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Artist of the Week: Lindi Ortega Shines Bright at New York Show
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

Lindi Ortega

Lindi Ortega took the stage of New York’s Mercury Lounge to screams Tuesday (Aug. 4) night. And for good reason. Just days before the singer-songwriter released her fourth studio album Faded Gloryville, Ortega proved why she is one artist to keep on the radar with mesmerizing vocals, killer stage presence and talent that begs to be heard.

Ortega began her set with the haunting “Murder of Crows” where her smokey vocals had her joking after the song. “So moody. I feel like we’re in the Red Light District tonight,” she said as a red spotlight engulfed her and her band.

Dressed in her signature red cowboy boots, gold sequin skirt and a black crop top she said she dressed up for the occasion. “I’ll have you know, I didn’t want to show up in my regular duds,” she said with a laugh. “I needed to be sparkly! I went to a vintage shop and B-lined for the sparkly section.”

Throughout her hour set, Ortega performed old fan favorites like the poignant “Dying of Another Broken Heart” off her 2008 EP The Drifter. On the stripped down track, Ortega captivated the sometimes rowdy crowd with her ethereal voice and memorable lyrics like “I don’t believe in fairy tales, I don’t believe in fate/ I don’t believe I’ll ever find my very own soul mate/ So take me to the hospital before it gets too late/ I’m dying of another broken heart.”

In addition to performing a few new tracks off Faded Gloryville like heartbreaking country ballad “Ashes” and the title track which she said is a song about the reality of doubting yourself and the dreams one decides to chase, she played some covers that had the crowd singing along word for word. Those covers included memorable guitar riffs on Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz,” spot-on vocals on the Bee Gee’s “To Love Somebody” and her own fiery rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” The audience was entranced on each one and it was the kind of crowd that wasn’t lost on the singer.

 

 

“We’ve got a good crowd here tonight,” she remarked, pointing out fans in Dolly Parton, Sturgill Simpson and Social Distortion t-shirts. It was Ortega, though, who was the belle of the ball. When one fan screamed “you’re beautiful!” she shrugged off the compliment and asserted, “everyone’s beautiful with sparkles.” Sparkles or not, Ortega stole the show.

Lindi Ortega’s new album Faded Gloryville is out Aug. 7.

August 6, 2015 | | (0) comment comment
Interview: Sugar & the Hi-Lows Channel the Classics On New Album ‘High Roller’
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week, Features, Interviews

“The first writing session that we had was the easiest and most comfortable co-write you could ask for,” Trent Dabbs told me on a warm day in February in Nashville sitting inside his publicist’s office on Music Row. He, of course, was talking about his Sugar & the Hi-Lows bandmate Amy Stroup.

Dabbs, a well-known solo artist and producer, formed Sugar and the Hi-Lows with Stroup in 2012 after several productive co-writes where he recalls the songs were practically writing themselves.

“The more that Amy and I would write, the more inspired we felt, the more the songs were taking shape and getting better,” he adds. “I personally never felt like we plateaued as writers. We were only gaining momentum.”

Meanwhile, Stroup remembers her first co-write with Dabbs as being one of her favorite co-writes ever. One of the songs they wrote, “This Can’t Be the Last Time” appeared on their self-titled debut in 2012 after both artists decided it was time to start a band together.

While they’ve been together for a few years now, Sugar & the Hi-Lows’s sophomore album High Roller marks a new journey. The duo have further cemented their reputation as a must-see live act and dates opening for Kacey Musgraves continue to get their music out to a much bigger audience. The title track they wrote with Barry Dean, who Dabbs previously wrote Ingrid Michaelson’s “Girls Chase Boys” with, which also happened to be the first co-write for the duo.

 

“When he wrote with us, I could just feel that he was bringing out any shamelessness or quirks or anything that we had that we were hesitant to bring,” Dabbs admits. “I think that’s what makes a cool writer. We wanted to do a song that’s a straight up dance move that you can’t help but move around to. We played it at the Grand Ole Opry and no one was in their seat. There were people in the aisles. I felt like I was in The Blues Brothers.”

Stroup is quick to add that while writing “High Roller” she wanted to create a specific dance for the song inspired by her bandmates’ fancy footwork which is often highlighted at their live shows.

