Posts tagged with "songwriting"

Scott Hirsch_windlessDay cover from Jim Merlis, Big Hassle Media for use by 360 Magazine

Scott Hirsch shares in-studio performance – Dreamer

Acclaimed singer-songwriter-producer-musician Scott Hirsch has announced today’s premiere of an exclusive new live in-studio acoustic performance video of his mesmerizing new single, “Dreamer.” Directed by musician/photographer Brendan Willing James at Hirsch’s Echo Magic in Ojai, CA, “Dreamer (Live In-Studio Acoustic Performance)” is streaming now via YouTube here. The official single version of “Dreamer” is available now at all DSPs and streaming services here.

“Dreamer” heralds the upcoming release of Hirsch’s eagerly awaited new album, WINDLESS DAY, due via Echo Magic Records with Soundly Music on Friday, October 8; pre-saves and exclusive vinyl pre-orders are available now here. A duet of sorts, “Dreamer” sees Hirsch exploring a deep well of emotion and sound joined by singer-songwriter Kelly McFarling, both accompanied on the new performance video by musicians Daniel Wright and Mikael Jorgensen.

WINDLESS DAY also includes the recently released singles, “Much Too Late” and “Spirit True,” both available now at all digital platforms. The latter track was met by praise from such influential outlets as Raven Sings The Blues, which wrote, “’Spirit True’ sees Hirsch return to the JJ Cale cool that he’s wrangled in the past, shuffling into view on dive bar dancefloor drums, an afternoon sunset of sax, and Scott’s smoke ring sigh in the vocals. This one is a perfect after-work comedown that feels as refreshing as a cold drink on a hot day.”

A founding member of such groundbreaking bands as Hiss Golden Messenger and The Court & Spark, Scott Hirsch has spent much of the past half-decade gradually growing an acclaimed solo canon, staking his own visionary, deeply personal approach towards traditional American studio craft and songwriting. Hailed by the Chicago Reader as “an album of kaleidoscopic range and beauty that encompasses his varied interests,” 2016’s BLUE RIDER SONGS prompted Pitchfork to enthuse, “It’s taken a long time for (Hirsch) to let out his voice – a cool, soulful thing filled with deep reverence for his source material, if some cynicism about the myths it’s spun, on BLUE RIDER SONGS, Hirsch debunks the idea that redemption is ever a cakewalk, and finds something more truthful and lasting in the pursuit of accepting responsibility.”

Hirsch followed up two years later with LOST TIME BEHIND THE MOON, praised by Sungenre as “a genre-defying blend of all things Americana, showcasing Hirsch’s innate songwriting ability, a mixture of country, blues, folk-rock and psychedelic which come together to create something wholly different from the separate parts. It is moving and contemplative, bold and adventurous, whilst also delicate and sensitive.” LOST TIME BEHIND THE MOON “answers the question of what we might have gotten if Lou Reed had headed for Tulsa instead of Long Island when he bolted from the Velvet Underground,” declared MAGNET, while Pitchfork wrote, “There’s a new confidence here; These songs suggest that Hirsch has reached a destination, at least with his music: that he has arrived at a place where he is able to harness these sounds and allusions to convey the particulars of his wanderlust.” “LOST TIME INSIDE THE MOON bristles and broods,” raved Raven Sings The Blues, “and in the end is a salve and solace to lost souls – Hirsch’s vision of country elegance and barbiturate boogie hangs heavy on the diaphragm, groovin’ and singin’ in the same breath.”

Hirsch continues to work closely with Hiss Golden Messenger as a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, producer, and most recently, mixer on this year’s acclaimed QUIETLY BLOWING IT. The founder of Ojai, CA-based studio and sound design firm, Echo Magic, Hirsch received a 2015 GRAMMY Award nomination for his work as engineer and mixer on folk music legend Alice Gerrard’s FOLLOW THE MUSIC. Other recent credits include collaborations with like-minded artists including Mikael Jorgensen, Orpheo McCord, Daniel Rossen, and William Tyler, the latter of whom recently wrote of Hirsch’s journey to WINDLESS DAY, “To the wandering soul, the promise of travel, the motion of the road, and necessary transience instills a love of the novel experience and fortifies the restless spirit. But when travel is no longer possible, when ‘the road’ becomes the familiar paths around your town and home, is there the time and space to create a new kind of journey? When else would we go inward, by choice or practice, then when the world shuts down around us and we are left with the thoughts and melodies in our heads?”

Scott Hirsch

WINDLESS DAY

(Echo Magic Records)

Release Date: Friday, October 8

Pre-Order Here

Tracklist

  1. Spirit True
  2. Much Too Late
  3. Dreamer
  4. Big Passenger
  5. Redstone
  6. Night People
  7. The Price of Gold
  8. Wolves
  9. Drummer of Shiloh
  10. Love Is Long
Elena Brody "Rock Steady" image via Jon Bleicher for use by 360 Magazine

Elana Brody Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

Celebrating the beauty of human experience and the universality of dance, Elana Brody enchants fans with her exhilarating dance-pop music. Her most recent single, “Rock Steady,” showcases the singer’s joyous choreography and passionate songwriting ability. The “Rock Steady” music video can be viewed HERE. The bold, emotional ballad was produced by Max Martin protégé, Dominic Fallacaro. Brody spoke with 360 Magazine about the spirituality that courses through her songs, her music production process, and upcoming releases.

Your recent material was written during the pandemic. How did you manage to find inspiration during lockdown?

As a songwriter, lockdown – with all its grief and deep, life-changing themes- was a very fertile time for me. For one, I retreated from NYC to my childhood homestead in Virginia – in one of the most remote places East of the Mississippi. While there in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, with the music world at a stand-still, I found myself with very little to do but be in nature and play music. My then-partner had come with me, and we spent much of our time playing music together. I also felt called to offer musical prayer services online for those who needed inspiration and connection to Spirit. Because of this, I began by writing new prayer music – which felt right for the time. But, after my partner decided to split with me, as you can imagine – the folk songs started pouring out. This break-up, combined with being my original creative habitat, the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter uprising, the political election-year insanity, and a life far from community, took me the deepest I’ve been in my writing for a long time – especially as a lyricist. I think some of the lyrics you will hear on my upcoming EP are possibly my best yet.

