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Jon Reynolds & The Aches

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Despite popular belief, many musicians have careers outside of the studio. For singer-songwriter Jon Reynolds, that is something that helps to keep him grounded while providing real world inspiration for the subjects he writes about.

The starving artist is romanticized but the working artist isn’t,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

Reynolds latest EP, Petrichor, is available soon, but in the meantime, you can check out the singles “Come Now Spring” and “Love Blind.”

We recently sat down with Reynolds to discuss sharp changes, the Nashville community, and art speaking for the people.

TrunkSpace: A lot of artists and musicians have been creatively-inspired during this extended period of isolation. As we understand it, our societal pause gave you the motivation to put this collection of songs out to the masses. Would Petrichor be here today had it not been for what has been a very strange and difficult 2020?
Reynolds: The short answer is no. I cannot say that it would be here without the shut down. I think that some form of this EP would exist, but not at the artistic level and not with the same songs. Having this break gave me clarity and focus which turned into growth and opportunity. I certainly don’t think I would be answering these questions right now if it weren’t for that sharp change.

TrunkSpace: You are very busy outside of music. Does a career away from songwriting refuel the creative tank and keep the songs flowing?
Reynolds: My non-artistic work definitely keeps me in touch with very real things to write about, but that’s not to say it never gets in the way (forgive my double negative). Over the last couple years, it certainly tipped over into the “getting in the way” realm as opposed to the “inspiring” mode. It’s a part of being an artist that isn’t talked about that much – the fact that most of us also work and live in the non-artistic world. The starving artist is romanticized but the working artist isn’t. Finding the balance between allowing the realities of life to inspire your art and not allowing those realities overwhelm you is something I’m still learning. Right now, though, I feel closer to that balance than ever before.

TrunkSpace: You moved to Nashville to pursue music, but we can’t help but wonder, does being in such a musically-rich city have its drawbacks? As much as that creativity can inspire your own, can it also be overwhelming knowing that so many people are running the same race and looking for the same end goal?
Reynolds: HA! I think if I were anywhere else in the world, the answer would be “yes”. But I’m in Nashville, so, no. Nashville is a community of supporters, not attention seekers. We are all going for the same goal, but there is a sense here that we are only able to achieve that together. I mean, I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it weren’t for other writers, artists, musicians, etc. And, I look forward to sharing any success I have with the people who have stuck with me.

TrunkSpace: Petrichor is set for release in the near future. What kind of emotions do you juggle with when releasing new material to the masses? Does this one feel different given the current state of the country/world?
Reynolds: I think I usually have a 50/50 split of fear and excitement. This time around I think I may have tipped the scales in favor of excitement because I really feel like these songs hold their own on a lot of levels. With the current state of things, I have a weird mix of worry that I’m selfishly seeking attention while at the same time feel like the audience has finally arrived for my kind of artistry. I have always written about social issues. I think the world is in a place where they want their art to speak to those topics.

TrunkSpace: If someone sat down to listen to the EP front to back, what would they learn about you both as an artist and as a person?
Reynolds: As an artist, I think they’ll learn I appreciate the way a song makes a person feel. These days I focus so much on the vibe and arrangement of a song – even more than the lyrics sometimes. I like to use my songs’ music to make connections. The feeling you get when you hear something that grips you is impossible to ignore and can even be healing. I think listening to the whole EP from top to bottom will leave you with a very grounded feeling.

There are a lot of things you can learn about me as a person from this EP, but it’s hard to make that judgment myself. I definitely think a person can pick up on the range of experiences I try to include in my life. I cover lots of topics in five songs. Hopefully, that’s a good thing!

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the songs on Petrichor?
Reynolds: By far – the production. I worked so hard with my engineer/assistant producer Owen Lewis to get every detail right. These songs really sound like me. It’s so easy to second guess yourself in this industry, but at the end of the day, I pushed through the exhaustion and doubt and stuck with my gut. I think what came of it was something very lyrically human and sonically dense.

TrunkSpace: Would 10-year-old Jon be surprised by the artist he would one day become? Are you writing songs now that the kid version of yourself couldn’t even get his head around?
Reynolds: Oh yeah! Ten-year-old me did not see this coming. Back then, I was mostly playing classical piano pieces and arranged hymns with the introduction of some classic rock tunes. But, there has always been a part of me that knew music was central to who I was. As for songwriting, I didn’t really pick it up till my mid teens – I’m definitely writing circles around my younger self… thankfully! He wasn’t that good.

TrunkSpace: Where would you be without music in your life? Is it possible to imagine a time when you would call it quits and hang up the guitar for good?
Reynolds: There have been moments where I entertained the thought, but it always feels like I’d be letting a part of me dissolve. That doesn’t seem… healthy… if that makes sense. I know that music helps me be a better person, a better friend, and a better husband. It keeps me focused on those values. If I didn’t have it, I think I would be a much worse version of myself – like I wasn’t living up to my potential to create good in the world. Even when I try, I can’t imagine hanging up music.

TrunkSpace: What is the most rewarding portion of the creative process for you and why?
Reynolds: Usually it’s the songwriting – to create something out of nothing that will stick with people is so gratifying. But in this project, the most rewarding thing was the additional tracking I did with Owen. We were both in the trenches getting every tone, every sound, every expression, and every mix just right. It was creativity at its finest. It’s the first time I felt like I got exactly what I wanted out of a recording.

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?
Reynolds: I would! I am really optimistic about my journey in music. This EP has given me a lot of confidence and a lot of determination. I think the future holds a lot of good things for me!

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88/89

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Photo By: Ben James

With other creative endeavors winding down, the two parts that make up the synth-pop duo 88/89 (listed simply as Jack and Michael) found each other in the right place and at the right time.

We bumped into each other at a very similar time in our life when we were open to do what’s necessary in a creative partnership,” they said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “We trust each other creatively even if at times something doesn’t sit right at the beginning.”

88/89 just released the La Felix remix of their single, “Hit Me”, available here.

We recently sat down with the duo to discuss a different kind of time machine, balancing on a seesaw, and getting creative during lockdown.

TrunkSpace: You guys dropped the track “Hit Me” on August 21, and the La Felix remix of the same track just last week. What does this single say about where you are musically in 2020?
88/89: “Hit Me” represents the path musically that we want to go down. We experimented with a few different sounds and this was the first time we started using drum machines, which changed how we approached the writing process.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the single?
88/89: This is where we came together musically and found a common ground. Before, we were focused more on rock music. “Hit Me” is the track where we branched out with regards to our influences.

