Tastes Like Chicken - A Valley Son - Moses Guest - San Mei - Ian Randall Thornton - Basement Revolver

Tastes Like Chicken - Bottle In My Hand.

Background - With America’s dependency on alcohol and opioids at an alarming all-time high, few artists have dared to address the complicated issue. South Carolina’s Tastes Like Chickenhave bravely attempted to fill that void with the release of their poignant and soulful new single “Bottle in My Hand. Recently voted Best Band in the Pee Dee by the readers of Florence’s The Morning News, “Bottle in My Hand” is proof that Tastes Like Chicken know firsthand the struggles associated with the destructive cycle of dependency.

According to songwriter Lance Shirley, “Bottle in My Hand” laments the dependent relationship people often form with alcohol: “The song is about drinking to make your problems go away. Although it may be a temporary fix, it usually ends up compounding the problem or bringing about new problems.”

“Bottle in My Hand” is told from the perspective of someone who is going through this vicious cycle. It could be wrecking their relationship, career, or something else, but they keep coming back to it. Shirley knew the dangerous cycle of alcohol dependency well enough that he quit drinking two years ago. Founded by brothers Lance and Chad Shirley, Tastes Like Chicken feature tight musicianship, pristine vocal harmonies, and an eclectic sound that is heavily influenced by a myriad genres of music, including jazz, R&B, country, soul, and gospel.

Since forming in Florence, Tastes Like Chicken have become a fixture on the regional music scene by playing over 200 shows and festivals a year. The band’s 2012 debut Don’t Tempt Me remains a hot commodity among their dedicated fanbase. Tastes Like Chicken have shared the stage with Sister Hazel, Lee Brice, and Edwin McCain. The band is set to release their new album Heartaches and Hangovers today June 30. Website here, Facebook here

There is a country rock feel to 'Bottle In My Hand' a meaningful song that I'm sure will resonate with those who have had a battle with the bottle at some point in their life. Beyond that it's also a beautifully crafted song with high quality musicianship and vocals, that are delivered with passion and feeling.


A Valley Son - Leaving Is Easy.

Background - Brooklyn’s soulful Southern rockers A Valley Son, have announced their debut full-length But The World Moves (out September 8th), along with sharing the fiery lead single “Leaving Is Easy.” 

But The World Moves is the follow-up to A Valley Son’s critically-acclaimed debut Sunset Park EP that came out in January, solidifying the band as one that puts songwriting, emotion and musicianship back at the forefront. The band’s new album reflects on frontman Trey Powell's childhood growing up in the rural tidal plains of eastern Virginia, where he was surrounded by little more than farmland and the two rivers that carved out the Middle Peninsula. Powell felt shut in, restless, reckless… with such little outside cultural or mental stimulation things felt grim, and he responded accordingly, and, often, destructively. 

These are not a collection of somber acoustic ruminations, but raucous, rowdy, careening tunes that pull heavily from the Southern soul, rock and gospel tradition that each of the members grew up on. Just like with their electric, freewheeling live performances, the band sets a tone from the first track that tries to transport the listener back and forth between the past and the present seamlessly, in the hopes that the line between memory and reality are blurred. Bandcamp here, Facebook here.

If you like your rock'n'roll natural, energised and gritty then 'Leaving Is Easy' is all of that. It's Southern rock, Brooklyn style and it works!


Moses Guest - Light.

Background - Frontman Graham Guest states of the new single "I wrote "Light" in Summer/Fall 2015.  It came to me right along with "Black Road."  My daughter, Edie (9 years old) helped me with it a lot, telling me to keep certain parts and get rid of others.  It's about the all-too-common (at least for me) experience of being really excited about something or someone, then thinking that thing or person is maybe not cool at all, and finally thinking there just no way to be sure."

Moses Guest has been creating quite a name for themselves in recent years. They have shared the stage with several high-profile acts including Moe., Steve Miller Band, JGB, Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Leftover Salmon, String Cheese Incident, Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise, Jayhawks, Lisa Loeb, Colonel Bruce Hampton & the Fiji Mariners to name a few.

For Light, the studio focus is evident. The record marks the line-up’s twentieth anniversary and is their first album release since 2007’s Best Laid Plans. The super-tight, super-polished performances and arrangements hearken back to Moses Guest’s 2002 self-titled release. Website here, Facebook here.

'Light' is a feast of rhythmic, tight and super refined rock, with hints of blues and jazz. Professional and polished it certainly is, however there is enough feeling and heart to give it some edge.


San Mei - Necessary.

Background - San Mei shares the stunning title-track from her forthcoming debut EP, 'Necessary'. Following the success of previous single releases, 'Rewind', and 'Until You Feel Good', a music video and an east coast tour, the Gold Coast multi-instrumentalist is has been gathering some serious momentum. 

