Benjamin Dean Wilson - Forest Ray - Ellie Schmidly

Benjamin Dean Wilson - The Smartest Person in the Room.

Background - Benjamin Dean Wilson is a one man show - his new album, "The Smartest Person in the Room" was written, produced, and performed entirely by him and recorded in analog using a Tascam 1/2 inch tape deck.

Featuring a unique storytelling structure, each track is like a short film with its own ensemble of characters and blends elements of traditional "talkin' blues" style together with musical theater.

Benjamin Dean Wilson started his creative career in the film industry before turning to music, working as a camera assistant on commercials. He then made short 16mm films and play before deciding to tell his stories through music instead. He released his first album, "Small Talk" through German label Tapete Records, followed by a European tour. 

Benjamin Dean Wilson: guitars, piano, keyboards, bass, drums, harmonica, violin, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, organ, percussion, bells, etc. Maria Grigoryeva: fiddle on "The Smartest Person in the Room". FACEBOOK, BANDCAMP.

The title track from the new album 'The Smartest Person in the Room' is a very good indicator of the sheer quality and imagination that has gone into this impressive collection of songs. More or less a one man band, the musical arrangements are nonetheless tight and pleasing and the vocals add some real distinction to the music. Catchy, likable and individual this is an album to delve into.


Forest Ray - Laughing.

Background - Forest Ray experiments in the analog and psychedelic. Their progressively vintage sound will have you spiralling back to the 1960s and beyond in a whirlwind of fuzz wound like a Roland Space Echo. Garage punk and psych with tinges of post-punk and drone rock recorded on an 8 track reel to reel. Started in San Luis Obispo, CA by Peter Sumic and Robby Porovich and currently based in Seattle. Their first record, Musical Witchcraft, was released October 28th, 2016 on 180g vinyl.

AKA Forrest Rey, Forest Ray is a Psychedelic Rock experiment that was born out of a DIY studio in San Luis Obispo, CA. The Studio, which was originally a slum lord junk dungeon attached to an apartment building, was transformed into a menagerie of vintage recording artifacts filled with tape machines, oddball microphones and prehistoric delay boxes.

Dedicated to the analog recording process and use of reel to reels for all steps of mixing and mastering for a darker, older and more intimate sound, more time was spent rewinding and marking tape for recording projects than was spent eating or sleeping. Originally released on Demo Cassettes hand-drawn by a good friend and collaborator in the Seattle Area, Forest Ray will release its first Vinyl LP mixed and recorded fully analog by Peter Sumic (Guitar, Bass, Vocals) and Robby Porovich (Guitar, Vocals) and mastered to Vinyl by Pete Lyman at Infrasonic Sound Studios in Los Angeles, California.

Forest Ray's recording have never touched a computer or any digital effect or amplifier during the recording , mixing or mastering process. The recordings are 100% analog until the vinyl and digital masters are made seperately and transferred from tape. The music combines guitar driven psychedelic rock with tinges of raw synth-laced UK post-punk, Tropicalia and Latin psych flute influence, expressive uninhibited saxophones with stoney jazz influences with energetic drumming that embodies the youthful garage punk aesthetic that fueled the group’s creation. FACEBOOK, BANDCAMP.

Casually coming into play the music on 'Laughing' is beautifully arranged and has so much clarity. The vocals add a little psychedelic feeling to the song, whilst the music on this occasion holds centre stage as it digs in deep.


Ellie Schmidly - One More Wave.

Background - Ellie Schmidly has released "One More Wave," the second single from her upcoming debut EP, Blossom & Bone. Composer Jordan Critz arranged strings for "One More Wave," with Todd Gummerman (of MuteMath) producing this song along with the rest of Blossom & Bone. "One More Wave" is available today at all digital outlets, with Blossom & Bone following on May 11.

"'One More Wave' is about the bittersweetness of beautiful moments in life," recalls Schmidly. "I sometimes find myself celebrating joyful times only to be interrupted by the fact that the moment will pass. It seems grim, but I think it gives us freedom to find gratitude for something in every season of life."

Ellie’s journey to this point is a serendipitous story. Starting to write and record this EP was daunting process because she felt so far behind everyone else. She hadn't set out to become a songwriter. She wasn't attending a music program in Nashville, and wasn't considering music as her career path. Instead, her music was discovered by famed producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, The Lone Bellow) after one of her performances was posted to Twitter.

Peacock was so taken with her Springfield, MO house show performance that he reached out to her the very next day to introduce himself. Peacock invited Ellie to Nashville to partake in songwriting sessions and introduced her to those in the community that could help cultivate her music. She says Charlie’s encouragement was life-changing. It turned out to be literally life-changing because she left her home, friends, family, and school in Missouri where she was studying public policy, to make the move to Nashville. After years of learning, working, and continually writing, Ellie has arrived at this seminal point when she'll unveil her debut, Blossom & Bone. TWITTER.

Just a month ago we stated "Ellie Schmidly's vocals are personable and charming" when we shared her first single. The follow up 'One More Wave' is another beautiful song, once again the vocals are enticing and melodic, the music is in fine harmony, this really is something special.