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Robin Alice’s Here & There

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Artist: Robin Alice

Album: Here & There

Reason We’re Cranking It: Fans of the “Pitch Perfect” franchise will recognize Kelley Jakle, who appeared as Jessica in all three films, but it is her powerful vocals and the range in which she displays that impeccable skill set that makes us wish this EP was a full-length so that we could enjoy even more of the Robin Alice experience.

What The Album Tells Us About Them: Americana with a melodic pop, the duo – which in addition to Jakle also features the guitar work of Jeff “Horti” Hortillosa – write with systematic synergy, a natural pairing that seems to be glued together by an artistic attraction, or, creative love at first sight. The future is always uncertain, but if these two stay the course and keep writing together, the possibilities in what they can accomplish together are limitless.

Track Stuck On Repeat: Patsy Cline laced with soul, “Late Bloomer” is actually the exact opposite, flowering from the first note all the way through to the last. Jakle’s emotion can be felt in each line that she delivers, making us not only hear what she is singing, but feel it at the same time.

And that means…

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Opening Act

Cosmo Gold

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Artist: Cosmo Gold

Socials: Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Members: Emily Gold, Peter Maffei, Stephen Burns, Mike Deluccia

TrunkSpace: Your debut EP was released on June 7. Did the band feel any pressure in delivering on the songs in a way that served as the best possible introduction of Cosmo Gold to the masses? Did that “This is our first impression…” focus ever trickle into the process?
Gold: Naturally, we wanted to make a good impression but when we initially began the writing process we didn’t even know we were going to be starting over as a “new” band. This project evolved from my previous band, Velvet, and the songs just seemed to organically become this other thing. So I’m not sure we would have done anything different if it had been, say, our second or third release. However, I think track listing and choosing the order of the singles was subject to that focus.

TrunkSpace: In sitting down to listen to your music for the first time, what do you think someone might learn about Cosmo Gold through the music itself?
Gold: I think the wide variety of our influences will come through.

TrunkSpace: What would your 10-year-old self think about the EP? Would she be surprised by the musical journey you’ve traveled thus far as an adult?
Gold: I would be proud of how far my musicianship has come but I’m not sure I’d be surprised. I loved super lush, dramatic kind of arrangements even as a kid and would make Garageband tracks in middle school using all the strings, drum loops, etc. It was basically a primordial version of how I like to make music now.

TrunkSpace: When it comes to Cosmo Gold songs, are they ever truly finished? Is what we hear on “Waiting On The City” the same version of the songs we’d hear in a live setting a year from now, or do you find yourselves always tinkering and tweaking?
Gold: Who knows! Always open to growth if a better musical choice bubbles up through performance or if we had different resources or sonic limitations. If we somehow played the Hollywood Bowl, for example, you bet your ass I’m getting a full orchestra and choir with like three extra guitar players.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Gold: The final arrangements. My band and I were pretty meticulous about every element – we ripped some of the songs apart and re-recorded/rewrote parts. “Carnivore pt. I (Beautiful Day)” and “Carnivore pt. II & III” is especially fun to listen through and remember all of the choices we made. We thought about that one a lot and I’m really proud with how it turned out.

TrunkSpace: You’ve all been involved in other projects over the years. What is it about this one and its members that fuels your creative fire?
Gold: I think our commitment to communication and collaboration. We all have a say in the creative and musical direction of the band, which is both exciting and challenging. Also, we are like family. We live together and hang out all the time so it doesn’t feel like the band is separated in any way from the rest of our lives.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist?
Gold: Live performances. If we have a weird set I have a hard time not being bummed about it. But, I now also see it as an opportunity for growth.

TrunkSpace: Many musicians say that music is a form of therapy. Is it that way for you? How has creating music helped you navigate this wild ride we call life?
Gold: Absolutely. I don’t know how people get through life without expressing themselves creatively. Writing songs is cathartic for me. It takes a complex emotion and puts it into a neat three to five minute thing that exists outside of the brain. It’s very satisfying.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your musical career thus far?
Gold: Working on this record.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Gold: Yikes! Seems like a freaky Butterfly Effect type of situation!

Waiting On The City” is available now.

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Wingman Wednesday

Madeleine McGraw

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Photographer: JSquared Photography/Hair: Gui Schoedler/Make-up: Desirae Cherman/Stylist: Jessica Margolis

Animated Disney movies are enjoyed generation after generation, over and over again. For example, our parents watched “Cinderella” in the 1950s, and then we watched it in the 1980s, and now our kids are watching it in a different century than when it was produced. That timeless, evergreen viewing experience is not lost on 10-year-old Madeleine McGraw, who plays Bonnie in “Toy Story 4,” set to hit theaters on June 21.

