Bendigo Fletcher
The sound of Bendigo Fletcher begins with the poetry that informs it. With songwriter Ryan Anderson's rangy, howling vocals as bedrock, the band's creation floats between pop and folk-rock textures, unconventional structure, and wordplay as a feeling that functions free from a confined form and culverts beyond the comfort zone of Americana. continue reading Anderson writes of intimate moments; revelations that occur on rhythmic steps through the woods; reflections on love and relationships. The songs are anecdotes, told not in the service of some grand moral conclusion, but as heady little hints at both the absurdity of the world and the awkward rewards of our living in it. Like a robin in the rafters or a couch in the garage. After independently releasing four EPs over the past 3 years, the band's debut record is produced by Ken Coomer and has a yet to be determined release date.
JC Stewart
JC Stewart grew up in County Derry, Northern Ireland. The fourth generation of JC Stewarts in the family tree – the rest being grocers – the young musician was always destined to take a route less travelled.
JC Stewart crafts songs born from his own experiences of love and heartbreak that explode continue reading from intimate confessionals into bold anthems. He laughs out loud when asked about the Professional Sadboy nickname that his sister bestowed upon him. It's a cheeky if appropriate moniker for a man who explores the thrill of romance, the pain of heartache and everything in-between. "That's the goal: to have real songs, but also to have a lot of fun with them." "Most of my songs start as a small conversation with someone," he explains, citing influences such as Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, The Band and Hozier. "Then the question is: how do I make it into something bigger that people can connect to, while also keeping it personal?" That approach informs his new single 'Have You Had Enough Wine?', which is an autobiographical account of the final conversation he had with an ex-girlfriend. "Have you had enough wine?" he sings. "Have I ruined your life? I didn't mean to." That song is the opening chapter in a narrative arc that charts the last days of that relationship. 'Don't Say You Love Me' pleads for a clean break to give both parties an escape from their heartbreak, while 'I Need You To Hate Me' is about trying to find closure. As JC notes, "I'd rather she hated me because there'd more of a reason to end it." Recent months have seen JC Stewart working with some of the world's leading producers and writers. The Grammy Award-winner Fred Ball (The Carters) has been a key collaborator, as has Justin Parker, a regular co-writer for Lana Del Rey. Meanwhile, sessions in Los Angeles have included work with Greg Wells (Dua Lipa, Adele), Toby Gad (Jess Glynne, John Legend), Jon Green (Rag N Bone Man, James Bay) and Jonny Coffer (Beyoncé, Fall Out Boy) JC is also in-demand as a songwriter. He looks set to have a first bona fide hit in the shape of 'Hollywood', a song which features on the #1 debut album from his friend Lewis Capaldi. He's been winning over new converts for his own material by joining Freya Ridings on tour – a double-bill sure to lead the next wave of vital, international-facing British artists. Having just launched his own Sunshine Boy sub-brand which he'll be using to release music and merch, JC has an exciting year ahead with shows with the likes of LAUV, Anne-Marie and Vance Joy, and is also appearing at festivals such as Latitude and Barn On The Farm.
Maddie Medley
On her debut EP Coming of Age, Pt. 1, Maddie Medley documents the strange and sometimes-treacherous journey of becoming yourself. Building a powerful tension between her beguiling voice and penetrating songwriting—a dynamic equally informed by Patsy Cline and '90s riot grrrl bands—the 22-year-old artist ultimately finds a quiet strength in boldly following her own intuition. continue reading "All of these songs come from trying to navigate young adulthood and figure out how to be a woman," notes the Nashville-based indie/alternative artist. "They all deal with the theme of trying to grow up quickly and fully at the very same time." On the title track to Coming of Age, Pt. 1, Medley brings her purposeful introspection to a brilliantly slow-burning epic, each line electrified by her mesmerizing vocals. Produced by six-time Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, "Coming of Age" reflects on existential frustration, as well as the confusion of what Medley calls "my first real grown-up relationship—which actually wasn't very grown-up at all." And as the song takes on a stormy urgency, Medley delivers a daring refusal to compromise her own complexity ("I wanna watch you try and figure me out"). A more rhapsodic meditation on love and self-discovery, "Buzz" unfolds in luminous guitar work, dreamy Mellotron tones, and lyrics that embody a certain wild-eyed poetry ("I don't think I have ever been in love like this before/Like the holy ghost is wrapped up in the clothes thrown on your floor"). Meanwhile, on the soulful and shimmering "Edith," Medley speaks her intentions with a thrillingly raw self-assurance ("My mother is a firecracker/My grandmother was too/And if I ever have a daughter/I'll make damn sure she burns blue"). "'I wrote 'Edith' when I was 17, when I'd just lost my grandmother," Medley recalls. "I was feeling angry and sad and confused about what it means to be a woman, and that song started piecing itself together as I thought