[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Caroline Culver Gets “Honest” in New Lyric Video

CarolineCulver-620

Atlanta raised, Nashville based indie folk rock singer Caroline Culver made her stunning debut just a few weeks ago with vulnerable and earnest first single “Honest,” a haunting and heartfelt navigation of maintaining an honest and true sense of self and emotional clarity in the midst of a relationship that isn’t right. If you haven’t yet, you can stream the single now on your platform of choice, but, today, we’re beyond thrilled to bring you a special new release from Caroline- an exclusive premiere of her brand new lyric video for the single!

“It’s easy to lose sight of who you are when you’re with the wrong person,” Culver explains, “So I wrote this song about not being real with yourself and the relationship you are in. It’s also about finding my honest self expression as an artist.” True to the ethos of the song, Caroline’s lyric video is atmospheric and personal, a sort of stylish and timeless and reflective spot that shows the singer lost in thought, pacing around a decorated room with an almost surreal, retro presentation and editing style.

“‘Honest’ is about being in denial and hiding from your real emotions,” Culver adds, on the song’s broader meaning, “Whether those feelings stem from a toxic relationship or something else; I think no matter what- the most important thing to do in life is get real- confront these things. This song grows a new meaning in my life as I continue to sit with it. As a person, I strive to be honest with everything I do; I hope to be transparent with my songs. So ‘Honest’ has really helped me find my self expression as an artist.”

An impressive newcomer in the local scene who we’ll surely be keeping a close eye on, as she channels the wistful, confessional folk rock of Phoebe Bridgers and the atmospheric pop prowess and mysterious allure of Banks, with a dash of edgier rock and roll bite, “Honest” is, already, one of our favorite local singles of the year, brought to life with even more texture and palette in Caroline Culver’s first lyric video. Watch that brand new video below, and follow Caroline on the social media links at the bottom of the page for further updates!

Continue Reading→

Brooke Alexx Navigates Intoxicating Effects of Attraction in New Single “Drunk”

BrookeAlexx2020-620

It seems like ages ago given everything that’s happened in the world since, but it was only last month that local singer Brooke Alexx dropped one of our favorite pop tunes of the year, “Downplay,” which she followed not long after with a stunning, self-directed music video.

We told you more about Brooke at the time, and why she’s primed to become one of Nashville’s next big breakout artists, already channeling the aesthetic, talent, and poise of an accomplished pop star. And though we heard then that she had more music on the way, with the isolation of social distancing and a total lack of live music right now, we’re more eager than ever for any new release we can get, and Alexx’s latest, “Drunk” is definitely the bop we need to keep our quarantine playlists fresh.

Co-written with Mary Kutter, Noah Lubert, and Brian Alexander, co-produced by Lubert and Yuval Maayan (who also mixed), engineered by by Chase Coy and Lubert, mastered by Amy Marie, and featuring photography by Luke Rogers, “Drunk” is, like “Downplay,” a confident and vibey pop tune with slick and propulsive production, boasting much more groove and genre-bending flair than we typically hear from modern electro-pop, and showcasing her powerful and unique vocal prowess.

Despite the title, “Drunk” is actually the opposite of a drinking song, instead chronicling the intoxicating and emboldening effects of sudden attraction, more powerful than any cocktail. Awash with hypnotic hooks and just begging to start a bedroom dance party, “Drunk” is exactly the catchy, cool, and lighthearted tune with need for these challenging times (and a certainly the perfect banger for those warm weather playlists). Stream it below, and keep an eye out for more from Brooke Alexx soon!

Continue Reading→

[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Ahead of Their Debut LP, Blonde Bones Dazzle with Groovy, Propulsive Single “Cape Fear”

BlondeBones-620

Though they’ve been together now for several years, and an increasing live presence in the local scene as of late, 2020 has seemingly been something of a transformative soft reset and new chapter for indie pop outfit Blonde Bones, whose debut LP, Hiding Out, is due out next month!

