Luci LIVE at Molly Malone’s

Christmas came early this year in the form of singer-songwriter trio Luci as they took the stage at Molly Malone’s in Los Angeles last night.

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The reputable local venue was filled to the brim as McKail Seely, Ashley Maietta, and Ariana Tibi gave us the gift of their beautifully blended voices and thought provoking, and often sensual, writing. It isn’t every day you head to a live show and are happily knocked out of your chair by three part harmonies and boat loads of attitude. It’s enough to make a person fall in love.

From the first song, the Americana group was all smiles, perpetuating the joy they feel as musicians and performers. The first anthem, an ode to not making a lover wait, was met with applause by the second verse from an audience who couldn’t contain their excitement at hearing such tight harmonies and all around sexy lyrics. By the end of the show, the crowd was on their feet.

Luci took us on an emotional roller coaster with the help of drummer Justin Siegel, bassist Jamie Harmon III, and electric guitarist Mauricio Guerrero Jr. Seely and Tibi also armed themselves with acoustic guitars, while Maietta had the keys and a tambourine as her weapons of choice for the evening.

From playful sensuality to songs about being there for each other, as friends and as a world, back to the honest theme of sex with the first song they ever wrote together, “Can’t Be Alone With You“, the trio exemplified what it means to be true lovers of music. Their combined stage presence, songwriting chops, and powerful vocals makes for an irresistible combination. After all, what’s better than one extraordinarily talented singer-songwriter?

Three.

 

 

You can follow Luci across social media @lovelucimusic.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“Peace Of My Heart” Music Video Release by Molly Moore

Molly Moore just dropped the visual accompaniment to her new single “Peace Of My Heart”. Teasers of the video have been released on social media, tantalizing her thousands of fans across internet platforms, and finally, the video is here.

molly moore peace of my heart

Shot and directed by Nik Tizekker of Tizaster
Productions
and co-directed by Moore, the video highlights the narrative of a complicated relationship with the interlacing of images of destruction: flowers falling apart and back together, a TV shattering, once blank walls now covered in swirls of ink and color. The juxtaposition found within these images illuminates the underlying truth of the song, which is that there is no easy answer or simple solution to any relationship – there is always a place for peace and war to grow.

Moore shines in this video, showcasing her acting chops as she casts furtive glances towards the camera. The entire story is simply told in her eyes, as her expression changes from desperate, to submissive, to cold frustration.

Real life boyfriend and fellow singer-songwriter-producer Brandyn Burnette makes an appearance as Moore’s love interest, personifying the circle of emotions that swirls throughout the video, perfectly paired with the song’s lyrics.

Between Moore’s presence in front of the camera, the beautiful and unique shots by Tizekker, and the lyrics, co-written by Moore and Burnette, Peace Of My Heart is hereby crowned a great artistic success.

Check out the video here!

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Damian Sage LIVE at Room 5 Lounge

In my little blogging world, I am most regularly invited to singer-songwritery events, filled with acoustic guitars or a lone keyboard, mournful relationship lyrics over major chords. But the bluesy sound of Damian Sage broke through the glass ceiling of singer-songwriterdom, proving you can make anything old, new.

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Backed by guitarist Brian Simpson, drummer Jamie Douglass, and bassist Ted Russel Kamp, Sage took the intimate, but enthusiastic audience on a journey back. With classic rock and bluesy sounds so familiar and comforting, yet flavored with Sage’s unique storytelling, his music is like an Old Fashioned laced with something unexpected and exciting.

The night was filled with Sage’s intense and surprising originals, stories pulled from his childhood in New York and past relationships, with the occasional nod to some of his favorite LA bands, The Doors and Guns N’ Roses. With the conclusion of each story, the crowd’s cheers grew louder, ebbing Sage on, begging for more of this rare, soulful sound the commercialized city is starving for.

