The Deep Dark Woods

The Deep Dark Woods

Floods and plagues, ghosts and slaughter: woe to those who populate the songs of Yarrow. A gentle summer breeze swings the gallows ropes, flowers bloom callously on lovers’ graves. These anthems are definitely not from Eden.

The Deep Dark Woods’ newest album was borne in a fever – scarlet fever, to be medically specific. A disease of the last century is a fitting backdrop for songs that dig bare handed into the loam to unearth the corpses of old English folk and country blues. In Yarrow, the Deep Dark Woods are reimagined by leadman Ryan Boldt, and accompanied by the same band that crafted prairie psychedelics and a “loose grungy folk sound” (Paste) for flannelites. For nearly ten years they developed an international following with particular success in the Americana realm, nominated alongside Alabama Shakes and Dawes for Emerging Artist of the Year at the 2012 Americana Music Awards.

Now wrest out of the woods, their outlook is decidedly more macabre, tapping into a rich vein of gothic surrealism that aligns with some of the great murder balladeers of our time. With Appalachian soil under his fingernails, Boldt writes in a deep tradition of bleak and forlorn storytelling, drawing lines from Ireland to Tennessee, the Oxford Girl to Folsom Prison.

In Yarrow, there’s a juicy unease to frontman Boldt’s presence, as if a new door has opened to let loose the weirdness. In place of the freewheelin’ jammy vibe there’s a darker, stranger tenor that sides with those modern mystics whose music exists in the creepier, freakier corners of existence.

The Deep Dark Woods’, Yarrow, will be released on Six Shooter Records on October 27, 2017.

Paige Calico

Imagine if Brian Wilson and Joni Mitchell wrote and recorded together. The resulting music might sound a lot like Paige Calico, lyrically elegant songs with sweet melodics and rich, lush harmonies. Here on her first solo collection after time with the duo The Dwells, comes an EP of six delicately crafted songs, all rendered with resplendent Paige-sung harmonies. Like Joni and Brian and few others, Paige excels at singing layers of vocals, evoking that spirit of peace and harmony, a timelessly intimate sound that forever sings of Laurel Canyon. Her music is both reminiscent of the past but also bravely new, creating a poignant hybrid of mystic alternative Americana.

Born and raised in West Milford, New Jersey, just a car drive from the lights of Broadway, she sang and danced as soon as she could walk. Recognizing her talent and love of music, her parents gave her a solid musical education from the start. West Milford was chosen because it had one of the best music programs in the region; she studied music from the age of eight to seventeen with Doug Heyburn. She studied voice as well as piano, guitar, sang in multiple choirs, and starred in many musicals. Inspired by great singers of the past, she absorbed the grace and greatness of timeless sirens such as Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone. The haunting soulfulness of their voices, and the way they delivered a lyric, forever impacted her own music.

Paige spent weekends at The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). On Saturdays she would be there learning theory and standards. She lived and breathed music non-stop.

She enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston at 18, where she studied voice as well as songwriting, poetry and the music business. She formed a duo with fellow Berklee student Matthew Bean called The Dwells. They wrote and self released two full length albums, gigged frequently in and around Boston, and on breaks toured along the East and West coast. Upon graduating, The Dwells embarked on a cross country tour in an old Chevy Coachman that the two of them and her father refinished.

Paige first fell in love with the Golden State while visiting Los Angeles at 15 for a singing and acting showcase. But it wasn’t until she was living in Maine after a long cold winter of reclusion and writing that she decided to pack her bags and drive across country solo for an extreme change.

It was on that drive that she wrote some of the songs that comprise this, her first solo album. “The Hard Way” was the first she wrote soon upon leaving the East Coast, while “Haunting Me” emerged after a sleep full of nightmares while crashing at a friends place. With deep colors of bluegrass, folk and Americana intertwining, she knew they were ripe for rich harmonies.

Soon a crop of six songs were polished and ready to record. Co-arranging with producer Devon Geyer (of the band Decorations), they spent six months crafting the record. Unlike the two previous albums she recorded quickly, this one was allowed to slowly simmer and grow. “This was my first album on my own,” she said, “and I knew it had to be right. So I took the process really slow. Nothing was rushed …it’s what I needed. I am taking that lesson for my life too, not to rush things, especially self discovery.”

In addition to singing all the lead and harmony vocals, Paige plays acoustic guitar. Geyer covers electric guitars and bass, with Mike Brown & Burleigh McDowell on drums, Dylan Zmed on mandolin, and Brad Snow on keyboards. The beautiful photography throughout is by the legendary Henry Diltz. The album was engineered by Geyer, mixed by Mario Borgatta, and mastered by Gentry Studer.

Her single, “The Hard Way” is out August 19th.

Crying Diamonds will follow September 23rd.

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