we the kings get existential – yet anthemic – with “alien”

we the kings get existential – yet anthemic – with “alien”

Alt-rock outfit We The Kings – yes, THAT We The Kings – recently signed to Graveboy Records. The momentous partnership is marked with the release of their latest work, a single titled “Alien.” The song begins with a melancholic feel, rectified by a quintessential upbeat, fast-paced chorus. “We’re all just a bunch of kids who feel like aliens searching for the answer to the question – ‘does anybody else feel like I do,’” shares lead singer Travis Clark.

One part anthem and one part inquiry, “Alien” seeks the match to our souls, any minor detail to connect us to others. It asks everyone who feels “other” to be proud. The song itself seeks similarities in the irregularities and differences. Combine this journey with relatable lyrics and a catchy tune, and this release is poised for charting success.

“Every few albums or so I get a strong feeling about a song,” says Clark. “It’s hard to explain, but the last 2 times I felt this way were with ‘Check Yes Juliet’ and ‘Sad Song’. I have that same feeling about “Alien” so only time will tell what that means!”

We The Kings will be hitting the road with Story Of The Year on their upcoming 2024 tour. Nab tickets to upcoming tour dates and stay up-to-date with this aughts punk favorite at WeTheKings.com.

bishop briggs brings the don’t look down tour to kcmo

bishop briggs brings the don’t look down tour to kcmo

To round out the month of September – and to unofficially prepare the city for BEY DAY (October 1) – Bishop Briggs and MisterWives brought The Don’t Look Down Tour to Grinder’s in The Crossroads. On a beautiful evening, against the backdrop of a watercolor sunset, Bishop Briggs brought her quintessential high-octane energy to the stage.

With added block visuals and sharp, dominating lighting, her moody vocals swayed the audience into a fiery mood. She rounded out the 16-song set with the notorious hit “River” before whispering a humbled (and cute) “Thank you” to the audience. As she breathed heavily through her bows, her beaming smile could not be contained.

Photo highlights below.

Setlist
Art of Survival
Wild Horses
Cherry on Top
MY SHINE
Baby
JEKYLL & HIDE
Baggage
High Water
TATTOOED ON MY HEART / superhuman
Reborn
Hallowed Ground
White Flag / Hi Lo (Hollow)
Take Me to Church (Hozier cover)
Bad
Revolution
River

misterwives overjoys crowd in kcmo at grinders

misterwives overjoys crowd in kcmo at grinders

On the Eve of BeyDay in Kansas City, MisterWives and Bishop Briggs brought the girl power to one of the most iconic stages in the city with The Don’t Look Down Tour. Tucked away into The Crossroads District sits Grinders KC, a mulch-floored, sunset ceiling-ed venue that is perfect this time of year. Misterwives headlined, regaling the crowd with some of our nostalgic favorites peppered in among their latest, admittedly more introspective, releases. Their stage performance of “SUPERBLOOM” was the most magical moment of the show for me, as we all gazed up in appreciation at an almost-full moon over the stage.

MisterWives’ music reminds us to get in touch with who we really are. Vocalist Mandy Lee endlessly captivates with her ethereal vocals and enigmatic energy. The chemistry between Etienne Bowler (drums), William Hehir (bass), Mike Murphy (sax/keys), and Marc Campbell (guitar) is really fun to watch, as they dance around each other and stay in communication throughout the show.

The band has been through some growing pains in recent years, effectively losing their keyboardist Jesse Blum, experiencing relationship woes between band members, and label drama. But that hasn’t stopped them yet, and those facts show no signs of slowing them down. MisterWives – now more than ever – present as a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to watch their magic continue to expand minds for many years to come.

