We’re not particularly into album reviews at Thirty Roses but one of our favorite bands just released a new record. Since we couldn’t pass up the chance to speak of their greatness an AWL feature seemed fitting. This edition of Artists We Love will be slightly different from the others because Typhoid Rosie is different. The nature of their album is different and my dynamic with songwriter and lead singer Rosie Rebel is unique. This will be more ‘first person’ than other AWLs and it may be a combination of information about a band I really love mixed with a little LiveJournal entry c.2000 thrown in for good measure.
I came to know of Brooklyn’s Typhoid Rosie the way I come to know a lot of artists; via Twitter. They followed me and sent a link to their song “Better to Know Now”. I listened, as I do every song I’m sent, and loved it at first listen. Something about it was different. This Rosie girl was different. And her name was Rosie, which endeared her to me immediately. I sent the band a direct message on Twitter, which I seldom do, to tell them that I really loved the song, and got a reply. It was an automated reply, which anyone who knows or has worked with me knows I’m not a proponent of. I sent another reply, hoping to get a human, but the band are busy people, which I understand, and the automator replied again, which irritated me further. A few minutes later lead singer and songwriter Rosie Rebel sent me a reply. She was gracious and lovely and I was irritated by the bot messages. I tend to tell musicians exactly what I think and I don’t doubt I was curt and probably pretty snotty about the entire thing. She fixed the bot and its repeat messages and we got to chatting about the most important thing; the music. Rosie told me about their album and how it came to be. She explained that she was relatively new to songwriting. She told me about her mother suffering an aneurysm at her Grandmother’s wake and dying later that day. She told me about her struggle to find her way after that and how she started to write songs. Not the: “you are the sun in the sky and your love will always be a rainbow” sort of songs about grief, though those certainly have their place. Instead, Rosie wrote songs about real grief. The ups and downs of the process and how raw it can leave you, how lost it leaves you, and how it changes you forever. I told her my own story of loss, about my fiancé and how, like her, I didn’t get to say goodbye. I told her his nickname was Rosie. We shared stories of our respective journeys and have been bonded by loss and music ever since. (You may remember we premiered Typhoid Rosie track “On the Day” at Thirty Roses).
Of course, none of that would mean anything if the music didn’t hold its own, but it does. Hearts Bleed Goodbye, which Rosie calls her ‘musical Taj Mahal’ is a really beautiful record. What could have easily turned into a maudlin, melodramatic, depressing sap-fest is a guitar and drum driven, catchy pop record. Much like the late Doug Hopkins, formerly of the Gin Blossoms, Rosie has a penchant for disguising sad lyrics in melodies so catchy that, unless you really pay attention, you may not notice. Of course, not all songs on Hearts Bleed Goodbye are about loss, which is the best part. The album touches on adulthood and being in different stages than your friends, being deceived, and well, life. Playing on the album are band members Matt Kursmark: (Guitar), Justin Rothberg: (Guitar), Dean Wartell: (Bass), Phil Wartell: (Drums), and Leah Farmer: (Keyboards). It is when the lyrics are at their most vulnerable that the band truly shine. In the album’s title track (“Heard that an angel got her wings/Shed her shell, and then she flew away…” “See the streets, they’re bustling with life/But inside I feel paralyzed/Inside I feel paralyzed..”) the music is powerful without sounding harsh or angry; a true juxtaposition of the grieving process. In other songs it’s just really fun, catchy music to sing and dance to.
Typhoid Rosie accomplished the difficult feat of making a record that deals with sad, sensitive subject-matter that sounds really fun. Hearts Bleed Goodbye is a must-listen and the perfect summer soundtrack. It’s available on all major digital retailers and streaming sites. Stop what you’re doing and listen to it. Now.
Visit the TyphoidRosie.com website for the latest tour info and social media links.
Last week singer-songwriter Marcio Novelli released a video for track “Remember Love”. Filmed last March just after the birth of his second child, Novelli describes the song as “a reflection of the evolution of affection and how it grows and changes over time from obsession and infatuation into something much deeper and more meaningful. Despite this transformation, it’s essential to remember the passion and excitement that formed the attraction in the first place.”
Novelli’s fans have come to expect his music to be emotive and honest and “Remember Love” is no exception. A self-described eclectic artist, Novelli’s music offers clever melodic play and genuine musicianship. Songs range from ballads to raucous and some which lie somewhere in the middle; there’s something for everyone. Drawing inspiration from life, love, and literature, Novelli’s lyrics leave room for the listener to glean their own interpretation.
In addition to writing songs and singing, Marcio is an award-winning filmmaker. His documentary Walking Proof chronicled the making of his album It’s Not an Excuse, It’s a Reason and it won multiple awards and unanimous praise.
In his spare time (haha), Novelli is the co-host of one of our favorite podcasts, Bridge the Atlantic, in which Novelli and co-host Ross Barber interview entertainers, musicians, and music industry professionals and discuss a variety of topics pertaining to their careers. This is done with levity and a practicality that other shows are sorely lacking. Each episode offers real-world advice while somehow managing to make you spit out your drink, usually more than once. If you don’t already subscribe to Bridge the Atlantic, do it now. Go HERE
Rent Marcio’s award-winning film, Walking Proof HERE
Follow Marcio on Spotify, Twitter, and Facebook
Check out some of Marcio’s music below:
The new video, “Remember Love”
My favorite song, “This Song Is Not For You”
S.A.D (BTA listeners know this one 🙂
Every so often we feature an artist whom we struggle to classify. Having just released his second record as a solo act, Jesse Valenzuela certainly falls into our Artists We Love category, which aims to shine a light on some of our favorite new(ish) music that we can’t wait to share with our friends. That seems easy enough but when you consider that in his other gig, as guitarist and chief songwriter for Gin Blossoms, he’s amassed multi-platinum sales, gotten a Grammy nomination, gone on several world tours, and done television appearances that number well into quadruple digits he seems pretty well established. Our Underappreciated Artists features have always focused on artists whose overwhelming talent never received the public reception of which it was worthy, which also doesn’t entirely apply to Valenzuela. So here it is, our first ever Underappreciated Artists We Love hybrid. To honor the longevity of career and contribution to music but also make a lot of you aware that Jesse Valenzuela also has a solo career you may not know as much about. Onwards and upwards ~XO
For over twenty years Jesse Valenzuela has written many of the songs you know by heart. The songs that served as the background music to your fondest memories, your heartbreak, your joy; the soundtrack of your life. Perhaps unknowingly, most people can sing along to songs he’s written or collaborated on as they’ve become the songs that just kind of exist in the ether. Songs such as Gin Blossoms 1995 hit Til I Hear it From You are still mainstays twenty years later and the band still tours consistently throughout the year and continues to release new material.
2002’s Tunes Young People Will Enjoy seemed like a natural evolution from Gin Blossom to solo artist. It had the expected jangle and catchiness, but with more of Valenzuela’s personal influences at the forefront. Tracks like Spark and Lucky Stars anchored a record which, for the most part offered the sweet melancholy that has come to be expected from Valenzuela. Andale Pues, on the other hand, seemed to show that without the confines of a band and its vetting processes, Valenzuela was willing to push boundaries further than many people realized.
Hotel Defeated is very much an expansion of that mentality. With songs that are influenced by a myriad of styles and artists, it’s as if Valenzuela realized he could make exactly the record he wanted to make. Released on June 22, Jesse Valenzuela pulled out all the stops on his sophomore solo effort making an album which is an amalgamation of Americana, blues, rock, pop, and a splash of mariachi (for good measure).
Sound of Temptation is a bluesy affair with subtle notes of Brian Setzer’s guitar, while Keep Falling could easily fit in on a Ryan Adams record with Valenzuela crooning: “But if you’re asking I’d just as soon stay home with nothing to do. I lie here in your bed, radio on, I keep falling in love with you.” Tragic Hero proclaims: “Here’s a little tragedy that goes like this. It starts sweet enough with a little kiss. Before too long, you’re craving her like water, you’re craving her like air.” Blue Town and Lightning Bar Blues provide all the jangle-pop hooks few deliver as well as Valenzuela, but the album’s title track, a collaboration with fellow Tempe music icons Lawrence and Mark Zubia, is the most varied on the album. Melding lyrics in English and Spanish and accompanied by mariachi folk guitar, this song is best listened to while drinking margaritas on a summer evening. The album draws from genres and styles that may not symbiotically work together but Hotel Defeated presents as a fluid, cohesive record that gets better with each listen.
Jesse Valenzuela is currently on tour with the Gin Blossoms. Check out their tour schedule HERE
There’s currently no info on a solo tour but to get the most current information follow Jesse on Twitter HERE
Check out his music on iTunes and CD Baby
Here’s a throwback to one of the times I met Jesse backstage at some festival or event or similar.
If you have a few minutes to spare, check out this songwriters showcase
We haven’t done an Artists We Love Feature in quite some time, mostly because all of the music we’ve been obsessed with in the last several months has gone straight to The VT. Then, when doing our doing normal perusal of NoiseTrade we stumbled upon a brand new EP by a brand new artist: Lucia Valentine.
Just aged 18, Ms. Valentine is launching her music career on NoiseTrade and her eponymous four-track set has her off to a lovely start. Placed in the ‘pop’ category, the expectation was something along the lines of Katy Perry or one of her ilk, but Lucia Valentine’s music is more comparable to a less jazzy Norah Jones, Meiko, Mikaela Davis, or perhaps Emily Hearn.
Genuine pop that isn’t overly processed ClearChannel swill and a gorgeous voice singing sincere lyrics; we can’t wait to see where her career takes her!
Head to NoiseTrade for a copy of Lucia Valentine’s music industry debut! You can get it free or leave a tip!
Follow her on Facebook and Twitter
Keep up with everyone on her official website
It’s always a pleasant surprise when you come across an artist who writes their own songs (the kind you swear you’d written yourself…if only you could find the words), sing their own songs, and, as an added bonus, are an absolute delight to be around. I’m speaking of none other than Mary Bue (surname rhymes with ‘view’)!
If you aren’t familiar with her, you are now! Per her website she’s a “playful expansive real indie songstress” and in all honesty, I’d be hard-pressed to describe her up any better. With only her voice and her piano, Mary Bue tells the tales of her loves, losses, misadventures, thoughts, regrets, and the minutiae that lies in the deep recesses of her mind. While she may be compared to Aimee Mann, Natalie Merchant, and artists of that ilk, when you listen to her it doesn’t ever feel like you’re listening to anything you’ve heard before. She’s a gentle soul with a gentle voice whose genuineness shines through in her music and stage presence alike. She is an artist you must become acquainted with and you must do so now! Mary tours often, particularly in the mid-west, so be sure to follow her Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can keep up with her tour dates! Also keep up to date with her news on her Official web site!
If you aren’t sure what to give some people on your Christmas list, check out Mary’s Indie Gift Guide
Mary wrote a post about her tour and was kind enough to mention moi! Check it out HERE!
We have another great musician to tell you about with our latest AWL feature! Chicago area native Greg Spero is a pianist, composer, and highly accomplished jazz musician. For those of us who write about music rather than perform it, he also seems to be a little bit magical. Spero is highly respected in jazz circles, having been asked to join the Buddy Rich Big Band in 2012 and being named Chicago’s Best Jazz Entertainer in 2013. While much of Spero’s music will appeal to jazz aficionados, his ability to add elements of electronic and ambient music to his compositions is what makes his music so versatile. His latest record, the Kickstarter-funded Electric, was our first introduction to his work and it’s exquisite.’Raga’ is the song that initially caught our attention with its eclecticism and vibrancy, while ‘No Rest For the Weary,’ one of the few tracks Spero sings on, is a relatively mellow affair that would be as comfortable on a mainstream pop radio station as it would be playing at your favourite jazz club. The album Radio Over Miles is a unique take on a cover album as it features Spero’s arrangements of Miles Davis and Radiohead songs. He and fellow musicians Corey Wilkes (trumpet), Junius Paul (bass), Makaya McCraven (drums), Tim Seisser (bass), and De’Sean Jones (saxaphone) succeeded in reinterpreting beloved music by legendary artists and making it exciting in a completely unfamiliar way.
Those in Chicagoland can catch The Greg Spero Trio playing a series of shows at Andy’s Jazz Club this week.
Visit Greg Spero’s Official Website for news, gig info, and to subscribe to the mailing list HERE
Buy the above mentioned music as well as the rest of Greg Spero’s material on iTunes
Like his Official Facebook Page
Follow Greg Spero on Twitter
One of the many wonderful things about our partnership with The vt blog is the influx of incredible music we get to hear. The other day we got a suggestion from Nick Blake, mastermind of the vt, which said simply: “I think you’ll like this one.” He was so right! The band in question was Seattle’s Vaudeville Etiquette and the video was for ‘Oh,’ from the album Debutantes & Dealers.
The music veers in all directions, never losing focus. The band seems to draw influence from everywhere with some songs sounding like they’d be at home at a speakeasy and others befitting airtime concurrently on country and Top 40 radio. Despite these variations in influence and style, the music is always fluid and absolutely delightful. Vaudeville Etiquette’s music rests in the brackish waters of alt-country. As a genre, that one gets complicated as it’s most often a default classification for music that is too pop to be rock, too rock to be pop, too country to be rock, too alternative to be any of the above, too blues to be folk, and too much of something to be considered anything else, so it’s called alt-country (or Americana, there’s little delineation). Somehow Vaudeville Etiquette weave through each of these intermingled genres, draw from elements of each, and create a sound truly unique to them.
The band are currently touring and have a series of dates scheduled around Washington with more to come. Do catch them if you’re in the area!
Keep up with the band on Twitter and Facebook
Visit their website for the latest tour dates
Coming out of Brighton, England, 14 Iced Bears are driven mainly by singer Rob Sekula, guitarist Kevin Canham, and bassist Will Taylor. They were a main cog of C86 music, which for those who don’t know, was a cassette club run by the infamous, but influential NME.
The largely unknown 14 Iced Bears are an interesting blend of 80’s, 90’s, with mostly positive vibes. Despite the weird band name, they are a very artsy, and polished group. They play a blend of mostly creative pop with rock style drums, guitar, and a pervasive synth sound which creates, as all great pop bands do, a sunshine feel good vibe over the songs. Even when the lyrics, or the music itself is dark. Which brings us to the lyrics. While many of the songs are clever and thoughtful. Many are also dark, and sad, such as ‘Cut,’ ‘Dust Remains,’ and ‘Mother Sleep.’ In ‘Dust Remains,’ he sings broodingly about the end of a relationship, and in cut, rejection, “don’t ever call me again.” They deal with social phenomena, and progress through the albums, to points of positive emotion, such as in surfacer, he is “hoping to find a way” in the last song on their self titled first studio album.
They only released two studio albums, 14 Iced Bears(1989), and Wonder(1991), though both have some gems. ‘Rare(Like you are),’ and ‘Love on Sugar Mountain’ both have a driving rock catch to them. The lead song off of Wonder, ‘Hold On’ is in my opinion by far their best song, and could easily appeal to a mass pop audience. ‘Surfacer,’ ‘Cut,’ ‘Dust Remains,’ and ‘Spangle’ are my favorites on 14 Iced Bears. They also released a variety of B-Sides on the compilation Hold On Inside(2013) including another great track, ‘Balloon Song,’ whose jangle rhythms match any out there. his compilation was on one of my favorite labels, the brilliant Cherry Red Records. They toured briefly in 2010, but haven’t given any indication of more albums to come.
Follow them on Facebook and Twitter
Buy their music from Cherry Red Records or Bandcamp
Our latest musical obsession is Robynn & Kendy. While you may be thinking we’ve featured a lot of female singers, and even a lot of duos, Robynn & Kendy are the first artists we’ve featured who sing Chinese/Contonese pop music; and they do it beautifully.
They introduced the world to their music via a YouTube in 2011 and created enough of a following to play shopping malls, cafés, singing competitions,and media events.This created enough momentum for the girls to get signed to Universal Music Group in 2012 and they’ve continued to build upon that success since then.
Their voices blend together beautifully and the harmonies and melodies they create transcend any and all language barriers that may exist. Any fan of opera knows powerful music and emotive singers can convey feeling; the language is almost an afterthought. While Robynn & Kendy sing pop songs, they effectively let tempo and tone create the mood for the song allowing the listener to do something American pop music seldom does; infer. For those who prefer literal translations, the duo offer English translations to several tracks which are equally gorgeous. Some of their songs feature what seems to be something of a signature where one of the girls sings the chorus in Cantonese while the other harmonizes in English: It sounds absolutely gorgeous.
Incidentally, their videos are equally stunning, find a couple of our favorites below!
Check out their Official YouTube Channel
Buy their music in the iTunes Store