Michelle Mandico - Therese Lithner - Croatia

Michelle Mandico - Ptarmigan.

Background - Nashville singer-songwriter Michelle Mandico has a new single entitled “Ptarmigan” (named for a northern grouse of mountainous and Arctic regions, with feathered legs and feet and plumage that typically changes to white in winter) which was released recently.

Colorado native Michelle Mandico traded in snowy slopes as a ski instructor for the warm sounds of Nashville to deepen her career as a writer and musician. Encouraged by a musical family, Michelle grew up singing with her sisters before learning to play piano at age five and she began songwriting shortly after. Her music is comparable to contemporary artists like Ingrid Michaelson and true classics such as Joni Mitchell.

Mandico’s onstage charisma blossomed in Denver's live music scene and she has headlined notable venues, including Los Angeles' Hotel Cafe, Denver's Lost Lake and The Basement in Nashville. In 2015 Michelle released Half Captive , a piano-pop EP produced by Jacob Schrodt. The EP’s second track, “Give It Up,” was featured on Nashville Indie Spotlight 2017. In April 2017 her song “Name Game” (an soul pop duet with Drew Southwell of Trove) aired on Bravo's Imposters. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

The song opens with a gentle acoustic arrangement and Michelle Mandico's sensitive and personal vocals just shine on 'Ptarmigan'. The soundtrack builds a little, however it's the fetching vocals that rightly retain centre stage.


Therese Lithner - Drown.

Background - With a past in bands like Vaken and My Sound Of Silence, Therese Lithner was an active part of Umeå's flourishing music scene in the early 2010's. To begin writing songs for a solo project wasn't an obvious choice or any direct plan but fell more like a coincidence. 

It was during a session in the rehearsal room, when it suddenly was as the 90s shined through and old childhood idols got free play. With reverb on vocals and guitar, Therese began improvising material, wrote three songs on pure inspiration and recorded them on her mobile phone. Somehow they felt different and the idea of ​​a solo project began to take shape.

After Therese moved down to Stockholm, she started playing with Andreas Sandberg (Magic Potion) in a rehearsal space south of the city. Together with co-producer Linus Johansson (Folkvang, Earthquake, Nightcraft, Old Amica, etc.), the work started with the material that now has resulted in an EP, set for release this spring via Lazy Octopus Records. First single 'Drown' has now been released. The song is a journey through a relationship, it's about the feeling of first wanting to hug the breath out of everything thats beautiful and then let it fall apart. FACEBOOK.

There is a positive and engaging rhythmic musical vibe that underpins 'Drown', an indie rock track that provides plenty of room for Therese Lithner's vocals, to glide and add some melodic and soothing vibes.


Croatia - Make Circles.

Background from Croatia - We’re Croatia, a synth-pop group from Victoria, British Columbia. Taking heavy influence from the revolutionary sounds of 80’s era pop and electronic groups, we aim to create our own meaningful - and at times darker - alternative to conventional pop music. We’re excited to share with you the video for our new single, “Make Circles”. The first track off of our forthcoming Half Dreams EP set to be released this spring, and the first to be released with our new vocalist.

“Make Circles” is a song celebrating the ridiculous and cliché moments of intimacy that we often end up in despite our best efforts, and the potentially beautiful outcomes that they might offer. We wanted to reflect those themes in the video as simply as possible, while keeping each scene and visual engaging. Rob Willey at Tall Grass Films understood our vision from the very beginning, and really encouraged us to run with the idea.

“The band first approached me with the idea of the opening shot: a cigarette burning in a kind of David Lynch style motel room. The original plan was to simply shoot various hands picking up the cigarette. We'd also shoot a few different images to overlay, including one of the band in the pink/blue light that I had set up. As soon as I saw the band in the light I became really excited about how vibrant it looked. We came up with a variety of ideas for shots on the fly as we were filming. During the editing process I wanted to cut and overlay the images together in a way that would really enhance the moodiness of the song.” - Rob Willey (Tall Grass Film)

The writing and recording process behind “Make Circles” was a quick and natural one for us, along with our decision to release the song alongside it’s visuals. The theme of last minute decision making, and trust in how things will actualize, truly runs throughout the entirety of the song. Whether it’s trusting that a new relationship is worth pursuing, or that 4 hours with a group of strangers, cheap cigarettes, and a small garage in the peak of summer will result in something worth sharing with people. FACEBOOK.

Some potent synths open 'Make Circles' before the beats quickly kick in. The vocals are charismatic and give the song some added edge, and then we have the video that gives a further dimension to the piece, ensuring collectively it's a winner.