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Monthly Archives: November 2018

Kara Connolly

 

Photos by Betsy Newman

 

The minute I came across Kara Connolly I was hooked. Their was something about her music that appealed to me.  I bought her music off my favorite digital retailer straight away and will be buying a t-shirt as well. She has something special going on and was totally appreciated the opportunity for an interview and dug my site. Not only that she has given some of the best answers for an interview this year.  She is something that is worth checking out. I was so stoked when she said yes to an interview.  She is one of my top 5 favorite discoveries of 2018 and I know her up coming debut album will be one of the best of 2019.  I have no doubt she is one of the artists to watch out for in 2019.  Read on and find out why I am hooked. She is just so super lovely and anybody who takes the time to appreciate the support they are getting from a small time site like myself deserves all my support. So enjoy.

https://www.karaconnolly.com/

1. How did you get into music?
 
From a very young age, I loved dancing, singing, and performing. My parents say they have a video of me jumping on the bed naked and singing Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” at age 3. In second grade, my friend Kelsey and I called ourselves “The Sugar Girls,” and we would wear matching Limited Too outfits and sing cover songs at the local park.

Kelsey recently reminded me that at around that same time I would write little songs and sing them for her… some of which she still remembers. So I guess you could say that was the first hint at my love for songwriting. Then, I performed “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” at a summer cruise ship talent show as a young woman… of 6. I remember having my hair up in a French twist, ripping the clip out of my hair, and shaking it out for dramatic effect.

All of these experiences led to me writing fully formed relationship songs back when the only man in my life was a stuffed animal named “Doodle Bear.” I was in the second grade and writing a song about some guy playing with my heart and cheating on me… I’ve still never been cheated on (knock on wood), but it all felt very important at the time!

Since then, I’ve continued to write relationship songs with a twist, though in high school I began to draw from my own life. I started dating my first boyfriend – you know, lots of emotions – and I would sit in math class and write lyrics into my notebook to make it look like I was taking intensive notes. That must be why I am now very very bad at math. Or perhaps my being innately very very bad at math caused me to tune it all out and just write songs instead. Maybe a bit of both.

Despite music being my first love, I eventually became more focused on acting, booking and shooting a couple of indie films, attending Acting for the Camera summer camps at UCLA throughout high school, and graduating from USC with an emphasis in Acting from the School of Dramatic Arts. To be honest, I picked up the guitar quite late, my senior year of college, and began writing a bunch of songs on the instrument. I quickly realized that I could hear the chords that went under the lyrics and melodies I had been creating in my head.

I used songwriting as a form of therapy when so much felt out of my control at that point in my life. I was stoked to graduate and be done with school, but so many other difficult changes fell within the same few months. As I said earlier, I moved out to Los Angeles as an actress and wrote plenty of songs while waiting for auditions that never came. I loved that with music I could create my own world and wasn’t told who to be or what to say. It sort of just happened.

People started asking me to record and co-write with them, acquaintances approached me about playing shows, opportunities opened up — I love that I didn’t have to force it in a way I felt I had to force other things in my life. There are, of course, still challenges and I’ve had to work very hard to get past those, but I really started to feel as though there was no other option but to walk down this path and see it through.

My friend Jon works over at Conway Recording Studios, this magical recording studio in Los Angeles in which we went in the middle of the night (the only time the rooms were available) to quickly record some basic guitar/vocal demos of my songs. There are a lot more steps to the story, but eventually, the producer of my current project heard those basic demos, we met up and decided to work on an album together.

My recent (and first) releases (Life in Rear View, Nice Guy, Abuser and Swing, Swing) all come from this project. A lot of it has just been putting myself out there time and time again, thinking outside the box, taking this dream one day at a time and slowly inching forward. The best things happen when you least expect it, but also because you’re doing the work and working towards a goal.

2. What inspired the song Nice Guy?

 
I wrote Nice Guy as an acknowledgment of self-worth. As a reminder to myself and to my friends to never settle for less than the love and respect we deserve. I wrote it at a time when a lot of my friends were waiting around for guys who never called or who left things open-ended, wondering what they did wrong and thinking things would be different the next time he reached out (like clockwork). Repeat the cycle. Then there were the songs on the radio. Girls singing things like, “It’s fine if you don’t call me tomorrow, just tell me you will tonight,” and me thinking, “If you tell me you’re going to call me tomorrow, you better freaking call me tomorrow!” The song was born out of these experiences, and others, compounded.
 

