Having grown up in a family of truck drivers, OurStage artist Kate Tucker seems to have inherited from them a sixth sense for the state of the nation. It’s a type of understanding that isn’t based on national polls or facts, but on the accumulation of individual tales that, when woven together, depict the full American canvas. On her latest album, Ghost of Something New, Tucker offers acute insights into the national mood through intimate stories of love gone awry. Melancholy, yet hopeful, the collection of songs is at once a rumination on failed previous relationships as well as a depiction of a country that similarly cannot stop contemplating its own path and past.
In Tucker’s lyrics, descriptions of romantic disappointment continuously spill over into distinctly American despair. When she sings Baby what you’re saying / It ain’t worth a dime / One more deal on main street / And you’ll be doing time, the empty promises of a dishonest lover sound unmistakably like the deceitful Wall Street dealings that spawned recent financial crises. Populist rhetoric reminiscent of the occupy camps appears over the rollicking drum beat of “Revolution” as well; the singer asks her lover, Don’t you want to start it / Start a revolution / Take it down to Houston? While Tucker’s narrators may cling to the particularly American belief that it is always possible to start anew, they are more likely to ruminate on the improbability of that same dream, falling “back into the distance / Searching for some old ancient truth.”
Like her aimlessly wandering lovers who vainly mine the past for guidance, Tucker’s America can only weakly imitate its own outdated victories. Ubiquitous pop clichés are repeated in strange semantic inversions (“I’m gonna get you over”) and familiar instrumental conventions of folk and Americana emerge from the arrangements like ghostly spectres. Lap steel and harmonica hide in the background mix while weary, fuzzed-out electric guitars languish in gallons of reverb. Over the swell, Tucker delivers her lyrics in a breathy alto, at times no louder than a hushed whisper. While this all may give the impression that Ghost of Something New is disconsolate and moody, the album doesn’t discount hope as an impossible commodity. As the closing track “New Orleans” builds to a climax, its single-note piano line becomes subtly dissonant and faltering, but doesn’t fall apart completely. It holds on until the last moment in order to deliver a final delicate chord. In this moment, missteps don’t seem fatal, and the future isn’t bound inextricably to failures of the past. It’s a muted type of hope, but it exists, and it’s as much as the lovelorn narrators of Tuckers songs can continue to long for.
Download Ghost of Something New at Kate Tucker’s Bandcamp page!
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If you’re here on OurStage, then its clear that you’re looking to get your music noticed. Whether you compete in our monthly channel or sponsor competitions, or you’re more interested in our licensing opportunities, there are a few important tweaks that you should make to your profile and EPK. Even if you are the most talented, polished musician, the only way people will recognize your abilities is if you present yourself in a professional manner. So here are some tips that will help you step up your game and make the most of the tools we’re providing you!
Tell your story. Nobody knows you like you do. Why not tell anyone checking out your profile a little bit about yourself by adding a bio to your profile. Maybe you have an interesting story about how or why you decided to pursue music. Maybe you’ve had some incredible opportunities opened up to you, or some hardships which you’re battling against. Whatever your story is, your fans want to know! This is what makes you an individual, and shapes your musical career.
Fill out your entire EPK. If you’re looking to get noticed by top industry players, its important to make sure you are giving them all the information they need to know about you. So, make sure to fill out everything in your EPK. Some common areas which are overlooked are 1. adding links to other sites you’re active on, 2. keeping your calendar updated with upcoming shows and 3. filling out all the questions in the Artist Info section. Not only are these three areas of the EPK essential to fill out in order to get your EPK to 100% complete, but they’re also very important in showing your involvement and experience in the music world!
Long gone are the days that women sit back and let men have all the fun. So far gone, in fact, that last month we decided to let the men sit back and watch as the women show off their stuff. And boy have we been impressed! The “Ladies Love Cool Jams” Competition”for pop, rock, hip hop and rap artists”has surfaced some incredible female talent. And now we want to give you the opportunity to get as hooked on these sensational ladies as we are!
1. Anna Soltys and the Familiar‘s “Little Bug” is an eerie, yet upbeat indie pop song that shows off Anna’s cool vocal stylings over layers of unique arrangements.
2. Kaleigh Baker‘s “Sugardaddy” is an incredible blues-rock song that shows what a force to be reckoned with she. From start to finish, Baker impresses us with her vocal range and attitude.
3. Kate Tucker‘s “Roman Candles” showcases Kate’s hauntingly lovely voice, while at the same time impresses us lyrically.
4. Lyric‘s “Death of a Poet” is simple and acoustically-based, yet delivers a literary-inspired treat for hip hop fans that is incredibly powerful.
5. Mad June, Montreal’s own all-female foursome gives you “November” a song that takes a stand against discrimination, and yet has a hopeful, upbeat feel to it.
6. Alt Rock group, The Chloes, amp it up their song “Crash This Party” which does a great job of showcasing the talent of all four ladies in an authentic way.
7. Another fun tune is Waiting to Run‘s “Lovesick (feat. The Poets Dance)”, which has a beat that makes you wanna get right up and dance.
It goes without saying, but there are some pretty interesting and talented artists here on OurStage. We’ve been lucky to be part of the incredible journey that is the life of an independent musician, and you’ve been lucky in the fact that we brought cameras along with us. Starting today we’re going to be sharing a brand new video series with the OurStage community highlighting the highs, lows, inspirations and achievements of some very special OurStage artists. So sit back and relax, because you’re Backstage With OurStage.
Check out the first video below of singer-guitarist-songwriter Kate Tucker giving us a behind-the-scenes look at her life and music and offering insight into growing up in a family of truck drivers, what inspires her and winning an opening spot at LILITH 2010.
As the West Coast winners tune up and prep their set lists for the massive crowds expected at their respective Lilith 2010 tour stops, another set of winners in the Lilith Local Talent Search Competition is ready to be revealed. With each announcement, the anticipation for this ground-breaking tour becomes greater and greater. There may be no hope for me, but at least now the artists in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. can breathe a little easier!
|Winterbloom||Kate Tucker||Jetty Rae||For the Love of Sloane|
|New York||Philadelphia||Washington D.C.|
|Rosi Golan||Joy Ike||Corrin Campbell|
Kate Tucker sings songs of unrest “ sad, whispered tales of leaving ¦ arriving ¦ waiting. Though her indie folk-pop shimmers and sways, luring you into the melody, Tucker herself remains at a distance “ an echoing voice belonging to an ethereal girl just out of reach. It’s the same enchanting mix of sparkle and twang you’ll find with another girl from the Pacific Northwest, Neko Case – but with a little Mazzy Star melancholia thrown in for good measure.
In her song Faster Than Cars Drive, the singer-guitarist shows she can haunt you, sweetly, slowly and with a country western crackle. In Your Dreams, wisps of electronic beats, xylophone and guitar float and pop against Tucker’s gossamer vocals. When the melody finally breaks into a canter, the headiness ebbs, but the feeling of surreality remains. Kate Tucker may be a tricky catch, but she’s one artist you’ll definitely want to follow down the rabbit hole.