Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson

In the past two years, Ingrid Michaelson has vaulted from overachieving indie-pop sweetheart to a bona-fide pop star. Her last release, “Human Again,” debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard album chart. This achievement merely crowned the considerable success Ingrid had already earned with her previous compositions: beautiful, idiosyncratic songs that have been prominently featured in popular films, television and on regular rotation in commercials. Her DIY approach to making music — composing her own songs, co-releasing albums on her Cabin 24 imprint, building an organic following through music-licensing, and back in her MySpace days (where she was discovered in 2006), promoting herself — was a slam-dunk. Now, it had evolved into a well-oiled machine, The New York Times even weighed in, declaring her songwriting “smart,” her tunes “irresistible” and her live show “seamless.”

Jukebox the Ghost

Brooklyn based Jukebox the Ghost is thrilled to announce the October 21st release of their self-titled fourth LP via their longtime label Yep Roc Records. The new album was recorded in LA with producers Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson, A Great Big World,Jenny Owen Youngs) and Andrew Dawson (fun., Kanye West) and is the follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed LP Safe Travels. Rolling Stone's Alex Pine caught some shots of the guys during the recording process this past May with Jukebox's very own Jesse Kristin (drums) adding some commentary which you can check out here: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/ghost-in-the-machine-jukebox-the-ghosts-studio-photo-diary-20140530.

Jukebox the Ghost features the incredibly catchy lead single "The Great Unknown," which was co-written by Jukebox's Ben Thornewill (vocals & piano) and Greg Holden (co-writer "Home" for Phillip Phillips). The single was released in June around the same time Yep Roc took the song to AAA Radio where it was #3 most added first week out. The band and the label were extremely excited this week with the news that "The Great Unknown" broke into AAA's Top 40 – a first for Jukebox the Ghost – with key support from Lighting 100 in Nashville (WRLT), 101.9 KINK-FM in Portland and WXPN in Philly to name a few. The new single is also finding a few fans at Commercial Alternative with stations such as WRFF in Philly showing early support and inviting the band to join Bleachers earlier this month for their "Summer Block Party."

In addition, the song caught the ear of a number of press tastemakers, such as USA Today's Brian Mansfield, who included "The Great Unknown" in a recent Playlist writing, "Robust piano chords and a chorus of voices lend a gospel-like buoyancy to this song about greeting life's challenges." It also was selected by So You Think You Can Dance on FOX for use in a very poignant and uplifting montage of dancers making their way into the Top 20. The single sales jumped 250% on iTunes the following week and trended on Shazam throughout the show.

Following the early June release of the single, Jukebox the Ghost, whose line-up is rounded out by Tommy Siegel (vocals & guitar), hit the road with A Great Big World for a month of North American dates. In early July, they headed over to the UK for several dates before returning stateside where they've been playing a number of summer one-off shows such as the WRFF Summer Block Party earlier this month. And just last week the band headed to the West Coast again, this time to shoot the first official video for "The Great Unknown" using a small crew and some very cool drone cameras. Look for the new video in the player below.

Secret Someones

In early 2013, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriters Bess Rogers, Hannah Winkler, and Lelia Broussard set out on a self-booked house-concert tour of the East Coast and Midwest. With multi-instrumentalist Zach Jones joining as their shared drummer, the three solo artists spent weeks traveling from city to city and performing in strangers' living rooms sans microphones. "We played as each other's backing band and harmonized together, and our voices sort of blended together in a really special way," says Broussard. "At almost every show people kept telling us we should put out something together, so we decided to give it a shot." After piling into the van for a second house-concert tour that spring, Rogers, Winkler, Broussard and Jones returned to Brooklyn and soon founded a harmony-driven but heavy-hitting alt-rock four-piece named Secret Someones.