My goal was to create something fun and honest that you could sing to, with hopes that after a second listen you may realize you’re singing something empowering.

Or maybe you never realize it. Maybe it’s just a song to sing along to in the car with your best friends. And that’s great too. But my hope is that the message subconsciously seeps in one way or another. That it can encourage men to embrace their true selves in a society that rewards hyper-masculinity and, for everyone, when faced with the choice, to pick a partner who shows them unconditional love and respect.

3. Were you happy with how it has been received?

 
I’m very happy with how it’s been received. Nice Guy is the first song of mine to ever play on the radio. I did this social media campaign on my Instagram stories called “Nice Guy of the Day” in which friends, family members, and fans could nominate a “nice guy” for the title. The idea was to highlight and celebrate deserving men in order to spread the positivity and encourage kindness as being what’s truly sexy. This radio station in Los Angeles got wind of it and wanted to interview me on-the-air about the selection process and also asked me to perform the song live. 
 
The lyric video for that song was premiered by Parade Magazine, which was exciting considering it was my first lyric video ever.
 
All that said, I’m also just happy when fans send me videos jamming out to the song in their cars or messages from nice guys that they finally felt seen and cool for once. It’s one of my favorite songs on the upcoming record so I’m stoked that people have been excited about it.
 
Of course, I hope that it transcends further, but if that’s all that happens with this track then I feel I’ve done my job. 

4. How does a song start for you?
 
Songs start in many different ways, which is what keeps songwriting so exciting. What I will say is that, for me, it usually starts with lyric and melody at the same time. I’ll either be driving in the car or playing some chords on the guitar and I’ll have an idea pop into my head. Something about movement, whether being in a moving car or my hand strumming along, helps me get the creative juices flowing. When an idea comes out, I usually know if it’s a verse or a chorus right away just from its feel and then I’ll strategically build around that. That’s when changes come in or things get a bit more technical. The first impetus typically just comes from a lyric and melody popping into my head simultaneously though.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
 
I definitely get inspiration from my life. When I write on my own (as opposed to co-writes) it’s almost always related to whatever is going on for me at the moment. I’ve also drawn inspiration from what’s going on in the world at large, with my friends, or with family members. For instance, I wrote a song called Marry Me that’s on my upcoming record for my cousin’s wedding. When I write with a group (most of this album was written solo), I’m more open to writing about whatever and just  imagining the circumstances. Whatever connects with the collective. It’s a fun switch up to write in this way and it gives me some liberty to stray from the facts. Sometimes we end up writing a song that I personally connect with and the sentiment feels true to life, even if the specifics aren’t. 

6. Has your songwriting changed from when you were starting out?
 
A lot of it has changed as I’ve studied music and structure further, and much of it has stayed the same. I’m much more open to co-writing than I was before. I think at the beginning and with this project, I just really wanted to get my vision out and my songs out there as a solid foundation of who I am as a person and an artist. I had this sense that I didn’t want my vibe to be warped with by those around me because I was afraid of being a shell of somebody else as opposed an authentic version of myself. Now that that’s really happening and this record is coming out, I’m excited to explore, try new things, and work with different people. I think in order to branch out you need a firm foundation and to truly know who you are, which is why I think writing much of these first releases on my own has been invaluable. 
 
When I write a song by myself, most of it has remained the same. I tend to sit alone, with my guitar, and record my ideas out into ten billion voice notes. I then collect a ton of these voice note songs over time, narrow down my favorites and start the process of producing around them and making that idea into a reality. That’s really how this project came into fruition.

7. What has been the best piece of advice you have been given about your music
career?
 
My parents both remind me to enjoy the ride and not take things so seriously. It’s not worth it if you aren’t happy. I think this is great advice for not only a career in music, but just life in general. It’s really easy to miss the moments of your life when you’re always thinking one step ahead and trying to control the situation. 
 
