INDIEcent Exposure #31: Halie Loren — From the Wild Sky
Welcome brothers and sisters, to Episode #31 of INDIEcent Exposure, in which we share new music from, and our conversation with, Halie Loren, who’s just released a solo effort, “From the Wild Sky.” As if that weren’t enough, we also feature tunes from Mikalyn Hay, Paper City Exile, The Slang, He Is Me, Onism EV, CATFOX, Bryan Deister, and Parsonsfield.
* See note on info sources at bottom.
Check out her Kickstarter story — this is how you do it, baby!
From Halie Loren’s bio:
Authenticity and connection have been essential roots of the artistic growth of Halie Loren. Whether injecting the American Songbook with old-school soul, or finding a familiar thread of nostalgia in newly-penned originals, the Alaskan-born, award-winning singer/songwriter continues to find new ways to bridge cultures and musical genres.
INTERVIEW — Listen to the full-length conversation with this player
Halie Loren is truly an international artist. Like her multi-lingual recordings that transcend cultural borders, her art transcends musical genres via a common thread that weaves a rich tapestry. That tapestry connects her original works with pop-smart jazz, flowing into blues, soul and contemporary compositions that are universal, yet deeply personal.
“For the past few years, I have felt more and more drawn to the idea of putting my songwriter self out there in a much bigger way, as a 100% personal form of expression,” explains Loren. “When I write, it’s all about the story and the feelings behind it, but never about the particular style in which it takes shape.”
The result is art in an eclectic form, with soulful compositions reflecting wounded defiance, stubborn love and hard-earned hopefulness. Her voice connects to the soul of her song writing, reminding us that there is always beauty to be found, even in the most painful experiences. That powerful personal connection is the driving force behind From the Wild Sky, Halie’s latest and most ambitious album to date. The album, produced by Troy Miller, features 10 original compositions, as well as a stunning rendition of Roberto Livi’s “A Mi Manera.”
“The songs on the album speak to some very meaningful, transformational moments in my life, some of which were inspired from experiencing new discoveries, love and deep loss,” Halie says. “It feels like the most risk-taking and honest art that I’ve ever created, reflecting my spirit and my personal story in a very revealing way.”
Featured in this Episode:
Mikalyn Hay • “Devil You Know” • 12:15
Paper City Exile • “Watch Your Step” • Paper City Exile
Halie Loren • “Roots” • From the Wild Sky
Halie Loren • “Well Loved Woman” • From the Wild Sky
The Slang • “Ballad Of Everything” • Mixes
He Is Me • “Let It Drip” • single
Onism EV • “In the Shadow” • Reach
Bridget Kearney • “Love Doctor” • Won’t Let You Down
CATFOX • “The Ballad of the Cat Fox” • Thank You, I Love You, I’m Sorry
Bryan Deister • “Silent Screams” • Spines of the Heart
Parsonsfield • “Kick Out The Windows” • WE
Mikalyn is a unique artist, old soul and world weary and yet so young and fresh. She comes at every song with a deep sense of herself as an artist with an alternative view of what is cool and classic in the same breath. Her haunting voice and melodies and harmonies are instinctive and Mikalyn operates at a speed and capacity at a level much beyond her young age. Mikalyn combines this natural ability with relentless learning and is constantly seeking to collaborate and study from the best. Already a seasoned performer, she spends weekend jamming at open mics accompanying herself on the keys doing originals and covers ranging from Radiohead to Cohen. In 2017 Mikalyn released 16 original songs that have garnered critical acclaim in songwriting contests around the world and have been played to audiences around the world in Indie stations.
“Young rockers Paper City Exile play Holyoke”
by Hunter Styles, Aug 8, 2016
“Musicians, like all of us, hold a few personal details close to the chest. For local rockers Paper City Exile, the little secret is hardly a secret: the three of them are still in high school. That’s bound to surprise many of the listeners who check out the band’s new EP, Living in the Know. The thick guitar riff and snapping drum line that open the first track, “Still Smiling,” set a mood that’s both gritty and crisp, like upbeat Nirvana with a dash of The Kinks.”
