Monday Mix: Jesse Jo Stark - Analog Candle, Freedom Fry - Cavegreen - Joe Nisbet Jr

Jesse Jo Stark - Driftwood.

Background - Singer/songwriter Jesse Jo Stark launched her own record label, “Sugar Jones Music,” in late January and inaugurated it with her first single, the achingly beautiful tune about love and loss, “Driftwood.” An exciting new artist on the rise, Jesse Jo has begun to carve out her own niche amongst the musical landscape with her beautiful lyrics and original melodies.

Very few young artists have inherited bonds to the music world as much as Jesse Jo. Growing up in an environment that fostered creative expression, music came naturally to her and became a great way for her to express herself. Under the guidance and collaboration of notable musicians such as Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols and Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses, Jesse Jo began writing and recording in her teens.

Jesse’s musical influences reflect her own eclectic tastes, ranging from country, punk, folk to rock and roll. Each genre shares the qualities that are most evident in her own music – honesty and authenticity. Often drawing on her deep love of horror for inspiration, Jesse Jo has crafted a look and sound all of her own. “I'm in love with the Cramps and I also grew up listening to Merle Haggard, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, Brian Eno and David Bowie—they all influence me,” says Stark.

“Driftwood” is produced by Jason Lytle (Grandaddy, Band Of Horses producer) and written by Jesse Jo and Johnathan Rice (a frequent Jenny Lewis collaborator and film composer). “I loved working with Johnathan on this song because he has such a lovely way of writing. My lyrics are a bit darker so I felt like the combination turned out beautifully,” said Jesse Jo. Another track, “Down Your Drain,” will be released as a B-Side to “Driftwood.” Produced earlier this year by Steve Jones, the companion video was shot by Olivia Malone and starred Lanna Lyon, Payden Hayes and Bella Hadid. Website here, Facebook here. mp3 here.

Putting the influences cited above to one side, and just focusing on the song, then 'Driftwood' is one very fine piece and Jesse Jo Stark clearly has a talent for both writing and performing both original and refined music. Production is spot on, allowing her vocals to dreamily glide above the soundtrack as both carry the melody with style. A case perhaps, that her influences have done a good job, and Jesse a superb one.


Analog Candle - Winter '15. (EP).

Background - Analog Candle are pleased to share their new 'Winter '15' EP. In terms of the EP itself, and conversely given the circumstances in which it was born, the lyrical content reflects Callum’s apprehensions on personal relationships, as well as the uncertain fragility that followed him around during his first winter in NYC.  Each song is intended to provide a small window into how that winter progressed, as well as mapping the chronology of a doomed relationship.

Album opener ‘Scarlett’s Web’ features delicate female vocals that hover above shimmering electronic effects, while its lyrical themes allude to the beginning of the end of a love affair, “I see where my body is / But my heart’s far away”.  Elsewhere, ‘Trier’, a wavy slice of electronic pop, explores flashes of real life pain - ‘Lying aimless in bed / With all the books that stay unread’ juxtaposed with buoyant electronic currents.

Themes of reminiscence and rejection sit alongside concepts of expressionism, and throughout the EP, heightened emotion is given a front seat over exact realism in the form of piercing lyrics that twist and linger like smoke-trails. Website here, Facebook here.

We featured one song from the EP (Trier) last month. The opportunity to share the whole EP is to good to pass up on. I would think it fair to say that the four songs indicate this is a band full of ideas and not frightened to test out differing directions or styles. The one constant so far is the quality, and that's a given.


Freedom Fry - Songbird.

Background - Freedom Fry’s music, which heavily bleeds the warmth and sunshine of their home state of California, skirts the lines between pop, folk and indie rock – always blended with danceable rhythms and a sing-a-long chorus.

After Belgian sensation Stromae took notice, he asked Freedom Fry to go on tour with him in the US. Freedom Fry has also toured with Communion Presents and performed in Madewell stores across the country as part of a national campaign partnership. They’ve shared the stage with other acts such as X Ambassadors, Phantogram, Aurora, and French darlings Lilly Wood & The Prick. They’ve appeared at School Night in Los Angeles & New York, Popscene in San Francisco, Club NME in London, Nuba in Paris, and standout showcases at SXSW.

The now-married Michigan-native Bruce Driscoll and Parisian Marie Seyrat are preparing to release new music in 2017, following the success of their 2016 single “Shaky Ground,” a song that made Spotify’s “Best of 2016: Ultimate Indie playlist.” Website here. mp3 here.

'Songbird' is the third piece from Freedom Fry we have featured. With a gentle understated and predominately acoustic back drop, the vocals and delightful harmonies remain the focal point throughout, and they are natural, warm and melodic. Looking forward to he next one. 


Cavegreen - Over the Earth.

Background - Electro folk duo Cavegreen's new album Vita Lucida was just released on Friday. Cavegreen is the artistic collaboration of Eleanor Murray and Gianluca Bucci that blends electronic and acoustic music, poetry, and images.

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Cavegreen takes inspiration from the green, lush surroundings from which they come, and it can be felt in Vita Lucida through it's themes of human connectivity to nature. The album is a positive electro-pop experience that combines earthly drum and dance beats with light, dreamy melodies, a soundscape that is both grounded and ethereal.

The songs sing about the profound beauty of nature, inspired by ancient philosophical traditions. Vita Lucida is one to dance with, dream beside, and ponder with.Website here, Facebook here.

Our second feature for Cavegreen this time with the song 'Over the Earth', the first track on their just released album 'Vita Lucida'. One of nine tracks, the opening song indicates something special may be on the way, and Cavegreen keep that promise with some exquisite music and beautiful vocals.


Joe Nisbet Jr - All The Right Reasons (EP).

Background from Joe Nisbet Jr - You may (or not) know that musicians can be bitchier than Joan Collins, and I've always relished being opinionated, acerbic, or plain dismissive about people's songwriting. So it is with understandable trepidation that I approach the criticism entailed in the release of my own first foray into original material - which I also arranged, played on and sang. There would appear to be nowhere to hide - I present you with an open goal.

If you don't like it, I can't blame the extraordinary talents and generosity of the brilliant musicians, engineers and biz enablers who have donated enough rope for this auto asphyxiation. If you don't like it, I will understand entirely and think none the worse of mankind than I already do. I will not cry, I promise I will be in no way upset. Because most importantly, if you don't like it that means you've listened to it. And because you've listened to it, let me give you a little background on the tunes:

All The Right Reasons, is not about drinking, it is about stopping on a hillside and looking around to see where you actually are. Often a very different place than you thought. Judge Not, is about recognising mistakes. There's a universal theme for you. Too Blue, is about feeling so bad that you don't even want to play the guitar in the pub. Honey You Lie, is just a jaunty little pop song. About Westminster. Maybe. So go on, give yourself a chance to form an opinion - listen to my new songs. You might even like them. Amazon (20 Feb onwards) here, Bandcamp here, KFM Records here.

I was tempted to begin these words by ripping into the EP and tearing it apart, as Joe clearly has that potential outcome as a possibility. However the whole idea of Beehive Candy is to ignore the stuff that's not to our taste and celebrate the music that is (and because music 'critics' are... well they just are). So fear not Joe Nesbit Jr, we judge not, and enjoy a lot!!!