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!
Jan Rørdam – Stardust In Your Hands
Just as the songs on Jan Rørdam’s previous album, ‘Extraordinary Heart & Soul’, the songs on the new album, ‘Stardust In Your Hands’, were written together with Brian Patterson.
The new album features Jan Rørdam’s Band – a professional and experienced band of both older and younger musicians featuring vocalist, Nynne Hansen, who accompanies Jan on both backing vocals as well as a solo singer on her own composition, ‘The Boys In The Band’ – lyrics here also written by Brian Patterson.
The album’s title song ‘Stardust In Your Hands’ is about DNA – all that we’ve inherited from our parents, and their parents, and family, way back through time – which for better or worse, we pass on to our own children, and they to theirs. More information at Hemifran.
Hat Check Girl – at 2 in the morning
Hat Check Girl, the collaboration between veteran songwriters Peter Gallway and Annie Gallup, announces their 5th release, ”At 2 In The Morning”. Haunting and spare, just 2 voices and 2 instruments, “the way we would play these songs at 2 in the morning”. Peter plays electric or acoustic guitar, Annie plays guitar, dobro, lapsteel, or 6 string banjo. Both sing lead or harmony vocals. Eleven new songs exploring the theme of “connection.” More information at Hemifran.
Ryan Boldt – Broadside Ballads
A lot of modern music is like bad plumbing, the more they overthink it, make it more complex than it needs to be, the easier it is to plug up the drain. Good music should thrust a fist into the core of who you are and pull out handfuls of simple, messy truth. This idea of getting to the heart of simplicity in a song, in melody and in meaning, in order to move the heart of a person, has been Ryan Boldt’s legacy thus far.
Boldt is the lead singer and songwriter in The Deep Dark Woods, crafting beautiful, intimate songs that are steeped in traditions found in places like English folk music, country blues, and 60’s r’n’b. He was born on the vast prairie, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but moved to Chemainus, British Columbia, when he was 19, where he started writing songs. It’s worth noting that the name Chemainus comes from the native shaman and prophet Tsa-meeun-is, which means ‘broken chest.’ The legend says that the prophet survived a massive wound in his chest to become a powerful chief. And while people often equate the music of The Deep Dark Woods with a prairie sound, it was in Chemainus that Boldt truly cracked open his chest to bleed out his first songs. Then, in the summer of 2005, Boldt moved back to Saskatoon to form The Deep Dark Woods. More information at Hemifran.
The Headlocks – Most Golden Goose
The Headlocks are an Americana rock’n’roll band out of Staten Island, NY, who entertain audiences wherever they go. Rob Carey’s vocals and harmonica seem to reverberate from the same chamber as some of the best classic rock has to offer, while the simple structures of their catchy songs allow the band to pulsate in wave after wave of sonic joy. Their songs carry themes of the working class and living in America in the wake of a cultural revolution that has been eaten by its exploitation.
They have a familiar, yet unique sound, and their songs are accessible to a wide audience. From tweens to college kids, to baby boomers – everybody who hears them or attends a show loves The Headlocks. They have been critically compared to The Racaunteurs, The Felice Brothers, Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Dutchess & The Duke, as well as rock luminaries such as The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Beatles and Bob Dylan. The album ‘Cuckoo Bird’ is now in it’s second physical pressing and continues to garner local, national and international press and college radio airplay. More information at Hemifran.
Blind Willies – Every Day Is Judgment Day
San Francisco band Blind Willies release their 4th full-length album, “Every Day Is Judgement Day”, following their critically acclaimed 2011 release, “Needle, Feather, & A Rope”. “Every Day Is Judgment Day” is an album about ‘freedom and whatever the opposite of freedom is, within ourselves and in our relationships with others’. The new release honors the band’s previous work, and with this musically diverse album takes the musicians into territory that singer-songwriter Alexei Wajchman seems determined to confront head-on.
Led by Alexei Wajchman, Blind Willies toured Europe recently and attracted crowds of fans in every age group, from children passing by as the band busked on the streets of Ireland, UK, Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, to more mature audiences in intimate gigs on the house concert circuit. The band was a hit in popular professional music venues, from Cork, Ireland’s Crane Lane Theatre to the Lyme Folk Festival on the UK’s south coast, from Amsterdam’s Magneet Festival to Hamburg, Germany’s Musicstar. More information at Hemifran.
Lynn Jackson & Chris Boyne – The Acoustic Sessions
For Lynn Jackson, it is all about the songs. 10 years and 6 albums into her recording career, the one constant fans have come to expect is top notch songwriting and that voice.
“When I write a song, I often hear the arrangement fully formed – I let the songs lead me into whatever direction they want to go. I guess I’m considered a folk-roots artist, but if my writing and ideas take me outside the genre, I’m not afraid to stretch out creatively. There are no rules when it comes to songwriting.”
To celebrate her 10 year milestone and bookend that part of her career, Lynn is gearing up to release her new album “The Acoustic Sessions” on Busted Flat Records. Released as a duo album with her long-time collaborator Chris Boyne, the album revisits 13 songs from her past albums in a more sparse acoustic setting.
“Chris is a really talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who fronts my one of my all-time favourite bands called Sexdwarf. We’ve worked together for the past five years and he is often my accompanist when I play live. The idea behind this recording is to give people a little taste of what we do in concert. Everyone on the record has played live with me in some form or another.”
Recorded basically live off the floor at Norman Blake’s (Teenage Fanclub) home studio, “The Acoustic Sessions” showcases the strength of Jackson’s writing with the songs nestled in arrangements that are tasteful but minimal. More information at Hemifran.
Astrid Young – One Night At Giant Rock
Astrid Young (Neil Young) and Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes) have produced an epiphonic installment to what may be best described as ‘Psychedelic Acid Folk’, from song to song, this insidiously catchy album straddles many genres, but taken from start to finish it’s a destination, “One Night At Giant Rock” is a night of nights.
Astrid Young’s discography as a backup singer and side person includes a roster of heavyweights across more than 30 albums, most illustriously the handful of Neil Young albums she lends her voice to (‘Harvest Moon’, ‘Unplugged’, ‘Are You Passionate’). Her own work has spanned techno, metal, blues and string-quartet-accompanied-piano material. This record touches on all those things, and tells stories of karmic encounters, with a southwestern desert backdrop that lends both a mystical and extraterrestrial aura to the music. More information at Hemifran.