Carah Faye inked an important reminder on her back.
"I have a tattoo that says, How can I laugh tomorrow, if I can't even smile today?," she says. "It's about being happy on the journey and right now, I am."
The singer and songwriter earned that bit of wisdom over the course of her whirlwind career thus far. Her earliest musical memories include vocal lessons from one of The Chordettes—of "Mr. Sandman" and "Lollipop" fame—and even performing for Ronald Reagan as part of a touring choir. Joining Shiny Toy Guns right out of high school, the California native would go on to receive a 2008 Grammy Award nomination in the category of "Best Electronic/Dance Album" for We Are Pilots and play over 1,000 shows as the band's frontwoman. With the group engaging a hiatus, she formally began pursuing her own path in 2013.
"I'm so proud of Shiny Toy Guns, but it got to a point where I had to do this for me," she admits. "I didn't want anybody else in control of my career. I started making the music I wanted to make. I aimed to do for music what music did for me. I want to leave a lasting imprint that I can be proud of."
So, she holed up in an Upstate New York Cabin for nearly eight months, writing initial ideas for what would become her solo debut. Taking those sonic skeletons back to Los Angeles, Carah spent the next two years fashioning and fine-tuning her individual style.
"My three key words were epic, cinematic, and timeless," she continues. "My whole goal was to take the ceiling off as far as what we were doing musically and lyrically. I like things big. In the studio, I kept pushing for big chords and drums. I want as many ears to hear my heart as possible."
Driven by robust production, resounding piano chords, and her dynamic delivery, the music definitely matches those three words and sonically nods to the likes of Imagine Dragons and Coldplay. At every turn, her voice immediately transfixes, matching that expansive aesthetic. That vision enchanted LAVA founder Jason Flom who personally signed her in the summer of 2015.
In between creating her own music, Carah continues to expand her discography as a songwriter. She co-wrote the multi-platinum Zedd hit, "Stay The Night" [feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore], which earned her a 2015 BMI Pop Award.
Ultimately though, her solo music is exactly what she intended to do since day one.
"This is me unfiltered," she proudly confesses. "This is the most honest I've ever been. This is my story. This is who I am. You're either going to love me or not, but I'm happy it's out there."
Los Angeles-based alternative band Weathers emerged in late 2015 with an upbeat rock sound tailored for singalongs and the dancefloor. Formed by vocalist Cameron Boyer, guitarist Cameron Olsen, bassist Brennen Bates, and drummer Cole Carson, Weathers signed with RCA Records and released their debut single, "I Don't Wanna Know," a hard-charging tune that combined the hook savvy of contemporaries like Walk the Moon, the Kooks, and Young the Giant with indie rock energy like Coasts, the Neighbourhood, or Banners. In March 2016, they landed a slot at SXSW. Their follow-up single, the deliriously rollicking "Happy Pills," garnered more positive attention for the young band: it was the most added track to rock radio in July 2016. Their debut LP was planned for release that same year
BEGINNERS was born in L.A.’s Wiltern Theater, where after years apart, Samantha Barbera and Nick Ruth reunited to support their former Malbec drummer in Foster the People. It was that night that Barbera, songwriter and singer/bassist in hardcore punk band Holy Fever, and Ruth who had been producing artists, including Mikky Ekko and Active Child, became inspired to work together again.
What started as a bedroom writing experiment, developed into BEGINNERS by the end of the first night. “Within an hour of writing, we knew we were onto something,” Barbera explains. “In just a few months, we ended up writing, recording and mixing an entire record. All in Nick’s house.”