Friday, September 30, 2022

INTERVIEW | 'It's All For The Sake of the Band, It's All For the Sake of Being An Artist' - KEEP YOUR SECRETS Talk Beginnings, Touring and New Single

(L-R: Jasiu, Malerie, Matt, Ken || Photo Credit: Camille Brayshaw)

Keep Your Secrets
are one of music's best kept secrets. 

High-energy pop-punk hailing from DC. A female fronted, all POC band, they are Malerie Gamblin, Matt Nguyen-Ngo, Ken Tilar and Jasiu Mich

Initially a cover band, they gained momentum after attracting the attention of  TikTok star EmoJoesph. Expanding, they started releasing their own original music, including the superb EP Let's Face It, We're Lost (2021). This summer past saw them embark on their first tour and they've just released 'Concussed', their new track.

I was fortunate to have some time to chat to them about their early days, their tour experiences and more!


Keep Your Secrets started as a covers band and, back then, it was just Malerie and Matt. Was this original formation and idea just a way to scratch an itch to perform? Or was it a means of testing the waters as to creating original music?

Malerie: For me, yeah, I think it was to scratch an itch to do some music and honestly not go crazy in my house during the pandemic. I remember texting Matt a long time ago before starting the band, pre-pandemic, like ‘dude, do you wanna do pop-punk?’. He was like ‘oh, I’m in so many other bands, I’ll have to think about it’ *laughs*. Matt is in so many bands, he kills it. Then, later during the pandemic, he texts me saying ‘you still wanna do pop-punk?’.

Matt: I had just moved back to the DC area from Richmond. I had left some of the bands Malerie was talking about so I didn’t have anything to do. I was living in Virginia near DC and had started a new job and all that. Right when the pandemic happened, I was cooped up in my house and doing nothing. I was like ‘oh Malerie lives here!’. If I recall correctly, right before the pandemic hit, originally Malerie wanted to make not just a covers YouTube channel but a covers band and play in bars. She already had a drummer from Craigslist. I also play bass so I was like ‘I’ll do bass’. For some reason that cover band imploded so we decided to do stuff online.

Malerie: It was wack, honestly. We tried to do one cover to test the waters, it was an easier Paramore song--.

Matt: It was ‘crushcrushcrush’ or something?

Malerie: Yeah, and the drummer was like ‘nah, I can’t do this’. Then nobody messaged or talked to each other, [and] there weren't even any guitarists. Like, alright this wasn’t even a band anyway so we just stopped doing anything. We never did anything, really, but we had a name! We were called Home Alone.

Matt: Oh really? I forgot about that.

Malerie: I thought it was a good name!

When, and why, did you decide to make that jump from a covers duo to expanding and putting out your own stuff?

Matt: I think…was that around the shoutout?

I already had, just because stuff is always popping into my head, some chord progressions and random hooks here and there for original stuff that was not really intended for anything. Originally, yeah, we were having fun making covers but I had some original stuff in the ether. Then the shoutout happened and we were like ‘oh, we should make a real band!’ so I dusted off all the old files.

Malerie: Yeah because when the shoutout happened, did we have two songs out? I think we had two covers out.

Matt: It depends on what you count as ‘being out’. We had more than two videos but we had two on Spotify.

How did you guys first meet?

Matt: I was in a pop-punk band back in 2016, that’s how I met Malerie. We had her come sing a set with us. There was this place that did house shows and, every week or every other week, they had these cover nights and they were themed. One of the themes was movies. Me and my old band wanted to do New Found Glory’s cover of ‘My Heart Will Go On’ but it was too high for any of us. We had just met Malerie.

Malerie: I had tanked a cover night.

Matt: Oh, that’s right.

Malerie: I don’t know why you guys reached out to me *laughs*

Matt: *laughs But that turned out really well, obviously.

It was probably quite a weird time to launch a band, right? What with all the uncertainty around Covid.

Matt: I remember conversations at the beginning of the band, before Ken and Jaisu joined, right after EmoJoesph posted his shoutout and it was me, Malerie, Kyle and a friend, McKenzie, who left really early on. We were like ‘this will blow over by summertime and we’ll be playing shows!’ *laughs*. It was definitely a weird time to start a band but we could still put out music - and we did.

