Eric Rachmany, the songwriter, singer and guitarist of Rebelution joined me for an interview as well as an acoustic debut of a brand new song "Free Reign", live from the green room at Marymoor Park, a few hours before their second night headling there last weekend. Rebelution is a modern reggae band originally formed in Santa Barbara, California that has garnered loads of attention in the last 10 years, playing huge festivals and headling venues such as the Red Rocks Ampitheater. This year they are nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.
Pat O'neill (Like Lions, Mylestone) stopped by the studio to share a few songs old and new, discuss songwriting, pop music, the making of his magnum opus "All Be Fine", and more.
Pat McHenry (previously of bands Mon Cheri and Smile Line Spark) joins us today to share some country-tinged tunes from his new project, Pat McHenry and the Chinook Hooks.
Dane Ueland is the visionary songwriter and guitarist behind the Seattle-based musical project "& Yet" .
You could call his songs folk music, but not without categorically acknowledging the distinctive, sometimes idiosyncratic array of elements from which his compositions are urbanely synthesized.
Fragments of classical fugue, soft jazz, and gypsy music coalesce over a bed of precise fingerpicking, replete with curious chord progressions, befuddling moments of calculated dissonance, tentative pauses, and unexpected but welcomed time signature changeups. Dane's vocals, softly pleading, often whimsical, sometimes assertive, and occasionally desperate, play the lead in the drama. Peaks and valleys of varying depths and heights are traversed, always with finesse, restraint, and balance. Lyrical witticisms, elegant wordplay and literary references are present in abundance.
Ueland is an alchemist of song, concocting elixirs that transport the listener to another time and place when imbibed. Think of walking into a musty library of an old, abandoned estate, pulling a book off a shelf, blowing the dust off and flipping it open to some illustration. Take that moment in which you are unselfconsciously lost in universe of the image, stretch it over the course of 3-5 minutes and you have a Dane Ueland song.
His band & Yet has morphed through a number of lineup changes in recent years: a 7 piece "rock" outfit, a trio consisting of him, a cellist and violist, and currently, a 3 piece band with bass and drums accompaniment. He has upcoming releases with the 3 piece band, as well as a record forthcoming from Minneapolis based indie label Plastic Horses records, recorded in analog fashion with studio musicians.
For the second episode of the Podcast I was joined by Erik Walters, frontman of the Seattle group Silver Torches, member of Soft Sleep, and formerly of The Globes (Barsuk Records).
Erik's music executes impressive balancing acts across multiple dimensions: His vocal prowess is salient, but never acrobatic for the sake of it. His narrative lyrics invoke Americana without being hokey-folky. The picking patterns are polyrhythmic, but keep you oriented (his previous band The Globes had some math-rock leanings). There is acuity for nuance on display in the sonic palette of his songs that is rare to find in his contemporaries.
If you love anything from Nick Drake to Don McLean to Bruce Springsteen to Sunny Day Real Estate, you'll find something to love here.
Erik will soon be mixing his third Silver Torches album, which we are certain will be a great followup to last year's fantastic "Heatherfield" (which is pay-what-you-want over at Bandcamp).
He shared two brand new songs (live in-studio acoustic) from the forthcoming record, as well as "Woman in Rust" from Heatherfield.
We discussed songwriting, the recording process on his records, early musical influences and more.
He also just got a puppy, and there was no way we weren't going to post a picture of it.
Alex (Alexandra Niedzalkowski) is the singer/songwriter/guitarist behind the Seattle band Cumulus.
She stopped by the studio for our very first episode of the podcast, sharing three excellent acoustic performances of songs from her upcoming album "Comfort World" which is scheduled for release this fall, her second release on Trans Records.
The music of Cumulus skillfully manages a pop-friendly sensibility while maintaining full indie-rock credibility, with Alex proudly wearing more mainstream influences on her sleeve (Third Eye Blind, Taylor Swift), simultaneously being a devotee of underground songmasters such as Elliott Smith and Jason Molina.
Alex originally hails from Oak Harbor, WA - a small island town to Anacortes, WA where she became involved in the DIY music scene, alongside artists such as Phil Elvrum (Mt Eerie/Microphones), Karl Blau, and The Lonely Forest before moving to Seattle, becoming a local favorite, embarking on several tours, and catching the attention of long-time Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla, who signed her to his Trans Records imprint and was involved in the recording of her latest (and previous) album.