Hemifrån is an independent A&R, promotion and marketing company, based in the heart of Sweden, specializing in, what they call, “gut music” – The kind of music that you can feel in your gut, no matter what. Hemifran is promoting a lot of singer-songwriter, westcoast-pop, country, AOR and more. Here are featured some of their latest news – it is not all west coast, but dig into it!
Amanda Abizaid – Walking In Twos
Singer songwriter Amanda Abizaid is releasing a new EP in support of www.helpphilippineschools.org, a non-profit organization that helps children get the best education possible through the betterment of existing schools, working from the inside out. “Walking In Twos”, featuring the legendary Stephen Stills, is a 7 track EP including 2 diverse mixes of the titular song, which was inspired by Amanda’s experiences with the Aeta Filipino children. The EP also features other original songs and will be released in Europe in September 2017. The project’s goal is to create a self sufficient revenue stream using proceeds from the song’s downloads and streams to buy school supplies for the Aeta children of the Philippines. By making state of the art teaching technology available, while at the same time seeing to the need for proper food and clothing, Help Philippine Schools insures a prosperous, personal and professional future for young minds in the country.
Amanda is a professional singer songwriter living in Los Angeles, CA, and she is the cultural ambassador to the organization. Their overall mission is to supply rural government elementary schools throughout the Philippines, beginning on Mindanao, with modern educational equipment, food and clothing. They do this by dedicating profits generated through AEGIS, and from donations by private individuals, businesses and/or institutional entities. Amanda describes her music as ‘neo soul meets world’. A gifted pianist, guitarist and flautist, Amanda Abizaid was born in Beirut, Lebanon, to an American mother and Lebanese father. Upon relocating to Los Angeles in the 1990’s, Amanda immediately began working with some of the best musicians on the scene. She gained major notoriety when she lent her voice to “A Place In Time”, the haunting theme song from Paramount’s TV series The 4400, which premiered in 2004. Amanda’s 2010 CD release “This Life” garnered rave reviews from fans and music press from around the world.
The song “Walking In Twos” was inspired by Amanda Abizaid’s experiences with the Aeta Filipino children in Haduan Village when she was abroad in 2016. “I shook hands with every child and they told me their names”, Amanda recalls. “This is how the magic of this song began”. The village of Haduan is situated in the Southeastern foothills of the Pinatubo Volcano Range, across the Secovia Lahar River Basin. Visiting the village requires walking a few miles through rugged dirt paths, crossing a wide river, and a tropical wet dirt hike through the mountains. “When I arrived at their village”, says Amanda, “I entered their little stone classroom and soon began singing to my acoustic guitar instrumental of ‘Walking In Twos’, walking in between the tables and chairs. They smiled and their eyes lit up. In their indigenous language, they yelled out how much they loved the melody, clapping joyfully and asked what it meant. That’s when I knew I was on to something special”.
Amanda made a strong impression on the children, and on her way home, a barefoot little girl named Lilibeth walked by her side. “Together we hiked down the mountain, crossing the unstable wooden roped bridge high over the river to the other side. We walked until we reached the paved road, the main entry of their village to civilization”. The children also made a strong impression on Amanda, and when it came time to record the song, she had them sing in their native language on the chorus. “For the Aeta to agree to perform on my song ‘Walking In Twos’ is a first time event for them, and for the world to hear these children’s voices”.
Amanda Abizaid wrote and produced the “Walking In Twos” EP, and sings and plays flute and piano, as well. Stephen Stills is a legendary singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby Stills Nash & Young. He plays guitar on the title track. “To have Stephen Stills performance on the project is an amazing honor”, says Amanda, “and together with the support of the Aeta children this project is a wonderful opportunity to share and help them through music”.
The new “Walking In Twos” EP features an electronica remix of Amanda’s original title track produced by Lindsay Gillis, a Los Angeles based musician and songwriter, who has worked with Ron Fair, Dennis Dreith and Steve Deutsch. The “Walking In Twos” EP also includes 5 original songs, “One Love”, Amanda’s most recent acoustic reggae rock single, featuring bilingual lyrics, “Promises Of Love”, a trip hop world beat track featuring Egyptian oud player Ahmed Kamal, both co-produced with Raj Ramayya and Théo Nogueira, “Set It Up”, a trip hop track featuring world flute melodies, “Lion’s Den”, an acoustic rock track with a touch of electronica, and “Release Me”, an ambient electronic bilingual track co-produced with Mixman Shawn.
Other featured musicians on this work are bassist Mike Mennell and acoustic guitarist Lindsay Gillis. Mike Mennell is a bassist and singer in Southern California who has been friends with and worked alongside Amanda for the past 16 years. Lindsay Gillis is a Los Angeles based musician and songwriter, survivor of numerous Southern California gigs and sessions, and collaborates with Amanda on the songwriting project “Someday Girl”.
