Monday, June 29, 2009

Katie Hercig

This week’s artist is a discovery from Brite Revolution, a great website where you can download exclusive music and help charities at the same time. Katie Herzig is one of Brite’s contributing artists, adding new music each month that you can’t get anywhere else. The songs Herzig has put up on Brite are some of my favorite tracks that she has done so I would encourage you all to check it out.

Katie Herzig is a Colorado native who moved to Nashville in 2006 to pursue a solo career. Herzig was the lead singer for her Colorado band Newcomers Home until they broke up and she took that as a sign to go solo. She started as the drummer of Newcomers Home due to her stage fright but eventually conquered that fear and became their lead singer.

Before she moved to Nashville Herzig recorded her album Weightless which she did as a do-it-yourself project. Several tracks from that album were featured on the hit show Grey’s Anatomy. Her recent album Apple Tree was made available digitally in 2008 and now on CD this past April. Several songs from Apple Tree have been featured in past months on One Tree Hill, Lipstick Jungle, and Ghost Whisperer and Sex and the City the Movie Soundtrack. Herzig will also have a song in the upcoming film, My Sister's Keeper.

Herzig’s music has a feel good quality to it and is perfect for a lazy summer time soundtrack. She also plays a Taylor guitar (my guitar of choice as well) so she is OK in my book. Check out Katie’s music on iTunes or any of the useful links below! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Griffin House

While researching this weeks artist I found out about an amazing new website that combines a love of new music with helping charities in need. Griffin House and many others, including Joy Williams (who you may remember from my feature on John Paul White and The Civil Wars), Caedmon’s Call are contributing their new music to Brite Revolution. Brite Revolution posts around 40 new songs each month from participating artists and gives 10% of its revenue to charity. You even get to choose, from about ten charities, which one you want your money to go to. Pretty rad I think. I get to download new music you can’t get anywhere else and do it all in the name of charity. It’s $4.99 a month and you can try it free for the first month. I joined last night and already love it and the songs sync to my iTunes seamlessly. AND the songs are all DRM free!

Well, back to the inspiration for this week, singer/songwriter Griffin House. House is another artist I first heard on Pandora Radio and was hooked when they played a track from his most recent album, “The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind” (check out the music video below). The title alone peeked my interest and I immediately imagined him singing that line to me and my spirits were lifted. I value and treasure music that affects my mood and emotions and House’s music does it almost effortlessly.

It was that ability to affect people emotionally with his music that led this Ohio native to give up his golf scholarship to Ohio University to pursue a career in music. He became hooked to this power after he wrote his first song for his high school sweetheart and made her cry when he played it for her. According to House, “What I was drawn to was the power of the song, how it could affect people emotionally.” To do that House draws on his personal life experiences to write his songs including the experience of falling in love, getting engaged and then realizing it was all a huge mistake. House even takes inspiration from others such as his song “Better Than Love” which came from his uncle talking to him once about marriage and saying that sometimes when his wife put her hand in his that it was better than sex and that was all you needed. House took that advice to write this love song about a long-term relationship.

Griffin House has quickly become one of my favorite new artists and I am eager to hear his new music on Brite Revolution as he has committed to contribute one new song each month. The first two songs in our playlist are from his first album Lost & Found released in 2004 and “Better Than Love” and “The Guy Who Says Goodbye…” are from his most recent album Flying Upside Down released in 2007. Please check out more of House’s music as well as Brite Revolution.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s feature. Please feel free to leave comments on what you think of the music and if you like this page please become a follower. Thanks all!

Monday, June 15, 2009


We finally have our first band featured here on Monday Musicology and I think this band is a great transition from the singer/songwriter genre that all our previous features belong to. Atlantic Record’s Needtobreathe has become one of my favorite new bands. I first heard their song “More Time” on the P.S. I love You soundtrack and found myself adding in three part harmonies every time it played on my iPod. After realizing that I really liked the track from the soundtrack I researched the band and purchased their recent album, The Heat.

The Heat is the second album for Needtobreathe band members Bear and Bo Rineheart, Seth Bolt and Joe Stillwell soon to have their third album The Outsiders to be released this August. Their first album, Daylight was released to 2006 and has some great tracks that are worth checking out.