Setlist
Out of Your Mind
Dagger
Where Do We Go From Here? / rock bottom
All the Same
Why Why Why
Sideways
Trip Around The Sun
Silver Lining
Trigger Pull
Too Late
Ultraviolet
SUPERBLOOM
Our Own House
Reflections
Other Side
End of My Rope
Nosebleeds

If you happened to leave the show without a smile on your face, I can only assume you are battling some horrendously painful ailment at the moment, and for that, I give you space.

the rolling stones, youtube spirals, and psychology: an interview with keli price

the rolling stones, youtube spirals, and psychology: an interview with keli price

It is rare to find someone who is so mad talented at such a young age. But Keli Price has been knocking on music’s door for YEARS. He’s a singer and songwriter and has naturally forayed into the acting arena. He recently played Zak in ‘Side Effects‘ on a YouTube-exclusive channel called AwesomenessTV. But that’s not all. He’s currently recording music, reaping in the benefits of years of hard work, and being the coolest bi-coastal citizen you’ll ever encounter! Check out what he had to say about it all in our interview below. And swoon.

Serial Optimist: We have it on good authority that you have been involved in music for quite some time. When did you realize it was a passion you wanted to make into a career?

Keli Price: Music has always been a passion of mine. I could never get enough of it. When I was about five years old I would sing with my dad as he would play the guitar to songs like “Needle and the damage done” by Neil Young, “Angie” by The Rolling Stones, and eventually, I was so immersed in music that I knew it was going to always be a big part of my life.

SO: What was the first live show you went to? Any musical artists you would suggest that the Serial Optimist readers see live?

Keli: It was a Bob Dylan show at the Tiles Center on Long Island, NY. I was about five or six at the time. I remember turning to my mom and saying “He’s really good but I think he’s depressed”. You should definitely check out “Cream” or “The James Gang” in concert, if you get the chance. Both of those bands put on amazing shows, never a dull moment.

SO: Making a note of it now! What was the first song you wrote? What’s the story behind it?

Keli: The first song I ever wrote was called “LA”. I was in a hotel room in Los Angeles with my little brother Nikko. I was about eleven years old and he was eight. We were sitting there in our boxers about to get ready for the day when he picks up the guitar and starts strumming this chord progression. I started singing this vocal melody and that was that. There was something so organic and natural about that experience. I’ll never forget it. I still go back all the time and listen to the song. I’m transported back to that moment every time.

SO: We hear you may have attended Pepperdine University. What was the collegiate experience like for you?

Keli: Pepperdine was a great experience for me. I studied Psychology there and learned a lot more about why Bob Dylan is depressed;) No, but I really did get so much out of that experience and added so much to my personal knowledge about people in general.

SO: How did you get involved with AwesomenessTV and ‘Side Effects’?

Keli: I was called in to audition for the casting director Sheryl Levine, for the role of Zac. I was then brought back to read for the producers. I got a call a couple of weeks later that I had gotten the part.

SO: Easy enough! We read your FanLaLa interview about how you see YouTube as a television rival. We concur as you can see the power of YouTube sensationalism with Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, etc. Besides ‘Side Effects’, what has been the most artistically stimulating content you have run across on YouTube or a similar platform?

Keli: I mean, I personally go on “YouTube” more then I watch television. Whether it’s to check out music, watch an interview, or check out a video that all my friends are talking about. YouTube pretty much covers it all. Even if I missed an important political speech, a crazy NBA dunk, or an episode of my favorite show, chances are, I can check it out on “YouTube”. It gives anybody the chance to get there own content out there to the world. Giving an opportunity to people that can’t get their foot in the door at TV Networks or record labels, to be seen or heard on another medium, youtube.

SO: What is your favorite food joint in New York? What about LA? (We’re looking for stellar places to hang in our travels, too!)

Keli: “Hunan Café” is a little Chinese restaurant off of the Sunset Strip. It’s the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. It’s my favorite restaurant in LA. When you’re in New York you should definitely check out Gitane in Nolita.

SO: YUM! Can’t wait! Ok, so tell us a little bit about ‘The Sound of Magic’.

