The Hello Darlins - Course - Gawain and the Green Knight - Lemon's
With over 450,000 combined Spotify streams off their first singles, it’s safe to say there’s been a lot of anticipation for The Hello Darlins’ debut album, Go By Feel, officially released now on all platforms. It began building almost immediately after the Calgary, Alberta-based Americana collective debuted on the scene in early 2020, with American Songwriter calling the group “the product of a talented pool of session musicians craving more,” while Americana UK stated, “It’s great to see a band put together by the talented folks who would usually be ‘behind the scenes.’”
So, who exactly are The Hello Darlins? The seeds of the band took root in 2016 when vocalist/producer Candace Lacina crossed paths again with keyboardist/producer Mike Little after first meeting at a recording studio years earlier. Once reconnected, they soon found themselves making music together in between their work with other artists, an impressive list that ranges from Shania Twain to Charlie Major, The Road Hammers to George Canyon as well as the late B.B. King.
In short order, the couple began inviting others within their circle to participate, including Murray Pulver (Crash Test Dummies), Clayton Bellamy (The Road Hammers), Matt Andersen, Dave and Joey Landreth (aka The Bros. Landreth), Russell Broom (Jann Arden), and ace fiddler Shane Guse, creating what some have called "the Broken Social Scene of Americana."
On Go By Feel, this incredible collection of talent has forged a hybrid of country, gospel and blues like no other, from the heart-wrenching ballads “Aberdeen” and “Prayer For A Sparrow” to the classic country-rocker “Mountain Time” and the album’s soulful title track.
==========================================================================Course - Darkest Tower.
Buzzing Chicago-based synth/indie/pop group Course released a new video for their latest single "Darkest Tower." The latest look at their critically acclaimed debut album A Late Hour (out now), the video was released alongside the accompanying short story written by singer/guitarist Jessica Robbins.
"'Darkest Tower' set the tone for the album," stated Robbins. "When I wrote this song, I imagined our album going in this direction as it felt very different from the songs I'd written in the past. It feels like it’s the most fluid and open of all the songs with some dark undertones. For the music video I worked with Jess Price, who is a filmmaker and also a musician/songwriter in the band Campdogzz. I shared with her the short story that goes along with the song which is about a thirteen year old boy who keeps seeing a white van on his street and funnels his anxiety through the mysterious van. The story matches the rhythm of the song, in feel and emotion, but they are vastly different in lyrics and content. Jess took the themes and imagery from both the song and story and captured the idea of surveillance and that the darkest tower is like someone watching you - a voyeuristic take of the song."
Course announced their debut earlier this year with the release of their lead single "Give It All Away," which Under The Radar called "a lush dream pop tapestry." It was followed by the "optimistic" (Consequence) standout single "Sixteen" and "Nick of Time," which was featured as American Songwriter's Daily Discovery. Atwood Magazine chose the band as one of their 2021 Artists To Watch and stated, "Course have set themselves apart as an intimately expressive alternative band brimming with irresistibly catchy tunes, cathartic emotions, and utterly stunning energy." Chicago Tribune also raved, "Course managed to craft an inventive collection of songs that blend nostaglic instrumentation with clever lyrics...a body of work that stands strong."
Comprised of veteran musicians Robbins, Chris Dye (drums), Dan Ingenthron (synth/keys), Mikey Russell (guitar), and Brian Weekly (bass), Course blends diverse aspects of dream-pop, 90's new-wave, alternative, electronic, and indie rock. Drawing on Robbins' indie-folk roots, Course incorporates polished, modern production and lush electronic instrumentation to create songs with a characteristic ethereal-industrial sheen.
Gawain and the Green Knight have released A Sleeping Place, and will next perform on New York's Governors Island on June 26th as part of the Porch Stomp festival. The EP exemplifies the duo’s “literary folk” stylings, filled with allegory and inspired by mythology, or, as they put it, “folk for people who like to listen to music while pacing mournfully yet poignantly through the streets, pretending they’re the protagonist in a very beautiful film.”
Inspired by the etymology of the Greek word for cemetery, which simply means “a sleeping place,” the record sits comfortably in the deep, sometimes dark, parts of the subconscious, arranged in such a way that you remember why life can be so joyful in the first place, its tempo anything but sad.
“The Dressmaker,” one of the album’s most energetic offerings — it’s their first “stomp-and holler” song — is the story of a woman in the 1800s, beginning at the moment she realizes her husband is leaving her, and later finds her building a life for herself and her daughters. “I wanted to elevate the narrator's frustration to proper, righteous anger in spots, which accounts for the occasional rowdiness,” multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike O’Malley mentions of the arrangement. “Toward the end is an arpeggio happening at three different speeds in four different registers, shared by the piano, clarinet, and flute. They lace together like so many threads, echoing the lyrics. I'd hoped to express the triumph of the narrator's self-salvation through the repetitive act of sewing.”
The dressmaker’s story might be too small to make it into a history book and too abstract to make it onto a headstone, but provides a reflection on the quiet triumphs that make up a life, a theme found weaving throughout A Sleeping Place.
Lemon's is composed of three core members: Luke Braswell, Aidan Stanford, and Susie Hydrick. As well as a few close friends who typically join Lemon's in most live settings.
Now that the United States is officially back open, you can either find Lemon's playing an occasional gig or two throughout the city of Memphis or going from the studio to track instruments to Luke's bedroom to add post-production musical elements.
With the eventual goal being, of course, dominate the Memphis music scene and then. . .the world.
Take It Back is a pop rock, angst-filled story of betrayal that takes place sonically in the wild-west and pulls lyrical inspiration from tracks such as 'no body, no crime' by Taylor Swift.