Bear and Bo are brothers raised in Possum Kingdom, South Carolina as sons of a local pastor there. Now that may sound pretty honky to some of you but you wouldn’t know it listening to their music. There is no washboard or harmonica, just some good American rock. They also place a lot of importance in what they write and the music they produce. Here’s what Bear has to say about their music,

“There are moments in music—maybe it’s a whole song, sometimes it’s just a portion—that when you hear it, it just breaks you down. We really wanted to get those kinds of moments on this record. We wanted this record to hit people in a really strong way.”

Music is huge in my life and for many others and it affects us emotionally. There is music that affects our youth and us in a bad way and then there is music that encourages us through a dark or rough time in our lives. That encouraging music that touches me on an emotional level is one of the things that makes me love music so much. I’m loving their current album and I eagerly await for the new release in just a couple months. I hope you all liked it to this week.

Please leave your comments on what you think of the music and make sure to become a follower of this blog if you enjoy it!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Natalie Walker

I love it when friends share a similar taste in music as I do. You know, someone who when they find a new artist they love you know you will love it too. I have someone like that in my life who shares a love of music, especially artists you haven’t really heard of. Allegra is one of my nearest and dearest friends, an amazing mother, writer, photographer and blogger extraordinaire. She often tells me about artists I might like or songs that made her think of me. This week is one of those recommendations, so thank you Allegra Love for sharing life, love and music with me.

One of my favorite songs is “Colorblind” by Counting Crows and I’m not normally a fan of Counting Crows but I do love this song. Not to long ago Allegra told me I would love a song by the artist Natalie Walker called “Colorblind” and of course she was right. Its the same song done by Counting Crows with a little sweeter edge to it. Natalie Walker describes herself an electronica singer/songwriter with her new album With You that came out last summer. Her first album, Urban Angel, which is my favorite and features the tracks I’ve selected to share with you, is a little more on the acoustic side with just one foot in the electronica pool. Walker took more chances with her second album, stretching her creativity wings, while still appealing to her fans who love Urban Angel.

Natalie Walker is the former lead singer of Daughter Darling and is currently pursuing a solo career with two albums under her belt. Her music has been featured in the film, Marie Antoinette, and on the hit ABC shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty. Please enjoy her music and check out the music from her newest album.

Please feel free to leave your comments on what you think of this music and any recommendations of artists you think I might like. Also remember if you have an artist you love and would like to write a little blurb about them you can be a midweek feature. Thank you!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Swell Season - Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová

So, I’ve been anxiously waiting to do this featured artist duo and refrained from making them the first feature so I didn’t use up all my favorites right away. This week we look at Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová who form The Swell Season duo. This feature also comes with a movie recommendation, as that is how I discovered this music. Hansard and Irglová starred in the independent Irish film, Once, about struggling musicians that also features their own music. The main song, “Falling Slowly” was nominated and won Best Original Song at the Academy Awards in 2008 and if you are an American Idol fan then you heard winner Kris Allen perform this song on movie week. When they performed at the Oscars, Hansard on his beat up Takamine guitar and Irglová on the piano, I immediately perked up because this was not your typical Oscar nominee. It was so raw and natural I had to rewind and watch it several times (thank you Tivo). I hadn’t heard of or seen Once yet but I immediately went out and rented it and sat through the whole film with my hand to my chest, sighing every few minutes from pure joy. If you love music you’ll love this film! The film is a story of struggling street musicians in Dublin, which after recently visiting I can tell you that they are everywhere and they are all very talented. At the Oscars, Markéta’s acceptance speech was cut off after Glen spoke but they brought her back after the commercial to give her a chance to speak, which was so worth it. Here’s her acceptance speech:

“Hi everyone. I just want to thank you so much. This is such a big deal, not only for us, but for all other independent musicians and artists that spend most of their time struggling, and this, the fact that we’re standing here tonight, the fact that we’re able to hold this, it’s just the proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it’s possible. And, you know, fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up. And this song was written from a perspective of hope, and hope at the end of the day connects us all, no matter how different we are. And so thank you so much, who helped us along way. Thank you.”

Her speech inspired me and I hope that it brought hope to so many struggling artists and musicians.

Glen Hansard was born in 1970 in Ireland and is also the lead singer of the Irish band The Frames. Markéta Irglová was born in 1988 and is a classically trained Czech pianist and vocalist. What makes this duo even more special is the real life romance between them when they started dating during the filming of Once. If I could suggest one thing for all of you, it would be to tell you to watch the film before diving in to their music, you’ll have a bigger appreciation for what they do. Check out the soundtrack for Once, or their album The Swell Season if you enjoy the music. Also, they are currently in the studio recording a new album due out later this year. I can’t wait!