Dan Conway, Jack Silverman, and Zeno Quinn
are Paper City Exile.
Dan ~ lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards
Zeno ~ bass guitar and upright bass.
Jack ~ drums
Bare bones, up-beat, and to the point. These three phrases accurately describe the music they made from 2015-2017.
The songwriter’s journey is two-fold, a path that moves inward toward the self and outward to embrace the wide world, coming full circle in the final, compressed form of a song — three or four minutes of exquisitely crafted sound that speaks to our better angels, and sometimes our not so better. Music is the soundtrack of the lonely soul’s reckonings. It is a hard-won melody, a poetry conjured and charted and breathed forth into thin air like a celestial map of laughter and tears, love and loss. And hope.
In a very real sense, singer/songwriter Halie Loren has come full circle. Her latest album, From the Wild Sky, is not just the culmination of a recent flurry of work but, in fact, the culmination of years making music. As her first collection of original songs since her debut album, 2006’s Full Circle, the new album represents a maturation that is also a return to the deepest roots of her creativity. Loren’s decade-plus career, represented by nine excellent albums and an international reputation as a top-notch musician and gifted vocalist, has led her exactly to this moment in time.
The Slang is an alternative/rock band consisting of duo John Bobo and John Newsome. Their musical talents have earned them invitations to several premier music conferences including MPMF, NXNE, IPO and CMJ.
In addition, the sounds of The Slang have been used in various mainstream outlets including HBO, USA network, and Troma Films. The band’s first self-titled EP mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers, Tokyo Police Club, The Toxic Airborne Event) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys) had solid success throughout the US with over 50+ CMJ stations playing tracks from the EP as well as numerous industry write-ups, both stateside and abroad.
The Slang’s path is anything other than typical for a rock band. Lead Singer John Bobo turned down becoming an FBI Special Agent in order to focus on music and record the band’s debut EP. With the momentum and success from the first EP, The Slang headed back to the studio in 2015 for the follow up EP.
The new EP’s title (Night and Day) refers to a number of differences the band experienced since the debut EP was recorded. The band went from a three-piece to a duo and decided to change the scenery by recording in Nashville versus New York City. Recorded at the Ocean Way Studios in Nashville, TN, it highlights the talents of songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist John Bobo and Bassist John Newsome. The band had the additional privilege of having Miles McPherson (Kelly Clarkson, Paramore) accompanying them on the drums and Matt Slocum (Sixpence None the Richer) with strings.
“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” – John Lennon
“He Is Me” is a collaboration between Portland based songwriter and musician/producer Casey Braunger and Calgary, AB based songwriter/vocalist Steve Moore. He Is Me explores the beauty of the void in us all and what lies beneath with vast soundscapes, crushing atmosphere, gripping lyrical content, and pure emotion.
Casey and Steve first collaborated on a 2001 track called “Silencer”. Fast forward to 2016, when Casey reached out to Steve about guest vocals on a new song. Steve liked it so much that they decided to form a new project with the intention of covering musical territory they hadn’t covered before. This project would be ambient, brooding, unpredictable.
Casey Braunger, a Portland, Oregon based musician/songwriter/producer started playing bass at the age of 13, shortly after that he began learning any instrument he could get his hands on. He’s played in various punk, metal, blues, industrial, and electronic bands in his career.
In 1999 he started his solo music project “Textile Arcade,” while he was an audio engineer for an advertising agency. Textile Arcade featured many guests as vocalists throughout both the U.S. and Canada.
Steve Moore is a Canadian vocalist/musician. He has worked with prog rock/industrial metal duo The Unravelling (vocals – 2009 – 2015), downtempo electronic project Post Death Soundtrack (vocals, guitar – 2008 – present) industrial/ambient duo He Is Me (vocals – 2016 – present), and hardcore metal group Inner Surge (as the project founder – 2001 – 2008).
NOTE: Name pronounced on the show as “One-ism EV.” The correct pronunciation is “Own-ism EV.”
