Multi-time Independent Radio charting, Tex Smith is a singer songwriter who from his eponymously titled first album in 2009, has continued to write and perform songs that will become central to the modern day Folk & Americana catalog. In a genre that is alive and growing he continues to accrue a devoted following and positive praises in the press. As an independent artist however, his biggest fans and praises have come from within the songwriter circles themselves. “I’m especially fond of Tex’s train songs, they have a certain lonely feel to them that I’m very drawn to. While he’s never dour, Tex can be quite sentimental; he has the ability to make you almost as chilly as the characters of which he sings about.” writes Murry Hammond (Old 97’s). “Honest, sweet and playful lyrics delivered in, but not contained by traditional Honky Tonk style, Tex Smith is a unique and thankfully, prolific singer songwriter!” says Whit Smith (Hot Club of Cowtown).
Over the years based in the thriving music scene of Austin TX, Tex has worked & recorded with many local greats including Seth Gibbs (Brother Machine, Bobby Jealousy, The Reputations), Steven Collins (Deadman), The Archibalds, Ramsay Midwood, Jake Erwin & Whit Smith (Hot Club of Cowtown), Sabrina Ellis (Bobby Jealousy, Giant Dog, Sweet Spirit), HalleyAnna, Josh Buckley, Union Specific, Gladys & Maybelle, Ranch\House, and most recently Earl Poole Ball (Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons, Wynn Stewart). He’s shared the bill with Rock n Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s The Zombies, Bobby Whitlock (Derek & The Dominos) and Grammy award winning Leon Bridges, along with Texas legend James Hand, and rising local stars Mike and The Moonpies, Paul Cauthen, & Colin Gilmore.
Tex Smith was born and raised in Texas, but the roots of his sound spread far beyond his home state. He likes to say that his music “blends country, roots rock, singer-songwriter style and folk into one big flavorful pot of stew.” Indeed, it’s this eclectic mix of styles that marks his artistry. The middle of 5 kids a Spanish mother and an estranged 3rd generation Texan father he grew up in an average suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth, TX. He never received any formal musical training while growing up, however, during his early developmental years of the 1970’s The Monkees TV show was in full syndication. It was this along with the influence of his elder siblings and neighborhood friends Beatles and British Invasion record collections that planted the seeds. A few years later in the early 1990’s while attending the University of North Texas in Denton, TX fueled by his oldest brothers psychedelic garage rock band Terrapin, the music of Deep Ellum, and a key discovery of a Johnny Cash Sun Records cassette tape, he began writing and recording his own songs. After graduating with a bachelors degree in Geography he moved to Dallas, TX, where he began co-hosting a popular Roots/Americana radio show on KNON 89.3FM for multiple years. In 2006, Tex left Dallas,TX and his radio gig and moved to the Hill Country outside Austin, TX and began making music in earnest.
For Tex Smith, music has been the pathway to personal growth and recovery. “I try to write about the journey,” he says. “Music has helped me through so much, brought so much joy in my life. I want to try to just give a little back.”
Tex lives in Austin, TX with his wife Maybelle (of duo Gladys & Maybelle), and enjoys spending time with their son.
This year Tony received a grant from the city of Houston to develop a series of songs based on interviews with people who have been deported from the U.S. Merel and Tony will be performing selections from this project.
“A Record Of Deported Persons” is a collection of songs adapted from interviews with people who have been deported from the United States. A year in the making, “A Record” was created by Anthony Barilla in collaboration with Merel van Dijk, and will be performed with special guests. This is one of only two performances of these songs. The entire project – including the interview process, writing, recording and performance – is supported by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Houston Arts Alliance Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
“Merel and Tony make some of the most intriguing and interesting music coming out of our city today.”
– Free Press Houston
MEREL & TONY met in 2013 while working on an art installation in a small Dutch village. Since then, they have released several EPs of songs, written music for THIS AMERICAN LIFE and other podcasts, been commissioned to compose a musical for a Houston-based theater company, recorded an album of protest songs funded by a grant from the Houston Arts Alliance, and toured Texas with their band, THE WOE WOE WOES. Merel & Tony divide their time between Rome and Houston.
“Life is never going to go exactly the way you think it will,” says Eric Tessmer, “but I’ve come to appreciate that fact. Good things take time.”
