Tag: Blondfire

ØZWALD is a Nashville-based Americana act, featuring Jason Wade and Steve Stout, two old pros, who have had lengthy stints as touring musicians in Lifehouse and Blondfire respectively. The project can trace its origins back to about five years ago when Stout was recruited to play on a Lifehouse world tour that would eventually be canceled; however, Stout and Wade developed a bond — and when Wade returned to California, he needed an engineer to work on some material, so he asked Stout, who had started working in production.

“What if we both sing?” Wade and Stout asked themselves. Instead of artist to engineer, their relationship quickly became artist to artist. Inspired by the prospect of creating something new, the duo set a goal of completing three songs in two weeks. The end result was the duo’s full-length debut Sweet Delirium, which was heavily influenced by the sounds and albums of the late 60s and the songwriting of Elliott Smith and Paul Simon. Since the release of Sweet Delirium, the duo relocated from Los Angeles to Nashville, where almost naturally, they wound up changing their songwriting approach — with their surroundings finding a way to bleed into the material they were writing.  As a result, the band’s forthcoming Born In A State EP, which is slated for a December release, is a major sonic departure and thematic influenced by the likes of Wilco, Foxwarren and Nashville that finds the duo in a contemplative and nostalgic mood.

Adding to the overall contemplative mood, while working on the material, which would comprise the Born In A State EP, Stout and his longtime girlfriend broke up. Crashing on Wade’s couch, the two wrote two songs a day, amassing twelve songs in two weeks. The duo recruited fellow musician and engineer Max Allyn, who helped fleshed out the material by directly contributing on the tracks, turning the duo into a trio.

The EP’s second and latest track “Worth The Wait” is a shimmering 70s AM rock-like track with a buoyant melody — but at its core is an awareness of the passing of time, of dreams unfulfilled and subverted, of the inevitable compromises of adulthood. But there are the small victories of love and family, of simply just being here another day — and those are things to celebrate.










Monica da Silva is an Los Angeles, CA-based, Brazilian-American singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentliast who has released a critically applauded solo album Brasilissima; however, she may arguably be best known as the frontwoman of the Bossa Nova influenced, indie pop act Complicated Animals with her longtime collaborator Chad Alger. And whether as a solo artist or as a member of Complicated Animals, da Silva has seen her music featured during the 2014 World Cup, TED, Ibiza Beats and Putumayo World Music’s Brazilian Beat compilation.

Now, it’s been some time since I’ve last written about da Silva or Complicated Animals, as the duo relocated to the Los Angeles area last year but in that time da Silva, Alger and Bruce Driscoll, da Silva’s brother, producer and other long-time collaborator, who’s best known as a member of Freedom Fry and Blondfire have spent their time working on da Silva’s latest solo foray, the haunting and cinematic “Soladado de Amor,” a simply arranged song that features da Silva’s gorgeous, old-timey, jazz-leaning vocals, Alger’s Latin guitar stylings, marching, polyrhythmic percussion and twinkling piano. And while evoking smoky, late night, jazz clubs and classic film noir, the song is largely inspired by the vintage marchinhas (marches) and popular samba songs of Brazilian Carnival.

Unsurprisingly, the song was recently placed on the BBC TV dramatic series The Replacement and will be included on da Silva’s forthcoming solo, sophomore album.