Showcasing a slick, melodic, reverb-soaked, energetic, and pop accessible sound, incorporating elements of surf and psych rock, recent tracks “Sunny” and “Woody” have already given us a taste of what to expect for the local trio’s first full-length. And though their next single, “Cape Fear,” doesn’t officially drop until tomorrow, we’re very excited to bring you an exclusive premiere a day early- stream it right now below!

Like the last couple of tracks, “Cape Fear” has no shortage of catchy hooks and earworm melodies, but packs even more propulsive energy, giving off an almost Vampire Weekend-esque vibe in its driving rhythmic structure, groovy guitar style, and dreamy vocals. Like the rest of Hiding Out, “Cape Fear” was recorded by Atlanta-based producer Damon Moon (Blair Crimmins, Big Brutus, Sydney Eloise & the Palms) at his Standard Electric Recording Company, and marks our favorite new song from Blonde Bones-  frontman Christian Barnett, bassist Joe Rebrovick and drummer Daniel Ryan- so far!

You can hear “Cape Fear” right now below, and find on your streaming platform of choice tomorrow! You also tentatively catch Blonde Bones live opening for Flipturn April 25 at The High Watt, though, like all spring shows, we’d recommend keeping an eye on the calendar for the latest updates.

Continue Reading→

How to Support Local Record Stores During Quarantine

Grimeys-Closedvia Twitter

Yesterday, we outlined some ways to help local venues in need, amidst a total halt in live music while the world grapples with the spread of COVID-19, not only endangering venues whose revenue has been entirely cut off (a particularly devastating blow for smaller, more independent spaces), but also displacing countless staff members.

As cities and states take increasingly more substantial but necessary measures to enact shelter in place policies and to limit all but essential services (and as artists, freelancers, gig economy and service industry workers, and many others feel the burden of recent closures), another facet of the local music community, independent record stores, now closed to the public, have, like many other small businesses, been left without their primary means of revenue, and are seeking ways to help stay afloat.

Though store to store philosophies seem to differ regarding whether any employees should be working right now, even without public contact, most of the area’s record stores are offering at least some way to still shop from home, with options to ship (and in some cases, carefully pick up) orders, or to support them in other ways like gift card purchases. Sure, it might be quicker and perhaps a tad cheaper for vinyl fans to turn to big retailers like Amazon when online shopping in these isolated weeks, but, like all local business, this is when your local shops need your support the most, and we encourage you, if you’re still in an economic position to do so, to shop with them if at all possible (and/or, try alternate ideas like making a shopping list of what you want, invest in gift cards if available or set aside the money, and stream those records for now, then shop once it’s safe again to do so in person).

Below, we’ve put together a list of how you can currently help and/or shop from home at many of the area’s independent stores (some not listed, like McKay’s, Boulevard, Alison’s, and CD Warehouse appear to be closed with no alternate purchase options at this time). As things rapidly change and develop, however, we encourage you to check stores’ sites and social media for the latest updates. Finally, we should note that this year’s Record Store Day, originally scheduled for April, has been postponed to June 20 (another great chance to support your local shops).

3/26: Updated with latest online sales info for Vinyl Tap.

4/3: Updated with current links and the latest shopping info for Grimey’s.

_

THIRD MAN RECORDS

As a local record store with a global following (and as an arm of their own label), Third Man Records has always operated an online store, which is still live. You can shop online here (be patient if there are any shipping delays). The boutique also rolled out home delivery, curbside pickup, and appointment-only shopping last week, though given the rapid developments of recent days, it’s unclear which, if any, of those services are still active.

GRIMEY’S

Grimey’s is currently still selling merchandise and gift certificates, the latter perfect to save for a future shopping trip, or both a great gift for yourself or someone else from afar. The shop is also in the midst of ramping up online sales once again, after briefly hitting pause to strictly comply with the city’s Safer At Home order. You can shop from Grimey’s own site, or check out their Discogs profile, which will both continue to see further releases added. As with all local stores looking to maintain sales while keeping employees safe, please be patient with shipping.