What does your songwriting process look like?

It depends on the song. Sometimes snippets of lyrics, with a bit of their melody, come first. Sometimes a really awesome piano hook comes first. Over the last many years, I have found my songwriting process to be mostly a long-winded jam session where I sing out my heart for hours, creating spontaneous free-style lyrics. Many of those lyrics disappear forever, but at least a few of them make the cut! Once I get a sense of the general narrative of the song, I think about phrases that will help move the story along, and then build new lyrics around the original “spontaneous-gems” to flesh it out. Over the pandemic, lyrics were everything – and I found myself caring more about them than the music. The music could have been 3 chords, and I’d be totally okay with that, as long as the lyrics were telling the story. But, in other phases of my life as a writer, I would basically compose a piano concerto! And then, lyrics come in afterwards. I love and live music. And honestly, I don’t have to work hard to have music flow through me. I have found the best music and lyrics that I have written, have written themselves. It’s actually that simple. “Rock Steady” was a bit like that.

Are you still looking to release your EP eventually, or have you decided to shelve it in favor of tracks like “Rock Steady”?

Yes, to the EP! If all works out with piecing it together (because it was recorded in many different settings over the pandemic) then I would really like to release it in the late fall. But! Because “Rock Steady” is such a banger and I want to make more songs like that, I decided to quickly write and record a new song called “Quicksand,” which is another pop-influenced song, to release as a follow up – before I transition into my folk music.

Why did you choose Costa Rica as the location for the “Rock Steady” music video?

It chose me! My friend lives there and she invited me to come out to visit. I said I would, but under the one condition – that we film a music video! She is a great networker and knows so many people to reach out to and work with. She also happens to be an ecstatic dance facilitator and DJ and was planning a dance on the weekend of my visit. So, naturally, we organized to film the dance party at an already scheduled and high-vibe (to use a very Costa Rican term) dance party! It couldn’t have been more perfect. We also did all our beach filming at a beach called Roca Beach – aka Rock (Steady) beach!

How does your spirituality factor into the way you create music?

Once, after I auditioned for the first season of USA’s XFactor, I left the stage (a story for another time!) and was interviewed by a faceless producer speaking to me from behind a black curtain. This producer asked me, “When you sing, it seems as if you are connecting to some higher power. Is this true for you? And what is that higher power?” At the time, I wouldn’t have considered myself a prayer-leader or religious at all, but I knew the answer to that right away. I said, “Yes. God.”

God can bring up a lot for people. And for me too. Growing up in rural Virginia, the idea of “God” sometimes felt like some kind of angry, repressive, overpowering righteousness. But – in my family – and in my own experience – God was gentler than that. The spirit between things. As a youth, I was surrounded by the most beautiful, untouched nature – and witness to the seasons in their full force. With below-zero cold and windy winters, slow-to-pop springs, abundant green summers with my folks’ organic gardens in full bloom, and then the rainbows of colorful Appalachian autumns – I knew what Spirit had to offer us humans. And music had always been my human way to offer Spirit back to Spirit, if that makes sense. It’s a giving and receiving from the big, wild wonders of creation, and then music is my way to return it back. Now that I have dived into my Jewish roots, and studied the traditions, I would say that song is the modern equivalent of sending burnt offerings up to the Creator. Instead of smoke, we let our voices rise. And I don’t see prayer music and pop music as all that different. Different themes, different stories, but ultimately, what we sing or speak is all prayer. And, especially now that I am very involved in prayer-leadership, as I create more songs, I do think about that in my writing.

What do you anticipate the reaction to “Rock Steady” will be like?

A fun one! Hopefully one that makes people dance and dance some more! Because I haven’t released much of my other music yet on the bigger platforms, most people won’t know the difference. Like, how did that happen? All of a sudden, I’m a pop star! The truth is, I’ve always been a pop star. Christina Aguilera and Celine Dion were my first vocal idols, and all of the first music I ever wrote sounded like it could have been in a Disney Channel original movie. Anyhow, I had this thought that I should go about my career in the opposite way of other folk artists, a la Jewel circa “Intuition,” and drop in with the fun and danceable stuff first. I don’t see myself ever being too genre-confined, anyway. Life is too short not to write whatever you feel and whatever is coming through you! I did think, “oh, maybe I should sell this song to Rhianna or another artist who could do it amazingly.” But honestly, this route of self-producing is very fun, and maybe even better. Now I get to be heard singing like a pop star too!

What other artists, musicians, or bands serve as inspirations for your music?

It’s a long list…

Joni Mitchell is my in-utero and post-utero,songwriting teacher. I used to call her my piano teacher, because I learned to play by playing so many of her songs. Several other musicians of my parents’ 60s/70s era also come in close as primary inspirations – including Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Carole King, and the Beatles. They have shaped what a well-written song could be for me.

It’s hard to decipher what is an influence now because it’s just one big, long-cooked stew or spicy mole at this point.

I have always liked lyric-forward music, with bands like Of Montreal (his candidness in writing was life-changing for me!) and Death Cab for Cutie (the simple metaphors and speaking-style of his writing) and the Decemberists (storytelling, bard-like songs.) And the orchestral and lyrical artistry of the Fleet Foxes is stellar.

I have also always liked some good classic, chunky, Rock’n’roll and music that gets ya’ dancing, like Led Zeppelin and CCR. And the blues, especially blues piano music, has played a role in my music education since early childhood.

Then, there’s the eternal list of female influences. My most listened to, other than Joni, from the beginning are Ani DiFranco and Sarah McLachlan. Then: Jesca Hoop, My Brightest Diamond, Regina Spektor and Kate Bush. And now: artists like Gillian Welch, Brandi Carlile, Sylvan Esso, and Sarah Jarosz have taken up a lot of my listening time. Sarah Jarosz’s album World on the Ground was really powerful to listen to last year during the pandemic. I hope that I can achieve that level of presence and intelligence in the instrumentation when I go to make my full-length album next year!

