The Sensational Never Ending Soundtrack of Porcelain Raft

The Sensational Never Ending Soundtrack of Porcelain Raft

Porcelain Raft Half Awake EP It’s been a long and adventurous road for the mastermind behind the indie soundscapes of Porcelain Raft, Mauro Remiddi. From the busking the streets of Rome and all across Europe, to moving to London and then NYC to pursue his music, the journey has left its imprints upon the tape. As the time has passed, the direction has become clearer, the words and guitars have seemed to have ripened, leaving us with his new EP, “Half Awake”. The project Porcelain Raft started years and years ago in the head of an italian musician looking to leave his mark on the sonic stratosphere. Gradually finding it’s way to the surface, at first was the stream of sounds, guitars, tambourines, drum machines and synthesizers pushing the limit of musical interpretation. Experimentation is the foundation to any successful artist, however in this period of turbulence and self discovery it is hard to identify the emotion behind the music, but rather be ever curious by the madness behind the motions. But through this time came a unique outlook on songwriting and music production, soundscapes that formed and formatted to a single idea, and when that happened in the early 2010s, Remiddi stubbled upon a sound that is his and his alone. Through his lyrics and music he tells the story of world he perceives all around him, as if it were the soundtrack to an epic film that never ends. This latest EP ‘Half Awake’ is another chapter in that film. The energy of hectic drums and active synths has transitioned into a calmer groove of steady cerebral....
The Walking Sticks Tasting the Sweet Life

The Walking Sticks Tasting the Sweet Life

At the end of May 2015, at Sweetlife Festival in Columbia, Maryland, The Walking Sticks, a DC local dream pop trio, got a taste of that sweet life. This has been a long time coming and hopeful arrival for the group, having been playing locally as a group for nearly half a decade as well as years and years before that. Consisting of the funk and groove of twins Max and Spencer Ernst, and powerhouse vocalist Chelsea Lee, the group have been climbing their way slowly but surely up the DMV area ladder, packing the local hot spots such as DC9, Rock and Roll Hotel, and the infamous 9:30 Club. Their latest EP release, Pop Dreams, released in late 2014, sounds like a group finding their sound with room to grow even further. The members have opened their minds to reach further for ambient soundscapes and synth-infused rhythms while holding on to the organic roots of where they started. My favorite of these new expeditions was the pilot track “Take Me Up To The Sun.” The instrumentation choice of the song reminds me of Africa, the freedom of finding your way back home in the dead of night and then seeing the sunrise over the plains. Chelsea Lee’s words sung with the voice of a woman far beyond her years to the scenery created by the Ernst twins has generated a spark that is The Walking Sticks. Sweetlife Festival was this dream pop band’s first dream performance, to open for super hits such as Tove Lo, Kendrick Lamar, and The Pixies! They absolutely killed it! The hard work has...
The Purely Underrated As They Are Massive Sounds of Sun Airway

The Purely Underrated As They Are Massive Sounds of Sun Airway

There are those weeks in our lives when we fall into music ruts. We can’t seem to find anything we know of any interest to listen to, and we can’t find an artist in the mainstream to easily hop to. During one of these ruts, I was in the car with one of my good friends. We had just toked on a piece on that suburban street, sunshine in our hair, sipping off the pure goodness of a 7/11 iced pina colada. Suddenly, my ears focus on the start of the first song I had ever heard by Sun Airway, “Wild Palms.” They were the most unique string samples I had heard in a long time, so extremely organic you could hear the bows saw into the strings. Though the textures of the instrumentation of synths and pads with oddly yet effectively timed drum machines would have been enough to impress me, it deeps fully with the voice and telling lyrics of the overarching engineer. You could very much say that I had been hooked into a moment on tape. My attention drew to the speakers further and further, and once the song had ended, I immediately ran to the interweb to find out who this artist was. I was in utter shock that Sun Airway wasn’t very well known at all. Though they made an appearance at SXSW to promote their most recent album Soft Fall In 2013, not much has been heard from them since. But that record sparked utterly pure curiosity in my ears. That record got me out of that rut. If you’re looking for...
A Georgia Grown Kid Who Never Wanted To Be What He Became, Tyler Lyle

A Georgia Grown Kid Who Never Wanted To Be What He Became, Tyler Lyle

When Tyler Lyle was a young boy living in C​arrollton, Georgia, his father would cart him and his mother up to Nashville every vacation to play a show or attend a music conference. It was in these young years that Lyle vowed, “I will never pick up the guitar, I will never be my father and be a musician.” You know that saying, you always find what you are looking for whenever you aren’t looking for it? Well, that couldn’t be more true for this up-and-coming artist. Who knows what spurred that 15 year old boy to pick up the one thing he vowed never to do, what made him sit down and take the time to learn the chords and practice. If you have ever played a guitar, you know that it is not the easiest thing in the world to just pick up and play, let alone pick up and play well. But in his young years, he has made big waves under the mainstream radar. In 2012, with the rerelease of his debut album, The Golden Age & The Silver Girl, he won the Abe Oleman Scholarship for Songwriting from The Songwriters Hall of Fame. On top of that, his album was featured in the 2012 edition of NPR’s World Cafe’s Top 10 Albums of the Year. The album itself is a vast ocean of work that rolls from upbeat songs about this great existance to slow ballads of love, loss, and the process of letting go. But in all these songs, I think what first got me hooked on the writer was the last song...
Reaching the Deepest Depths of Folk music with Daughter

Reaching the Deepest Depths of Folk music with Daughter

I find it fascinating, the songs that captivate us over the hundreds of songs we hear everyday. If you really think about it, between radio, commercials, YouTube clips, and Spotify ads, how many songs do we hear a day and barely even take note? In recent years, there has been a universal shift in music to simply turn it up, because how can you ignore a song that is like a siren in your ears, wondering where it’s coming from. But like most sirens, once the moment has passed, you forget about them. The art of what Daughter does is something that I find we are losing in this new age of music, a song that is made to be listened to, not just to be heard or recognized. The first time I listened to Daughter was in my basement in 2012, Pandora in the background of life, spinning away for days without my attention for music or towards it. But then the song “Run” came on. There was something about that song, something about the way that guitar sounded. And with my ears just slightly keened to the speakers, the first words came out of the dark depths of that folk song, “While I powder my nose, he will powder his gums, and when I try to get close, he is already gone.” By now, my attention was fully towards the invisible girl I had imagined in my head, dressed in all black, waiting for her lover to return to her and to who he was. It is this that makes Daughter, the 3 piece trio out of...