Connect with us

Music

Out of the Blue: Souther

It’s been 50 years since the “Summer of Love,” and though the liberal mores which were then taboo and revolutionary are now commonplace, the refrains of go west and chase your dreams or make sure to put some flowers in your hair, are clichés that have died an agonizing death. No longer do you pack [...]
Kevin J. Elliott

Published

on

It’s been 50 years since the “Summer of Love,” and though the liberal mores which were then taboo and revolutionary are now commonplace, the refrains of go west and chase your dreams or make sure to put some flowers in your hair, are clichés that have died an agonizing death.

No longer do you pack up the Subaru a day after high school graduation and try to alchemize raw talent into instant fame. Those who make that attempt are basically saying “f*ck clichés,” and give hope there are still pioneers out homesteading in exotic, star-studded locales, whether they survive or return slightly bruised. Carly Fratianne did just that and quickly faced the stark reality of the quixotic Los Angeles music industry.

“I don’t mean to dog it—it’s a great place,” Fratianne says about her Pacific odyssey. “That city and that whole part of the country is magical. It’s that haze that’s over everything. I don’t know if it’s smog or pot, but it’s there. I just didn’t think I was making anything honest. You feel this compulsion to succeed in the binary of success which is a freaky weird thing that we do. I was a stranger there.”

Given Fratianne’s small, but sonically impressive, body of work as Souther, it’s hard to believe a random mogul at Capitol Records could send the 23-year old Westerville native back to Columbus empty-handed. After that sojourn, the failure energized Fratianne, who then wrote, played, and produced her debut EP, Is for Lovers, with little help from the outside world, if only because she’s yet to forge a community that nurtured her complete independence. Fortunately for Columbus audiences, having her on local stages more often than not is the chance to see a star evolve and rise in real time.

During our conversation Fratianne spoke with a hyper-relaxed vibe, like a mix of Matthew McConaughey’s “Wooderson” character and Joni Mitchell circa her Laurel Canyon days. In other words, Fratianne speaks with the tongue of a clear-headed musical visionary simply taking the waves as they go. That’s likely where the poles of her songs also blend—in the Venn of dazed classic rock and complex indie earnestness. Though there’s little talk about influences or favorite records, instead Souther is rooted in Fratianne’s love of the blues.

“The blues is my language,” reflects Fratianne on what connected her to music, “It’s my way of interfacing with the world. It truly conveys my intent.  I took a few guitar lessons when I was younger, but quit pretty quickly. What I gleaned from that was the blues pentatonic scale, and I went from there.”

If the blues is how she speaks, it’s certainly not in a Black Keys gibber, or a traditional W.C. Handy holler—it incorporates a corporeal  and metaphysical communication, through psych, metal, folk, all trying to orbit the center of the music. Her contemporaries, like St. Vincent or the War on Drugs, dabble in the same kind of epic pop drama. Maybe “space blues” would be more apt, as Fratianne’s haunting voice, spooky harmonies, and crunchy riffs produce an atmosphere of danger and staring down some darkness.

Though Souther is now a full band, working collaboratively on a forthcoming full length album, it’s more than apparent that the project remains completely from the mind of Fratianne. What’s most impressive is how she’s gone from being self-taught—learning her production skills through “guess and checks” and scouring for guidance on the Internet—to, what sounds on record and live like a consummate professional. With a band in tow, it’s much easier to include all of the textures and arrangements in the songs, but playing solo is what Fratianne finds most pure.

“If you do that, the dynamic tends to happen organically,” says Fratianne. “I’m not thinking about it, I’m just allowing it to happen.”

What’s not ambiguous are the lyrics that are at the center of her work. The painfully honest confessions that narrate “Honest” and “Desk” read like a road warrior, or at least a character who has experienced plenty of heartache and subsequent rejection. Fratianne doesn’t claim the songs as autobiographical, though very personal, they also speak to something completely universal.

“I don’t think I can pick any one specific scenario that inspired each of these songs,” explains Fratianne, in conclusion. “It’s about that great wait, whatever it is. We’re all trying to get to that homeostasis that people are trying to sell us. It takes time. It might not even exist, we just all think that it does, because that sounds better than saying ‘maybe’.”

Whatever the language, whatever the response might be to that “great wait,” Souther is bound to find some of those secrets, and we are the voyeurs of Fratianne’s grand quest.

Continue Reading

Music

Local rocker Angela Perley shines on solo debut

Mike Thomas

Published

on

Folk, alt-country, or indie rock—however you choose to categorize her sound, Angela Perley remains a pillar of the Columbus music community—and highly in-demand as a national touring act, to boot.

(614) caught up with Perley to discuss her new album, life on the road, and what it takes to make it as a musician in the Capital City.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

(614): YOUR NEW RELEASE, 4:30, IS YOUR FIRST AS A SOLO ACT. WHAT LED TO THIS CHANGE?

AP: Since 2009 until last year, I had the Howlin’ Moons. It’s always been myself, Chris Connor on lead guitar, and then we had bassist Billy Zehnal in the band up until last year. We’ve had a rotating extended family of drummers. Billy’s not in the band anymore, and we were also on Vital Companies, which is a studio/label in Columbus that did our previous albums.

https://open.spotify.com/album/04pKByd2ygDHXdvl1TcdWP?si=6njCmRpfR5GRWe5kLNghVw

So this one—it’s a solo one, it’s my first independent release. There’s no label involved, I own the masters to the songs. It’s hard to keep a band together, so Chris, who’s been in the band since the beginning, and I, we’re kind of the only members, and we have an extended family of really great and talented people who have other projects they’re in. It just works a lot better with what I want to do.