As an independent band who are also holding down regular jobs, how do you find the balance between music and real life?

Jasiu: I kinda live a double life in that sense. I work for a music retailer website. The way I find balance is, I guess, using my employee discount…it’s the little things.

Ken: I’m lucky enough to have a workplace that supports my band. I work a corporate office job and they come out to the shows. They’re like ‘when’s your next show, we’ll try and come out’ which is really cool. It’s really convenient and I lucked out on that. It’s still hard, as I’ll play a show one night and have to be in the office by 6:30 the next day. It’s hard but it’s doable.

Malerie: People are talking about that whole ‘quiet quitting’ which is just doing what your job is and not working over - which doesn’t sound like quitting to me, it sounds like doing your job. I do my job and then, at 5, [I'm] done. I encourage the rest of my staff to do the same thing too so it’s not just me, [and] that it’s a healthy work environment where people know you should have a work-life balance - whether you’re in a band or a dance team, or you have a family. You shouldn’t be working the hours that you’re not paid to work.

Matt: For me, for the actual work hours, it’s a little bit easier as I’m a substitute teacher - I literally choose my hours. If we’re playing far away or something and I’m going to get home really late then I’ll take a half day the next day or just choose not to take a sub job. But there’s limitations to that, as I do need to make money! *laughs* I often find myself subbing five days a week and, on show days, once I get out [I’ll] be like ‘time to pack the drums!’

Jasiu: And not to be cheesy or anything but, this is a new thing for a lot of us…oh damn, I’m sounding like the old head now. 

Matt: Here we go…

Jasiu: I think for me, being in bands in general has been like…I could be shovelling all day and it almost doesn’t matter. Everything I do working or any of that stuff, it’s all for the sake of the band. It’s all for the sake of being an artist. Everyone has to work, right? We’re working but we put our free time and our resources towards doing this really cool thing. It’s so worth it. It’s a lot cooler than doing nothing.

Matt: Especially for me. Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve been like ‘what do I actually want to do?’ Not my major, no. I want to play music. I’m in the same mindset as Jasiu.

You mentioned shows and, of course, you just wrapped your first tour this summer. What was that experience like for you? Was this your first touring experience as individuals, too?

Ken: Overall, it was really stressful but the results were better than anything I could have asked for. Each night we were in this different city that I’d never really been to, and we’re playing our music to people. It was really cool, and it’s still unreal to me saying that we’ve just got off tour. This is the first band I’ve ever been in so it was my first experience of touring. It was stressful and crazy but definitely worth it.

Malerie: As somebody else that’s never toured, I feel the same way. Super stressful. But I feel like once we started getting into the travel and once we oiled up the machine, I felt a little less stressed. We figured out a rhythm. What was really stressful was the pre-tour. We don’t have any kind of manager or tour manager, we don’t have anyone creating contracts. Also, on the tour, we didn’t have a set bill so we were also reaching out to bands in each city and seeing if they were available to play the shows with us. 

Oh yeah, and this was crazy. When we got to Boston, there was a guy there who was like ‘oh my god, are you in Keep Your Secrets? I’ve been listening to you guys since you came out’. He was singing along to the words, he was fingerpointing, he was really into it. I was just shook by that. There was also somebody like that when we were in Brooklyn, too. 

Ken: He drove two hours to see us. That’s insane.

Malerie: That’s what made it so much easier for me after we had that experience in Boston. There is a reason that we are out there doing this. We’ll make new fans and, we never know, there could be fans already out there who are waiting for us to come around.

Matt: It’s September and I’m still wrapping my head around that. 

Jasiu: We’re itching to go back on the road. I’ve had a couple of tours myself but I think this one was the most fun. It was a great time.

As well as a tour, you released an EP, 2021’s Let’s Face It, We’re Lost - an EP that I absolutely adore. What was the recording process for that like?

Jasiu: So easy for me.

Ken: It was too easy for me and Jasiu.

Jasiu: I’m not even on it!

Matt: *laughs* Ken and Jasiu joined the band during the release cycle but the actual recording was done before they joined the band.

