INTERVIEW: Sinclair

Nashville-based artist Sinclair has been in town in LA this week for a bunch of songwriting sessions, meetings with her LA label  and of course, all the pre-Grammy parties. She's worked  with John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, etc) and Nolan Sipe (Kelly Clarkson, The Jonas Brothers, etc)  for her debut EP, Sweet Talk, that came out last year and recently signed with Paradigm.

I got the wonderful chance to meet up with her at the Village Studios earlier this week for a quick chat.

 photo by Shabnam Ferdowsi

photo by Shabnam Ferdowsi

BL: Describe your music for new listeners.

Sinclair: It's fun music with lyrics that are very honest and authentic. 

How has Nashville shaped your music?

Nashville has changed my perspective on storytelling. I've grown to value that more, as a listener and as a songwriter.  I still have a lot of the pop sensibilities, where I'm ok being a little abstract for the sake of feeling.  But I've also learned how amazing the experience of hearing a song with a powerful story can be. 

What's been your favorite show you've ever played so far?

My favorite show with my band was the second show we did with Better Than Ezra. It was our fourth show and it was amazing for a few reasons: the venue was amazing; their sound guy did our sound so it just felt really good on stage; and the crowd was giving such a good sense of feedback even thought hey didn't really know any of the songs. 

What's coming up for you in the next 6 months?

I'm playing SXSW, so we have several showcases there. And then the plan is to really get on the road soon. Meanwhile, I'm writing for a full-length, which is what's happening in these songwriting sessions this week. 

Fun Fact: I use crazy loop pedal technology when I play live with my [3-piece band]


CONNECT WITH SINCLAIR ON THE WEBS

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PREVIEW: My Double, My Brother @ The Satellite 1/12/15

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My Double, My Brother is an independent band based in LA who's  sound I was hooked on to instantly when I heard them for the first time last week. Perfect timing too, since they're playing a free show at The Satellite here in LA tomorrow 1/12/15!

To preview the show, I was able to ask the band a few questions about 2015 and their new album coming out next month. Hit play below and read on. 

For new ears, describe your music in  a few words:

Percussive indie alternative rock.

What's been your favorite show you've ever played so far?

We've played a few shows that have been really fun for us. One that sticks out is several months back we played at Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa (before it was renovated into the Wayfarer) and a bunch of people came out who knew all the songs from our first album and were singing along super loud and acting out all the drum parts. It was a ton of fun to see everyone enjoying the music in a very honest and raw way. It made us feel like we were offering something really special to those people as it was a palpable example of people appreciating something that we care about so much.
 

What can you tell us about your upcoming album? 

We put a lot of work and effort into making it sound how we thought it should sound. It's pretty different from the last album, as I've learned a lot about song writing and poetry within the past few years, and we have all grown as musicians. The songs sound more refined and more honest, in some senses, and I think because of that, this album is a lot more effective in conveying a certain ethos. The album has a certain arc to it so that the songs, both in lyrical and musical content, function to play off of each other and contrast each other, not in the sense of telling a story, but more in a sense of creating a space where ideas and emotions become merged together; ideas and emotions that I hope people will be able to feel and think. 
 

How has your sound changed since the band formed? 

I think our sound has had a sort of consistency to it since we started writing music several years ago, but I think throughout the years we've developed more of a sensitivity to pop sensibilities and writing music that is fun to listen to and easy to digest. We've always been very critical with our work and have tried to create music that is interesting and pleasing, but our roots are kind of in more esoteric forms of art and music. I think in the past we really praised more avant-garde forms of art and our music was an attempt to flesh out those ideals, but recently we've attempted to primarily operate under the notion of writing for accessibility and for enjoyability, then expanding on that in the most creative and interesting ways that we see fit.

What else can we look forward to from My Double, My Brother in 2015?

Well, first and foremost, the album comes out February 10th, but then after that we plan to do a series of mini-tours up the coast and what not, and possibly a tour in the summer.


