Posts Tagged ‘Sarah McLachlan’

ormewoods_bedsessions_cover_web_phixrClaire Pearson and Don McCollister are two singer-songwriters who have the history behind them that proves they know how to create hit songs. In their own ways, Pearson and McCollister have had their hands in making other people sound great in the studio. Don McCollister has helped people like Sister Hazel and Shawn Mullins and more while Claire Pearson has worked as a songwriter in Nashville while also collaborating alongside Nashville recording artist Heidi Higgins as The Daffodils. Joining forces as songwriters (as well as husband and wife), Pearson and McCollister started writing music together. Their newly-formed collaboration is called The Ormewoods. Recently, The Ormewoods celebrated the release of their new album called The Bedroom Sessions, an album that was literally created inside the couple’s own bedroom.

The new release from The Ormewoods begins with the track “Sidelines”. The track features a strong folk-rock feel with a very strong emphasis on the “folk” side of the sound. It is the mandolin on the track that stands out as the dominant instrument and that mandolin helps to push the pace of the song. The resulting song sounds like a combination of folk and bluegrass. The vocals from both Claire Pearson and Don McCollister added to that folk/bluegrass sound help to create a track that feels very “classic” in its origins. Pearson and McCollister’s vocals help to create a solid duet type of song. “Sidelines” sounds as if the song would have been created back around the turn of the 20th Century. That type of retro feel to the music prepares the listener for other songs that also make use of older musical influences.

The Bedroom Sessions from The Ormewoods continues with the track “I Do”. While the previous track takes the listener back in time for a retro sound, “I Do” is a track that would easily fit onto any modern-day Country format. The track contains a light pace to the music with just a little production value that helps to add a lot of texture to the song. The song features Claire Pearson as her vocals come more to the forefront with Don McCollister adding background vocals to the song. Unlike “Sidelines” before it that would not fit today’s Country formats, “I Do” would easily fit onto today’s Country radio stations. For the next track of “Back to You,” The Ormewoods take their music into a more pop-like direction. The track takes on a more acoustic folk-rock sound and leaves behind the more Country-like influences. The resulting song has a very commercial sound that could appeal to many different groups of music lovers. Making full use of Don McCollister’s writing abilities and Claire Pearson’s vocal delivery, “Back to You” sounds ready-made to be a full-blown radio crossover.

“Hey Babe” finds the duo of stripping down their sound to just an acoustic guitar and some light percussion. The resulting music sounds like something that would have come from a band like Jefferson Airplane, and with the vocals from both Pearson and McCollister, that comparison gets even stronger. “Hey Babe” has a style that is so timeless that it sounds very familiar.

“Delaware Ave.” is another track that features a light, acoustic feel to the music. The inclusion of cellos within the folk music makes the track sound as if it could have been written and produced by the likes of Simon and Garfunkle. The track even has lyrics that are reminiscent to Art Garfunkle’s writing style.

Adding a little more of a modern sound to the track “Sleep Like Strangers,” Pearson and McCollister create a song that brings to mind the harder side of Sarah McLachlan. The acoustic rock featured on “Sleep Like Strangers” ends up making the track with perhaps the most energy of all of the tracks on the Bedroom Sessions release.

One of the standout tracks on the release is “Year of Mercy”. The track consists of a driving guitar part that goes along with lyrics of needing a break from all of the bad things that have happened. With the track “Year of Mercy,” The Ormewoods prove that they have the talent as songwriters. The track has already earned the duo awards for runner up for Best Folk Song 2016 by Song of the Year Songwriting Competition and nominated as Best Folk Song of 2016 by the American Songwriting Awards. “Year of Mercy” is one of the best tracks on the album.

Coming from two songwriters that have created hit after hit for other artists, The Bedroom Sessions from The Ormewoods is jam-packed with tracks that are very commercial in their sound. From the first track to the last song, the release sounds like a greatest hits collection. For a first release, this album has everything you want in an album and so much more.

The Bedroom Sessions from The Ormewoods will be released in September 2016. Until then, to hear some of the music from The Ormewoods, go to the duo’s ReverbNation profile.

Edit: The Ormewoods have released a video to the track “Hey Babe“. Click HERE to watch it.

Kai Altair is a classically-trained singer-songwriter who has spent time performing with and belonging to several groups who have helped to shape Altair’s writing style. In addition to those years spent with other people, other elements also helped to shape Altair’s way of composing music. Elements like dance culture, myth, storytelling and dreams all add to the way Altair’s music sounds. The resulting music from Kai Altair is equal parts New Age and Folk music with just a little bit of Electronica thrown in. Altair’s music can be compared to groups like Secret Garden who also create New Age music with a dreamlike quality to their songs.

