Indie Music Blog
For indie music fans or everyone who loves independent music! Here you will find music reviews and other music related topics written by quest and official bloggers. Thanks for taking the time to read these reviews! Artists will appreciate and shares or purchases you can muster! We are only reviewing music we really love and believe others will too so dig in. Comment if you feel so inclined to do so!
My building had its first social distancing party this weekend, six feet apart in the large back yard. Guess who was the first person to get tired and go inside? Yes, I relate intensely to The Other Realm’s new single “Solitaire,” especially its stop-motion video. Enter the Other Realm The Other Realm is the alternative pop/rock project of brothers Kenny and Billie Ward. Quarantine finds them hunkered down in North Haven, Connecticut, where the constraints of confinement gave them the time to truly focus on the video project. “I’m really happy to be locked up,” Kenny says, and it’s impossible to tell if he’s kidding. Both brothers are serious about how a break from routine allowed them to concentrate on visual creativity. Creativity in general isn’t a problem for the duo. Their songs take a humorous, sometimes scathing, look at current ideas, including climate change. If your life includes quoting Patent Pending lyrics, you’ll find another soul mate in The Other Realm. Introversion Is in the Cards “Solitaire” goes right for the gut--and the funny bone--on how introverts experience parties. It turns out Kenny, the duo’s primary lyricist, is writing from experience. Has he also done the introvert thing of spending an entire party communing with the host’s pet? Yes, he has. “At a party of 60 or 70 musicians, I spent the whole night with a pair of golden retrievers,” he recounts. Playing cards come to life through stop motion. They turn out to [...]
Photo credit: Mandi Martini “The superhero always had... something they had to overcome,” says burlesque artist Vivienne LaFlamme. She’s one of the superheroes in the Murderous Chanteuse video, “Made of Candy." The new video recruits Connecticut women artists to fight domestic abuse. Overcoming is a theme of both the video and the artist’s life. Murderous Chanteuse is the alternative-pop persona of singer-songwriter Jennifer Hill. As Jennifer Hill and Company, she was a rising star in the Connecticut music scene in 2015. After taking a break to confront her experiences with emotional abuse, Hill is back in force. "Made of Candy" tackles a tough subject with humor and sequins. Watch it now As you watch, look for 1990s alternative rocker Patti Rothberg as a villain! Admire the sparkling costumes by Kristin Costa. And take a close look at the weapons, created by burlesque prop artist Daniel Surkis. Directed by David Gere and filmed by Ryan Sweeney, the video features locations in northeastern Connecticut (shot before the pandemic). Overcoming “I wanted to do a video that would take back some of the actions I had experienced in life,” explains Hill. Some of the scenes are from pop-culture fantasy, such as Surkis tying up singer-songwriter Nan Roy in his van. However, a real-life experience of one of Hill’s friends inspired the running “date” story that ties the video together. The cast includes a variety of Connecticut artists that Hill knows from twelve years of [...]
Sailors carry a shark’s tooth as a talisman against drowning. In a time when it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, singer-songwriter Kierstin Sieser’s solo album, Shark Tooth Moon, is a seven-song talisman for a journey through deep waters and dark forests. "They are love songs, really," she explains--though not always in a traditional sense. “I think songs are like spells or a subconscious humming—they have a power when you sing them,” Sieser explains. While songs she wrote with band Tiny Ocean were about alienation, these songs emphasize “being seen… being found.” It’s a view achieved through glimpses in mirrors and still reflecting ponds. The lead single, “In the Reading,” starts with a wish to connect. With the feel of a folk song as old as mountains, it spirals into a refrain of “we’re going down and we don’t know how to stop it.” This is a fairytale, though—a place to face down wonders and terrors, a place to solve the riddle. Wait for the last line. Digging for Meaning The pandemic has changed Sieser’s creative process but not her urge to create. Instead of recording at a friend’s studio, she put together her own DIY set-up. “I think now more than ever, we need to create art,” she says. “It lets us dig in the weird, sometimes uncomfortable places in our personal and collective psyche.” Shark Tooth Moon delves deep. “The Guest” shifts from an eerie plea to be seen to a cheerful explanation [...]
“There are days... days spent wondering what makes life worth living.” Connecticut soul/folk/R&B fusion artist Austin James’ new song, “On Life & Love,” begins with guitar and soulful vocals resolving out of discord to ask this question. The song’s journey to release is a story of honesty and love finding a way. In times of trouble, it has special resonance. Its release includes being featured in an Abbott Global commercial--a placement that started with James’ efforts to manage his Type 1 diabetes. In January, James spoke and performed at an Abbott Global event where influencers shared their experiences with the FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitor, designed for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. The device has “completely altered the way I manage my health on the road,” he explains. His story and song so moved Abbott's team that they made a commercial featuring Austin James + The Nomads. Honesty in the Studio “On Life and Love” features a new band assembled from old friends: Michael Spellman (drums), Spencer Belair (bass), and Tanner Watson (lead guitar). Getting them into the studio together was "a divinely magical experience,” James says. His long-time producer, Andy Casella of Shape Recording, worked some of the magic with their skill at “bringing out the best, most honest performances.” Stark honesty is fundamental to the song. Meditative guitar underpins James’ soulful vocals, which turn gritty as the lyric tackles how to give and receive love. The production creates white space, with little [...]
“I wrote it when I was at a precipice in my career and my desire to pursue music seriously,” says pop singer-songwriter Jackie Lipson of her dark-and-danceable new single, “Someday.” Intended as an “honest love letter to herself,” the song tackles self-blame. While it was inspired by a break-up, Lipson notes that it also speaks to the ups and downs of an indie music career. Written with Vanessa Wheeler, the song veers from the traditional empowerment anthem by accepting change isn't one easy leap. “We both were familiar with the feeling of being stuck, of making the ‘wrong’ choices,” Lipson explains. “The love letter also speaks to my career and giving myself the freedom to make mistakes along the way.” Finding Her Way About three years before writing the song, Lipson had made her bold move from the East Coast to Los Angeles. Enthusiasm about the contacts she’d made from a whirlwind experience with NBC’s The Voice gave her drive, but the road was rocky. Her advice to musicians making the move west is to have patience and allow time. Even more vital is finding the right community to support your creative process. She felt isolated until she reached out to other women and queer people working in music. Focusing energy on giving back to her community gave fresh inspiration to her music. “It’s extremely important to me to be a visible representation of an openly queer, plus-sized woman in an industry that doesn’t always [...]
By Candice Anne Marshall IMB - Hello Samantha! Congratulations on becoming the Act Of The Month with Indie Music Bus! Where were you when you first heard about this and what was your reaction? Hi, Candice! Someone from your team informed me on Twitter 🙂 I’m flattered. Thanks a lot for choosing me! IMB - I am in love with the ethereal song ‘Spaceship’ that was released in September 2019. I have read in your bio that you often write lyrics that relate to your travel experiences and ‘touches upon consciousness, morality, and the human condition.’ Can you go a little more in the the travel aspect of your songwriting? Thank you. I travel a lot as it gives me inspiration for my music. Traveling has shown me that there are many beautiful ways one can live in this world and that there’s no one recipe for happiness. It has also exposed me to other more painful sides of life and of humanity. I feel very lucky to travel like I do. Pushing myself outside my comfort zone has led me to unexpected and beautiful places and has been a constant inspiration to me through the years. IMB - As for you writing lyrics that ‘touch upon consciousness, morality, and the human condition’, can you go more into detail on what that means to you in relation to how your fans interpret your music? I’m not sure how my fans [...]