Category: Audio Interview

Founded by Crammed Discs label head Marc Hollander, the Belgian experimental act Akask Maboul can trace its origins to when Hollander was commissioned by producer Marc Moulin to write and and record an album for Moulin’s short-lived label Kamikaze Records. Hollander (keys. reeds, percussion) recruited his friend Vincent Kenis (guitar. bass, keys) to join the project, and the duo went on to write and record their full-length debut, 1977’s Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine, which featured guest spots by Chris Joris (percussion, keys) Catherine Jauniaux (vocals) and a list of others. The band’s sophomore album Un peu de l’âme des bandits was released in 1980. Both albums firmly established the act’s sound — a genre-defying primarily instrumental-based sound that playfully shuffled between experimental jazz, pop, electronic music, and contemporary classical music.

Shortly after the release of 1980’s Un peu de l’âme des bandits, Hollander devoted himself to his label Crammed Discs. And since the label’s formation, the label has released over 350 albums from an eclectic array of forward-thinking artists including TuxedomoonAcid Arab, Konono Nº1, Carl Craig, Yasmine Hamdan and JOVM mainstay Juana Molina among others. Interestingly, in 2014 Hollander returned to writing and performing when his label released the lost, third Akask Maboul album Ex-Futur Album, which was written and recorded with Véronique Vincent between 1980-1983 and left unfinished.

Encouraged by the response to Ex-Futur Album, Hollander revived the band with a new lineup that featured Véronique Vincent (vocals), Faustine Hollander (guitar, bass, vocals), and Amatorski’s Sebastiaan Van den Branden (guitar, bass, synth) and Christophe Claeys (drums percussion) — and in early 2015, the band began playing their first live shows in over 30 years. Adding to the growing interest in the band, an album full of re-interpretations, covers and reworks of the Ex-Futur Album16 Visions of Ex-Futur was released the following year with contributions by Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Aquaserge, Laetitia Sadier, Forever Pavot, Flavien Berger, Nite Jewel, Bullion, Burnt Friedman, Hello Skinny, Marc Collin, Bérangère Maximin, Lena Willikens and others, as well as two “self-covers” recorded by that year’s Akask Maboul lineup. They also created a live up show, Akask Maboul Revue in which they were joined by Jaakko Eino Kalevi, Laetitia Sadier and members of Aquaserge. Additionally, vinyl re-issues of the band’s first two albums helped to confirm that they were avant-garde classics.

At the end of 2018, the Belgian avant-garde act announced that they were working on a new album. Late last year, they announced that the new album, Figures would be a double album. Slated for a May 22, 2020 release through Crammed Discs, the album will feature the band’s current lineup — Hollander (keys), Vincent (vocals), Faustine Hollander (bass, production), Lucien Fraipont (guitar) and Erik Heestermans (drums) and guest spots by Fred Frith and Aquaserge’s Julien Gascon, Audrey Ginestet and Benjamin Gilbert, former Akask Maboul members Michel Berckmans and Sebastiaan Van den Branden, and a list of others.

Written by the band’s writing duo of Hollander and Vincent, the album consists of 22 tracks and interludes, which results from the flow of creative ideas after a lengthy hiatus, and the material sees the band drawing from the same influences that inspired their earliest releases — electronic music, pop, experimental jazz, minimalism and contemporary classical among others — while continuing their long-held reputation for an indefinable, genre-mashing sound. As a whole, the album’s material finds the band seamlessly weaving electronic and acoustic instrumentation, programming, beats, found sounds and sound collages to create a labyrinthine sound, full of twists, turns, secret passages and interconnections that requires deep and attentive listening.

Figures‘ second and latest single “Silent Silhouettes” is a mostly-instrumental track with a tango-like tempo, centered around shimmering keys, atmospheric electronics, a sinuous and strutting bass line and brief vocal passages spoken in a sultry and smoky French before a wobbling fade out. The end result is a track that’s mischievously anachronistic yet cinematic.

 

Deena Lynch is a Brisbane, Australia-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist multi-disciplinary artist and the mastermind behind three very different creative projects —  the rising music project Jaguar Jonze, the narrative illustration project Spectator Jonze and the photography project Dusky Jonze. “Everything I do stems from the need for dialogue – Jaguar being an internal dialogue with my subconscious, Spectator being an external dialogue with others on mental health and the mind and Dusky being a dialogue with the body,” Lynch explains in press notes.