In his cut up jeans and white t-shirt, Sage owned the crowd with his charming New York accent, pinot noir obsession, and self-deprecating humor, infiltrating a swanky Los Angeles neighborhood with the good time feels of your favorite hometown bar. As Sage brought the audience through relatable scenarios and extreme tempo changes, their emotions soared with their cheers. The roof almost came down with “Suitcase Full of Blues”, a masterfully crafted number about a woman he had known as a child who stood on her own two feet and powerfully cast a bad man out of her life with the words “I got some bad news, and here’s your suitcase full of blues.”

By the end of the too short set, the audience called for an encore, but were left with the bittersweet remnants of a powerful lesson in storytelling and staying true to yourself.

 

 

The video for Sage’s “Caught Between The Rhymes” will air on new reality series The Romance next month.

In the meantime, join 10s of thousands of fans and follow Damian Sage Music across social media:
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

And remember to stay bluesy.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“When Stars Collide” Live Music Video Release by Katie Ferrara

This week Los Angeles native and busking artist Katie Ferrara released a live performance music video for her track “When Stars Collide”.

katie ferrara

This behind the scenes look at the life of a busker, or street performer, is a refreshing look at the art of storytelling through music. With guitarist Jesse Cross at her side, Ferrara does a superb job of bringing the audience in, from the passerby’s in the video, to those watching the scene from home. The video, directed by Cody Ebbeler, encapsulates a comforting, familiar feel, with a personal touch and a bit of classic Katie flair.

The video was filmed outside of Sweety’s Candies in downtown Burbank, CA, an area Ferrara frequents on her busking journeys. Not only has she made a name for herself in the Los Angeles area, busking from the 3rd Street Santa Monica Promenade to Melrose Trading Post, but this unique approach to live performance and building a fan base has brought Ferrara around the world. After winning a street performing contest in June, she was invited to play in a global street band with musicians from around the world, and tour in New Zealand.

The indie/folk artist will be releasing her debut EP in fall 2015. Be sure to stay tuned for more videos like this one as part of The Street Sessions collection, catch her live busking the streets of Los Angeles, and read more about her adventures as a street performer in “The Busking Diaries” on her website.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“Shapes” New Release by Fjord

I discovered this new release by ambient dream-pop duo Fjord in Soundcloud’s “recommended for you” section, and I am so happy I had the time to browse today.

fjord shapes

The opening melodic line of “Shapes” is not unlike the heartwrenching ballad “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors. Mixed with R&B and ambient production elements, this lyrically simple song truly soars straight to the heart with its naked choruses and raw emotions that are stirred therein.

The duo from Quebec, made of Thomas Casault and Louis-Étienne Santais, were recently featured on Spotify’s “New Music Friday” playlist, showcasing “Shapes” as one of the new highlights of the week.

Keeping on with a tradition of ethereal musicality and hauntingly beautiful vocal lines, perfectly executed, Fjord hits a home run with this track. We look forward to hearing more dreamlike tunes from this alternative duo.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“1000 Degrees of Separation” Single Release by Brandyn Burnette

You all remember Brandyn Burnette, pop darling of the West Coast, and my first interview at A2D.

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Well, we’ve been keeping up to date on BB, as in the last few months he’s branched off on a new DIY adventure which has reaped fantastic results. He blew us all away with his first self-produced single “I Wanna Be (Free)”, introducing a new song and epic music video to match.

But this new track, “1000 Degrees of Separation” is everything I have been asking for from indie artists trying to break into the mainstream. Under a genre Brandyn titles “progressive soul”, this track offers a new, distinctly “Brandyn” flavor, filled with technical sounds, scorching lyrics, and catchy pop melodies. It is a wonderful blend of the psychedelic, powerful, and popular.

Staying true to this new DIY sound, Brandyn’s vocal lines and effects nod to those in his most recent tracks, but also follow the lyrical hypnosis that brings a connectivity to Brandyn’s music that is instrumental in reaching a young and hungry audience.

