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Songwriters





Deli Sneak Peak: Squirrel Flower

Singer-Songwriter Ella Williams, under the moniker Squirrel Flower, is releasing a new album Early Winter Songs for Middle America this Saturday 3/21. She was kind enough to give us a little sneak peak of the album, filled with tastefully short and dreamy songs. Early Winter Songs is a clear and deliberate portrait of Williams’ time in Iowa while attending Grinnell College, before returning to Massachusetts. It sounds damn cold there, I’ll just leave it at that. Mostly a solo electric guitar and her voice, Williams mixes in sparse field recordings that allude to the stark setting that inspired these songs. Lyrically, her style is poigniantly honest and authentic, never cluttering the meaning with strained analogies, just honest observations. It’s an impressive debut, and we’re thrilled that she’s back around Boston. Check out the haunting mostly a'capella track “I Won’t Walk Inside,”  it vividly illustrates the setting that inspired these songs.  You can also stream the charming tune "What Was That," or download the album here after 3/21.  - Paul Jordan Talbot




Letters to Toska Reflects Zoya's Rich Musical Background

Letters to Toska, the fourth EP from Zoya, could easily be classified as “indie-folk” or “singer-songwriter”, but none of those labels would even come close to describing what takes place on these tracks. This EP reflects a perfect blend of jazz, folk and R&B, while still finding room to inject some hints of Zoya’s South Asian heritage. These influences are prominently displayed on the track “Willows”, with its smooth guitar-work and hip-hop/soul-inspired melodies and cadences. With such a dynamic mix of inspirations, I expect Zoya’s songwriting will only continue to become more intricate and mesmerizing as she continues her musical career.

For more information about Zoya, click here.


-Dan McMahon (@dmcmhn)
Photo Credit: Jerome Vivino


 

 





Music Bones' new EP The Scratch Tape

Music Bones' recently released EP The Scratch Tape ranges from DIY Punk to AniDifrancoesque (that's a phrase now, I promise). "Tell Me Sweetly" opens the album with disonant guitar riffs that transform from rock to an almost twinkley sound and back. The song "Quarter Afternoon," my personal favorite, begins mid-album. It's a simple song with bright guitar arpeggios, beautiful, full vocals, and a pleasantly sedating effect. You can catch Music Bones live, Sunday October 19th at Club K in Baltimore, Oct. 21 at The Black Squirrel in DC, and Oct. 25 at The Green Island in DC. --Hannah Brady





The Northerners release Virginia.

The soulful vocals of Ally Khoury bring a fullness to the already layered sound of guitar riffs, creating a modern indie rock sound to The Northerners' new EP Virginia. The five-song EP is reminiscent of a modern adaptation of the traditional folk, blues, and swing eras. Their album is available on iTunes. You can see The Northerners live on their October Tour through Virginia. --Hannah Brady





The Cowards Choir to Release Cool Currency October 4th

 The Cowards Choir, the celebrated project fronted by DC's Andy Zipf since 2009, is set to release their new EP, Cool Currency, on October 4th at Iota. Cool Currency is Andy's first release since 2013's Reunion EP. Fans of The Cowards Choir will rejoice to hear yet another set of catchy, delicate, romantic guitar-pop. The production is immaculate, every evocative guitar tone seemlessly layered with other instruments, accentuating every idea and feeling in this gorgeous and emotional set. Four songs, each with sweet flavors baked delicately into a fulfilling whole, like a dessert-cart of perfect pastries, and each more tantalizing than the last. The Cowards Choir will be joined at Iota by Justin Jones, and you can get your tickets here. Check out The Cowards Choir performing "Soul Got Weight" for The Circus Life podcast last week below. --Natan Press

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