[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Bre Kennedy Reflects on Lost Time with New Fall Ballad “Where Did Summer Go?”

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When last we checked in with local indie pop singer-songwriter Bre Kennedy , back in the spring, when we premiered her home-shot music video for remotely recorded single “Feel It All,” the Covid pandemic was still in its early days, leading to so much uncertainty as to how long our city’s shutdown would last, and what the music world might look like when things return. Many months and two whole seasons later, a lot of things, unfortunately, still haven’t changed or become more clear, and though many of us have learned in some small ways to adjust, live music is still largely at a halt (and with an uncertain future), and independent artists and the music industry as a whole still face a lot of uncertainty as we hold out hope for a brighter 2021.

This anxiety, this uncertainty, this dark, stressful, and melancholy time has, inevitably, permeated our collective experience and outlook, and, for the many artists able to still work on new art throughout this time in any capacity, it will undoubtedly have a strong impact. With her latest single, “Where Did Summer Go?,” which we’re very excited to exclusively premiere ahead of its official release tomorrow, Kennedy confronts the feeling of this lost year head on, documenting the sense of watching the months, the summer, and everything we’ve missed out on come and go, reflecting on plans and dreams and opportunities missed while stuck at home.

“I wrote this while sitting at the window that I’ve been looking out of all summer,” Bre tells us, “I had so many plans and dreams to tour and get to travel this year. My friends had so many plans and dreams to do the same. Every year is for growing and to try our best to bring our visions to life. This year we had to put a lot of that on hold. It’s bittersweet, summer to me represents a golden and free time and it leaves with the season and I tried to make the most of it but I didn’t get the summer I thought I’d get to have, none of us did. I have so much to process and reflect on this fall and writing this song was the first step in me doing so.”

Co-written over Zoom with Brian Brundage, produced by Kyle Dreaden, and recorded locally at Trace Horse Studios with accompaniment from Jake Finch and Austin Webb, “Where Did Summer Go?” is noticeably more melancholy and reflective than “Feel It All” or even “Broken Record,” which we premiered a year ago, understandable given the subject and circumstance, but wouldn’t feel out of place on either of Bre’s prior EPs, this year’s Twenty Something or last year’s debut Jealous of Birds, particularly showcasing the talented singer’s powerful, earnest, and vulnerable vocal stylings and emotionally charged delivery. Serving as a teaser for what’s to come next year, “Where Did Summer Go?” is the product of months spent using this unexpected time to work on her debut full-length, and if this track is any indication, it should already be high on your most-anticipated lists for 2021.

Hear “Where Did Summer Go?” right now below, and find it on your streaming platform of choice tomorrow!

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[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Touma Unveils Stylish New Video for Dance-Primed Heartbreak Anthem “Fading Out (Epilogue)”

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It’s been nearly a year since we first introduced you to Touma, the solo project of local indie staple Kacie Williams, with the premiere of her etherial, Aaron Marsh produced debut (at least under the Touma moniker) single, “Bodyguard.”

Since then, Williams has stayed extraordinarily busy, performing as part of local emo/indie outfit Early Humans, and even co-founding something of a Nashville indie supergroup, No Dancing. Throughout it all (and despite the music industry upending pandemic that has thrown 2020 plans awry), though, we’ve been eagerly anticipating more Touma, and, today, Kacie has delivered just that in the form of a stellar brand new single, “Fading Out (Epilogue)”!

And as with “Bodyguard,” we’re beyond thrilled to bring you an exclusive premiere of Touma’s official music video for her latest tune, which you can watch right now below!

Not a complete departure from her first track, “Fading Out (Epilogue)” is still distinctly different, providing us a clearer picture of the range and stylistic influence with which Williams approaches Touma. Where “Bodyguard” felt more lush, orchestral, and simmering in its slow, powerful delivery, “Fading Out,” while still packing a reflective and melancholy thematic punch, is much more bright and propulsive in its production, crossing into the territory of dance-primed electropop with nods to the likes of CHVRCHES, Tegan and Sara, or even Carly Rae Jepsen.

Written by Williams, produced by Hunter West, and mixed by Micah Tawlks, “Fading Out (Epilogue),” with its happy-sad juxtaposition and and infectiously catchy musicality, is, immediately, one of our absolute favorite tracks of the year, destined to become a fall playlist staple, and reaffirms why Touma is one of the single most exciting up and coming Nashville artists to watch.

In the vein of celebrated contemporary songwriters like Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers, Williams has honed a knack for succinctly and relatably penning and delivering lyrics that capture intense feelings of reflection and heartbreak, and beneath its shiny, dance pop veneer, “Fading Out” is definitely a personal and sad tune, if one with a sliver of optimism in its sense of closure.

“I wrote this song in the wake of a heartbreak — to immortalize the feeling of feeling forgotten, vanishing like a ghost from somebody’s life, if even against your own will at the time,” Williams tells us, “Luckily I’m on the other side of it now, and I intentionally wanted it to be a heartbreak anthem somebody could dance to… that way you can dance your way through the hurt, and dance again when you’ve reached your way onto the other side.”

As with her video for “Bodyguard,” Touma’s latest spot, which was once again shot, directed and edited by Luke Harvey of Mossflower Pictures, is a visually stunning, exceptionally well-crafted video for such a relatively new artist, featuring scenes of Williams passionately delivering the heartfelt and earnest song in a variety of stylish settings, including, most notably, in a pool and underwater.

You can watch the official video for “Fading Out (Epilogue)” below, and stream the single now on your platform of choice! Obviously there aren’t any live shows on the books for the foreseeable future, but we hope to bring you more Touma updates soon.

