Overcoats is the New York-based female duo, Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell. Their debut album, YOUNG, captures a sound that is rich in minimalism and melody. Overcoats’s music draws strength from vulnerability, finds light in darkness, and portrays the catharsis of simple, honest songwriting. YOUNG is about a transformation: the passage into womanhood, sung through the shared experiences of two best friends.
Adrian Galvin's latest endeavor is his solo project under the name Yoke Lore, which, according to a press release, was “founded in the essence of human connection.” Yoke Lore continues to mold his folk sound, tapping into the bright, neopsychedelic of Animal Collective, and the smart, deconstructed pop of Dirty Projectors. This new and unique sound is showcased in “Safety,” the latest single off his forthcoming debut EP, Far Shore.
EMMARIE is breaking all the rules, mixing it up, and rocking the music scene with powerful messages and unforgettable beats. She creates her own unique style by seamlessly fusing together her favorite features of pop, rock, and a bit of punk to create inspirational music with hooks that make you move, and lyrics with a passion for life.
Soul Candy is a seven-piece groove-pop band from Boston. Currently attending Berklee, they plan to release their EP in May.
Pat Sicotte is an up-and-coming singer-songwriter from Boston.
The Checkout-Live at Berklee, a collaboration between WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM and Berklee, presents a "searing hot" duo experience between Louis Cole of KNOWER and Domi Degalle, the 17-year-old Parisian keys player at Berklee who Spectrasonics finds "mind-blowing." Coming together for a few dates this spring in the U.S. and South America, you'll hear Domi join Cole's future-sonic; a crossover of jazz-harm-pop-synths with his soulful drum epic, best heard on his own act, KNOWER, and Thundercat's new record on Brainfeeder. Playing originals with their new collaboration, Domi and Cole promise exciting and "deep music" for a night you will never forget.
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Immediately after graduating from college in Boston, the five members of the art-pop band Midnight Snack hit the road in 2014 for an autumn of touring. By spring of 2015, the group had moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where they settled into a shared house, constructed a studio, and recently completed work on their third album, Child’s Eyes. Midnight Snack has developed a varied and eclectic sound, offering the most personal introspection of their lengthy discography.
Boston-based folk duo Two Girls is made up of Ellen Siberian Tiger and Catherine Joy Parke, who met when they were both students at Berklee. Catherine draws upon her Texas upbringing with a fiddle tone that is sweet and smooth, while Ellen brings her central Pennsylvanian roots to the table with folk-inspired guitar playing. Their combined influences result in a sound infused with breathtaking harmonies that is uniquely their own, one which they've showcased to audiences all across the United States and Europe.
From the outset, Liam McCormick, the mastermind behind the Family Crest, knew that Beneath the Brine was an audacious project. But so was the Family Crest itself. The brainchild of McCormick, the Family Crest was started as a recording project in 2009 with cofounder John Seeterlin (bass). “We were in another band and had become disillusioned about what that band had become about,” explains McCormick, “Everyone wanted to be rock stars at the expense of the music. John and I were actually planning on leaving music at that point because we wanted something that in 10 years we could be proud of.”
Instead of leaving music, they set out to reinvent how it could be created, starting the Family Crest. “We always liked making music with people—getting a bunch of people together and singing. So we put ads everywhere,” says McCormick, “We posted on Craigslist and emailed old friends from school.” The outcome was greater than the original duo imagined, with 80 people credited on the first recording the band produced. “We’ve worked with a lot of conservatory students as well as people who just sing in the shower,” McCormick adds, “It became a lot about giving these people a chance to express themselves without being locked into a commitment.”
With a heavenly voice couched in spellbinding Western ballads, 21-year-old Holly Macve makes a fantastic addition to the Bella Union family. Her album, Golden Eagle, is one of the most remarkably assured debuts of this year. Despite her youth, Golden Eagle reveals Macve's maturity. Born in Galway in western Ireland, Macve and her sister were whisked away by their mother from their errant father, to live with their grandparents in Yorkshire. Once in their own house near the town of Holmfirth, Holly quickly responded to music. “My granddad was a classical composer, and my mum sang, and she said I was singing before I was talking,” she recalls. Her mother’s record collection of old blues and Bob Dylan shaped Macve's impressionable mind before she discovered her own personal favorites, such as Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, and Gillian Welch.
Ruth B has emerged as a vital artist whose trademark vocal style and vivid songwriting narratives have set the tone for even more alluring reveals in 2017, namely, a robust 12-song debut album on the horizon for this spring, christened by her newly released single, “Superficial Love.”
