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Album Review // Gracie Schram “Dear Fall” EP

Country, Emerging Artists, Singer/Songwriter

27th September 2016

After her tour with American Idol runner-up David Archuleta earlier this year, Gracie Schram is now living in Nashville, TN. No stranger to the city, Gracie has been coming to and from Nashville for the past few years in order to network and get her name known around town.

Gracie’s first release was when she was just 10 years old and now, she’s releasing her newest EP, “Dear Fall,” which is set to be released on September 30th. This EP was coproduced by Brad Corrigan and Rick Seibold.

I had the honor of listening to Gracie’s new EP before its release this Friday.

The EP opens with upbeat, summery track “Anywhere You Go,” which oftentimes serves as Gracie’s set opener. The song is sure to be a crowd favorite with its melodic “ohs” in the chorus and its lyrics about young love that were written to sing along to. The chorus’ lyrics “Oh / you know / I’ll go anywhere you go /oh / I love you so / I’ll go anywhere you go” are simple and sweet — a combination that makes Gracie Schram shine above the rest.

The second track “Walls” is perhaps the most relatable track on the EP. Gracie says that throughout her tour with David Archuleta, this was the song that got the best reception among the audience. The piano driven music and heartfelt lyrics go hand in hand to make “Walls” the most emotional song on the release and the string section adds that little extra spark.

“You Are My Sunshine” is a cover that combines two classics, “You Are My Sunshine” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” This track seems destined to be on the hit television show Nashville. The two songs’ lyrics go together like peanut butter and jelly and Gracie makes it even more flavorful by employing beautiful harmonies. You can check out a live preview of the song below.

The last song on the EP is called “Don’t Cry Lullaby,” which is from the Ileana’s Smile soundtrack. Inspired by a girl named Ileana who was born and raised in a trash dump in Nicaragua, Gracie wrote the song for the movie after she was asked by Dispatch’s drummer Brad Corrigan. Just as its title suggests, “Don’t Cry Lullaby” makes you feel like you’re being wrapped in a long-overdue big bear hug. Ever since she was 10 years old, Gracie has been trying to change the world through her music, and “Don’t Cry Lullaby” has the power to do just that.

After the success of her previous release, I Am Me, and the quality of the upcoming EP, Dear Fall, it will be no surprise if Gracie charts on iTunes or on Billboard again like she did last time around. It’s only a matter a time before Gracie Schram has big artists opening for her on a sold out tour.

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Album Review: Jason Isbell // Something More Than Free

Country, Editors Choice, Folk, Singer/Songwriter

26th July 2015

Jason Isbell hails from the state of Alabama. With the drawl when he sings, and the dusty, slow, southern atmosphere that fills his music, that is a secret to no man. Something More Than free follows up on the enormously well received 2013 album Southeastern. With producer Dave Cobb on board yet again in his studio in Nashville, it is hard to imagine him not spitting out another great record with those blueprints.

From the single light in the darkness-approach, and the splinter of hope for better times we saw on the previous record, Isbell seem to have found humbleness and embraced contentment and appreciation of what he has. Singing about family, the earnest hard work, and the small but imperative things in life, Jason has decided to press the saturate button on this album. There are a far bolder expressions and an added playfulness to his words.

With ‘If It Takes A Lifetime’ opening the album, a humble vocal declares that hard work gets you better, and while not being at complete peace with everything you have there is a satisfaction, and with the backstory of Jason’s sobriety this speaks volume. Halfway through the album we meet ‘Children of Children’ that has an early Neil Young feel to it. The hypnotic strings and guitar solo that seem to continue forever enchants you.

In this song he reflects on his influence on his mother and the prospect of ‘what ifs’ to her life. “I was riding on my mother’s hip / she was shorter than the corn / all the years I took from her / just by being born.” The heartbreaking statement leaves you wondering how much soul-searching heartbreak has cost Jason himself, but it is where he shines the brightest. He paints atmosphere, surroundings and emotion in very few phrases with no misses, which continues through and through.