Tessmer’s stellar new release, ‘EP II,’ is proof of that. Three years in the making, the collection was recorded in Los Angeles with acclaimed producer Sean Beavan (Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses), and it finds the incendiary Austin guitarist matching his technical flash with new heights of lyrical craftsmanship and studio sophistication. The performances here represent Tessmer’s most raw, powerful work to date, tackling sobriety, commitment, and redemption with both deep insight and fearless vulnerability. It’s a remarkable step in an already remarkable career, one that showcases a virtuosic instrumentalist boldly stretching his limits and embracing his artful evolution as a singer and songwriter.
“I wanted to go deeper than I ever have before with this EP,” says Tessmer. “I still love ripping things up on the guitar, but this time around, I wanted to save that more for the live show and really focus on concision in the studio.”
A Wisconsin native, Tessmer developed his love affair with music through a kind of familial osmosis. Both his grandmother and father played guitar, and Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Cream were all staples around the house growing up. Inspired in part by watching reruns of Austin City Limits on his local PBS station, Tessmer moved to Texas straight out of high school, and he quickly garnered a formidable reputation there for his fierce fretwork and explosive live performances. He cut his teeth playing residencies in clubs and bars, shared stages with everyone from Gary Clark, Jr. to Tab Benoit, and released a series of live and studio albums that earned widespread critical acclaim, with the Austin Chronicle dubbing him an “SRV-fast firebrand” and the Austin American Statesman hailing him as a “working class guitar hero.”
‘EP II’ reflects the loose, energetic freedom that’s become Tessmer’s trademark, with searing rocker “The Treatment” kicking things off with an infectious guitar riff that at once calls to mind AC/DC and ZZ Top. It’s a love song, no doubt, but in typical Tessmer fashion it comes with a dark edge, a hint of danger that flows just beneath the surface. The slow-burning “Good So Bad” grapples with the rollercoaster of addiction and recovery, while the eerie “Early Early Morning” mixes romance and film noir, and the swampy “Po’ Boy” is a funky instrumental fireworks show. Though the collection prizes economy, Tessmer’s sprawling cover of friend and collaborator Anders Osborne’s “Love Is Taking Its Toll” is a notable exception, clocking in at ten minutes of blistering guitar work and smoldering vocals. Of all the standout moments on the EP, though, it’s perhaps the soulful “Simple Solution,” an anthemic ode to music itself, that captures Tessmer’s spirit best.
“I must have had ten different sets of lyrics for that song,” he remembers. “I felt this pressure to be ‘profound,’ but then I realized that the most profound thing I could do was to stop taking myself too seriously, crank the music up, and do what I love to do.”
It may have taken a while to get there, but the finished product is everything Tessmer hoped it would be and more. Good things take time, after all, and a collection as strong as ‘EP II’ is undoubtedly worth the wait.
On October 25th, acclaimed singer/songwriter Allison Moorer will release Blood(Autotelic Records / Thirty Tigers) the first solo album in four years from the Academy, Grammy, Americana and Academy of Country Music award nominated artist. Blood is not only Moorer’s most personal and revealing work to date, but also her finest and most important. Blood stands on its own as a complete work, but the album serves as a companion piece to her anticipated autobiography, Blood: A Memoir, being released on October 29th through Da Capo Press, an imprint of Hachette Books.
Blood: A Memoir is a detailed account of Moorer and her sister’s (Grammy Award winner Shelby Lynne) childhood growing up in a troubled home in Southern Alabama, which ended with the well-documented murder-suicide of her parents in 1986. Much of what the public has known about the tragic event begins and ends there. For years Moorer had avoided going into the traumatic details of the abuse,alcoholism, intimidation, poverty and neglect, that existed prior to the deaths, and for good reasons which she addresses in the memoir. Moorer also addresses the fact that there was so much more to her family than tragedy, darkness and what people thought they knew. There was love, there was a protective mother, there was the bond of sisterhood and there was music. There was always music.
The album Blood serves as a song cycle featuring ten tracks that directly connect to the people, emotions, trauma, and state of mind that are all detailed so eloquently in the memoir.
Grifters & Shills – amplifyin’ and testifyin’ for your soul. His was hard rock and heavy metal. Hers was the classic sound of the East Texas piney woods. Theirs was a fiery collision, bearing forth a sound that was at once novel and instantly familiar–nodding to roots seated deep in high lonesome harmonies and back porch blues, while peering out at a scorched path bound by modern assertions and contemporary commentary.