Growing up surrounded by the sounds of the South and the powerful timeless music emanating from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the Secret Sisters were heavily influenced by a range of uniquely American musical styles, including country, bluegrass, gospel, classic rock, and pop. They were raised on a rich tapestry of music, listening to everything from George Jones and Loretta Lynn, to the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, the Ramones, Fiona Apple, and Rufus Wainwright. But it was their father, a musician himself, who introduced Laura and Lydia to bluegrass at an early age and spent many weekends bringing his daughters to local bluegrass festivals. While their 2010 debut album, The Secret Sisters, comprised mostly traditional country songs the sisters grew up loving, two standouts were Laura and Lydia's originals, “Tennessee Me” and “Waste the Day.” With that album lauded by critics and adored by their rapidly growing legion of fans, the stage was set for the sisters to advance as artists. The Secret Sisters further established themselves as songwriters with the release of their 2014 album, Put Your Needle Down.
Cheyenne Medders is an artist and producer living in Nashville, Tennessee. He wakes up every day, kisses his wife, high fives his young son, and gets to work on the soundtrack to future starlit roadtrips and Super 8 nature documentaries. He calls his studio "Departure" because his window faces the airport and because he believes music should take you somewhere. Medders's influences are distinct and diverse. As a boy on camping trips and long vacation drives, his dad would play Johnny Horton, Elton John, and Enya, as well as demos from his own songwriting career. As a teenager, Wilco's Summerteeth and Emmylou Harris's Wrecking Ball made Medders want not only to sing and play, but to produce records.
Long before they combined their voices, the three members of the Lone Bellow were singing on their own. Brian Elmquist had been writing and recording as a solo artist for more than a decade, with three albums under his own name. Kanene Pipkin and her husband, Jason, were living in Beijing, China, hosting open mic nights, playing at local clubs, and teaching music lessons. Zach Williams began writing songs in the wake of a family tragedy: After his wife was thrown from a horse, he spent days in the hospital at her bedside, bracing himself for the worst. The journal he kept during this period would eventually become his first batch of songs as a solo artist. Happily, his wife made a full recovery.
When Kanene’s brother asked her and Zach to sing “O Happy Day” together at his wedding, they discovered their voices fit together beautifully, but starting a band together seemed impossible when they lived on opposite sides of the world. Brian soon relocated to New York and Kanene moved there to attend culinary school a couple of years later. The three got together in their new hometown to work on a few songs of Zach’s. After hitting those first harmonies, they decided to abandon all other pursuits. Soon the trio was playing all over the city, although they considered Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side to be their home. They opened for The Civil Wars, Dwight Yoakam, Brandi Carlile, and The Avett Brothers. Their self-titled debut, produced by Nashville’s Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Holly Williams), was released in January 2013 and established them as one of the boldest new acts in the Americana movement.
This show is part of the Fenway Recording Sessions, a series of concerts that has been host to local, national, and international artists.
Jeremy Enigk is an American singer-songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist/multi-instrumentalist. He is known for being the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and keyboardist of the Seattle-based bands Sunny Day Real Estate and the Fire Theft. He’s excited to be performing and sharing his new music.
Tomo Nakayama is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington. His music has been praised by NPR, the New York Times, and KEXP, and he has toured throughout the U.S. and Japan at festivals such as SXSW, CMJ, Sasquatch, and Bumbershoot. His first solo album, Fog on the Lens, was made nearly a decade after fronting beloved Seattle chamber-pop band Grand Hallway and composing for and acting in Lynn Shelton’s Sundance Grand Jury-nominated film Touchy Feely.
DJ Carbo is a local DJ in the Boston area, spinning records between sets.
Though both Kari Spieler (guitar, vocals) and Adam McHeffey (guitar, banjo, vocals) performed regularly around the campus of SUNY Purchase College, it wasn't until the final weeks of their senior year in 2010 that they met and recorded "Johnnie," a song Swear and Shake performs to this day.
Inside a redwood tree off the coast of California, within a tunnel by Snoqualmie Pass, on an airstrip in Marble, Colorado, in a wild daisy field near Crested Butte—these are just a few of the places Los Angeles trio MAGIC GIANT recorded their debut album, In the Wind. Austin Bisnow (lead vocals), Zambricki Li (banjo/violin/harmonica), and Zang (acoustic guitar, cello), welcomed nature into the fold as their unofficial fourth member.
