightmares. I felt Garrison’s pain so much more though, as she felt like her own country had just abandoned her.

 We sat in a cold Green Room in eastern Germany, practically in tears, and hummed out the melody of what would become “I’m Not Your Enemy”. We finished it hungover the next afternoon and played it to an arena of 10,000 people that evening. We were off to the races…

 Upon our return home we immediately wrote “Chase The Money”, “Nothing Changes” — the song that seems to encompass the central theme of the record — and “What I Deserve”, based on my acquirement of a beautiful house in Los Angeles, and perhaps my overall disbelief that my life was actually happening.

 I wrote “The Power Shift” to liberate some of my extreme anger towards the maddening news I was voluntarily injecting each morning, and then “Temptation” was birthed from the residual anger left over from “The Power Shift”. The unidentical twins of the album if you like…

 “Something Beautiful” manifested itself when I realized I was putting way too much negative energy out into the universe, and that was the last thing the world needed more of. My co-writer and friend Richard Harris helped coax out the 3rd single from the album, and what would be the voice of reason on a pretty humorless set of songs.

 I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved personally during the making of this album. Despite the fact that I am still a cliché-ridden, male singer-songwriter, I believe that people will be able to at least relate to ‘World War Me’. I have no idea if it will help them or not, but I turned the vocals up pretty loud so at least I know they’ll hear me.

 “I wasn’t trying to help people before, and I’m not trying now. People can only help themselves, which is what I realized in the making of this record.”

  - Greg Holden

‘World War Me’ comes out through BMG on March 29th, 2019. The day The United Kingdom is due to divorce the E.U. Coincidence? Absolutely.

January Jane

JJ_STUDIO_COLOR_191 TRIO-2.JPG

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM  | TWITTER | YOUTUBE

On a cold New York January winter evening in 2013, Pat Via and Mitch Mitchell had not yet met, but were making their way separately through the snow covered West Village streets to a gallery opening on Jane Street, never expecting the twist of fate the night would unveil. Once there, Pat was making the rounds, clad in downtown black from head to toe, weaving through the crowd, whiskey in hand, with one eye on the art and the other on the Soho amazons gathered there that night, when a friend offered to introduce him to a fellow musician, Mitchell C. Mitchell, who was boisterously holding court in a back corner of the gallery, his face hidden beneath a fedora and a mane of unruly hair, his neon colored fingernails weaving nimbly through the air as he spoke.

The two immediately hit it off, debating the rumor that Rock and Roll was officially dead, Bach concertos, girls wearing miniskirts in winter, and other such things one discusses on the way to the bottom of a bottle. As they parted ways that night, they agreed that Rock was very much still alive and just needed a swift kick in the ass to get it going again, so they arranged to meet for a jam session the following day, and January Jane was born.

Things progressed quickly from there and they began playing shows around NYC and recorded their first EP. A few months after they released their “No More Last Times” EP, another New York City night cast its spell and delivered yet another surprise, when after wrapping up a show they were invited to a private gathering at a loft in the Meat Packing District: As they walked through the door they heard the sound of a piano rising from the center of a crowd that had gathered in a circle around the source of the music. They were immediately drawn in, and pushed their way past the pack to the grand piano in the center of the room, where they saw Peter Scialla manning the keys from within the eye of the hurricane. Peter seemed to sense their presence and looked up briefly from his keyboard, waving them over, before returning his gaze to the black and white keys in front of him. As the night progressed and they made their way through another bottle, singing and playing together to the impromptu crowd, they all realized they had found the missing piece, and Peter became part of January Jane.

Since then, the band hasn’t stopped, signing a deal with Whiskey Vinyl Records, recording tracks in Los Angeles and NY for their soon to be released full length debut, and gearing up for a tour later this year.

YOU SUCK AT PIANO

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | PRESS MATERIALS

Do you suck at piano?

Is there someone you know who just isn’t as good as they say they are? Do you wish that there was an instructional piano book for adults that pulled no punches, told it like it is, and wasn’t afraid to put you in your place?

This, my piano flunkies, is your book. For all of you people who used to take piano lessons and are thinking of “getting back into it”, You Suck at Piano is your jam. For those of you who wish you could crank out a simple tune… You Suck at Piano will get you there.