TrunkSpace: First impressions mean everything. If someone had never heard your music before and “Hit Me” was their first exposure to the 88/89 sound – would they get a full sense of what they’d hear at 88/89 show? What would they not experience with their headphones on that they would front-and-center in a club seeing you perform?
88/89: Sonically they’d get a good snapshot of 88/89. Musically “Hit Me” represents the beginning of something; the rest of the songs on the EP we wanted to fit together like a puzzle and have their own identity and energy.

With regards to the live show, it’s gonna be a very different experience. There’s only two of us on stage so we wanted to create an atmosphere and for everything to make sense as engaging as we could make it. So all of the organic sounds: voices, guitars etc., come from us and all of the synthetic sounding instruments: synths, drum machines etc., come out of a giant box we built called the Time Machine. It acts as the 3rd member of the band and also lights up in time with the music.

TrunkSpace: From what we understand, you guys came together after different creative endeavors outside of each other came to an end. What did you guys find in one another creatively that lit the fuse to form 88/89?
88/89: We could go into a lot of detail but essentially we both have our strengths and our weaknesses and we seem to balance each other out. We bumped into each other at a very similar time in our life when we were open to do what’s necessary in a creative partnership. We trust each other creatively even if at times something doesn’t sit right at the beginning. The creative process is a bit like balancing on a seesaw. We’re never both down at the same time but most of the time we sit in the middle.

TrunkSpace: Is there such a thing as creative soulmates, and if so, have you guys found that in each other and with the project 88/89?
88/89: One-hundred percent.

TrunkSpace: What does the writing process look like for you guys? How does an 88/89 song go from core concept to completion?
88/89: We rarely approach a song the same way twice. There are so many different ways a song can start. From who instigates a song or idea to what instruments we start using and end up with. We try not to overthink it and just go with our instincts. We regard it creatively as a 50/50 partnership. So pinpointing exactly who wrote what and when gets quite blurry and doesn’t really matter to us.

TrunkSpace: We would imagine that one of the benefits of working with someone else on any creative endeavor is having the immediate springboard at your disposal to bounce ideas off of and know what works and what doesn’t? What are some other benefits of creating alongside someone that going solo doesn’t allow for?
88/89: The creative process is very individual. What works for one person might not work for another; for some working alone works well, and for others working in a band of six works better. Making the discovery of what works for you is 90% of the battle because making music should not be a laborious process.

TrunkSpace: Where do you draw your creative energy from and what fuels that fire when the flames start to flicker out?
88/89: The seesaw between keeps the fire going.

TrunkSpace: 2020 has been a long, strange year. With all of the social distancing and need for quarantine, how have you guys stayed active together creatively? As society shut down, did the writing slow down as well, or did you find a way to maintain the creative back-and-forth?
88/89: Creatively nothing really changed for us because our studio is our home. If we had a creative task to do outside of songwriting, we improvised and used other skills that we have to make things happen. For example, we needed a music video for “Hit Me” right in the middle of lockdown. Obviously everywhere was shut, so we bought a green screen and shot it on an iPhone in our living room.

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?
88/89: No way. We’d miss all the fun. We don’t know where this is gonna take us and if we did know we’d probably fuck it up.

Hit Me” and the La Felix remix are both available now.

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Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts

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We all cope with the difficulties of life in different ways. For singer-songwriter Ryan Hamilton, a “crushing” divorce inspired him to take to the road where he embarked on an adventure of self discovery and healing. The miles of asphalt that passed beneath his tires also lead to his latest album, Nowhere To Go But Everywhere, available tomorrow on Wicked Cool Records.

“Taking that road trip changed me, and the course of my life, in the most incredible way,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “Forever thankful.”

We recently sat down with Hamilton to discuss getting truthful, shedding pressure, and why forced isolation has been a struggle for him.

TrunkSpace: Your new album, Nowhere To Go But Everywhere, was written during a road trip across the USA. We love ourselves a good highways and byways journey of self-discovery. Outside of this collection of songs, what was the best thing that came out of that trip for you?
Hamilton: I went on the road trip in the wake of my divorce. Divorce is a CRUSHING thing to go through. Getting the hell out of there, and hitting the open road was my way of facing my demons, and emotionally processing everything. I spent nights in the desert, in the mountains… everywhere. The solitude, the quiet, the beauty… not only was it the perfect setting, for me, to deal with the emotional aftermath of divorce, it became an overwhelming adventure of self discovery, healing, and learning things about myself I never knew. I didn’t plan to, or even think about writing any new songs ‘til about halfway through that trip. Taking that road trip changed me, and the course of my life, in the most incredible way. Forever thankful.

TrunkSpace: How did being on the road influence your writing? Where did it impact you the most?
Hamilton: The solitude, the beauty, and the lack of distractions seemed to make things more raw… more real. I found myself just telling the truth, all the way, without trying to be clever during the songwriting process. I just wrote what I felt, and being on the road lent itself to writing that way. The songs came out different. It felt like therapy.

TrunkSpace: Nowhere To Go But Everywhere is the follow up to This Is The Sound, which won the Independent Music Award for Best Indie Album. Did you feel any creative pressure heading into the follow up?
Hamilton: Yeah, I did! (Laughter) Truth is, I wasn’t planning on writing/recording another album anytime soon. But, life happened, and these songs started appearing. So, in a way, it took the pressure off – because this new album came out of nowhere, and the songs came from a very unexpected place.

TrunkSpace: The album is due to drop September 18. What kind of emotions do you juggle with when releasing new material to the masses, and is the experience different this time around given that the entire world, essentially, has ground to a halt?
Hamilton: It does feel a little different. But I’m proud of us, and our label for going for it. Music has a healing power, and we need it more than ever right now. I always juggle the emotions of hoping I’m working as hard as I can, to do everything I can, to make the album as successful as it can be. I feel that pressure more than ever right now, because I know this is the best album I’ve ever made.

TrunkSpace: Normally you would tour to support a new release, but that is not something that is possible in every state right now. How has promoting the upcoming album changed? How do you get the word out when people can’t get out themselves?
Hamilton: Thankfully we live in a time where digital, online promotion is possible. Now that touring is off the table, we focus more attention to promotion online. Fingers crossed! And may I just add: I CAN’T WAIT TO TOUR AGAIN. I miss it so much.