Kai Altair is currently celebrating the release of her first full-length release entitled Dreamwalker. The songs included on the release feature words and music from Altair and features production from Dave Sharma & Dhruva Ganesan that brings Altair’s music to life.The new album from Kai Altair begins with the track “Draw Down the Moon”. The track begins with a slow pace with a spiritual feeling that surrounds the listener’s senses. The gentle feeling of the song soon builds to include some electronic elements that help add a strong, yet easy beat to the song. The vocals from Altair on the track will remind people of someone like Sarah McLachlan. The gentle feel of that delivery goes well with the visual feeling of the track.

Dreamwalker continues with the track “Shadow Dance”. The track takes the feeling of the first track and adds a lot more power to it. The track still features an underlying New Age spirit to the lyrics of the track but finds Altair adding a dance beat to the song. The energetic feel of the song helps to separate the two tracks from each other.

The track “Change” is one of the most infectious of the tracks on the Dreamwalker release from Kai Altair. The gentle feeling of the song, mixed with the electronic sounds from the keyboards, creates a track that features a New Age-meets-Folk feel. The addition of the effects in the background of the track adds a lot of body to the track, as well. “Change” could easily be one of the strongest tracks on the album.

With the track “Ancient Future,” Kai Altair creates another track that combines several different elements together which end up making a song that is as much about the fun feel of the music as it is about the lyrics. The dance element of the track’s music is combined with a strong cosmically spiritual feeling. The track’s lyrics about how time changes a person mix well with an easy dance beat that seem to transport the listener to some strange time period that is yet to come. “Ancient Future” is probably the track with the deepest meaning in its lyrics.

At the opposite extreme is the track “Inside a Dream”. The song features a minimal amount of lyrics as the track is more about the visuals created by the slightly psychedelic music. When listening to the track, the listener could easily get caught up in a dreamstate because of the music.

With the track of “She Holds Me,” Kai Altair adds a slightly Celtic feel to her release. The reason for the Celtic feeling is because of the inclusion of the musician named HÄANA, a musician who plays the fiddle and takes the same approach to life as Kai Altair. The Celtic feeling added to the New Age-meets- Folk feel from Altair creates a track that brings to mind the music of the New Age band Secret Garden.

Kai Altair’s music feels very relaxing and the listener will be drawn in as soon as they put the Dreamwalker album from Altair on. While this is the type of release that could be played as background music, the songs contained within the release are strong enough to keep the listener’s attention from the first track until the last note. Put on a pair of headphones and find yourself becoming one with the music of Kai Altair.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin

Rating: ***** (five stars)

To check out Kai Altair’s video “Change,” click on the link.

May Stands Still is a band that showcases the talent of Emily Herndon along with Asha Sukumar. With the new album of When You Come Home, the two have done a great job of creating music that will grab you and never let you go. The music written for this album is fun to listen to. If you like music that crosses from folk to country/bluegrass, the new album of When You Come Home from May Stands Still is just what you’re looking for.

Emily Herndon is a rising star in the folk music genre. With the beauty contained within her voice, Herndon may remind you slightly of either Norah Jones or Sarah McLachlan or even another relative newcomer to folk music, Annie Crane.

Along with Asha Sukumar who adds violin, mandolin and vocals, Herndon creates music under the moniker of May Stands Still. May Stands Still create music that stays true to the music of the artists that have come before them. While there was an EP released a little while ago, May Stands Still is now promoting the new full-length album entitled When You Come Home.

When You Come Home begins with the track “Gotta See”. “Gotta See” is a song that brings to mind the music and songwriting style of Simon and Garfunkel. You can almost hear the style of the duo as you take a listen to this song.

Taking piano and combining it with the ever-present guitar creates a slightly different take on the music on the album. It is on the second song of the release, “Wild 1,” that the light piano feeling plays well off of the easy pace of the guitar. The combination of the piano and the guitar along with the bass, drums and mandolin creates a song that slows the pace of the music down just a bit. The light vocals of Emily Herdon along with the rest of the instrumentation on this track give the listener one of the best tracks on the new album from May Stands Still.

While the electric guitar shows up on a lot of When You Come Home, the instrument becomes a little prominent in the song “I Want You”. The guitar gives the background of the song a stronger feel than most of the rest of the album.

