2012Candy - September

Background: The Peach Kings, Texan Paige McClain Wood and Californian Steven Trezevant Dies, recently released their new EP Handsome Moves  (September 6, 2012).

They describe their sound as "gypsydelic," which is just what it sounds like. Stemming from their inability to choose one genre of music to play, they coined the term in order to reflect their own personal view of the band. "Gypsy-" because they were inspired by playing outdoors and "-delic" because it contains just a hint of strange.  Paige and Steven are strongly influenced by visuals in cinema and fashion. In fact, Drew Barrymore discovered their music and selected them to be a part of her Spring Music Preview spread for V Magazine, alongside the likes of Mayer Hawthorne, M83, Spank Rock, Warpaint, and The Drums.

The duo fill the gap between upbeat rock and downtempo electronic, with comparisons being made to The Black Keys, Mazzy Star and The XX. Similarities can also be drawn to Little Dragon, and how they do so much with so little. They draw their sound and inspiration from the smoky smooth crackle of blues, folk, and soul vinyls as well as the hypodermic tones synthesized in various beat laboratories across the globe. Stripped down, The Peach Kings' power is derived from Paige's hauntingly sensual vocals combined with Steven's complementary rhythm and picking.

2012Candy Say's: Delightfully upbeat with great harmonies this is just one standout song from the EP, if you like this, you will love the rest.

Featured Track: Fisherman (mp3). Web: Official HERE

Background: Recording as Steffaloo, Los Angeles native Steph Thompson has in a very short time captivated indie music fans with releases in two distinct styles. Her 2011 self-released debut, Meet Me In Montauk, and her 2012 Mush full-length, Would You Stay, surround the beauty that bursts from her songs with acoustic guitar, ukulele, piano, simple percussion and lots of white noise. The feel is intimate bedroom pop, as if the songs are her way of finding the courage to stop her heart from swallowing her whole.

Praise has been swift to come her way, with performances at SXSW, CMJ, FMLY Fest, glowing reviews, notice in the Los Angeles Times, and her very own Daytrotter Session. In addition to Steffaloo's stripped-down solo material, she has teamed up with a number of acclaimed electronic producers as a guest on their albums. Her work with Blackbird Blackbird, Sun Glitters, Teen Daze, Chrome Sparks and others has been featured in important outlets including The Fader and introduced a whole new fanbase to her work. Whether releasing emotional solo meditations or collaborating with cutting-edge electronic producers, Steffaloo is set to become an artist of note.

2012Candy Say's: Dreamy vocals work there magic over sublimely crafted instrumentation and the lyrics tend to draw you in around the second listen.

Featured Track: Would You Stay (player only). Web: Official HERE.
Background: British artist Emoticonman has been creating electronic music for a number of years and can be loosely described as psychedelic. With the odd nod towards Aphex Twin and similar, the music can both excite, challenge and draw you in to the mixture of rhythms and carefully crafted layers of sound.

Some simple melodic instrumental pieces compete with energised soundscapes, occasional and intriguing lyrics and on occasional outright hostile assaults on your audio senses.

Listening to Emoticonman over the last few years has been described as "following a journey of musical exploration - where nothing can be ruled out". The intriguing thing is you never know quite what to expect. With much of the self released material now available at the artists site, this is your chance to enjoy some fine electronic explorations. (The featured song is yet to be released).

2012Candy Say's: We chose this instrumental piece partly as it's an exclusive for ourselves, but more importantly we just love the way it builds and flows. This is just one aspect of Emoticonman, believe us there is so much more!

Featured Track: Wandering Off The Path (player only) Web: Official HERE.


Background: Portland, Oregon-based duo Jenn Rawling & Basho Parks are continuing to tour in support of their debut full-length, Take The Air (Waterbug Records), by setting out on another national tour. 

Jenn Rawling, ace songstress and vintage American folk and old-time country singer, joins masterful string player & harmony singer Basho Parks in a partnership of formidable musical talent and palpable sympathy. Their music marries musical and lyrical imagery, with repetitive figures that subtly shift accent and meaning like sunlight gleaming from a stream. The result is an emotionally rich recording which unfolds more gifts with each listen.  There's a flowing kindness at the heart of this music; more than a nod to our barn-raising ancestors; and a formal mastery of the song form whereby the inevitable continues to amaze.  Recorded and produced with Skyler Norwood (Blind Pilot, Horse Feathers) at Miracle Lake Studios, the duo pared down a fistful of songs to the ten that comprise Take The Air. This album will get in your head and heart, and you won't mind a bit.  Using both stripped down and lush instrumentation,Take The Air reels the listener in with its delicate subtlety and glowing warmth.  This is superb artistry and the effect is profound.