Behind Grifters & Shills is John and Rebecca Stoll, native Texans who met in a classic rock/blues jam band in 2008. Between them they discovered a magnetic chemistry that manifested not only in music, but in all aspects of their relationship. When they began playing as a two-piece band, they found a unique voice in the combination of Rebecca’s East Texas vocal stylings and John’s formidable guitar work. They immediately began writing their own songs, while testing the waters of vocal harmonies and adding an array of instrumentation to their arsenal. A typical show will feature a delightful range of electric instruments, including John’s archtop guitar, Rebecca’s bass, a driving stomp board, a couple of cigar box guitars, a handful of harmonicas, and an occasional kazoo.
They call it high lonesome heavy metal, and together, this two-person, dozen-instrument act provides a show full of sound a fury, punctuated with raw, quiet vulnerability, forging new trails and shining new light on familiar ground.
The music of Kacy and Clayton exists outside of time, and burgeons with beautiful contradictions. It’s psychedelic and traditional, contemporary and vintage, melancholic and joyous. All at once, it showcases a slightly psych-folk sound of Linda Perhacs, Fleet Foxes, and First Aid Kit; rare country blues records and English folk tunes; and 1920s disaster songs and murder ballads. Their songs often are sugar-coated pills, tales of murderous jealousy, dilapidated graveyards, and infanticide, all delivered with Kacy Anderson’s sweet, lithe voice, and Clayton Linthicum’s hypnotic fingerpicking.
Their latest album Strange Country, strays away from straightforward folk, delivering a sound that pairs Laurel Canyon vibes with Dustbowl-era drama. And for the duo, the subject matter is literally close to home. They’re second cousins who have grown up in the Wood Mountain Uplands, an isolated region of southern Saskatchewan. It is ranch country, very remote, with a landscape punctuated with hills, 12 miles from the Montana border. Neighbors were scarce, and their school bus ride was a long drive into town. “Where we come from it’s kind of a step behind society,” Kacy, 19, says, “We had a lot of time to take in our surroundings. Characters are still very strong.”
They learned music by picking up rare vinyl at record stores — the closest, the 21 year old Clayton says, was five hours away — and Kacy troweled through Wikipedia to discover long-forgotten bands and musicians. But even internet was unreliable in their area. The remoteness of their town required many hours in the car, so the long trips became educational moments. “I found out about Doc Watson and The Carter Family from a tape that my grandpa had in his car,” Clayton says, “and I found out about Hank Snow and Bob Wills from a neighbor who came up on 1940s and 50s country music.”
Clayton would experiment with instruments scattered in his great-uncle Carl’s basement, occasionally performing with Kacy and her sisters(Carl’s grandchildren). There wasn’t much of a conventional music scene where they lived. However, Kacy & Clayton spent most of their Sunday evenings at the seniors home performing with and for local geriatrics. To rehearse, the two cousins living six miles apart often illegally drove to each other’s houses before they had driver’s licenses.
“We both started playing music because we were nerds about it,” Kacy jokes. “The history of music and reading biographies and things like that; learning about artists and traditions and styles. That is why we really like folk music.” Clayton continues: “With songwriting, it is more like travelling to a time. We are both obsessed with the old world. When we write songs we almost subconsciously think about an older world.”
Kacy says they use music as a way to understand their own ancestors, resuscitating folktales through their songs, stories recounted from mouths of family and community members. Their music is a way to bring those vanishing times back to life again. “Lots of our songs are inspired by old stories from our family,” she says, “The common ancestors Clayton and I share were ranchers that moved up from South Dakota and settled in the Saskatchewan hills we both live in now. Loneliness and seclusion, sickness and death; the stories are often tragic, yet all recounted with fondness.”
Like their previous albums pay homage to music of yore, Strange Country was conceived under a similar influence. Their arrangements are enhanced with fiddle, melodeon, autoharp and occasionally a rhythm section. All of their lyrics stem from the plain, regional language of folk songs, often telling the gossip of their tiny town. The rollicking “Brunswick Stew” was inspired by scandalous pregnancies that have happened in their community. Underneath the veneer of their idyllic town, gossip and hearsay reign, as a girl denies her pregnancy for months, then suddenly gives birth. Kacy wrote the dark, haunting “Dyin’ Bed Maker” on the fiddle, telling the story of a woman who kills another woman for having an affair with her man. “I am not a murderous person,” she laughs, “I do love murder ballads though. Most murder ballads have a crazy man and an innocent girl and she is in love with him and he takes her to the mountains and kills her. It is always a pitiful story about a weak woman. I like the stories where the woman is the murderer. It’s saying ‘We are not weak we are gonna fucking murder you.’”