Ultimately, all of her adjacent projects are powerful ways for Lynch to process and explore her most intimate vulnerabilities and dining the depths of her personality while empowering and encouraging others to do the same. “I can/t do anything without meaning,” Lynch says of her her Spectator Jonze project, which centers on bold and surreal pop-art that attempts to de-stigmatize mental-health issues through interviews and illustrated portraits of her subjects. Her 50th portrait, a year into the project, confronted her own PTSD stemming from an unstable, unsafe childhood. “I realized when I stepped out of hiding, I could actually move forward, feel less isolated. I want other people to unburden themselves from the wasted extra energy spent pretending and hiding,” the rising Aussie artist explains. 

Sometimes, she finds her subjects; other times, they find her. “There’s a girl in the States; she’s still one of my favorite drawings,” Lynch recalls. “She reached out to me, having come to terms with her psychosis, depression and anxiety. The level of awareness and openness she had really moved me because I was oblivious to the stigma I still held over the mental illnesses I hadn’t yet been exposed to. We still have this pen pal relationship with each other. We’ve never met in person, but I think she’s one of the biggest supports in my everyday life.”

Her photography project Dusky Jonze focuses on toxic masculinity with provocative photos. “We don’t talk about toxic masculinity enough. So I thought of it’d be funny to shoot male photographers,” Lynch explains. “And they ere open to it. They’d say ‘You know what? This makes me a better photographer.'” As a result, the photo project has become a more fluid effort to undo insecurities and taboos that surround the male and female body within the engendered eye of the photographer — and while the photos are dramatic, there’s a crass and playful sense of humor to them. You may see genitalia obscured with say — a banana. “I wanted it to be crass and crude. I like testing boundaries and making people question why they’re uncomfortable,” she says, laughing. 

Much of Lynch’s early success so far has stemmed from instinct and a healthy dash of serendipity: When she turned 19, she fell into music after a close friend died. While walking home one day, she passed a garage sale, where she purchased her first guitar on a whim. Without a single lesson, she was writing songs to help manage her grief.
“He was always in my ear about living life passionately—he could see that I was falling into this societal structure of doing what everyone expects you to,” says Lynch. 
“He left behind so much; amazing artwork, poetry and film. He was/is inspiring.” 

Her rising music project Jaguar Jonze can trace its origins back to a rather serendipitous moment: while playing an Iggy Pop tribute night in her native Brisbane, she witnessed an unhinged performance of an artist emulating Iggy that made her realize that she needed to up her game. “So, I cracked down two tequila shots,” she recalls. And then she became a roaring banshee. ““Everything I ever suppressed came spilling out. My shame and inhibitions broke down. I wasn’t afraid.” After that performance, everyone started calling her Jaguar Jonze. 

With her first  three original singles  –“Beijing Baby,” “You Got Left Behind” and her latest single “Rabbit Hole,” Lynch has quickly became a buzzworthy sensation in her native Australia: CoolAccidents named her an “Artist to Watch” after catching Lynch perform at BIGSOUND 2019. Since then she was named a Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist, which led to a collaborative cover of Nirvana‘s “Heart-Shaped Box” with labelmates Hermitude on the station’s ongoing Like a Version cover series. And she recently appeared on Eurovision Australia Decides 2020, where she performed such a frantic and energetic version of “Rabbit Hole” that she wound up dislocating her shoulder — in front of a national television audience of about 2 million people.

Lynch will be releasing her Jaguar Jonze debut EP through Nettwerk Music Group later this year — and building upon a rapidly growing profile, Lynch was about to embark on a Stateside tour that included appearances at New Colossus Festival, SXSW and a handful of West Coast dates. Unfortunately, because of the COVID 19 pandemic, many of the things we love and do on a regular basis are on an indefinite hiatus. Naturally, artists are currently anxiously screamingly and trying to figure out next steps — but in the meantime, the world feels like its grinding to a halt.