The key is honesty. Learning to play the piano is difficult, folks. And most piano books lie to you. They say “you can do it!” when in fact you’re not so sure you actually CAN do it.

You Suck at Piano takes a different approach. It’s a brutally honest and fun method to improve your piano skills, complete with 50 arrangements of famous piano pieces, irreverent comic strips about the composers and the terrible lives they led, and cocktail recipes to drown all of your piano related frustrations.


Dr. Joel Pierson

Composer and jazz pianist Joel Pierson has worked with artists of great repute (The Kronos Quartet, The Houston Symphony), & artists of not-so great repute (Wayne Newton, Ke$ha). As a pianist, Joel has performed on all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica) and has shared the stage with the New York Philharmonic. As a songwriter, Joel was signed to Warner Brothers Records and has written and performed with artists like Linkin Park, Father John Misty, and My Chemical Romance.

Joel’s symphonic arrangements have been performed by over 20 symphony orchestras, including Atlanta, Toronto, Cleveland, & The Philly Pops. Joel has been commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, and won second place in the New York Philharmonic’s New World Initiative Composition Competition. He wrote additional music for the 2013 film The Internship, and is Musical Director The Queen's Cartoonists (www.thequeenscartoonists.com), a jazz band dedicated to the preservation and performance of music from classic cartoons. Joel has been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, McSweeney’s, The Chicago Tribune, and the CBS Evening News. He has a doctoral degree in music composition from the University of Maryland, a masters degree in jazz piano from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in classical piano from Westmont College. Joel lives in Queens and maintains an active performing and teaching schedule in New York City.

Kezar

kezar-1.jpg

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | SOUNDCLOUD | TWITTER | PRESS MATERIALS

Jack Mosbacher has always had music in his heart, but it took enduring one of the most painful experiences of his life to begin writing his own. 

A veteran of the jazz and cabaret scenes in New York, Jack was preparing for his first headlining show in San Francisco when one of his oldest friends was killed in an accident. He was inspired to write his own music for the first time, hoping to provide something for the community affected by the unthinkable loss. He quickly realized that his sudden urge to write songs was just as much for his own healing as it was for others. It was the only way he could cheer himself up. 

“I started making music in earnest in some really dark moments in my life,” Jack explains. “For some people, that might manifest into songs about pain and loss. For some reason, I instinctively wanted to make music that would cheer people up, make people happy; make people dance; make people hopeful.” 

In the years that have followed, the singer-songwriter has been living up to his goal of being a beacon of light in a dark world. His brand of retro soul is uplifting and joyous. He’s had his music played at weddings and at wakes, but now he’s ready to begin a new chapter in his career. And with a new chapter comes a new name. 

Although Jack is still the mastermind behind this project, he wanted the focus to be less on him and more on the music he was making. Hailing from the Bay Area, he searched for a moniker that stood for his hometown and came up with Kezar, taken from San Francisco’s iconic Kezar Stadium in the Haight-Ashbury district – the original home of his beloved 49ers that still stands today, and a music venue that played host to some of Jack’s favorite bands, including Led Zeppelin, Santana, Tower of Power, and the Grateful Dead. 

As Kezar, Jack wanted to take his music in a new direction while staying true to the uplifting nature of his sound. And there’s no better feel-good music than pop, a genre Jack’s always wanted to tap into but never felt he possessed the right resources and tools to do so. One fateful day, he met manager Brad Margolis, who introduced him to a couple of producers that specialize in pop: Nitzan Kaikov (K-Kov) and Jeoff Harris. 

 With K-Kov producing Grammy-nominated albums for Keith Urban and sharing producer credits with Justin Timberlake, Jack knew he was in good hands. From the first day in the studio, the California native made his vision clear: he told the producers he wanted to find a sound that Berry Gordy would sign if he was starting Motown today. He wanted to make hook-dependent, danceable, fun music. He wanted romance, he wanted joy. He wanted to make music that could help people escape their worries, even if just for a few minutes. 

“I’ve always tried to pack as much joy into every measure of my music as I can,” Jack admits. “I didn’t want to lose that by going in a new direction, but I knew for some reason that I really wanted to make a true pop record. I finally met people who were willing to bet on me and give me their time and talent to help make it happen.” 

