New music video from Norwegian-Brooklyn duo, The Familiar

Musical collaborations like that of The Familiar’s are becoming more and more common with what technology, email and smart phones allow us to do. Ruth Mirsky is based out of Brooklyn and Mads Martinsen is in Tromsø, Norway, deep into the Arctic Circle. Ruth and Mads met at a Christmas party some time ago where Ruth shared her music with Mads and the rest is history. Neither felt daunted by the whopping 4000 miles between them and what came of their collaboration was something beautiful. Just shy of two years ago, I interviewed them about their collaboration (you can read it here) and a couple weeks ago they released their newest music video for the track, “Stuck Together.”

“Stuck Together” is a cinematic beauty in both a sonic and visual sense. It glides through that electro-pop sound that The Familiar has claimed as their own, the video following the love between a young boy and girl from start to finish. The video jumps around in the timeline of the couple’s lives together, just like our minds fly through memories and try to predict the future. The track together with the video creates something that is both sweet and tender but also painful, in a way. Check it out:



Follow The Familiar on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Debut single from 80’s new wavers, Vacances: “Runaway”

Buckle up for an 80’s channeled, synth heavy, drum pumping, guitar-driven ride to the dance floor.

In three short minutes, up and coming 80’s new wave band based out of Brooklyn, Vacances, picks you up, shakes you around, forces you to dance and then spits you out. It’s a seriously satisfying feeling. The track has everything you crave from the 80’s, pumping percussion, a steady stream of synths and ridiculously catchy melodies that make you want to put your hair in a high pony tail and whip it around in addition to a fresh take on current pop-rock.

Vacances is an amalgamation of musicians from other musical projects: Danny (Vocals, previously of The Frail), Nic (guitar, previously of Restless Hearts), Dan (Bass), and Allen( additional instruments, previously of Every Move A Picture). Check back later for tour dates because as the end of June approaches, the boys will be hittin’ the dusty trail!

Stream Big Thief’s debut record, “Masterpiece”, now on NPR First Listen

Big Thief is a four piece indie rock band composed of Adrianne Lenker, Buck Meek, James Krivchenia and Max Oleartchik based out of Brooklyn. Their goal as musicians is to break the barrier between you and them, you and their music and ultimately the barrier between all living things. According to the band:

“Listening to Big Thief is like the feeling of looking at a dog and suddenly marveling that it is like you but very not like you; when you are accustomed to looking at a dog and thinking ‘dog’, watching Big Thief is like forgetting the word ‘dog’ and looking at that naked animal and getting much closer to it and how different it is to you.”

Their debut record boldly titled, Masterpiece, is due out May 27th on Saddle Creek but is currently streaming on NPR First Listen. You can pre-order the album Saddle Creek, Bandcamp and iTunes.

Their tour kicks off June 1st:

Wed. June 1 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club w/ Nada Surf, Birds of Youth
Thu. June 2 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live w/ Nada Surf, Birds of Youth
Sat. June 4 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club w/ Nada Surf, Birds of Youth
Sun. June 5 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge w/ Sam Evian, Twain, Tiny Hazards
Fri. June 10 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement
Sat. June 11 – St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room w/ M. Ward
Sun. June 12 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall w/ M. Ward
Mon. June 13 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bluebird w/ M. Ward
Tue. June 14 – Davenport, IA @ Daytrotter w/ Rodrigo Amarante
Wed. June 15 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry w/ Adia Victoria
Thu. June 16 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall w/ M. Ward
Fri. June 17 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater w/ M. Ward
Sat. June 18 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory w/ Chastity Belt
Sun. June 19 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel (NxNE FEstival)
Mon. June 20 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
Thu. June 23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival
Tue. June 28 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w/ Kevin Morby
Wed. June 29 – Austin, TX @ Sidewinder w/ Kevin Morby
Fri. July 1 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar w/ Kevin Morby
Sat. July 2 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah w/ Kevin Morby
Fri. Sept. 23 – New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage w/ Lucius, JD McPherson


New track from Big Thief: “Human”

Big Thief comes to from Brooklyn, NY and with them they bring their debut record, Masterpiece, which is due out May 27th on Saddle Creek. They’ve recently released a new single off of the record titled, “Humans.” The track explores that out of control feeling and sense of vulnerability that comes when love has its greatest grip on you: you’ve shared all of you and in that, you’ve “become lost in love” as Adrienne Lenker of Big Thief states.