So I wound up chatting with the delightful and charming Deena Lynch during New Colossus Festival’s third day about a handful of topics including COVID 19, which was on everyone’s minds to the video concept for “Rabbit Hole,” her collaboration with Hermitude and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta-based indie rock act Arbor Labor Union features band members that have long been members of — and have been influenced by — the ideology and ethos of DIY punk and hardcore, with their work drawing from cosmic country and cosmic Americana, Whitman, an appreciation towards nature and the working-class sympathies of Woody Guthrie. Or in the band’s words “CCR meets The Minute Men.”
Their sophomore album, 2016’s I Hear You was released through Sub Pop Records and with a growing profile, the members of Arbor Labor Union toured with the likes of
Dinosaur, Jr.,Outer Spaces, Gnarwhal and The Gotobeds among others. Now, as you may recall late last year, I wrote about the shaggy and twangy “Flowerhead,” the first single off the band’s soon-to-be-released third full-length album New Petal Instants. Centered around a buoyant and propulsive CCR meets Sun Records country-like groove, the jam-like track is centered around a loose and expansive song structure paired with mind-melting meditations on nature and cosmos. But unlike their most of their previously released material, “Flowerhead” is arguably the most danceable/boppable they’ve ever released. 

New Petal Instants‘ latest single is the rootsy, CCR meets Neil Young and Crazy Horse-like jam “Give Us The Light.” Centered around a buoyant groove, the track twangy guitars and an enormous, arena rock friendly hook, the expansive song is a joyous and expansive meditation on nature and our connection to it. And while seemingly inspired by mind-expanding substances and whiskey, the song may be among the most accessible of their catalog.

 

I’ve written about and have photographed the Northeastern Pennsylvania-based shoegazers and JOVM mainstays The Stargazer Lilies quite a bit over the years. And as you may recall, the act which is comprised of founding and married duo John Cep (guitar, bass, vocals, drums, production) and Kim Field (bass, vocals) and a rotating cast of live drummers can trace its origins to when Cep’s and Field’s previous band Soundpool broke up.

Although Soundpool had built up a national profile, touring with Chapterhouse, Ulrich Schnauss, A Place to Bury Strangers, School of Seven Bells, Black Moth Super Rainbow, TOBACCO, and a list of others, Cep and Field desired a change in sonic direction. With Stargazer Lilies’ full-length debut, We Are The Dreamers, the duo established a signature sound, which meshed elements of dream pop, shoegaze — but with a muscular forcefulness. Their sophomore album, 2016’s Door to the Sun firmly cemented their sound and approach while expanding upon it. Since the release of Door to the Sun, Cep and Field have been relentlessly touring as both an opener and headliner, frequently with JOVM mainstay TOBACCO and his Black Moth Super Rainbow, and a list of others.

Slated for a November 1, 2019 release through Rad Cult Records, the band’s long-awaited third full-length album Occabot finds the duo collaborating with their frequent tourmate TOBACCO (a.k.a Tom Fec). Interestingly, their collaboration with TOBACCO can be traced to a Stargazer Lilies show a couple of years ago. “It just hit me they were way heavier than they seem,” TOBACCO explains in press notes. “And that wasn’t translating in their recordings. Their old stuff is panoramic and smooth; I wanted 3D and bumpy.”

Wanting to help get the duo where they all felt they wanted to be, Fec signed the band to his Rad Cult Records imprint and agreed to work on their third album. But not right away though. He let Cep and Field work on the material in their own idiosyncratic image first.  When the members of Stargazer Lilies had completed things on their end with eight raw and primal tracks, Fec then stepped in to distort, bend and burn the material’s overall sound even further.

Cep likens the creative process behind Occabot to what Andy Warhol did with pop art prints and The Velvet Undgeround and Nico. “Lou [Reed] said Andy was the best producer because he basically let the group do whatever the fuck they wanted. Tom did a similar thing with us; he let us have complete creative control, then added splashes of color and made it rough around the edges. Those embellishments make his artistic stamp on the project unmistakable, but leave the essence of our music very much intact.”

“Living Work of Art,” Occabot‘s boundary pushing single finds TOBACCO scrubbing the song with sandpaper then mangling Field’s and Cep’s work in a blender and throwing it into an acid bath while still retaining the hazy shoegazer quality of their previous work. Sonically you’ll hear blasts of hi-hat driven drums skittering across a thick wave of heavily distorted guitars that sound like broken and fuzzy synths while Field’s vocals ethereally float over the mix. It’s shoegaze for the impending end of the world.

 

 

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Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about London-based JOVM mainstays Ten Fe, and as you may recall, the act which, was founded by primary songwriters Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan officially expanded into a full-fledged band with the permanent additions of touring members and longtime friends Rob Shipley (bass) and Johnny Drain (keys), who are two of Duncan’s oldest friends from Walsall, and Alex Hammond (drums), who was with the band for the writing and recording of the band’s sophomore full-length album Future Perfect, Present Tense. 