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Bonnaroo Goes Remote with Weekend-Long Virtual ROO-ALITY Digital Fest

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It’s been several months since the nearby Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, originally slotted for its typical June weekend with such a great lineup that it sold out in record time, then rescheduled for what would’ve been this weekend as Covid effectively put the entire live music industry on pause, before, like every single 2020 festival we tracked this summer, ultimately and unavoidably was forced to cancel.

Like a lot of fests, Roo already got a jump on 2021 (and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that major live events will be able to safely return by next summer), announcing a return to its typical timeframe of June 17-20, 2021 (no lineup as of yet, but we hope to see many returning performers from what would’ve been an epic 2020). But in a bolder move, one few other major fests have attempted, Bonnaroo also announced a full-scale digital fest dubbed Virtual ROO-ALITY, set to run for three days this weekend, Sept. 24-26, during what would’ve been rescheduled ‘Roo in an alternate universe where the U.S. really got its shit together.

While other fests have done similar events comprised of entirely archive footage, something Bonnaroo will be doing as well, ‘Roo clearly put many months of work in organizing this free, virtual event, tapping a host of artists to perform new livestreams, host panels (including a virtual edition of Hayley Williams’ Sanctuary of Self Love), and more!

The fun is going down each day from 4:30 p.m. to around 1 a.m. CDT on Bonnaroo’s YouTube (or check the embeds below), with archive performances from the likes of MetallicaBeastie Boys, The White StripesJack White, My Morning JacketRun the JewelsJames BrownNile Rodgers & ChicAlabama ShakesTears for FearsThe xxDave MatthewsJason Isbell, and Nathaniel Rateliff. Plus new performances from ChromeoDenzel CurrySt. Paul & The Broken Bones, Moon TaxiLennon StellaDevon Gilfillian, Big GiganticTrampled By Turtles, and many more.

Check out the full schedule below!

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Sad13, Lisa Prank, Rose Melberg, More Team Up for Unlikely Indie Tribute to ABC/CMT’s ‘Nashville,’ Organized by Tacocat’s Bree McKenna

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Regular readers may remember our love for Seattle indie punk group Tacocat, a band we always make a point to recommend any time they stop through town. What you may not know, however, is that Tacocat’s bassist, Bree McKenna, happens to be a big fan of ABC/CMT musical drama Nashville, which, of course, was filmed right here in (an incredibly dramatized version of) Music City! And though the show’s been off the air for more than two years now (it ran for six seasons, from 2012-2018), McKenna has, apparently, spent that time gathering friends from the Seattle indie scene and beyond to tackle covers of songs from the show (fan of Nashville or not, the pool of talent involved in crafting its original music was always top-notch), resulting in a surprise tribute compilation release, out today, dubbed Live at the Bluebird: A Nashville (THE TV SHOW) Covers Compilation.

An incredibly niche melding of musical worlds, to say the least, most everyone involved here seems to have taken the task pretty seriously, adding their own artistic flair, but retaining the spirit of 16 of the show’s most memorable tunes (along with one original contribution, which is both hilarious and spoiler-y), and the result is much more awesome than it needs to be (we’re kind of obsessed already). Contributors include Sad 13 (the solo project of Speedy Ortiz’s Sadie Dupuis), Lisa PrankRose Melberg (of The Softies, Go Sailor,  and Tiger Trap), Neyla Pekarek (formerly of The Lumineers), and tons more!

The comp dropped today on Bandcamp, and coincides with Bandcamp Friday, an ongoing effort the first Friday of each month, where Bandcamp waives its revenue split and gives artists 100% of the proceeds of their music sales, encouraging many to drop new, limited, and special releases (along with special pricing). While you can stream the Nashville covers comp for free, if you’d like a digital copy, it’s currently set at “name your price” (find it here or below), and proceeds will be split between The Okra Project and MusiCares. Listen below, and while you’re on Bandcamp, be sure to support some of your other favorite indie artists and buy their music today as well!

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Musician’s Corner Kicks Off Virtual Fall Sundown Series | TONIGHT w/ Erin Rae

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One local musical cancelation back in the COVID beginnings of spring that might have slid under your radar, as it didn’t get the broad attention of Bonnaroo-sized festivals, was Musician’s Corner, the free spring and summer festival series in Centennial Park, which has been going on now for over a decade and has long been another site favorite.

After canceling the (typically larger and broader) spring season outright, Musician’s Corner, like Live on the Green, has managed to find a way to adapt to the times, and salvage what typically would’ve been their September Sundown series. The more paired down, Thursday-set event generally runs for just four weeks in September with a few performers each week, but this year’s virtual version, rebranded as simply the Sundown Series, will go for nine, each Thursday throughout September and October, and will broadcast a single 30 minute performance each week at 8 p.m. CDT from one of Musician’s Corner’s talented alumni.

Kicking things off tonight, Sept. 3 is local folk pop staple Erin Rae, who longtime readers and anyone dialed into the local music scene should be more than familiar with already. And, in the coming weeks, you can look forward to an exciting slate of Devon Gilfillian, Matthew Perryman Jones, The New Respects, Jason Eskridge, Scott Mulvahill, Jill Andrews, Bre Kennedy, and Amythyst Kiah- all standouts of Musician’s Corners past!

Though we will certainly miss the in-person atmosphere of Musician’s Corner, and dearly hope things will be safe enough for it to return in the spring, this adapted version is yet another imaginative example of the local music community finding a way to continue on in these difficult times, and we urge you to tune in each week in support! You can stream tonight’s performance live in the YouTube player below, or through Facebook right here, and peep the full season calendar and details on the free fest’s site.

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