“I remember thinking, there are dances in the ‘60s, there are all these titles of songs, the shimmy and some of the ones we use in the second verse that we call out. ‘The Macarena’ was a huge song in the ‘90s. We were like, ‘Let’s try a modern day one that fits Sugar and the Hi-Lows.’”

So what exactly does that dance look like? The band show off some of their moves in the music video for the song above.

Highlights on the album include “Bees Love the Trees,” a title that Dabbs says was all Stroup’s idea. “I don’t know where in the world it came from,” he laughs, adding that it was a certain feeling they were chasing in their co-write.

“We were playfully calling out Music Row,” Stroup admits. “If you think about Johnny Cash style, if you remember, he released the Billboard article flicking off Music Row. There’s this badass sentiment, ‘We don’t need Music Row. Let’s be ourselves and see what happens,’” she says of the song.

While Stroup admits that they’re not flicking off Music Row per say, the song instead gives a nod to the rebels and artists who have forged their own path like Elvis Presley, Emmylou Harris, Jack White and Johnny Cash.

“There’s still something to offer when people seemingly don’t have all the attention of the corporate world looking on them. There’s still room for greatness coming out of these people time and time again,” she adds.

The album also includes “I Don’t Get High,” a song Dabbs says was an original way to tackle a love song, as well as “Right Time to Tell You” which is based around indecision. “If you listen to it, it feels like it has no finality but in the very last line it does,” Dabbs says. “It is about not wanting someone to leave, not letting them go. It’s a conversation I got from others.”

While Stroup admits that it’s scary to be so honest in co-writes, she says that writing with Dabbs allows her to say what she’s really feeling.

“There is some form of overcoming that, ‘Alright, this is how I feel and I’m just going to say it.’ Those are the songs that get me. I hope we can do that.”

Having frequently been compared to Carla Thomas and Otis Redding, it is this compliment that the duo don’t take lightly. In fact, Dabbs grew up listening to these classic singers and credits Redding and his father for influencing the band’s music.

“Listening to the classics like we did growing up and having a father say music isn’t good unless you can dance to it, helped us try to write songs that were more upbeat,” Dabbs said.

As for the comparisons to Redding and Thomas?

“You realize that you’re a ripple on a wave in an ocean and you’re just lucky to be in the ocean. I am thankful to be in the ocean and have influence on anyone,” he concludes.

Sugar & the Hi-Lows sophomore album High Roller is available now.

June 23, 2015 | | (0) comment comment
Artist of the Week: Mat Kearney
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

matkearney

(Courtesy: Republic Records)

On his fifth studio album Just Kids, which hit stores last month, Mat Kearney gets reflective. Throughout much of the album, the singer-songwriter looks back on his childhood and the beginning stages of his career.

As the Eugene, Oregon native explains, his parents moving the family away from his hometown when he was in middle school had a significant impact on him and influenced who he would become as a person.

“You’re mourning the loss of your hometown,” he reflects regarding that move. “A lot of Just Kids was written about that season of my life.”

Just Kids, however, reintroduces Kearney’s hip-hop side, something fans haven’t heard much of since his debut album Bullet in 2004.

“I think as an artist, maybe this is good or bad, but whatever I did before usually the opposite interests me the next time around,” he admits with a laugh. “The whole spoken word thing, maybe it’s reflecting on that season of my life and when I first started.”

Kearney admits that Just Kids is very autobiographical. On “Los Angeles,” he tells the tale of picking up and driving 29 hours from Nashville to Los Angeles when a friend offers up his studio to record.

“I think that was the season when I realized how important music was to me…that I would drive across the country, basically move for six weeks to be in a creative environment with people,” he reflects. “It was really becoming my first love, true love at that point.”

In between the nostalgic songs like “Los Angeles” and “One Black Sheep,” where Kearney likens himself to being the black sheep in his family, there are ’80s and ’90s pop-influenced love songs inspired by his wife, including his first two singles off the record, “Billion” and “Heartbeat.”

“She appreciates it but she isn’t affected like maybe someone would be,” he says, when asked if his wife enjoys being his muse. “It doesn’t get me out of taking the trash out. When I write, she’s like, ‘Oh, that’s a cool song.’ I’m like, ‘People pay to see me sing these, babe.’ She’s like, ‘OK, that’s cool.’ She’s very unimpressed, which is a healthy thing in our relationship.”

 

 

Read more of my interview with Mat Kearney at Radio.com.

