"Twigs" is the new single from Pittsburgh-based folk-pop artist Alex Stanton (townsppl).
The track comes via Alex's forthcoming full-length of the same name, out on 11/10. On the track, Alex describes it as "about the experience of being a kid and how being carefree is a skill. It’s about how as an adult being lost or outside of your comfort zone maybe feels like a bigger deal than it should. There is a thread throughout the album about characters being dragged kicking and screaming into adulthood, as well as a bit of a future dystopian backdrop."
townsppl is Alex Stanton’s performing and recording music project, a folk-pop venture with imaginative lyrics and song concepts. A keen multi-instrumentalist, Alex works with crap parlor guitars, '60s 2-knob tube amplifiers, Chinese and American ukuleli, his grandmother’s upright bass, an open piano that he describes as “intune-ish”, found percussion implements (he’s particularly interested in those that go “kssh” or “doonnmm”) and plenty of layered voices.
An entrepreneur and lifelong inventor, Alex builds his songs like little contraptions, tinkering to find the right balances of wood and wires, and of polish and scuff. While the dressings vary from the ornate to the austere, Alex’s north star is melody, especially those that are simple, relatable, and memorable. The words are at once earnest and wry with subjects include stargazing existential pondering, out-of-body vignettes and microscopic love songs to Alex’s sweet one.
Come show time Alex performs with 0-10 other people including backup singers and some tangly and dynamic vocal arrangements. townsppl has performed at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, South Park Amphitheatre and a number of other official and DIY spaces in Alex’s hometown of Pittsburgh. 2013’s care and feeding cracked the top 3 of WYEP 91.3’s top local albums list and was acclaimed for it’s state of the art hand assembled packaging, which could be cut and folded into a 14” venus fly trap sculpture (if you’re willing to cut the CD in half).
Alex is also the owner and founder of Sunburst School of Music, which since 2011 has helped thousands of kids and adults in the Pittsburgh area discover their passion for music.
Nicole Rodriguez is a singer/songwriter always drawing inspiration from the road ahead. Recording and performing under the name Pearla, the young artist recently released a debut EP, If You’re Not Alright Now, which had tastemakers comparing her stylings to Alanis Morisette and Ani DiFranco.
Now, Pearla is getting ready to unveil a standalone single, “Somewhere,” a bold new step forward that blends the more natural sounds of her previous statement with Sylvan Esso-style beats and electronics. The song, a collaboration with producer Jon Buscema, finds Pearla grappling with a sense of self that seems lost as it continues to develop.
Since the EP drop, Pearla has begun to establish herself in the NYC scene including a spotlight performance at The Wild Honey Pie’s The Beehive at Northside Festival.
Released a week ago from today, single "On My Own" is a piece of twangy, ascending beauty from Boston-based act TOLEDO
When Jordan Dunn-Pilz and Daniel Alvarez de Toledo were just small lads, they started playing guitar in the nearby town to attract listeners. Now, the two seasoned musicians are gigging and giggling their way to success with their new band TOLEDO. With a blend of traditional and modern sounds, TOLEDO is an indie-pop, sailor-shanty, pirate-rock band from Boston, MA. Collaborating with visual artists and animators, the band is a multifaceted machine. Stay tuned to hear new content from these goons every month.
" Without You" talks about the effects of depression on a relationship or partnership. It’s Sarah Hiltz's way of saying that for better or worse, when one person in a relationship is suffering, it can bring them both down, whether they want it to or not; and that when you commit to living life side by side, it means living through all the peaks and valleys you both go through- together.
Sarah Hiltz's new album "Beauty in the Blue" is coming out on November 7th. The album is a compilation of songs and stories culled from Sarah’s multiple journeys across Canada as a traveling musician on cross-country Via Rail passenger train, “The Canadian”. Hot off a UK tour supporting Canadian darlings Running Red Lights, Beauty in the Blue is Sarah’s first studio project featuring long-term stage collaborators, drummer Jordan Michaelis and multi-instrumentalist David Puzak.
Beauty in the Blue (2017), co-produced with Kevin Howley (Running Red Lights), is a response to those stories, a full-hearted return to Sarah’s Canadian folk roots, rounded out with the cross-country experience of her train travels and the desire to dive deeper than most pop artists her age with a rich voice that belies a soul in tune with the balance of both pain and beauty, suffering, and art.
Independent singer/songwriter Kev Minney began his musical career at the age of 30. Battling with a stutter, Kev had to overcome severe stage fright to get performing. Fueled with drive he spent the first two years practicing 6 hours a day before going to work as a guitar teacher in the evenings.
"I have an obsessive nature, when I want to achieve something, I think of little else, everything around me relates to what I'm focused on," he explains.
In 2015, when NASA's New Horizons was broadcasting photographs of Pluto, Kev was hooked. "I was in awe at how science could take us as far as 322 light minutes to the most distant planet in our solar system. At that point it felt like that's how far I was travelling to achieve my artistic ambitions.”
Now in 2017 Kev is announcing his astronomically inspired debut album, ‘Stories of the Sky’ and beautiful video-single "Like I Always", produced by the Mercury-nominated Jag Jago.
"Like I Always" documents the anxiety that affects a person trying to beyond his/her horizons. Minney explores this state of mind and the challenges it poses. He takes a sensitive but positive stance, showing how to tackle fear: resilience and determination get highlighted and their importance is driven home through the chorus.
The accompanying video (filmed by Kenny McCracken) is a visual tour-de-force. Beautifully shot in black and white, the video vividly illustrates the song’s message. Shadow, light leaks and dreamlike blurring evoke the emotions, whilst time-lapsed shots of unfurling flowers show that life finds a way.
The process of creating the album has proved a rollercoaster of excitement, involving collaboration with an impressive array of musicians, video teams, artists and so forth. Without the backing of a record label, Kev worked hard to pitch his project to the Arts Council who granted him an award in 2016, enabling him to make the album independently.
“My whole record is based around space themes,” Kev told Acoustic Presents Mag. "Even though not all of the songs are about a specific physical event in space, I intentionally used the language of science to present an emotional landscape. It's imperative, that our generation finds a way of emotionally connecting with what’s going on scientifically in and around our planet. Emotion is what inspires change."
While the music is important, Kev also believes strong visuals enhance the songs. “The visual has a double impact when folks first listen to the songs. If they can see and hear it, they’ll probably feel it a little more too.”
A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit.
The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”
Marva Von Theo is an Electropop / Synthwave duo formed in 2016 by the Athens-based singer-songwriter Marva Voulgari and the Vienna-based composer-producer Theo Foinidis.
Their Debut Album “Dream within a Dream” was released early in 2018. The 12 songs on their Album, lean towards an electronic sound that incorporates a variety of influences ranging from the music of the 80’s until today. Darkwave sounds, Jazz harmonies, Rock and Dance drum beats resonate together and mature into something darkly romantic.