YOU USED KICKSTARTER TO HELP FUND THE ALBUM. WHAT WAS THE CROWDFUNDING EXPERIENCE LIKE?

Before, with Vital, they had a studio and video production, and they took care of all of our recording in-house. We didn’t realize how expensive everything was. We had paid for studio time [for 4:30] through show money, but to look at all of the other expenses of making a record happen and trying to get it out there, it’s pretty intense! There have been a lot of independent artists that we know that will do Kickstarters, and I’ve never done anything like it before, so I was really nervous doing it. But it was a success, and I actually just finished sending out all of the preorder vinyl that people ordered.

YOUR SOUND IS OFTEN DESCRIBED AS ANYTHING FROM AMERICANA, TO ALT-COUNTRY, TO PSYCHEDELIC ROCK. WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING WITHIN THOSE TRADITIONS IN 2019?

You kind of have to make your own path, because although there is a resurgence of rock ‘n’ roll, everything’s been done before. It has those roots, but we’re not breaking the mold or anything. You just have to be true to yourself and to the music, and just go from there. Everyone’s voice is important as an artist, so that’s important to remember.

YOU’RE ON THE ROAD TOURING QUITE A BIT. DO YOU STILL KEEP TRACK OF WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE COLUMBUS MUSIC SCENE?

Columbus is definitely growing, and moving toward doing things independently. I’ve seen a lot of bands touring, which is good. It’s an affordable place to tour out of, and there’s a community here for sure. Whenever I have a chance, we go out to the shows. We love The Cordial Sins, and we’re having them as our special guests for our album release. The High Definitions, Souther—there are just so many good bands.

When I go to other cities and I realize that there’s not really much of a scene going on, it is kind of cool to see that in Columbus, people are very aware and supportive of musicians. Even the businesses around here, everyone’s trying to work with musicians in some way. There are so many gigs, be it at breweries, at restaurants, or little festivals that pop up. There’s work for musicians here. And some other cities, there’s really not.

IN THE PAST, YOU’VE PLAYED SOMETHING LIKE 150 SHOWS A YEAR. ARE YOU KEEPING UP THE SAME PACE THESE DAYS?

I’m glad that we played that many shows at that time. We were playing anywhere and everywhere, and a lot of that was pressure financially. If that’s the way you’re making a living, you’ve got to take every gig. We’ve spread out the shows since, especially since we have been doing it for this long. We’re kind of gearing more towards quality shows. I will say, playing that many shows—I needed that. We needed the experience, and just the repetition. Every venue is different, every environment, every crowd. You cut your teeth and it makes you stronger.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO LOCAL ARTISTS HOPING TO MAKE A CAREER IN MUSIC?

It’s tough, because for each person it’s so different. Getting out there and working hard, playing as many shows as possible—that's all really great experience. But also focus on the music itself. If you’re going to make a music video or a recording, take your time—don’t half-ass it. Wait until you know what you’re doing. Although, you kind of have to learn from your mistakes, too.

Catch Angela Perley with special guests The Cordial Sins on September 6 at Skully’s Music-Diner for the release show of her new album, titled 4:30.

Continue Reading

(614) Sessions

614 Sessions: Doc Robinson

Mike Thomas

Published

on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4QdxpbrZgg&feature=youtu.be

Doc Robinson, the collaboration of Columbus music stalwarts Jon Elliott and Nick D’Andrea, joined us for this session in the 614 offices to share their unique brand of "Backyard BBQ Breakup music."

While here, the duo played stripped-down acoustic versions of their songs "Wilderness" and "Wild Beauty."

To hear more from Doc Robinson, follow them on your streaming platform of choice, or visit https://www.docrobinsonofficial.com/

Be sure to catch the group at Woodlands Tavern on Saturday, September 21, when they'll be joined by Hebdo, Parker Louis, Honey and Blue and many more for their Family Jamboree.

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5O0efDEpkqEmWbXD2zpkjz

Apple Music:
https://music.apple.com/us/artist/doc-robinson/1116027164
———
Producer: Mike Thomas
Videographers: Adam Fakult, Mitch Hooper, Mike Thomas
Audio Mixing/Mastering: Jared Huntley
Video Editing: Mike Thomas
Contact: [email protected]
Website: 614now.com

Continue Reading

(614) Sessions

(614) Sessions: The Turbos

Mike Thomas

Published

on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ThYK1D0000

The Turbos’ high-octane heroics have earned the group a fierce following in the Columbus rock scene and beyond. Combining shredding guitar virtuosity with soaring, anthemic vocals, co-frontmen Alex D. and Lucas Esterline lead the group in a sound that combines the best of the old and the new. Rounded out by the multi-talented Cameron Reck on bass and mononymous local music veteran Jahrie behind the kit, the Turbos are leading the charge for a new generation of rockers.

For the first of what we hope will be many in a new music series we're calling The (614) Sessions, The Turbos joined us in our offices for a stripped-down acoustic set. Despite leaving the electrics at home, the power of their performance was still enough to garner multiple noise complaints (sorry, neighbors).

For show dates and more, be sure to follow The Turbos on Facebook. Big thanks to the group for sharing their music as our first-ever guests in this new endeavor!

———

Producer: Mike Thomas
Videographers: Mike Thomas, Adam Fakult, Mitch Hooper
Audio Mixing/Mastering: Jared Huntley Video
Editing: Mitch Hooper
Contact: [email protected]

Continue Reading

No mo’ FOMO

Missing out sucks. That's why our daily email is so important. You'll be up-to-date on the latest happenings and things to do in Cbus + be the first to snag our daily giveaways

Shop Now!

The Magazines

X