Casii Stephan - Jo Schornikow

Casii Stephan - Already Gone.

This is the new single from singer/songwriter Casii Stephan. Entitled "Already Gone", the rock single details a woman's courage and journey into leaving her abuser. Casii confides, "I don't think mocking your abuser is ever advised and this song definitely mocks. This is more the hype song that someone can play to give them the courage to finally just leave. May it give someone the extra push they need to run. Trust your soul. Go."

Casii Stephan is a soul pop/rock artist hailing from Minnesota. Now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the impassioned songstress evokes subtle vibrato notes and roller-coaster-like melodies, which immediately grab the listener, while her emotional lyrics share intimate stories. She has been compared to the likes of Florence Welch, Fiona Apple and Carole King, as her vocal timbre possesses a full and warm quality.

Stephan’s voice is fierce and fearless, but this was not always the case. She grew up shy and afraid of her voice until she started writing songs on the family piano in South St. Paul when she was 16. In music, she discovered something extraordinary that allowed her to transcend everyday life and find a deeper sense of self. Stephan moved to Tulsa in 2014 with the intent to give up her pursuit of a music career, however with a little encouragement from a friend, she continued her journey and started releasing music. Her songs were promptly applauded by critics and have since been racking up a number of awards, as well as garnering acclaim from media and fans across the globe.

An underlying theme throughout Stephan’s music is hope, she explains, “Its such a cliched word and yet there are so many layers to it. Hope keeps us alive. It keeps us moving. But it also feels flighty some days like a pixie that does what it wants. But it's not a pixie. It's more like the air we breathe. Some days it's presence is stronger than we realize and some days we forget in our day-to-day lives that it's there... keeping us moving forward”. Her music combines her love for the storytelling elements of Disney ballads and the bold, brilliance of The White Stripes, as well as the soul-wrenching R&B melodies of H.E.R.


Jo Schornikow - Lose Yr Love.

Australian songwriter Jo Schornikow (now based in Nashville) has shared the second offering from her forthcoming album ALTAR, out May 20 via Keeled Scales. “Lose Yr Love” gives another glimpse into her thoughtful songcraft, recalling Warren Zevon in the way she marries an honest, almost folk-indebted approach with a more abstracted lyrical style. A subtly shifting wash of synthesizers sparkle at the edges of a layered vocal arrangement as Schornikow uses ocean imagery to reflect on her own experience of loss. The song, which follows recently released “warm, wry” (Brooklyn Vegan) “Visions,” is accompanied by a video directed by Ives Salbert that was shot in an East Nashville junkyard and in partner Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent’s studio, and features a brief cameo from Schornikow’s two children.

“'Lose Yr Love' grew from a real-life nightmare of losing someone,” Schornikow explains. “The song explores the fear before the fall-out, before finality. It's a quick and awful spiral, but also a natural counterside of love. I think we found the beauty that exists in this incredibly bleak space.

ALTAR was written between Nashville and Melbourne over a year. It was recorded in Melbourne, Australia during a blisteringly hot Australian summer week at Hard Rubbish Recorders by Selwyn Cozens, who also plays drums on the album. It was recorded on an old Harrison TV3 console that was being thrown out by a local tv station. The album was co-produced by Jo and Selwyn. The nine track album centers Jo’s songwriting, which Gorilla Vs Bear proclaimed “smouldering” and her piano playing, which Pitchfork has praised as “sensitive [and] impressionistic.” It follows 2019’s Secret Weapon, which Rolling Stone hailed as “excellent.”