CONNECT WITH MY DOuBLE MY BROTHER

Website // Facebook // Twitter

 

 

Local Spotlight: Soft Swells

"Sun drenched indie rock in the vein of classic songwriters with modern sounds."
- Soft Swells

What has been the best part about your residency at The Echo?

Besides getting to hang with our new friends Fenech-Soler every week I really have loved playing all these new songs. It's been great fun discovering what will work live and what won't. Christopher Pappas, Kyle Fredrickson, Jack Lawless and I have really tried to keep our set uptempo and high energy. It's also been rad to see what people who liked the debut record think of the new record - as it's so different.

What’s one thing you want your fans to take away from your music, specially the new album?

I want both new fans and old fans to take away a sense of hope from Floodlights. A lot of the record is about the journey we all go through in life and the perspective we choose to give it.

As a band, what’s on your bucket list?

As a newish band we would really love to play venues we grew up loving like 9:30 club in DC, Newport Music Hall in Columbus (where I went to HS) and The Wiltern here in LA. We would also love to tour Japan and the UK next year - fingers crossed on those two!!!

What are you looking for in your upcoming tour?

We are really looking forward to exposing a lot of new people to our band, our new record Floodlights, and winning new fans over one by one every night. We have all toured and played in other bands before and know that as people consume and dispose of new music quickly it's important to make a one on one genuine connection with everyone we meet. (and we will do just that!)


Soft Swells is playing their last LA residency show at the Echo on Monday 9/22, you won't want to miss them before they head out on tour!

 

CONNECT WITH SOFT SWELLS

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Artist Spotlight: Bats in The Belfree

"Our music is a mix of chill surf vibe and driving complex progressive rock, often distorted, with some pop influenced melodic sequences and an easy to listen and dance to rhythm."

Who: Christian Von Hamm, Riley Sieverts, Kimo Carpenter

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

How did you come up with the band name?

We we're going through a period of time where we were a gigging band with a set list of originals and a name that would change every other gig. We figured this probably wasn't a good idea if we're trying to establish ourselves and gain a consistent following. One of us just learned about the phrase "bats in the belfry" which means crazy. We all figured that was the perfect description of what we are, so it stuck as a band name.Then for some reason we decided to change the spelling to "Belfree".

Who and what has influenced your music the most?

We gain influence from many different things in everyday life. The constant struggle of surviving in a dog eat dog, money driven society, fuels us to create music for ourselves and others to comfort and inspire. We take bits and pieces of the beauty of Mother Nature, surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, love, relationships, and more. Musically we're inspired by all types of music and heavily influenced by artists such as Bob Marley, Nirvana, Rush, Black Sabbath, Blink 182, Coheed And Cambria, The Police, Groundation, and many more. 

If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would it be?

If we could collaborate with any musician dead or alive it would probably be Bob Marley. He was just a brilliant songwriter with such a strong impact in all of our lives. It would be really cool to see what kind of music we could create with the reggae and rock collaboration. 

As a band, what's on your bucket list?

We want to be playing on the biggest stages and festivals in the world, touring and spreading our music and message to as many people as possible.

CONNECT WITH BATS IN THE BELFREE

Website // Facebook // iTunes

Local Spotlight: Young Creatures- Foreigner

Who: Mikey Escalante (Drums), Spencer King (Bass), Mike Post (Vocals/Guitar), Andrew Gleason (Guitar/Vocals)

Where: Los Angeles, CA

Today's local spotlight is on Young Creatures who released their self-proclaimed "psychedelic pop" single last week. "Foreigner" is a groovy tune, with a bass-line that'll make your head bop and electric guitar stylings that'll make you want to flow with the funk. 

Hit the beach, grab some speakers and take a listen here:

CONNECT WITH YOUNG CREATURES

Website / Facebook / Twitter  / Bandcamp

Artist Spotlight: The Moderates

Who: Josh Taylor (guitar, lead vocals), Wes Mathison (bass) and Garret Huff (drums)

Where: Long Beach, CA

In One Sentence: "We're an alternative, indie-rock band who is seeking to be the best that we can be; push ourselves, captivate people and make a difference."

