Nathaniel Bellows - Allison Lorenzen - Hannah Schneider - Derrero
My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Nova joins Nathaniel Bellows on the single “Well Water,” just released through Harmon Blunt Music. The pairing–built upon multiple past collaborations– creates a conversation between the two contrasting voices, which in turn captures texture, contrast, atmosphere, beauty, and surprise.
“Well Water” swims in introspection while inventorying “the self” in moments of challenge, ambiguity, indecision, or indirection. Simply put, the message is: The search for one’s place in the world–or in one’s life–is ongoing, as long as you’re willing to participate. Bellows says, “I wrote this song throughout the pandemic, and in the wake of my father’s death, all the while reflecting on the question: What makes us who we are?”
The contrast of growing up surrounded by the quiet beauty of the natural world in rural New England and now living in New York City’s urban landscape creates tension in Bellows’ music. The songs are an ongoing dialogue between internal, reflective wonder and an external sense of outward, urgent searching.
Bellows works in three creative fields simultaneously–writing, music, and visual art– exploring a cohesive artistic point of view among the three mediums to undergird his songs. He says, “I explore emotional terrain with these various creative outlets in an attempt to understand–through different vantage points–what matters to me.” He writes about memory, affect, family, legacy, the natural world, human frailty, injury, redemption, and resilience. He says, “I’m interested in unresolved images and fragments of unfinished thought and dialogue.” The engine of most of his work–writing, music, and artwork–is the constant process of reconciling the past while existing, in an ever-changing state, in the present day.
|Photo - Jake Stephens|
As the weather is starting to cool down a bit we proudly bring you this appropriately autumnal single release of "The Fourth Cycle" by Denver based Allison Lorenzen. A staple in her live shows, "The Fourth Cycle" centers Lorenzen's prodigious and classically trained piano and features a particularly tasty pop hook that is difficult to shake once it gets it's hooks in you.
Lyrically, it seems that Lorenzen is turning her face towards the other side of the cathartic nature of the critically acclaimed Tender released last year on Whited Sepulchre Records. Lorenzen states that "The Fourth Cycle", "explores themes of intimacy and change, and the spectrum of emotion - from grief to empowerment - that arise from facing and allowing said change." If Tender charted a way out by going through the crushing span of personal tragedy, then "The Fourth Cycle" stands on the other side of it, looking back a bit more wisened and grateful.
Recorded, mixed, and co-produced by Mark Anderson in Colorado in 2022. The song was written on piano and then the recording was built around a live drum take which was sent through analog machines such as Space Echo, Binson Echo Rec, and spring reverb to create counter rhythms, bringing the track to life.
======================================================================Hannah Schneider - Ocean Letters (album).
From the beginning of her career, Hannah Schneider has established herself as a unique musician on the Danish scene. With her love of strong melodies and well crafted lyrics, she constantly treads new artistic paths, carrying the weight of contemplation as a companion. On her new album Ocean Letters, the classic piano composition and the evocative electronic elements form a seamless kinship and create a picture-saturated tale of time.
Ocean Letters is Hannah Schneider's first solo album in 7 years. Behind her, she has 3 highly acclaimed solo albums in her own name, while in recent years she has been busy in the electronic duo AyOwA, and the performance project Philip I Schneider. Hannah has been nominated for several Danish music awards and has performed all over Europe, the UK and the US with her captivating solo performances, where she live samples, loops and creates playful soundscapes on stage. In addition, her voice has appeared in several films and TV series, including the national DR TV series Ride Upon The Storm.
With Ocean Letters, she seeks out new landscapes again. The songs create an intimate connection between the neoclassical and the modern, the near and the universal, and emphasize her cinematic, evocative expression with strength and a human humility. The pandemic as a new worldwide condition became the beginning of the new songs. The album is inspired by the book Havbrevene (The Sea Letters) by Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen - an exchange of letters between the sister oceans the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean who write together about life in the sea and on earth.
Central to the songs are the piano and Hannah's spherical and evocative vocals, while the productions create budding hopes with flickering electronic elements. And while it's still the strong melodies that are the focal point for Hannah Schneider, the record marks a new sonic path, with a cinematic sound that creates strong images in the listener's mind.
After the years in the internationally recognized duo AyOwA, where Hannah has written and sung in Danish, she again wanted to write in English with the new songs. But the way of writing - in more direct, minimalist lines, which come from the spoken language has stuck with her ever since. “You write in a different way in your mother tongue. And even though my father was American and I grew up with English as my second language, I had to go around my mother tongue to find my own way in the English lyrics”.
======================================================================Derrero - High Side.
Celebrated Welsh band Derrero continue an unstoppable 26-year trajectory with their new album Curvy Lines. Recorded back in Nov 2021 the album sees Derrero exploring new ways of working to expand upon their sonic palette and distinctive use of cut and paste song writing. Many ideas were traded across the web and new material was rapidly realised during 4 days of marathon studio sessions.
Maintaining a resolutely DIY approach to music making Curvy Lines demonstrates a strident and confident band who remain steadfastly unafraid to swim against the tide and self-produce and self-release uncompromising music outside of the mainstream
The members of Derrero all met at Falmouth Art college in 1993: after studies, they evolved in Brighton before settling in Newport, Wales. There they released their debut single Tiny Shoes on Size 8 Records in 1997 and also their debut LP later that same year after signing to Big Noise records in Cardiff.
Since the bands foundation Derrero have released 4 critically acclaimed albums and toured with the likes of Super Furry Animals, Catatonia, Sebadoh and Granddaddy as well as collaborating on the film ‘Beautiful Mistake’ with John Cale. The band also recorded three sessions for the legendary John Peel.