Russell James - Only Breathe

Russell James – Only Breathe

Russell James – Only Breathe

 

 

 

 

 

Russell James - Only Breathe

Russell James – Only Breathe

 

 

 

Russell James – Only Breathe

 

With the release of full-length Wave/Water album, Russell James takes on a few classic genres, and gives them a spin…  Lush with addicting progressions, an edgy but soulful vocal approach, and straight-forward rock, the record boasts the aesthetic of alternative folk anthems. Although songs are diverse from one and another, there is a glue that holds them all together much like any concept album would. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built from.

 

The first single, “Ghosts”, immediately grabs you with its pop sensibility, followed by passionate and catchy vocal melodies, and a unique chorus that allows the track to breathe while it plays on.

 

“When I was in graduate school, I read a book called In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté. He describes addictions as hungry ghosts and I expand the definition to include traumas and adverse experiences. As Dr. Maté writes, the only way we can live with these ghosts is through human connection, and this is the main point of the song. Musically, Ghosts previews diving into a deeper pool of ambient and electronic soundscapes to couch my songs.” explains the songwriter of his single.

 

Although the single does speak volumes for the album, to get a real understanding of where James is coming from, it should be heard in its entirety. With songs ranging from Dream Pop and New Wave, to Shoegaze and Folk, there is something for everyone.

 

“This album sounds big. It was meticulously crafted over a period of six months, whereas most of my previous work was done live without much fuss, working over one weekend”, says the band of the songwriting process for the record. I had a concrete vision of the work I wanted to put out and executed the vision exactly as I imagined it, which took a lot of patience. The sonic shape of the album is quite different than my previously released works, utilizing synthesizers and a lot of guitar effects and tracking, although some discreet listeners will hear roots of Wave/Water on both previous releases.” says James of creating the album.

 

Having a particular love for music from a young age, Russell James started writing songs and performing live at 16. Relocating at 26 from Lancaster PA to Albuquerque NM to focus on his music further he eventually put together a band dubbed The Porter Draw, a NM Americana mainstay. Spending years playing gigs around the Southwest while pursuing graduate degrees in counseling all while working as a psychotherapist, the songwriter ended up leaving both the workforce and The Porter Draw and began touring in 2016. It was the start of 2017 that James began work on the Wave/Water album. Studying and working as a psychotherapist enabled his passion for mental health to shine through. As a result, the release is a testament to where he is at with his sound right now.

 

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Andi Stewart – Expectations

Andi Stewart – Expectations

Andi Stewart – Expectations

 

 

 

 

 

Andi Stewart – Expectations

Andi Stewart – Expectations

 

 

 

 

Andi Stewart – Expectations

 

With the release of the Jetlagged EP, Andi Stewart brings a new feel to a classic genre. Lush with addicting progressions, an edgy but soulful vocal approach, and beautifully constructed string sections, the record boasts the aesthetic of indie-folk anthems. Though the songs are diverse from one another, there is a glue that holds it all together much like a concept album would. Most importantly, the record never loses sight of the emotional platform great songs are built from.

 

The first single, “Another Year”, is a powerful folk-pop song complete with straightforward, honest lyrics, moving musical hooks, and string sections that grow in intensity as the song seems to breathe and build.

 

“The single is a song I wrote a little while ago when I was in Perth, Australia visiting some family. I got to spend a lot of time with my grandparents over there, and this song is inspired by them. It’s supposed to be a story told about getting older and going through life with somebody. It’s kind of about marriage in a way. It’s a poppy, relatively up-beat song that is meant to portray a feeling of hope throughout ups and down” explains the songwriter of her single.

 

Although the single does speak volumes for the EP, to get a real understanding of Stewart is coming from, it should be heard in its entirety.

 

“I think this song is unique because it could be classified as either a pop song and could also work as a bit more of a folky tune as well. It is also probably the most poppy song on the album? Also, the piano riff and the tone of the piano are unique to the song. I really felt all the instruments involved in this song come together to be really dynamic. ” says Stewart of the EP and songwriting process.

 

Having a love for music since she was a little girl, Stewart starting playing guitar at the age of only 9. It was in her early teens that she began writing her own songs. By the time she was 18, she was playing open mics around the local Edmonton area and honing in on her sound overall. After a time she decided to take it to the studio and record some of her material. The Jetlagged EP is her debut studio release and is the epitome of where she is at with her sound right now.

 

Having opened for acts like Mohsin Zaman and Nature of in Vancouver, the songwriter is certainly not new to spreading the music through live performance.

 

The songwriter continues to work on new material as she plans to play just about every open mic she can find this summer.

 

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Alex Boyé - Bend Not Break

Alex Boyé – Bend Not Break

Alex Boyé – Bend Not Break

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Boyé - Bend Not Break

Alex Boyé – Bend Not Break

 

 

 

 

Alex Boyé – Bend Not Break

 

Alex Boye is truly a multicultural artist. Of Nigerian descent, Alex was raised in London where he began his music career in the successful European boy band Awesome, before moving to the US to pursue a career as a solo artist.

 

With a powerful voice and contagious energy, Alex has developed a uniquely arresting performance style and diversely influenced sound. His blend of African-infused pop music and vibrant, dynamic visuals have led to viral hits, with almost 1 billion views on his YouTube channel. He has shared the stage with many notable artists including, Jay-Z, Tim McGraw, George Michael, Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, The Beach Boys, and opened for Olivia Newton John at the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

Throughout his career, genuine concern and generosity toward others has led the way for Alex. He has raised money for many causes by way of his music and maintained a message of positivity and perseverance in his lyrics. His latest single, “Bend Not Break” (produced by Randy Jackson) is closely tied to the cause behind Suicide Prevention Week and carries a message of hope and awareness for those struggling with mental illness.

 

Currently, Alex is working on his forthcoming album, set for release early next year.

 

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