How they met

Wes: " I knew Josh in 3rd grade, when we first met. And we just hung out by default because our parents were friends and we were both homeschooled. We just grew up playing music together. And once we got into high school, I met Garrett on the wrestling team and just hit it off right off the bat. [...] I went to his house one day; he had a drum set and I was like, "I have a guitar we should jam!" So we started jamming together, and then we brought Josh into the mix. Then we got that great idea and went, "Let's start a band."

Musical Influences

Garrett: "We listen to all kinds of different things, and when we come together  [...] we put all of our musical influences together into one moderate sound."

Dream Collaborations

Josh: Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. 

Wes: Victor Wooten.

Garrett:  Taylor Hawking of the Foo Fighters.

Dream Venue

Red Rocks in Colorado. "Outdoor, completely natural, [...] carved out of the rock."

Bucket List

Josh: "I say Solar System Tour. Let's play on Mars" 

But in all seriousness, the guys would love to go on a  World Tour. 

CONNECT WITH THE MODERATES

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Soundcloud

DISCOVER: Lovelife- Nova

by Shabnam Ferdowsi

Lovelife calls their own music "Voluptuous heart wrenching pop that will leave you sobbing and clinging to your diary on the bathroom floor. " They couldn't have said it better.The band just released their newest single, "Nova",  showing hints of the same dark yet head bopping electropop flair. Press play below and read on.

How did you come up with the band name?

Lovelife was formed in the wake of two major relationships. Lee and Ally had just ended long term stints and the music reflected that.

If you could collaborate with any artists, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

We’ve been lucky enough to work with some really fantastic artists over the last few years, and I think we like to work with anyone that shares the same passion as us. Who knows who we’ll cross paths with in the future… David Bowie? Elton John? 

As a band, what’s on your bucket list?

We’ve played at a lot of festivals around the world, not necessarily together but in other bands, one of which none of us have done is Coachella. We’re really hoping to get over there some time soon. And I guess we want to play in space? Have Muse done that yet? Maybe we could open? 

CONNECT WITH LOVELIFE

Website // Facebook  // Tumblr

An Interview w/ Brightener

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brightener is led by Will Sturgeon, a musician based in Southern California. We were able to chat with him in Los Angeles over a cup of tea.

 How did you come up with the name Brightener?

 So I used to put out music under the name ‘Will Sturgeon’ up until Brightener, because that’s my given name. So as ‘Will Sturgeon’ I put out a bunch of Youtube videos and I put out an EP. And you know, it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t awful. So some people around the world heard about it, which was cool. In 2009 when I put the EP out, I remember [a fan from Germany] wrote on my Facebook page, “Hey, really like your music. Me and my friends call you the brightener,  because your music brightens up our day!” I was like, that’s pretty cool!

So that stayed in my mind until I didn’t want to be a singer-songwriter. I wanted my music to transcend the idea of coming from a person, even though my music is very personal.

I didn’t want to have the weird complex where if people started to really like my music, they’d be like “Oh man, I love Will Sturgeon!” when they don’t actually know who I am, or anything about me or my personality, and that to me wouldn’t be great to keep my ego in check.

Tell us what your process was like in creating your brand for Brightener and the Make Real Friends EP.

Branding is a hard thing. It’s supposed to represent the music. People see the images while they listen to the music, and that subtly affects them. My Brightener branding has come specifically from one person’s eye: my friend, Sasha Young. She’s a photographer and we happen to live in the same city, so we do photoshoots very once in a while She has a great eye, and a great eye for color. She took this photoshoot about a year ago, like right before I put out my EP. There was a picture of me that I really liked and I thought it was a good idea to have my face as part of the initial branding so that people could understand who they’re connecting to.

If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Default answer: Paul McCartney. He was just so great and influenced everyone’s music, as well as my own.

But I would love to write a song with Robin Pecknold, who’s the singer of Fleet Foxes.