A rare songwriter whose varied and distinctive melodies carry the story, Rawling's tunes can trace the motions and calls of birds and, in "Gather it Up," the determined, seemingly desultory motion of honey bees, echoed and elaborated by Parks' evocative violin.  A melodic section's end in "Whistle Bird" soars headlong into a new feeling; "Little Swallow" sashays in its groove like an old string band mainstay: Basho's fiddle calls up a little bit of "Cotton-Eyed Joe," daring all within earshot to give it up, to join in and dance like fools. "Leaving So Soon" captures the suddenness of a relationship loss by reaching the chorus so quickly we haven't got time to prepare for it. We are waiting for more of the verse, each time, but like the person who left the author, it's not there. And we feel it. "Lonely Owl," "Gather it Up" and "Tidal" are cousin to the ecstatic nature poetry of Mary Oliver. Jenn Rawling's songs don't connect the dots. They leap, and the intuitive connections she makes are so true that she takes us with her.  Each track stands individually on its own, together forming a collection of work both captivating and full of heart. 

Jenn and Basho met while contributing their musical talent to bands around Portland over the past few years.  Both were recovering from potentially career-ending wrist injuries, but had almost simultaneously decided to play music again.  Discovering these common loves propelled the folk-duo to become romantically and musically inseparable, and now they're taking it all on the road with a great dane and a van.  "Ours is a story of triumph in the face of adversity.  Real phoenix-rising kind of stuff," chuckles Parks. 

Happy to call the Pacific Northwest home, the two revel in its natural scenery and draw much from the flora and fauna of this region.  Wisconsin-born Rawling spent many summers working atop a firetower in the Mt. Hood wilderness.  Wrapped in that isolation, Jenn was able to give focused attention to songwriting.  She is an artist governed by intuition, tapped into the poetry of human life, who bides her time painting, gardening, cooking and admiring salamanders.  "[I'm] inspired by nature's seasons, and these are my love songs to the moon and stars, ballads to the birth of flowers, and human expressions of love and loss," she explains.

9/28/12 - Boats & Bluegrass Festival - Winona, MN
9/29/12 - Boats & Bluegrass Festival - Winona, MN
10/4/12 - Wisconsin Public Radio - Madison, WI
10/5/12 - Huebschman Barn - Platteville,WI
10/6/12 - Musical Offering - Evanston, IL
10/11/12 - Folk Alliance Midwest - St. Louis, MO
10/12/12 - Folk Alliance Midwest - St. Louis, MO
10/13/12 - Folk Alliance Midwest - St. Louis, MO
10/14/12 - Folk Alliance Midwest - St. Louis, MO
10/15/12 - Barking Spider Tavern - Cleveland, OH
10/17/12 - Club Helsinki - Hudson, NY
10/19/12 - WERU Radio - Ellsworth, ME
10/20/12 - 430 Bayside - Ellsworth, ME
10/27/12 - Circling the Square Press - Gardiner, ME
11/2/12 - The Listening Room - Fargo, ND
11/3/12 - tba - Minneapolis, MN
11/8/12 - Luna Cafe - De Pere, WI
11/10/12 -  Lakeshore Fellowship - ManItowac, WI
11/16/12 - Cafe Carpe - Ft. Atkinson, WI
11/24/12 - Trempeleau Hotel - Trempealeau, WI
11/29/12 - Avogadro's - Ft. Collins, CO
12/1/12 - tba - Denver, CO
12/2/12 - The Helm - Colorado Springs, CO

2012Candy Say's: Wonderfully produced and simply beautiful music, we could say more, however we will let the song do the talking (or singing...).

Featured Track: Gather It (mp3). Web: Official HERE.

