Storm Conductor is set for release on 4/20. This is the third offering from Youth in a Roman Field. The mastermind behind this project is singer/violinist Claire Wellin with contributions coming from Tiffany Topol, Scott Stangland, Jamie Mohamdein, Cassidy Stirtz, and Katrina Lenk. Some of the tracks have the ability to whisk you away to the hills of rolling green in Ireland like a bar of Irish Spring, making it surprising that Youth in a Roman Field hail from New York.
The album opens up as if an orchestra was warming up before the curtains are drawn. As the melody becomes apparent it’s both adventurous and somewhat melancholic. A gentle operatic influenced woman’s voice calls out beautifully with a few overdubbed layers of alternate pitches that provide great harmony and thicken the sound into full spectrum stereo. “Your hand in mine”, is a short and sweet way to bring a listener in.
Sounding like a veteran jazz singer, Claire’s voice is most definitely the focal point, doing things most instruments just can’t. While there is a lack of a full on drum kit there isn’t a shortage of percussive additives. I’m not talking samples, I’m talking hand claps, unconventional tribal-like drums, and I even swore I heard a finger cymbal. The strings definitely posses a Celtic quality, yet sometimes can be morbidly curious.
The album’s title track “Storm Conductor” pulls away from the direction of the majority of the album. Vocals, strings, unconventional percussion, yes. The overall mood begins with a sick kind of twist. Similar to the way that Stephen King utilizes happy retro songs during a murder scene. There is something in the way she sings “It was an accident” that makes you second guess the innocent.
Finishing out the album is, “When the city goes quiet,” an acapella song with a gentle choir of group backing vocals. Youth in a Roman Field is the kind of music you want to submerge and wrap yourself in. Gentle with the occasional eyebrow lifting quirk.
April 23 | Los Angeles, CA | Hotel Cafe
April 24 | San Francisco, CA | Hotel Utah
April 25 | San Francisco, CA | SoFar Sounds
April 26 | Prineville, OR | House Concert | Email for Details
May 1 | Seattle, WA | Tim’s Tavern | Tickets @ Door
May 3 | Bismarck, ND | Laughing Sun Brewing | Free
May 5 | Minneapolis, MN | Music @ The Upsidedown House Series
May 7 | Des Moines, IA | Vaudeville Mews | Tickets @ Door
May 8 | Fairfield, IA | Cafe Paradiso
May 9 | Madison, WI | The Wisconsin Room Presents
May 10 | LaCrosse, WI | The Root Note | Free
May 13 | Milwaukee, WI | The Jazz Estate | Tickets @ Door
May 15 | Chicago, IL | Martyr’s*
May 16 | Chicago, IL | The Green Mill Cocktail Hour | Free
May 17 | South Bend, IN | House Concert @ The Bramble | Donation @ Door
May 18 | Lansing, MI | House Concert | Donation @ Door
May 22 | New Haven, CT | Cafe Nine
May 28 | Winston-Salem, NC | The Wherehouse Art Hotel
May 29 | Charlotte, NC | The Evening Muse
May 30 | Athens, GA | The World Famous
June 1 | New Orleans, LA | The Foundation Room @ The House of Blues | Free
June 6 | Nashville, TN | The Back Corner | Tickets @ Door
June 7 | Bluffton, OH | The Town Hall Concert Series
June 25 | NY, NY | Mercury Lounge*| with Behaviorist
Following the 4/20 release of Storm Conductor, you may be able to catch a glimpse of their live show as they head out on the road in support. You can find pre-order and purchase details through the bands’ website or by following them on Facebook.
This is awesome. I’m a contradiction as I describe Ängie’s sound as smooth, subtle and in your face. But I bet I sparked your curiosity. From Sweden is trap pop artist Angie. Her debut album, suicidal since 1995, is set to drop on April 6th 2018 through Universal. This album is full of soothing bass, 808’s, and lounge-style vocals. If you are uptight or sheltered this album will pull your panties right out of their wad.
If you are easily offended, this may or may not be for you. The overall reception since Angie started up has been a 50/50 of love/hate. I absolutely love her straightforward, to the point, and consciously realistic lyrics. Let’s face it life isn’t all bubblegum and rainbows. The album’s opener, “Dope”, is smooth, sexy, and lyrically states, “If I’m also on dope when I make music, maybe my music will sound like dope.” Ängie described the track as, “a love song, but within it, I confuse love with the rush for music and drugs. It’s a love song to music, dope and the person that makes me wanna fight for it.” That statement is well back by the tracks verse line, “You got a place to rest and that’s between my thighs I press against your chest and then I realize.” “Here for my habit” depicts the relationship between the addict and the dealer and when the dealer pushes sexual advances. Thank You but no Thank You, “I’m here for my habit.”
