Lavender Diamond - Riley Downing - Runnner - Lou Heneise - Ida Maria
Los Angeles-based chamber-pop band Lavender Diamond just released a new song “Turn Around,” a bonus track from the digital re-release of Now Is The Time, their first studio album in more than 8 years out now via Petaluma Records.
“This song is about reversal - the experience of finding the end - of being in the free fall of loss and despair - and that end point being a beginning through the turning,” explains Becky Stark. “When we were making the record I didn’t think this song should be part of it, but sometime after we were finished I realized it was my favorite one. It had seemed so raw that I couldn’t bear it. But isn’t that the way? It can feel impossible to see the beauty in what is full of pain - but new joy can be created and found in the turn around.”
Now Is The Time was written and produced entirely by Lavender Diamond, the trio of Becky Stark, Steve Gregoropoulos and Ron Regé, Jr., and mixed by Tucker Martine at Flora Recording & Playback in Portland, OR. The album features contributions from Nathaniel Walcott (Bright Eyes), Sasami and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Josh Klinghoffer.
Riley Downing of The Deslondes will release his debut solo album Start It Over tomorrow via New West Records. The 12-song set was co-produced by Andrijia Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray for the Riff Raff) & John James Tourville of the Deslondes. On Start It Over, Downing, Tokic, and Tourville are joined by an incredible backing band including Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs as well as session players for the likes of Dolly Parton, Elvis Costello, Jason Isbell, Blaze Foley, Yola, and more. Start It Over has been met with critical acclaim with Uncut Magazine in the U.K. describing his voice as “...like Johnny Cash with a hangover,” and exclaiming “His brain...is abuzz with sounds and ideas, which makes his solo debut a thrill.”
No Depression said “No matter how well Start It Over fits into the current realities of the world — and it does — Downing’s voice and lyrics will continue speaking for generations to come, and in one way or another will keep conjuring memories of bygone eras” and in their 8 out of 10 Star Review, Holler stated “Once you’re on board with Downing’s elusive, often entrancing vibe, you’ll wonder why it took a pandemic for him to hit center stage.”
The Boot recently premiered the video for the album’s title track, saying “Start It Over” harnesses the beauty and power of music.” The “Start It Over” video, was directed by Joshua Shoemaker and filmed in part at Grimey’s New & Preloved Music in Nashville.
Downing has also added additional tour dates in support of Start It Over, beginning this Saturday in Athens, GA. Five special performances in Louisiana and Texas will feature his Deslondes bandmate Sam Doores as well as the Athens, GA based cosmic country band The Pink Stones.
Runnner—the project of the now LA-based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Noah Weinman—has signed to Run For Cover Records, which will release his new album Always Repeating on July 16th, 2021. A 10-track collection composed of five re-recorded versions of songs that appeared on his 2017 debut, Awash, and last year’s One of One EP, Always Repeating serves as a fresh introduction to the artist and his enchanting musical world, where he balances intimate and melancholy songwriting through the lens of hi-fi/lo-fi dynamics.
“Awash,” the album’s sweeping first single out now, embodies the feeling of being lost and adrift through its aching melody, and builds on the track’s early demo with lush choral harmonies, banjo, trumpet, slide guitar, and more. “I wrote this song in about 15 minutes, though I had been kicking the title around for a bit,” Runnner explains. “It felt like the word I was looking for, but I couldn’t get past it. I was feeling so lost & distant from everything, but I would choke on the language anytime I tried to elaborate. I eventually was able to let the song come simply and not stress the specificity too much.”
Self-produced and recorded wherever Runnner called home at the time, Always Repeating documents a cycle of looking back and moving forward, of alienation changing to reconciliation. After leaving college, his friends, and his beloved life in Ohio, Weinman made the reluctant decision to move back to his hometown of Los Angeles; not because he wanted to, but because he wasn’t sure where else to go. It was an extremely isolating time and that existential dread pervades throughout his debut for Run For Cover Records. “I began to feel like all of the people I knew and had met maybe never really existed,” Weinman says. “I fell out of touch with everyone. It was really lonely. I wrote these songs as a way of reaching out and trying to reconnect.”
Lou Heneise is an American singer, songwriter with roots in the city of Chicago, the rolling farmland of the midwest, and the Bible Belt of the South. All of which can be heard influencing her Electro-Acoustic-Folk-Americana EP Trial & Error
Her debut EP, Trial & Error is delicate, charming, vulnerable, and honest, merging the haunting delivery of Lou's live show with the driving force of full instrumentation.
Trial & Error is as introspective and earnest as it is catchy. Lou has captured the American heartbeat in this collection of songs.
Lou currently spends her days with her tender and wild toddler, making music, reading books and contemplating the meaning of life with her fellow artists, activists, philosophers, and poets.
The opening to "Dirty Money" will immediately grab listeners and confirm that this indisputable viking punk Queen Ida Maria has retained the same rebellious attitude that got her in the game, while referencing the lifestyle of an industry's enabling that took her out of the game for a brief time.
Featuring a punk blast of garage guitar, 'Dirty Money' carries the high-energy punk-pop Ida's been widely acclaimed for with cheeky lyrics that are sugar-coated with a highly addictive chorus, addressing much more serious topics that are frustrating to her. Ida's personal experiences with greed and corruption are detailed with a racket of petulant screams, among them "Pay me all your Dirty oney/I'm your favorite monkey/watch me go!!!"
A pointed critique of capitalism, "Dirty Money" looks at the ways that money and greed corupt us all on some level, despite our best efforts to the contrary. “Everybody wants to be/Full make up and on TV/Talking ‘bout your jealousy/Mom I know I look insane/But they all promised me champagne/Swear they want me for my brain,’ Ida Maria belts out, infusing her innocent fury with snarky giggles that are reminiscent of a taunting childhood chant, as if to say, “Look at me now.”
When she’s not writing or recording music, Ida is head of her local Green Party, devoting herself to spreading a politically urgent message of ecological sustainability, which references her underlying themes to “Dirty Money” –- making this song not only truly relevant, but also timely.
"Dirty Money” "is about stolen land and Bitcoin. It’s about the oil wars in Nigeria. It´s the mining in Congo, slavery for iPhones. Anything that the greedy human mind turns to to try and fulfill that hole of nothingness, it’s about the Matrix. Get off the grid! Let's do something that doesn't cost money. The best things in life are for free!” Ida Maria exclaims.