March 8, 2015 | | (0) comment comment
Band of the Week: The Bros. Landreth
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week, Interviews, Q&A

bros-landreth

(Courtesy: Shore Fire Media)

On a cold Friday night in January, silence came over a packed crowd at New York’s famed rock club Mercury Lounge. Not the norm for the often sweaty and loud venue, the Bros. Landreth were halfway into their soulful set when lead singer Joey Landreth began to sing “Let It Lie,” the poignant title track off their debut album released earlier that week (Jan. 27).

While the character in the song tells his lover that it’s time to move on, his voice tells a different story. Quiet, full of regret and endless questioning, Joey urges her to let things go while standing alone at the edge of the stage. Soon after, the band joined in. They lessened the quiet, but the crowd remained mesmerized.

Who are these people who can instill such quiet reverence among a normally rowdy audience at an NYC rock club? What is their secret?

The Bros. Landreth hail from Canada, made up of brothers Joey and Dave Landreth and longtime friends Ryan Voth and Ariel Posen. Taking influences from Americana, country, blues and rock, the Bros. Landreth feel like a combination of the Allman Brothers Band and the Eagles, with their blues-inspired guitar licks and memorable harmonies working alongside the pop sensibility and guitar virtuosity of a singer-songwriter like John Mayer.

 

 

“Those bands and artists are people who we have definitely spent a lot of time listening to and appreciating,” Joey Landreth says of the comparisons to the Allmans and the Eagles. “When someone picks out your influences like that, it’s pretty touching and very encouraging.”

As far as John Mayer’s influence, guitarist Ariel Posen said the singer changed his outlook on guitar music. “He opened my palette to a whole new style of music I wasn’t really listening to,” Posen confesses.

Bandmate Dave agrees, recalling his former band having played many Mayer covers. But what he most respects about the singer-songwriter is that he stuck to his guns and did his own thing musically.

“He put out a very pop record, and then he built on it, and then he abandoned it to chase down another thing, and then he put out Continuum, which was incredible,” Dave says. “Then he put out that blues record, which was so much fun and he got to shred all over it. And then his last two records are totally beautiful, grown up mature records. I respect the music, respect the man, respect the arc of his career and commitment to his integrity.”

Not unlike Mayer, the Bros. Landreth blend all these influences and passions on their debut album Let It Lie. While Joey admits it is a breakup album, he said it wasn’t intended as such.

“I think it’s served a purpose for some listeners to hopefully be catharsis for them as well. I think it has been,” Joey reflects. He adds, “We met a really drunk, brokenhearted dude one night, and he pulled me aside and was like, ‘Man, number 7.’ He was talking about the seventh song on the record. It was all he could muster.”

Dave Landreth explains that while the writing and recording process is an emotional catharsis for them, it is also a way to connect with music fans.

“When you hit those real poignant moments and connect with someone and their story, and you know that you’ve struck a chord, and for just a second that makes them feel better or pause to think, that’s really cool,” he says. “It’s a neat way to connect with complete strangers.”

For my complete interview with the Bros. Landreth, visit Radio.com.

February 22, 2015 | | (0) comment comment
Artist of the Week: Sam Hunt
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

For country fans, Sam Hunt is no new name. He’s the songwriter behind many hits you’ve heard on the radio including Kenny Chesney’s “Come Over,” Keith Urban’s “Cop Car” and Billy Currington’s “We Are Tonight.” But last week, his first song as an artist — “Leave the Night On” — went to No. 1 on the country charts. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it crosses over into the pop world. With slick beats, rapid fire lyrics and his blend of R&B and country it’s easy to picture hearing the country artist alongside the likes of Drake and Ed Sheeran on the radio.

Hunt is now part of these two worlds colliding, explaining that his first love is country music, but the “best way to represent me as an artist is that R&B side…the R&B thing is the strongest for me and I feel like I can do it the best.”

“I never listened to a lot of Drake but I imagine that Drake and I are influenced by a lot of the same people,” Sam told me. “There was definitely a sound that was heard throughout ’90s R&B. I think that influenced a lot of what I’m doing. I remember the first time I listened to Usher. I was blown away by that vibe and I think that stuck with me since then.”

 

It’s taken Sam a few years to pinpoint his own sound, but he’s finally found it with his first album, Montevallo, which dropped on Oct. 27. On his debut, Hunt blends country and R&B to make his own kind of music. For more of my interview with Sam, visit Radio.com or watch the video above. Catch Sam currently on tour with Kip Moore and Charlie Worsham.