 While soul is still the backbone of Kezar’s music, it incorporates a wide array of sounds. Using state-of-the-art synthesizer technology, he and the producers added throwback elements from hip-hop’s glory days, like the big 808 drum machines on Run-DMC and NWA records and stacked backing vocals and bass synths reminiscent of the 2000’s Hyphy Movement – homages to Mac Dre, Mistah F.A.B., Keak da Sneak, and Traxamillion. On top, he injected the tracks with the rock-leaning pop sensibility of his hometown heroes Train and contemporary pop influences like Bruno Mars, Sam Smith and Shawn Mendes. The result is a collection of songs that range from sensual, slow-burning R&B jams to funk-laden pop earworms. Partnered for live performances with drummer James Small (Fantastic Negrito), it is obvious that the duo’s sound is defined by the marriage of Jack’s sunny San Francisco pop and Small’s heavier-hitting Oakland rhythm and blues. 

“The possibilities of what you can do with people who possess this kind of technical skill and composition talent is really limitless,” Jack says of K-Kov and Harris. “It’s like a sculptor looking at big piece of marble and realizing, ‘I can literally shape this into anything.’ And you have to figure out a way to carve out something that feels both new and true to you.” 

 Although the way in which this project was created couldn’t be more foreign to Jack—he’s used to writing a song and then recording it with a group of musicians in a big studio, rather than creating everything in a studio between two people—the process has made him more open-minded to new sounds and, quite frankly, a better songwriter. 

“This feels as much like me, if not more so, than the music I’ve made in the past,” the singer-songwriter says without hesitation. “I love pop music, I just never knew how to make it. What I’ve found is that if you know who you are and what you’re trying to do going in, then regardless of your influences and methods, the result will sound like you. That’s the thing I’m most proud of with this music: it’s a completely new sound for me, but it feels genuine to who I am, and I think it is a big step forward for me as an artist and as a human.” 

 With these new tools, the sky’s the limit for Jack—as Kezar or otherwise. And this is just the beginning.


Peter Bradley Adams

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | SOUNDCLOUD | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | PRESS MATERIALS

No matter the form, when it comes to art, there are a number of different tacks to take. Some artists continually push their work across new horizons. Neil Young, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Joni Mitchell come to mind, in that regard. Others —Claude Monet, Jason Isbell, and Bonnie Raitt, among them —stand a bit more still in order to continually refine the capturing of their vision. Singer/songwriter Peter Bradley Adams falls into the latter category of perfectionists chasing their own perfection. With A Face Like Mine, he may well have caught it.

There's a confidence, a completeness in the song cycle that listeners have gleaned throughout Adams' illustrious career, but A Face Like Mine, his sixth solo effort, brings it all into sharp focus. As Adams sees it, “On the long plod of finding my voice as a singer and a writer, the singing has slowly developed from the sound of a scared guy to someone who believes what he's saying and the writing, I hope, has become less rigid —both in the lyrics and the phrasing.”

Less rigid, indeed. Adams' brand of Americana nestles his often delicate, always heartfelt voice in the warm embrace of gentle guitar, tasteful dobro, subtle banjo, supportive bass, and unhurried percussion. The result is a sonic scape that, in turn, wraps itself around the listener like a soft blanket on a cold day. With A Face Like Mine, Adams further refines the simple musical sophistication that has become his trademark.

Throughout the self-produced set, Adams tells tales of love and loss, homes and hearts. The territory he mines is a deliberate mix of fact and fantasy. “I feel like I'm, firstly, a storyteller, but it's inevitable that my own stuff gets in there deep. And it's funny how, sometimes, I don't realize it until the song is done,” he offers. “At the same time, there are times where I take very directly from an experience or a relationship, but I try to be very careful when that happens. I don't want to ever sound like a journal entry.”

Regardless of the details, there's always a philosophical bent that is often more under than on the surface, firmly grounding Adams' songs even as they stretch outward. By his own admission, Adams is a seeker who spends considerable time wrestling with matters of faith, though he's the first to admit he doesn't have any real answers. “I honestly don't know what the hell I'm doing... nor do I have the language for any of this stuff,” he says with a laugh. “But there is a constant tug on me in that direction and, the older I get, the more present it becomes. Music can often be the most direct way to step into that river.”