I almost can’t wrap my head around it,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with McGraw to discuss how she reacted upon learning she had been cast in the fan-favorite franchise, being a part of the Marvel cinematic universe, and the kindness of her “pretend dad” Patrick Fugit.

TrunkSpace: We are huge fans of the “Toy Story” movies because there is always something for everyone in them – both kids and adults alike. Were you a fan of the movies prior to being cast, and what was your first thought when you learned that you’d be playing Bonnie?
McGraw: I was five when I booked the role of Bonnie and I had definitely seen all three “Toy Story” movies. I loved them so much! We used to drive from Northern California to Southern California a lot and I would always bring all three movies for our drives. I remember when my mom and dad told me I booked Bonnie. I ran around our house screaming! I was so excited.

TrunkSpace: Bonnie is a character who was previously established in “Toy Story 3” and then appeared in a few of their holiday specials as well. Were you nervous taking on a character who had been voiced by a previous performer? Did you have the freedom to make her your own in this latest installment?
McGraw: When I first got the audition they were definitely looking for a voice match. I listened to the talented Emily Hahn and realized Emily and I sounded similar. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, especially Emily. You get very attached to a character you work on for such a long time.

TrunkSpace: Disney movies like “Bambi” and “Cinderella” are more than 70 years old but are still enjoyed by kids today. Is it cool knowing that your work will be watched by people for generations to come?
McGraw: Oh my goodness… YES! I know I am only 10, but I do think about how someday my kids, or even my grandkids, will get to enjoy this amazing series of movies. I almost can’t wrap my head around it.

TrunkSpace: What was the most enjoyable aspect of getting to play Bonnie in “Toy Story 4?”
McGraw: Well, I loved getting to work with Josh Cooley (director) these past four years and I hope to work with him and Jonas Rivera (producer) again and again. They were always super supportive. I also loved getting to record at the Pixar Studios in Emeryville. It was like an extension of Disneyland. I didn’t want to leave.

TrunkSpace: Without giving away any spoilers, what are you most excited for people to see when they sit down and watch “Toy Story 4” when it hits theaters on June 21?
McGraw: I can’t wait for everyone to meet Forky and watch his adventure with the original toys.

TrunkSpace: The franchise is one that always gets plenty of merchandise tie-ins, including toys. What is it like seeing a toy based on a character that you portrayed on the big screen?
McGraw: I don’t know if they will make a Bonnie toy, but I was incredibly lucky to voice a car in “Cars 3.” I played Maddy McGear. (Named after me – Maddy McGraw.) Having a character named after me was probably one of the most incredible things that has ever happened to me. Then when I saw the cute die-cast Maddy McGear car, I cried. It was a really special moment.

TrunkSpace: You also appeared in “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” portraying a young Hope Van Dyne. With the recent release of “Avengers: End Game,” what does it feel like knowing that you were a part of such a huge, international success as the Marvel cinematic universe?
McGraw: It definitely doesn’t feel real. But it does feel incredibly special. I am a HUGE Marvel Fan! My brothers have their whole room decorated in Marvel stuff. My pretend dad from “Outcast,” Patrick Fugit (we are still super close), his awesome wife, Jenny, and my whole family, always go to see all the Marvel movies together. It was so cool to take him to see “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” The whole Marvel experience is something I will never EVER forget! I still can’t believe I was a part of it. So grateful!

Photographer: JSquared Photography/Hair: Gui Schoedler/Make-up: Desirae Cherman/Stylist: Jessica Margolis

TrunkSpace: Another project that you starred in with a comic book connection is “Outcast.” Are there any characters from the world of comic books that you’d like a chance to play in the future?
McGraw: Playing Amber Barnes was such a gift. Robert Kirkman is, well, a genius. So if he came up with a new comic book character that I could play, that would be awesome. But honestly, I love Marvel so much, it would be an honor to play any of them.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
McGraw: Well, the highlight for me would definitely have to be all the amazing people I have met. Some of my closest friends and mentors in my life I have met because of acting. My friend Megan Park (“The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) has been such an incredible friend and mentor to me. She cast me in her directorial debut and she keeps casting me in just about anything she can. Besides directing and acting, she is such a gifted writer. I admire her so much. Meeting her and having her in my life is definitely a highlight. Same with my pretend dad from “Outcast,” Patrick Fugit, he is one of the coolest people I know. I had a tough audition recently and I asked my mom to call him and see if he could help me. He totally made space in his day to help me out. So meeting him has also been a huge highlight.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
McGraw: No, I would want to experience the journey as it comes. I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise or work any less hard. I like having goals and working to reach them.