There’s also a kid, Louis Cole, who I know personally and haven’t collaborated with. I could probably make that happen but I’m just too intimated. So if you’re ever reading this Louis, consider this an offer. I’ll hit you up

How is your album going to be different than your EP?

My next album was more or less written before my EP was. All but 3 out of ten of the songs were written before I even started recording my EP last year. It’s been a long time coming; I just never had the resources or energy to present them in their best fashion. I’m excited to put it out. This is going to have a much more mellow vibe, more down-tempo songs. It’s going to be much prettier than rock-y, although there will be some songs that rock.

Who are you listening to right now?

I just went to Coachella, and I think Disclosure is really good. I also saw a lot of other electronic acts there, and  am kind of getting into the white boy dancing vibe.

Bu otherwise, Courtney Barnett is an amazing songwriter, great lyrics;

Bombay Bicycle Club.

So mostly people I saw at Coachella…and myself.

Oh and my buddy John Gudenzi, from the Miracals just released two songs, and they’re really great.

So what’s next?

I’ve mentioned I’m working on an album, full-on for about five months. I’m really excited for it to be almost out of my hands. I’m going to run a crowd funding campaign to help fund it.  I’m trying to make it as legitimate and beautiful as I think it deserves to be, but that costs money.

I’m going on a small tour in May  to play a bunch of living room shows with this girl Julia Nunes, which will be fun.

Then I’m going to try to move back to LA, and see what happens with this record. I may want to shop it around to some labels,  see what they can do to help spread it. 

But it all really depends on the momentum that it gets and if people like it.

So I hope you, the reader, enjoy it. 

An Interview w/ The Casket Girls

What inspires your songwriting?

Dreams, absinthe and the desire to consciously connect to the collective unconscious. Perfect little soul, stuck in the middle. Elemental blow, speaking in riddle.

 How were you able to hone in on your own distinct style?

Ryan and us are coming from such different places that our unlikely marriage bears strange fruit without our interference. 

If you get collaborate with any musician (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

A Bulgarian women’s choir. The voice of angels.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

European tour!

Who are you listening to right now?

Siri telling us the way to San Jose 

CONNECT with The Casket Girls!

website //  facebook // twitter

An Interview w/ Andrew Barrack

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What inspires your songwriting?

Writing songs is always interesting for me, I really never know when inspiration will strike. Sometimes I get inspired by an interesting lyric I hear from a song and create a song off how I interpreted that lyric or sometimes right when I’m trying to go to an idea will pop into my head. I remember the first song I wrote was at a super random time, I was in the grocery store with my family and I had an idea for a song so I just started typing it down on my phone. I can never predict when inspiration will find me, but when it does I’ll find an instrument or start writing before the idea escapes me.

How were you able to hone in on your own distinct style?

Somehow my songs always end up having a lot of ‘7’ chords, so I guess I like to incorporate jazz chords as the start of whatever song I’m writing, but I think it’s the music that I listen to that rubs off on me stylistically. Listening to Artists like Andy Grammer, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer has really shaped my sound to what it is. I do think that my recently released EP, High Off of Love, is a little random in terms of what style every song is, but as I’m writing songs for my next release I’m still trying to find my own unique sound that is something new and refreshing. I think that’s something that can take some time for artists to figure out, so for now I’ll stick with this Jazzy-Pop feel I have going on now and see where that takes me.

 If you get collaborate with any musician (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

This is always a tough question to answer. I think I’ll have to go with Jason Mraz on this one. He has amazing skill both on instruments and vocally and he also got his start from my hometown of San Diego. It would be quite an experience to collaborate with him and find out how he got to where he is today.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

I’m looking forward to the unexpected. With the new EP, I finally have something people can listen to, which they like; so now it’s just a matter of what can I do to get me to the next level. Playing shows is something that I always look forward too so be prepared for a lot of those.

Who are you listening to right now?

Young the Giant just came out with a new album so that’s been getting played here and there. I currently rediscovered my liking of Sugar Ray’s music, so that’s been a nice throwback and I’ve also been listening to a lot of Gary Clark Jr. due to a recent discovery of his music…he’s crazy good.