Their music elevates everyday moments, and gives voice to the voiceless, often portraying the hard lives of tough women and men in past and present frontier towns. “I love ordinary things,” Kacy says. “I was obsessed with housewives. Who cares about housewives anymore? No one. Theirs is a story that few have told. No one sees them or cares about them or speaks of them but for so long the mother has been in the house slaving away and living without fulfillment.”
Their music has resonated far beyond Saskatchewan, earning them fans culled from their long tours across North America and the U.K. Clayton says it was a surprise to see that people in cities outside their small town connected with the music they loved. “You get the young record collecting nerds like us that come out,” he says, “and the more obsessive older crowds that were like those younger people 45 years ago.”
Clayton says their stripped-down sound is an iconoclastic thing in the age of overproduced albums. There’s something defiant about just a guitar and vocals, breaking away from the present to create a world from the past. As Clayton surmises: “The most rebellious thing you can do is rebel against the rebellion.”
Adam Elara, Houston, TX-based musician, actor, runway model, and soon-to-be comic book author, has set a date for the release of Origin Story- October 30th. Adam’s work is exceptional when it comes to lyrics and subject matter, and his talent is further emphasized by the fact that he composes and records everything himself. His latest release, Swiping For Love, is a clever pop-punk take on the dating app scene and it is accompanied by a hilariously relatable music video. Recently a UK blog GigRadar picked up on his creativity and attributed his ability to effortlessly hop across genres of music to his career as an independent solo artist. As a second-generation Muslim American who has also lived abroad in a number of different countries, he is able to draw on specific personal experiences to analyze and critique certain aspects of society in a deeply thoughtful way. In his upcoming EP, Origin Story, a song “Big Man” features two other male-identifying artists as they take on the topic of domestic violence; challenging concepts of masculinity through a genre-bending ballad. “Halal Alcohol” is a highlight track as well, featuring gender-nonconforming artist Wade in the Sonic Joy, the song address hypocrisy in organized religion with specific attention to violence against the LGBTQ community. Origin Story named one of the Top 14 Highly-Anticipated Albums in 2019 by the Houston Press, will also be accompanied by a comic book authored and illustrated entirely by Adam.
On top of his own creative projects, Adam Elara is also an activist and a genuine force for positive action in his community. He helped to raise a quarter-million dollars during a TCF charity event to build schools overseas. He has been working with photographers and models in and around Texas to expose perpetrators of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry diligently for a number of years. The community that he is cultivating in Houston is one full of collaboration between artists, one that continuously strives to uncover and share the truth, all while maintaining a vegan straight-edge lifestyle.
AMERICAN SIN IS THE LATEST ALBUM FROM COUNTRY-ROCKER LUBA DVORAK (PRONOUNCED DVOR-ZHACK). IN BLACK ATTIRE AND ARMED WITH AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR LUBA HAS BEEN CALLED A SPRINGSTEEN-DYLAN-CASH COMBO. THE TEN SONG RELEASE TAKES INFLUENCE FROM ARTISTS LIKE GARY STEWART AND DWIGHT YOAKAM, WITH BRIGHT, RAW GUITAR HOOKS AND HONEST SONGWRITING. THE RESULT IS AN EASILY-ACCESSIBLE GUITAR ALBUM THAT PROVIDES A CLASSIC COUNTRY FEEL WITH A HINT OF THE ICONIC BAKERSFIELD SOUND MIXED WITH TEXAS HONKY-TONK AND MARINATED IN SOME NEW YORK SWAGGER. A STYLE THAT LUBA DEFINES AS “BROOKLYN TWANG.”
“I WANTED TO CREATE A COMFORTABLE CLASSIC COUNTRY ALBUM THAT HAS THE FEEL OF A WELL-WORN PAIR OF BOOTS OR PAWN SHOP GUITAR.”
HIS HEART-ON-YOUR-SLEEVE SONGWRITING STYLE RESONATES THROUGH RAW, HEART-WRENCHING VOCALS DELIVERED IN A RELATABLE LIVE OFF-THE-FLOOR STYLE. THE ALBUM WAS RECORDED IN JUST ONE DAY AT ATOMIC SOUND IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK.