'Necessary' takes San Mei's electric vocals and sculpts them into harmonic arrangements, layered against fuzzy guitar riffs. The track grooves its way into a soaring alt-rock ballad of eclectic instrumental arrangements and enchanting vocal orchestration. The track revolves lyrical around the need to treat those around you with kindness - in San Mei's own words: 'Everyone has stuff going on - happy, sad, trying. The song is about acknowledging that and just trying to be good to other people, because you don't know always know where they're at.'

San Mei has shared stages with Evar Klar, Polish Club, Elliphant and performed at the The Mountain Goat Valley Crawl just in the last six months. Adding to her growth the 'Until You Feel Good' east coast tour witnessed a solid progression of in San Mei's development as an artist.  She's also received props from the likes of  NME, Indie Shuffle, Nylon Mag and triple j - where she also gained spot rotation for previous single 'Rewind'. 'Necessary' single and EP is out July 14th. Facebook here.

Third time around on Beehive Candy for San Mei, who continues to impress, this time with 'Necessary'. Last time we said of her music, "Beautiful dreamy and sweeping vocals are supported by a rhythmic indie pop soundtrack." With the latest song I might switch pop over to rock, beyond that it's another delicious song.


Ian Randall Thornton - Who Are We.

Background - Songwriter Ian Randall Thornton, is gearing up to release his proper debut album Lineage (due August 25th). “Who Are We” is an apt first offering from Lineage, in that it plunges straight into the theme of the record, while simultaneously representing its diverse musical scope. This track, much like the album itself, is about family and heritage, and the tension between honoring the past and embracing the future. So much of who we are is directly influenced by our inherited family culture, for better or for worse. Family teaches us how to walk, eat, judge, behave, and how to perceive and communicate with the world around us. "Who Are We" delves into the process of valuing what is beautiful in our family and cultural inheritance, while weeding out the aspects that can hold us back from growth and progress; in hopes to bestow an even greater inheritance to future generations.

Ian Randall Thornton’s sound echoes with a history beyond his years. At age 7, Thornton delved into classical music, and through his adolescence expanded his palate through involvement in different types of bands in his hometown of Norfolk, VA, from thrash punk to folk to post-rock. His current musical expression resides in a delicate balance between Americana, timeless folk, and progressive post-rock. His sound provides a unique tension: the balance of remembering the past and hoping unabashedly for the future. Each song on Lineage flows from one to the next like movements in a symphony, ideas weaving incandescently throughout. 

Sparks of world influence and folk traditions light up different tracks, such as the African influences heard in the fretless banjo dancing through “Philadelphia,” and distinctly Appalachian influences mixed with sounds of hope and history in “Dance Upon the Tables.” With “See You Through,” an ode written from a father to his daughter, the album comes to a crescendo of three part harmonies and a unique combination of Asian and Appalachian melodic influences. One could see this as a soundtrack to the film of Thornton’s life experiences, carrying secrets of friendship, made from family and for family. Its concept carries a definitive story of the golden threads of family history. In this Thornton finds purpose, writing odes to generations past, with songs such as “See You Through” serving as a guidepost for generations to come. Website here, Facebook here.

Some delicate acoustic guitar playing provides a fine backdrop for Ian Randell Thornton's notable vocals on 'Who We Are'. As the rhythm kicks in the song moves up a notch and some fine melodic vibes unfold. It's one of eleven tracks on the new album, and I have to say they are all at least as good as the featured song, with a few real gems along the way.


Basement Revolver - Tree Trunks.

Background - 'Tree Trunks' follows the success of last year's EP and debut single 'Johnny'. Their new EP 'Agatha' is out July 21st on on Yellow K Records (U.S.) and fear of missing out records (U.K.).

The EP has had a lasting impact, racking up over 800,000+ plays on Spotify and nearly 100,000 plays on SoundCloud. ‘Johnny’ and their second single ‘Words’ reached the higher echelon of the Hype Machine chart, while the EP has made various ‘best of 2016’ listings around the blogger community. 

Lead singer Chrisy Hurn on the new single: "Tree trunks was written when I started experiencing panic attacks for the first time, and my increasing need to find a professional who could help me to find better ways to cope. It also tries to mirror how I imagine the environment feels sometimes - and how the environment is tied to many people's mental health. I was very fortunate to find the help that I needed and I would encourage everyone to go after the mental health resources that are available to them." Bandcamp here, Facebook here.

Last years debut single 'Johnny' really did standout from the crowd, since then we have featured Basement Revolver a couple of more time and now we have 'Tree Trunks' to share. This is a band that can consistently deliver beautiful, melodic, emotional songs with incredibly large hooks, fabulous!