Background: Boston-based indie-rock quartet Mean Creek have announced their Fall tour of the U.S. supporting Counting Crows. Marking the band's second stint with Counting Crows, the tour will begin on Tuesday, October 23 in Port Chester, NY, at The Capitol Theatre and will take in 14 evenings across the U.S., culminating in an appearance at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA, on Saturday, November 24. Prior to the tour, the band will be performing as part of this year's CMJ Music Marathon from October 17-19. Mean Creek will be on the road in support of its soon-to-be-released sophomore album titled Youth Companion.

Youth Companion, an album that was recorded at 1867 Recording Studio by Chris McLaughlin, producer of the band's acclaimed debut album, The Sky (Or The Underground), will be released through Old Flame Records on October 16th.

Building its name and acquiring a presence that has led to the band becoming a household name in their native Boston, the four members of Mean Creek - Chris Keene (lead vocals/guitar), Aurore Ounjian (guitar/vocals), Erik Wormwood (bass), and Mikey Holland (drums) - delved into their newest musical project with the assurance and conviction that comes from knowing their legitimate place in the world. Recently named "Best Boston Band" by the readers of The Boston Phoenix for the second straight year in a row and taking home the coveted "Album/EP of the Year" for their John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile)-produced Hemophiliac EP at the 2011 Boston Music Awards, Mean Creek have their sights set on impacting the nation as they have in their hometown with Youth Companion, the band's most focused and biggest-sounding work to date.

Mean Creek will be performing at this year's CMJ Music Marathon as well as touring the U.S. supporting Counting Crows during October and through all of November. Tour dates below.

11 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall (Youth Companion release show)
17 - New York, NY - CMJ - Fontana's - Pirate! showcase
18 - New York, NY - CMJ - Pianos - Old Flame Records showcase 
19 - New York, NY - CMJ - Bowery Electric - The Outlaw Roadshow showcase
23 - Port Chester, NY - The Capitol Theatre
25 - New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
26 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
28 - Charlottesville, VA - nTelos Wireless Pavilion

01 - Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amphiteater
04 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live
07 - New Orleans, LA - Mahalia Jackson Theatre
09 - Thackerville, OK - Winstar Casino
10 - Austin, TX - Stubb's
12 - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
14 - Albuqerque, NM - Kiva Auditorium
16 - Tucson, AZ - AVA Amphiteatre
20 - San Francisco, CA - Nob Hill Masonic Center
24 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern

2012Candy Say's: This is a powerful and anthem orientated song, that avoids the trap of becoming cluttered with to much going on. It's just great music.

Featured Track: Young and Wild (mp3). Web: Official HERE.

Background: Along with his band the Coastal Quartet, Nova Scotia’s young and hungry jazz mastermind Will Fisher (The Will Fisher Coastal Quartet) has been nominated for a 2012 Music Nova Scotia Award. The group’s debut album Portage earned them a nomination in the Jazz Recording of the Year category. Winners will be announced on November 11, during Nova Scotia Music Week festivities in Liverpool. Prior to the Awards, the quartet will be on the road, giving fans at The Rex in Toronto and Avant Garde Bar in Ottawa a taste of Portage live, leading up to its much-anticipated release on October 28.

Blending contemporary jazz with world and roots influences to create a distinctive sound, The Will Fisher Coastal Quartet’s Portage features an exciting line-up of Canadian jazz artists including Jon Challoner (trumpet), Mikko Hilden (guitar), Mike Downes (bass), and special album guests Nancy Walker & Matt Giffin (piano) and has received strong feedback from jazz critics across North America.

Named a "young, bright light on the cusp of a great career” by CBC Radio, Will has performed with a wide range of artists across Canada and the United States, including Nancy Walker, Kieran Overs, Kirk MacDonald, Bernie Senensky, Nathan Hiltz, Craig Wagner, Jennah Barry, Ian Sherwood, Aidan Knight, and a Canada-wide tour with Coco Love Alcorn, to name a few.

A multi-recipient of the Emerging Music Business Grants from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, Will has received numerous provincial and national awards including the 2008 CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award and the 2008 Chico Berardi Award (Nova Scotia Talent Trust).

2012Candy Say's: It's the likes of Will Fisher that have helped me overcome my somewhat blinkered view of 'jazz' music. This is simply wonderful, could be late night in a club, or pulling back the curtains for a new day.

Featured Track: The Great Karoo (player only) Web: Official HERE.