Connect with Andrew!

Facebook // Twitter // Soundcloud // Bandcamp 

An Interview w/ Cillie Barnes

What inspires your songwriting?

Short stories.

The most recent I’ve read thanks to my roommate Ana is called, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I’ve also been watching True Detective where they discuss “The Yellow King” which is taken from Robert W. Chambers. Yellow walls have always driven me mad, and I’m glad I’m not alone in this. I’m about to start writing now and there are yellow lily’s on the table in front of me. So all things yellow, currently. Minus that Coldplay song.

How were you ale to hone in on your own distinct style?

Still figuring it out.. I just do what feels right in the moment.

If you get collaborate with any musician (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

Bradley Nowell

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

Getting older, eating better, making better art, seeing the world, falling in love, planting a garden, buying goats.

Who are you listening to right now?

Right now, right now? Alex Ebert.

LA! Make sure to check out Cillie at the Satellite on Monday February 24! Free show.

website // facebook

An Interview w/ The Shilohs

How’s your next album different than So Wild?

Let’s see…

Mushroom Studios, reverb chambers, violins, ladies singing. Dan wrote two songs for this one. We’re also four years older…but not wiser or anything like that. 

What inspires your songwriting? How do you collaborate together?

Inspiration is difficult. I don’t know where it comes from. People in my life I suppose. Extreme emotions. Highs and lows. Dan and Mike will have different answers maybe. These days the three of us write by ourselves and collaborate with Ben when we bring the song in to practice. It really grows legs when we develop it together.

If you could play at any venue in the world, where would that be and why?

The superbowl halftime show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers joining in would be something. Heh. There are dozens of clubs and settings we’d love to play I’m sure. hard to pick just one. When I was younger I used to always want to play one of Neil Young’s Bridge School concerts because I went every year.

 What are you looking forward to about going on tour?

Warm weather, live grateful dead albums on the highway, California, fish tacos, playing with a great band like Real Estate and hanging with them. Oh, and Miller High Life. 

Who are you listening to right now?

 At this precise moment I’m listening to Nat King Cole sing Route 66. Last time I saw Dan he was playing “It’s only Rock and Roll” by The Rolling Stones and Kendrick Lamar. Mike told me he heard Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down The Line” on the radio the other day and had a moment. Ben may or may not be listening to the book on tape of Tom Clancy’s “Threat Vector” but I hope he’s saving it for the tour.

CONNECT with The Shilohs!

Website

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Facebook

An Interview w/ The Naked and Famous

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Answers by Thom Powers:

What was your inspiration behind In Rolling Waves?

Touring, living full time as a musician, the past, the present, the future, Passive Me, Aggressive You, success, failure, love, sex, trust, compassion, friendship, hunger, boredom and of course a sense of gratitude and responsibility to our wonderful fans.

How was it different than your first album?

We had less time, more resources, more refined skills, more refined ambitions and a desire to challenge ourselves as performers, song writers, producers and engineers.

Could you say your songwriting has changed or developed in the past two years?

Definitely. Where I normally would’ve remained fixated on production, timbre, layering and mixing, I tried to re-focus myself with basic songwriting: chords, lyrics and melody. We definitely tried to create greater dynamic impact with In Rolling Waves, both sonically and emotionally. Sticking to a very performance-friendly sonic template helped us achieve this. All the songs are “live” songs. Between the 5 of us we can perform each and every part. 

What’s been your favorite part about touring?

I think being able to meet fans is pretty special. Especially when they’re not expecting it! It’s hard to pick a favorite part though… the entire experience is a privilege.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

Coachella, More touring, Coachella again, The Governors Ball, Europe in the summer, American winters, writing, demoing, recording new music… making it through to 2015!

CONNECT with The Naked and Famous!

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// 

Facebook

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witter

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Youtube

Interview w/ The Royal Concept

 Just in time for their concert in Los Angeles on Thursday, December 12, I was lucky enough to get in a few questions with the Stockholm-based band, The Royal Concept.