more and more about what it would be like when I have a daughter of my own." Throughout Coming of Age, Pt. 1, Medley achieves a potent alchemy, sharing a batch of songs intensely intimate in nature yet expansive enough to echo her vast inner world. Growing up in Franklin, Tennessee, she first explored her creative impulses by writing short stories, then took up guitar at age 11 and began channeling her vibrant imagination into song form. Along with playing in a number of bands in her teens, Medley spent much of her time self-recording EPs in her bedroom, gradually carving out a narrative voice that's decidedly literary in its grasp of detail and tone (a voracious reader, she names Flannery O'Connor, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Donna Tartt among her favorite authors). Soon after moving to Nashville and making her name as a captivating live performer, she linked up with Dave Cobb for the recording of "Coming of Age"—an auspicious session that soon led to her signing to Elektra Records. Now at work on Coming of Age, Pt. 2, Medley continues to seek out the catharsis that's always attended her creative process. "Normally I write when I'm upset or dealing with some other strong feeling, and I have to just stop and shut off my brain and get it all out," she says. And with the release of her debut body of work, Medley hopes that careful processing of her messiest emotions might positively impact her listeners. "In my life there have been so many songs I've listened to when I'm in pain or feeling really low, and those songs have sort of devastated me but also made me feel so understood," Medley says. "If I have one hope for my music, it's that it provides some kind of healing for people, and maybe helps them to understand themselves better."
Prateek Kuhad
Hailed by Rolling Stone India as "one of the country's leading singer-songwriters," Prateek Kuhad has taken the rest of the world by storm in recent years, garnering a slew of accolades and honours around the globe with his mesmerizing, cinematic songwriting. While Kuhad has long been a household name in his native country (he became one of Spotify India's most-streamed artists when the service launched recently, and his latest EP, continue reading 'cold/mess,' debuted at #1), 2019 proved to be his breakout year in North America, with a star-making turn at SXSW and a cross-country headline run that culminated with three sold-out shows in NYC. His song cold/mess was recently included in Barack Obama's "Favourite Music of 2019" list. US press was quick to take notice of what millions of listeners around the world already knew, and rave reviews followed Kuhad everywhere he went: Austin Monthly dubbed him "a certifiable international sensation," US Weekly praised his music as "beautifully haunting," and Brooklyn Vegan celebrated his "angelic vocals." With captivating live performances that at once call to mind the delicate beauty of Sufjan Stevens and the ferocious fingerpicking of The Tallest Man On Earth, it's easy to see Kuhad's rise to global stardom as a given, but the truth is that he was actually something of a late bloomer. After an unsuccessful attempt at lessons as a youngster, he enrolled in a guitar class in high school, but that, too, ended in failure. Those setbacks couldn't dampen Kuhad's love of music, though, and he consumed as much of it as he possibly could growing up in the small city of Jaipur. Because the internet didn't arrive in his area until the late '90s, Kuhad's childhood listening diet consisted primarily of the Indian pop and Bollywood soundtracks that filled the local radio dial, as well as his parents' CD collection, which contained only limited Western music. "After high school, I moved to New York to attend NYU, and that's when I discovered Elliott Smith" explains Kuhad. "His music changed everything for me. It was all I listened to my entire freshman year. After that, I started listening to Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie along with newer artists like Laura Marling and Fleet Foxes. It inspired me to get serious about the guitar and begin writing my own songs." Liberated by the limitless possibility he discovered in New York, Kuhad decided to take a leap of faith and pursue music full time upon his return to India. A pair of early EPs (one in English, one in Hindi) put him on the map, and his full-length debut, 'In Tokens and Charms,' was an instant hit. The record earned Kuhad an MTV Europe Music Award, Indie Album of the Year honours from iTunes, and the title of Best Pop Artist at the Radio City Freedom Awards, and the album's opening track, "Oh Love," captured first place in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition, which had previously helped launch artists like Gotye and Passenger to global audiences. Soon, Kuhad was selling out auditorium and amphitheatre dates across India, landing arena support slots with the likes of Alt-J and Mike Posner, and travelling the world for headline and festival performances in the US, Australia, Singapore, Canada, and France. Nike selected him to join their #BleedBlue campaign, Converse invited him to record in Rio de Janeiro as part of their Rubber Tracks series, and, when he landed in Austin for the first time, NPR selected Kuhad as an artist to watch among the thousands slated to showcase at SXSW. Prateek has recently finished his longest and largest international tour, spanning 30+ dates in 8 countries from October to December'19. The tour sold over 40,000 + Tickets Internationally.