Faeya - Madi Colville-Walker - Colin Lillie Ft Catherine Britt - The Cactus Blossoms Ft Jenny Lewis - Picastro
Vulnerable and raw, riveting and real, multi-talented Canadian folk singer/songwriter Faeya explores resilience and perseverance with the release of her new single, “Brave Obsession." As one-third of her most recent EP release, The Blue Period: Volume 1, the Toronto-based indie artist lays it all bare on “Brave Obsession”’s melody, donning a courageous face as she boldly goes where so few have the resolve to venture: the inner workings of one’s heart.
“I wrote this on my acoustic guitar, inspired by the feeling of hopeless dependency of a young infatuation,” Faeya explains. “This song flowered into its folk-inspired sound over several late- summer days at Dream House Studios in Toronto.”
From there, it was between her, recording engineer, Calvin Hartwick, and instrumentalist, Sean Royle, that “Brave Obsession” grew to the sounds and textures we hear on the final cut. “I had been listening to a lot of music by great folk artists like Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake while writing this song, which influenced its sound,” she adds.
The song unearths the longing and resilience to keep pursuing, even if faced with the possibility of hurt and rejection — a deeply mature and ultimately intimate portrait of conveying the heart’s desires. While many shirk the notion that we could allow our hearts to feel this deep, Faeya allows her emotions to feel every fiber, every fragment of want, which she conveys in her music. “The song is different from the others on the EP because of its guitar origin and conversational lyrics,” she muses. “I wanted to tell a story, but still leave it up for interpretation.”
The Canadian songbird is finding early success in her ethereal ballads, having culminated streams online in nearly 60 countries, and thousands of spins on Spotify alone. Her striking, piano-driven, cinematic style pushes the boundaries of songwriting for Faeya, giving her an instrumentation edge among the peers of which she shares her genre.
Madi Colville-Walker - Less than A Man.
It takes a special talent to stop people in their tracks. Madi Colville-Walker is one of those rare young talents who is blessed with this ability. Madi is a proud Yorta Yorta woman with a captivating talent that transcends boundaries and refuses to be confined to just one musical box.
“Less Than A Man” is Madi’s first release with Red Rebel Music and was produced by Darlinghurst’s Jason Resch. Of the song, Madi says, “Less than A Man is about heartbreak, it’s also about personal growth”. Madi writes from the heart with the ability to transport you to another place – its like she’s lived many lifetimes before and all her knowledge and wisdom, resilience and survival flows so emotionally through her beautiful storytelling.
Hailing from the Echuca/Moama region, Madi has already caught the attention of a number of artists who invited her to perform with them including Archie Roach, Fanny Lumsden, Kutcha Edwards and Darlinghurst. She was a finalist for the 2021 Music Victoria Archie Roach Award for Emerging New Talent and recently performed live on Seven Network’s “Sunrise” program.
Madi draws much of her inspiration from her Grandfather and Yorta Yorta elder, Archie Walker, along with other musical members of her family. She says, “they’ve not only taught me about music but also the importance of a strong family support network. They continually encourage me to do my best in music and inspire and support me in following my musical dreams”.
Following the success of “The War” – Beverley Hillbilly Records recording artist - Colin Lillie - today releases the second single from his forthcoming EP. “The Road” is a stunning duet with multi award winner, Catherine Britt, who also oversaw production of not only this track, but the entire EP.
“When all the world was in lockdown in 2020 I got in touch with Catherine to ask if she would be keen to write with me”,says Colin. “I had this guitar melody and some random lyrics but I couldn’t find a solid lyrical foundation. To my surprise, Catherine said yes! So, I sent a very basic demo to Catherine and somehow she plucked a few words and inspiration and “The Road” was born”.
The self proclaimed gypsy Scotsman who resides in the red heart of Australia’s central desert, says “The Road” paints the picture of touring musicians who found it hard being off the road for the best part of the last two years. “The essence of this song was the optimistic idea that we would be back on the road working again as normal after the initial lockdown – how wrong was I?”