November 12, 2014 | | (0) comment comment
Artist of the Week: Angaleena Presley
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

angaleenapresley

I had the pleasure of talking with country singer-songwriter Angaleena Presley, known for her role in country girl band the Pistol Annies alongside Miranda Lambert and Ashley Monroe, over the summer while she was in New York promoting her debut solo album, American Middle Class, which was released today. While preparing for our interview, I had her album on repeat and was struck by her honesty in every song. She sang things many of us would never openly admit and in her bio she stated that she has trouble not being honest. I had a pretty good feeling she’d be open to sharing the stories behind her songs as she’s said they are her autobiography, but I never fathomed she would completely let her guard down.

Throughout our interview, Angaleena opened up about her previous marriage, her hometown which is dealing with a serious pain medication epidemic and described the most honest songs on her record in so much depth. I was struck by her honesty and walked away wanting to re-listen to all her songs since I now knew the stories behind so many of them. Below is an excerpt from my interview with Angaleena. For the complete article, visit Radio.com.

“I got introduced to the world as Holler Annie with these two blondes beside me,” she told me. “I feel like I had to get in a band, make history and kick down a door so I could walk through it as a solo artist…I’m an older artist and I could sit there and be like, ‘Oh this should have happened.’ No. If it didn’t happen like this, you wouldn’t have had this story to write or this song that so many people connect with. I feel like everything happened the way it was supposed to happen for me.”

One song that strikes a chord on American Middle Class is “Pain Pills,” which Presley says is a protest song about the struggle coal mining communities face with prescription medication, specifically Oxycontin. It’s something that hits close to home for the singer.

“I started [that song] as I was on my way home from a funeral,” she says. “A friend of mine from high school OD’d [and] at the funeral the mom was walking in going, ‘Oh they had a heart problem. It was a heart issue.’ We knew what was going on. This is when I realized, this is starting to become a problem.”

Presley gets emotional when she talks of the song and the “hush-hush culture” that surrounds prescription drug addiction in her small hometown of Beauty, K.Y., where she says the problem is worse than most other places in the country. It took her four years to finish writing “Pain Pills” and once she did she learned of a family member who was suffering with the same pills she’s singing about.

“Addiction has really changed the face of my personal life and a lot of things in my family. That song just haunts me,” she says. “If there’s anything I would get up on a soapbox for, it’s prescription medication. I just think it’s a travesty how careless doctors are with that stuff. It still happens. You don’t hand a 16-year-old a bottle of heroin and say, ‘Here you go. Just quit taking these after 12.’ Let’s start talking about it, let’s get some resources, let’s get some help.”

Watch Angaleena Presley make her debut on the Late Show with David Letterman below playing the title track of her album, “American Middle Class.”

 

October 14, 2014 | | (0) comment comment
Band of the Week: Josh Abbott Band
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

Josh-Abbott-Band

On a regular Tuesday night in New York City earlier this month, country music fans were seen two-stepping along to the Josh Abbott Band. It was almost as if the packed Bowery Ballroom in Lower Manhattan somehow became a honky-tonk in Texas. “I didn’t expect to see a ton of people dancing in New York,” Josh Abbott told me over the phone.

But, according to the frontman, no matter where they go they often see their fans busting a move. “When you come to a Josh Abbott concert you come to enjoy the music, drink a couple beers and do some two-stepping,” he says. “That’s part of what we do and we embrace that.”

Their major label debut is five-song release, the Tuesday Night EP, (out Sept. 23) and is just a taste of what’s to come on the band’s full length debut due out next year. But Abbott hopes their current single “Hangin’ Around,” which he wrote with country hit makers, Shane McAnally (“American Kids,” “Mama’s Broken Heart,” “Better Dig Two,”) and Josh Osborne (“Chainsaw,” “We Are Tonight,” “Merry Go Round”), will be their breakout song.

The EP, Abbott says, is all about having fun. “It’s a reflection back on my college years,” Abbott says. “I wanted it to be something that’s more nostalgic for me and people that have already graduated from college, that they can listen to this and remember that time. Maybe when their life related to some of these songs.”

 

 

For more from my interview with Josh Abbott, visit Radio.com.