Keli: ‘The Sound of Magic’ is a coming-of-age rock musical with a mix of music, comedy, and fantasy. The film is set in a world we all know with an element of the beyond. It allows the mind to escape into a fantasy of wishes and dreams come true. I really enjoyed playing the role of Lee who is calm and cool and definitely beats to his own drum. It was a pleasure filming with such an eclectic group of actors and brilliant directors.

SO: Can’t wait to see it! If you could perform with any talent, who would you choose and why?

Keli: Mick Jagger. On stage with Mick Jagger would be a dream come true. Acting-wise, acting opposite someone like Michael Fassbender or Robert De Niro wouldn’t be so bad.

SO: Haha! No, that probably wouldn’t be bad. If you could give one piece of advice to our readers, what would it be?

Keli: Trust your instincts.

SO: Thank you! And finally, what do you think is underappreciated in this world?

Keli: Diversity! There is so much to learn from people who are different than you are.

___

Want to keep updated on all things Keli? Follow @KeliPrice now!

yellowcard’s ryan key talks catching the performance bug, self-awareness, and 20 years of ocean avenue

yellowcard’s ryan key talks catching the performance bug, self-awareness, and 20 years of ocean avenue

Emo children of the aughts rejoice, because one of our favorite live bands is making the rounds again, and they’re bigger than ever before. Pop-punk bad boys Yellowcard delivered a kiss of surf pop, a hint of nostalgia, and a whole lot of energy every time they took the stage. So when I had the opportunity to interview Ryan Key, Yellowcard’s lead singer, Star Wars aficionado, podcast host, and content creator extraordinaire – I snapped it up.

One of the first things I say, after promising myself not to bring it up? “I spoke to you in 2006 and it was to ask you to sign a t-shirt for my friend and I was too nervous to say anything else.” Cool. Word vomit.

“Oh, I was such a little shit in 2006 too,” Key immediately admitted, laughing. “So, it should be a way better encounter this time, I promise.”

Key’s self-awareness eased us into a conversation that ran the gamut. From our shared love of Star Wars (Though I haven’t quite expanded into podcast territory yet), being driven by bitterness through some tough times, how it feels coming off the biggest tour Yellowcard has ever experienced, and reflecting on 20 years of Ocean Avenue.

Yellowcard’s rapid-fire return fueled a “Celebrating 20 Years of Ocean Avenue” tour that took on bigger venues than they’ve ever played. The band’s welcome back was far from polite, with screaming fans more dedicated to the art form, acceptance of the music, and enjoyment during shows to fuel the energy.

From theatrical beginnings…

Admittedly, Ryan didn’t do much with music growing up. He took piano lessons for a couple of months, hated it, and quit. He wasn’t much for musicals, either. He was much more attached to the idea of the theater. An idea – it seems – that may have stemmed from his first role as Tiny Tim in none other than A Christmas Carol.

“It’s two lines,” Key admits, laughing. “But being on stage at 6 years old in front of enough people, I can only imagine shaped me, changed me forever. Having that moment happen on your impressionable little 1st-grade mind. It’s like, yeah I want more of this. You get that dopamine hit of being on stage and the adrenaline of that, you want more of that. And you don’t know why but I think as a kid, after that, I was just dead set on being on stage however I could.”

In 10th grade, Key was accepted to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville and his pursuit of acting and theater got really serious. He was super involved at school in the shows and the deep, specific education. “We were studying Stanslovsky and real heavy stuff for high school kids,” Key says.

…to stress-reducing hobbies.

To help blow off steam in his -very limited – free time? “I had a band on the weekends,” he explains. “I got my first guitar when I was 11 or 12 years old and I played it and I wrote really crappy songs and had some friends that I played with but that was never gonna be something that I did professionally. I never even had it in my mind. I didn’t really enjoy singing, to be honest, very much. It’s still not my favorite part of my job. I was the lead singer of the band but I think that comes from that sense of wanting to be an entertainer, wanting to be a performer.”