I can definitely be guilty of this, but I’m trying to step into this mindset that what’s meant for me will come and that it’s okay to step back, let things happen and to experience them as opposed to trying to force everything to be the way in which I want it.
 
That said, I think a vision is crucial. But I’m learning that, for me, that vision comes from trusting who I am as a person and that letting go of the how, where, and when is essential. 

8. How did your album Life in Rear View come about?
 
I explained a bit of the logistics above in talking about my journey to music, but the truth is that I always wanted to make an album. Some people were trying to convince me that I needed to play x amount of shows first or that I should only record a single, but I wrote tons of songs leading up to this record that I felt were starting to pile up on a hard-drive somewhere. I didn’t feel good about moving forward with writing more music until at least a few of these songs were out into the world. My early 20s was a really transformative time for me and I knew that I wanted that story told before moving onto the next phase of my life. There was a little part of me that needed to prove to myself that this music would, in fact, be heard in order to trust myself to continue writing more songs (that then hopefully also could be heard). 
 

The album is essentially a journey from breakdown to breakthrough, made possible by taking strides in discovering my self-worth along the way and letting go of what no longer served me.I would love to encourage others to jump in the driver’s seat of their own lives, let go of what no longer serves them, embrace vulnerability, self-worth, friendship, and to never settle for less than the love and respect that they deserve. It’s a process. I’m still learning how to let go and leave the past behind me, in the rearview mirror, to occasionally glance back on (or write a song about).

9. What was the songwriting process like for it?

 
I wrote most of these songs in my bedroom, on the guitar, initially recording into my iPhone voice notes app. The earliest song that I included on this album was written in early 2015 (Life in Rear View) and the last song I wrote that was included was written in 2017 (Other People). So the other tracks were selected from songs I wrote in between that time frame. They’re all inspired by real experiences that have happened to either myself, my friends, or my family members. 

10. Was the recording process different to earlier material?
 
This is my debut project and my first releases as an artist.
 
There were a lot of songs written in that period I spoke of above that were in various phases of the recording process that I thought would be released, but then weren’t as I continued to change and write more material that I felt more connected with at that time of my life. For instance, I went through a phase in 2014 and 2015 in which I wrote a lot of super cute, quirky love songs. I was incredibly inspired by new love and first dates and telling those stories. My friends David Yuvienco and Jonathan Sher and I would stay up super late and record demos of those songs in their home studios. I wish some of those songs got out into the world, but by the time I was recording this project I was in a different place in my personal life. Those first dates and relationship songs didn’t feel as meaningful as some of the topics I started to write about that blended that vibe, but with a larger message. I think that’s just a part of it. I’ve written a lot of new material since recording this project and I’m expecting that 99% of it won’t see the light of day as I continue to write until I’m ready to get in the studio again.

11. Did you go into the studio prepared or did you go with the flow?
 
It was a bit of both. Bill Lefler produced my album at his studio called “Death Star Studios” in Los Angeles. Basically, I had written roughly 80 songs prior to the recording of this album. I sent Bill 38 of those and he narrowed it down to 15 or so of his favorites. There were 5 or 6 that were definite, but the rest were mostly just selected depending upon what I was leaning towards each day in the studio. We recorded the album over the course of 2 months (apart from one or two tracks that we were testing and working on prior to starting a project together).

I had sent Bill a list of tracks that I wanted my record to be “in the style of.” I can’t say that we totally stuck to that. That said, my record is very percussive and most of the tracks I sent over had an upbeat, highly percussive element. A lot of the tracks I sent as examples were blends of organic instruments with electronic elements. It was really just approaching each track as an individual and looking at what it uniquely needed. Bill would usually start adding things pretty immediately and then, as the process continued, I would either take elements out or add an instrumental hook idea or layers that I felt would make the song more dynamic.

About halfway through, I started to realize that there was a bit of a theme and story-line in the tracks we were picking (loosely, but still there) and so it informed some of my later selections for songs to include.

12. Do you have a set theme for your music or does it go with the flow and
change?

 
What great questions! I guess I sort of started to organically answer that in the last question.
 