I also derive a LOT of influence from pop music. I can’t help it. I definitely fell in love with Ariana Grande’s album positions this year, and right now I am going down a Dua Lipa rabbit hole. I would say Rhianna is my number one, though. And I finally fell in love with Lady Gaga after seeing A Star is Born and listening to Joanne. Her belt has inspired me a lot. And I love vocalists in general. I have spent a lot of time really listening to vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand. These days, Elvis is my number one!

I will also never not want to listen to albums of bands like Nickel Creek, the [Dixie] Chicks, Bela Fleck, Mandolin Orange/Watchhouse, or the band Solas, to bring me the feeling of my early mountain roots and make me feel good.

I am truly a world music fan. I love to listen to the magic of music across the world. I am really inspired to hear virtuosity, no matter what genre. I love vocal virtuosos and am listening right now to the artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I am curious as to when I’ll be able to imitate him. (I’m really good at imitating!) Bobby McFerrin has also been a teacher in real life. He inspires me to become more accurate in my improvisations.

I also listen to prayer music, but mostly of the Sikh or Kundalini yoga genre. Sometimes you’ll find me jamming out to Jewish artists (many of them friends of mine) or Gospel music. Anita Wilson, a modern gospel singer, has been a vocal inspiration for me because she really sings with the lows of her range.

Musical theater music is also a major influence. That Roger and Hammerstein stuff pours out of me like it were an extension of my soul! Lastly, at this point, after spending time at Berklee College of Music, I have been greatly inspired by jazz and R&B.

Besides “Rock Steady” and the EP, can fans look forward to any other releases to come in 2021-2022?

Yes! I mentioned that I am wanting to get cracking on my full-length album that will be mostly in the Americana, New Orleans blues, Rock-and-Roll, and folk pop styles. I am really, really excited about it. But I’m not sure yet who I will work with on it. An exciting unknown. I imagine it will end up feeling like a magnum opus when it is finished because I’ve been with these songs for so long. Nothing will be more amazing than when they are out in the world surrounded by strings, the right instrumentation and arrangements. I also would like to produce my song “City of Man” in a big vaudevillian, brassy style. [I want to] make a little music-video theater piece out of it. I have also been sitting on this one for a long time. It sort of harkens to the fall of capitalism…that is going on in our world and the post-Trump era– it’s due time that I get that one out. Look out for it all!

Madonna collage via PR NEWSWIRE via SOURCE Warner Music Group Corp. for use by 360 Magazine

Madonna × Warner Music Group

Madonna and Warner Music Group Announce Milestone, Career-Spanning Partnership

Landmark, Multi-Year Catalog Series to Launch Next Year

2022 Will Mark 40th Anniversary of Madonna’s Recording Debut

WMG Will Now Represent Madonna’s Entire Body of Work Across Both Recorded Music & Music Publishing

Madonna and Warner Music Group today announced a milestone, career-spanning global partnership that includes a new agreement for her entire recorded music catalog. With global sales of over 300 million records, Madonna is the best-selling female artist of all time, with countless accolades that include seven Grammy Awards, 24 ASCAP Pop Music Awards, and numerous international trophies, including BRIT, Bravo Otto, Danish Music, Edison, GAFFA, International Dance Music, Ivor Novello, Juno, MTV, and World Music Awards, among many others across the globe. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.

This partnership marks the revitalization of a decades-long relationship with Warner that began with the release of Madonna’s debut single in 1982. The deal encompasses her entire Sire/Maverick/Warner catalog, including global smash albums such as MadonnaLike a VirginTrue BlueLike a Prayer, and Ray of Light. It also includes her three most recent studio albums, MDNARebel Heart, and Madame X, which will join the Warner catalog beginning in 2025. All in all, the new pact includes 17 studio albums plus singles, soundtrack recordings, live albums, and compilations.

Warner Chappell Music also globally administers all of Madonna’s songwriting work. This features such top-charting hits as “Like A Prayer,” “Vogue,” “Into the Groove,” “La Isla Bonita,” “Live to Tell,” “True Blue,” “Open Your Heart,” “Who’s That Girl,” “Express Yourself,” “Lucky Star,” “Take A Bow,” and many more.

2022 will mark the  40-year  anniversary of Madonna’s recording debut. This new deal heralds the launch next year of an extensive, multi-year series of catalog releases that will revisit the groundbreaking music that made her an international icon. For the first time, Madonna will personally curate expansive deluxe editions for many of her landmark albums, as well as introduce unique releases for special events, and much more. The series of releases will be overseen by Warner Music’s catalog team, led by Kevin Gore, President of Global Catalog, Recorded Music, with the first release to be announced soon.

This monumental deal was executed by Madonna’s longtime manager Guy Oseary at Maverick, Allen Grubman of Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sachs P.C., her business manager Richard Feldstein of NKSFB, and Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group.

Madonna said: “Since the very beginning, Warner Music Group has helped bring my music and vision to all my fans around the world with the utmost care and consideration. They have been amazing partners, and I am delighted to be embarking on this next chapter with them to celebrate my catalogue from the last 40 years.”

Guy Oseary said: “Over the past 30 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and spend time with many of Madonna’s incredible fans, and this new partnership will bring to fruition what so many of them have been patiently waiting for: a celebration of her groundbreaking catalogue. My partner Sara Zambreno and I are working closely with Warner Music Group to bring new life to these iconic works.”

Max Lousada added: “We’re honored to be forming a dynamic new partnership with an incomparable superstar whose influence on our musical and artistic landscape is immense and immutable. Madonna has changed the course of pop and dance music, while taking live performance to new heights of drama and invention. At the same time, she uses her fame to amplify some of the most important social issues and movements of our time. Constantly and fearlessly challenging convention, her four decades of music are not only an extraordinary body of work, but a playbook for creative and cultural evolution.”