Thanks to Brandyn for bringing us an exciting new sound, and allowing us to follow your journey as an indie artist in Los Angeles.

Be sure to check out Brandyn Burnette and singer/songwriter girlfriend Molly Moore as they play joint shows  in favorite venues around Los Angeles this summer.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“Dreamers” Single Release by Villains In Love

This Brooklyn, NY based indie synth duo stumbled across me on instagram, and directed me to their new single “Dreamers”. I followed their promptings, and was rewarded with a delightful style of music I haven’t heard since Broadway star Gavin Creel released his pop album Goodtimenation in 2006.

villains in love

Villains in Love members Blake Charleton and Renae Adams bring similar theatrics and electronic elements to their new single, “Dreamers”, which will be released on iTunes on February 10th, 2015. The song, bringing romantic lyrics, peppy production, and powerful vocals to a mystifying point, is available for streaming on the duo’s soundcloud.

“Dreamers” is playful, enticing, and a breath of fresh air that deviates from today’s mainstream sounds, while still adhering to enough modern influences to feel relevant.

The fresh production and theatrical elements make the song distinctly NYC, and this indie synth Karmin can be experienced at such Manhattan venues as Rockwood Music Hall and Mercury Lounge.

Follow them on instagram (@villainsinlove) to stay up to date on upcoming shows, their EP release (coming spring 2015), their album release (slated for fall 2015), and of course, head to iTunes and purchase “Dreamers” on February 10th, 2015.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music blogger living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

Behind the Scenes with Sonia Rao

I was first introduced to singer-songwriter Sonia Rao at BMI’s Acoustic Lounge at the legendary Genghis Cohen in December. After her emotional performance, I knew there was something special about this young artist. Today, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Rao one on one, to discuss her journey, challenges, and goals within the Los Angeles music industry.

sonia rao 2

When did this journey start for you? Did you always know you wanted to be a professional musician? 

I definitely didn’t know I wanted to be a professional musician at first. Looking back, I think the journey started when I was very little. My mom had my brothers and I learn three instruments each. I played violin, piano, and flute, so there were lots of lessons, orchestra rehearsals, and practicing, but I never thought of myself as creative because I was just studying what was on the page. The actual songwriting happened after college.

How has your life changed since deciding to pursue a career in music?

Everything is so different. Life changes logistically, of course, in my day to day, but more internally it changes how I interact with the world. I just wrote this song about coming into songwriting: growing up I didn’t really speak out at all, I would never participate in school, etc, and once I started songwriting I started finding that I had all these opinions and ideas of things. It changed my life in that way, and I like that. It changes everything – you’re going after a thing you love, so I think that you have to face yourself, you have to be really honest with yourself, what you want, whether this is worth it, the battles you come up against. You face your family, and expectations. I’ve battled my own inner self – Do I think I can do this? Can I make a living out of it? But for me I feel like those are the good questions to ask in general.

What have been some of your biggest challenges?

I guess one challenge after graduating college was realizing that my parents and family had certain hopes for me that were different from the hopes I had for myself. I surprised myself with this music career, so a big challenge for me is continuing to stay at it when everything and many people close to me were not wanting me to do it because they were worried. Facing doubt in general from others and from myself, and still sticking with it has been a challenge. As you know, LA is kind of a beast of its own, and deciding you’re going to stay here, no many how many inner demons arise, no matter how many doubts you have in yourself. I’ve been in LA 3.5 years, and with each year that passes, I’m so glad I stayed.

What is your inspiration?

Books that I’m reading. Relationships – beginnings, endings, songs follow the arch of a relationship. I’ve written a little bit about my family. The last album is called Los Angeles – so I’ve written about moving here, my experience with reality TV (Rao was a finalist on the 1st season of The Voice), all that. Everything is inspiration, as for me songwriting is a way to process how I think about things.

Can you tell us about your songwriting process?