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Answers by Filip Bekic

How did you hone in on your own distinct stye?

All four of us came from different corners of music, Magnus grew up with

lots of Jazz, Povel lots of Electronica and David and I came from a more

singer/songwriter direction, so when we all got together we mixed and

shared all these experiences and that’s what became The Royal Concept.

Like any band there were a few detours but after a while everything just

clicked.

What’s your songwriting process like?

In the beginning David, the singer, did most of the groundwork and then

showed it to Filip and Filip wrote the lyrics. Then we arranged and

produced it all together.

But things have changed recently in a good way. Everyone is writing more

on their own and it feels great.

So the song writing process will definitely develop in the future and the

next record.

What inspires you?

Love and Life. People we meet on the road and stories, articles and books

we read. We lived crazier lives a few years ago with lots of partying and

decadent shit. Now we mostly sit in a tour bus having anxiety over

turning 30 soon so the next album might be a melancholic one. Love and

misery is always our main subjects.

What’s your favorite part about touring?

Playing shows!

If you could play at any venue in the world, where would that be?

Every venue has its own charm. We’d love to play Hollywood Bowl but then

it’s gotta be packed. Otherwise we’d feel pretty alone :)

So it all depends on the circumstances. For now a packed, sold out

Grammercy Theatre in New York was a dream come true!

If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it that be?

David always says that if Joni Mitchell is up for a duet his life would

be complete.

What are you currently working on?

We’re touring North America right now and then we’re going back to Europe

to do some shows. We’ll have a couple of weeks off in February when we’ll

probably go to Filips home country Croatia and try to write and record

some new stuff. We’ve kind of grown tired of our own songs so we need new

stuff.

What can we except from The Royal Concept in the near future?

Shows, passion, cannonballs, fireworks and albums!

Connect with The Royal Concept

Website // Facebook //  Twitter

An Interview w/ The Lonely Wild.

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"Rarely does a young band emerge with a combination of skills, talents and vision fully developed. But the LA-based quintet The Lonely Wild is that true gem who’s writing and arranging talents are only surpassed by its members’ ability to work seamlessly as a singular, dynamic voice.

Picking up solid momentum from their critically acclaimed debut EP, Dead End, The Lonely Wild quickly made a name for themselves in and around greater LA with fans such as Nic Harcourt (KCSN), Chris Douridas (KCRW) and Kevin Bronson (BuzzBands LA) on board. and opening for John Doe, Damien Rice, Phosphorescent, The Elected, Laura Marling and Lord Huron in addition to their highly successful residency at Silverlake’s famed Satellite.

The Lonely Wild’s The Sun As It Comes is a record that reflects upon the times in which we live while taking the listener on a sonic journey of impressive heights.”

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Someone said we have a Laurel Canyon vibe with the intensity of a big city. I think that fits. 

I’m inspired by people and their stories. Most songs I write are about people I know, or experiences I’ve had, but I’m also inspired by what I read in the news, social injustice, and how we as a society react to these things. The origins of our songs are usually very simple, often just starting with voice and guitar. Sometimes the melody comes first, sometimes the words, and sometimes the chords come first and the melody is constructed afterward. Some songs come all at once, and I have to stop what I’m doing and just try to keep up with myself to get it all out before it’s lost. Other songs are labored over and take months to complete. There’s no one perfect formula. But in order to make them Lonely Wild songs, I pull bits and pieces, from a large pallet for the arrangements. I take from rock music, folk, impressionism, minimalism, choral music, old film scores—whatever will best serve the mood of the song, in the most unique way I can imagine. I demo the tune, and bring it to the group where it continues to morph and coalesce as we work out the parts. 

Right now, I’d really like to collaborate with John McEntire. Tortoise is one of my favorite bands, and he’s produced a slew of fantastic records. I love his ability to take what could be a very simple or boring arrangement and freak it out, and take it to new, uncharted sonic territory. I also love the way drums sound on his records. I would love to get in a studio with him and hear what comes out.

