Global Music Podcast 09 – Music That Moves You
Hosted by: Dennis M. Kelly
00:00:48 – Maggie Rose – Saint – https://www.maggierosemusic.com/
The third album from Maggie Rose, Have a Seat is the work of a phenomenally gifted artist showing the full extent of her power.
After years of honing her chops and making her name as a force-of-nature vocalist, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter has dreamed up her own unbridled collision of rock-and-roll, soul, folk, funk, and R&B: a fittingly eclectic sound for a musician whose live experience includes opening for Heart and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, touring as direct support for Kelly Clarkson, and sharing the Cayamo Cruise bill with Emmylou Harris and Jason Isbell—all in 2019 alone.
Centered on the stunning vocal command she’s revealed in taking the stage at The Grand Ole Opry over 80 times, Have a Seat finds Rose approaching her music with more confidence and clarity of vision than ever, ultimately sharing a selection of songs both timeless and urgent.
Produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes, Have a Seat came to life at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. In a series of pre-pandemic sessions, Rose recorded live with a lineup of heavy-hitters that includes bassist David Hood of the Swampers (the group of session musicians who played on records from legends like Aretha Franklin and Etta James) and guitarist Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm), along with her longtime bandmates/collaborators Larry Florman (background vocals/percussion), Alex Haddad (guitars), and Sarah Tomek (drums) of Them Vibes.
Also featuring an esteemed string section and swampy horn ensemble—in a way that’s never been so integral to Rose’s sonic aesthetic—Have a Seat continues the free-flowing musical exploration she first began on her powerhouse 2018 album Change the Whole Thing. “I had the idea of recording at FAME in the back of my mind throughout the entire writing process for this project,” says Rose, who first visited the studio upon performing as part of the Muscle Shoals to Music Row program in late 2018.
“I took a lot of inspiration from the Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett records that came out of that very room, playing up my R&B sensibilities more than ever and really tapping into my soul and its connection to this music.”
Like any great soul singer, Rose beautifully captures the tensions of the current moment, gently presenting her pensive social commentary while providing much-needed reprieve from the everyday chaos. “These songs were written during a contentious time, and there are undertones to the lyrics that are influenced by the state of our world politics and the politics of the music industry,” she says. “The title Have a Seat is responsorial, placing an emphasis on inclusivity—like, ‘Here, sit down. Let’s try talking to each other.’
One of the most loving things we can do is listen and make others feel heard—give people the space to speak their mind and be themselves. However, there’s also an intended meaning to the title that points to the power in occupying the seat that’s designated to you: I am claiming a seat I believe is rightfully mine, and I want others to do the same.”
One of the lead singles to Have a Seat, “For Your Consideration” arrives as a full-hearted plea for understanding and compassion, its smoldering verse and stormy chorus brilliantly mimicking the back-and-forth of a heated argument. “When I wrote that song I’d just been in L.A. and seen all the billboards on Sunset for some awards show that was about to happen,” says Rose. “I decided to repurpose the phrase ‘For Your Consideration’ to make it about the aftermath of a fight, where the people are so caught up in saying what they want to say that they never actually listen to each other.”
The slow-burning opening track to Have a Seat, “What Are We Fighting For” offers a gorgeous introduction to the album’s message of loving solidarity, its power intensified by Rose’s tender yet mighty vocals and the soul-soothing harmonies of Karita Law and Shanay Johnson (a duo known for their work with Brittany Howard and Emily King). On “Do It,” Rose veers into a brighter mood, bringing fiery horns and breezy rhythms to a personal mission statement she sums up as “doubling down on being an individual.” With its ethereal textures and hypnotic guitar tones, “Saint” unfolds as a delicate refusal to succumb to the expectations of others.
(“That song’s about admitting to not being perfect and being okay with that,” says Rose. “It’s something we should stop expecting of women—because women are many things, and saintly is not a requirement.”) And on tracks like “Are We There Yet”—a crystalline piece of symphonic pop graced with lush and luminous string work—Rose ventures into unsparing self-reflection. “‘Are We There Yet’ is a song about the way we all torture ourselves with our ambitions,” she says. “Instead of always thinking about the next thing I want to go out and get, I’m trying to just focus on enjoying what I already have—which is really pretty great.”
With its standouts also including “What Makes You Tick” (a gloriously funky track co-written with and featuring blues guitarist and Grammy nominee Marcus King), Have a Seat finds Rose boldly elevating her songwriting and sound while reclaiming the joyful freedom of her early years. Growing up in Maryland, she cut her teeth sneaking into nearby bars to sing with a Bruce Springsteen cover band at the age of 16, then moved to Nashville several years later after being discovered as a potential breakout country star.