I noticed there was a bit of a theme, but only after I wrote a bunch of songs and started to sense what that was. With this project, I noticed there was a theme of letting go of what no longer serves you and acknowledging your self-worth that was coming through many of the tracks selected. People started to point out that there was a strong female protagonist in the songs that was learning her value throughout the course of the record. I definitely resonated with that and it felt true to my experience. That said, I write whatever I’m feeling so I’ve written about many different topics and I’m sure that will change as I continue to write and release music.

13. Do like to write without inspiration or distractions or do you need a
bit of both? 
 
I love to write from a space of inspiration. I tend to write when I give myself time to process what I’m experiencing and not  write so much when I’m going, going, going. I’m learning to write even when I’m not in that inspired space. 

14. How important is having a plan in place for your music?
 
I think having a plan and, more specifically, a vision is very important. It inspires my decision making and encourages me to move onto the next step. That said, you need a plan so you can then say, “Fuck the plan!” Nothing ever goes according to plan.

15. What inspired doing the cover of The All-American Rejects song Swing, Swing?
 
I’ve always loved The All-American Rejects. Their music got me going to live shows…SwingSwing was one of my favorite songs growing up. It has a special place in my memory.
 
I wanted to take a song that wasn’t an obvious choice, but did have it’s time in the spotlight, and unexpectedly spin it on its head.
 
The band’s version is pretty angsty, triumphant and anthemic, but listening to the lyrics over and over again as I have throughout the years made me realize that the song’s sentiment is actually quite melancholic. I love the heart-on-your-sleeve vibe of that entire record so I wanted to put my own spin on it and honor a band I’ve always admired. Recording this cover made me really emotional. I found that I could now connect in a way that I hadn’t as a kid. It brought me back to this incredibly desperate place in which you just want anyone to help you through the deep sadness and loss of (in my case) a first love.

16. How important are video clips for you?
 
Video clips have been very important for me. My first music video is what has gotten me in some cool rooms and was shared across Facebook. I’m realizing how much people are engaging with the video content and it’s encouraging me to make more. Video is a lot of work, but worth it if that’s what my fans are responding to.
 
17. What do you love about Social Media and connecting with your fans?
 
I love how creative and personal you can be. I spoke about my “Nice Guy of the Day”campaign above…that was incredibly fun for me to social media stalk fans and friends and write a funny little caption highlighting how awesome they are. It’s awesome to get fans and friends engaged. I got them to send in items to be burned for my Life in Rear Viewmusic video and often play guessing games, make polls, and quizzes, etc. on my Instagram.
 
It’s really exciting to be able to do what you want, when you want, and how you want to do it. Social media allows for that and I’m really excited by the people finding and connecting with me on there. 

18. How important is your brand Kara Connolly?
 
What an interesting question! I love it!
 
What I will say is that my “brand” comes out of who I truly am as a person and a writer and I hope that it always stays that way. In my opinion, branding in any other way is just backwards. To create art off of a brand is, of course, done and is sometimes done well, but for myself, I had to write tons of songs and get clear on who I am as a person and what it is that I’m trying to say before I could then come up with a photoshoot idea, album concept, marketing plan, etc. 
 
I’m happy with things that way. It’s fun and exciting for me and I think is ultimately more sustainable because it is me. Or at least a side of me…and a prominent one at that. To answer your question, I’m very involved with every decision I make from what the cover looks like to what I’m wearing to how the music sounds to what I’m saying so I guess in that sense of the word “brand” it’s definitely important to me. But that’s only because I want to make sure I remain true to myself and not get lost in the “This is what everyone else is doing” shuffle. 

19. What does 2019 have in store for you?
 
Expect more singles, the release of my album, another music video, ways to get fans involved, live shows (maybe even a tour), and the writing and recording of my next project! I’m excited to see where it all goes!

I love what Alli Walker does as a musician. Think is she is so talented, incredible voice and killer tunes. This is her latest song and it is a winner. It fits in nicely with the rest amazing material she has put out so far.  It’s out now at all good digital music retailers. I have my copy have you had a listen yet?

Fresh off the back of announcing two special performances in Sydney and Melbourne this November, Finn Andrews (of The Veils) returns with his new single “A Shot Through the Heart (Then Down in Flames)” – the latest offering from forthcoming debut solo album, One Piece At A Time.