That seeker's heart is the tie that so often binds these songs together. Whether the search for place and purpose is of a spiritual or geographical nature, few writers capture the journey as thoughtfully as Adams. An Alabama native, Adams says he feels most comfortable in motion and doesn't have a strong sense of being Southern, even though his music is rooted in that world in so many ways. The first verse of the album's mesmerizing lead track, “Good Man,” exemplifies his plight: “This old house is falling down. Every step I take makes a hollow sound. Should I walk away? Should I push on through? What in the world can a good man do?”

Even as Adams goes on to sing of “laughing eyes with a touch of grey” and walking “a mile across the kitchen floor” in order to set various scenes, he leaves room for the listener to crawl inside his stories and make them their own. Striking that balance is the songwriter's eternal struggle, but one Adams seems to have mastered after years of toiling on his own and collaborating with co-writers like Kim Richey, Caitlin Canty, and Todd Lombardo.

“I don't think I'm very good at co-writing because my process seems so weird and long and tedious to me,” Adams confides. “It's hard to allow someone into that space, but there a few folks where our sensibilities are aligned and we're not just trying to bang out a song in a day. I want to feel as close to the songs I co-write as the ones I write alone. Writers like Kim Richey have such an economy and depth to the ideas that come out of their mouths and hands —there's wisdom there. I want to be more like that.”

In addition to this release, Adams is currently putting his classical composition studies to work on a piece for violin and piano —an aspect of his craft and education that got set aside somewhere along the way to now. “I've wondered a lot why I spent all that time studying music in school and how my composer that fits in with or hinders my songwriting,” he says. “Some of it was definitely useless to me, then and now. But some of it has left its mark on how I listen, and how I think of arranging songs, and how I communicate with players who are playing on them. Also, writing in such an extremely simple and constrained musical language makes all your choices much more delicate, so I spend a lot of time crafting even the simplest melody.”

A Face Like Mine's songs were composed all over the world, from Alabama to India, and they dig into topics are disparate as the desperation of addiction (“Lorraine”), the grappling of self-image (“Who Else Could I Be”), the vitriol of politics (“We Are”), and the genetics of suffering (“A Face Like Mine”). “We Are” and “Who Else Could I Be” were originally written for a dance piece that Gina Patterson choreographed for the San Angelo Civic Ballet. Even so, Adams made sure the songs could stand alone in their own world no matter what else was swirling around them —confidence and completeness in action.

As a work of musical art, A Face Like Mine fulfills the promise of Peter Bradley Adams. And rarely has an artist's standing still sounded so divine.

Cooper & Gatlin

cooper-gatlin.jpg

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE

Cooper and Gatlin Green are a brother and sister pop duo from Franklin, Tennessee, a quaint town outside of Nashville known for being the perfect combination of small town meets big city. Spend some time around these two and their fondness for each other is evident. It comes through with a playful, needling energy you’d expect from an older brother-younger sister dynamic. Having grown up hanging around their dad’s studio and touring with their mom, they both knew they wanted to do music from a young age.  

 The family moved to Los Angeles in 2014 and Cooper and Gatlin have spent the past several years honing their craft as songwriters and musicians and perfecting their sound, which draws on their various disparate influences ranging from The Kooks and Nickel Creek (Cooper) to Kevin Garrett and Norah Jones (Gatlin). By forging their inspirations, the duo recently wrote a batch of new left-of- center pop songs that include their electronic-meets-acoustic debut single “Break.” 

THE SILENT COMEDY

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | SOUNDCLOUD | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | PRESS MATERIALS

For a few years, Joshua Zimmerman couldn’t bring himself to listen to his band’s most recent album. Enemies Multiply – the Silent Comedy LP he and Jeremiah, his brother and longtime bandmate, had written and recorded several years ago – felt too personal, too raw to engage with. Born of a rough patch in the Zimmerman brothers’ personal and professional lives, listening to it felt like rubbing salt in healed wounds. Despite the brothers collectively viewing the album as some of their best work in the decade-plus they’d been a band, the project was shelved.

Then the 2016 election happened.

 “And suddenly, at that moment,” while living in New York City and feeling bewildered and frustrated at the country’s new reality, “I realized the feeling of this moment was what we wrote this music for,” Joshua recalls. A certain pall and desperation had settled over the country in the days and week after the election and, in Joshua’s estimation, the album now had widespread cultural resonance. “At this particular moment in U.S. history I felt like a lot more people could take comfort in the songs than ever before,” Joshua notes of the 11-track LP that at long last is set for release on October 19th. Jeremiah concurred: “For the first time ever I just want people to hear it and have it.”