LUBA DVORAK HAS HAD A PASSION FOR MUSIC HIS WHOLE LIFE AND HAILS FROM A LONG FAMILY LINEAGE OF MUSICIANS, INCLUDING WORLD RENOWNED COMPOSER ANTONIN DVORAK. ORIGINALLY BORN IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, AT AGE SIX HIS FAMILY EMIGRATED TO VANCOUVER, CANADA AND IT WAS THERE, DURING HIGH-SCHOOL THAT HE FORMED HIS FIRST BAND TERROR OF TINY TOWN. THE BAND PLAYED THE BAR-CIRCUIT WHILE STILL IN THEIR TEENS AND WENT ON TO RELEASE THREE INDIE CD’S AND TOUR THE US, EUROPE AND JAPAN. A BRIEF WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH PRODUCER BILL BOTTRELL (SHERYL CROW, SHELBY LYNNE, TOM PETTY) WOULD SOLIDIFY LUBA’S ADDICTION TO MAKING MUSIC.
HE WOULD GO ON TO FRONT HIS OWN BAND BIG RIG SWEETIES FOR A FEW YEARS, BEFORE EVENTUALLY MOVING TO NEW YORK CITY IN 2005 AFTER THE SUDDEN PASSING OF HIS FATHER. WHILE IN NEW YORK, LUBA SPENT TWELVE YEARS WORKING IN VARIOUS ROLES THROUGHOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY INCLUDING SESSION MUSICIAN, SIDE-MAN, PRODUCER AND AUDIO-ENGINEER. HE RELEASED FOUR STUDIO ALBUMS AND PRODUCED RECORDS FOR OTHER NEW YORK ARTISTS OUT OF HIS STARR STREET STUDIO.
THE DAILY GRIND AND HUSTLE OF THE BIG APPLE EVENTUALLY STARTED TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON HIS CREATIVE SIDE AND HE WAS FACING A BAD CASE OF WRITERS BLOCK. NEEDING A CHANGE OF SCENERY HE AND HIS WIFE RELOCATED TO HOUSTON TX IN 2017. SHORTLY AFTER THE MOVE LUBA WON A SCHOLARSHIP TO STEVE EARLE’S SONGWRITING RETREAT CAMP COPPERHEAD WITH HIS SONG QUEEN OF THE RODEO. THE NEW INSPIRATION AND THE SOUTHERN STATE-OF-MIND STARTED TO RE-SHAPE HIS SONGWRITING STYLE AND IN THE FALL OF 2018 HE HEADED INTO THE STUDIO WITH HIS LONG TIME NEW YORK BAND.
Lily and Madeleine Jurkiewicz create candid music with deep emotional and personal resonance.
The sisters, who record under the moniker Lily & Madeleine, boldly explore what it means to be
women in the 21st century, and aren’t afraid to use their music to call out injustices or double
standards. This fearless approach has permeated their three albums, which are full of insightful
lyrics and thoughtful indie-pop.
But with their fourth studio album, Canterbury Girls—named after Canterbury Park, located in their
hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana—the sisters are coming into their own as women and musicians.
“This is the first record Lily and I have ever done where we have full control over all of the
songwriting,” says Madeleine. “We did co-write with some people that we really love. But everything
on this record is completely ours. I feel like I have full ownership over it, and that makes me feel very
strong and independent.”
That assertiveness reflects new geographic and professional realities. For starters, Lily and
Madeleine—who are now 21, 23 respectively—moved to New York City in early 2018. And instead of
recording Canterbury Girls in Bloomington, Indiana, which is where they recorded their previous
efforts, the pair headed to Nashville to write and work with producers Daniel Tashian and Ian
Fitchuk. “I feel like it was time for us to leave the nest and move on and try to make a record our own
way,” Madeleine says. “We decided to work with some new people, and it turned out to be the best
decision, because we finally figured out how to voice exactly what we wanted in the studio.”
Using an eclectic playlist of songs as sonic inspirations—soul tunes and waltzes, as well as cuts
from Midlake, ABBA and Nancy Wilson—Lily & Madeleine worked quickly, recording Canterbury Girls
in just 10 days. They spent the first half of the studio sessions working out the framework of the
songs with Tashian and Fitchuk, and the rest of the time fleshing out the music with additional
instrumentation, harmonies and other arrangement details. “By the end, I felt like the songs had their
own life; they had their own energy,” Madeleine says. “It was incredible to see them blossom so
Although Canterbury Girls contains plenty of Lily & Madeleine’s usual ornate music—including the
languid “Analog Love,” on which twangy guitars curl around like a kite twisting in the wind—the album
also finds the siblings exploring new sonic vistas. “Supernatural Sadness” is an irresistible slice of
bubbly, easygoing disco-pop; the urgent “Pachinko Song” hews toward interstellar synth-pop with
driving rhythms; and “Can’t Help The Way I Feel” is an effervescent, Motown-inflected number.