TrunkSpace: Jack Kerouac’s belt is featured on the back of the album. “On The Road” obviously impacted you at some point in your life as it has countless others – which makes us wonder, what would it mean to you to have Nowhere To Go But Everywhere be the inspiration for others to go out and find themselves on the road? Why is it the perfect companion piece to a long stretch of open sky highway?
Hamilton: Several people have said things along the line: “It’s the perfect Road Trip album”. I find that fascinating. Ya know, since it was written on a road trip. (Laughter) Being the owner of Jack’s belt is an unexpected honor, and I will treasure his belt forever. Reading “On the Road” changed me. I was in college, and not too long after that, I found myself dropping out of school, and going on tour for the first time. Jack’s writing gave me inspiration to go for it. That’s pretty damn powerful.

TrunkSpace: If someone sat down to listen to Nowhere To Go But Everywhere front to back, what would they learn about you both as an artist and as a person?
Hamilton: That I’m broken, but I’m still full of hope.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Hamilton: Its honesty, and the quality of the songwriting. I pushed myself harder than ever.

TrunkSpace: We have all been in some form of lockdown for the majority of 2020. How much of your time spent social distancing has also been spent creating? Have you experienced a creative jolt during this period – and will it lead to another album?
Hamilton: I haven’t really had any creative jolts. I find myself forcing myself to stay creative, to keep the depression at bay. The loneliness, and isolation-inspired sadness is a struggle for me.

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?
Hamilton: Damn straight I would! I’ve spent a decade operating in the middle… PRAYING for a break. At this point, I’ll take any clues to get me to that ever illusive “next level’ in this fucked up backwards business of music.

Nowhere To Go But Everywhere is available tomorrow via Wicked Cool Records.

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Liz Longley

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Photo By: Kate Rentz

With her sixth full-length album, Liz Longley is venturing into a new chapter of her musical journey, one that gifted her the independence to release her music on her own terms. Due this Friday, Funeral For My Past was fully funded through her fan base, leading to her becoming the fourth-most funded female solo artist on Kickstarter of all time.

How my fans came together and contributed to Funeral For My Past is nothing short of extraordinary,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “I am still in awe every time I think back on the journey this album has been on and how they completely changed my journey as an artist.”

We recently sat down with Longley to discuss mutual musical understandings, presidential playlists, and the evolution of “making it”.

TrunkSpace: What we love about your music is that it just makes us feel good – and feeling good is something that is in short supply this year. Does releasing Funeral For My Past feel different than previous albums given the state of the country/world? Because in a way, you’re serving as a facilitator of escape.
Longley: Releasing Funeral For My Past this month feels vastly different from any album release I’ve had in the past. Most of us are not only looking for an escape, but to feel less alone in what we’re experiencing. Without the ability to gather for live music like we did before, putting out this music is an outreach to listeners… it’s a way to say, “Hey, you’re not alone. Take a breath. You got this.”

TrunkSpace: For many people, music is like therapy. When you experience the way people connect to your music – oftentimes in ways that you could probably never imagine – what does that do for you creatively? Is it a well that you go to when inspiration is running dry?
Longley: The ability to connect with someone through music is the “why” behind what I do. That’s what keeps me going… hearing stories of people relating to my music. But the actual process of creating music is such an intimate thing, that to allow any outside influence, whether positive or negative, would only muddy the water.

TrunkSpace: That fan connection was probably never more apparent than when you were propelled to the fourth most-funded solo female artist of all time on Kickstarter. Does the fan contribution to Funeral For My Past make it feel extra special? When you look back on this period in 10 or 20 years, what will bring the biggest smile to your face?
Longley: How my fans came together and contributed to Funeral For My Past is nothing short of extraordinary. I am still in awe every time I think back on the journey this album has been on and how they completely changed my journey as an artist. It allowed me to be independent and release my music on my own terms. That will always make me smile!

TrunkSpace: What do you get writing and performing that you can’t achieve as a listener alone? What does that extra creative bump do for your brain that drifting off to another artist’s album is unable to achieve?
Longley: Simply the vibration of music is healing. It’s one thing to put music in your ears, but to create the resonance yourself does something for the mind, body and spirit. Still, I get a rush from listening to music, and hearing other people express themselves in a new way. Nothing is better than hearing a song that so perfectly sums up something you’re feeling.

TrunkSpace: We spoke last in 2017 just after the release of Weightless. Are you a different songwriter today than you were then and if so, why?
Longley: Ya know, I’m now reflecting on the titles of these records and realizing how much they point to where I was in my life. With Weightless I wanted to escape how I was feeling… cut the strings, and float above it all. In Funeral For My Past, I’m like okay… let’s dig into the feelings, try to understand them, heal the pain, and move on empowered. I still write songs from the same place, but as my outlook on life changed, so did the message in the songs.

TrunkSpace: If you sat down with 10-year-old Liz for a conversation, what would surprise that young girl most about the artist you are today?
Longley: I think she’d be shocked that she “made” it… and that “making it” is nothing like she had imagined. When you’re a kid, gosh, even when you’re a young adult, you have an idea of what success means. Now I know that success has nothing to do with big stages, or flashy production. Success has everything to do with whether or not you believe you’re making a difference in people’s lives.

TrunkSpace: Normally you would tour to support a new album, but that is not something that is possible in every state right now. How do you get the word out for Funeral For My Past when people can’t get out themselves?
Longley: Good question. Let me know if you find the answer. For now, I’m playing shows online and working to get more radio play. I’ve also just launched a Patreon page where I share behind the scenes for everything album related, which is fun! I’m doing my best to stay connected to the people that care. Word of mouth is a powerful tool… so if I just keep showing up, hopefully the word will get out. Also, if Obama could put me on his next playlist that’d be great, too.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Longley: With this record, I’m most proud of how authentically it captures who I am as an artist. So often in the recording process, you can lose the heart of the music in search for perfection. Working with producer Paul Moak, I learned that a perfect vocal recording has nothing to do with how much people FEEL what you’re singing. When I got lost in search of perfection, he constantly led me back to who I am as an artist and what really matters when you’re making an album.

