Branches is a group of friends from LA who decided to combine their musical talents and form a band. We’re lucky they did. Recently, Branches vocalist/guitarist Tyler Madsen was kind enough to answer not 10, but 13 questions for MFH. Check out the interview below!
Also, be sure to visit the band’s website, Facebook, and follow them on Twitter!
My Folking Heart: How did Branches come to be?
Tyler: We all met a few years back while attending Azusa Pacific University, a small private school in the suburbs of L.A. Our first two years were marked by late night sing-alongs and bonfires…after a few years of singing other people’s songs in our living rooms and around campfires, we realized that we really enjoyed making music together and so, with a handful of songs we’d each written under our own names, we got together and played a house-show of sorts at a friends’ apartment. After that, we were hooked on playing with each other. Continue reading
The 2012 Newport Folk Festival is shaping up to be quite the event. The lineup is stacked, and today it got even better.
“We are excited to return to the tradition of presenting a Friday concert at the festival, and we are happy to have Wilco, Blitzen Trapper and Megafaun kick off what already promises to be a great weekend of music,” said Newport Folk Festival Producer, Jay Sweet.
Tickets for the Friday night show go on sale April 13, and cost $45. More information can be found on the festival’s website!
Great Lake Swimmers has always been a band that I kept in the back of my library, but rarely ever returned to. I’ve always thought that they produced decent albums with nice songs that had an overall pleasing sound, but nothing ever really caught me. Save for a few exceptions, like “Your Rocky Spine” and “Imaginary Bars,” the albums, and the songs they consisted of, were always a single listen and put on the shelf type of experience. This feeling changed when the band released its first single for New Wild Everywhere, “Easy Come Easy Go.” There was a different energy to the song that I hadn’t heard from Tony Dekker & Co. before. It caught my attention in a way unlike ever before, and I hoped the album would follow suit.
For the most part, New Wild Everywhere, is more of the same from the Canadian folksters. It’s a collection of nice songs, but they’re not captivating, close your eyes and just listen kinds of songs. With a few exceptions, most of the record consist of sleepy folk tunes that are nicely arranged and well written, but they feel so laid back that some of them come off seeming uninspired. As I said, there are exceptions. “Changes With the Wind,” “Easy Come Easy Go,” and “Ballad Of A Fisherman’s Wife” all pick up the pace, and to great effect. Tony Dekker is a capable singer, and his ability is amplified in a heightened tempo. On the slower songs, he still sounds solid, just less engrossing. Continue reading
Ed Tullett, the talented man behind Never Joy, was gracious enough to do an interview for MFH. If you haven’t downloaded the album yet, which you can do for free, I highly suggest you do. If you have heard the record, you know that Tullett is immensely talented, here you’ll see that he is extremely humble as well. You can find Never Joy on his bandcamp, and be sure to visit his Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.
My Folking Heart: How did Never Joy come to be?
Ed Tullett: I began writing Never Joy towards the end of the last Summer off from school, midway through August. The exact dates are handwritten on the digital booklet which comes free with the album. I’d written and recorded a load of stuff before, but this time I really set out with a vision of exactly what I wanted to achieve. It needed to be a cohesive work, something that sounded both honest, but professional (in terms of sound quality), and most of all felt.
It was written and recorded entirely by myself in my bedroom (spare the vocals of Ffion Atkinson on two songs), which adds to that more honest, raw feel. Lyrically was an aspect I really wanted to explore in a lot more depth than I had before, and I developed a method whereby I would write poems first, and then mould them into lyrics at a later date. It’s something I still adopt now, I post a lot of my poetry on my Tumblr (www.edtullett.tumblr.com). This means I can be a lot more honest with my lyrics, and write without the confinements of musical walls (obviously wonderful walls, but walls all the same), meaning I wouldn’t have to write a word just to make it rhyme or fit rhythmically. Musically I experimented a lot with harmony, and tried to add a real richness and warmth to the sound. Continue reading