You can pre-order Masterpiece from Saddle Creek or on iTunes. Catch the band on tour starting June 1st.

Wed. June 1 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club w/ Nada Surf, Birds of Youth
Thu. June 2 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live w/ Nada Surf, Birds of Youth
Sat. June 4 – Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club w/ Nada Surf, Birds of Youth
Sun. June 5 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge w/ Sam Evian, Twain, Tiny Hazards
Sat. June 11 – St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room w/ M. Ward
Sun. June 12 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall w/ M. Ward
Mon. June 13 – Bloomington, IN @ The Bluebird w/ M. Ward
Thu. June 16 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall w/ M. Ward
Fri. June 17 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater w/ M. Ward
Fri. Sept. 23 – New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage w/ Lucius, JD McPherson

Gritty power ballad from, Syvia: “Anxious Animal”

In February of 2015, Brooklyn-based band, Syvia, released their latest full length, FWD. Excitingly, they’re teasing us with another mouthwatering single, “Anxious Animal.” Ruth Mirsky’s commanding vocals demand your attention while Richie Moyle pounds out a forceful drum line, Sheldon Cho lays down the bass and gives us those irresistible synths, and Frank Banisi’s wicked guitar riffs pull the track all together. It starts with that incredibly powerful drum line and takes off with reckless abandon:

“Anxious animal how’d you find your way into my heart? Now in my throat clawing all the power out.”

Despite the darker subject matter and the heavy nature of this song, to me I hear a celebration of someone battling that anxious animal that can consume us.

Over and over again Ruth sings what we try to tell ourselves all of the time when that beast of anxiety claws its way up into our once placid minds to keep it at bay:

“You will never be enough. you will never be enough, you will not amount to much, you will never be enough.”

You can download the track for free on Soundcloud now and you can catch them January 16th at The Piano in New York.



Keep your ears peeled for Syvia’s new EP coming this February of 2016.

“Patience”, New Single from The Familiar

While The Familiar was not familiar to me until just a few days ago, I vow to get to know their music beyond this new single. Before I go on, have a listen to “Patience”, a track off of an EP that should be coming out this fall:

The Familiar is a project that brings together two vastly different locations: Brooklyn and Tromsø. Norwegian-American singer, Ruth Mirsky lives in Brooklyn while Norwegian producer, Mads Martinsen, lives in Tromsø, Norway. Together they create a perfectly unique electronic-pop sound.

Stay tuned for more from The Familiar!

Q and A with the lovely, Arum Rae.

The last couple weeks singer-songwriter, Arum Rae has taken the time to go back and forth with me to put together this interview including photographs of her performing and some of her favorite music, besides her own. Arum Rae was born in Colorado Springs, went to college in Boston and upon finishing, moved to Virginia. After making Austin, TX home for a bit, she decided on Brooklyn as her home base. However, she spends most of her creative time back in Lexington, VA where she has a cabin and her family surrounding her. As she puts it, “It’s hard for me to stay in one place!” Continue reading below to learn about some of my favorite songs of hers and how they came to be AND a peek into her musical world.

“Waving Wild” is a windows down, hair shaking driving song. Did you know that? If I had a convertible, which I don’t…I have a Subaru Outback, I’d roll the top down and probably drive with my hands in the air. Unsafe, but necessary to fully enjoy this song. What do you do when you listen to “Waving Wild” and what inspired it?  