The bluesy song about the Civil War, ‘Palmetto Rose’ is where he contemplates the history of his country with conflicting attitudes but ultimately states, “I follow my own free will.” In the other end of the spectrum, there is the classic acoustic song ‘Speed Trap Town’ that tells the tale of a defect father figure and finding the means to leave a small town.  “She said, ‘It’s none of my business but it breaks my heart’/ dropped a dozen cheap roses in my shopping cart / made it out to the truck without breaking down / everybody knows you in a speed trap town.” Jason Isbell’s blueprints turned into a well-crafted 5th studio album that most of all shows personal growth from the man himself and his willingness to share those stories with no filter.

Article by Flipse Flebo

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Album Review: Kacey Musgraves // Pageant Material

Country, Singer/Songwriter

7th July 2015

Last month Kacey Musgraves released her third album entitled “Pageant Material”, and at first I didn’t even think it was even listening material. But after my second go around I was in love.

I discovered Kacey after her second album “Same Trailer Different Park” was released in 2013 and I was instantly hungry for more. When I heard she would finally be releasing another album this year I was ecstatic. But as soon as “High Time”, the first track on “Pageant Material” kicked in, I wasn’t so convinced that this was the same artist I came to love so much.

As I listened to the rest of the album I was still unsure of how I felt about it, but after deciding to give it that much needed second listen, I found myself really enjoying what I was hearing.

Kacey has always been one to emphasize that taking life too seriously is not going to get you anywhere, and that just being yourself is all you really need to do to be happy and this really comes to light on this album. Tracks like “Cup of Tea’ (which is my favourite song on the album), “Biscuits” and “High Time” remind us of that. Not to mention the lyrics on those tracks are super clever!

The album reminds us as well that no matter where you go in life and no matter what you do, your hometown will always be home whether you do or don’t love it and the same goes for your family. “Dime Store Cowgirl”, “This Town” and “Family is Family” get that concept down to a tee!

The title track “Pageant Matieral” may just be the new anthem for girls that don’t exactly fit the traditional mould that society has set for them and personally I can agree with that song completely. I hope people everywhere can see the message in this song and believe that no matter the mould, just because you don’t fit it, it doesn’t mean you’re not just as important as everyone else!

Altogether, I didn’t give this album the credit it is due. From beginning to end this album flows almost seamlessly. There is a track that everyone can relate to whether you’re a country fan or not, I wouldn’t put it past “Pageant Material” to make some people country fans by the time they finish listening. Kacey’s album is currently 7th on the iTunes Top Album chart and is sure too keep climbing!

It may have taken me a while to warm up to this album but in the end Kacey Musgraves is still my cup of tea! Take a sip of “Pageant Material” I bet there is a song that’s just your cup of tea too!

Article by Emily D’Orazio

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photo source : www.directlyrics.com

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Hunter Hayes releases ’21’ Music Video

Country, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

30th June 2015

’21’ was released as a single in May this year and has already reached close to 9 million hits on Spotify.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 10.51.58 PMThe video, which was published a few days ago, features Hunter rocking out on his guitar as well as dancers moving to his beat. Instead of showing their faces we only see their figures dancing, but one could easily tell they are having fun whether they are dancing on their own or with someone else. “Remember what it’s like to just dance all night / We’ll dance all night ” .

 

The song is one of Hunter’s latest singles, alongside ‘Where is all Begins feat.Lady Antebellum‘ which was released earlier this month, and ‘Young and In Love‘ which was released recently.

’21’ is definitely one of the few songs that I would have on repeat for hours.

’21’ is also available on iTunes. Check out the video here!

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Single Review: The Strypes // Get Into It

Country, Editors Choice, Emerging Artists, Folk

19th June 2015

The new single by the youthful blues boys, The Strypes, has the band mooning over a domineering woman … certainly a change from the innocence of their debut album Snapshot in which frontman Josh McClorey sings about ‘Blue Collar Jane’ who “just wants some milk and sugar”. Instead, ‘Get Into It’ is a far more mature sound from the Cavan Quartet.

Peter O’Hanlon’s throbbing bass line plays over some risqué guitar creating super desirous rhythms to accompany the sexed-up lyrics of a band only in the early stages of their crazily bright future. But don’t be too wary of the young lads old sound, their new music still has the trademark lengthy harmonica solo that completes their unique style.

The bands are on the line up for some of this 2015’s very best festivals including T in The Park and Y Not Festival. The bands new EP ‘Flat Out’ was released on June 1st in the run up to the release of their second album hitting the shops in early July 2015.

Article by Katie Watson

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