On October 8, Madonna will be releasing her highly anticipated documentary film, MADAME X, exclusively on Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS, and MTV Entertainment Studios in the U.S., Latin America, Australia, the Nordics, and Canada. Fans outside of these markets can watch the documentary on MTV. Filmed in Lisbon, Portugal, the film captures the pop icon’s rare and rapturous tour performance, hailed by sold-out theatrical audiences worldwide. The unprecedented, intimate streaming experience will take viewers on a journey as compelling and audacious as Madonna’s fearless persona. Madame X is a secret agent traveling around the world, changing identities, fighting for freedom, and bringing light to dark places.

In other news, Madonna has announced her birthday wish for friends and supporters to adopt a bed at the Mercy James Centre hospital in Malawi, built especially for children. There are 50 beds in the hospital’s ward, where children recuperate after surgery or regain strength following intensive care. By adopting a bed, you can ensure that any sick or injured child that comes through the hospital doors has access to world-class specialized care. Madonna has challenged supporters to adopt all 50 beds in honor of her birthday. For more information on how to donate, visit HERE.

image from Christina Santamaria for use by 360 Magazine

RYAN LEVINE — “SIGNS”

On Friday, singer and songwriter Ryan LeVine shared his debut solo single “Signs,” via BMG. You can listen to the new song HERE. This is the first song from his upcoming EP, Good Things To Remember, out October 22. Alongside the new song, Ryan will perform at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles this Saturday, July 17. Tickets are available HERE.

At the end of 2018, Ryan LeVine’s life cracked down the center. His band of six years, Wildling, called it quits and his relationship with “the one,” fell apart. Like it always had been, songwriting was the only tool he knew to use as a means of processing the loss and confusion. This time however, he traded elaborate home demos for simple voice memos and focused a lot more on the songwriting rather than the production. Ryan started recording the EP in early 2020 at Boulevard Studios in Los Angeles and then connected with his co-producer Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne) to finish the songs at Kevin’s home studio later that spring. The result was an introspective body of work which reveals a songwriter searching for answers. While he may not always find them, there is a resolving sense of peace that comes from the process.

About the first single “Signs,” Ryan shares, “It speaks to feelings of self-doubt, lack of faith, and apathy. I’m vulnerable here, even wounded, and unsure of how to move forward. I like how the song doesn’t exactly resolve or answer any of its questions. There’s an awareness of the state I’m in and a desire to move through it, but no real answers yet. Ultimately, I’m okay to sit with that uncertainty.”

Stay tuned for the official music video for “Signs” and more new music very soon.

Fritz Michel "Look Out (Botticelli Girl)" artwork via Jon Bleicher at Prospect PR for use by 360 Magazine

Fritz Michel Q×A

Originally from France and currently based in New York City, Fritz Michel is a sensational, international star and storyteller. Michel has previously worked in film, television, and the stage, but is currently taking the music industry by storm. He recently released the highly anticipated single and music video for “Look Out (Botticelli Girl),” which can be viewed HERE. 360 Magazine spoke with Michel about his creative song writing process, the true meaning behind “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)”’s lyrics, and his upcoming debut EP release.

What has the reaction to the release of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” been like?

One really great thing to come out of the release of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” has been the opportunity to reconnect with artists that I have not had the chance to work with. I just shot a music video for the song in Oregon with a longtime filmmaking colleague. We used analog special effects, like puppets and slide projections, to create a visual story. I feel fortunate that my music is helping me tap into a whole new creative language. The streaming platforms allow you much more global reach as an artist. I’ve made personal connections with listeners and music writers all over the world over the past year, and that’s been amazing.

You’ve described “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” as a meditation and contemplation of amazing works of art and human history. Have any artists or pieces of art, besides Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus,’ inspired your music?

I look for musical inspiration everywhere. I borrowed the image of Ulysses lashed to the mast in Homer’s “The Odyssey” in my song “Stardust”. I use some snaky guitar steel there to speak of my homeward journey across the sprawl of Los Angeles from Hollywood to the PCH and beyond, while pining for my New York roots. 

What was the song writing process for “Look out (Botticelli Girl)” like?

“Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” came to me very fast after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art one afternoon last fall, right after the museum had reopened. I find that the galleries calm me emotionally and transport me creatively. I thought about that tension between permanence and impermanence that I experience [while] looking at a great painting and standing in awe of the flow of history. I also thought about capturing little human moments in music [in] the [same] way a painting does. You see that in the verses. I also thought “Botticelli Girl” had a catchy ring to it and would make a good lyric!

How has the pandemic affected your music creation process?

I really started exploring songwriting out of necessity when the pandemic exploded and put the brakes on performing live with my bands. My world changed on a dime, and that prompted a lot of introspection along with observation. I spent a great deal of time alone in my NYC apartment with my guitar. Fortunately, I discovered the space to learn the basics of music production and found the motivation to reach farther with the process. That’s the been a silver lining to the disruption and tragedy of the last year.

In three words, how would you describe the sound of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)?”

Atmospheric, reflective, acoustic.

You are multi-talented artist, having shared your skills through music, film, TV, and the stage. Looking ahead, which of these creative avenues are you looking to focus on the most?

I’m very fortunate to have worked in music, film, TV, and stage. Music is a lot like putting on a play in my experience. You have to find or write a script and bring your own colors, sounds, and perspectives to the story. Rehearsal is required and technical elements need to come together. Then, you hope that somewhere there’s an audience that’s interested in what you have to say. Looking ahead, I plan to focus my creative process wherever I find willing collaborators and a game audience that’s open to the story. I’m making videos to go with my other releases (“Darker Now,” “Stardust,” and “King of Corona”).

I’m also thinking about writing a musical set in a family [of] architects with a longtime theater colleague, Oren Safdie. We collaborated closely on the premieres his trilogy of plays about architecture. One of my first acting gigs was performing in Oren’s spoof of “Fiddler on the Roof,” set in modern-day Montreal at La Mama, ETC on East 4th Street. So, in that way, I think I’ll be exploring all those avenues in the year ahead. 

What is something about you or the release of “Look Out (Botticelli Girl)” that fans may not guess or suspect?