TrunkSpace: Touring musicians tend to lead nomadic lives. What has being stationary for much of 2020 done for you emotionally? Has it been a welcome distraction or is the road calling you?
Longley: Staying home has left me feeling a mix of things. I often feel stuck in a box, missing the outside world and the stimulation from the ever-changing scenery of being a touring musician. At the same time, it’s been a good reminder that you don’t always have to be moving full speed ahead. This year was going to be the biggest year of my life. I was supposed to get married, release my best record, tour the country… but I’m humbly sitting at home and making the most of the precious moments that exist between the chaos of the outside world.

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?
Longley: I think I’d rather not know… the mystery of it keeps me going.

Funeral For My Past is available this Friday.

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Two Bird Stone

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For the Americana band Two Bird Stone, the magic isn’t only in the music, but in its members. Having known each other for two decades, there is a kinship in their creativeness that translates into the songwriting, a fact that is apparent when listening to their latest album, Hands And Knees, set for release tomorrow via Soundly Music.

Collaborations are second nature for us, but the secret sauce is the fact that we’ve known and loved each other for over 20 years,” said lead singer Liam Thomas Bailey in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Bailey to discuss releasing a record in the middle of a pandemic, the evolution of lyrical literacy, and non-duel concepts.

TrunkSpace: Americana has been enjoying a real resurgence in recent years. Why do you think the genre is connecting with audiences in 2020?
Bailey: I think the understated production, more acoustic instrumentation, and less commercial nature of Americana provides a nice balance for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the amount of information, vitriol, and sensationalism we face on any given day. I also think the growing popularity reflects another side of our increasing connectivity: older music enthusiasts have more access to platforms that help them find new music!

TrunkSpace: This has been a difficult year for many and music has become a much-needed distraction from a real world that is sometimes too real. What do you hope people will find in Two Bird Stone’s music when they press play?
Bailey: I hope folks find our music reassuring. We sing songs about love, hope, the nature of change, and the beauty of the experience change will provide. I also feel that there is a sense of reassurance embedded in the very essence of the timeless fiddle tunes we quote within our songs. Fiddle tunes are great evidence that we go on; we modify and we create.

TrunkSpace: There’s such great instrumentation in your songs. How do the Two Bird Stone songs come to life? Is it music first and then lyrics or does the creative inspiration come from different places?
Bailey: This record was all about development. I provided the song material and the band piled on as they came into the project. We’ve all played for many other artists professionally. Collaborations are second nature for us, but the secret sauce is the fact that we’ve known and loved each other for over 20 years.

TrunkSpace: Your album, Hands And Knees, is due on September 11. What kind of emotions do you juggle with when releasing new material to the masses, and is the experience different this time around given that the entire world, essentially, has ground to a halt?
Bailey: Wow, what great question. Of course, it’s always very daunting to dangle your creative efforts in front of the public for the edification of strangers, but now that you mention it, it feels less so in the midst of the pandemic. I don’t think it’s ever been easier to throw my hands up and say, “What the hell?! It’s not like I’m going to make things any worse!!”

TrunkSpace: Normally you would tour to support a new release, but that is not something that is possible in every state right now. How has promoting the upcoming music changed?
Bailey: Streaming shows, no radio tour, no definitive release-related performances; things are so far out of one’s control that there’s no use in the feeling of disappointment. I don’t really think about it.

TrunkSpace: How do you get the word out when people can’t get out themselves?
Bailey: I’ve been lucky enough to experience the thrill of playing enormous tours supporting international acts as a sideman without ever having to maintain ANY social media platforms. Of course, now I wish I had been active on Instagram and Facebook through those years, but in light of the fact that I wasn’t, I’ve been using this time to learn what I can about socials to develop a presence I can maintain. We also have a small team of folks that are close to the project that help get the word out.

TrunkSpace: If someone sat down and listened to your upcoming Hands And Knees front to back, what would they learn about you and where you’re at as a band and as songwriters in 2020?
Bailey: Our reviews have been glowing, but I feel like the writers share an understanding that this music (and this band) have been developing throughout the production of our first record and that the future holds a fully realized Two Bird Stone. If you love music, this album will absolutely make your ears perk up and get you involved, but we won’t have the problem of the “difficult second record” – our next album will be our punchiest and most definitive.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Bailey: I’m most proud of the writing. My writing suffered on my earlier records because it wasn’t a priority for me. That may sound ridiculous, but I was always preoccupied with the actual music, and dropping words into my music was just a way to get a song done. I’m very far from that approach these days. If I can’t find a clearly stated message in a song then I know it won’t function properly. People will recognize potential in this case, but they won’t attach to the music.

TrunkSpace: There is a rich history of music-making in Two Bird Stone and you have all created with other musicians prior to this project. What made this one so special and when did you know it was?
Bailey: Judd Fuller was always a part of the early visions I had for this band, but I knew it was special when Chad Kelly joined us on accordion. Things came into focus very quickly after that. Another old friend and deep musical collaborator, Rohin Khemani from Red Baraat, joined very shortly after. He subbed on drums and world percussion for a run of shows in New England and we asked him to join on the ferry ride home from Martha’s Vineyard. We’ve all known each other for over 20 years.

TrunkSpace: What has been the most rewarding aspect of creating together thus far?
Bailey: Developing the material in our live performances has far and away been the most rewarding and revealing aspect of our work together. That’s where I’ve been getting a tremendous sense of what this is becoming. It’s a shame our formative efforts were cut short as a result of the outbreak, but I’m not worried. Two Bird Stone is here now, and we aren’t going away.

TrunkSpace: What has this project done for you personally that you felt was a missing component from those you participated in previously?
Bailey: I’ve always played with great musicians, but hyper-musicianship is different. That’s what each of these boys bring to Two Bird Stone. Though they each have staggering levels of experience and talent, what they bring to this project is something that no amount of practice or performance can manifest. It is a shared sense of how we see the universe and how music fits into it. They are the finest musicians I know as a result of the fresh musical choices they make.

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?
Bailey: I’m experienced enough to know that whatever the future holds is stranger than I could imagine and the journey will be plenty surprising without time travel. I have somehow developed a very non-dual sensibility and time isn’t exempt from the “one-ness” in my view. When you can see everything with a “300-year view,” 10 years is the blink of an eye. If you go a little further, then all time is happening at once. I know I sound like a nut when I articulate non-dual concepts, but I’m not alone in feeling this way.

