The Local Honeys - Art Moore - Pitou
Linda Jean Stokley and Montana Hobbs, better known as the beloved Kentuckian duo, The Local Honeys, have a gifted way with words—particularly the playful colloquialisms and regional idiosyncrasies from their home in the Bluegrass State—that simultaneously connects the past and present, old and new. They bind stories with warm vernacular that makes those in-the-know feel warm and welcome and those not, well, flat out curious to hear more.
The Local Honeys’ newest is “Better Than I Deserve” from their upcoming self-titled album (out July 15th via La Honda Records), of which the title itself was an everyday motto of Hobbs’s Papaw; a positive answer for the oft-asked question, “How are you doing?” A moody two-step, “Better Than I Deserve” tells the story of Montana’s grandfather who was an orphan, a U.S. naval pilot, and a war survivor. “‘Better than I deserve’ was his motto in life and carried him through many hardships,” says Hobbs, who built the whole song around his iconic informal greeting.
Their first release on La Honda Records (Colter Wall, Riddy Arman, Vincent Neil Emerson), The Local Honeys features ten winsome vignettes of rural Kentucky, conjuring 90’s alternatives sounds with hillbilly Radiohead lilts, soaring above layers of deep grooves and rich tones masterfully curated by longtime mentor Jesse Wells, a GRAMMY-nominated producer, musician (currently a member of Tyler Childers’ band The Food Stamps), and Assistant Director at the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music at Morehead State.
============================================================================Art Moore - Muscle Memory.
Art Moore make vivid, heartbreaking short stories. Each song on the newly formed three-piece’s self-titled debut album is its own individual universe of bittersweet feeling: a brief snapshot of a moment in time that captures the fragility and occasional impossibility of human connection. The ten tracks that comprise the record are deft character studies, zeroing in on restless widows, shy beginners, jilted friends and friendly exes, chronicling minute moments — road trips, casual dates, games of truth or dare — with rich detail and subtle wit. The result is a world of remarkable emotional complexity, an album-length study of loneliness, heartache, and loss that’s sweet but never saccharine, sad but never maudlin. Featuring the inimitable songwriting of beloved Oakland luminary Taylor Vick of Boy Scouts set in sharp relief against lush production from Ezra Furman collaborators Sam Durkes and Trevor Brooks, it’s a quietly wondrous record — a set of songs that sketch out the struggle and beauty of coping with everyday life.
When Durkes, Brooks and Vick first set out to collaborate, the idea of Art Moore, as a band, or Art Moore, as a cohesive, ingratiating record, was still a ways away. Durkes had become close with Brooks through his work on Ezra Furman’s 2019 record Twelve Nudes, and the two had begun work on her soundtrack for the Netflix series Sex Education. The pair already knew Vick, who had established herself as a prolific cult solo artist with Boy Scouts, and asked if she would be interested in lending her voice to the recordings.
“We all met up at the studio, and it was never even like, ‘Let’s be a band’, that was never a thing,” recalls Durkes. “It was more like, ‘Let’s think of a movie scene or a photograph or still image and see if we can write something around it.” Reflecting on those initial sessions, Brookes adds, “we wanted to work on something new outside of what we were so used to doing.”
Spurred by that early collaboration, the trio decamped to a studio in Oakland in January 2020, where it quickly became clear that a wellspring of inspiration lay untapped. They fell into an easy rhythm: Brooks and Durkes would work on a track from the instrumental demos they had made together, while Vick sat outside, writing hooks and lyrics. When she was done, she would come inside, lay down what she had written, and the process would repeat. The trio’s remarkable efficiency gave them the confidence that they had more than a handful of demos on their hands; the contours of Art Moore were beginning to take shape.
============================================================================Pitou - Big Tear.
The music of Amsterdam-born singer and songwriter Pitou is characterized by her mesmerizing, multicolored voice, and her unique compositions. Enchanting tales, moving from delicate and intimate to grand and orchestral. As a child she sang in a professional classical children’s choir. In search of independence she started writing her own music.
Her latest single “Big Tear” is the perfect example of her love to blend pop music with classical instrumentation. Showcasing unexpected harmonies and song-structures, vocal layering and poetic, storytelling lyrics, the song transcends into a beautiful kaleidoscope of hypnotic rhythms. The harp loop mirrors the feeling of an angry, but not bitter energy, similar to a child unable to solve a puzzle due to not having learned the tools. Pitou explains, "This went well with the lyrics, a formative childhood memory translated into a fable.”
With a fearlessness towards weirdness, there are no boundaries to the music of Pitou. She shares, “I tend to write songs that serve a personal purpose. A bit of hopefulness or light that I need, a reminder of something I should give more attention, a guideline for how I’d want to live my life, or just the processing of something that’s happened. The underlying theme is often ‘how to be human’. I suppose the upcoming album could also be seen as a sort of ‘How To Human’ guide, one that I needed at the time.”
Pitou has garnered acclaim from the likes of The Independent, BBC 1, BBC 6 Music and Radio X, and has performed all over Europe (UK, Turkey, France, Italy, Belgium and more), in venues such as Paradiso (NL) and L’Olympia (FR) and festivals such as The Great Escape (UK) and Best Kept Secret (NL).
The unique musical universe that Pitou has carved out for herself has become even more substantial - a translation of this modern world into intriguing, richly layered musical tales.