This was during the pandemic and I was living with my parents in Virginia. I was literally in my bedroom, plugged into my recording setup and tracking there, the guitars and the programming. Kyle, our old bassist, mostly remotely recorded bass. For the first two singles, I’m sure Malerie…were you in your bedroom or your closet? It was something, remotely tracking vocals.

Malerie: Yeah, I had a basement setup but once I no longer lived there, I was like ‘shoot, what do I do?’ Then I started recording in my friend’s closet. It was weird but it worked, I guess! That’s why you’ll hear the vocal quality change once I started recording at Jasiu’s house, which is also our practice space/vocal recording set-up.

Matt: Which was after that EP. Yeah, very extremely low budget DIY.

Your new single, ‘Concussed’ is out September 30th. How would you describe it?

Ken: It’s best described as: if you don’t get a concussion to this song then you’re not listening to it right.

Malerie: Or at least whiplash.

Matt: It’s definitely our most moshable song so far.

Ken: It’s angry but it sounds happy

Malerie: It’s a super punchy fingerpoint-y song. We’ve had people [during] songs fingerpoint at us which makes me really happy. There’s a lot of gang vocals so people can get involved and sing along.

Jasiu: To me, as far as this band’s catalog, it’s the most post-hardcore leaning thing I feel that we’ve written, with our signature on it.

Malerie: Super post-hardcore vibes with lyrical melodies and punchy vocals. I feel the whole floaty lyrical lines are interesting in that style of music, so I think that makes it unique in that way.

Looking forward, especially as we approach 2023, what’s in the future for Keep Your Secrets?

Jasiu: Touring more, writing more, recording more…tuning my guitar more.

Ken: The main focus, at least for the coming months, is promoting our new EP and the new single, and actually work on advertising and promoting it. We definitely plan on hopefully touring next year with a full line-up.

Malerie: We’re working with friends, who have done our other music videos and photography in the past, to do music videos - at least one! We’ll see what else we can finesse. That’ll be really fun.

Matt: Definitely for this EP cycle, a major theme is a level up. I guess we’re trying to do it more, I don’t know what the right word is…right? Do it right? I don’t know.

Ken: Enhance.

Malerie: Yeah.

Matt: Put out content, music videos and stuff that are like, you know, ‘these guys are a real band’. I don’t know the word but to just level up in our presentation.

Malerie: And networking and working with people in the industry. Before, like literally in the very, very beginning, it was just me and Matt. Then it turned into me, Matt, Ken and Jasiu trying to figure it all out on our own. Now it’s us. We do now have connections from playing and meeting people who do have expertise so it’s really nice. You can hear it evolve, and that’s why I’m so excited for this one to come out.


'Concussed' is out today.

Stay up to date on all things Keep Your Secrets via their website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Nate Smith Drops Highly Anticipated New Song 'I Found You'

Arista Nashville/Sony Music Nashville breakout star Nate Smith released his highly anticipated new song on Friday, 'I Found You'

Written by Nate alongside Chris Gelbuda and Kyle Schlienger, the song was first introduced to Nate’s fanbase on his social media earlier this year and has since created incredible demand from his followers. Listen here.

''I Found You' is a song about timing and redemption. There’s nothing more affirming to a heart then when someone sees you with all your faults and still chooses you, and that’s what this song is about,' Nate said. 'I really believe in my heart that everything happens for a reason, and when it’s right, it’s right. I really hope people connect to it in a special and personal way!'

'I Found You' is the follow up to Nate’s current single 'Whiskey On You'. Upon the songs release, Nate re-entered Billboard's Emerging Artists chart at No. 1, becoming the top emerging act in the US for the first time. Lauded as the 'breakup song of the summer' by Country Now and 'an enormously satisfying country kiss-off anthem' by Stereogum, 'Whiskey On You' amassed over 7.5 million total global on-demand streams in its first week, reaching No. 10 on the Country On-Demand Streaming Chart. The track also debuted at No. 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 14 on the Hot Country Songs chart, marking Smith’s first career entry on the chart.

'Whiskey On You' is currently Top 25 and climbing on the US country radio charts and recently hit No. 1 on SiriusXM The Highway’s Hot 30 Countdown. The track has amassed over 90 million total on-demand streams to date.