“ As a working artist I spent so much time away from home and my family were grateful for the lockdown because they could spend time with me, I could do the odd jobs around the house and we could just be a family again. Yet, underneath that gratitude was the knowing that I longed to be working and I needed to get back on the road to follow my dreams and pay the bills”.
==========================================================================The Cactus Blossoms - Everybody (feat. Jenny Lewis).
Minneapolis duo The Cactus Blossoms have shared a new song “Everybody” featuring Jenny Lewis. The Cactus Blossoms, comprised of brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum, will release their new album One Day on February 11th.
"Have you ever heard the saying “everyone is just doing the best they can”? I wanted to put that idea into a song,” writes Torrey. “It started out as a kind of sad one-sided story, but when I heard it in my head as a back and forth between two people and imagined Jenny singing the lines it became something different. I’m so glad she was up for it, because without her I don’t think it would have the hopefulness that I was looking for." -
The Cactus Blossoms recently announced the new record along with the release of the single “Hey Baby,” which was acclaimed by Guitar World, The Boot, The Bluegrass Situation, as well as The Minneapolis Star-Tribune and more. “That idea of finding a silver lining comes up a lot on this record,” says Torrey about the single. “It’s an acknowledgment that no matter how messed up things might be, people still want to believe in the world and find ways to feel lucky and joyful.”
While The Cactus Blossoms have drawn frequent comparisons to other musical siblings like the Everlys and Louvins over the years, One Day often suggests a more soulful, ’70s-inspired palette, hinting at times to Bobby Charles or JJ Cale with its playful Wurlitzer, breezy guitars, and lean, muscular percussion. The band’s classic country and old-school pop roots are still there, of course, but the growth and evolution underlying One Day is obvious, not only in the duo’s writing, but in their core philosophy, as well.
==========================================================================Picastro - Hangman.
Prologue by Owen Pallett: I read an interview with Picastro in 2000 or 2001, and was struck by the uniqueness of Liz Hysen’s commentary. I listened to “Red Your Blues”, loved it, and e-mailed Liz to say so. A few months later, I joined the band, playing a terrible-sounding student viola as best as I could.
Touring with Picastro was, in retrospect, hilarious. Sometimes we shared bills with like-minded acts— Xiu Xiu, Born Heller— but more often than not, we shared the stage with more straight-ahead rock bands, an odd contrast to Liz’s dry-cracked songs.
I got a desk job in 2004 and left the band so I could focus on it, but Liz and I remained close friends, and I continued to contribute to subsequent Picastro albums. Picastro’s albums always showed a band that was in a state of transition, restless, searching for a sonic niche. As time went on, the albums kept getting better and better, more and more distinctive. Picastro’s body of work is a monument to longevity, a demonstration that an idea sometimes needs a decade (or two) to be fully realized. With every subsequent release, Liz’s singular vision with this project becomes more and more tangible, the discreteness of her work from the zeitgeist becomes more pronounced. This new album is a testament to this.
This covers EP was brought about by the uncertainty of things, the joy of not knowing and the magic created by music that falls outside of boundaries. Picastro has existed as a musical entity for a long time, too weird to be a pop band, too many songs to be considered experimental that it was time to celebrate likeminded musicians and bands that have influenced our sound The theme for the album was simple and predictably set off by the pandemic; humans aren’t comfortable when they don’t know what is going to happen and their routines are disrupted so profoundly. But what about the magic of not knowing? What about using the time to re-connect with your friends and peers in a slow and easy way?
“I’ve never met a stranger” evolved out of these concepts and the musicians who contributed to this project represent the ways in which we can all connect and represent our cities, our communities, our relationships as best we can. All the songs were chosen based on their lyrical content starting from Pale Blue Eyes “sometimes I feel so happy, sometimes I feel so sad” at the start of the pandemic, running to Richard Dawson’s “Man’s been struck down by hands unseen”. The magic of all these bands and musicians for me has been their inability to fall neatly into any one category; The Silt, Elfin Saddle, Fire on Fire, Richard Dawson and the Velvet Underground all elegantly skirt around several genres at all times. I am grateful for all these bands and all the musicians who performed on the record.