Dopplergrouppop37.jpg

SBTS – Don’t Be Strange by Doppler

A random turn of events on Soundcloud led me to discover and befriend Jamie Mulrooney of Doppler, a small outfit from Ireland looking to spread its wings out to the wider music industry. I spoke to Jamie on one of their songs, “Don’t Be Strange”

-Calvyn

When I’m low I find it very easy to reflect. I draw solace from the process of writing lyrics or simple melodies and piecing them together. Its like therapy. In reality I was pretty depressed at the time of writing this song and it is only now when I look back at these lyrics it seems strange to think that I felt so low. Its a track that I don’t like listening to as it bring up memories that I have no interest in revisiting.

“Don’t Be Strange” is a by product of my state of mind around that time. I ended up writing several songs on the same subject but this seems to be the most poignant. Suitably, it was written in the depth of an Irish winter which itself can be pretty depressing. The sky is always grey and there are 16 hours of total darkness and the light which shines in between is weak and has to battle through dense cloud and rain. As you can imagine most of the time is spent indoors and as I spent two thirds of my time alone because of work, it was only a matter of time before I reflected on personal experiences that had not gone the way in which i envisaged that year.

I had come out of a serious relationship and cursed the time that I felt I wasted. I was bitter and self loathing. It very hard to convey how I felt but it wasn’t good. Several of my best friends had all emigrated to Australia for years and I was one of the only ones that remained in Ireland. I felt like I missed the opportunity of a lifetime and it was now too late to join the party.

On the mornings during this time I often spent hours reflecting. I’d be looking back romantically at the past when in reality I knew that this exercise would be fruitless. That I was looking back into the past with rose tinted glasses and confusing the past with fantasy. I found it hard to let go.

 

Jamie Mulrooney

As usual I just wrote about what was in my mind. I wrote the lyrics over the course of 2-3 hours on a dreary morning in my kitchen. The chords changes were simple just going back and forth like a wave between a variation on A major and E Major. I then added the sound of the Ocean crashing in the background and put it very low in the mix but I think it fitted metaphorically with what the content as well as it being therapeutic, which fitted neatly into ideology that the process of making music was a release to me. I recorded it with my makeshift studio on the kitchen table and had the lions share recorded before midday.

The lyrical content was honest and I didn’t question the words as much as I usually do. I later found that lots of better writers do some of their best work first thing in the morning as they’re less self conscious about what they are saying and they haven’t had enough time to question and belittle their own subconscious.

“You need time to make you feel better,
You need sound to clear your mind,
Sat alone with your regret thinking about how you can change.
For your memories deceive you, nostalgia makes you strange.”

“You need life, surrounding us to keep you warm.
You need women to heal the cracks that you have torn
And I know you’re healing, you’re getting better everyday.
I just hope that you cope with nostalgia when you’re grieving,
Don’t Let it Make you strange.”

The chorus was slightly more uplifting. I was listening to a lot of Bill Withers at the time and Lean On Me was uplifting and honest voice to draw upon as well as Use Me and Ain’t No Sunshine. Receiving and sharing help was something that I was lucky enough to understand and I knew that in future times I would hope to be the voice of reason or be somebody to confide in. But for now I had to realise that I was the one who needed help.

“I’m only around the corner.
I’m only around the corner when you need a friend.
I’m not going to change,
I still think about you now and then.”

The outro was a darker image that passed through my mind at my cousins funeral earlier that year. He had suffered with a long illness and I thought about his wife and children and what they were going through. I was listening to On Raglan Road a poem written by Patrick Kavanagh and performed by Luke Kelly which covers the same topics. Trying to accept loss is difficult and its just something I wanted to convey with the imagery.

“When you died in the Spring, I could have died with you too.
Throwing soil over your body, can I go down with you.
If I could be buried tomorrow would it be next to you?
I don’t want the truth.”

Many people say that they don’t care if people like their songs and its “All about the music”. I never bought into that idea at all and in fact I think that the people who say that are just lying. Getting vindication or being complimented for your music is amazing and the fact that people are listening to this song and drawing their own conclusions from it makes me feel great. It gave me a sense of purpose. And it couldn’t have came at a better time.

-Jamie Mulrooney, Doppler

facebook.com/dopplerireland

soundcloud.com/dopplerireland

jamiemulrooneydoppler.bandcamp.com/

The-Honey-Trees_featured-image

Bright Fire (album) by The Honey Trees

 The magic continues! Here’s Becky Filip and Jacob Wick from The Honey Trees for a quick Q&A about Bright Fire, their very first full-length album.

