Són Boom, The Highway, Steel Cranes, Caitlin Mahoney, City Riots

Són Boom

"Born via water birth in the holy river of Tukad Saba in Bali with unicorns as the midwives, the members of Son Boom were destined for greatness. Listeners say that a double rainbow (and sometimes a triple rainbow!!) appears in the sky immediately after hearing their music." - Medhini Kumar

"A refreshing new blend of sounds with an edge of new age and dashes of Asian and Native American; truly new world music." - Dr. W, Planetarium Director

"God i just love it so much why" - Audrey Kang, Steady Sun

"This music is so good, and its so saturated with quality and good feeling. Its got me hooked. I'm definitely going to tap more into my art side....this makes it seem so worth it." - Andrea Stoll, Van Wagner

The Highway

The New York-based psychedelic rock band The Highway came into being nearly a decade ago. Daniel Tortoledo (vocals and bass), Adam Douglass (guitar), Griffin McMahon (keys) and Ted MacInnes (drums) connected over shared influences, both earthly and intangible: Philosophy. Perspective. The vastness of outer space. Mysticism. Hitchcock’s psychological mindfucks. Grassy fields and dense forests. Color. The expansiveness of the United States. The result of their collaboration is a singular sound—one that has the ability to completely take you over. Within the cacophonous, but highly orchestrated, rock trances is a writing process steeped in tradition. The Highway adheres to the mantra of less is more, and there is order here in the chaos of sound. Starting with simple chords, the band creates a spacious structure in which to elaborate. Adding psychedelic arrangements and soulful lyrics (sung with fervor by Daniel Tortoledo) they infect with potent nostalgia. They elicit a feeling of having discovered something entirely new. Their songs ebb and flow, often building to a riot—a well-crafted wall of sound, punctuated by the tweaked out echoes of dreams and philosophical spoken lyrics. In September 2010, The Highway released their first album: Forest People. And after a month-long winter tour of the US, The Highway returned home with the basis for their sophomore album. In June (2012), they laid down their new tracks at a Converse-sponsored studio in NYC. Very soon in March 1 the band is hitting the road with the hopes of coming back to the city with new material to be recorded soon.

Steel Cranes

Steel Cranes had a serendipitous birth in January of 2012 when Tracy Shapiro served up some mac & cheese and a beer to Amanda Schukle, who had just ducked into her neighborhood joint for a late night snack. Within a week, the women were practicing in Amanda's apartment. Within a month, there were several noise complaints and thus the duo upgraded to an official rehearsal space, donned the name, Steel Cranes, and started pouring much of their free time and energy into cultivating their sound and their songs.

Steel Cranes is an Oakland based rock duo with Amanda on drums and Tracy on vocals and guitar. Their stripped down, gritty, visceral sound has drawn comparisons to the likes of Hole, PJ Harvey, and Sleater-Kinney. Prior to their convergence, Amanda had played guitar and drums for various rock bands in Southern California while Tracy put in much of her time rambling through New York and Brooklyn with her music and comedy pursuits. The chemistry of Steel Cranes can best be summed up by a quote from their favorite Carly Rae Jepsen song:

"Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy"

Caitlin Mahoney

Caitlin Mahoney, a singer-songwriter based in New York City, has a soulful and rich sound emanating from lyrics about adventure, passion, chaos, and love. Caitlin was first introduced to music as an infant, taking her first steps likely with a Bruce Springsteen song playing in the background. A child with a true ear for music, Caitlin was transformed by the Boss’s passion for storytelling and began instilling this in her own musical exploration. Caitlin originally focused on vocal aspirations, emerging full-force on Orlando’s musical theater scene in high school. She earned awards for her performances along with an opportunity to join the Cappies International Theater for a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. at the age of seventeen.

At Florida State University, where she studied English, Spanish, and music, Caitlin was frequently heard belting out her songs at one of Tallahassee’s famous dive bars, The Warehouse. With charity events, the National Anthem at an FSU basketball game, and countless open mic nights under her belt, Caitlin left the capital of Florida for a semester abroad in Spain. There her zest for adventure created a wealth of inspiration for some of her best-known songs. Scribbling on napkins in coffee shops, contemplating rhythms during bus rides from Valencia to Madrid, and soaking up the beauty of the Spanish landscape filled Caitlin’s journal to the brim. She left Spain in 2010 with new songs and performances in Paris, Munich, and Valencia amplifying her musical resume. It wasn’t long after her return to the states that New York City beckoned her to its fountain of endless artistic inspiration. She could not resist.

Since her arrival in New York City, Caitlin has played shows throughout the boroughs, winning over crowds with her infectious charm and contagious smile. In 2011, she released her first single on iTunes, “A Year Ago Yesterday,” an upbeat, acoustic tune that spins the silver lining of heartbreak. Caitlin teamed up with producer Jeff Fettig this past fall for her debut EP, West for a While, which will be released in April 2013.

The title track “West for a While” uses a contagious chorus melody to frame a folk-pop song about using struggle as a tool for personal growth. The song’s warm harmonies and instrumental arrangements allow for an optimistic, hopeful invitation for adventure. “Wrong” blends a bright mandolin, guitar, and redolent vocals to explore the theme of hindsight in a decision in love. The sultry track “Devil on the Side” exhibits Caitlin’s range as a lyricist and as a musician. The EP finishes with “You Are a Safe Place,” a ballad that demonstrates Caitlin’s notable vocal chops while touching on love and comfort in an evocative way. The EP is a metaphorical exploration of what it means to “go west” and what to do once you get there.

City Riots

Some albums can be years in the making. Although City Riots have been around for a few years now, the process of creating theirs was quite the contrary. 'Sea of Bright Lights' was written and recorded in less than six months and marks a start of a new phase for the band.

A lengthy summer escape to the family shack along the banks of the River Murray in South Australia evolved into the ideal setting for City Riots to pen almost forty new tracks. Free from distractions and full of inspiration, such a situation was a first for the four and set the tone for what was to come.

Fascinated with soundscapes created by layered and intertwining guitar sounds, an aesthetic began to emerge that showcased a coming of age for the indie outfit. It was more intricate and sophisticated and it soon became obvious how much City Riots had grown and changed musically – perhaps without the band even realising it.

City Riots made their way to the more civilised surroundings of Melbourne, where they spent all of April recording at Red Door Sounds under the ears of Paul 'Woody' Annison (Children Collide, Hunting Grounds). After being engrossed in writing for months, the four-piece knew they wanted to create an album in it's truest form – a cohesive collection of songs with a sense of depth and space without being overdone, overplayed, overthought or overproduced.

The band departed the studio with eleven songs that make up their debut LP "Sea of Bright Lights". Album opener 'Turn' and 'Catch the Sun' take their signature jangly guitar lines to a new level, whilst first single 'Wait For You' and track 'Take You There' deliver a dreamlike wave of reverb-drenched pop. Ricky's idiosyncratic breathy and characteristically smooth vocals are ever-present and shine on tracks 'Closer' and 'Back to Normal'. Tracks 'Sucker Punch' and 'Lonely Hearts' still maintain the elements of the hook laden indie pop sounds that they had established earlier on as a band.

This record has been a long time coming, but as they say, good things come to those who wait.

'SEA OF BRIGHT LIGHTS' is out October 26, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand through Inertia.


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