For more information about Nate, visit his website.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Sean McConnell Announces Rescheduled 2022 European Dates, Starting October 15th

Following the release of his critically-acclaimed album, A Horrible Beautiful Dream last year, Nashville singer-songwriter Sean McConnell returns to the UK for eight rescheduled headline shows in October, with an additional date in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Limited tickets are on sale for all dates now.

'Alright, UK and Netherlands. I’m finally headed back your way in October and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been dreaming of this for two years. Let’s pick up where we left off shall we? Spread the word, grab your tickets, and I’ll see you very soon.'

Tour Dates

Sat., 13 October - Rozenknopje, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Mon., 17 October - The Louisiana | Bristol, United Kingdom

Tues., 18 October - The Courtyard Theatre | London, United Kingdom

Wed., 19 October - The Latest Music Bar | Brighton, United Kingdom

Fri., 21 October - The Listening Room | Thame, United Kingdom

Sun., 23 October - King Tut's | Glasgow, United Kingdom

Mon., 24 October - The Star & Garter | Manchester, United Kingdom

Wed., 26 October - Mill Hill Chapel | Leeds, United Kingdom

Thu., 27 October - The Globe | Newcastle, United Kingdom

A revered songwriter and producer, McConnell has written for Christina Aguilera, Plain White T's (“Wonders Of The Younger”), Michael Franti, Brett Young (including Young’s double-platinum hit “Mercy”), Tim McGraw, Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne, Ashley Ray’s critically acclaimed (Stereogum's #8 Best Country Album of 2020, NPR's #26 Top Album of 2020) Pauline — which he co-wrote and produced — and more.

A Horrible Beautiful Dream, approaches the difficult task of asking questions of what one really thinks they know, in the simultaneous struggle of not being afraid of the answers that emerge. Musically, the project wraps McConnell’s rich voice in moments of dark intimacy as well as vivid brightness, and guests such as The Wood Brothers, Natalie Hemby, Audra Mae and Dan Tyminski underscore McConnell’s versatility as creative partner and commentator.

McConnell’s goal in the creation of the album was to reflect the chaotic time in which it was made, but still striving for timelessness. 'You can look at the suffering of the world and you can look at the beauty of the world and you can hold them in your hands and just be present with that and not have to even understand it,' he says.


More information on Sean and his tour can be found on his website.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

INTERVIEW | 'I'm Lending a Voice to the Modern Day Seafarer' - Chloe Matharu Talks Debut Album 'Small Voyages'

'I'm lending a voice to the modern day seafarer.'

Chloe Matharu is set to release her debut album, Small Voyages, on Friday. It's an absolutely captivating listen from start to end, comprised of eight enchanting tracks you'll find yourself lost in.

It's quite remarkable that music is something that she's only really started to focus on in the last five years, as you'd think this was something she'd been doing her whole life. Matharu was, in fact, in the Merchant Navy and it was her time at sea that inspired her to start creating these wonderful pieces.

I had the chance to speak to her about her life at sea, her inspirations and the album.


I’m speaking to you just a few days after you performed at the wonderful and famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. What is it like to perform at such a prestigious event?  

I grew up in Edinburgh and, to be honest, I used to leave town [during] the Fringe because I’m not a huge fan of crowds *laughs*. 

Performing in it gives you that feeling that you’re part of something special. There’s this feeling of being part of something so multicultural and international despite it being your home city. But there’s always the fear that no one might come, and there’s also the fear that someone very important might come *laughs*. You prepare with not really having any idea how your show is going to turn out. You just have to give it your all and see what happens.

The Pianodrome gig, I didn’t do any of the publicity myself. It was a free lunchtime concert so, to be honest, I didn’t know if anybody would come…and that one was actually packed, people were crammed in. That was amazing. 

As someone who [now] lives on the west coast of Scotland, I really crave the Fringe. When I go back, I try to cram in as much as possible.

What I love about your music is that you don't just sing, you also play the harp too. How did you start playing that? It's one of the less common instruments and, certainly, wasn't one of the many instruments that my school offered lessons in.