-Mark

 

Bright Fire

There has always been a very magical, vintage feel to your music. How are you portraying that magic with this album? Or do you have a different direction/concept with Bright Fire?

We always love the type of music that kind of feels otherworldly and sweeps you away from where you are in the present moment, which is what is ‘magical’ to usWe were striving for that sort of thing with Bright Fire. Just something dreamy, maybe even a little cinematic, that you can listen to and close your eyes and imagine you’re somewhere beautiful and peaceful.

Since your first EP (Wake the Earth), when did you decide it was the right time to start working on your debut full length album?

We actually started working on a full-length not long after we released Wake the Earth. When we recorded Wake the Earth, we weren’t technically an official band yet, so after we released it, we took a few years to figure out what exactly it was we wanted to do. That’s when we started trying out sharing vocals, and writing songs together. Also, we had such an amazing experience recording Wake the Earth, and we really wanted to take our time and weigh our options as far what our next step would be.

The Honey Trees with Jeremy Larson

So you spent a month at Jeremy Larson’s studio in Springfield recording Bright Fire. Describe your daily experience, from the moment you wake up in the morning. And what was it like working with him?

Our daily routine was usually, get up early, go get coffee and/or breakfast, and then just head straight into the studio for basically the rest of the day. We would take lunch and dinner breaks, but for the most part we were just recording away in the studio. Working with Jeremy was one of the best experiences we’ve had with music! We all got along so well, and he understood exactly what we wanted for each song. We gave him a lot of free reign with this record because we completely trusted him, but he was always very respectful of us as musicians and was never controlling. We hope to work together again soon!

The Honey Trees has a very uniquely defined style. From your music, to the visuals. Even your clothing and accessories. Is this something that comes naturally? Or is there a conscious effort to remain consistent?

It all comes pretty naturally I think! What you see and hear is genuinely just us being us. We never sat down and tried to think of a way to brand our style, it just happened. I feel it does remain consistent because it’s just us being ourselves.

Becky Filip on the piano

Last but not least, any final words to your fans and readers of this blog?

As always, we’re truly grateful to anyone who cares about what we do. Everyone needs someone to believe in what they’re pursuing, so it really means so much. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Becky Filip & Jacob Wick, The Honey Trees

http://www.thehoneytrees.com

http://www.facebook.com/thehoneytrees

 

Katie-Bulley_featured-image

Story Behind The Song – Up & In by Katie Bulley

 

My song “Up & In” was written last summer shortly after I purchased my postwar 1949 Gibson ES-150. That might have had something to do with the rockabilly influence in the song.

 

The first day I brought that guitar home, all I wanted to play was oldies music. Must have been some of that spirit still kickin’ around in the ol’ hollow body. After a few days of playing those rhythms and patterns I developed one that was unique to me and started singing along. In this particular case the melody came along with some lyrics and once that happens, there is a sense of accomplishment. Keep in mind, that is only the beginning.

 

Once the spark of the song caught on, I needed to search for lumber to throw on that fire! I already had the phrase “Up & In” as the “tipi” base so, that was good. I wanted to move the idea of the traditional lyric “Down & Out” forward into a positive phrase that would give the listener as well as myself hope that there is a solution for catching the blues! Searching for my “lumber” was me digging through my memory of those hard times past. That’s where the ideas for the verses came in.

 

Katie Bulley

 

The resolving of the song where I sing “Now I’m Up and In” is where it all comes together (we get to roast marsh mellows if we’re still using the campfire analogy). The song was complete and not only does it move that idea forward, it also pays tribute to it idea by sharing some of my personal low times. We all go through rough patches but we all get to reach those “Up & In” moments to if we embrace our inner strength to get there. I like my marsh mellows roasted golden on a twig, what about you?

 

I hope you all enjoyed my essay. Follow me @katiebulley to stay in the loop about my new album ‘Sun Wolf’ coming this spring! Recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, TN!

 

Sincerely,

K.Bulley (www.katiebulley.com)

ps. Two of my favourite songs about being ‘Down & Out’ are;
Bessie Smith- Nobody Knows you when you’re Down and Out
Sonny Boy Williamson- Down and Out Blues
levi-smoke_featured-image

Troublemaker (album) by Levi Cobb & The Big Smoke

It’s hard to find a good album of folk songs. Unfortunately these kind of songs are never heard of for a mainstream music listener like myself.