Hands And Knees arrives tomorrow via Soundly Music.

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Calico Cooper

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Photo By: Bjoern Kommerell

By nature, people are curious creatures. We love to hear about famous parents, but in reality, WHO someone is ends up being less important than HOW that someone tackled the role of mom or dad. For Calico Cooper, lead singer of the band Beasto Blanco, her father – rock icon Alice Cooper – nurtured the “little weirdo” inside of her and in the process, unleashed a creative Machine Girl who acts, directs, produces and choreographs.

I didn’t have parents telling me to get my head out of the clouds, so they never came out,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Cooper to discuss her band, finding her balance in a sea storm, and… crocheting?

TrunkSpace: You have had the unique experience of growing up with a rock icon and legend, Alice Cooper, as your father. What was that like and how has that played into your own personal creative endeavors?
Cooper: I am so blessed to have him creatively to look up to, but also he is a wonderful father. He has always championed that I saw things differently, even as a kid. I was a little weirdo. Now as an adult performer, I can see how that helped me become so uninhibited. I didn’t have parents telling me to get my head out of the clouds, so they never came out. The part about him being a legend is something I’m proud of, but never something I feel I have to compete with. We are different animals.

TrunkSpace: At the young age of 18, you began working as a creative professional, choreographing the Brutal Planet tour for your father. What was that experience like, and what would you say was the biggest lesson you took away from the experience?
Cooper: I learned there are grown men that CAN take direction from an 18-year-old girl and grown men that cannot. (Laughter) No, but I learned how to work on the biggest scale you can work on very early on. How stage combat worked, how magic tricks worked. How lights and sound and costumes can pull an audience into a world of fantasy that they don’t want to leave. Alice has always been able to create that, and I paid attention and learned how.

TrunkSpace: Acting, directing, singing and more. You’ve worn many creative hats in the industry of entertainment. Do you have a favorite one? If so, why?
Cooper: As cheesy as it sounds I kind of get off on being a “triple threat”, if people even use that word anymore. The fact that I can act and have decades of strict ballet training allows me to do things on stage with my band that makes the show unique. With acting, when I audition, there are ways I can use my voice because of the music training. I feel like everything informs everything. A big ol’ artsy symbiosis. The skill I have now that I wish I had earlier was being able to direct and produce. Now that I can do that, I can just make what I want when I want. Sometimes it’s great, sometimes its a miss – but at least I can.

TrunkSpace: You have inhabited a variety of characters for tours, TV and film. Which would you say is your favorite and why?
Cooper: I have been all over the place. I have played serial killers and soccer moms. I am currently loving playing Machine Girl in my band Beasto Blanco because she keeps changing… evolving. I keep getting to play with her. I notice some tours she’s meaner, some sexier, some downright ridiculous. I’d say her because I’m never done testing her boundaries. Haven’t found any yet.

TrunkSpace: The character of Machine Girl you have created is powerful and enigmatic! What do you hope fans, especially of the female variety, take away from your character?
Cooper: There is power in the damaged. When I first created her I covered her in bangs and bruises. Sort of an outer badge of courage. I always thought there was something so alluring and sexy and powerful about female warriors. I added a dash of a sense of humor and The Machine Girl was born.

TrunkSpace: Beasto Blanco has to be one of the best names for a rock band that we have ever heard! Can you tell us a bit about how the name and band formed?
Cooper: It’s meant to be that beast that explodes out of you at the darkest bottom of a pit. When you make that choice to get up and walk back toward the light instead of lay down you become the beast. It can’t be touched, it can’t be stopped. It’s a force of nature. It’s crazy how people resonate with it. It crosses age groups and race groups, boys, girls… one thing we can all understand is being stepped on and finally saying, “no more”.

TrunkSpace: You have toured around the globe with Beasto Blanco – by land and by sea. What is it like to perform on a cruise ship? Are there any specific challenges while rocking out on the ocean?
Cooper: Have you ever worn 7-inch heels and stood on a folding chair in a sea storm? Because now I can say I have. I love touring in any capacity. I’ve been living on a tour bus since I was 18. The rock cruises are such a unique experience. You play your shows, but the rest of the time you are WITH the fans – eating together, chilling on the beach. You get to know the people who love your music, which is not always easy to do on tour with our schedule. I’ve met some of the greatest people on those cruises.

TrunkSpace: What are the challenges and differences between choreographing for an Alice Cooper show and performing with Beasto Blanco? They must be two similar yet completely different beasts to tackle.
Cooper: The major difference is spontaneity. The Alice show is this massive production with a million moving parts. Most of which can kill you. (Laughter) So as organic as it seems it’s very staged for safety and music’s sake. So when you direct or choreograph it, it has to be something that can be done that way every night – arena or theater. With Beasto, it’s so raw. I know where to be when, but you will never see the same show twice. I don’t know what I’m gonna do at any given moment, and that has a sense of danger to it. It’s fun for me because ANYTHING can happen. I think the audience gets off on that danger.

TrunkSpace: Given your background in entertainment, is there a creative element for Beasto Blanco you would like to branch out into, say, comic books or film, or maybe even a specific type of tour?
Cooper: We are MADE for comics. We look like living, breathing cartoon characters. We have a Beasto “Origins” film in the works and it’s grimy and dystopian and full of hope. I’m excited.

TrunkSpace: Is there any aspect of the creative field that you have yet to dabble in that you would like to try your hand at?
Cooper: The only thing I don’t do on or off stage is crochet, so maybe that.

TrunkSpace: Pumpkin spiced everything is hitting the shelves and we’re eyeing bags of candy corn in the stores. Fall is nigh! We imagine that has to be a special time of year for Machine Girl and Beasto Blanco. Any special plans for this October fans can look forward to?
Cooper: If someone offers me candy corn I consider it a threat. But cool news, Beasto is going to do an October ONE NIGHT ONLY live event in conjunction with MONSTERS OF ROCK, so as we speak, I am trying to make a costume that partially melts. I’ll let you know that works out for me.

But keep up to date with our upcoming performances at www.beastoblanco.com and on Facebook/Insta/ and all major music streaming robots!

 

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Listen Up

Cf Watkins

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Photo By: Griffin Hart Davis

For singer-songwriter Cf Watkins, the songs that make up her latest album, Babygirl, aren’t just about who she is as an artist, but where her art was influenced. The places that we identify with are sometimes just as important as the people we make connections to, and as those places leave us, we call on them in non-physical ways.