September 22, 2014 | | (0) comment comment
Artist of the Week: Hanni El Khatib
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

hanni-el-khatib

Just around this time two years ago I was coming back from Canada’s Emerging Music Festival which I covered for Billboard. The festival was in a small town in the middle of nowhere about three hours north of Montreal and as the title explains, featured numerous emerging talent. While most of the artists spoke French and addressed the crowd in French I was grateful to stumble upon Hanni El Khatib’s set. A fellow American, at one point he joked that he doesn’t know any words in the language so he wasn’t even going to try. What a relief! I spent much of the festival wondering what exactly each artist was saying on stage as they introduced the next song.

One of the tracks I loved from El Khatib’s performance was “You Rascal You.” The gritty guitar and his raspy vocals really struck a chord and I’ve been following his music ever since. Listen below.

 

 

We recently started a new feature at CBS called New Music to Know and I pitched him as one of the artists to cover. Having just recently released his sophomore album, which was produced by the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach, Hanni El Khatib filled me in on the recording process and how his job as an Art Director influences his music.

“Often times I’m thinking of the cover of the record before I’m even writing songs for the album,” he explained. “Just because I need to put it in some sort of visual context which is why I think music videos are so important. It helps further explain your overall concept for the music. I think of the song as a percentage of the overall vision of what I’m trying to do.”

Watch the interview below and for my complete writeup, visit Radio.com.

 

September 2, 2013 | | (0) comment comment
Artist to Watch: Passenger
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

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This past weekend I heard a familiar voice on the radio: Mike Rosenberg of UK-based band Passenger. I chatted with the singer-songwriter five years ago about the band’s upcoming album and U.S. tour dates and hadn’t heard much from them since until their current single, “Let Her Go” was being played on the radio.

 

 

Passenger’s music is catchy, but the stories within each song are much deeper and even more intriguing. Take “Night Vision Binoculars,” a song about a guy who has a stalker-like crush on his co-worker. “If you listen to the lyrics you realize it has quite a darker side to it. It’s quite tongue-in-cheek,” Mike said.

Below is my interview with Mike from 2008, right before Passenger released their debut EP, Night Vision Binoculars. For more on the band, visit their website and catch them on tour in the U.S. later this summer.

Tell me a little about Passenger. Did you grow up always wanting to be in a band?
Yeah. I’ve always played guitar since I was little really. It was just one of the things that I felt I was good at. Well, one of the only things I felt I was good at. It’s always been a dream really. I started writing songs when I was about 15 and they were really terrible and I hope they got a bit better. I met Andrew, my songwriting partner, about five years ago and we just hit it off and we started writing together and that’s about it. Then we recorded the album and got the band up and running.

I just got a chance to listen to your debut album, Wicked Man’s Rest and it deals a lot with heartbreak and unrequited love. Did you go into the studio having a certain concept for it or was there an overlying theme to the album?
I don’t know really. What I try to do in my songs is just to tell stories, stories from all sorts of different walks of life. Whether it’s an old man in a pub or a guy who can’t get a girl, or a stray dog or whoever it is. There wasn’t really a concept behind the album, it’s just trying to be as honest as possible about everyday situations and they can be really heartbreaking.

Do you have a favorite song on the album?
Oh, I hate them all now [laughs]. Favorite song, I like “For You” it’s the little quiet one. It just takes me back. I was in Mexico when I wrote it. It’s a really lovely time in my life. It takes me back there a little bit.

I wanted to ask you about the title track. There are clips of Allen Ginsberg talking throughout the song, how did you come up with that idea?
That song took a long time to write, and sort of get right. There were a couple of different versions; it’s such a complicated track. The other songs are much more natural really and they seem to just fall out. I don’t know really. I always explain it as, you know when you’re lying in bed and you can’t sleep, and you’ve got billions of things running around in your head and the later it gets the worse you feel? It kind of reminds me of that really. That part of you that grows with anxiety. I think Ginsberg, there’s just something about the tone of his voice and what he is saying it’s so massive, it’s so poetic and it works in the song.

I really liked “Things You’ve Never Done,” especially that one line “The only failure is never to try.” What inspired the song or what were you thinking when you wrote it?
From personal experience I guess. I think we’ve all made decisions in our lives that we regret, and I think most of those regrets comes from not doing things rather than trying something and failing. I think it’s a very simple concept and a very simple line but it seems to really affect people and really ring true of it. There’s something sad about growing old and not fulfilling everything you wanted to do. I think everyone can relate to that.