Led by Finn’s distinctive vocal and showcasing the kind of skilful songwriting that’s already won The Veils a huge, dedicated fan base, “A Shot Through the Heart (Then Down in Flames)” displays a more personal and self-exploratory side to Finn, especially when compared to The Veils’ 2016 album Total Depravity.

It’s a lot more autobiographical than I intended,” says Finn on the new album. “The last Veils records had a lot of writing from other perspectives but this one has a lot less of that and a lot more from… well, from me I guess. It’s always been personal, so it’s a different way of getting at the same thing, I suppose. Honestly I don’t exactly know why it’s different this time, or why these songs have a different feeling, but they do.”

Since signing a record deal at 16, Finn Andrews and his band The Veils have released 5 albums together, appeared in David Lynch’s reboot of Twin Peaks, as well as on soundtracks by luminary film directors Tim Burton and Paolo Sorrentino, and were also recently commissioned by the Belgian government to write a 20-minute orchestral piece to commemorate the antipodean dead of World War I. It was while writing 2016’s critically acclaimed Total Depravity that the New Zealand-raised musician realized a different streak was beginning to emerge.  Fuelled by the end of a relationship, Andrews took some time out from London and from The Veils, and returned to New Zealand to begin work on his first solo album, One Piece At A Time, due out next year.

The album is one of  Andrews’ most profound and intimate pieces of work. Recorded entirely live at The Lab in Auckland, and engineered and co-produced by Tom Healy (Tiny Ruins), the band includes Andrews on vocals, piano, and guitar; Cass Basil on electric and upright bass; Alex Freer on drums; Healy on guitar; Reb Fountain and Nina Siegler on backing vocals; with sprawling string arrangements by Victoria Kelly.

Kara Connolly

Photo by Betsy Newman

Ok so I have interviewed a lot of people. I’m lucky that a lot of them are really awesome and just really lovely and will let me hang with them and become friends with them. My point is that it’s rare these days when a person you approach for an interview they are just really lovely and really grateful for you for the publicity. They will take the time to answer questions and give good answers.

When I approached Kara, she was just all that. Appreciated my support and dug what I was doing it. So Kara Connolly is a singer songwriter with country, folk and pop sensibilities I reckon. She has released a number of singles out which are all well written and produced. She has voice to match her song writing that delivers. Her debut album Life in Rear View is coming out next year and I for one can’t wait to get a copy of it.

With a sold out show at Hotel Café and a number of online media getting behind her. Now including me, She is doing all the right things in gaining fans. But if you are appreciative and considerate to people that are wanting to support your career as someone in the media or as a fan. You will go a long way in this industry, people will see it and it will help you and your profile.

People appreciate people that are grateful, kind and approachable. This is why I think Kara Connolly is a talent to watch out for. I know her debut album will be one of the best of 2019 after hearing all the amazing stuff she has released this year I am sure it will be a winner. Mark my words.  I’m already putting her on my site best of list.

https://www.karaconnolly.com/

| JUST ABOUT DONE |
MELBOURNE ALTERNATIVE PUNK BAND RELEASE NEW MUSIC VIDEO ‘PEACEMAKER’ + ANNOUNCE TOUR
DATES WITH COLUMBUS  



 
Melbourne based Alternative Punk outfit Just About Done have just released their new
music video ‘Peacemaker’.
 
‘Peacemaker’ is the final release in a three-part video series that includes all
tracks from their new EP ‘I Am Getting By’.
 
Just About Done have also announced that they will be joining Columbus on their
upcoming Australian tour.

Since forming Just About Done have built up an impressive resume. The band have
shared the stage with the likes of Between You And Me, Stuck Out, Slowly Slowly and
This Wild Life (just to mention a diverse few.) 
 
They have also been featured in the ‘Fierce Frontwomen’ special via Triple J
Unearthed alongside the likes of Shirley Manson (Garbage.)
 
New EP ‘I Am Getting By’ is available for download on all major online stores.
 