I doubt many people who listen to my music would guess that I was born and spent my childhood in France. We’ve also talked about Botticelli a lot in this interview, but much of “Look Out” comes from personal reflection on my own history. Termini’s is an old Italian pastry shop we used to frequent in South Philadelphia. I lived in Tribeca during 9/11 when the towers fell. When I refer to cherubs, I was really thinking of my own daughters there, less than the ones in “Birth of Venus”! Someone might pick up on those details on a closer listen to the song.

Do you have any more releases to come in 2021 that you can tell us about?

I’m finishing up a couple so I can put out my first EP this fall. I want to get back to performing, too. So much of what I know about music, I learned playing bass in a jazz quartet– so I hope we get that going again. For me, music is a good way to tap into our need for bliss, storytelling, and myth in life. I think it’s all about that conversation and listening to one another.

Katastro photo via Bari Lieberman for use by 360 Magazine

Katastro × Droptop

Katastro releases a new single, Droptop, as well as a new album, Sucker.

As they gear up for the release of their new album Sucker next month, emerging alt-rock/hip-hop hybrid Katastro has released their new single, Droptop. The positive, floaty track features background vocals from longtime friend Micah Brown of Iration. Sucker, the Phoenix-based quartet’s sixth full-length album, also features their buzzy summer anthem, The Way I Feel, which is currently featured on a variety of top Spotify playlists including The New Alt, New Noise, PopRox and Beach Vibes.

Sucker, due out Friday, July 16th via Silverback Music’s Controlled Substance Sound Labs, is available for pre-order now at all DSPs, and each digital pre-save will include an instant download of Droptop and The Way I Feel, as well as the singles, One Day, 100 Rips, and Way Too High.

Katastro will celebrate the release of Sucker with a string of West Coast headlining tour dates, beginning July 23rd with a hometown show in Tempe, Arizona. The Sucker Summer Run will also take over The Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles on August 13th and stop in Denver, San Diego, Sacramento, and Albuquerque, among other cities.

“Droptop is one of the smoother flowing songs on the album,” shares bassist Ryan Weddle. “Featuring backup vocals from Micah Brown of Iration, we take you on a late-night ride through parties and endless summer nights, which is fitting as weߣre gearing up for our first tour since Covid. We can’t wait to get back out there and perform these new songs for everyone!”

Sucker represents a notably more mature sound for Katastro: Andy Chaves [vocals], Andrew Stravers [drums], Tanner Riccio [guitar], and Ryan Weddle [bass], while showcasing their unique melting pot stew of rock, hip-hop, funk, blues, pop, and reggae. The band’s fully collaborative creative approach, and unexpected time off in 2020, allowed for limitless possibilities. The result is a 12-song collection, produced by Matt Keller (Lydia, Anarbor, Redlands), about the constant loop of life, love, hate, and wanting to break the pattern. Sucker brings its listeners along on a ride, providing a summary soundtrack and something a little more positive to look forward to when everything feels off. Opening track The Way I Feel is an upbeat ode to getting over a bad breakup. Recent single One Day is a feel-good track about coming to terms with a broken relationship and finding yourself in the loop of partying to forget about it. Way Too High pays homage to their desert roots with its unique Western vibe and accompanying music video, while 100 Rips truly sets the tone and direction for Sucker. The catchy cruisin’ down the highway escapade features psychedelic guitar solos pumping through a mix of hip-hop and reggae set against an intoxicating chorus. The previously released songs off Sucker have already accumulated nearly half a million plays and are growing daily.

Formed nearly a decade and a half ago, Katastro, who cite Eminem and Red Hot Chili Peppers as early influences, dropped their first EP, The Wonderful Daze, in 2008 and quickly followed with their debut full-length album, Poking Holes In A Pattern, the following year. The group issued a steady stream of releases over the next ten years, mostly all independently, alternating full-lengths with EPs and acoustic Bones sessions. 2011’s Gentle Predator marked a live album zenith for the band and, in 2016, they garnered a national hit with the Strange Nights record. As their songwriting strengthened and became more revealing, Katastro followed with the albums Washed [2018] and Tropical Heartbreak [2019]. Throughout their growing career, Katastro has amassed over 80 million career streams from fans worldwide as well as media support from Alternative Press, The Noise, Substream Magazine, Phoenix New Times, Variance Magazine and more. The four-piece has also been making an impact as a powerful live act, headlining national tours and supporting the likes of Dirty Heads, Sublime With Rome, Iration, 311, Pepper, The Expendables, and gracing festival stages such as the One Love Cali Reggae Fest and Reggae Rise Up Festival.

SUCKER TRACKLIST

  1. The Way I Feel
  2. 100 Rips
  3. Droptop
  4. Pocket Fulla
  5. One Day
  6. Sucker
  7. Hotel Lobby
  8. Naked
  9. Too $hort
  10. Way Too High
  11. John T.
  12. Last Call

KATASTRO 2021 TOUR DATES

The Sucker Summer Run

Friday, July 23 – Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre ~

Friday, July 30 – Denver, CO @ Cervantes’ Other Side

Saturday, July 31 – Pueblo, CO @ Brues Alehouse

Thursday, August 12 – San Diego, CA @ MusicBox *

Friday, August 13 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy *

Saturday, August 14 – Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver *

Friday, August 27 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad +

Festival Appearance

Sunday, October 24 – St. Petersburg, FL @ Reggae Rise Up Music Festival

~ Kash’d Out and Barefoot

* Tunnel Vision and The Irie

+ The Irie and local support

Mary Wilson from Cathy Williams from UMe for use by 360 Magazine

Honoring Mary Wilson’s Memory – Black Music × Pride Month

Legendary artist/author and original and founding member of the Supremes, Mary Wilson was also known as a tireless advocate for the Black and LGBTQ+ communities. 

 

The Motown/UMe April release of Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition represented an ongoing effort to honor her memory and her passion for celebrating life through music. Her work to raise awareness of the need for tolerance and equality is especially poignant during June, which is dedicated to Black Music Month and Pride Month; her music provides a fitting backdrop to celebrations and events — from intimate events to large-scale community celebrations.  