How would you explain your music to someone who has never heard it before?
That’s a difficult one. To be honest, I usually try and get the storytelling aspect of it across. It gets the hat of people like Neil Young and Bob Dylan, but also with the production and the band side of it, it’s kind of more elements of massive attack and that whole sort of thing. It’s a really difficult question and after five years I still haven’t gotten it figured out. Lots of local harmonies, lyrically-based kind of country-pop music I guess.

What can we expect from your EP being released in the U.S. later this month?
Our EP, the title is Night Vision Binoculars. You can expect a quirky song in “Night Vision Binoculars.” It’s quite tongue-in-cheek. It’s about a guy who falls in love with one of his co-workers and she doesn’t know he exists. He ends up hiding up in a tree outside of her house. The idea behind the song is people listen to it and sort of start singing along and only the third or fourth time of hearing it, if you listen to the lyrics you realize it has quite a darker side to it.

 

 

So how many songs are going to be on the EP?
I believe, I’m not actually sure exactly, but I think four. I think there’s an acoustic version of one of our songs and possibly some live ones as well. I think its a little taste of what’s to come really.

What do you feel makes your band different from other bands?
I think the subject matter of our songs is different. A lot of modern day pop music all revolves around the person’s girlfriend or boyfriend or whatever. I’ve tried to broaden that a bit. [Going] back to Bob Dylan and country and folk music when storytelling was a common thing and now it’s not so much. We just try and be slightly different, the production is slightly different and hopefully my voice is different.

What inspires your music? Do you have a certain writing process?
When I’m walking along, I don’t know if it’s the blood flow or whatever, I get a lot of ideas when I’m out and about. I use my mobile phone, which is a picture phone, when I get ideas. It can come at any point. You can go two months without writing a song and I wrote five last week. I don’t understand it at all, but I love the process.

July 9, 2013 | | (0) comment comment
Band of the Week: Whale Belly
CATEGORIES: Artist of the Week, Band of the Week

I Was Once A Bird COVER 10042012

 

Nearly three years ago my roommate introduced me to Brooklyn-based band Whale Belly. At the time I was planning a concert and she suggested they’d make an excellent addition to my lineup and she was right. I hosted a show at the now extinct Brooklyn venue Southpaw and the band won over the crowd and booking agents.

Last year I interviewed Whale Belly for CBS New York as they were promoting their debut album …the Smile at the End of the Slope. A year later, the band are back with their sophomore follow-up I Was Once A Bird which embodies 10 excellent tracks fueled with emotions we can all relate to: heartbreak, anxiety and the uncertainty life often brings.

Frontman Todd Bogin’s vocals exude a distinct urgency throughout I Was Once A Bird while spot-on string accompaniment, quirky guitar riffs and ear-grabbing percussion captivate.

I Was Once A Bird begins with memorable guitar and intriguing violin parts on “Bubbles In My Blood.” By the track’s end, foot-stomping rhythms, soaring music and Bogin’s catchy vocals beg all to keep listening. “Bubbles In My Blood” segues seamlessly into “Mette By the Canal” with soaring violin and delicately strummed acoustic guitar.

While the music accompaniment impresses on the LP, it’s the emotion-fueled tracks that show Whale Belly’s power. For example, the standout “Nervous Breakdown” was inspired by actual events Bogin faced while shopping at IKEA.

“I’m a very anxious person and I do really bad in crowded public spaces,” he explained. “I had a freak-out in IKEA because I went there on a Saturday before Christmas and it was so insane. I got lost, I couldn’t find who I was with, I couldn’t find the exit and I literally ran home. It’s a lighthearted song but if you listen to the lyrics and the music, it’s a very stressful song. It’s hard to listen to for me because it’s so intense.”

The listener can feel the angst with aggressive violin and guitar parts throughout the song.

Meanwhile, Bogin lays it all out on the line on heart-wrenching album closer “Long Drawn.”

“I’m getting used to being the lonely guy/Now that I don’t have you by my side/Enjoy my company and my own thoughts…You didn’t love me like I loved you,” Bogin sings.

“The next album will have the aesthetic of Whale Belly itself but make a point of transitions in life and change,” Bogin told me last year.

He wasn’t lying.

Download I Was Once A Bird here and be sure to catch Whale Belly live in New York tonight at Mercury Lounge.

January 13, 2013 | | (0) comment comment
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