“It was fate,” recalls Li. “We were scheduled to play all these festivals—Electric Forest, Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle—that just so happened to be in really beautiful parts of the country.” During the spring of 2016, the boys bought a shuttle bus, converted it into a solar-powered mobile recording studio, added a California King on hydraulics, and fondly named her Queen Elizabeth. “There were spaces of time between shows where we could get creative,” says Zang. “Using the bus to power microphones, we recorded outside—literally In the Wind—across North America.”
Rigsby, who has been playing drums since the age of 12, took a stab at civilian life following more than a decade of writing, recording, and touring the world with his band House of Heroes, but it didn’t take very well. What started out as a remedy for restlessness, however, soon developed into a full-blown passion and the beginnings of Rigsby’s new solo project: Vesperteen.
Vesperteen’s pop-rock sound, reminiscent of bands like the 1975 and Bleachers, has connected with a large audience. In just over a year, Rigsby has accrued more than 10,000 followers across social media platforms and generated 150,000 plays on Spotify as an independent artist.
Keeping things simple is probably one of the most complicated things that a musician could ever do. DBMKcreates a really immersive and cinematic blend of sound, yet their indie pop is direct, deliberate, and extremely easy to relate to. In December 2014 they released The Abyss, their debut full-length album. The songs are introspective and intimate, but their sound is big, with reverberated guitar riffs, soulful vocals, and great arrangements that echo artists such as Twenty One Pilots and the Neighbourhood, but with an equally honest and less polished attitude.
Though the group is relatively new, they have completely changed the way many view independent and local music by professionally releasing a music video for their song, “Rich Girls,” performing at large music festivals such as FSC’s Southern Takeover, WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave, and Cox Media’s 97x Barbecue and NBT, all within one year of their first steps into the music scene. Much of the duo’s success can in fact be attributed to their constant professionalism, fan relationships, and electrifying stage performance. In July 2016 they released their highly anticipated sophomore studio album, Collapse, which was met with overwhelming fan support, and toured the southeast United States.
The Boston-based electronic duo Sleeping Lion was formed by roommates Nate Flaks and Noah Longworth McGuire in the spring of 2015. The first Sleeping Lion songs were written and produced remotely the following summer (via Skype) while Flaks was living in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and McGuire was living in Rome, Italy. In the fall, the two came together to record in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Their first single, “You Made Me,” was released in September 2015 and quickly generated hype around Boston. Their subsequent singles, “Rug” (premiered exclusively on Indie Shuffle) and “Generous” (premiered exclusively on the Line of Best Fit), were featured on various music blogs and Spotify playlists. In July 2016, they released their debut EP Patient Creature, which featured their unique combination of mellow alternative electronic vibes with elements of future-bass.
Sometimes it can take years to find your calling. Not for Julie Byrne, whose power of lyrical expression seems inborn. Often what comes naturally cannot be driven by speed and time. Julie’s second album, Not Even Happiness, has evolved at its own pace. It spans recollections of bustling roadside diners, the stars over the high desert, the aching weariness of change, the wildflowers of the California coast, and the irresolvable mysteries of love. Her new album vividly archives what would have otherwise been lost to the road, and in doing so, Byrne exhibits her extraordinarily innate musicality. Some of the songs on Not Even Happiness took years of fine tuning to reach their fruition. If you asked her why the follow up to 2014’s Rooms with Walls and Windows has taken so long, you’d be greeted with a bewildered expression melted into a smile, as though the strangest question had just been asked.
Johanna Warren crafts powerful songs in unusual time signatures and melancholic open tunings on her acoustic guitar, weaving adept finger-picking with lilting, acrobatic vocal lines and potent poetry drawing from a deep well of mysticism and introspective journeying.
In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine named Johanna "One of Four Singer-Songwriters You Need to Know." In 2016 she founded Spirit House Records, a radically artist-friendly label dedicated to the collective empowerment of free-spirited women, queer, trans and nonbinary artists. She released her third solo LP Gemini I on Spirit House last September; its twin, Gemini II, is due out this summer.
An intuitively self-taught guitarist and classically trained flute player, Warren's writing plumbs the depths of the human experience, alchemizing life's darkest moments into refined offerings of beauty. Although she has lent her voice to artists such as Iron & Wine, Natalie Merchant, and Jesca Hoop, she is a songwriter first and foremost, paying homage through the cultivation of her craft to her personal saviors Joni Mitchell, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake.