Tag Archives: Theatrical

Harpeth Rising ‘Against All Tides’ Album

Harpeth Rising have released their new album ‘Against All Tides’. The classically trained trio of Jordana Greenberg, Maria Di Meglio and Michelle Younger recorded between May 2016 and February 2017 in the eye of the political storm that was taking hold of America. Against All Tides is therefore unsurprisingly heavily influenced by the atmosphere of social unrest that surrounded them. Many of the songs are protests and direct indictments of the political system while others take inspiration from personal suffering and hardships. Two of the songs The Highwayman and I Did Not Make the World were written by David Greenberg, Jordana’s father. David’s songs have appeared on each of Harpeth Risings albums and Jordana – the primary songwriter for the band – states how her father “continues to be a source of inspiration” to her and her music. Over the past 5 years Harpeth Rising have recorded 5 albums, toured 9 different countries on 3 continents and performed more than 600 gigs.

‘Against All Tides’ is an intricate tightly weaved 11 track album filled with organic pure blends of baroque and folk. From the first track ‘Love Child’ the trio slap straight into their meticulously weaved sound. The twanging banjo bounces and playfully hops between an eerie dark soundscape of crawly strides on violin and building depth of urgency on cello. The three-part vocal harmonies give a warmth yet striking hair-raising effect to the track. The tracks that follow maintain this darkened mysterious tone emphasised by the trio’s organic stunning use of instrumentation. ‘Drink of Reddest Wine’ brings a melancholic tone with winding hazy strings dragging back and forth while a sombre vocal melody pines and sobs the mournful lyrics. It’s tender and emotional with a hidden mystical tone. ‘3. 535 (Are You Even Alive?)’ throws a bouncy and theatrically spooky tone into the mix. Tracks like ‘The Highwayman’ display the trios braided weaving instrumentation perfectly. Strings sway, glide and pierce through the track adding soft swoons and dire urgency while the woeful cello builds with chilling depths. The light banjo adds a rush of panic while the vocals narrate through this frantic instrumentation. It’s quite heart stopping. ‘Prison Trilogy’ showcases their knack for story telling and heart wrenching emotion through melody. The accompaniment is simple for this track which leaves the attention all on the beautiful melody and passionate vocal delivery. That sweet string feature is just sublime and delicate lulling you into a beautiful soft stupor. ‘Lucid Dreaming Sheep’ closes the album with a unique sound for the trio. It’s richly rhythmic and boppy with a shimmy and shake like swagger and attitude. This track ends the album showing there’s a little more to their sound than perhaps you would think at first.

‘Against All Tides’ is a well-balanced album filled with hair raising stunning tracks to evoke all your senses. With dance ready beats magnificent storytelling and dazzling richly intertwined instrumentation it’s the perfect organic blend.

Stream ‘Against All Tides’ below

 


Nicola Hardman ‘Just Human’ and ‘Little Fish’

After the successful release of her debut album ‘Full Beans’ back in December 2015, alternative singer-songwriter Nicola Hardman has announced details of her latest double single release comprising of tracks ‘Just Human’ and ‘Little Fish’. Throughout 2016, Nicola Hardman performed across the UK, appearing on radio shows and achieving number 2 in the top 20 chart of Round Sound Radio for her single ‘Little Fish’. She then went on to appear on Made in Liverpool TV and perform at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall alongside the likes of Ian Prowse ,Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets) and John Bramwell (I Am Kloot). Later in 2017, Hardman  was noted for her “kooky avant-garde-ness … her assured voice recalling Regina Spektor or Amanda Palmer at time” by Get Into This for her performance in Liverpool’s Threshold Festival. Based in Liverpool, Hardman is notorious for her theatrical vocals and catchy piano hooks. Not only does the musical content of her material draw people in, but the lyrical content of each song is captivating – discussing both personal and political issues in a way that speaks to many.

‘Just Human’ flurries in with a rushing menacing defined piano feature. It’s an intense swirl of emotion, the instrumentation whirls around a strong chord progression while Hardman continues to fascinate with her enduring vocals that wrap the listener up in a velvet soothing blanket. At times her vocals become sharp and ominous lying in the background with an almost harrowing screaming growl. The music remains fairly light and floaty with dark churning undertones creating a wholly chilling experience.

‘Little Fish’ is a theatrical bouncy swirly eerie track. With animated keys playfully hopping with an elastic mischievous rebound. The track wriggles and hauntingly sways like a spirited ghostly waltz attended by wicked creatures on Halloween, yet it holds an air of solitary loneliness. Evoking images of grandeur and fine dresses swishing in time with the free slowing swing and strong spin of the chords on keys. Hardman’s vocals exude emotion and drama with operatic high-pitched ornamentation lifting each note at the end of certain lines adding a vibrant spring and boost to the track. It’s enticing and tempting with both a spine chilling and joyous vibe. It’s absolutely thrilling. Love it.

Drawing from an eclectic range of influences, including the likes of System Of A Down, Bjork and Incubus, Nicola Hardman presents tracks that are both distinctive and charming. The double header single is set to be released on all digital platforms on 14th October 2017 after her single launch gig held at Studio 2, Parr Street, Liverpool on 13th October. More information about Nicola and any of her upcoming live shows can be found on her social media channels here https://www.facebook.com/nicolahardmanmusic

You can catch Nicola Hardman live at:

Fri 13th Oct – Liverpool – Studio 2 Parr Street

Sat 21st Oct – Northwich – House of Quirk

Friday 1st December – Liverpool – The Epstein Theatre

Sat 2nd Dec – London – Maddens East Finchlay

Stream ‘Just Human’ and ‘Little Fish’ below


Calista Kazuko ‘Daddy Issues’

London based singer-songwriter and multi instrumentalist, Calista Kazuko is set to release the second single from her eagerly awaited ‘Project: Love Me’ EP on iChi Ni Records. Following the success of her recent single ‘Poison’, Calista will unveil ‘Daddy Issues’ together with a beautiful accompanying music video directed by Philip Reinking on the 31st of March. The ‘Project: Love Me’ EP was recorded in London at The Smokehouse in Tower Bridge with award winning film composer Guy Dagul and features five brilliant new tracks. A cinematic soundscape filled with intensity and drama, the music is dark, twisted yet strangely uplifting.
‘Daddy Issues’ is a dark smokey eerie number, theatrically dramatic and haunting yet devilishly thrilling. Feathery light gentle piano twinkles with a spooky elegance while haunting chilling strings add a creepy sway- like floaty feel. With cinematic menacing instrumentation this track creeps with spine tingling eeriness while maintaining a seductive alarming quality. With strong dominant vocals and soft ghostly backing vocals this track hovers over brewing bratty peril and desire. ‘Daddy Issues’ is chilling and thrilling cant wait for the EP.
You can follow Calista Kazuko and have a sneak peek at the ‘Daddy Issues’ video on
Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/CalistaKazuko/
Twitter here https://twitter.com/CalistaKazuko

Worth A Listen

Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes In The Form Of Áine Cahill’s ‘Black Dahlia’

Cavan singer-songwriter Áine Cahill has received fantastic exposure recently for having taken part in the 2fm/Oxfam ‘Play The Picnic’ competition. She managed to reach the top 10 for the national contest, which secured her a slot on the Oxjam Stage at this year’s Electric Picnic. Cahill has already released a 5-track EP called ‘Paper Crown,’ which came out shortly before Christmas 2014 and was named the #1 unsigned Irish EP of 2014 by Unsigned and Independent Magazine. She’s also hugely influenced by the jazz of the ’40s and ’50s, and has only recently started working with a band, made up of four musicians, Louise Johnston (piano), Paul McCann (double bass), Sam Geraghty (guitar) and Paul ‘Foxy’ Cox (drums).
‘Black Dahlia’ is the start of a new project Cahill is currently working on with producer Martin Quinn from Jam Studios. The song tells the tragic true story of an unsolved murder in 1940s Hollywood. Cahill portrays this theme to us perfectly, she creates an eerie mysterious atmosphere that calls you as a witness to  a tragic scene. With touching imagery conveyed through the lyrics teamed with crisp melancholy vocals that add to this nostalgic haunting tone. The track is narrated to us in a sway -like theatrical manner that touches your soul and pulls you in to this painful grievous tale. The light instrumentation to start adds a delicate quality to the track with the soft beats and gentle piano conveying the soft, innocent and hopeful young star. While the guitar seems to lament the death of this young woman the strings add a sense of danger lurking in the back ready to pounce. The backing vocals lull the listener as if trying to ease their mind of the harrowing scene and give comfort to a distressed soul.
A fantastic track from Áine Cahill look forward to hearing more.
You can catch Áine Cahill live at The Grand Social – Friday September 9th
Stream ‘Black Dahlia’ below

A Chat With : Fable Cry

We caught up with Zach Ferrin from Fable Cry after our feature on their fantastic track ‘Dead or Alive (For Now) and the release of their album  ‘We’ll Show You Where The Monsters Are’ to get to know Fable Cry a bit better and have a glimpse into their amazing theatrical world.
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How Did Fable Cry come about?

I wanted to do something that would be an outlet for all things that I enjoy – music, writing, performance, theatre, film, fun.  So far, we’ve definitely been able to incorporate all of this and more into this little rock band.

Your style is very theatrical and cabaret- like why did you decide on that style?
I’ve always loved musicals and theatre.  “Cabaret” is one of my favourite musicals, so it’s no surprise you catch some of that in what we do!  It really wasn’t a decision to play or write a specific style, though.  I wanted to start a band, and this is the type of music and songs that I like to play and write most.
You create very picturesque music and tell a story so well through your music is that something that comes naturally to you?
Oh, well thank you!  It’s how I like to write and feel the most natural.  I’m ever trying to grow, so I appreciate the compliment!
Your songs have spooky videos to match them, when you are writing the songs does the idea for the video play out in your head while you are writing the lyrics?
100% yes!
The songs are so intricate with different interludes etc. does it take a long time to plan all of that out before the finished product is ready?
Typically, yes.  Some of the songs come together perfectly and practically write themselves. But mostly, there is a lot of cutting and pasting and experimenting with what sounds best.  Until a song is recorded, it’s always going through small changes in the arrangement.
For the videos the sets and costumes are so detailed was it fun planning it all and filming it?
Oh absolutely!  I’m an extremely visual and tactile person, so any time I can create something new and get my hands dirty, I’m having a blast.  It’s also extremely enjoyable finding costumes that I, being a scarecrow of a man, normally couldn’t wear but that fit the other members of the band.
Can you tell us how you decided on the cover art for ‘ We’ll Show You Where The Monsters Are’ album?
The repeating theme throughout the album all circles around the dichotomy of the self.  That we’re all made up of multiple parts, and ultimately we have to accept that.  The image of us in the front, with our own monsters just lurking in the shadows behind us, represents that.  Master your fears.  Master your monsters!
 From the video and songs each member of the band seem to have a strong character as if each of you are some elemental or larger than life character from a book, is this just a persona you put on for Fable Cry or is it a reflection of your real selves?
Every song and video is different, but usually we can’t help but put a bit (or a lot) of ourselves into the mix.  For instance, Jo Cleary (Violin, Vocals), is terribly afraid of spiders.  So in “Dead or Alive (For Now)” it was only natural that that would be what her character would be running from!
What is your Favourite song to perform live and why?
Ugh, making me choose my favourite baby!  The first and last songs in the set are often my favourites.  The first is where you break the ice and either reunite with previous fans, and/or introduce yourself to new ones.  You’re putting yourself out there saying “look at me – whattaya think??” By the last song, hopefully everyone is dancing and well acquainted, so it is often the most bombastic.
 What’s the most bizarre thing to happen while you were on stage?
We were playing a show in Johnson City, TN and I was in mid-monologue between songs when this giant of a man came thundering in through the door.  He looked extremely angry, and the whole room sort of turned, and I paused.  Like a flip of a coin his face changed from anger to pure joy, as he exclaimed “who wants a hug??”  I promptly set down my guitar and invited him on stage, acquiring the closest thing to a real life bear hug that I’ll ever experience.
Which of your songs are you most proud of and why?
Making me pick favies again!  Lyrically, probably “The Good Doctor”.  It draws the parallels between being an artist and being Victor Frankenstein.  You dig up these “parts” of yourself from memories, experiences, and relationships, and you slap them all together to create something and, until you’ve released it into the world, you don’t really know how the world is going to react to it.  I love that Mary Shelley was essentially drawing those parallels the whole time when she wrote the story.  The song says a lot about what we deal with as musicians and artists, and was somewhat therapeutic for me to write.
Whats the best advise you have been given?
“If you want to hide the evidence, always make sure you have an even amount of socks when laundry day comes.” -big brother
Any Plans to come to Ireland in the future?
We have never been, but always wanted to.  I’m taking this as an invitation – so yes please!
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own band?
Be confident, but realistic.  Enjoy what you do, and find people who you enjoy being around.  I think the biggest flaw I’ve seen in others’ mentality is having a “once we’re big” outlook.  Understand that the second you name your band and decide to put your work out there, you’ve begun.  It doesn’t start when you’ve reached a certain abstract goal like “making it.”  Work NOW like it’s your job, enjoy every second of it, and enjoy the results as they come in.  Hope for the best, but don’t expect unrealistic results to happen immediately, because you will most likely be disappointed.  Be creative.  Take risks.  And don’t ever forget that you love music.
 What is next for Fable Cry?
We have some really great local/regional shows throughout the Summer/Fall, while we dabble in creating some new material… Hopefully some of that will be surfacing in the Fall/Winter… Stay tuned!
Great ill put the kettle on! see you guys soon!
You can follow Fable Cry on

Kyle Britton ‘Riddle’

Indie folk singer-songwriter, Kyle Britton from Los Angeles is releasing his debut EP, ‘Riddle’, on 8th July. He has enlisted help from Los Angeles’ most seasoned musicians including Kyle Crane on Drums (Daniel Lanois, Elle King) and renowned violist, Ginny Luke (Rihanna, Dave Matthews Band) and famed engineer, Darryl Swann (Macy Gray), on this EP. His single of the same name was released earlier this month and it explores the demise of a poisonous love affair and the enduring pain that follows.
‘Riddle’ is an emotion evoking track which has a theatrical feel as Britton narrates a story to us with the backing of cinematic music. Britton’s vocals begin in an almost whisper-like narration of this tale, like the secret of scandalous story that cannot be spoken aloud. He conveys the longing tone perfectly through his soft emotion filled vocals teamed with a melancholy melody on viola and light waltz like beats. This builds for the chorus and then softens again for the return of the verse. We are presented with mysterious dark undertones giving the listener a feeling that this tale is distressing and eerie. The melody runs smoothly and almost with the sway like effect of a dangerous spooky waltz that will lead to the characters demise. The song builds to an intense and emotional crescendo when finally the track is played out by the lamenting viola.
Stream ‘Riddle’ below

Fable Cry ‘Dead Or Alive’

Nashville, TN based “Theatrical-Scamp-Rock” band Fable Cry consist of Zach Ferrin ( vocals/guitar), Jo Cleary (violin/ vocals), Scott Fernandez (bass) and Rachel Gerlach (percussion). They draw their inspiration, musically and poetically, from all things imaginative, mythical, and spooky and their new song ‘Dead Or Alive’ is definitely an imaginative narrative of spooky supernatural happenings.
‘Dead Or Alive’ is a wild unique theatrical track that takes you on a journey of eerie entrapment. With its colourful haunting melody and menacing, yet cheery vocals definitely gives you those creepy ominous goosebumps while still maintaining a light hearted fun vibe. It has an elaborate tango style instrumental before the chorus that gives the image of a slick dark deceptive villain that can lure you into a trap. The bouncy percussion and strings add a humour to the story and give this song a dance like quality. The fast passed vocals in the second verse adds to the imagery of this song as it acts like a pulse or heartbeat that has quickened due to fear. The music slows down to a waltz like pace played on strings and then builds again to heighten the dramatic tension before we return to our tango like main melody. This song is definitely a unique experience and it showcases Fable Cry’s ability to not only tell a story through their music but also convey the emotions of the characters and in turn make you feel those emotions as if you are there.

This track is an unusual yet refreshing track and fun to listen to Look forward to hearing more from these guys!
Watch ‘Dead Or Alive’ below