Although she soon achieved major success on Music Row and earned acclaim from the likes of the New York Times—who hailed her as a “sturdy heartbreaker…full of astute, aggrieved songwriting…and attitude that even in the post-Miranda Lambert era feels knifelike”—Rose grew increasingly restless within the confines of country.
After expanding her musical palette on Change the Whole Thing, she found herself embraced by luminaries in the rock and pop and Americana worlds, and even became massively beloved by the jam-band community (thanks in no small part to her exhilarating performance at the Peach Music Festival in 2019). Quickly gaining recognition as a fiercely independent artist, she was eventually tapped by Osiris Media to create “Salute the Songbird with Maggie Rose”: a weekly podcast based on candid conversations between Rose and her favorite female trailblazers in music, including Martina McBride and Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine.
For Rose, the charmed experience of recording in Muscle Shoals has catalyzed the start of a thrilling new era in her musical evolution. “Working with musicians of that caliber and knowing they were giving my music so much attention definitely made me thrive,” she says. “I felt so safe going deep into the emotional places within the songs, and I think you can feel that love and camaraderie when you listen to the record.”
At the same time, Have a Seat is undeniably the sound of an artist fully coming into her own, without concession or compromise. “I’ve worked in this industry for over a decade, and I feel like I’ve finally carved out a lane that’s genre-bending and all my own,” she says. “I had to really fight to find that space for myself, and this record is my way of staking my claim.”
00:05:08 – Ariel Ryder (Featuring Bx) – By My Side – https://www.facebook.com/arielryder
No biography available at time of publishing.
00:09:00 – I M U R– Sad Girls Club – https://www.imurmusic.com/
I M U R make genre-bending make-out music, weaving alt-R&B and avant-pop into undeniably catchy songs that fit just outside the box. Composed of singer/songwriter Jenny Lea, producer/guitarist Mikey J Blige, and producer/multi-instrumentalist Amine Bouzaher, I M U R’s sound is a cinematic blend of smooth and sultry, tussled together with texture and bounce. Their lyrics tell a story of self-reflection, strength in vulnerability, and the courage to tackle taboo subjects like addiction/recovery and female sexuality.
I M U R have been active for over 5 years, with Jenny Lea and Mikey J Blige forming the band in 2015 and releasing their debut EP, Slow Dive (later adding Amine Bouzaher to the band in 2016). Despite an early near-death experience, Jenny found strength and resilience in her recovery and channeled that into their music. They found early organic success with single, Trippin’ On Feet.
They followed up the EP with their next project Little Death, with standout tracks, FFL, Little Death, and Breathless (notably featured in Wynnona Earp Season 2 [Syfy] and Good Trouble Season 1 [Freeform]). One year later, they followed up with their third project, Thirty33, in 2018. Stand-out tracks, Miss You Hate You, Should Be and Afterglow received high streaming numbers, and were featured in numerous TV shows, including Netflix’s Snowpiercer, Pretty Little Things, Wu Assassins & Workin’ Moms.
I M U R topped off 2018 with a tour in India and spent 2019 largely touring within Canada and the US, playing a mix of festival and hard ticket shows, including Shambhala, Bass Coast, Capitol Hill Block Party, Winnipeg Jazz Fest, and shows in Seattle, Portland, San Fran, LA and San Diego. They released two singles, Fever and Lips, Tongue and Teeth.
Remaining low-key in 2020, the band began development of their next album, My Molecules. COVID canceled their touring plans, and the band used their time to craft their best work to date. Working out of their own studio in North Vancouver, the trio spent three days a week for the better part of 2020 working on the album. The band are set to release their third full length in Summer 2021.
00:11:55 – Sweetjane X – Trust Fund Baby – https://www.sweetjanex.com/
Elaine Frost is Sweetjane X, a singer, songwriter, music teacher and business owner living in New Orleans. Her debut album Life On Venus exhibits a channel-changing freedom, switching between an eclectic mix of pop, electronic, dance and R&B. But even in its wildest “alter ego” moments, the album is empowering, fun and bubblegum-level addictive. LIFE ON VENUS Available 6/4!
00:15:31 – Emma Mae – Boys in Bands – https://www.emmamae.co.uk/
I write sad songs about boys and booze. I am good at writing choruses. And, I call people out if I feel like it. Not because it’s needed or because they deserve it (but believe me a lot of them do), but because people take life too seriously and I think it’s kind of funny. I also accidentally bought a porn site in the process of connecting this website to a domain.