Often the only way for me to visit these places, especially as they change and disappear over time, is to write songs that bring me to them,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

Her latest single, “The Tell”, is available now.

We recently sat down with Watkins to discuss self-soothing through song, her first songwriting experience, and how major life changes have impacted her art.

TrunkSpace: You are from North Carolina but have lived in Brooklyn for the last nine years. How does WHERE an artist is from influence WHO that artist becomes? Where do you most hear your roots in your music?
Watkins: I definitely believe all of the places I’ve lived or explored have played a role in who I am and the art I create. Whether it is longing for that place, or feeling fed up with it – places, for me, have offered relationships just as intimate and complicated as people have. You hear that a lot in this record – there are a few songs about homesickness, one about the memory of my Granddad’s backyard, another that visits the park in my hometown where I hung out as a teenager… all of these places are strongholds of identity and comfort for me. Often the only way for me to visit these places, especially as they change and disappear over time, is to write songs that bring me to them.

TrunkSpace: Who is Cf Watkins the artist, and, would the you who first picked up a guitar and started playing be surprised by the answer you’re giving today?
Watkins: Wow. Who is Cf Watkins the artist… hmm. When I am creating art, I am usually in my own little universe. I have always used art as a way of self-soothing. When I visualize who that person is, it does actually feel pretty unchanged by time. The little 7-year-old tomboy, wandering through the woods behind her house, looking for crawdads in the creek, singing songs and telling stories to her dog – is, I think, very much the same person I am when I am writing or sharing now. I hope my art feels like an invitation into my inner world and heart.

TrunkSpace: Your latest album, Babygirl, is due to drop on October 16. Between the pandemic and the social unrest, it has been a very difficult year for many people. Do you hope that by releasing Babygirl in the midst of all of this that maybe your music will be the temporary escape people need – that it will allow them to “check out” for a bit?
Watkins: This year has been incredibly eye-opening. It has been emotionally and, in many cases physically, exhausting for so many people. I guess I wouldn’t describe my hope for this album to be an escape or an invitation to check out… but more to be a friend on the journey. There is so much going on right now that is very important for us to stay alert to, despite the challenge and despite the pain. Especially as November draws nearer. However, I do realize that regardless of everything going on in our outer world, we all have inner worlds as well, we are all still experiencing the daily moments of small joys, dramas, pains, and connection. I hope that Babygirl will connect with the people that need it in those moments.

TrunkSpace: Normally you would tour to support a new release, but that is not something that is possible in every state right now. How has promoting the upcoming album changed? How do you get the word out when people can’t get out themselves?
Watkins: Yes, I am just trying to creatively roll with the punches. I have been doing some shows virtually, and am planning to do a conversational series on Instagram with other artists. A lot of promotional efforts have turned to social media, which I am trying to get better at but it doesn’t come naturally. But I also think this is just another way to learn how to find community and connection even amid a pandemic.

TrunkSpace: What could someone learn about you as both an artist and as a person in sitting down to listen to Babygirl front to back?
Watkins: I guess that I’m a romantic.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Watkins: There is a lot of incredible talent featured on this album – Max Hart, who produced the record and is a featured instrumentalist throughout, is such an inspiration to me and it was so amazing to collaborate with him on this record. All of the musicians that are featured – every single one of them – is amazing and I am so filled with gratitude and disbelief when I think of getting to create something with such talented angels and artists.

TrunkSpace: While you are no doubt focused on the album and promoting this particular collection of songs, have you found yourself to be creatively-inspired during the pandemic? Has isolation led to increased songwriting?
Watkins: It’s hard to say – I’ve gone through a lot of changes during the past five months. I’ve moved out of New York, I’ve lived in my parents’ basement, a six-year-long relationship has ended, I’ve adopted a dog, and I’m moving to Nashville. All of these changes have definitely been fodder for a lot of songs, albeit who knows if anything will ever come of them. I think many people are going through similar experiences – where the pandemic has had a hand in turning their lives inside out swiftly and unsympathetically. For many, it has obviously led to much darkness and challenges, and I suppose for others it has likely led to revelations and movement. For me, change inspires creativity and stagnancy seems to deter it – and this pandemic has created both.

TrunkSpace: Is it possible to overthink a song? Can a songwriter tinker so much that the breath of the song is exhaled?
Watkins: The minute I start trying to figure out the song, the song vanishes. I would guess nearly all of my completed songs have shown up without warning, the ones I try to wrangle out or morph never get finished. Every songwriter’s process is very different though, and I also hope that my own process changes as I do.

TrunkSpace: What is the first song you ever wrote and do you, A.) still perform it, and B.) what does that song say about who you were then?
Watkins: The first song I ever wrote on a guitar was in 8th or 9th grade… my dad had gotten me a guitar for Christmas and I would spend hours fiddling around on it while I sang. I don’t remember the song at all, but I have a vivid memory of going over to my childhood best friend’s house and asking him and his parents to listen to me sing it. I sat down and I think the whole song was maybe two chords over and over and when I finished I looked up and his dad was crying. It was very sweet and it made such an impact on me. His dad was clearly a very sensitive and loving man, but knowing a song I created made him feel something – that was very inspiring and encouraging to me.

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?
Watkins: Hmm, probably not? I feel like we’ve learned enough from the Back to The Future franchise that time travel is not worth the trouble.

Watkins latest single, “The Tell”, is available now.

Babygirl is due October 16.

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Listen Up

Chelsea Pribble

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As an artist who believes in writing about real emotions and experiences, Chelsea Pribble poured herself into her debut EP, Second Movement, facing her own ups and downs head on through the lyrical truths embedded in her songs. As the pandemic of 2020 came into focus, she turned back to songwriting, reshaping her anxiety into creative fuel.

I think the best times for me to create are when my emotions are heightened and I have the space and time to do so,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “The isolation and a lot of the fear centered around the pandemic pushed more feelings to the surface for me.”

We recently sat down with Pribble to discuss self-doubt, the impact of music, and why she chose to step back in promoting Second Movement shortly after its release.