Recorded in Austin, Texas, Enemies Multiply is sonically a big-boned, bruising affair. The brothers channeled an admittedly confusing time of conflict in their lives — as well as the previous perilous years leading up to it, characterized by what Josh describes as “being jerked around by the music industry” — into their most impassioned, hard-hitting, and thoroughly engaging album of their career. Standing at the center is “Sharks Smell Blood,” all bluesy strut, spooky choirboy harmonies and sing-along hook. Likewise, “Avalanche” is framed around a searing guitar line and squelching church organ. Like the album itself, and the band’s own views on it, “that song evolved over time. I’ve loved it in every incarnation it went through, but when I listen to how it ended up I really feel that’s the pinnacle of all of that work,” Joshua explains. Even “No Saints Forgiven,” which begins as a back porch delta-blues confessional, quickly explodes into a Van Halen-esque sing-along at the chorus.

But it’s the messages in the songs  – namely combating malevolence by banding together with likeminded people – that compelled the Silent Comedy to finally release the album. As children, after traveling the globe with their missionary parents only to return to the United States, meander some more, then settle down in San Diego in a house with literally nothing but an upright piano, the two brothers looked to musical collaboration in their mid-teens as a cathartic outlet. “Jeremiah started writing songs, “Josh recalls. “That was kind of his way of processing everything that we’d been through. That’s really when we started writing together.” It was their traveling that also colored their worldview which, when compared to some of their peers, was decidedly darker. “It skewed our perception to see how much suffering there is in the world and how fortunate we are in the United States by comparison,” Joshua explains. “We have always had a little bit more somber view of things.” Enemies Multiply, he then adds, “is a distillation of that worldview.” Jeremiah admits the album “has a lot of stuff in there about people backstabbing each other” which caused some record labels to initially balk at releasing it. And even now, as he wishes that subject matter weren’t so applicable, “I think people are more sympathetic to that idea,” Jeremiah offers. The album, he adds, “is a journey in context.”

Though, as Joshua explains, it’s the album’s most hopeful track, the closing “Peace of Mind,” that he says now connects with him on an intensely personal level. One of the most collaborative songs he and Jeremiah ever wrote, the harmonica-drenched folk lament, on one hand, “is really about being in a desperate place and a hopeless place, but also about taking comfort in banding together.” It especially spoke to him in the past two years, particularly as the world seemed to slip further into chaos. “It still is a really emotional song to listen to and to sing,” he adds.

“All of what we have been through as a band is wrapped up in this new project,” Joshua notes of the Silent Comedy’s realization that conflicts and challenges often reveal themselves as the best source material for artistic expression. The years spent writing the material that became Enemies Multiply, according to Jeremiah, “were exhausting and it was really taking a toll on us. We were in a legitimate struggle. But all the songs started to take on a new meaning. This entire process was saturated with so much frustration and conflict. So to see something like Enemies Multiply rise out of that is awesome.”

 While not always visible in plain sight, rock music has always formed the foundation of the Silent Comedy. The brothers, who were fanboys for bands like Rage Against The Machine and At The Drive-In during their teenage years, first delved into band life via joint membership in a punk and post-hardcore act. But after forming the Silent Comedy in the mid-2000’s, their early albums, including 2010’s Common Faults,, began to incorporate the folk, Americana and the blues they picked up from listening to a healthy dose of Cat Stevens and Simon and Garfunkel. Still, all throughout, their live show was centered on its rollicking, over-the-top, energy. To that end, the Zimmerman brothers felt their studio efforts needed to better match up with their live persona.

“In a way it was only a matter of time before we fully embraced our rock n’ roll roots,” Josh says.  Adds Jeremiah: “The farther we kept going, we realized the stuff that was more interesting to us was the more energetic and rock-focused material. Our energy has been our biggest asset. We wanted to put that on the record.”

If the journey has felt long and at times painful, the Zimmerman brothers feel that with Enemies Multiply now set for release the ends truly do justify the means. “There’s a certain freedom to whatever happens now,” Jeremiah says. “After a while in life you start to look at the bigger picture.”

 

 

 ”