Art student Jessica Ramsey and island-raised Andrew Martin’s collaboration began in a small horse stable home in the back swamps of Louisiana in 2013. Within two weeks of meeting, the two declared each other “musical soul mates,” and Moon Honey was born. Their vigorous work ethic and unorthodox approach to songwriting culminated in the critically acclaimed debut album Hand-Painted Dream Photographs, mixed by Greg Saunier of Deerhoof. The unlikely collision of Bjork-esque melodies with late 60’s inspired, freak-out guitar riffs landed the band in The New York Times, NOISEY, and NPR, launching a number of cross country tour performances including an in-studio KEXP session and official SXSW showcases featured on NPR’s Top 100 Acts.
After garnering a vigilant west coast following, the pair relocated from Baton Rouge to Los Angeles in 2015. In a short period of time, the group released the single “Boy Magic” dubbed “Splendid prog-pop” by Amoeba Records, playing L.A. venues such as The Echo and Bootleg Theater with shows presented by L.A. Weekly and BuzzbandsLA. Inspired by their current tropical terrain and the outlandish culture surrounding the project, the band has just recorded a new album helmed by John Goodmanson (Blonde Redhead, Sleater Kinney, Death Cab) to be released in 2017.
Miya has been singing songs to her wall for a couple years now. She's ready to branch out to other people's walls and maybe even some humans. Her music draws from her classical singing background, the Buddhist chants of her youth, and good old, American folk songs. It's a dark, folksy, sometimes pop-y meditation on human and mother nature.
Ask Smoke Season where they get their hazy blend of psychedelic Americana and electro-soul from and they’ll give you two words: “manifest destiny.” Los Angeles-based Gabrielle Wortman and Jason Rosen, the duo that comprises Smoke Season, both grew up around the NYC area, ironically meeting in California after their separate musical paths brought them to make the move west. Their sound stems from what they call “east coast heads and west coast hearts."
From the outside looking in, the first thing one notices about this fiercely independent duo is the buzz that has mounted around them in recent years — earning them a place as "the up and coming band you wish you were in” (Pancakes & Whiskey, 2015). However, it’s where this buzz is generating from that makes for Smoke Season’s most defining characteristic.
Since forming in 2013, Smoke Season has proven themselves to be in a constant state of artistic fervor, with a flurry of activity and creative output surrounding them at all times. They’ve independently released 3 EPs, 5+ music videos, toured tirelessly with internationally known acts and become a regular on the stages of nation-wide festivals, such as SXSW and CMJ.
Judging by their millions of Spotify plays and acclaim from major press outlets (Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Clash Magazine, LA Weekly, and The New York Times to name a few), it looks like their hard work is finally paying off.
The duo has consistently (if not stubbornly) foregone traditional routes and branded their artistic output as multi-sensory in nature. Their live show is a great example of this, employing synchronized light shows, smoke and unique sampling — all of which are programmed and executed by the duo. “We want audiences to do more than just hear what we’re making. We want them to see, smell, feel it as a multimedia experience. Jason and I both studied film scoring as college students so a fully immersive experience was somewhat undeniable,” Wortman explains.
Expanding upon this multimedia concept even further, the duo organized their most recent EP, 2016’s Ouroboros EP, as a collection of music videos that combine to form a complete short film. Pairing up with APLUSFILMZ, known for their Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Talib Kweli videos, Wortman and APLUSFILMZ’s Scott Fleishman crafted a screenplay and spent almost a year casting, shooting and editing the film counterpart to the EP.
“At its core, our music is very cinematic. Press, fans and collaborators alike have all pointed this out to us. To us, creating the cinema piece to go along with the music was the obvious next step in maturing our artistic output,” Wortman notes. The duo will be the first to admit the film component was no small feat. They opted to tell the story of human interaction, fate and compassion through a cast of renowned talent including Emmy Award nominee Lexi Ainsworth (General Hospital), Nicole Fox (winner of America’s Next Top Model), Julian De La Celle (Ugly Betty, How To Get Away With Murder) and Nicholas Gonzalez (Bordertown).
With music videos for the first two singles, “Loose” and “When The Smoke Clears”, already out on VEVO, the Ouroboros EP itself is being released digitally on April 15, 2016 with the vinyl and short film following for a summer 2016 release. Sonically speaking, they think this release is poised to be their best musical effort yet.
“The songs on this newest EP really capture the heart and soul of who we are as artists in this moment.” Jason Rosen describes the direction of the songs on this release as "1 part electronic beats, 1 part psychedelic soul and 2 parts whiskey under the Mojave Desert stars.”
So what’s after Ouroboros? “Well, we’ve already begun working on our first full length album,” Rosen admits. “We’ve never been big fans of slowing down.”
Lauren Ruth Ward
Baltimore bred, Los Angeles based singer/songwriter, Lauren Ruth Ward, is back in the studio recording new material as a follow-up to her recent self-titled EP.
While integrating herself into the LA community as a Barber, Lauren is also tirelessly performing at venues such as: The Bootleg Theatre, The Echo, The Lyric, Dirty Laundry, Viper Room, The Mint, Echo Park Rising, Hotel Café and partnering with organizations like SoFar Sounds LA, World Arts, and Play Like a Girl.
Recently enlisting producer/engineer, Grey Goon (Champagne Fever, US Royalty) for her full length LP, Lauren has also partnered with former Paperhaus guitarist, Eduardo Rivera, resulting in songs that draw from early 60s blues/psychedelia to todays pop while still maintaining her distinctly unique vocal style.