This fact can be hard to believe, as Key’s vocal range is impressive and wide-ranging in its pop-punk glory. And his life performance tactics? Energetic to this day, at a level most people aren’t entirely capable of even at their peak. “It was never in my mind as something I wanted to pursue as a career,” he shrugs. “I just didn’t get into college where I wanted to go.”

When one door closes…

Ryan never let his rejection to the Theater Program at Boston University – twice, unfortunately – go. “I got into school in Boston but I didn’t get into their BFA program. My parents were like, ‘We’re not going to spend all that money for you to go to a private school in Boston if you’re not in the program that you want to be in.'”

While reasonable, it can be difficult to recover from something like that so early on in one’s career. From that bitterness was born a focus. Admittedly – and fairly – Ryan was spiteful about what had happened and chose not to complete the BFA program he started in Florida. He dropped out of school, leaned hard into music, and eventually began singing in Yellowcard.

To hear an artist admit to leaning into something in that anger is very refreshing. You often hear about heartache and heartbreak in everyone’s work, but it can be difficult to address the times of anger and instances when you feel things didn’t go the way they perhaps should have. Having a creative outlet to pour himself into was clearly the way to go, and is something so many of us should embrace as a healing mechanism in times of trouble.

Celebrating 20 Years of Ocean Avenue

Ryan says the band really appreciates the fact that the fans have weathered the storms alongside them. He credits this grand musical journey to the fact that fans have been patient and forgiving.

I have, personally, been a fan of Yellowcard’s since I was an adolescent, so getting a peek into their tour dynamic was ideal. When asked about the “Celebrating 20 Years of Ocean Avenue” tour, Key was almost gushing. “I feel like my favorite part of the tour was the energy between the band itself. I don’t think we’ve ever gone on a tour that was so lacking in negativity as this one. This tour was so full of happiness and positivity that it felt like an alien world, almost, compared to the Yellowcard that I’ve known for the past 20+ years.” 

What Key refers to – this feeling of a more in-sync crew and better touring environment and experience – has been echoed by artists the world over since the pandemic triggered larger conversations around mental health and balance in the music industry. Tours are being approached in a more holistic manner, and it’s been a reinvigorating time in the music industry. He went on:

I think we all felt that way. Which compounded each other aspect of the tour. The shows and interaction with fans, on-stage and off, and the support I think that we had from our crew every day felt stronger and better. I think that’s because there was a sense of peace and calm on the road.

We’ve never had that. Yellowcard has historically been a bit of a chaotic and tumultuous bag of personalities that have not created the best environment to work in. So this was, you know, jarring in the best possible way, to get out there and get a couple weeks in and realize, Oh, everything is just OK. And we can just let that be.

Pausing to reflect

It was almost spiritual, the way that he described it. Key’s acute awareness of the dynamic of the band made me wonder, aloud, how long it took in his career to come to this acceptance of who he is and his identity in the band.

I think it started, for me personally, during the final chapter of it all, at the end. You know, in 2016, 2017. Realizing that I was going to lose it forever because, at the time, it truly felt like that was going to be the case. It started with, I think, just a simple idea of really wanting to enjoy that tour in 2016 and 2017 and the international stuff we did.

That whole experience, as much as I tried, was sort of tinged with the reasons we were stepping away from it. The metrics that you use to quantify success, right, started to say “This is on the way down. We’re on the backslide.” Let’s end this before it goes too far so we can end it on our own terms and make it something special for fans and for ourselves. 

It went a lot deeper than that because it did go into the personalities and the inner workings of the band and things that we keep pretty close to the chest. So, as much as I tried to really enjoy it all, there was still an air of sadness and kind of negativity that had carried into that from all of the reasons we decided to step away in the first place. 