Toy Story 4” unwraps in theaters June 21.

Featured Image
Photographer: JSquared Photography/Hair: Gui Schoedler/Make-up: Desirae Cherman/Stylist: Jessica Margolis

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Musical Mondaze

Jade Jackson

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Photo By: Matt Bizer

It’s comforting to think that we might have angels looking over us, fully prepared to step in and save us from the world and ourselves just as we’re about to teeter off of whatever ledge it is that we’re dangling from. Of course, that’s not reality, but for some, real-life angels do exist. Singer-songwriter Jade Jackson had one, and as it turned out, he looked a lot like punk rock legend and Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness.

In fact, it was Ness.

He showed up at just the right moment, swooping me away from the doubts depression was feeding my mind and helped me believe in my music again,” Jackson said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

Her latest album, “Wilderness,” was produced by Ness and is set to be released on June 28 from ANTI-.

We recently sat down with Jackson to discuss the power of vulnerability, overcoming her demons, and why being committed to your craft isn’t an easy task.

TrunkSpace: In sitting down to listen to your music for the first time, what do you think someone might learn about you?
Jackson: Songwriting is therapeutic for me. It’s where the energies stored inside get the chance to escape and change form. Being honest about my feelings is vulnerable and vulnerability gives people the opportunity to look into who I really am.

TrunkSpace: You first decided to pursue a career in music at just 13 years old! Would 13-year-old Jade be surprised by the artist you are today?
Jackson: No. 13-year-old me had a fire in her belly that propelled me in the direction leading to where I am now.

TrunkSpace: Part of that original spark to pursue music came about after seeing Social Distortion live. Years later, it would be frontman Mike Ness who helped kick-start the path that you’re currently on. For so many people, meeting their heroes ends in heartbreak, but for you, could there have been a more serendipitous journey from where you began to where you are now?
Jackson: It’s quite the serendipitous story, isn’t it? Mike and his music inspired me to pursue my passion tirelessly. Him reaching out to work with me helped keep my dreams alive during a very dark season in my life. He showed up at just the right moment, swooping me away from the doubts depression was feeding my mind and helped me believe in my music again.

TrunkSpace: Ness has put out some amazing solo albums with a hard-crashing country twang, including one or our favorites, “Cheating at Solitaire,” released in 1999. How much did he influence your own sound, which itself has that prairie punk vibe that we can’t get enough of?
Jackson: Mike and I have the same country heroes. We bond in our love for George Jones, Buck Owens and Johnny Cash. “Cheating at Solitaire” is a brilliant work of art that’s influenced me on both a subconscious and conscious level.

TrunkSpace: Artists come and go. Some fade. Some burn out. That being said, Mike Ness has not only been active for decades, but he has been relevant as well. Did you take any advice from him, specifically about career longevity, that you’ll carry with you?
Jackson: Be patient. Be true to your art. Work hard, sweat and never stop. His career is a great model of what I want for my own. I think people underestimate the work that goes into records and touring. Mike works his ass off and cares deeply about every detail. Being that committed to your craft isn’t an easy task. I’ve learned, am learning, and will continue to learn a lot from him in the years to come.

TrunkSpace: What are you hardest on yourself about as an artist?
Jackson: There have been several shows that’ve ended with me curled up in the green room in tears, wanting to disappear. Touring wears your body, soul and spirit ragged. And it’s that imbalance mixed with a show where I feel I’ve failed to connect that allows past demons to take control and steal my peace. Those are the hardest moments for me to overcome. Overcoming them though is what makes me stronger.

Photo By: Xina Hamari

TrunkSpace: You’ll be releasing your second album “Wilderness” in late June. What emotions are you juggling with as you prepare to release it into the world? Is it difficult relinquishing control over something you’re so close to and letting the universe have its say now?
Jackson: Laying the tracks down in the studio was the hardest part. Singing my songs in an isolated booth without human connection was difficult but I’ve discovered performing those same songs live and sharing them with the world empowers me. The more honest I am about my feelings, the less I care about what people think of me.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Jackson: I’m proud of the team around me and our ability to work together to create something that feels honest and true.

TrunkSpace: Where and when are you the most creatively inspired?
Jackson: It totally varies.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Jackson: No. I try not to focus on the destination. It’s difficult, but practicing being in the moment and doing the best I can with what I have at the time is most important to me.

Wilderness” is available June 28 on ANTI-.

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Musical Mondaze

Damn Tall Buildings

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Photo By: SCOTT MCCORMICK

Meeting at Berklee College of Music and cutting their collective teeth busking on the streets of Boston, the foursome that eventually became Damn Tall Buildings feel the least alone when they’re together and playing music. After a brief hiatus of physical separation, the talented musicians moved to Brooklyn, New York together and altered their focus, which rekindled their creative ambitions and lead to their latest album, “Don’t Look Down,” released independently on June 7.

If that togetherness shines for you in the recordings then you’ve gotten a pretty good glimpse of who we are,” the band stated in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Damn Tall Buildings to discuss “all” the feelings, finding an artistic connection with each other, and why striking a balance between self-care and self-sacrifice is so important.

TrunkSpace: Your new album “Don’t Look Down” dropped last week. What kind of emotions do you juggle with as you gear up to release new material into the world?
Damn Tall Buildings: ALL THE FEELINGS. It’s a real mix of excitement and anxiety. We’re really proud of this record and that has been stoking the fire pretty intensely. A wonderful and new-to-us aspect of this project is that the recording and a large chunk of production/distribution was made possible by two-hundred-odd backers on Kickstarter. The generosity of these fine folks refueled a desire to reach beyond the stage and do our utmost to bring everyone who’s ever been there for us a piece of our spirit they can/will want to carry with them.

TrunkSpace: What were the creative goals when you first set out to tackle the album, and now that you have some separation from it, would you say that you were able to put a check in every one of those boxes?
Damn Tall Buildings: One example of the things we faced early on was the task of finding/building/recording sonic worlds for each song, and balancing them inside this eclectic universe of an LP. It felt like Dan (Cardinal) of Dimension Sound Studios became our fifth member during the process of creating this album, and the end result feels continually good to us, which we’re taking as a good sign.

TrunkSpace: For those who are not yet familiar with the band, if they were to listen to “Don’t Look Down” for the first time, what would it tell them about who Damn Tall Buildings is as a band? How does the music itself represent its members as human beings?
Damn Tall Buildings: Our live performance is chalk full of unbridled honesty around one mic, and Dan captured that spirit masterfully. The album is home to a lot of collective truths of ours and is an honest capturing of who we were when we recorded it. Very much like how every live performance of ours is an honest display of who we are then. In the end, we’re a family. Seems to be we tend to feel the least alone when we’re playing music together. If that togetherness shines for you in the recordings then you’ve gotten a pretty good glimpse of who we are.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Damn Tall Buildings: The fact that we made it! It exists! It had been a few years since our ‘15 EP and all that time and life built up pressure to the point of us saying, “We either make this record, or we reconsider the future of the band,”

TrunkSpace: The cover art for “Don’t Look Down” is very compelling. Can you talk to us a bit about how that all came together and ultimately carried over into the visual branding for the singles as well?
Damn Tall Buildings: We had the pleasure of working with Scott McCormick down in CO. He’s the creator of some of our favorite album art (Gregory Alan Isakov, The Infamous Stringdusters, Mandolin Orange), and the idea that transformed into our cover art was among the first he’d mentioned to us. The imagery pays homage to an age old Chinese myth of Wan Hu, the first “astronaut”. The tale tells of a sixteenth-century official who (as told by George Edward Pendray/quoted on Wikipedia): “Wan decided to take advantage of China’s advanced rocket and fireworks technology to launch himself into outer space. He supposedly had a chair built with forty-seven rockets attached. On the day of lift-off, Wan, splendidly attired, climbed into his rocket chair and forty seven servants lit the fuses and then hastily ran for cover. There was a huge explosion. When the smoke cleared, Wan and the chair were gone, and was said never to have been seen again.”

We’re tickled by this example of someone who took their loftiest goal and literally shot for the stars. It feels very akin to our decision to make this record and our keen desire to do it “right” (up to our standards). Scott’s deft creativity has given the album a visual anchor that we are as proud of as we are of the music.

TrunkSpace: The band is based in Brooklyn but you got your start busking on the streets of Boston. How did that city and its scene influence the band and shape you into the artists that you are today?
Damn Tall Buildings: We all came to Boston for college (all four of us attended Berklee College of Music), but busking together is mainly what helped us find our creative voices. Boston made for a great incubator, and everyone we met during our time there has played a huge role in shaping us as players, performers and people. We are lucky enough to still get to make music with/along side some of our oldest Boston friends & influences (Twisted Pine, The Western Den, Lula Wiles, Honeysuckle just to name a FEW). In addition to band family, places like Club Passim, The Burren, Cantab Lounge, Club Church (RIP) became homes to us while we’ve grown into our current sound. As a band, growing up in Boston taught us that true friendship and being true to yourself are two vital ingredients for success, no matter where we find ourselves.

Photo By: SCOTT MCCORMICK

TrunkSpace: Between Boston and Brooklyn, you all went your separate ways for a bit. Did that absence make the creative heart grow fonder? When you came back together, did it make even more sense than when you first started out in Boston?
Damn Tall Buildings: Our separate ways were physical/goal-based, which is to say we were still gigging on weekends, sometimes every other week for months at a time. Still, the creative heart did grow fond as we found it continuously hard to connect while only seeing one another for shows. New songs came floating to the surface during this stint and kinda demanded to be made into a record. Deciding to move to Brooklyn together and re-tuning our collective focus in ways we hadn’t since our early days certainly rekindled our creative fires, and made it possible to make the recordings we’d been dreaming of.

TrunkSpace: What is it about being in a band – and this band in particular – that you can’t achieve in a solo capacity? Are your artistic fires fueled by the creativity of those around you?
Damn Tall Buildings: Absolutely. There’s an undeniable something that happens when you connect with someone. It’s like coming to a profound understanding for the first time. Your blood pumps just a bit better for a moment, and your whole body feels like it’s buzzing on a new frequency. The four of us definitely feel that buzz when we play and the vibes are so multiplied together, it often becomes infectious.

We are RICH with people around us who share their gifts with us. We wouldn’t be who we are today without getting to explore our art with our musical family.

TrunkSpace: What is the most difficult thing about being a working musician in 2019?
Damn Tall Buildings: (Laughter) Probably staying healthy. Mentally and physically. Often spiritually. This profession takes a toll on all three and sometimes it’ll take folks out when they’re not lookin’. This is a big one because every performance is a gift to the audience. Whatever you’re feeling most inside you when performing will inevitably be directed outward. Healing can turn to poison if the doctor stops caring. So we’ll say the most difficult thing (and what we’re always navigating here at DTB HQ), is finding the balance of self-care and self-sacrifice that can sustain the level of experience that we and our fans have come to expect from our work as a band.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Damn Tall Buildings: If we could take the journey and didn’t like what we see could we go back and change things? Even so, probably not. About four years ago a musician friend that we all respect told us that the best years of his career were living in a shitty van and playing rooms for however many people, so we have taken that as creed. We’re trying to embrace every bump of this ride as we go, and carry that creed forward to bigger and better things, no matter the journey.

Don’t Look Down” is available now.

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Opening Act

Tanbark

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Artist: Tanbark

Socials: Facebook/Instagram/Twitter

Hometown: New York, NY

Members: Chloe Nelson and James Jannicelli

TrunkSpace: Your latest album drops today. What kind of emotions do you juggle with as you gear up to release new material into the world?
Nelson: Certainly a mix of nerves and excitement, but also a sense of relief. There’s a kind of unsettled feeling that goes along with living with this unreleased music for so long, but every day that the release gets closer, that feeling goes away a bit.

TrunkSpace: There’s so much music out there… most of which is accessible in a click or two. Can that be an overwhelming thought when you consider how crowded the landscape is?
Nelson: It can feel that way. But it’s amazing how, once you start to find where you fit into that landscape, you realize that it’s not so much one big crowded landscape, but lots of little mini-landscapes that don’t seem nearly as overwhelming. Being in New York has been so much fun because, of course, there’s everything here. Incredible jazz players, bluegrass players, rappers, DJs. It all enriches the music scene, but it’s so varied that things don’t crowd each other.

TrunkSpace: There’s so much to love about your new album, but what we enjoyed most was that it has a complete front-to-back feel to it… like an album produced in the 1960s. Was that something you set out to achieve when you first started to put the record together?
Nelson: We definitely wanted that sort of thing from the beginning. We love albums and that’s just kind of the world we come from. But I think the album kind of naturally took shape during the writing and recording process, rather than being planned out. The songs are written separately from each other over years, but then recorded all at once over days or weeks. So maybe there’s two songs that could be done with a similar feel, but you end up doing one of them softer or faster or with a different arrangement, because you’ve already recorded a few of the others and you can suddenly see a new way for this one to fit in.

TrunkSpace: Beyond writing and recording the music itself, what was the most enjoyable aspect of bringing the album to life? What is something that the average person may not consider, that in the end, you look back on fondly in terms of the process?
Nelson: The demo’ing process pushed us in a couple directions, and it felt serendipitous when things finally fell into place. For example, we picked up my grandfather’s classical guitar and created a delicate strumming pattern for “Ragdoll Blues” that we ended up keeping for the recording. Then, the actual recording process involves moments of downtime and introspection, and it was great hanging out with our fellow musicians and engineers. Having lunch together, talking about music, seeing what everybody else is into at the moment, what they’re excited about. All of that stuff really ends up feeding into the music, and it’s fun to look back and see how much the album is a product of that particular moment with those particular people.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Nelson: I am really proud of the vulnerability that you can hear in the album. We tried to reference a mellow Laurel Canyon-esque musical landscape, but ground it in personally meaningful songs.

TrunkSpace: We love great music, but within great music we are particularly drawn to great lyrical snippets – the kind that make us curse the universe for not coming up with ourselves. What is a favorite line of yours off of the album and why?
Nelson: Probably the first lines from “Châtelet.”

The way you hold your pen/ You make the men go crazy/ Tell you over again/ A philosopher is not a lady

The song is written from the perspective of Voltaire, and it is addressing his lover (and one-time protegée), the great thinker and physicist Emilie du Châtelet. I was reading a biography about their affair, and I was struck by how ahead of their time they were and also how Châtelet was limited by being a wonderful mind in a woman’s body. I love thinking about the repercussions of putting pen to paper and what that meant for them.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourselves as artists?
Nelson: We’re always working on being better musicians and writing the most honest songs possible. It is definitely hard to finish one song, let alone a whole album.

TrunkSpace: What has music brought into your life that you would have never expected? Has there been a benefit or side effect that you would have missed out on had you not pursued this path?
Nelson: The musicians we meet. We’ve had evenings where everything just sparks, whether that is in our rehearsal space, in the studio, or on stage. Those connections are magic.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your musical career thus far?
Nelson: It is hard to pinpoint one thing, but I love the tangibility of finishing and releasing a song that has been brewing for years. Every time it is exhilarating!

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Nelson: Yes – why not? I’m looking at my tea bag right now and it has a Lord Byron quote on it: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods.” You never know what magic is in store (or what perils!), but hopefully we can continue to share our music and meet more like-minded spirits.

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Sit and Spin

Surprise’s Natural Disaster

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Artist: Surprises

Album: Natural Disaster

Label: Spartan Records

Reason We’re Cranking It: Filled with such palpable hurt and longing that the emotions tied to the songs become just as much yours as they are brainchild Brooks Paschal’s, “Natural Disaster” is a musical middle that is easily relatable to anyone who has ever been jilted, abandoned or overlooked. Flipping the bird is not an act done without an exclamation point to punctuate it either, so spin this middle finger with as much volume – or exclamation – as your desired devices allow.

What The Album Tells Us About Him: Although there are elements of familiarity by way of Paschal’s musical past, this is not Sullivan, the band he has fronted since 2001. The North Carolina-native has taken a more no-holds-barred, raw approach to his songwriting, spitballing a wide range of emotions that feels edge-of-your-seat exciting and almost improvisational. He is shooting from the hip but also straight from the heart.

Track Stuck On Repeat: “El Salvador” has an infectious energy to it that is inescapable. With the crunch of the first chord to the crisp ingress of Paschal’s vocals, this is the most pleasant of surprises by an artist whose namesake implies that they’re coming.

And that means…

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Wingman Wednesday

Emily Haine

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Photo By: Farrah Aviva

With great writing and a chance to be seen by a loyal and loving fanbase, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is the kind of modern day television that actors are clamoring to be involved in. For Emily Haine, who made her debut as Elspeth in Season 2, that excitement began to build very early on in the auditioning process. Still ecstatic to have been cast in the bingeable Netflix behemoth, the Vancouver native says there’s something special not only about the series but the production itself.

Theres something in the air on set,” she shared in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “Sometimes fans stand outside the studio gates to catch a feel for it.”

We recently sat down with Haine to discuss the need for a wild streak, eating pistachios with the shell on, and why she’s advocating for more human honesty in midst of the social media age.

TrunkSpace: Season 1 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrinawas a huge success, both with fans and critics. Is there an extra surge of personal excitement when you are joining a series with so much buzz behind it?
Haine: (Laughter) Yes! The buzz for me started with casting. ‘Brina auditions bring out the best talent. Seeing my friends turn up, knowing theyre out there when I go into the room, electrifies me. At the end of the day we all want to be part of a show like this with great writing and the potential for being seen. You gotta be a little wild to do this job. I can put all I’ve got into auditions and hear nothing back. But the nos only make the yess that much sweeter. By Satans divine intervention this is one of the times they were into it! Im still freaking out!

TrunkSpace: Although still grounded in reality, the series is one where anything is possible. From an acting standpoint, is it fun getting to arrive on a set where you can do the kinds of things on screen that are inconceivable in real life?
Haine: Theres something in the air on set. Sometimes fans stand outside the studio gates to catch a feel for it. Its the palpable tension between exhilaration and working long hours. Somehow the mythical, magical and the mystical come to life when were filming. I really cant explain it.

TrunkSpace: Elspeth is a confident, cool as a cucumber character. In terms of her personality, how has she differed from past roles? What has she allowed you to do on camera that you have yet to be able to tackle?
Haine: I see Elspeths confidence as her shield. High school can be like a poker game. Dont show your hand too soon, especially when the dark arts are afoot. Theres so much of Elspeths inner life to explore. Ive never played a witch before – what up witches! What has she allowed me to do? Maybe reanimation… but Im pretty sure I do that every morning if you know what I mean.

TrunkSpace: Elspeth ages slower than normal people. Is that the kind of power you would ever want to have in real life, because in some ways, it feels like it could eventuallyas others around you become oldfeel more like a curse?
Haine: In the industry, and societally, we put a ton of unhealthy emphasis on looking young – Ive been told by previous agents to lie about my age. There are a lot more roles for younger females. For that reason its tempting… but Ive seen enough movies to know that we shouldnt mess with the natural order of things, so no.

TrunkSpace: For the viewer, the end product is always the most memorable, but for those involved in the project it must go much further than that. Whats the most memorable aspect of getting to work on Chilling Adventures of Sabrinathat youll carry with you through the rest of your life and career?
Haine: My biggest take away is the crystallization of certain beliefs Ive been harboring. That we do create the foundation of our reality with building blocks in our heads. Think it, be it. Be really super clear on what you want and then work hard for it. Take classes, read books, watch Ted talks, do whatever you can to clear the way for your dream to unfold. Believe in yourself more than anything else and you will shine! Fall down, get back up. Keep trying. It wasnt that long ago that I was a kid dreaming about being an actor. Now Im an actor dreaming about acting, playing piano, a claymation horror short I want to make…

TrunkSpace: You used to be in a punk band. Whats the most punk thing about you, now, at this stage in your life?
Haine: Well, as an artist you kind of abandon security and normalcy – this job looks bougie but most of us are living paycheck to paycheck for five minutes of screen time. Is that punk? I eat pistachios with the shell.

Photo By: Farrah Aviva

TrunkSpace: You recently made an announcement on Instagram that you want to be more transparent about your own mental health so as to create a safe sharing space and to help others not feel alone. People are always there to point out the faults of social media, which we totally understand, but its benefits do stretch beyond self-promotion. Could you feel how your declaration helped others, and in return, did their reaching out then help you?
Haine: Thanks for progressing the conversation. I wanted to create a moment that shattered whatever public perception people may have of me and challenge how I see myself. Its easy to post flattering pictures and I am proud to share my accomplishments with friends, but whats beyond that? To pretend that we dont face hard times is delusional. I feen for that type of honesty online, like Jameela Jamil, shes one of my heroes! Sometimes the best way out of a dark hole is a big jump. Im so glad I did it. Your stories, messages, DMs, calls and texts revive me. It turned whatever uncomfortable feelings I had about sharing into easily the best thing Ive done on social. Because of that Im currently penning a presentation on my personal experience with mental health for a volunteer advocacy speakers position with Mood Disorders Association of BC.

TrunkSpace: Were suckers for a good banana bread here, and from what we hear, you have the skills to turn those old bananas into a loaf lovers dream! Just how beyond ripe does the fruit have to be to make the bread the best bread it can be?
Haine: Ripe enough that you wouldnt eat ‘em.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Haine: This moment right now.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Haine: What if Im not happy? Can I change the outcome? If yes, then fire it up! If not, then hellll nah. Ill come with you to look at your life though if you want! Ill bring my laser gun. Pew. Pew. Cause its the future.

Season 2 of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is available now on Netflix.

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Musical Mondaze

Charlie Collins

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With a steady diet of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Gram Parsons growing up, Charlie Collins learned early in her life that it was best to write and sing what she was feeling. That lesson by osmosis is apparent all over her full-length debut “Snowpine” (out today on Mirror Music Group), an album that pulls no punches when it comes to personal reflection and lays it all out on the table – ups, downs and all points in between.

I don’t hold anything back,” the Australian-born singer-songwriter admits in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Collins to discuss finding peace within herself, battling inner demons through song, and how her dad helped her to find the truth in music.

TrunkSpace: “Snowpine,” is due out today. What kind of emotions do you juggle with as you gear up to release new material to the masses, particularly in the case of your full-length debut, because for many listeners this will be their first introduction to who you are as an artist?
Collins: The emotions range from ecstatic to nervous. This record is the most honest I have ever been with my music. It talks about from when I started music from the age of 10 up until now and all the heartbreaks, struggles, highs and lows I’ve ventured upon. I do hope it gives the audience more of an understanding of who I am and knowing that I’m raw, broken, real but how I’ve overcome all the challenges that came my way.

TrunkSpace: In sitting down to listen to your music for the first time, what would someone learn about you through the music itself?
Collins: I don’t hold anything back. Like I literally can’t make up a story. Everything you hear is what’s happened/happening in my life. Growing up on country music such as artists like Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Gram Parsons taught me how to write what you feel, sing what you’re feeling, because that’s the only way people can truly connect with you.

TrunkSpace: We read that “Snowpine” happened very organically. You found your way back to the guitar after some time away from it and the songs started to work their way out. What do you think was the key to this being the right place/right time for you creatively?
Collins: I think as a person I was ready to tell my story and open up all the suppressed emotions I’ve buried for a long time. I was at a place of peace with myself and who I wanted to be. I had a shit load of stories to tell and a fractured heart to verbalize them through song.

TrunkSpace: There’s a lot of personal reminiscing on the album. Was the creative process a bit of a walk down memory lane for you, and if so, did you end up revisiting things you would have never imagined you’d be discussing publicly?
Collins: For sure. I never thought I would ever be at a place where I could talk about my depression I struggled with for years. I’ve always been quite closed off so to expose that side of me is quite daunting but also liberating. The first track on the record sums up a lot about the inner demons I battled with.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Collins: Seriously, everything. I’m proud of the songs, the way it sounds, the way it happened so naturally and the way it captures how I’ve wanted to sound and everything I’ve wanted to say for so long.

TrunkSpace: We enjoyed the storytelling aspect of “Snowpine” and your ability to establish a compelling narrative in the lyrics and their delivery. What do you think the key is to taking the listener on a journey that goes beyond the music itself?
Collins: I really think being honest is key for me. I remember my dad telling me when I was a kid, “The song you’re singing, what does it mean? Tell me what you’re singing about? Do you feel it?” And since then I’ve never shaken that and carry it with me wherever I’m at.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist?
Collins: I guess never feeling good enough. “Please Let Me Go” is about that. I have a tendency to compare myself to others and feel inadequate among the sea of musical people. BUT I’m getting better at dealing with that. Hence why I didn’t throw my guitar in a fire pit.

Photo By: Christopher Collins

TrunkSpace: Is it possible to overthink a song? Can a songwriter tinker so much that the breath of the song – the thing that makes it special – be exhaled?
Collins: That’s one thing I don’t do when it’s me and my guitar in sync with one another. It all comes out at once. I never go back on lyrics because whatever comes out is what I needed to say. As far as recording goes, that’s why I wanted to record live so we were all feeling at the same time without too much thought. There was no right or wrong, just playing what you think the song itself needs to accompany it.

TrunkSpace: Is there a particular feeling you get – a vibe – when a song is officially done?
Collins: FUCK YEAH.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Collins: Honestly I don’t ever think about the future but if I did I hope I’m just still making honest music and staying true to who I am no matter where I am or what stage I’m on.

Snowpine” is available today from Mirror Music Group.

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Sit and Spin

Rose Hotel’s I Will Only Come When It’s A Yes

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Artist: Rose Hotel

Album: I Will Only Come When It’s A Yes

Reason We’re Cranking It: Alt-country with a splash of dream-pop preciseness, Rose Hotel’s full-length debut is an eclectic collection of tracks that plays like an anthology. While there’s a theme that holds the narrative together, the individual songs all stand on their own, which makes sense given the musical diversity that accompanies frontwoman Jordan Reynolds. With nearly a dozen creative co-conspirators on “I Will Only Come When It’s A Yes,” including members of Material Girls and Palm Sunday, there’s enough artistic energy found among the nine songs to fuel nine more… each with their own atmospheric storytelling perspective.

What The Album Tells Us About Her: Reynolds’ writing doesn’t just establish a tone but also a mood. With the ability to stimulate feelings as opposed to simply expressing them, she has built a world that the listener exists within and has made “I Will Only Come When It’s A Yes” a communal experience.

Track Stuck On Repeat: “Write Home” floats through you, carrying the listener off on a cloud of delicate vocals and a dreamy trumpet that serves as the perfect punctuation to a song destined for replay status.

And that means…

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