 

Ms. Wilson believed in the power of music, especially the joy The Supremes brought to the world. She carried on that legacy throughout her career and right up to the days before her untimely passing in February, just weeks before the release of Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition.  

 

“The music was inclusive. It didn’t matter who you were, the music touched your soul. Music, to me, brought all the souls together. I’ve always said that Motown was an ambassador for love and for friendship because it brought people together.” – Mary Wilson in a 2015 interview with Pride Source.

Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition was originally announced to celebrate her 77th Birthday and honor her history and legacy with the first of her album projects. Ms. Wilson, who retained ownership of her solo recordings, wanted to make the album – and much more – available to her many fans around the world. Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition is a newly compiled version of her solo album, originally released by Motown in 1979, that will now be available on all digital platforms for the first time. Added to the album are eight incredible bonus tracks, four of them unreleased, including the legendary tracks recorded as a follow-up to the album produced by Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, Joan Armatrading, Chris Rea, et al). Featured as the lead single is a brand-new song, “Why Can’t We All Get Along,” produced by Richard Davis and co-written with Angelo Bond, who previously had great success as a co-writer with General Johnson and Greg Perry for “Bring The Boys Home.”

 

Mary Wilson, who had many fond memories around recording her solo debut, was so excited about the release of this album that, after finalizing details with UMe, she created an impromptu “teaser,” posting what was to be her final YouTube video. “I finally decided how to work with Universal, and they are going to release new Mary Wilson recordings,” she said. “Yes! At last! At last,” adding that the expanded version of the album, known by her and to fans as “Red Hot,” referring to its lead single, will include the Dudgeon productions – and something new. “It was four wonderful songs that were never released… and I also have some other songs, some surprising new songs… Thank you Universal for chiming in with me and helping this come true. Hopefully some of that will be out on my birthday, March 6th… I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

 

Sadly, the world mourned the sudden passing of Mary Wilson on February 8th, which also marked the 56th anniversary of The Supremes’ #1 hit, “Stop! In the Name Of Love.” She was a world-renowned singer, best-selling author, a humanitarian, artist rights advocate, philanthropist, cultural ambassador for the U.S. appointed by Colin Powell, but she was best known as a “Supreme.” She was the co-founder of the original Supremes, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, which signed to Motown in January 1961, making this year their 60th anniversary. The group broke down barriers by becoming the world’s most popular female singing trio, with an unprecedented string of 12 number one hits, 33 top 40 singles, a record breaking 5 consecutive number ones, and the first number one album for a female group. Mary Wilson is the only member with the group from their signing in 1961 to their disbanding in 1977. Their legendary history is the foundation for dozens of books, movies, and even three Broadway musicals.

 

But the often-overlooked history is of the solo careers of Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. Ballard had previously released an album on ABC Records while, upon leaving the Supremes, Mary Wilson released her self-titled solo album debut on Motown, her label for the previous 18 years. Mary Wilson had the potential of becoming a dance classic. Famed Motown Producer Hal Davis, known for #1 hits on the Jackson 5, Thelma Houston and Diana Ross crafted a lush disco album for Wilson, with six dance tracks and a mid-tempo ballad. Wilson recorded the album while pregnant with her youngest son, Raphael, and for the album’s cover shoot she was wrapped in a jacket to hide the pregnancy.

 

“Red Hot” was the obvious lead single. But just prior to the release of the album the infamous Disco Demolition Night took place at Comiskey Park in Chicago on July 12, 1979. The “Disco Sucks” movement impacted the release of Mary Wilson, and the single reached #85 on the dance chart and #95 on the R&B chart. This new collection retrieves for history the song’s rare 12” and 7” mixes, which were unique from the album’s version. Despite being loved by fans, and the release of a second single, “Pick Up the Pieces” in the U.K., the Mary Wilson album did not get the recognition it deserved.

 

In 1980, Mary Wilson headed to Europe to record with Elton John’s producer, Gus Dudgeon. The late Dudgeon, who started as Decca Records’ in-house recording engineer, became a key creative collaborator with Elton John, producing seven No. 1 albums, in addition to creating masterworks with David Bowie, Joan Armatrading, Chris Rea, and many more.

 

Wilson wrote in her second autobiography, Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together, “I was very excited about these four songs. It wasn’t the formula disco of my first album. Two of the songs were big ballads. The other two were rock and roll in the style of Tina Turner’s mid-eighties hits; I was certainly ahead of the time.” Three of the four songs were never released. The fourth song, “You Dance My Heart Around the Stars,” first made available in 2015 on a collection of the co-writer’s, Steve Kalinich, a frequent collaborator of the Beach Boys, is considered one of Wilson’s finest performances. 

 

In 1986 Mary Wilson wrote her best-selling autobiography, Dreamgirl: My Life As A Supreme, followed by two more books, Supreme Faith: Someday We’ll Be Together, and Supreme Glamour. Although Mary continued to record and release music through the rest of her career, fans have continually requested to hear this music. These songs remain among the most requested items in the Motown catalog.

 

While recording more music over the last 10 years, Mary Wilson reconnected with Richard Davis, executive of Gold Forever Music, a publishing company established by Eddie Holland after leaving Motown. In the early days of Motown, Holland-Dozier-Holland was the songwriting team responsible for The Supremes’ string of hit records.

 

While Mary continued to record, she kept a journal with her most personal thoughts, perspective, outlook, philosophy on life, beliefs based on her experiences and topics of the day. Richard Davis discussed this song with Wilson. Mary told Davis and Bond that their lyrics were able to capture and articulate her feelings into song and help her tell her story. As she was watching and writing about her feelings about the political unrest and the division in the country, Mary felt strongly about releasing “Why Can’t We All Get Along,” now in the hopes of spreading a positive message through music.