I think there’s two kinds that happen for me – one is when I really feel like writing, but a lot of the time, I don’t feel like writing, but I decide I’m going to sit here from this time to this time and I’m going to write no matter what. One song comes out first, then a song that makes it to an album comes after that first song. It’s like when you meet up with your girlfriends and you talk about whatever for a minute and then the real stuff comes out – that’s what songwriting is like for me.

You’ve placed a lot of your music on several television networks. What can you tell us about that process?

That is all because of my publisher, he does all that, he’s awesome. I met him when I first came to LA and got very lucky with that. That’s just been so helpful for my music and for having my career here. It’s funny though, because when I write these songs, I’m thinking “this is about my ex boyfriend” and then it’s used with Snookie and someone are making up after a fight, which is totally opposite from what I wrote about. They use my songs mostly for the emotional scenes.

Your website mentions that you’ve spoken and performed at TEDxWomen, can you tell us about that experience?

That was an amazing day. All day you’re listening to these really inspiring speakers. It was so great to perform after all that inspiration, the audience was so hyper-present. I performed four songs and spoke in between about my experience with my family and pursuing music. One song I wrote about patriarchy, so I discussed that and the importance women’s equality in our society.

What are some of your short term goals?

I’m going to Nashville in two weeks to finish my next album – we’re so close! Then I’m looking at artwork and planning the release and the tour.

How do you hope to impact the industry? What would you like to see change?

I’m working on an interview series called “Conversations”, where I speak with artists more about their inner experience -how they experience jealousy, what was the hardest thing for them about their career that they didn’t expect, when have they experienced contentedness… questions like this. I feel like a lot of the video interviews out there are more promo based, and while there’s a place for that and it serves artists, I do think that there is a desire for people to hear more than promotional material from artists. I really want to make sure that I stay in that same space when I’m writing, in the self-expression mode instead of thinking about what the product is. I’d like to see more of that in the industry. Sometime after this album, I would also like to have an all women’s project, where the writers, producers, engineers, are all women. I realized all the people I’m working with, who I love, have been men. I’d like to see what could happen and what would be different when we get a bunch of talented women together to work on a project.

You just performed in Bali for New Year’s Eve, what can you tell us about that experience?

Bali was beautiful, it was awesome to play the countdown show at Ayana on New Year’s Eve. It’s such a lucky thing to travel and get to travel for work, and then I travelled around afterwards. It was a nice way to end and start a year.

What advice would you give fellow aspiring musicians?

If you ever lose sight of yourself or what you are doing here or why you’re doing it, just come back to what is it you want to say, what is important to you – come back to self-expression, as that will always guide you back to why you wanted to do this in the first place. The other thing is don’t dismiss yourself just because there’s so many people doing what you’re doing. It doesn’t make it less important that you’re doing it.

What’s next for Sonia Rao?

Finishing this album, figuring what the name of it is. Releasing it and touring. We’re thinking Midwest, NY, Nashville, San Fran, and LA.

 

 

To learn more about Sonia Rao and to keep up with the release of her upcoming album, and to follow her on social media, head to www.soniarao.com.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music enthusiast living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

ASTR Live at The Troubadour

It is always a pleasure to be asked to cover a sold out show: the energy is guaranteed to be high, and in a place like The Troubadour in West Hollywood, the night will undoubtedly be a success. The Troubadour is known as one of the rare venues who truly makes a point to honor the musicians it headlines as well as the audience it draws. Subsequently, loyal music fans from across the metro and even out of state flock to the historic venue to see some of the best shows in LA, set on a small, intimate stage that makes the experience all the more memorable.

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Saturday night’s show was started off by DJ Grant Owens, most  popularly known as the producer and host of We Found New Music, a  radio show on Laguna’s KX 93.5 which tackles the important  task of bringing those new and promising acts to the forefront of  its listeners’ radar. Owens, who also works at major record label  Universal Music Group, began the night playing alternative,  electro-pop favorites from bands like The Knocks, and nodded  to upcoming act ASTR by playing their ever popular cover of  Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home”. The DJ’s debut at Troubadour was a hit, and the perfect primer  to the next act, The Black and The White.