On I Won't Follow—the band's debut EP for Cherrytree/Interscope Records—Secret Someones take their folk-tinged singer/songwriter roots and twist those tight melodies into a sublimely raw sound. Throughout the EP, the contrast between glistening harmonies, confessional lyrics, and crushing guitars creates a tension that's sweetly exhilarating. On the title track and lead single, for instance, Secret Someones soulful and soaring vocals shine through a glorious snarl of sludgy guitar riffs, fuzzed-out bass, and pounding drums. In "Chase Your Shadow," darkly textured grooves and spine-tingling harmonies get gorgeously tangled together and then give way to an epic and fiery guitar solo. Rounding out I Won't Follow is a stripped-down acoustic version of the title song that intensifies the heartache behind its lyrics ("If you pulled me out to sea/I would drown in what you wanted me to be"), as well as a harmony-powered take on Nirvana's "Breed" that's both fierce and giddy.

The EP was produced by Rogers's husband Chris Kuffner (a musician who has produced songs for Ingrid Michaelson and A Great Big World). Recorded in Kuffner's home studio, I Won't Follow finds Secret Someones making use of intricate songcraft inspired by artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell while also tapping into new influences from all corners of the rock & roll world. "On those house-concert tours we were listening to a lot of rock music in the van—stuff like Tom Petty and Talking Heads and Weezer and Radiohead—so that sound really came through once we started writing," says Jones. "We feel very much inspired by music that's sometimes aggressive or quirky or even almost sloppy but that still has great songwriting at the heart of it," he adds.

All longtime musicians, Secret Someones first found each other through what Rogers refers to as "the sort-of incestuous New York City music scene." Originally from Long Island, Rogers picked up guitar in her early teens, started releasing her music independently in 2007, and has toured with Ingrid Michaelson as her guitarist and background vocalist since 2009. Broussard's background includes putting out her first album at age 15, as well as performing at Bonnaroo and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as part of her coming in as a runner-up in Rolling Stone's 2011 "Choose The Cover Contest" (a competition to showcase the best unsigned artists in the country). Winkler, meanwhile, balanced her work as a pre-school teacher with independently releasing her own music prior to joining Secret Someones, and Jones's past work includes serving as an in-demand session musician in addition to being the touring drummer for A Great Big World.

While the four musicians had never collaborated with each other in songwriting before forming Secret Someones, their chemistry was instant and powerful. "The first time we ever tried writing together, we wrote a song that's one of our favorites and one of our fans' favorites," says Rogers of "Quit Pulling Me Down," a track slated for their upcoming full-length album. "Everything just felt really natural and gelled so well, we all put our solo stuff aside and decided that this was going to be our thing from now on." After coming up with a half-dozen songs in their first few songwriting sessions, Secret Someones holed up in Kuffner's studio for a week to fine-tune the tracks; then made their live debut days later. In October, the band self-released a three-song EP that soon ended up in the hands of Cherrytree Records founder Martin Kierszenbaum, who signed Secret Someones in time for them to join in the Cherrytree SXSW showcase last March.

Not much more than a year after playing living rooms and backyards to crowds rarely greater than a hundred-people-deep, Secret Someones took the stage before an audience of 5,500 while opening for Ingrid Michaelson at Central Park in July. Now heading out on a national tour with labelmates Sir Sly and Wolf Gang—and gearing up to release their full-length debut in early 2015—the band members pride themselves on delivering a high-energy live show that radiates the same boundless and big-hearted spirit behind their songwriting. "A lot of the time, someone will bring in something personal and we'll sit around and talk about it, and then we'll start turning it into a song," says Winkler of the Secret Someones songwriting process. "Like with 'I Won't Follow'—one of us was going through a hard time, so we started talking it over. At some point the words 'I Won't Follow' were spoken, and then the whole song just came together around that."

But despite the warm-and-fuzzy vibes—and the palpable synergy that gives their songs such warmth and heart—Secret Someones' creative collaboration is completely uncompromising when it comes to carrying out the band's vision. "We're pretty much best friends, and there's a certain freedom that comes with that," Broussard notes. "None of us is afraid to say, 'That idea's not working' or 'We can beat that.' All of us just want to make the best songs we can."

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