I was 8 or 10 and I went to Edinburgh Castle for one of these Historic Scotland events, it was like Christmas songs at the Castle. We went in and I remember seeing Katie Targett-Adams standing, singing and playing a clarsach. The sound was so beautiful and rich and, coupled with her voice, was one of the most magical moments of my childhood. I was instantly at my parents [saying] ‘I wanna play, I wanna play!’. [Katie] actually used to go to my school in Edinburgh, [and] I think they had one other student that played the clarsach so luckily they had an instrument.

I think it is becoming more and more widespread but you’re right, I don’t think many people did play it. I was very privileged to grow up in Edinburgh with [its] rich music scene.

What came first for you - playing or singing?

Definitely singing. To be honest, although I played and got my lessons for the harp, it was always something that was just for myself. My family is not from a musical background so it was really just going to music lessons. It was a stilted learning process, especially with my first teacher. I would learn a piece of written music, [and] we would perfect it over weeks and it was not really inspiring. It was the love of the instrument that made me keep going back but I didn’t really enjoy the process of learning it. 

It wasn’t until I was a bit older that I got this amazing harp teacher, Helen Macleod, who is sadly no longer with us. She had a really special energy and she kinda brought this traditional learning by ear and the music and combining the two. The pieces started getting more relevant to me. I was always interested in Scottish traditional music at that age and I was previously being asked to play classical pieces on the clarsach which doesn’t make much sense *laughs*.

I didn’t really start realizing that I could venture out and perform live in front of people until about five years ago. I had about three songbooks of all these songs I had written whilst at sea in my cabin. When coming shoreside on my leave, I would wonder what to do with all these things that I had written, and I always felt I needed to start a wee band or rely on a guitar player to arrange them. I like being around other people but when it starts to rely on them for creative projects, it suddenly loses its appeal having [them] on this project because [these pieces] are very reflective of me and the timing is all over the place which often throws other instrumentalists. So I sat down at my harp and decided that I’m going to be brave and start doing arrangements. 

It’s only really in the last five years, and only since October 2021 that I’ve actually performed these written pieces in a serious way at venues. It’s been a huge learning curve for me in the past year because, up to then, I had kinda kept these songs, the music and the harp playing to myself. 

Picking up on what you said about writing in your cabin...what is the seafaring experience like for a creative person such as yourself? Did you have others to collaborate with while at sea?

A lot of the people who go into the merchant navy…I’ve met many interesting people and, to be honest, we’re all slightly crazy - I don’t think you’ll ever meet someone who’s ‘normal’ on a merchant navy ship *laughs*. It’s fun because our conversations are just off the wall.

When it comes down to the music though, no. It would be so amazing if there were other people that played and you could have a jam. Although, having said that, I had some singer rounds. I managed to sail once with my friend’s dad and he brought his guitar and we had a singer round. It does happen, there’s no reason for it not to happen. But often on the small vessels, if you’re actually sailing [then] you’re all doing watchkeeping. There’s just so much work to do, and the watchkeeping means you’re awake while others are asleep.

It’s been a bit lonely, I guess, and I think a lot of modern day seafarers would say the same thing. The job has changed. Thirty years ago, you’d hear stories of people finishing work and going down to the mess and having a drink. But, in the merchant navy, most ships are dry so you don’t have alcohol. It’s also really small crews which means when you finish watch then it's time for you to get your rest hours so you’re awake and fresh again for the job in eight hours.

What I found was a huge inspiration was being surrounded in almost isolation with the natural environment miles from land; having the natural phenomena like storms and huge waves;  and also amazing wildlife that you can see. At least two of the songs on my album, Small Voyages, are about long distance relationships so it’s this sense of longing for loved ones that are ashore. I think everyone can see that, and you can really see it at the beginning of a contract of someone who joins [the merchant navy]. Someone who is fresh-faced and ready for the job and, by the end of their time at sea, they are getting really ready to leave ship and just aren’t themselves. It takes a lot of mental strength to be at sea for that length of time. To kill time I spent a lot of time reading in my cabin. 