 

TRACKLISTING:

Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson: Expanded Edition

 

1.   Red Hot (6:06)

2.   I’ve Got What You Need (5:08)

3.   You Make Me Feel So Good (5:51)

4.  (I Love A) Warm Summer Night  (4:07)

5.   Pick Up the Pieces * (5:01)

6.   You’re the Light That Guides My Way (3:18)

7.   Midnight Dancer (3:08)

 

#1-7: Produced by Hal Davis

* Co-Produced by Hal Davis & Bobby Belle

Originally issued as Motown M7-927 R1 (1979)

 

Bonus Tracks

 

The Red Hot Singles

8.   Red Hot 7” Single Version (3:53)

9.   Red Hot 12” Disco Version – Remixed by Rusty Garner (7:12)

10. Red Hot 12” B-Side Promo Version – Remixed by Rusty Garner (3:53) – previously unreleased commercially

 

The Gus Dudgeon Sessions – previously unreleased except **

11. You Dance My Heart Around the Stars** (4:34)

12. Love Talk (4:05)

13. Save Me (3:53)

14. Green River (3:36)

 

The Richard Davis Sessions – previously unreleased

15. Why Can’t We All Get Along Single version (4:50)

GRYFFIN × KYLE REYNOLDS - “BEST IS YET TO COME” from Noelle Accardi from Interscope Records for use by 360 magazine

GRYFFIN × KYLE REYNOLDS – “BEST IS YET TO COME”

L.A.-based artist/producer Gryffin has just unveiled a new single entitled “Best Is Yet To Come” with buzzing California singer Kyle Reynolds. Released via Darkroom/Interscope Records, Gryffin once again crafts the ultimate summer anthem with an engaging electronic soundscape heightened by Kyle’s soaring delivery and powerful hooks. The track and accompanying video showcase the promise of an endless summer as the world comes back to life. “Best Is Yet To Come” is available now via all digital retailers, watch the video here or listen here.

Earlier this year, Gryffin teamed up with Two Feet for single “I Want Love” which thus far has generated over 9.5 million Spotify streams and garnered critical acclaim. EDM praised, “This idyllic track showcases a balanced blend of seemingly juxtaposing styles.” Additionally, his 2019 anthem “Tie Me Down” with Elley Duhé has surged in popularity once more. Exploding on TikTok, it has recently inspired over nearly 3 million videos in the past month alone. To date, it has amassed nearly a quarter-of-a-billion streams and views. Gryffin also recently announced the first dates for his return to Las Vegas for a 2021 Wynn residency, tickets now on-sale here.

On the meaning behind the track, Gryffin says “Best Is Yet To Come is a song about not knowing or being able to predict the future, but being hopeful and optimistic that better days are on the horizon.”

Be on the lookout for more music from Gryffin soon!

“I Want Love” followed Safe With Me”, featuring rising star Audrey Mika, and “Cry,” a collaboration with Swedish singer/songwriter John Martin hailed by EDM.com as a “scintillating future pop record that tugs at the heartstrings.” In addition, Gryffin’s recent output includes “Hold You Tonight,” a breathtaking collaboration with platinum-selling country artist Chris Lane. Premiering in April, the acoustic-guitar-laced track marked Gryffin’s first new music since the release of Gravity — a widely acclaimed album including hits like “Remember” ft. ZOHARA (a track that shot to #1 on Dance radio), “OMG” (a #16 hit on the US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, featuring Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen), and “Body Back” ft. Maia Wright (#16 hit on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart). With its incredible lineup of collaborators and guest artists, Gravity also features “Hurt People” (a collaboration with singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc, co-written by Bastille frontman Dan Smith) and “Baggage” by Gryffin with Gorgon City ft. AlunaGeorge (praised by Dancing Astronaut as a “perfectly poignant and danceable requiem to the summer season”).

Known for his kinetic fusion of dance-pop and future bass, Gryffin recently earned RIAA gold certification for “All You Need to Know” with SLANDER ft. Calle Lehmann — a 2019 release that’s now surpassed 100 million streams. The chart-climbing single appears on Gryffin’s debut album Gravity, which hit #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums chart soon after arriving in October 2019.

ABOUT GRYFFIN

Born Dan Griffith, Gryffin got his start in music as a classically trained pianist and guitarist and also played in several bands. After receiving an electrical engineering degree from the University of Southern California, he pursued a path in music production, drawing equally from his carefully honed musicality and edgy ingenuity. Gryffin made his breakthrough in 2016 with two singles showcasing his melodic take on dance music: “Heading Home” ft. Josef Salvat (which shot to #1 on Spotify’s US and Global Viral charts) and the Bipolar Sunshine collaboration “Whole Heart.” In addition, his 2017 smash single “Feel Good” — with Illenium and featuring Daya— peaked at #18 on the Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts. Gryffin’s major triumphs also include “Tie Me Down” ft. Elley Duhé (which hit #2 on the Spotify US Viral Chart and #9 on the Global Viral Chart), “Remember” ft. Zohara (which garnered 6.5 million streams in its first few weeks and earned support from Tiesto, who featured the track on an Instagram story), and “All You Need to Know” with SLANDER ft. Calle Lehmann (a gold-certified smash that’s now surpassed 100 million streams). Arriving in October 2019, Gryffin’s debut album Gravity quickly climbed to #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Albums chart.

Gryffin ft Kyle Reynolds – Best Is Yet To Come eSingle

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"Grenades" by Laura Pieri artwork by Corey Rooney Music Group for use by 360 Magazine

LAURA PIERI – GRENADES

LAURA PIERI’S NEW SINGLE “GRENADES” EXPLODES ONTO THE MUSIC SCENE

It has been almost a year since Laura Pieri released her last hit single, “All I Need,” which premiered just before the pandemic struck and the world locked down. Like so many artists, Pieri was eager to continue creating music, performing, and advancing her musical journey.  But often patience can pay off and throughout a year of introspection and personal growth, Pieri is set to debut what is already being coined as her best song yet, “Grenades”!

When Laura walked into the recording session that day, she and her producer, Josh, had planned to put the final touches on a track that they were ready to green light as her next release. She was distracted and angry over a toxic relationship she was in, unable to focus and completely distraught over a situation that blew up. It was almost impossible to block it out, so she took a detour and started working out a new song entirely. The energy flowed from frustration to creativity. Enter “Grenades.” Everyone knew this had to be the next release and they immediately put this in front of everything else.