I make a point of not taking myself too seriously, I honestly just release music because it’s fun and I like the occasional slither of validation, which is especially good because I’m doing a music degree at university and it’s nice to know I’m not spending over 9 grand a year for nothing.
I released my first single in August 2019. It was called ‘Fuckboy’. It’s epic. I followed this up with ‘Make Me Fall’, which is the only happy song currently in my roster, and was actually written and ready before I wrote ‘Fuckboy’, which when you listen to them, makes much more sense.
Shortly after I released Make Me Fall though, the country went to shit and I was stuck in Leicester for 6 months. Instead of whining about it like most people though, I wrote an EP, and this actually did good things for me, even though it only came to exist because I was excruciatingly bored. This EP, ‘What it’s Come To’, got me on BBC Introducing, which, to a tiny and insignificant DIY musician like me, is kind of a huge deal. I also got my own google knowledge panel out of this EP, though the information on it is incorrect, that is also kind of a big deal.
I also beat my 3 year goal which I set when I started my uni course, and that was: beat the porn star Emma Mae to the top of the google search. This is the biggest deal of all the big deals. I also bought her website and replaced it with this, so I think I’m winning.
Fast forward to October 2020 and Deadline, the follow up single, was released. I was very excited, though painfully aware the album cover is the same picture as What It’s Come To, just backwards and pinker. Deadline did quite well too, with more BBC Introducing support which continued through December with the release of ‘Tis The Season, the extremely bitter Christmas bop.
Since then I’ve been fairly quiet. How could I possibly top a Christmas hit with 1k streams in the first 21 hours, BBC Introducing support AND a literal ‘Saxy Santa’ on the artwork. This brings us to early 2021 when I announced my next single, ‘Boys In Bands’, after some very cryptic teasing. Boys In Bands marks the start of a new era of music for me, as it’s the first release of a new adventure I’m embarking on over the next year or so. You’ll see.
I hope you love Boys In Bands as much as I do when it drops on April 30th. If you’re somehow reading this before then, enter a giveaway by pre-ordering it and be in with the chance of winning some Emma-related goodies.
00:20:20 – Biscay – So Many Lies – https://biscay.co.uk/
Biscay are a 5-piece band playing a groovy hybrid of original funk, nu-soul and acid-jazz which some now call ‘yacht-rock’. With songs that interrogate the human condition whilst never letting up on the groove, theirs is yacht-rock for stormy seas. Their music provides a rare opportunity to ‘get down and wise up’.
With recent successes in five songwriting competitions (see Awards page), Biscay released their second EP ‘Stare At The Sun’ in March 2020, and are releasing a series of 5 new singles, which started with ‘Blame Game’ on November 1st 2020. The 5th single ‘So Many Lies’ is due for release April 30th 2021.
00:24:52 – Jazzy Chill (Featuring Sofeeya) – Never Break Your Heart – https://www.jazzychill.com
Jazzy Chill is an American based progressive Jazz global music collective. Their style fuses Jazz idioms with chill hop, lounge, and soul; conveying sensual sophistication; the perfect aural accompaniment to afternoon cocktails and romantic nights.
Often featuring the velvety smooth vocals of lead singer Sofeeya, the quasi band also creates instrumentals; further complemtnting their growing catalog of easy listening and chill vibe grooves.
Interestingly enough, Jazzy Chill boasts an open door policy when it comes to its members.
“Itunu is a drummer and producer in Lagos, Nigeria, : Sofeeya says. :He contributes to our sound, so he’s Jazzy Chill fam.”. But he plays with other bands and recording projects, as do I. Same with the rest of the group. Nobody is joined at the hip, like say a traditional band back in the day. With us, you’re going to see many new faces along with the regulars.
00:28:55 – Flõstate – Dream Dance – https://fb.com/WeAreFlostate
Flõstate is a fantasy R&B duo from Canada. Consisting of producer MKSTN and songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Avery Florence, two worlds collide creating multi-instrumental soundscapes and virtuous vocals.
Inspired by a wide variety of artists and genres, the duo site acts such as Beach House, Galimatias, Tame Impala, Jimi Hendrix, Lana Del Rey, Bon Iver, Enya, Jeff Buckley and Pink Floyd as key influences to their sound.