Background: MPress Records label founder and singer-songwriter Rachael Sage announces CMJ performance on October 17th at Rockwood Music Hall in New York. In addition, Rachael will be on tour through the end of the year playing with legendary acts such as Judy Collins & Al Stewart all over the U.S., U.K., and Ireland.

These concert dates follow a successful release of Rachael’s Haunted By You Acoustic EP, which became available via iTunes on July 18th, 2012. Featuring material from her recent 10th album “Haunted By You,” the acoustic EP marks another first for the acclaimed artist during the milestone year of her 10th release.  The collection of guitar-based originals, supported by members of Sage's touring band The Sequins, includes guest appearances by Dar Williams, Katie Costello, Counting Crows member David Immergluck and Grammy ® nominee Seth Glier (MPress will also commemorate this benchmark album with its first vinyl release slated for Fall 2012).

The collection included on the acoustic EP merges the classic pop sensibilities of Sarah McLachlan with the sweeping dynamics of Glen Hansard. Sage’s poetic lyrics shine in this stripped-down setting, while cellist Dave Eggar (Elvis Costello, Coldplay) and percussionist Quinn (Tracy Chapman, Jesca Hoop) add just the right amount of accompaniment to her crystalline vocal performances.

10/04 | The State Theatre | Ithaca, NY * | 8PM
10/05 | Phleps Mansion Museum | Binghamton, NY | 6:30PM
10/06 | Fargo Theater | Fargo, ND * | 8PM
10/07 | Babcock Theater | Billings, MT * | 8PM
10/12 | Belle Mehus Auditorium | Bismark, ND * | 8PM
10/17 | Rockwood Music Hall | MPressFest CMJ 2012 | 2:30PM
10/19 | Tupelo Music Hall | Londonderry, NH + | 8PM
10/21 | Infinity Music Hall | Norfolk, CT + | 7PM
10/24 | Club Passim | Cambridge, MA + | 8PM
10/27 | Island Arts Centre | Lisburn, N-IRL * | 8PM
10/28 | The Lyric Theatre | Belfast, N-IRL * | 8PM
10/29 | Down Arts Centre | Downpatrick, N-IRL * | 8PM
10/31 | City Winery | New York, NY + | 8PM
11/03 | The Birchmere | Alexandria, VA + | 7PM
11/07 | The Castle Hotel | Manchester, UK | 8PM
11/08 | The Elgin | London, UK | 8PM
11/09 | The High Barn | Great Bardfield, UK | 8PM
11/10 | The Railway Venue | Bolton, UK with Never Forever | 8PM
11/12 | Kitchen Garden Café | Birmingham, UK | 8PM
11/20 | CC Muziekcafe | Amsterdam, NL | 8PM
11/25 | Club Barinton | Cologne, DE | 8PM
12/02 | Mocha Maya’s | Shelburne Falls, MA | 2PM
12/03 | Town Hall Theater | Middlebury, VT * | 8PM
12/04 | Radio Bean | Burlington, VT | 8:30 PM
12/05 | The Flying Monkey | Plymouth, NH * | 7PM
12/10 | The Wood Theatre | Glen Falls, NY * | 8PM
12/15 | The Museum at Bethel Woods | Bethel, NY * | 8PM
* With Judy Collins
^ With Jann Klose
+ With Al Stewart

2012Candy Say's: Some people can make terrific music seem so simple to record and deliver, should not be allowed... It's Rachael Sage for goodness sake...
Featured Track: Invisible Light (mp3). Web Official HERE.

Background: Little People is the moniker of UK based downtempo electronic musician Laurent Clerc. He returns with his second full length album We Are But Hunks Of Wood on Youth & Progress Records. Along the lines of DJ Shadow, RJD2 and Four Tet, Little People plays downtempo, intelligent electronic music. Part beats, bleeps and real live instrumentation, this new record falls in a place where Bonobo and Explosions in the Sky would hypothetically meet. Having followed an unconventional route to success, thanks to in no small part to Pandora radio generating him huge amounts of exposure, he has seemingly existed outside of traditional promotional channels.

This new album comes a whole 6 years after his first album (Mickey Mouse Operation) was released on Illicit Recordings. His debut, an accomplished ode to late 90's instrumental hip hop, has gone on to be in the iTunes Top 30 selling electronic albums in the US for the last 2 years.

