Molly Shores and Dianna Augustine
Something that Florence and The Machines have brought to the forefront of music today is the alto female singer, which evokes such a different emotion than younger or higher-pitched voices. I hope that her prevalence will pave the way for Hannah Gill whose voice sits in the same register as Florence, but also produces such unique phrasing when coupled with the lyrics (that she wrote), and backed by a band who favors key-shifts leaning toward heroic. Her music is empowering, motivating, with a touch of daunting; as if to suggest ‘you’re amazing, can you handle that?’
Her most recent EP released was I Feel Alive (January 20). When she was featured on GuitarWorld.com, they said “Gill’s vocal sophistication conveys deep emotion without resorting to histrionics or autotune synthesized vocals.” This is a four-track EP (with an alternate recording of “I Feel Alive”).
Béla Takes Chase
I have to say this first, Bela Takes Chase’s fashion sense is amazing; it’s casual, fun — basically my dream wardrobe. That was my first impression, so I was interested to see how this translated into her music. Just like her wardrobe her music is minimalist, with accent pieces (like subtle synth, unique structure and a kind of subdued quirky) all revolving around what she is, unique and easy on the eyes and ears. First impression: I expected an in-your-face diva — Lasting impression: a dreamy pixie of a singer, whose music dances and lilts, with swells of harmony and chord progression.
Her only current release is Radiate, which can be found on Bandcamp. Although it only includes three tracks, there is a definitive sound to be heard on this release. Some photos from the week of June 22 preview a sneak-peek to an upcoming video, including wire-work and epic stage makeup akin to Road Warrior.
Have you been looking for a modern fusion of bluesy-country? I have, and Erin Mason could take that industry and mold it into something more than just cheaters, drinkers and drinking on planes. She harkens back to the days of triple-harmonies, folksy lo-fi production, and her voice is just bluesy as all get-out. Sure, there are some bands out these days with a similar style, but those are 3-5 members strong; Mason manages to crank this out with herself and and post-production. Lucky for me, she lives in Raleigh, which means that I can catch her live soon.
Not your typical solo act — because she’s actually backed by her brother and sometimes accompanied by other musicians for live performances, and she’s fully transparent about this. Sure, this amalgam is referred to as Jocelyn Arndt, but to not acknowledge the supporting music would be like if Kelly Clarkson came out alone for an encore: would be weird. That being said, I’m glad to know the musicians she collaborates with instrumentally, because they’re damned good. With a steady sight on the target that is mainstream rock, but a leading lady who belts some innovative vocal stylings, Arndt is ahead of the curve (but not too far).
“Jocelyn’s music unleashed a rock and roll that was fueled by her extremely dominant voice. Chris, however, is a natural rocker. He almost looked too relaxed at his playing as he mastered each solo with skill and thrill. His solos were something to marvel at. He would glance down at his guitar with a look of indifference as if it was just another part of his daily routine. He keeps the excitement going with a calm demeanor that is unimaginable. All the musicians on stage were exceedingly focused and flawless.” Myles Hunt – Punchland.com (2015)
The only current Jocelyn Arndt release is entitled Strangers in Fairyland, a 7-track EP found on Bandcamp.
Her ReverbNation reads: “Sounds Like: Taylor Swift.” I have to disagree; maybe if Taylor Swift’s voice, from 2008, had died and gone to heaven, because Annika’s voice is seriously angelic. During a bit of a rough day, I popped on her song “Where I’m Dreaming Of,” and was instantly put more at ease. The video is even comforting, set in the middle of the woods in an abandoned shack of some sort. To support her tone and style, this secluded getaway is what I imagine her fans find in her music: a bit of an escape.
Bennett’s first solo EP is entitled Blind Desire, which encapsulates ‘beyond her years’ to a ‘t’. She also fully wrote, arranged, produced, and provided all instrumentation for this album. In a similar feat, she has 49 videos of the Real Women Real Songs (RWRS) campaign, where each wrote a prompted song-a-week for the entirety of 2014. She also has a few scattered gigs coming this month along the east coast.