It wasn’t until I got home and started to have to figure out how to make my own way [that the self-awareness set in.] And the pandemic, really, was huge. A good friend of mine from high school was stopping through to stay with me. I had moved back to Los Angeles – which didn’t work out because the pandemic hit and we couldn’t tour or work so I was only there for about 6 or 8 months and then I left to come back east – but I had gone out there to kind of re-establish myself there and start working on film and tv music and things I want to do, too, as I get older.

My friend stopped through and it was only going to be for a week but it was the week that the lockdown happened in California. So he ended up staying with me for an entire month. During that time, he sort of opened my mind to meditating and starting to truly figure out what was going on with myself and work on the reasons why I had ended up where I was. I had never taken a minute to look that far inward, I don’t think. So it really wasn’t until 2020 that I started to kind of forge the path that has led me back here, now, where I am. 

As if to echo this spiritual, self-reflective sentiment, he notably wrapped the tour wielding a lightsaber, a symbol that the force is strong. While he claims that he brought the saber to make his nephew happy, we know there were probably additional motives here. (Because, really, who doesn’t want to have a lightsaber on tour with them?) For those of you wondering, yes, he does have a lightsaber lying around. In fact, he has multiple.

Embracing creative outlets

Besides his lifetime love of the franchise, Key has had the opportunity to connect with the franchise on a different level since the pandemic. “I’ve been really lucky the last 3 or 4 years to intensify my connection with Star Wars through hosting the Thank The Maker podcast with my friends,” he almost gushes. “I think Star Wars reminds you, at 43 years old, if you just give in and let yourself love it the way that I do, it reminds you how to play. That’s something that adults just don’t do.”

At this point, Key doesn’t realize he has hit a home run and we dive into a conversation about what being a “Disney adult” means in certain circles and some of the symbolism involved in Star Wars. We agreed that a certain level of play is encouraged to truly live a full life, especially as we age. “I’m a big fan of my wife for allowing me to just embrace that side, that childhood side of me, and letting me dress up in costumes with my friends and swing lightsabers around, you know?” he says, almost in amazement. “It’s really been a beneficial thing.”

Embracing change

As for if anything has changed for the band over the years – aside from the deep, self-realizations and occasional weaponry – Ryan says writing with everyone has become much more simplified. Explaining that the technology just wasn’t there to support quick changes to tracks and production fixes when they recorded their first albums, Key said the process now is just so much more accessible. “We can get right into ProTools, create the demo, program the drums so that we can change those around – we can try all the different options.”

The great part about having home studios is being able to control the sound as you build it. This way, you have more of an actualized recording that more than likely will sound much more similar to the final product. “It’s way more inspiring to have a good-sounding, ripping demo to steer the direction of the melody and the lyric that I’m going to put over the music.”

But the way Yellowcard writes? Pretty much the same. And super focused on the instrumentals. “It’ll start with usually a guitar riff. Shawn also has brought plenty of ideas on the violin or ideas for the structure of a whole song. He’ll have like a motif or a chord progression he will bring in that we will then build riffs and things around that.”

But you have to remember, Ryan is one with The Force. “I get middle-of-the-night ideas sometimes. I’ll wake up or I’ll not be able to sleep, one or the other. And it’ll just happen and I’ll take out my notes app on my phone and start plugging stuff in.

The title track from their latest release, “Childhood Eyes,” actually came to be that way. “I woke up with that chorus melody in my head and I started to put words to it. I could hear it happening in my head. And when I got to Austin for pre-production, I had an idea for the verse and the chorus in my notepad but I had never picked up a guitar to put music to it. So I just said, ‘Hey I have these lyrics and I have sort of a cadence and a rhythm for them.’ And we wrote the whole song in 15 minutes.” 

Looking forward…

In the coming weeks, Key will be working from his new home studio. When asked about his plans for the space, he perks up immediately. “I’m doing the whole room black,” he says. “Ceiling, walls, floor. A lot of wood grain and a lot of green pops in the room. The vibe is super Scandinavian, and I love that. I’m a big fan of Iceland, Sweden and Denmark. I love that part of the world so much. So we have a lot of this [look] in our house.”