00:32:35 – Danny Baldursson – Tears – https://www.facebook.com/dannybaldurssonmusic
Danny Baldursson is an international, award-winning musician from the Faroe Islands. At the age of 16, he picked up a guitar and started playing, making his first steps towards becoming an aspiring musician, and embarking on an impressive career as a front figure musician in Scandinavia.
Danny released an album along with his then-band Danny & the Veetos titled Hint of Melancholy, which was the fastest selling album in the Faroe Islands in over 15 years and went on to win a number of award honors.
Danny has done over 1K live performances between 2016 – 2018 and toured in Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Germany.
In 2019, he won the Germany Songwriting Award as a solo artist with his song “Holy.”
Danny Has gone on to develop his own unique personal genre, and musical style, managing to merge personality into each song that he writes and produces.
00:37:04 – Beta Radio – The Lowlands – https://betaradio.com/
Home represents more than just a physical place
It encompasses a state of being and an ideal. When you feel home, you feel whole. Humanity intrinsically seeks that feeling. This eternal search inspires Beta Radio’s third full-length and first for NETTWERK, Ancient Transition. The Wilmington, NC duo—Benjamin “Ben” Mabry and Brent Holloman—transform a tumultuous two years of corporeal and existential wandering into 10 songs cast in folk-style literary lyricism, Americana spirit, and orchestral experimentation.
On the journey, they creatively cover new ground.
“Throughout the whole process, there was an undercurrent of being displaced, because I moved four times,” says Ben. “Simultaneously, I was trying to understand how to reconcile who I was years ago with and who I am now. I was essentially searching for a home in a physical place as well as in an ideology and other people. My head was in this space for two years, so my reaction was to write songs that articulated these emotions. On the record, certain musical moments will prove sonically disruptive and reflect how I felt. The theme threads through everything.”
“While we were on the search, we let go of what we thought Beta Radio should sound like, experimented, and started simply pursuing what we like,” adds Brent. “For the first time, we utilized samples, an Unacorda, and old Juno 60 synthesizers from the eighties. We really expanded our sound.”
These lifelong friends carefully developed the sound over the course of two independent LPs. After quietly stirring a local buzz, 2014’s Colony of Bees marked a major breakthrough. Huffington Post touted the record among its “40 Best Albums of 2014,” while the single “On The Frame” generated 31 million cumulative Spotify streams between the original and acoustic versions.
“Sitting Room” surpassed 11 million, and “I Am Mine” crossed the 4-million-mark. Meanwhile, they frequently occupied coveted real estate on high traffic playlists such as Soft Focus, Afternoon Acoustic, Happy Folk, The Most Beautiful Songs in the World, Calm Vibes, and more. As their profile organically grew, they released the holiday compilation, The Songs the Season Brings, Vol. 1-4.
By 2016, the musicians could focus on their next offering as they moved into a proper studio in downtown Wilmington.
“We both wanted to be doing Beta Radio full-time and, thankfully, we were finally able to,” continues Brent. “We’d recorded the past two records at home studios. With a proper studio and this newfound time, it was a seamless transition.”
Inspired by everything from The Arrival soundtrack to a re-reading of Slaughterhouse Five, the guys carefully crafted the music comprising Ancient Transition. The first single “Our Remains” illuminated a spark of inspiration. Off-time beats and ukulele bristle against strings as Ben’s delicate delivery captivates. It culminates on the thought-provoking refrain, “I’m wearing your remains.”
“The time signature forced us to think differently,” Ben admits. “In terms of the meaning, I had a very brief relationship with someone, but it didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go. I looked for home in this person and wasn’t finding it there.”
The opener “Tongue Tied” tempers electric guitar and broken Wurlitzer mixed with vibraphone. In order to achieve the warm echo, Ben sang into the guitar pickups, conjuring an airy vibe.
“In broad strokes, it touches on the idea that something’s missing,” he goes on. “You know there’s more you’re not seeing, yet you can’t find it. I don’t know what’s missing, but I’ve got to figure it out.”
Violin and banjo underscore a heavenly and hypnotic melody on the entrancing “Realistic City Living.”
“We like to add different instruments in unexpected ways,” says Brent. “The sonic palette is really rich. It makes for a record you can listen to from beginning to end. That was important to us.”
As they keep searching, Beta Radio ultimately offer a powerful reassurance on Ancient Transition.
“When people listen to this, I’d love for them to walk away feeling known,” Ben leaves off. “Art should reflect our humanity back to us. That’s definitely a big ambition for us. On the other end of the spectrum, we just hope listeners enjoy it.”
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