We are But Hunks of Wood is a sonic leap forward for Little People, which establishes him as a key proponent of the downtempo electronic music scene. Having initially come from the world of instrumental hip hop where tracks are often more akin to just sketches or interesting ideas, Laurent Clerc's pieces are fully fledged songs whose arrangements create a sense of mood and movement, effortlessly going from nuanced electronic patterns to soaring string arrangements over the course of the journey. This is no beat tape.

2012Candy Say's: Having rightly sung the praises of Emoticonman earlier, we are reminded that Little People has produced one incredible piece of music. Love the expression 'down tempo electronic', this is just so well thought out and a joy for the ears.
Featured Track: Aldgate Patterns (mp3). Web: Official HERE.

Background: The Bloody Angle are a four-piece southern-fried swamp rock band, with a touch of Americana and just a hint of country. Made up of Matt Singleton, Jason Butler, Dustin Bugg and Brian Temples, the Bloody Angle was first formed when Singleton and Butler got together in early 2011. Their style features gritty guitars, lap-steel, and finger-picking, as well as vocal harmonies and traditional keyboard tones.

The eponymous debut album will be available October 16, 2012. The album was recorded entirely in the analog realm, at producer-songwriter Matt Singleton’s studio in the Central Virginia countryside. “We wanted to produce a record that was warm, immediate, and spontaneous,” said Singleton. “This album was a direct backlash against the modern style of making music... no edits, no grid, no auto-tune. We wrote and performed together in the studio, and captured the songs to tape as they came out, warts and all.”

The Bloody Angle is named after a section of the confederate line at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, during the Civil War. The fighting there was particularly intense, with over 18,000 men killed or injured in a 24 hour period of hand-to-hand combat. “We wanted the name to be on the dark side, to have some local roots, and have an element of southern history.” says Singleton. “In fact, one of the first songs I wrote when we started working on this project was an illustration of this battle, from a young confederate soldiers point of view. It ended up being the first song on the record.”

After over a year in the studio, the band is excited about the upcoming release, and future live performances.

“We have all been doing this a long time,” says Singleton. “The chemistry is there. It’s been a long time coming, and we are pretty proud of this record. We can’t wait until it drops, and we hit the stage to bring it live.”

2012Candy Say's: They only had to describe themselves as a "southern-fried swamp rock band" and we were intrigued. It's a bit like The Allman Brothers and The Black Crowes giving a history lesson, this is just so clever and we are hooked on the whole swamp rock thing.

Featured Track: Bloody Angle (mp3). Web: Official HERE.

Background: Freight train rockers Jerzey Street Band have just made their US debut with the release of their striking new album, Breaking Radio Silence on September 18th, 2012.  These Brit rockers will be right at home in the States; their comforting Americana anthems conjure images of convertible top-down car rides, lost loves, and most importantly, give you the warm & fuzzy feeling of returning home after being away for far too long.

Chaneling tinges of Tom Petty during his Mudcrutch days, the track seamlessly straddles the line between melancholy and uplifting:
“… I don’t ever feel at home, thought this world was mine to roam.”/ “We all shiver to the bone, gotta make it on your own” / “We’re all crazy too.”
The song has a heartening familiarity about it, as if it might be an Eagles song you heard at a party that one time.

Hailing from Manchester's bubbling creative melting pot, the Jerzey Street septet has had a long and eventful journey to this point in their career. Not fitting into any current fashions or genres, the quality of their music alone has earned them support slots with many musical legends including Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, Blackfoot, Alabama 3, Sandi Thom, John Allen and Wishbone Ash.  High profile shows, the release of their album in the UK and support from the likes of Maverick Magazine, Bearded Magazine, and BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris have enabled them to grow and cultivate a highly diverse fan-base spanning the UK.

Jerzey Street Band’s tasteful use of pedal steel guitar, dobro and harmonica on Breaking Radio Silence truly raises the bar for rock music in America and makes this band of Brits stand out. It’s a myriad of traditional sounds played with refreshing style; a must hear for fans of Counting Crows, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. Jump on board the freight train and rock..

2012Candy Say's: It's the fact they are from Manchester, England and not New Jersey that grabbed my attention first, thankfully the music delivers and this is no hype thing. Last time I was in Manchester it rained so at least the weather is in the right place (you need to live in Britain to fully get that).

Featured Track: Pale Blue River (mp3). Web: Official HERE.