TrunkSpace: We can not only hear the emotion when listening to your Second Movement EP, but we can feel it. As a songwriter, can creating be an emotionally-exhausting practice for you? Do you put so much of yourself into a song or project that you need to step away to refuel when you’re done?
Pribble: Thank you! It definitely can be, but I typically don’t feel exhausted or drained immediately after writing a song. Most of the time, I feel more energized and, if I’m writing late at night, I generally have trouble falling asleep. I think most of the songs I end up writing are about emotions that need to be felt. In those moments, I’m creating and feeling everything at the same time, and I walk away feeling much lighter and more in touch with what I need. Writing “Pas de Deux” helped me feel more settled in a romantic relationship and “Overgrown” helped me understand I wasn’t getting the right kind of support from family. But, after long days in the studio recording Second Movement, I definitely needed to recharge and rest. Being in the studio was, for one, completely new to me and I felt very exposed. It was also the first time I had to balance capturing the feeling I had when first writing the song, focusing on the details like getting specific about when to use vibrato, and executing all of that while feeling nervous. That process was much more draining for me overall.

TrunkSpace: When you’re investing so much of yourself physically and emotionally into something, can it be difficult to turn over control and give it to the world? As exciting as it can be to release new music, can it also be terrifying?
Pribble: I went through waves of self-doubt and fear that others wouldn’t enjoy it, as well as the excitement of all the potential possibilities, throughout the entire process and I’m still feeling those things. In moments of fear, I questioned whether I should even be releasing the music. When it was time to release it, I had to dig deep to find the joy and excitement that sharing art with others gives me no matter the size of the audience or the “success” of the project. When I acknowledge that this music really means something to me, I am able to tap into that joy and relinquish control.

TrunkSpace: How do you manage expectations when it comes to your career? Do you find yourself assigning possible outcomes to your music and how that will then lead to other career journeys, etc.?
Pribble: I think it can be easy to get swept up in the fantasy of “making it big” or getting signed to a reputable label and I definitely have had those thoughts. I usually manage my expectations by getting back to the basics – I love writing songs and want to keep doing it regardless of any outcome and I’m drawn to music as a means of expressing myself because of how much music and songs have impacted me throughout my whole life. When I think about it that way, I know that music and songwriting will always be a part of my world and it doesn’t feel so high stakes. When I’m in that place mentally and emotionally, I don’t feel driven to write from an external place – all the motivation comes from inside. It also helps me realize what I really want, which is the creative freedom I had on this EP and the support and encouragement of an amazing group of collaborators.

TrunkSpace: Who is Chelsea Pribble the artist, and, would the you who first looked to music as a career be surprised by the answer you’re giving today?
Pribble: I would say I’m still discovering a lot of who I am as an artist, but one thing I know for sure is I have uncovered and strengthened my voice throughout the making of this EP. Artistically, I believe in writing about real feelings and experiences and I feel very passionate about integrating dance with my music when it fits. I think the past me was still searching for what I actually wanted to say and how to present myself – sometimes I wrote what I thought might be entertaining for people to listen to during live shows. This creative growth also happened to mirror what I was going through personally. So, ultimately, “past me” would feel relieved to know that I’ve arrived.

TrunkSpace: Second Movement was released in February, just prior to the emergence of quarantine and social-distancing. As we were forced into isolation, did you find yourself turning more to creative endeavors/songwriting? Was this a creatively fruitful time for you?
Pribble: It was a creatively fruitful time for me, fortunately! I think the best times for me to create are when my emotions are heightened and I have the space and time to do so. The isolation and a lot of the fear centered around the pandemic pushed more feelings to the surface for me. I was also fortunate enough to have access to a private dance studio with a grand piano. One of my favorite evenings was some time in early May when it stormed. I was in the studio in the dark and ended up writing a few new songs. I feel like I have an even clearer trajectory for the next record because of the time at the studio.

TrunkSpace: How did COVID-19 impact your career this year following the release of Second Movement? Did it require you to change the way you were promoting the EP?
Pribble: Honestly, I took a step back from promoting for many reasons. Mainly, it didn’t feel right to push a personal agenda when so many people were and are suffering. Though it has been tough, the biggest impact the pandemic has had on my career is fostering a clearer understanding of what I want from it.

TrunkSpace: What could someone learn about you as both an artist and as a person in sitting down to listen to Second Movement, front to back?
Pribble: I think someone could learn, based on the lyrics, that I’ve been in tough relationships and used music as a way to heal, and based on the music and arrangements, I’ve been exposed to a lot of classical music and it’s really woven into my musical style.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist and did that manifest during the creation of this particular collection of songs?
Pribble: I think what generally bothers me the most about myself is my lack of training and inability to communicate by reading or writing music. In the studio, there were some technical questions about what I was playing that I couldn’t answer well verbally. I could play it, which worked, but I definitely felt a little embarrassed.

TrunkSpace: What is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? When it comes to your career, what would be the ultimate prize?
Pribble: At the end of the rainbow, for me, would be a life where I can center everything around creating – writing, recording, and performing songs and choreographing and performing dance. That’s the ultimate dream.

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?
Pribble: I don’t think I would jump ahead for a glimpse into the future. I am definitely curious, but I think knowing what lies ahead would make it more difficult to enjoy the process and accept where I’m at right now.

Second Movement is available now via Sea Change Records.

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Jessie Wagner

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After years of touring as a backup vocalist for artists like Lenny Kravitz and Duran Duran, Jessie Wagner is prepared to step into the spotlight with her debut solo album, Shoes Droppin, set for release on October 9 via Wicked Cool Records. But sharing her songwriting point of view with the world also means reflecting on the emotions – good and bad – that inspired her to take this journey.

If I’m being reflective and feel slightly melancholy, then those emotions I put down in song will hit me over the head like a sledgehammer,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “But if I’m in a good place, the songs are more of a reminder that I made it through.”

We recently sat down with Wagner to discuss why writing is a cathartic practice, becoming an artist without walls, and engaging audiences in the middle of a pandemic.

TrunkSpace: Songwriters are at their best when their writing is truthful and saying something. What did you hope to accomplish with your writing when you set out to create what would later become your debut solo album, Shoes Droppin?
Wagner: Some of the songs written for this album came out of the darkest period of my life. I was dealing with a loved one who became completely dependent on me and I became their caretaker. I wasn’t prepared for the responsibility of it all or the conflicting emotions I endured. After I gained a bit of footing, I looked at the songs I had written during that period and decided I needed to put them out in the world. I also had songs that I loved but hadn’t done anything with. So I decided that since I lived through that experience, I was going to put everything I had in to this project and see where it led.