I didn’t really plan to write music but there’s a lot of ambient noise on the vessels. You have the drone of the engine and that can be quite rhythmic, the creaking, sometimes knocks and bangs…that really starts to get rhythms in your head for music. There’s also very strange noises, such as water gurgling through pipes which can sound like voices of children giggling. The wilderness in the UK is really getting eaten into and I think that sense of the mystic and magic is starting to get more rare to find when you’re on land. [On land] you can hear the sound of the road not that far away or there’s views of houses, so that kind of wilderness and feeling at one with nature and that sense that there could be another world that we don’t know of…we’re losing that connection with that whole kind of thing. Whereas when you’re on a ship and have that phenomena of all those different noises, such as the water making these strange other-worldly noises, you really start to understand why bygone seafarers have been very superstitious and there’s legends of mermaids, that kind of thing. It’s just a breeding ground for imagination and your creativity and, so, a lot of these songs came into my head and I had to write them down as I was getting cabin fever. The phrases of these songs were coming into my head and driving me crazy. I was like ‘right, I’m going to put them down and see if I like them when I get shoreside’. 

I would leave ship with notebooks of songs and fragments of songs and lyrics, [as well as] these snapshots of me singing in my cabin on my phone. I would listen to them when I got shoreside and piece them into whole songs with arrangements on the harp, and I’ve now selected eight to release.

The album was produced by Brian MacDonald of the MacDonald Brothers. How did that collaboration come about?

My neighbor is a very talented singer. She had decided to get some tracks recorded and just happened to find Brian MacDonald. I had actually never heard of them from The X Factor and they are very successful but, just being at sea, I didn’t hear of them. That all went over my head.

He’s the most amazing multi-instrumentalist and musician. He set up a recording space during lockdown, and he’s picked up all this knowledge about recording and producing music through his own experience. He’s an amazing person to work with. If you have an idea, you just tell him what you have in mind. 

One of the ideas that I had, I wrote a song called ‘Arctic Terns’. We use a lot of field recordings of the natural world on this album, and on that song we have the song of the Arctic Tern…and I really should’ve done a bit of research what that sounds like before I wrote the song *laughs*. It’s literally a seagull going ‘arrrgh!’ I realized that I had pitched that whole idea to Brian and then listened back to the field recordings and I was like ‘oh god’. He was like ‘we’ll give it a try’ and somehow managed to put it all together. I think it works really well. 

In the past, when I’ve worked with recording studios, I’ve felt a little bit like I’ve not been listened to or my ideas are instantly pushed to the side. Whereas Brian was amazing to work with, and I highly recommend him because he takes on board all of your ideas and gives them a shot. He did such a good job of everything and also put his own spin on stuff in a subtle way and managed to integrate all of my ideas onto the record. It felt like a really inclusive process and a dual project between the both of us.

To wrap things up and to tease your album, which is out in just a few days…how would you describe Small Voyages to a prospective listener?

It’s an authentic voice of the female seafarer, which hasn’t really been done in folk music before.

I set these reflective songs to a backdrop of celtic harp music and field recordings. I hope that creates an evocative feel. 

By putting together this album, I’m hoping to give people who haven’t been to sea a little glimpse into the life of a modern day seafarer and that experience of being completely exposed and vulnerable to the natural elements at sea.

I’m lending a voice to the modern day seafarer.


Small Voyages is released September 16th. More information about the album and Chloe can be found on her website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Alex Williams Returns With New Album 'Waging Peace' (out Oct 21)

Alex Williams was on top of the world following a very successful debut record in 2017, but it was a quick fall when the temptations of the 'rockstar life' caught up to him. 

On his new song 'Waging Peace' (out now), the title track of his anticipated sophomore record - out 21st October 2022 via Lightning Rod Records - Williams lays down his weapons of self-destruction and finds peace. It's one of the most compelling and triumphant autobiographical songs from his new album, which follows his critically-acclaimed major label debut in 2017 (Better Than Myself).

'I chose this song as the title track because it seemed like the centerpiece for this whole project as far as the subject matter goes,' says Williams. 'I wrote this at home in 2020 during the initial part of the pandemic, and it's a song about finding peace and optimism within yourself in this world, amongst the troubled times we live in, as well as the guilt one may hang on to that seems to never let go of the mental game. Discovering that we are always our own worst enemy, and that making changes to better ourselves is the best thing we can do in order to see and truly cherish the important things that shine the brightest in our lives.'