“It is gritty and heavenly all at the same time and the mark of a band that
undoubtedly have huge things on the horizon.”
Andrew Cauchi – Depth Magazine
 
“It’s equal parts triumph and destruction, and goes so hard.”
Declan Byrne – Triple J
 
JUST ABOUT DONE
‘I AM GETTING BY’ | SHOW DATES
 
November 24th – Workers Club, Melbourne, VIC
W/ Columbus (Australian Tour) 
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au
<http://ymlp82.net/73bdbeswbataehujwalausuavamyq/click.php> | 18+ only 
 
December 6th – Stay Gold, Melbourne, VIC
W/ The Wonder Years (US) + Boston Manor (UK) 
Tickets available at www.eventbrite.com.au
<http://ymlp82.net/01945eswhakaehujwavausuazamyq/click.php> | 18+ only 
 
December 7th – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
W/ Columbus (Australian Tour) 
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au
<http://ymlp82.net/801d4eswwaoaehujwazausuaxamyq/click.php> | 18+ only 
 
December 8th – The Chippo Hotel, Sydney, NSW 
W/ Columbus (Australian Tour) 
Tickets available at www.oztix.com.au
<http://ymlp82.net/20207eswqapaehujwaoausuadamyq/click.php> | 18+ only

NAUTICAL MILE
‘A LIFE WORTH DYING FOR’ | TOUR DATES

October 18th – Amplifier, Perth, WA
Tickets available at door | 18+ only

October 31st – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available at door | 18+ only

November 2nd – Wrangler Studios, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets available at door | All Ages

November 4th – Moshpit, Sydney, NSW
Free entry | 18+ only

So Alicia Sky has released the video clip for her song Turn The Sky Blue and it’s a beautifully shot clip that Alicia directed herself. The location chosen is excellent. The song is amazing and if you haven’t listen to it yet. Do it’s excellent.  She has loads of talent and this is another winner in a career going places. Top stuff

I am a fan of On Diamond and what Lisa does.  Think she is a phenomenal talent and is launching this Friday at Eastmint. Yes I am going and it will be excellent.  Can’t wait to hear what they are doing next. This is excellent.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/destinylove/living-as-a-vessel?fbclid=IwAR2A684V4M1SGwSCRUimaKVS5VoaPwtej__0RGZbJQTvTEf0v8qVb-mPX7E

My amazing friend Destiny Love is launching a book and you can donate to help get it out their in audio form and in print. I shall be doing so this is what she has to say about it. Taken from the kickstarter page

Writing a book is like a vision quest. It is illuminating, challenging, pushes you to your edges, and delivers a great gift in the end. I have learned so much about myself while writing Living as a Vessel.

Living as a Vessel is full of my vulnerable stories– moments of trauma and challenge in my life, how I’ve integrated these moments, and how I’ve applied the extracted gifts towards my creative expression–my authentic voice.

I’ve also included many practices and exercises for you to play with. It is my intention that as you do, you also glean the gifts of your integrated life experiences and are able to apply them to your creative expression.

I appreciate your support as I birth this book into the world. It was truly a labor of love, pouring most of my creative energy into it since November 2017! And I’m excited to embark on the next leg of the journey…

I have a timeline (and a celebration). I am pregnant with my second child, and our baby is due to arrive in March 2019. I imagine I will again receive massive transmissions from the birthing portal to offer to the greater world (this is what happened during my first birth, which I share in detail in the book), so I intend for this project to be complete so that my channel is clear and open to receive.

I aim to complete the Audiobook version by February 2019, and for this effort, I need your financial support and encouragement.

This campaign will cover the costs of the production and mastering of the AUDIOBOOK version (which is very exciting, so that this valuable message can reach a wider audience). Anything above and beyond the goal will reimburse me from the costs of the paperback and ebook, and will help me to market on a wider scale.

A few great things to know about “Living as a Vessel”:

  • available in print, ebook, and audiobook (you will have the first copies!)
  • 203 pages 
  • 30 chapters plus 12 practices 

I adore Lacey Caroline and her new video clip for her song Ain’t That Girl is awesome. It’s a well shot clip for an excellent tune. She looks great in it and if you haven’t got the tune yet. Get it as it is an amazing tune by Lacey. The tune rocks as does the clip.

https://www.laceycaroline.com/