Written in an East London vacant driving license office, tracked in Oslo, Norway  and finished with producer Luke Smith, Future Perfect, Present Tense thematically is a mediation on everything that has brought them all to the point of their sophomore album, and everything they’ve willingly (and perhaps unwillingly) left behind in actually getting there. Interestingly, the London-based act’s sophomore album is a decided sonic departure from its predecessor, as the material draws from 70s AM rock — in particular, Fleetwood Mac and others, while retaining an uncanny ability to craft slick and rousingly anthemic hooks.

I chatted with the band before their headlining Bowery Ballroom set earlier this week about their new album and more in what may arguably be one of the most fun conversations I’ve had in this site’s history. Check out the rest of the band’s tour dates and the interview.

 

Tour Dates

21-Mar, Philadelphia, PA, Milkboy

23-Mar, Toronto, ON, The Drake Hotel

24-Mar, Ottowa, ON, 27 Club

25-Mar, Montreal, QC, Bar Le Ritz PBD

27-Mar, Detroit, MI, Magic Bag

28-Mar, Milwaukee, WI, Colectivo

30-Mar, Chicago, IL, Schubas

31-Mar, Minneapolis, MN, 7th Street Entry

02-Apr, Denver, CO, Globe Hall

05-Apr, Phoenix, AZ, Valley Bar

06-Apr, Las Vegas, NV, The Bunkhouse Saloon

07-Apr, San Diego, CA, The Casbah

09-Apr, Los Angeles, CA, Troubadour

11-Apr, San Fran, CA,The Independent

13-Apr, Portland, OR, Doug Fir Lounge

14-Apr, Vancouver, Biltmore Cabaret

15-Apr, Seattle, WA, Barboza

24-Apr, Manchester, UK, Yes (Pink Room)
25-Apr, Edinburgh, UK, Sneaky Pete’s
26-Apr, Newcastle, UK, Think Tank?
27-Apr, Leeds, UK, Headrow House
29-Apr, Nottingham, UK, Rough Trade
30-Apr, Bristol, UK, The Louisiana
01-May, Brighton, UK, The Hope & Ruin
04-May, Paris, FR, Pont FMR
05-May, Antwerp, BE, Trix
07-May, Zurich, CH, Papiersaal
09-May, Vienna, AT, B72
10-May, Prague, CZ, Café vs Lese
11-May, Berlin, DE, Musik & Frieden
13-May, Hamburg, DE, Molotow
14-May, Cologne, DE, Studio 672
16-May, Nijmegen, NL, Merleyn
17-May, Rotterdam, NL, Rotown
18-May, Utrecht, NL, EKKO
19-May, Amsterdam, NL, Bitterzoet

(Photo Credit: Tracy Ketcher)

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(Album Photo: Niki Brody)

As I’ve frequently mentioned lately, over the almost nine years of this site’s history, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Kelsey Warren, a grizzled local scene vet, who has been in a number of projects as a side man, hired gun or frontman including Denise Barbarita and the Morning Papers, and Pillow Theory among others.

Initially begun in 2015 as a solo recording project with a rotating cast of players and collaborators for live shows, Warren’s latest attention-grabbing project Blak Emoji has gradually evolved into a full-fledged band that features Sylvana Joyce (keytar), Bryan Percival (bass, keys) and Max Tholenaar-Maples (drums). Now, as you may recall, with the release of “Another Club Night,” “Velvet Ropes & Dive Bars” and “Honey,” Warren and his collaborators quickly won attention from this site and elsewhere across the blogosphere for crafting slinky, 80s synth funk-inspired, dance floor friendly pop — a decided departure from Warren’s previous work.

Blak Emoji’s highly anticipated full-length debut Kumi was released last Friday, and yesterday I met up with Blak Emoji’s frontman and founder Kelsey Warren at Cadillac House in SoHo in a fun and easygoing conversation about the new album and much more. Check it out.