THE GROOVE

Fellow East Nashville record shop The Groove is still selling through their own website, as well as a Discogs page with hundreds of great listings, and will deliver within the neighborhood. The shop also encourages you to DM them on social media or e-mail [email protected]m if you have any requests for a special order. You can also snag an official Groove shirt from nearby Friendly Arctic, which will benefit the shop.

VINYL TAP

Vinyl Tap has also launched a Discogs page for online sales, and they’re also still offering sales for delivery (within the neighborhood) or pickup Wednesday-Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.. You can e-mail [email protected] to verify your selection, arrange payment, and find out delivery/pickup details. Being a bar in addition to record store, Vinyl Tap also benefits from the new beer to-go policy, so if you’re in need of some brews, you’re able to put in a beer order (menu here) along with your vinyl as well (with a portion of sales going to help out their employees). With the bar and kitchen staff entirely displaced, they’re also running a GoFundMe to help aid employees.

THE GREAT ESCAPE

While both locations of The Great Escape are closed, the local record, comic, movie, and speciality shop is still selling online, with a massive selection of titles up on their Discogs account, and tons of music and more on their eBay account.

LUNA RECORD SHOP

Situated in The Factory at Franklin, Luna is currently offering to ship records, delivery for those who live nearby, and scheduled pickup. Check out their Instagram for selections, or reach out by phone (615.806.9435), DM, or e-mail ([email protected]) to inquire about selection and special orders.

[NO COUNTRY PREMIERE] Hardcastle Reach New Heights with Hook-Laden Single “Growing Pains”

Hardcastle2020-620

Though their roots trace back a number of years, formed by brothers and lifelong musicians Graham and Miles Laderman, and close friend Val Hoyt, in their native Atlanta, it wasn’t until individually relocating to Nashville, regrouping and rounding out their lineup with Noah Christian, and undergoing something of a formal reboot of their sound and style (including wiping prior material from the internet), that indie rockers Hardcastle really caught our attention back in 2018, erupting with a string of buzzy singles that year like “I Never Knew” and “Invisible.”

In the short time since, the band have seen breakout success online, amassing millions of streams and attracting a passionate following, priming them to follow in the footsteps of fellow Nashville based kindred spirits like COIN and The Band CAMINO (for whom they’ve already supported on tour). Citing inspiration from acts like Coldplay, Oasis, and U2, the group’s poppy, indie sound harbors a distinctive quality from some of their peers, fitting in just as easily with the contemporary, genre-bending stylings of acts like The 1975 and LANY, as with ’90s and ’00s alternative pop and rock, and leading Hardcastle to shows with the likes of Parachute, K. Flay, and Angels and Airwaves.

Continuing to hone their impressive and captivating sound through a regular stream of singles, most recently “What If I’m Happy” earlier this year, Hardcastle are set to drop their latest, “Growing Pains” tomorrow, March 25- however, we’re thrilled to bring you an exclusive early premiere today, which you can stream right now below!

Produced by Kyle Dreaden and co-written with Danny and S.E. Berrios, the group’s Graham Laderman tells us that “‘Growing Pains’ feels like something of a milestone for us. Definitely the clearest example of the band feeling like a living, breathing thing beyond just the sum of its members. We’re looking forward to spending the next year leaning into the most honest version of ourselves.”

The result is an endlessly catchy, propulsive, and earnest track that channels hints of alt rock acts of eras past like Third Eye Blind, with some pop punk bite, huge harmonic hooks, and perhaps the band’s most refined songwriting to date. Not only is it our favorite Hardcastle song yet, but also further proof that to simply lump them in with the current indie pop rock scene (including some of the comparisons we’ve made above) really undersells just how far-reaching and unique this group’s influences are. Certainly primed to be one of Nashville next breakout acts, hear Hardcastle’s “Growing Pains” below, then find it everywhere tomorrow!

Finally, we should also note that as of right now, Hardcastle are also set to headline The Basement on April 24, but we’d recommend keeping an eye on the calendar, as it is still unclear what things will look like in a month in regards to live music (fingers crossed).

Continue Reading→