It does not seem like that long ago that we were ears deep in Ripely Pine, the debut full-length from friend of OurStage Lady Lamb the Beekeeper. The artist otherwise known as Aly Spaltro joined up with us early on and was soon a favorite around the office, before being selected as the MTV Needle in the Haystack artist back in 2011. Ripely Pine was an impressive debut that firmly established the singer’s gravitas and seemingly endless potential as a songwriter. Today, Spaltro debuted “Billions of Eyes,” the first single from her new record, After, which is due in March 2014. Check out the official lyric video, made up of stills, home movies, and fan-submitted art. See below for the album artwork. (And be sure to check out our exclusive session with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper from a few years ago.)
Our friends at Maine’s KahBang Festival, which features film and local arts in addition to local and national music, are celebrating their fifth year. This year’s lineup is their biggest yet, featuring Dr. Dog, Earl Sweatshirt, 12th Planet, Paper Diamond, Lights, Lucius, and The Weeks, plus OurStage members/favorites Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, The Bynars, Gentlemen Hall, Mean Creek, Biscuits & Gravy, and Late Cambrian, who first won the opportunity to be at the 2011 edition of KahBang here on OurStage.
The festival will be held, as usual, in Bangor, Maine, and will run from August 8th to the 11th. Check out KahBang.com for more information.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper is this week’s OurStage Pro Artist of the Week. You may remember her (a.k.a. Aly Spaltro) from such exclusive recording sessions as OurStage’s Songs of the Revolution or from such MTV Needle in the Haystack spotlights as this one.
OurStage Songs of the Revolution session:
The music of Lady Lamb the Beekeeper is, in quick summary, impactful, melodic, abstract, often stark, and drenched in alluring imagery. Usually armed only with her instrument (which can vary) and confident voice, Spaltro commands the attention of any audience.
In the three years since her first feature on OurStage, the initially impressive Maine to Brooklyn transplant has grown even further as a songwriter and performer, and has gained a growing swell of well-deserved national attention. This week, she releases her new LP for Ba Da Bing! Records, Ripely Pine.
In contrast with her prior releases, which were often home demos marked by sonic and stylistic experimentation, Ripely Pine is beautifully recorded “ perhaps as close to ˜slick’ as she, or we, would want the music to be. The spare nature of Lady Lamb’s music is essential to its force “ her voice is the driver and the focus. Yet somehow Spaltro and producer Nadim Issa manage to create a soft atmosphere around her plaintive vocals and un-adorned guitar that make it all feel quite lush. Between the ambient noise, layered vocals, and well-tamed reverb, songs like Little Brother are as potent and fulfilling as though they were fully orchestrated. Conversely, Mezzanine features significant string and woodwind parts, yet strikes as hard as any punk song.
New to the table are full-band songs like Bird Balloon, which swings in an Elliott Smith/Heatmiser kind of way, with a very Smiths-esque melodic turn in one section (since we’re doling out comparisons) and a very pretty break-down bridge. Yes, it veers pretty wildly, and that is one of the hallmarks of the record, and one of Spaltro’s unique talents “ she is quite an arranger. While some songs remain simple, they rarely have easily classifiable verse-chorus-bridge parts, and the more complicated songs are built with parts that are more like movements.
Ripely Pine is bizarre and beautiful, the fully realized sound of a musical thinker whose output could be described as joyous, despite its often melancholy imagery and its frankly pained and raw delivery. It is simply a thrill to listen to music so unpredictable and in love with music itself.
More like this:
Hey, this is Scott, producer of the Songs Of The Revolution series for OurStage.
Just about one year ago, we sputtered forward with an idea we had. We wanted to bring to you, the loyal OurStager, a taste of the vibrant live music circuit we’re lucky to be a part of here in New England. We wanted to capture unique live performances from the talented and generous artists we are so lucky to work with, in an atmosphere more intimate than you might find even in a small rock club. By the end of 2011, we had captured some fantastic performances. And since we relaunched in 2012, we’ve gotten into a groove with a lot of really stellar musical moments.
And it keeps getting better. Every two weeks, we publish a new session, with free, exclusive audio downloads and streaming video (some of those early sessions were filmed on nothing but a flip cam or, in desperate times, an iPhone, and now we’ve grown to multi-camera shoots with all the bells and whistles).
But it’s always, always about the music around here. So I’ve compiled a few audio selections from the past year in this newfangled “Podcast” format that all the kids are raving about. Personally, I think they’re on drugs. You can tell by their eyes.
At your leisure, please take a listen to these songs, accompanied by some powerful, compelling, Morgan Freeman-esque narration by yours truly.
Songs of the Revolution is the product of OurStage’s belief that music, when it finds the right ears, can change everything. We’re bringing a message to the masses, arming citizens with a galvanizing soundtrack of the industry’s most revolutionary acts. This week’s SoundTrax is packed full of exclusive tracks from the OurStage Songs Of The Revolution recording sessions. These buzz-worthy artists touring in the Boston area took some time to perform a few originals in a way never been heard before. We’ve put together a playlist of some of the original recordings of these songs so you can see how they’re remodeling the industry with their unique sounds and styles. Kick back and relax as these acoustic renditions help you float on into a warm weekend with the soothing sounds of acoustic guitar and authentic vocals, then rock out to them in a whole new light that’s changing the way we see music.
In 1776, the world changed forever when two forces”one, the most powerful army in the world, and the other, a roughshod militia with no formal training”faced each other across a quiet meadow in Lexington, MA.
Now, from that same corner of the world, OurStage is firing a new salvo. Songs of the Revolution is the product of our belief that music, when it finds the right ears, can change everything. So, like Paul Revere, we’re bringing a message to the masses, swiftly and furiously arming our citizen warriors with a galvanizing soundtrack.
Your favorite bands touring in the Boston area will record a live session with OurStage producer and Community Manager Skot. One to three songs, one to three takes, live and unplugged. Watch videos of the sessions on YouTube, check out behind the scenes photos, and download the recordings for free.
Listen to and download sessions from Never Shout Never, Tim Blane, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, You Am I, and The Hollow Sound now. Become a fan of Songs of the Revolution here on OurStage to get updates whenever a new session is added right on your OurStage newsfeed, or submit your email to receive updates straight to your inbox.
We bet Paul Revere wished he had an iPod for times like these.