It seems there isn’t a shortage of critics who are appalled by Ängie’s lyrics, image, and at times “fck you” attitude. This has me semi-thrown considering the lyrical content of death metal and gangsta rap. It cannot be because she is a young female since there have been female artists like Cycle Sluts from Hell and Liz Phair who were pushing the envelope in the 90’s. Is it geographical? Sweden has given us a slew of melodic death metal bands and industrial artist Tim Skold. Ängie referred to Sweden as being “too sensitive.” (Get with the times, folks. Women aren’t cooking, cleaning, Holy Homemakers anymore and haven’t been for quite some time.)
Ängie has an astonishing vocal talent. A jazzy lounge style but with an Adele type of projection in the way that it seems to come effortless and more soulful than produced. Laying predominantly in the veins of electronic, trap, and chill, there are at times R&B hints. Suicidal Since 1995 is pioneering the continuous push for expressive freedoms. Musically the production value is above par and if you have some good subwoofers in your trunk, you’ll get the best back massage.
The album closes out with a great interpretation and revamping of The Velvet Underground’s ‘Venus In Furs’, which is hands down one of those songs you cringe at the thought of someone butchering it, but not in this instance. Surprisingly she not only did it justice, but she nailed it dead on.
Ängie has a lot of history that I don’t have enough room to write about here, but here is hoping you dig a little deeper into her past and how she defines herself and music. There is more than meets the eye. Her talent deserves applause not only for her ability as a musician but her willingness to go against the grain and express herself.
Don’t forget to follow Ängie via Facebook. She is definitely an artist that belongs in your playlist.
Power pop rocking Canadians Danny Laj & The Looks have a new single ‘left right to one’ that was released digitally on March 30th, 2018. I went and checked out the bands’ bio and was instantly intrigued when I read their influences. “Peanut butter and banana hotdogs.”
That kind of humor will give you some insight into what to expect musically. This has got to be a fun.
And sure enough “Left Right To One” is nothing short of a fun-loving feel good song.
The track starts up like a loud high energy pop rock freight train right out of the gate.
Laj is a Canadian scene veteran who has put in his time working from the ground up and has established a sound that is reminiscent of an old-school fun pop-rock guitarist.
“Left Right To One” is a witty and monumental tribute to sharing interests, life experiences, and enjoying rock n roll with bassist Jeanette Dowling. A true celebration of a unity that was written in the stars. Rounding out the rest of the band are members Mike Duffield – Drums and Dan McMahon – Keys. With a surf rock vocal style, a George Thorogood guitar style, a faint organ in the background and non-lexical vocables in the chorus singing,”oh la la la”, “Left right to one” will fill the air with old-school radio power pop rock good times with a modern approach.
I loved the mid-song breakdown how everything got a little quieter with light backing vocals, steady bass, palm muted rhythm, and gentle drum taps that gradually led up to a powerful guitar solo. The solo is an in the pocket groove more so than and egocentric scribble of notes. “Left right to one” is melodic, upbeat, and instills a great vibe. All these things combined kinda make ya wanna open the shades and dance like no ones watching as you grab your broom and use it as a microphone… and maybe do a little air guitar on it.
To get in the good times be sure to follow Danny Laj and the Looks on Facebook and pick up a vinyl copy of the single “Left right to one” through their website.
You can also check them out on tour.
April 6 – North Bay ON – Raven & Republic
April 7 – Sudbury ON – Townehouse Tavern
April 25 – Toronto ON – Dakota Tavern
April 27 – Montreal Qc – Barfly
April 28 – Saint-John NB – Quality Block Party
April 29 – Moncton NB – TBA
April 30 – Boston MA – O’Brien’s
May 3 – Brooklyn NY – Diviera Drive
May 4 – Baltimore MD – Joe Squared
May 5 – Washington DC – Slash Run
May 6 – Philadelphia PA – Ortlieb’s
May 8 – Dayton OH – Blind Bob’s
May 9 – Indianapolis IN – Melody Inn
May 10 – Chicago IL – Burlington
May 11 – Rockford IL – Mary’s Place
May 12 – Detroit MI – Pj’s Lager House
May 13 – Windsor ON – Phog Lounge
May 16 – Hamilton ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
May 18 – London ON – Call The Office
May 19 – South River ON – Highlander Brew Co.