 

 

Founded by some of the originators of CMJ and its long-running CMJ Marathon, Mondo.NYC is a music, technology and innovation-based festival that within its first couple years has quietly taken the place of both the CMJ Marathon and New Music Seminar’s New Music Nights Festival. Now, as you may recall, the third edition of Mondo.NYC took place last week and it found the global, emerging music, technology and innovation conference moving a few miles east across the East River to Williamsburg, Brooklyn with  The Williamsburg Hotel,Rough Trade and Brooklyn Bowl hosting daytime conference-related events hosted by  The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Guild of Music Supervisors,Record Store Day, and others meant to connect fans, artists, music industry professionals, business pioneers and leading names in tech and music to network, trade ideas and learn in a rapidly changing industry landscape. Additionally, the panels, talks and other events were meant to inspire young people to take control of their careers — whether they were heading towards a technological-based career, behind the scenes in A&R, marketing, promotion, management and publicity or up in front as an artist.

Live music showcases took place across a handful of venues in the New York metropolitan area, including the aforementioned Brooklyn Bowl, Piano’s, Berlin, Arlene’s Grocery,  Coney Island Baby, The Delancey, DROM, Hank’s Saloon, Niagara, N.O.R.D. and Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall that featured artists from the US, Switzerland, Sweden, Hungary, Canada, France and elsewhere performing music across a wide array of genres and styles.

One of the artists who played during the music festival portion was the Swedish adult contemporary pop artist ELINDA, the collaborative music project of the Ekerö, Sweden-born, Stockholm, Sweden-based singer/songwriter and dancer Linda Östergren Frithiof and her husband, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mikael Frihiof. Linda Östergren Frithiof can trace the origins of her performing career as a trained dancer, studying at  the Lasse Kühler Dansskola School and the Ballet Academy, one of Scandinavia’s leading dance schools. While training as a dancer, it was discovered that Östergren Frithiof had a commanding voice and once she graduated dance school, she began performing at nightclubs, cabarets, vacation resorts, cruise ships and corporate events before landing gigs as a backup singer for a number of major Scandinavian artists including Magnus Uggla, Markoolio and E-Type, Shirley Clamp, Martin Stenmarck and Charlotte Perrelli, as well as Lutricia McNeal. She’s also sang vocal demos for Celine Dion, and collaborated with the likes of Leif Larsson and Anders Borgius for Swedish artists like Björn Skifs and David Hasselhoff. (Yes, David Hasselhoff.)

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Adding to a rather diverse and eclectic career path, Östergren Frithiof has played Sally Bowles in the Stockholm-based production of Cabaret and Joanne in the Stockholm-based production of RENT before joining The Original Band — The Abba Tribute, which features a number of musicians who have played with ABBA either on their records or tours. Additionally, Östergren Frithiof, was involved in the casting, choreography and scripting for the show, which has toured across Sweden and has performed in China several times, including a televised audience of more than 100 million viewers for the Chinese New Year broadcast.

Östergren Frithof, has been building up a profile as a solo artist largely inspired by the sounds, vocal styles and stage shows of Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Prince, Justin Timberlake,Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande and Bruno Mars. With her husband and collaborator Mikael, they formed a label Breaking Records and began writing and recording original material that draws from her own life, centered around her struggles and victories as an artist and mother of five. Interestingly, her MONDO.NYC set at Piano’s was her Stateside debut and I spoke to the up-and-coming Swedish adult contemporary pop artist and her husband at P.J. Clarke’s Lincoln Center location about her career to date, the MONDO.NYC Festival, her dance floor friendly, feminist anthem “Superwoman” and a lot more. Check it out.

(Credit: Violet Foulk)

Currently comprised of founding member Nick Wold (vocals, guitar), Marc Nelson (bass, vocals) a.k.a. Nelson, and Jacob Wick (drums), the up-and-coming Los Angeles, CA-based indie trio DREAMERS can actually trace their origins back to New York. As the story goes, the band’s Wold moved from his hometown of Seattle, WA to attend New York University’s Steinhart School to study jazz saxophone, and he quickly formed a grunge rock-inspired band Motive, along with Chris Bagamery, who Wold had known back in Seattle. Interestingly, after Motive split up, Wold had been living and writing songs in a Brooklyn rehearsal space when he and Bagamery met Nelson, who they recruited to join their new project — DREAMERS.