Even more than the initial planning and execution of the project, this room will hold so much more meaning for Ryan as an artist, as he explores new podcast-related projects, and films content, pursues long-term goals (like music supervision and composition), and writes new Yellowcard songs for us to enjoy. It will also hold space for Ryan as a new father, viewing movies and creating art in this space with his family.

You mentioned we met in 2006. I wouldn’t want to meet me in 2006, you know? It’s just not even comparable, the headspace I’m in now and the tools that I have now to kind of prove my reactivity and try to stay positive. Things I was just incapable of doing for the better part of my career in Yellowcard until now. So, in the end, stepping away from the band and having that time was probably the best possible thing that could happen to me, personally. Because the perspective that I’ve come back to the band with is just so wildly different than it’s ever been before.

Yellowcard has, once again, taken a front seat in Ryan’s life. Check out an upcoming performance near you throughout 2024.

3 doors down bring the better life (and better weather) to kcmo

3 doors down bring the better life (and better weather) to kcmo

Tuesday night was one for the ages at Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO. In an unexpectedly beautiful way, 3 Doors Down helped us celebrate the end of summer with a full rendition of their 2003 debut album The Better Life, as well as other favorites. 20 years of pure joy filled the outdoor venue, coupled with stunning light design and a refreshing breeze that made everything feel like an actual dream.

candlebox brings natural ease and sense of appreciation to a beautiful summer evening show in kcmo

candlebox brings natural ease and sense of appreciation to a beautiful summer evening show in kcmo

Since 1990 – give or take a few years here and there – Candlebox (updated lineup: Kevin Martin, Adam Kury, Brian Quinn, Island Styles, BJ Kerwin) has been lighting the stage with its endearing (and enduring) brand of Pacific Northwest grunge rock. Consistently, they’ve brought heavy-hitting sets to dedicated crowds with hints of glam metal and blues in tow.

What the band has not always conveyed in their performance, is a sense of nostalgia or wide-spanning appreciation. Citing the pandemic – and other circumstances over the years – lead singer Kevin Martin took things a little slower, leaving space for reflection during their set at Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO on Wednesday, September 6.

Martin told us about his flawed and wonderful immigrant grandmother and his incredible parents – including a wonderful anecdote about a cradle-robbing father. He later took time to appreciate the people he – and we all – have lost too soon. Grief is a tricky bitch, and we have all been touched by it over the years. A sense of true empathy fell like a blanket over the Theater, on what was – admittedly – one of the most temperate and enjoyable evenings of the summer. (Despite the additional quilt of smog over us, brought down from the fires in Canada. Oops.)

Setlist
Don’t You
Change
Blossom
No Sense
Elegante
Arrow
Mothers Dream
He Calls Home
Cover Me
Far Behind
You

With COVID cases on the rise (despite what your local news might omit from its reports), photographers were not allowed a wide variety of angles to shoot from. However, the energy and the wild abandon are palpable through our Candlebox highlights, below.

set off on a rock-fueled, candy-coated adventure with connor mclaren’s “candy rain” music video

set off on a rock-fueled, candy-coated adventure with connor mclaren’s “candy rain” music video

If you have yet to happen upon the immense talents of Connor McLaren, now is your chance. The Indianapolis-based musician just released his first full-length with the indelible Ben Kweller’s label The Noise Company. Today, we get to peep the music video for the single “Candy Rain.”

A casual, meandering pace opens the track as we delve into the love story that is “Candy Rain.” While his romantic interest is metaphorically compared to this tasty concept, momentum builds and instrumentals are layered. The song becomes more of a quintessential rock ballad than originally expected, with a hint of grunge/surf rock influence in the whirring guitars. McLaren’s voice has the same appeal as your favorite 90’s crooners, giving all of his music what seems to be an unintentional – but completely genuine – layer of added nostalgia.