Produced by GRAMMY-winner Ben Fowler and featuring artists like Mickey Raphael on harmonica and Danny Dugmore on pedal steel, Waging Peace is rooted in country tradition and a bold, against-the-grain swagger, accompanied by Williams’ organic twang and retrofuzz. Throughout 12 songs, Williams shares an unseen side of his life and his personal battle between good and evil. Williams introduced the record last month with first single 'No Reservations'.

The video, which was directed, filmed and edited by Joshua Britt & Neilson Hubbard, and filmed at Waylon's Bar in Marion, Indiana, helps the song set the unglamorous scene of life on the road for a musician bouncing around dingy motels and back-alley bars, and enjoying every minute of it, as Williams plays to a biker gang crowd toasting dive bar beers.

Waging Peace finds Williams growing – professionally and personally. Finding guitar-slinging inspiration in everything from Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers to Jerry Reed, plus the biting Texan poetry of songwriters Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, Williams scours his very soul over twangy two-steppers such as 'Old Before My Time', epic anthems like 'Waging Peace', and introspective slow-burn 'The Vice'. The result is a deeply personal listen that sees Williams learn to trust his instincts again with his signature blend of Rust Belt rock and pure country. 

 'Before I made my first record, I had not toured. I had no road band and a very slim amount of experience in the studio,' Williams adds. 'These past 4 years since leaving Big Machine to become fully independent, and the release of 'Better Than Myself' has been a whirlwind. I’m very glad that I waited 5 years to make another record because it’s given me time to really find my voice as a songwriter, experience life on the road and all the pain and joy that has come my way in more ways than one.'

Waging Peace Tracklist:

1. No Reservations (Alex Williams / Mando Saenz)

2. Old Before My Time (Alex Williams / Neal Coty)

3. Rock Bottom (Alex Williams / Mando Saenz)

4. Fire (Alex Williams / Tennessee Jet) 

5. Higher Road (Alex Williams / Mando Saenz)

6. Waging Peace (Alex Williams)

7. Conspiracy (Alex Williams / Tennessee Jet)

8. The Best Thing (Alex Williams / Mickey Raphael)

9. Double Nickel (Alex Williams / Ben Jarrell) 

10. Confession (Alex Williams / Marshall Altman)

11. The Struggle (Alex Williams)

12. The Vice (Alex Williams)

 (Produced by Ben Fowler)

Williams will perform an AmericanaFest showcase at Exit/In on Friday, September 16th, followed by a Grand Ole Opry performance on Saturday, September 17th, as well as a run of shows across the Southeast and Midwest.

Waging Peace will be released on October 21st, and is available to pre-order/pre-save here.


For more information about Alex, visit his website.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Angela Easterling Announces New Album

In a recording career that's well into its second decade, Angela Easterling might not have seen it all, but she's certainly displayed a knack for crafting powerful songs that are often directly inspired by things she has observed.

Witness is the newest album by the acclaimed Americana singer-songwriter, who says the title track relates to the idea of a person being a 'witness' for their faith, but instead they find themselves being judged or subjected to forms of religious trauma. It also relates to someone who has left behind a bad or abusive situation, but is still haunted by what they endured, the past that they continue to witness in their mind.

As the title of the entire album, Witness seems right on point.

'I chose to title the album Witness because many of the songs are like a reflection of the things I have seen going on in our country the last few years, things that have been going on in my family, and how all that comes together in my corner of the world,' says Easterling, who lives with her longtime musical partner, Brandon Turner, and their three sons on the Greer, S.C., farm that has been in her family since 1791.

Utilizing her immense skill as a top-notch storyteller, Easterling writes with clarity and sings with conviction throughout Witness, offering a dazzling collection of songs that not only deal with the trials, tribulations and joys of parenthood but also tackle subjects of widespread societal importance, including gun violence and gender identity.