TrunkSpace: Unfortunately, truth can also sometimes hurt. Does pouring so much of yourself into a song or lyric leave you feeling vulnerable, especially when you’ll have to revisit that song – or the emotion that inspired the song – over and over again?
Wagner: It depends on the mood you’re in. If I’m being reflective and feel slightly melancholy, then those emotions I put down in song will hit me over the head like a sledgehammer. But if I’m in a good place, the songs are more of a reminder that I made it through. In a nutshell, sometimes it’s despair and sometimes its triumph.

TrunkSpace: Is writing a form of therapy that helps you work through your own thoughts and emotions? Does completing a song fill a void and raise you up?
Wagner: It can definitely be a cathartic experience. It is harder for me to say the things I need to say when I’m face to face with someone. I will write them a letter or sometimes, it becomes a song. I’ve even woken up out of a dream to write lyrics down. Yes, I find writing, in any form, therapeutic.

TrunkSpace: Listening to music is certainly an escape for us. What do you get writing and performing that you can’t achieve as a listener alone? What does that extra creative bump do for your brain that drifting off to another artist’s album is unable to achieve?
Wagner: When you’re listening to someone else, you might feel like their music is speaking to you, but in the end, that’s someone else’s intent that you are interpreting. When you’re writing, you’re bearing your soul. Someone else can’t do that for you. When you’re on stage, you’re giving a piece of yourself to that audience and it’s so much more intense and personable when it’s your own music. You can connect wholly with this music because it came from you.

TrunkSpace: Who is Jessie Wagner the artist, and, would the you who first looked to music as a career be surprised by the answer you’re giving today?
Wagner: I don’t think there’s one definable answer for who I am as an artist. I’m someone who just does what I like. I don’t know which box my songs are going to fall in and I don’t want to. I guess I hope I can remain an artist without walls. I enjoy doing so many different types of music and I’m glad that with this project, I was able to express different sides to my writing. I think when I was younger, I tried to stay within a box. The music I wrote was me, but just a sliver. I think now, I’m much more open to trying different things musically.

TrunkSpace: You’ve had a tremendous career in music, fronting Army of the Underdog and touring as a vocalist alongside artists like Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock and Duran Duran, to name a few. Does Shoes Droppin feel like a new chapter in your journey with music?
Wagner: It’s definitely a debut of a part of Jessie that most people don’t really know. When I’m on tour with another artist, I’m just an extension of that person or group. I think Army of the Underdog paved the way for this album because I was starting to open up with my writing style and with what directions I wanted the songs to go in. And now, here I am with this interesting collection of songs that are honest representations of where I’d like to go.

TrunkSpace: Normally you would tour to support a new album, but that is not something that is possible in every state right now. How do you get the word out for Shoes Droppin when people can’t get out themselves?
Wagner: I guess like every other artist out there trying to navigate the COVID new world order, I’m trying to take advantage of social media as much as I can. I do live stream shows and I try to stay interactive with those that like my music. It’s been extremely challenging to keep people engaged. I hope we’ll find more opportunities to perform in front of people sooner than later.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Wagner: When I finished the album, I just hoped someone would like it and maybe connect with one or two of the songs I had written. When Stevie Van Zandt said he would like to add me to his label, that pretty much exceeded all my expectations. It’s validating when a respected songwriter likes what you’ve done.

TrunkSpace: There are some amazing vocals on Shoes Droppin. Which song – or piece of a song – was the most difficult to “get right” in the studio and why?
Wagner: I think cadence-wise, “Caretaker” was the most difficult. It’s easy to sing into voice notes for a reference. It’s a different story when you’re having to keep time with an instrument! But it became my favorite song on the 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?
Wagner: I’ve questioned my career choice so many times. I was an academic in school. I thought I’d be a doctor or a lawyer. But I kept being drawn to the stage. I struggle with self doubt and compare myself to others in this career that have done better and gone farther than me. I’m always asking myself, how much longer will you do this? It’s so hard. But again, something keeps me coming back to the stage. It is a complicated relationship I have. It feels like home when I’m performing, and hell when I can’t find that a next gig. But I’ve come so far and I hope this record and the music I create in the future pushes me even further. I hope 10 years from now, I will have stopped asking myself why and will finally say well-done.

Shoes Droppin drops October 9 on Wicked Cool Records. The single “End of Time” is available now.

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Taylor Ashton’s Skeletons by the Sea

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TrunkSpace Exclusive Premiere
Taylor Ashton’s Skeletons by the Sea

We fell in love with Taylor Ashton’s The Romantic earlier this year and we’re as happy as a seagull at the beach to premiere his latest video for the single, “Skeletons by the Sea.” Pull up a towel, slap on some sunscreen, and let’s discover how the track and video came about from the man himself!

“‘Skeletons by the Sea’ came to me on the beach one day in Brooklyn. I love what the beach does to people. I think you can’t help but become a little childlike, maybe because the ocean is way too big for your mind to understand. I was zoning out and gazing in awe at the beauty of all the different colors and shapes and sizes of bodies laying on the sand. Suddenly it occurred to me that every single person has a skeleton, and that simple realization felt profound. This song is a reverent, unconditional love letter to all bodies. My own, and everyone else’s. We all deserve to hear that our bodies are miraculous and worthy of love and protection, especially in an often jarring, isolated era.

The song was finished after the onset of the pandemic, so Alec (production/flute), Louis (drums/bass), and Akie (piano) sent in their parts and I recorded my vocals and Rachael’s backgrounds at home.

For the video, I shot a little bit of new footage, and I also used a few slow-mo shots I’ve taken over the years not knowing what I’d use them for, but about 80% of the clips were kindly sent to me by friends or fans who responded to a cryptic Instagram story I posted.

My wife and I live in Brooklyn, but for the moment we’re back in Canada where I’m from, and this entire video was conceived and produced during our 14-day self isolation period when we entered the country. To make a green screen, I hung up a lime green tent I found in the closet of the place we’re renting, and quarantine led me to discovering some other homespun ways to approximate some other old movie tricks, including the analog process of shooting old movie title cards. I animated the lyrics by moving them around with my hands or by filming them through some water in the bottom of a clear dish to create a rippling effect. I also enjoyed slipping in a few sneaky movie references…”

Check out the video below and buy the single here!

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