For Laura, “Grenades” would represent a cathartic relief for something so intense that someone could be dealing with, that makes you so infuriated and outraged­­–but it’s completely out of your control and there’s nothing you can do.  All you can do is acknowledge it, accept it and let it go!

Pieri explains “I was so mad it that day, it was like I got so caught up in somebody else and I forgot it’s not about them, it’s about me. If I could unmeet somebody, I would, but that’s not reality and now sitting here in all of this uncomfortableness was a new thing for me.”

Creating the song was the healthiest way she could express what she was dealing with at the time. Laura goes on to explain “It’s like you know you’re gonna be angry AF and go through that and feel it… but then let it go, let that rage literally blow up! Grenades became a metaphor for blowing something up in a figurative way and shattering all that negative energy and moving on from there.”

While Laura has been writing music for some time now, “Grenades” was a writing experience where she felt the power of her voice behind the collaboration. While not a self-proclaimed natural songwriter, Pieri loves poetry and languages. With the emotional content around “Grenades,” she was able to pour out how she was feeling, and those feelings slowly turned into melodies that turned into words. “It just felt very easy to be there and I feel like I’m slowly exploring my songwriting skills, and ‘Grenades’ really feels like just the tip of the iceberg for me.”

Supplementing the single is a music video that exemplifies all the emotions from “Grenades” into a finely tuned visual journey. While Laura and her team had to get creative to circumvent the challenges of a video shoot in 2020, the end product came out perfectly and almost better then could have been expected. They worked with a skeletal crew, prioritized open spaces, and shot mainly between Malibu and downtown LA. They shot the rooftop shots downtown and narrowly pulled off their one chance at getting a fireworks explosion exactly right. The beach scenes were shot at sundown, into which created this dreary effect, capturing a cool tone that fell between sundown and nightfall. Laura adds “It was moody – it ended up being the perfect backdrop for the song.”

This music video was a perfect collaboration of creative minds coming together through all of the difficulties and obstacles they had to experience while shooting a video during a pandemic. Laura explains “I honestly really enjoyed having such a small crew because everyone has to contribute, and we were all packing up and unloading cars. We all had this break in Malibu, eating tacos and listening to music on the beach while we were waiting for the sun to go down. It was just such a cool moment in time to share with each other.”

Pieri, now 23, feels like she is in just the right place musically. She is moving forward trying new things but is taking her time in getting there.  Of what the future holds for Laura Pieri, she concludes “I am savoring the journey and whatever road I take next, or whatever music is on that path. I can only hope that people resonate with it as well. “

“Grenades” is produced by Joshua “YXSH” Thomas, and the music video was shot and produced by Living Records & Ace Monkey Productions and executively produced by Cory Rooney Music Group.

Cian Ducrot of Darkroom/Interscope Records image shot by Jennifer McCord for use by 360 Magazine

CIAN DUCROT – CROCODILES

RISING IRISH ARTIST: CIAN DUCROT 

NEW SONG “CROCODILES” IS A FAMILIAR TALE OF REEVALUATING FRIENDSHIPS THAT NO LONGER SERVE US. 

LISTEN HERE | WATCH VIDEO HERE

Irish songwriter, producer, and artist Cian Ducrot releases a brand new song titled “Crocodiles.” The song, a follow up to his recent single “Not Usually Like This” is another prime example of the young, multidisciplinary, stellar songwriting talent. “Crocodiles,” produced by Cian and co-written with collaborator Bill Maybury, proves to be an instant fan favorite with its anthemic chorus and Cian’s cunning melody play that will keep the listener engaged all the way to the end. Speaking on the song’s meaning, Cian had this to share:  

“‘Crocodiles’ is a song I wrote after I experienced being let down by my closest friends when I needed them the most. Coming to terms with the idea that those you’d do anything for [those who] wouldn’t do the same for you hit me extremely hard.” – Cian Ducrot.

“Crocodiles” marks the second release off of Cian’s upcoming EP–his first with U.S. label Darkroom/Interscope Records. His previous single “Not Usually Like This” has already amassed over three million plays across DSPs, not including the very special performance that Cian treated fans with on Mahogany Sessions, which has over 320,000 views. Watch the incredible live session here.

About Cian Ducrot

Raised in Cork and based in London, but just as likely to be found recording in LA, Cian Ducrot takes a nomadic approach to pop music. Home for this 23-year-old singer, songwriter, producer and classically-trained multi-instrumentalist is wherever he happens to find his laptop and guitar–no matter where he is. Growing up in a broken home, Cian sought relief in music, listening to his Mum playing everything from Bach to Chopin­–often finding that music was a way to escape the trials of abuse, a turbulent family dynamic and more. It’s no surprise that he went on to focus on music in schoo, joining musicals and drama clubs, mastering different instruments and performing from a young age. Cian will eventually win a full scholarship to study classical flute at the Royal Academy of Music­–one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the world. Around the same time, Cian knew that in order to create original music, he would have to teach himself how to produce. And so he did.

A couple of years into his schooling, Cian took a short trip to Los Angeles, CA–a trip that inspired him to pursue his dream of becoming a pop artist instead of a classical flautist. He decided to take a risk leaving his schooling (and the full ride scholarship that came with it) and moved back to Ireland to plan for his new dream. Cian was steadfast in his new writing journey, with money being tight he would often couch surf between London and L.A. The product of these experiences was his debut release, started in college (2020)–a mixtape that chronicles his unconventional road into the music industry. The risk ended up paying off when he was discovered by Darkroom/Interscope Records last Summer; promptly signed him to the label. Capitalizing on his natural talent and years of dedication, the Irish songwriter/producer and artist is at work on a new project and aims to showcase his diverse talents while exploring issues of love, loss, masculinity and frustration. Cian wishes to create music that listeners can relate to and find solace in­–not unlike how a young Cian once did.