Thankfully, Levi Cobb & the Big Smoke’s upcoming new album would be a good start to the folk music scene, particularly folk rock.

Troublemaker is the Denton, Texas band’s debut album, featuring 10 songs with great guitar and banjo work and an interesting set of lyrics that give each song a narrative of their own. Kicking off with “Heartsick Man”, whose lyrics belie the song’s lively, upbeat rhythm (‘The hole I’m digging ain’t got room for two’), one can tell the rest of the album is something to look forward to.

While a folk rock band, Troublemaker has them incorporating other genres into their music that give it a very unique listening experience, while also infusing a storytelling edge to the whole album thanks to both Kim (she’s also a writer and editor “with a background in drama and poetry”) and lead singer and lead banjoist/guitarist Jesse Thompson, who has an interest in the American South and wrote many of the songs featured.

As guitarist and background vocalist Kim Nall puts it,

“While it is true that we place a strong emphasis on storytelling, we never want to lose the defiant, slightly drunken, freewheeling quality that makes being in this band and playing these songs so much fun.”

With Jessie lending his voice to good effect, and Kim adding harmonics in the background, it does leave this reviewer mesmerized and grooving along to the eclectic mix the band has to offer in Troublemaker. Apart from “Heartsick Man”, “Not My Time” also gives a laidback feel with the slow guitar-and-banjo rhythm. “Waiting for You to Fall” is another similar song, though giving a more melancholic tone as the band sings of unrequited love.

“Cloud O’er My Head” and “Cat & Bird” are far more melancholic tunes, but they really give an ambient feel with every second you spend listening – in the former, Jesse’s lilting voice is accompanied by an equally dreamy instrumental that could make you drift away (and wonder if that cloud really wants him dead); in the latter, it’s a different take of melancholia as Kim injects a sense of foreboding that runs a shiver down your spine.

Overall, Troublemaker is a good take on alternative folk rock and an extra reason for those first-time folk music listeners to go out there and listen to more folk songs. Given that folk music now comes in a wide range of music from its humble roots, Levi Cobb & the Big Smoke is one of many talented gems that really are worth the time supporting.

-Calvyn Ee, IndieVerse

 

http://levicobbandthebigsmoke.com

http://www.facebook.com/LeviCobbAndTheBigSmoke

tales-of-olde_featured-image

#NowPlaying This Place by Tales of Olde

Tales of Olde is getting ready to release their debut EP early this year and they are offering a sneak peek with “This Place”, a song that captures their roots as an acoustic folk band.

 

 

“This Place” makes mellifluous use of the band’s signature male-female harmonies that are as soulful as they are dynamic, building from intimate near-whispers to a full choir’s worth of anthemic sing-along sound.

Meanwhile, the simple yet colorful imagery and realistic storytelling in the lyrics perfectly match the warm, natural tones of layered percussion, guitars, and violins.

The end result pays tribute to influences like Of Monsters and Men, Andrew Bird, and Kings of Leon while adding enough indie rock ferociousness to forge new musical territory.

-Mike Del Priore, Effective Immediately PR

 

http://www.talesofolde.com

https://www.facebook.com/TalesofOlde

 

announcement_featured-image

Write for IndieVerse!

Hey everyone,

IndieVerse will be celebrating its first anniversary on the 2nd of February. We’ve come a long way over this past year.

But we can do so much more. And we need your help!

 

Right now, what we need are more writers. You are free to contribute as little or as much as you like. No contracts to tie you down and no profits involved.

Proficiency in English, solid work ethics and communication skills are required. A good sense of humour is an added bonus.

Here are some of the benefits of joining the IndieVerse writing team:

  • Career opportunities. Great reviews get noticed by PR companies and magazines everyday. Showcase your work. You never know.
  • Build your network and gain contacts. Through IndieVerse, you’ll get the chance to work with musicians you admire as well as other people in the music industry. Make the best of it.
  • Listen to music before the general public. We get tons of demos, pre-release albums and teasers everyday. Stay ahead of the curve!

We are also on the lookout for admins for our Facebook page. This opportunity is limited only to other music bloggers and select publicity firm representatives.

Designers and artists are also welcome.

You can comment on this post, or email me at mark.indieverse@gmail.com for more details.

-Mark