From the, Cali native now New Yorker, Eline Chavez, this new project comes on the heels of her successful solo album titled, The Epic and Reckless. What had started off as a follow up to that album, quickly took a detour when she met idea man, fellow songwriter, and guitarist, Christian Votion. Native Texan and relative unknown to the music scene, Christian and Eline, quickly fell into an easy writing groove that came alive with this debut EP. The combination of her alt rock style and his moody and often dark melodies have helped create a powerful writing duo that gets your attention from the first note.
In the 12 years she has toured the world as a member of the soul-pop sensation Lake Street Dive, Bridget Kearney has gotten good at a lot of things: adjusting to jet lag, sleeping in moving vehicles, hauling her acoustic bass up and down stairs, keeping her cool in front of cameras, thousands of people and personal heroes. But the skill she has honed most obsessively is songwriting. “For me it’s the best part of music,” says Kearney. “That’s the best feeling: after those few hours that you spend working on the song, and you have this thing that you’ve made, and you’re like, ‘Wow. This didn’t exist before. I’m so excited about what just happened.’” Now, at long last, Kearney steps into the spotlight with her first solo effort, a wry, big-hearted pop album entitled Won’t Let You Down. The record, like its title, promises not to disappoint.
Catrin Lloyd-Bollard is a Brooklyn-based actor, writer, performer & musician. She is an ensemble member of Title:Point and performs in various other theater, film, and performance art projects. She composes and performs music as CATFOX—psychedelic folk, which is how CATFOX categorizes her sound. I might add “Northern Gothic” as another descriptor. She’s played gigs in some far-flung, and at times rather mysterious venues. We have both the studio and down-home versions of songs from CATFOX’s latest release, Zoömagnesis, so expect to hear more from this talented artist, who received her BA from Harvard University in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies with a focus on Performance, and works in Arts Administration at HB Studio.
Seeking always to be a musician without limits or constraints, Bryan believes in no covers necessary. Trained in classical, jazz, blues, progressive rock, and modern music, Bryan writes, sings, and composes all of his music including the chorals, polyrhythms and unique instrumentation such as funk banjo and rice percussion.
Along with Nirvana, Weezer, Voltaire, My Bloody Valentine, Bryan decided that dark, thoughtful, well written music is what he really wanted to be a part of. This led to him take writing music seriously and venturing off (from classical and jazz) into all of the 20th century style composition techniques from John Cage to John Lennon.
Bryan is working hard at Berklee College of Music, keeping up his Writing and Composition Scholarship.
Bryan says “Hopefully after Berklee I will continue to improve in all facets and be able to write interesting music without starving.”
Parsonfield’s WE released March 9th, 2018, but we were thrilled to be able to give you an early taste of their most recent masterpiece on our other music show, the “Cornbread Cafe.”
From Parsonsfield on the release of WE:
“Everyone finds themselves searching for this theoretical ‘thing’ that is supposed to make them happy. Whether it’s a relationship or financial comfort, there’s a goal in our minds that once achieved, we’ll be able to start enjoying life,” says singer/songwriter and banjo player Chris Freeman. “Our circumstances, whether we’re rich or poor, are only half of what determines happiness. The rest is our thoughts, habits and connections with other people,” adds songwriter and mandolin player Antonio Alcorn. “WE is an inner journey to appreciate what you have, and to find happiness no matter what your lot in life.”
Remember, if you’re an Indie artist of any flavor looking to have your work featured on the INDIEcent Exposure, just send us a note through the contact link in the Main Menu. And, musician or fan, if you haven’t subscribed to this podcast, please do, either through iTunes or Google Play Music, and once you do, leave us a review. That helps us get found by more Indie music lovers, and that’s a good things. I’ve been your host, the mongrel, also known as Jay Vee, and I’m already looking forward to sampling more from our stash of great tunes next week. Until then, thanks for listening, and keep supporting Indie music.
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Musicians’ bio info comes from the artists, their websites, or their publicists. Click on names below to visit their websites where you can get the full story, photos, and very often video.