The trio’s debut single “Wolves (You Got Me)”  was released in July 2014 and quickly landed regular rotation on Sirius XM’s Alt Nation and was included on their Danny Kalb-produced, self-titled debut EP, which was released later that year. They ended the year with Alternative Press naming them one of their 100 Bands You Need To Know. With growing buzz around them, the trio signed a record deal with Fairfax Recordings and with a busy touring schedule, the band eventually relocated to Los Angeles; however, they went through a lineup change with Bagamery leaving the band and being replaced by their current drummer Jacob Lee Wick, who joined at the end of 2015.

 

DREAMERS ended 2015 with the release of their sophomore EP You Are Here, which featured “Shooting Shadows,” which was cowritten by Wold and Atlas Genius‘ Keith Jeffery, “Wolves (You Got Me)” and “Drugs,” among others — and they were wound up being selected (out of 500 aspiring bands) to open for Grammy Award-winning and-nominated act Stone Temple Pilots, during a select schedule of West Coast dates. Adding to a steadily growing profile, the band released their full-length debut This Album Does Not Exist,” which features many of the aforementioned songs and its first official single “Sweet Disaster.”  

Since then the band has been busy with a rather busy touring schedule that has included the summer festival circuit, and in fact, I wound up chatting with the band’s Nelson after their closing day set at The Meadows Music and Arts Festival at Citi Field last weekend. (More on that in future.) Recorded on my trusty iPhone 6s (so you do get the general ambience of a press area at a festival, including the 7 train above us), we chatted about the band’s formation and influences, as well as his advice on how artists can make a name for themselves; but along with that, Nelson shares a touching story about an incredible act of kindness by Chester Bennington during their stint opening for Stone Temple Pilots, and he updates us on Lil’ Trucker, the abandoned kitten the band found while on tour in Texas. Check it out.

 

Madeleine Dopico is an up-and-coming Sleepy Hollow, NY-born, Brooklyn, NY-based singer/songwriter, who has received a bit of attention over the past 12-18 months or so — “Nice Boy,” which she released late last year has received just under 220,000 Spotify streams and with the release of her latest single “Me to Bleed,” the Sleepy Hollow-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has begun to receive press from both sides of the pond. Adding to a growing profile, Dopico has performed at some of the area’s most renowned and beloved venues including a residency at Piano’s in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

 

 

Just on the heels of her set at The Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I spoke to the up-and-coming singer/songwriter in a playful and revealing interview about a variety of subjects including some of the following:

  • the stories and influences behind her three biggest, attention-grabbing singles “Nice Boy,” “Done,” which is one of my personal favorites and her latest single “Made to Bleed”
  • how she could trace her love of music, singing and performing to being a 3 year old, who one day burst into the 4-year-olds’ daycare class and began singing “This Land is Your Land,” complete with a mic drop-like moment
  • what she ascribes to her early successes and the role her supporters have played in it
  • the careful and deliberate ways she attempts to set herself apart from a very crowded and competitive music scene
  • her songwriting process, along with her influences
  • her recent listening, which has included a deeper foray into hip-hop, along with some suggestions by yours truly
  • the moment she took the biggest risk of her life — quitting a successful and secure day job and began focusing on music
  • and much more

Just based on this young artist’s earnestness and determination to succeed, along with pop star belter vocals, I think that 2017 will be a huge year for Dopico. Check out the interview.

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Over the course of the soon-to-be six year history of JOVM, New York-based singer/songwriter Anna Rose has developed a growing national profile with the release of a self-titled EP and two full-length efforts Nomad and Behold A Pale Horse — and of course, over that time, the New York-based singer/songwriter has also been a JOVM mainstay artist since its inception.

Officially seeing its release today, Strays in the Cut is the long-awaited follow-up to the New York-based singer/songwriter’s exceptional Pale Horse and as Anna Rose has explained in press notes, the songwriting and recording process forced her and her collaborators to look at everything differently, with a careful and deliberate attention to telling a particular story and evoking a particular period within the artist’s life with a conciseness that wouldn’t necessarily happen on a full-length album. Interestingly, because of that very conciseness the material manages to possess a laser focus — not only do the New York-based singer/songwriter and her backing band play and sing with a greater sense of self-assuredness, the material possesses a visceral and emotional weight to it, as lyrically the songs come from a much more personal, truer place.

I recently spent a few minutes chatting with Anna Rose about the new EP, her and her collaborators songwriting and recording process and how it changed for the EP, her upcoming acoustic tour with guitarist Adam Stoler, her father’s influence on her and her music, the video concept for the EP’s first single “Start A War” and much more in a revealing and very funny interview. Check it out.