One of the best tracks on the new album is the song “New Groove”. The song will immediately take hold of your attention with its strong beat. The beat, the strings, bassline and many other elements come together to create beautiful that goes perfectly with Herndon’s beautiful vocals on this track. With everything coming together perfectly on this song, you end getting one of the strongest tracks on the entire song. The music shifts from one part of the song to the next and helps to keep the listener entertained throughout the nearly four minutes of music.

With the song “Sleep Alone,” Emily Herndon approaches the song as if it was created by a singer-songwriter with little more than the guitar for the first half of the song. The lyrics feature the singer coming to grips with what her heart is feeling in a new relationship. When the rest of the instruments (which include strings) come in, the song takes on a more orchestral feel. The song has more emotion in it than most of the other songs on the album.

The song “Raina” features a very strong bluegrass feel to it. It also has a strong beat to the music. The song is one of the most infectious of the songs on When You Come Home. It is the bass that makes the song so much fun to listen to as the bassline is very bouncy and the clapping of the hands gives the song just a little more fun to the music.

When You Come Home winds down with the song “Falling”. This song contains lyrics that once again bring to mind those of Sarah McLachlan. The strings on the track really bring a lot of beauty to the ending portion of the album.

“Blue June” brings the new album When You Come Home from May Stands Still to a close with a song that sounds a lot like something from Alison Krauss and Union Station. The pace slows down and the guitar takes the lead for a few bars before the rest of the instruments come in to fill out the sound of the music.

When You Come Home from May Stands Still is due to be released on November 1, 2012. Until then, you can check out some of the music from May Stands Still by going to the band’s website.

***** (out of 5)

While the album of When You Come Home by May Stands Still won’t come out until November 1, 2012, here is Emily Herndon performing “Falling,” one of the songs off that release.

And as a special preview of the actual music from When You Come Home by May Stands Still, here is the song “Gotta See

Classically trained singer Charity Chapman has taken steps in the right direction to become a success in the music business. Having already taken a few classes to help prepare her voice for singing a few years back, she started writing her own songs to perform in public and create her own recordings.

And while you may not be familiar with the name of Charity Chapman, the singer-songwriter has had a bit of exposure as some of her music has already been used on television shows like Ugly Betty and X Factor. She has even put out several releases of her own songs that have helped to get her name out to the music buying public. Altogether, the music that Chapman has created has garnered her some well-deserved success.

The world is still getting to know Charity Chapman. However, this talented singer-songwriter released her first CD, Butterflies with Chainsaws, back in 2000. And since then, her library of releases has been steadily growing.
Charity Chapman’s latest release is entitled Gordon the Northern. To bring Chapman’s songs to life, the music in her songs on this release is all piano-based, bringing to mind someone like Sarah McLachlan. For those not familiar with the musician, this short three-song EP is a good place to start to discover Charity Chapman’s talent as a singer-songwriter.

Gordon the Northern begins with the song that many people would recognize from the numerous television shows and movies that have used the song as part of their musical soundtrack: “If I Could Fly”. On this song, Charity Chapman’s vocals are strong and help to add emotion to the lyrics. Charity gives a lot of depth to her voice by adding her own harmony part to the vocals. “If I Could Fly” has a sound that could easily be called “crossover”. The song is mostly pop/rock but has a lot of country flavor to it because of the mandolin that is featured in the instrumentation.

The next song on the latest release from Charity Chapman is the song “Free”. The pace of the release slows down just a little for this song. And while “If I Could Fly” has a “crossover” quality, “Free” is a song that seems like it would solidly fit on your local Adult Contemporary radio stations. This song might bring to mind artists like Faith Hill, or even Macy Gray. In fact, you can almost imagine Macy Gray’s “I Try” and Charity Chapman’s “Free” being played back-to-back on the same radio station.

Charity Chapman’s Gordon the Northern comes to a close with the song “In My Room”. The final song of the release starts out with Chapman softly singing to a slow piano tune. Soon after, the pace quickens and the rest of the instrumentation comes in to fill out the sound of the music. Along with Chapman’s single of “If I Could Fly,” this song also has a “crossover” feel. This song could easily find its way onto radio station playlists, as well.

After the three songs that make up Gordon the Northern, the most recent release by Charity Chapman, have come to an end, the listener is definitely left wanting more from this talented singer-songwriter. Hopefully, there will be more new music released by Charity Chapman in the near future. She recently recorded another single entitled “I Feel Fine,” so the world may not have to wait all that long. In the meantime, you can take a listen to Gordon the Northern from Chapman and then explore the rest of her recordings. Who knows? She may turn out to be your next favorite musical artist.

Click HERE to see the video to “If I Could Fly”.