The three man show, made up of frontman and lead guitarist Juilio Tavarez, bassist Mario Gonzalez, and longtime drummer Cliff Sarcona, stormed the stage with their incredibly playful and exuberant presence. Tavarez matched his impossibly tight pants with even tighter vocals, dancing easily between his passionate baritone and a surprisingly powerful falsetto. The band carried the energy of ensembles much larger, and louder, proving that three was all that was needed to bring an already eager audience to their feet. Backed by a psychedelic video display and surrounded by an increasingly enthusiastic audience, The Black and The White doled out a welcome overdose of music that can only be created by those who still remember and respect the art form that is musical expression. Between the three band members and the brilliant addition of backtracks towards the middle of the set, The Black and The White reminded Troubadour goers why they flock to the venue in the first place: to hear unique, powerful, and eclectic music from seasoned performers who are hungry to share their craft and create an experience with their audience.

Up next came the headlining duo from New York City, ASTR. The crowd went wild as stunning redhead and lead vocalist Zoe Silverman and producer, percussionist, and keyboardist Adam Pallin hit the stage. From the bass drop of their first song “Razor”, the crowd was screaming their appreciation and singing along. Silverman kept the crowd moving as she demonstrated her theatrical dance and performance skills, as Pallin kept the show going by captaining his production machines and electronic drum set. A dramatic duo to be sure, ASTR filled the stage with their explosive presence and heart-pumping music that bled lyrical finesse. Their visuals emphasized the retro foundation of their music, which, paired with galactic production, makes for an irresistible and addictive combination. ASTR premiered a new song at Troubadour that night, which could easily catapult the duo into mainstream success. With its catchy lyrics, use of pop and hip hop beats, and something that is undeniably ASTR, the song has all the makings of a hit. The band finished their set with their lead single “Operate”, off their debut 2014 EP “Varsity”. The crowd, already whistling and screaming at the end of every song, including a performance of the Drake cover already teased by DJ Grant Owens earlier that night, offered an uproar of applause when the duo closed on “Operate”. As DJ Pleasure Principle ascended the stairs to bring the night to a close, there was no doubt the audience had witnessed performance greatness that night.

From DJs Grant Owen and Pleasure Principle, to three-man band The Black and The White, to powerhouse duo ASTR, this night at the Troubadour proved that it doesn’t take large numbers to make a wave: a few can accomplish much when they have the passion and vision to do what the majority would never dare to do. Here’s to the few, with big dreams and bigger voices, and to the venues and organizations like Troubadour and We Found New Music who support them along their way.

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music enthusiast living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.

“She’s A Devil” Music Video Release by La Madness

The newest video from Minneapolis band La Madness was leaked last night, to great response. “She’s A Devil” has already garnered almost 2,000 views in just a few short hours, and it’s no surprise: put great music together with a beautiful girl, add a few shots of something clear and dangerous, and you’ve got an addictive rock video.

la madness she's a devil

The video to a track from the band’s debut album, “Chances Are”, features 93X Girl Stephanie Bailey and over a year’s worth of footage from La Madness’ notoriously awesome live shows.

“Chances Are” was released to critical acclaim earlier this year, and the band is already recording music for their highly anticipated second EP.

We hope to see La Madness hit the streets of LA with their rock-induced party swag as soon as possible (Kurt, no more games).

You can learn more about La Madness at http://www.reverbnation.com/lamadness.

Warning: The below video may not be appropriate for viewers under 18, and will undoubtedly incite a strong craving for whiskey and/or tequila. Ye be warned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9cNw7Fl0LU&feature=youtu.be

Drea Dorman is a singer-songwriter and music enthusiast living in Los Angeles, CA. Learn more about Drea and her music at www.dreaofficialmusic.com.