🙂 I love the thought of you in a convertible, free from your Subaru… cruisin with no hands. Although we haven’t ever met I can visualize this! “Waving Wild” was inspired by someone I had met … nothing happened between us but I was dreaming of being in love and set free by their love  aaaand I also had Beyonce in mind.  I love the way pop / r&b songs are written and so I thought it would be cool to do that but with different instrumentation.

Do you still make music under the moniker White Dress or is that part of your past only?

Yes I retired the name White Dress in 2012 I believe. When people would tag my music they would use my name … I wanted to hide behind a moniker but then just learned to embrace my name.

Along those lines, “Shake.” This song is SO rock and roll and, like the other songs on your EPs, very different in production, instrument and sound than most or all of your tracks as White Dress. I’m so curious about the transition you took personally and as a musician from White Dress to what you’re doing now.

I just think as artists, well let me rephrase that, as humans, we are constantly evolving and changing. “Let’s Shake” was recorded the same as all of the other songs on Waving Wild EP. So to me it doesn’t stand out but that’s interesting. White Dress was so experimental for me. I was in completely new territory living in Austin TX and playing rock music like that. I’ve always been a singer but didn’t experiment so much with indie sounds. It was fun but I am still searching for the bull’s eye…. my artistic pearl. These days I am closer … so that’s a relief.

I noticed that the song “2001” off of the ‘Warranted Queen’ EP and “Colfax Town” off of album ‘Virginia’ when you were still White Dress are extremely similar/the same! What is the story here? I’ve seen artists re-invent songs before and I always wonder what the motive behind it is.

You are the FIRST person to ask me about this! Basically the producer I was working with had this beat and asked me to try a song like ‘Colfax Town’ over it. It took some convincing but then I thougth it was cool. I still am tempted to reinvent a ton of songs just because I feel like I could do them better now that I am older but probably should just focus on new music and let the other songs be.

I hear folk, rock, pop, blues, soul and so many other genres in your music. How is it possible for someone to be able to successfully create so many different genres of music? Do you have a favorite genre that you feel most comfortable in? And/or, what genre is your root or beginnings as a musician?

That’s very kind of you to say. I grew up singing everything from Patsy Cline to Koko Taylor and Muddy Waters to serious jazz songs like Moody’s Mood For Love. In college I sang the hook vocals for rappers in New York City. And my favorite all time vocals are Nina Simone and Bob Dylan. So I am influenced by so many sounds. Primarily anything that is honest is pretty inspiring for me. I don’t know that I have a favorite genre… my favorite genre changes with the weather 🙂

Along those same lines, how would you describe you style/sound?

I don’t know.

“Warranted Queen” was recommended to me by a friend to listen to and that was how I heard about your music and completely fell for it. Did you know “Warranted Queen” was going to be a ‘hit’ as they say?

No not at all. That song was pretty old as well. I never performed it because I thought it was boring. But now I enjoy it.

“I’m Smoke” packs a punch, “Something’s Happening to Me” does, as well. These tracks especially are extremely fiery. Where does this come from?

It comes from that aggressive side that we all have… that just wants to freak out. Do a crazy dance, a full body shake! We all have that in us.

I’m curious about your band! Are these musicians you’ve played with before and are you responsible for some of the instruments we’re hearing?

 “Waving Wild’: I had my friends come in: JJ Johnson on drums and Johnny Bradley and Dave Monsey on bass. They’re amazing musicians and people. On that EP I played all of the other instruments. Pretty much any music I release I play the guitar and then if I can’t hack the other parts we have gotten someone in.

Now for what ARUM is listening to. She gave me 10 songs of her choosing. Five of them are in a playlist format and the other five are Youtube videos. It’s not all that often you get an ear full of what your favorite artists are listening to. 

Finally, check out these photos of Arum Rae performing. Maybe someday we can see/hear her, here in Bozeman! Show her some love and maybe she’ll come visit.

Thank you again to Arum Rae for answering my questions! Click here and scroll to her name to find links to her music.