July 15 – Quebec City – Festival D’Ete de Quebec
From Guildford, England comes the voice of Annabel Allum. A small framed casually put together woman who you wouldn’t expect to have such an elegant tonal quality. “Rascal” is the 2nd single released this year following up her 2017 release “All that for what?”
“Rascal” is a very honest approach that gets more inwardly intimate than most. Revealing truths most bury, ignore, or deny. The slow tempo swaying verse begins with “I’m just a rascal woman, I take home people I meet in bars, I tell them I can see their soul, I can count their scars.” Pretty straightforward.
I always research each artist I review to get a little insight into their personality and how its applied to their approach to music. Annabel is quoted saying, “Rascal’ is about me accepting what people think of me, and trying to get on with it anyway. No one’s perfect and I’m certainly not.” The sincerity in that is very respectable. After hearing “Rascal” Annabel projects her truth exactly as it is. The chorus comes in like the morning twilight transitioning into a breathtaking sunrise. You know something is coming, your anticipation rises, the volume increases and like an orchestra director you raise your hands at the same moment the cymbals crash and the full spectral sound comes flooding in.
It is difficult to categorize Annabel as to me she is a woman with a guitar playing her heart, which is something that cannot be duplicated.
If you took Delores from The Cranberries(RIP), Liz Phair and Peri Gilpin(she played Roz on Fraider) ripped out their vocal chords and blended them like your morning smoothie, that combination would closely then resemble Annabel. While the music isn’t pop or rock it is very listener friendly.
“Rascal” is as powerful musically as it is lyrically. It’s raw yet mature. For those who aren’t afraid to admit they can be a “Rascal” at times, it’s a great song to relate to and reassuring that you aren’t terrible alone. We all have our moments. Accepting it is easy to do when there is a song to sing along to.
To purchase the single and albums prior visit her website, and don’t forget to follow her on facebook.
Let me begin with why the anagram title. Led by Christopher Porterfield is the band Field Report (Porterfield/Field Report) A-ha, get it?.) Released today, Summertime Songs is the band’s third album, and the first being released through Verve Forecast which is part of the Verve Label Group. Lyrical content seems to be a polished focal point as metaphors are commonly used and his style falls in line with classic folk singers who told stories rather than followed the Dr. Seuss rhyming scheme. There is something heartfelt as you make your way through summertime songs, and as I understand all songs were written while Christopher and his wife were expecting their first child.
Based out of Wisconsin, Field Report is rounded out by drummer Shane Leonard, guitarist Thomas Wincek, and bassist Barry Clark who’s contributions complement each other in creating solid transitions and strong build-ups. A perfect example of this can be heard on “Never look back”. Boasting soft toned clean guitar leads and lightly brushed with an epic cinematic climax “Never look back” as I interpreted it, seems to be about that train wreck style of attraction. Addicted to the things we hate, or maybe that we loved at one point, sticking with it until it comes down to yourself and what you need to do for you. summertime songs is the kind of album you can leave on from start to finish.
There is a mood that goes alongside it that is easy to swallow, cruising along with no bumps in the road, meaning there isn’t a ballad followed by a loud obnoxious track, followed by a rap song followed by a country song. “Blind Spot” has some brilliant and beautiful background vocals that lay out the as if weightless and surrounded by light soft clouds flowing in succession to the backbeat.
The highlight on the album is “If I Knew”. Subtle lyrical genius in the line, “If I knew, what I know, so far yet to go”. Along similar lines of Bruce Springsteen, Counting Crows, and John Cougar Mellencamp. Maybe even fans of The Fray will appreciate Field Reports consistency and their “just right” approach that isn’t over nor underdone. Kinda like when Goldie Locks finds her perfect temperature bowl of porridge.
Tuesday, March 27: Chicago, IL – Schubas
Wednesday, March 28: Indianapolis, IN – HI-FI
Thursday, March 29: Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
Friday, March 30: Toronto, ON – The Drake
Saturday, March 31: Montreal, QC – L’Escogriffe
Tuesday, April 3: New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
Thursday, April 5: Philadelphia, PA – Milkboy
Friday, April 6: Washington, DC – Songbyrd
Saturday, April 7: Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe
Sunday, April 8: Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
Friday, May 25 – Sunday, May 27: Boston, MA – Boston Calling
You can get a copy of Summertime Songs here. They are touring in support and you can check the dates on their website or by following them on Facebook.