By the song alone, it is quite obvious that McLaren’s musicianship and professionalism far surpass the expectations normally associated with his ripe age of 21. But diving into the music video is a whole other treat. (See what we did there?)

The artist takes an artful approach to this visual release, with isolated color palettes dancing around his shadow profile in some frames, playing with natural elements like the textures in mother nature and the sun in others. Shots of the curly-haired crooner performing in earnest, surrounded by bubbles. Then covered in paint. Then avoiding a literal candy downpour under an umbrella.

The video is a kaleidoscope dream you won’t soon forget.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
August 17 – New York, NY – The Footlight
August 26 – Normal, IL – House Show
August 31 – Bloomington, IN – The Atrium
September 2 – Cleveland, OH – Mahall’s Apartment
September 9 – West Lafayette, IN – House Show
September 12 – Nashville, TN – The Basement East
September 14 – Boone, NC – TApp Room
September 21 – Chicago, IL – Bookclub
October 14 – Charleston, SC – House Show
November 10 – Appleton, WI – Appleton Beer Factory
December 22 – Indianapolis, IN – HiFi **Homecoming show – TICKETS

SONG CREDITS
Lead Vocals – Connor McLaren
Acoustic and Electric Guitar – Alec McLaren
Bass and Drums – Ben Kweller
Backing Vocals – Connor McLaren and Ben Kweller
**Written by Connor McLaren, Alec McLaren, and Benjamin Kweller and published by Weed Funded Songs (ASCAP), Charity Chase Songs (ASCAP) and Twelve Sided Die (ASCAP)

rachel burns sets your weekend on fire with release of what a nasty woman

rachel burns sets your weekend on fire with release of what a nasty woman

Rachel Burns knows passion. She knows intensity, appreciation, humor, and life. Her music has reached a unicorn “pop-soul-cabaret” genre-bending classification, relatably inspired by her everyday life. As a mother of two and cancer survivor, she could just as easily sing the blues — and most likely very beautifully. Instead, she takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to her art, the culmination of which comes to a head with her new EP release, What a Nasty Woman.

From the very first staccato notes of “Mansplainin'” – which any female-identifying human can probably identify with – through the weight of “Triple D’s” (pun intended), and through to the fade-out of wild-west inspired “Sundown Of The Macho Man,” you are in for a damn treat. Burns has brought just as much sass to her sound as she has talent, and these songs will have you revving up for the weekend the right way. (HELLO to her amped-up version of “All Shook Up”!)

“I like to empower people to empower other people. I’d like to uplift us all with this project,” Burns shares. “When I would dress up as Wonder Woman, I held up a giant sign that said, ‘Time to bust out the golden lasso of truth’ in glitter. Wonder Woman’s superpower was telling the truth. The truth is really powerful; it can break down all kinds of barriers, and I think that’s the kernel of a lot of my music: Truth telling. We’re going to laugh, dance, and be real – and not pussyfoot around anything!”

And pussyfoot she does not. Double entendres like the reference to fingers as “flacid, flimsy” and “soft, limp” in “Tiny Hands” and the entirety of “Triple D’s” are scattered across the 6-track EP, adding just as much joy and giggle to the aftermath of your listen as inspiration and empowerment. Her impressive vocal range is displayed to perfection on What a Nasty Woman, from the soft disposition of “Pollyanna’s Lament” to the deep, guttural performance of “Tiny Hands” and beyond. With nostalgic instrumentation that sets the stage for her theatrical, all-encompassing songs, you may just find yourself with an earworm or two.

Enjoy.

WHAT A NASTY WOMAN TRACKLISTING

  1. Mansplainin’
  2. All Shook Up
  3. Triple D’s
  4. Pollyanna’s Lament
  5. Tiny Hands
  6. Sundown Of The Macho Man