We’re currently working on our next record. We’ve got lots of new material and more coming every day. In the next few months, you can expect another video to roll out from 

The Sun As It Comes

 album, and a lot more touring in 2014. 

-Andrew Carroll (Lonely Wild’s lead vocals)

CONNECT with The Lonely Wild

Twitter // Website //  Facebook

LA  peeps, check them out Friday, Nov 8th at The Echoplex! 

An Interview with Soft Swells.

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You know, not every band born on the sunny shores of the west coast winds up sounding like the Beach Boys. Take for instance the indie-pop surf-inspired Soft Swells. Named after the smaller, smoother waves Tim Williams (the singer/songwriter behind the LA based band) looks for when he is surfing, Soft Swells is an upbeat, poppier take on indie music. You could attribute Tim “falling in love and finding true happiness” as the reason for the hopeful slant on his newest release, an EP entitled Lifeboats. Perhaps you are already familiar with the song and EP, as they have been featured in a recent nationwide ad campaign for Best Buy (if you skip fast-forwarding commercials on the TiVO once in a while, you’d be amazed what you can learn). Mostly recorded in Tim’s Los Feliz apartment and producer Dave Lynch’s studio in Lewes, England (as well as some pick-up sessions in Hollywood and Ann Arbor, MI) Soft Swells recordings are achieved by Tim and Dave “sending parts back and forth.” Sure Tim does all of the writing, but this puddle jumping collaboration works amazingly well for the band. Tim creates the songs, then off to Dave for some sound rounding-out and polish. The new EP features a remix of the original “Lifeboats” track by Jon Visger (Absofacto, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.), a few more original tunes and even a cover of T-Rex’s “Children of a Revolution.”

Having released three solo albums with NYC based Dovecote Records, Tim wasn’t sure what he would do next with his music when circumstances moved him from NY to Nashville to his current place in LA. Without a band in mind, he started writing songs again, and after playing them for Chip and Erin Adams at Modern Outsider, was convinced that he should head into the recording studio. In February of 2012 Soft Swells released their first album to the acclaim of everyone from MTV to TIME magazine and USA Today to Consequence of Sound. Influenced by the Brit-pop he loved growing up (Definitely Maybe was the first album that hit him in the chest) his obvious love of melodies, hooks and sentiment shine through with each track. Soft Swells plays to consistently packed houses in LA with an incredible live band featuring Kyle Fredrickson, Matt Mayhall and Christopher Pappas that brings to life the meticulous studio sound perfected by Tim and Dave. And keep an eye out (or two if you can spare ‘em) for the video for “Lifeboats,” directed by Anthony Garth and featuring O’Neill surf team member Bree Kleintop.

Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth has said “once the music leaves your head it’s already compromised.” That’s fine if you feel like music is an entirely personal endeavor for the artist. Tim certainly doesn’t feel that way. “I don’t think a song or recording is completed until it hits someone’s ears… The experience is only complete when a listener gives their input – a smile, a head nodding or whatever reaction a person has.”

Soft Swells’ lead singer, Tim Williams, was awesome enough to answer a few questions for us!

Why do you make music?

I don’t have a choice. I make music like I breathe, eat and sleep. It is something that is so engrained in my being that I need it to live. 

How did you find your style?

A lot of people describe us as surf rock but I don’t necessarily think our location equates to our sound. That said, when I was recording solo records under “Tim Williams” while living in NYC the music was less sunny. I definitely think the sound/style of the band is largely due to my ongoing collaborations with English producer Dave Lynch.

Who/What inspires you (in songwriting and in life!)?

My new wife Sabrina is definitely the most inspiring thing in my life. Her creativity knows no bounds and pushes me to work harder when I write songs for Soft Swells. 

What’s the next big thing coming up for Soft Swells we should know about?

We just got back from recording and playing shows in England!!! Our new record is in the mixing phase and will be coming out early next year. STOKED!!!

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