Witness Tracklisting

1. California 4:19

2. Home 3:24

3. Little Boy Blues 2:55

4. Halfway Down 3:11

5. Keep Your Head Down, Johnny 3:43

6. Middle-Age Dream 3:22

7. Witness 3:12

8. Deportee  (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) 3:53

9. Hero 3:14

10. Have You Seen My Friend? 4:03

11. Baby Bird 4:06

12. Grow Old 4:50

About Angela Easterling

Angela Easterling brandishes her songwriting chops with rootsy, refreshing, homespun tunes. Her backing band, The Beguilers (bass, drums and lead guitar), master many complex styles, with instrumentation that fleshes out the stories in Angela’s songs, and adds some rocking fun. Their act is not quite country, not quite folk, but all together unique and engaging.


For more information on Angela and the album, visit her website.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Ireland's Somebody's Child Returns With New Single 'Broken Record'

Ireland’s Somebody’s Child, otherwise known as Cian Godfrey, launched with a slew of great indie-pop singles in 2018-2019, and released his 20-Something EP during the 2020 lockdown that included hit singles 'Hold Me Like You Wanna’ (1.5 mil streams) and 'We Could Start a War’ (3.2 mil streams), which gained BBC Radio 1 and Radio X attention. 

Never one to rest on his laurels, two EPs followed in quick succession (2021’s Hope, Amongst Other Things and Staying Sane), and when he was finally able to perform his first headline tour of the UK and Ireland in late 2021, the shows witnessed large crowds of enthusiastic fans and an atmosphere of celebration.

Today he shares new single 'Broken Record' and announces he’s signed to cult indie label Frenchkiss Records, as well as a mammoth UK/IRE/EU tour early next year that goes on sale Friday at 10am - tickets available here.

Syd Butler, Founder and President of Frenchkiss Records says of the signing, 'Frenchkiss is thrilled to be able to work with Somebody’s Child. I love their ability to layer both mature songwriting with vulnerability. This kind of authenticity is something that I find is lacking in much of today’s music. Somebody’s Child provides this exact element that is still needed, both in recording and playing live. They are nothing short of amazing.'

UK/IRE/EU Tour Dates

8th Feb 2023 - Night & Day Cafe, Manchester

9th Feb 2023 - Foundry Studio, Sheffield

11th Feb 2023 - Joiners, Southampton

12th Feb 2023 - Exchange, Bristol

14th Feb 2023 - Omeara, London

17th Feb 2023 - Jimmy’s, Liverpool

18th Feb 2023 - Think Thank, Newcastle

19th Feb 2023 - King Tut’s, Glasgow

21st Feb 2023 - Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

24th Feb 2023 - Róisín Dubh, Galway

25th Feb 2023 - Dolan’s, Limerick

1st March 2023 - Ulster Sports Club, Belfast

2nd March 2023 - Cyprus Avenue, Cork

3rd March 2023 - The Academy, Dublin

4th March 2023 - Spirit Store, Dundalk

8th March 2023 - Le POPUP du Label, Paris

9th March 2023 - Trix Bar, Antwerp

10th March 2023 - Paradiso (Upstairs), Amsterdam

11th March 2023 - Privatclub, Berlin


For more information about Somebody's Child, visit his website.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Tenille Townes Drops Heart-Breaking New Single 'The Last Time'

Songwriter, performer and 2-time ACM winner Tenille Townes drops her heartbreaking new single 'The Last Time'

The song talks about the universal feeling of nostalgia you get after the realisation of an occurrence in your life happened for the last time - listen HERE.

'We always remember the first time something happens,' Tenille explains. 'We put it in a certain frame in our mind because we know it’s special. But the last time often doesn’t get the same frame because we don’t know that it’s happened until it’s already a part of our past. I wanted to write a song that captured that sentimental reality, with nostalgia in the fabric of the music. This song reminds me to stop and take in the moments that are happening right now, and I hope it feels like a comforting reminder to anybody else who needs it too.'

UK/IRE Tour Dates

Oct 14—Dublin, IE—Workmans

Oct 16—Belfast, IE—The Limelight 2

Oct 17—Glasgow, UK—Oran Mor

Oct 18—Bristol, UK—Fleece

Oct 19—London, UK—Scala

Oct 20—Manchester, UK—Gorilla


For more information about Tenille and her upcoming tour, visit her site.

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