Other contributions of note include Musicians Institute students performing drums under Stewart Jean, a drummer and educator based in Los Angeles, CA, currently the program chair for drums at Musicians Institute in Hollywood. Also featured are local Buddhist children and the Aeta children from Village of Haduan, Philippines, singing in their native language on the chorus, and Mark Stephen Weitz from 60’s legends Strawberry Alarm Clock, performing Wurlitzer on the track. Bill Dasheill was the engineer. More information at Hemifran.
Bonefish – Atoms
On their 2nd album, ”Atoms”, Bonefish delivers a genuine listening experience based in their totally unique sound and melodic songs. Bonefish formed 6 years ago by songwriter, singer and guitarist Bie Karlsson with merits from famous Swedish group Docenterna. With one leg in traditional rock music, the other in creative art rock, the group manages to create their own formula for music.
The new album “Atoms” contains a unique mix of songs, sometimes referring to forerunners like Talking Heads and Television, as well as British 70’s pop music. All masterfully compounded by producer Max Lorenz. “Atoms” is recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales, where top selling world acts have been recording since the mid 60’s, among many others, Queen, Pixies and Robert Plant.
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Bie Karlsson have recorded and toured with bands like T-Shirts, Giant Steppers and Docenterna, and worked with high end producers, most notably Dennis ”Blackbeard” Bovell, Anders ”Henkan” Henriksson and Michael Ilbert. Matte Norberg, guitar, Rasmus Rasmusson, drums and Anders ”Nylle” Thoor, bass and vocals, all have years of experience of touring and recording for the local Swedish music scene.
“Atoms” is produced by Max Lorentz who’s long and extensive career as producer and musician includes cooperation with world class artists like Agnetha Fältskog and Mikael Rickfors.
Bonefish’ eponymous debut was self released in 2013 and was followed by shows in Sweden, Belgium and the UK. In 2014 the follow up EP, “Time To Market”, was released, and in 2015 the single “Jimmy!”.
During the autumn of 2017 Bonefish embarks for a short tour in Sweden with gigs in Gävle, Karskoga, Stockholm, Halmstad and Malmö. For the spring of 2018 a European tour is planned with visits in Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. More information at Hemifran.
Brett Perkins & The Pawnshop Preachers– Put A Fork In Me I´m Done
The Pawnshop Preachers is the band your brother wants to join, your girlfriend doesn’t trust, and your mother warned you about. The sound is pure americana, blending Brett Perkins’ California country style with lyrics culled from his family’s Kentucky hillbilly roots.
The Copenhagen based band has entertained festival audiences over the past several years in Denmark, Greenland and Sweden, gaining solid fans, strong reviews and airplay along the way, including a record five songs from the CD currently in Danish National Radio rotation.
The Pawnshop Preachers’ 12 song debut album clocks in at under 30 minutes, inviting listeners on a fun loving, free wheeling musical hayride, with encouragement to embrace their inner hick.
Los Angeles born and Copenhagen based Preachers front man Brett Perkins has been a regular fixture on the Danish music scene since 1997, with national airplay on four album releases, as well as numerous co-written releases by established Danish artists. More information at Hemifran.
Thunderbolt & Lightfoot – Songs For Mixed Company
The sophomore release from Kalamazoo band Thunderbolt & Lightfoot maintains the earthy, close harmony vocal approach of their self titled EP, while expanding their sound to include strings, keyboard, electric guitar, accordion and mellotron, along with a healthy amount of experimentation in the studio. Tracked at La Luna Recording And Sound, “Songs For Mixed Company” is an adventurous collection of weepers, cautionary tales and songs of fancy. Perfect for parties.
Consisting of Sarah Fuerst and Phil Barry, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot have been featured on folk music sites, opened for artists such as Robbie Fulks, Dar Williams, Henhouse Prowlers and May Erlewine, and have played some of Michigan’s finest venues and festivals. Plus they can kick your butt at Euchre.
Phil was a founding member of award winning rock band Knee Deep Shag, former touring guitarist for RCA recording artist Rachael Yamagata, and currently a member of americana supergroup Corn Fed Girls. Phil’s solo album “Between The Carolinas” was released via Princess Records and has been featured on MTV, VH1, Oxygen and Showtime.
Sarah played electric bass for the indie rock band Doxie. Doxie released an acclaimed self titled full length with Grass Records and they toured the midwest and east coast. Sarah is also a long standing member of Corn Fed Girls, supplying upright bass and vocal harmony. More information at Hemifran.
Various Artists – Won´t Be Home For Christmas
The music on this forthcoming album is entirely new. That’s right. No covers. Every second of it is dedicated to music written especially for the occasion. With a seriousness and dedication that only Santa’s employees can work up, just weeks before December 25th, inspired tunesmiths like Cidny Bullens, Bob Cheevers, Kaurna Cronin, Fayssoux, Annie Gallup, Deborah Holland, Jude Johnstone, Paul Kamm, Janni Littlepage, Keith Miles, Mudfish, Elliott Murphy, My Darling Clementine, Barry Ollman, Mikael Persson, Rambling Nicholas Heron, The Refugees, Jack Tempchin, Wendy Waldman and Kenny White have provided 18 potential future Christmas classics.. More information at Hemifran.