Vocally, the sisters also take giant leaps forward. The dreamy waltz “Self Care” is a rich, piano-heavy
track on which their voices intertwine for soulful harmonies, while the meticulous “Just Do It” has a
throwback, ’70s R&B vibe.
To both Lily and Madeleine, Tashian and Fitchuk, who also co-produced Kacey Musgraves’ Golden
Hour, were the perfect collaborators to lead them forward. “They were really receptive to our ideas;
they didn’t push anything on us,” Lily says. “But they also had their own ideas, and they could execute
what we couldn’t.” Adds Madeleine: “I’m super excited about how groovy the record is, and I honestly
owe that to Ian and Daniel. They are truly incredible, just the most talented musicians, and have such
a good vibe. They added so much to the record. I’m super grateful that Lily and I had them to help
Despite Canterbury Girls’ poppy veneer, the album boasts some of Lily & Madeline’s densest and
most intense lyrics to date. With the exception of the sweet romantic plea “Analog Love,” the bulk of
the album’s songs are burdened by personal angst and the weight of expectations. Lyrics provide
vivid emotional analysis of relationships going sour and what it feels like to navigate power
imbalances. “Pachinko Song” details being unable to escape a pernicious person, even while halfway
across the world in Tokyo; the protagonist of “Self Care” feels guilty about dragging out a
relationship that’s no longer reciprocal; and the narrator of “Supernatural Sadness” refuses to be
dragged down by someone’s toxic negativity and misery.
“I think the album is about emotional baggage,” Lily says. “When you have negative experiences, you
can’t just make them disappear. But the album is about overcoming negative experiences and
continuing to carry that baggage with you and accepting that that’s a part of who you are. I don’t
want it to be depressing, but you have to acknowledge the feelings.”
As usual, the sisters worked separately on musical ideas, and then came together to piece together
the album’s songs, a process that allowed each of their individual styles to shine. “Lily’s always been
an incredible songwriter, and her approach is very different from me, which is super cool,” Madeleine
says. “She always surprises me. Whenever she sends a little song clip to me I’m like, ‘How did you
come up with this?’ It feels so cool to know that I get to work with such a brilliant partner.”
However, once Lily & Madeleine linked up to finish Canterbury Girls, the pair discovered things they
didn’t know about each other. “That made the songwriting more interesting,” Lily says. “because
Madeleine would come to me with a song that she had fully finished, and I didn’t really know what
she was talking about, because I wasn’t a part of that.”
One of the fully Madeleine-penned songs is the sparse “Circles.” The restless waltz, which conveys
dissatisfaction about a stagnant relationship, foreshadowed Madeleine’s eventual split with an
ex-boyfriend. Lily also ended up writing the song “Bruises,” which boasts pulsing rhythmic
programming and melancholy piano, completely without Madeleine. The song expresses deep
frustration with the ways emotional scars color how she perceives and reacts to future
relationships—and features a stunning, haunting lead vocal.
“Both of those songs are really heavy, low points on the record, and they both encapsulate exactly
what we were going through at the time,” Madeleine explains. “In the past couple years, we both have
experienced some trauma—and that’s a heavy word, but I guess that’s the only way I can put
it—through romantic experiences and, like, unwanted experiences, mostly with men.”
Still, Madeleine expresses awe that she and Lily wrote this pair of songs, which she dubs the “most
vulnerable and meaningful tracks on the record,” separately. “It means that we are each our own
artist, and each have a voice in our experiences. And yet when we come together, it’s even more
powerful, and we are on the same page.” Indeed, Canterbury Girls’ overarching message is that
vocalizing burdens, frustrations and anxieties helps people see they’re not alone, which can then
facilitate growth and healing.
In the last few years, Lily & Madeleine have amassed a supportive global community of fans and
peers. They’ve toured as a headlining act, opened for everyone from Dawes to Rodriguez and in
summer 2017, were invited to be backup singers on John Mellencamp’s Sad Clowns and Hillbillies
Tour, on which they harmonized on hits such as “Cherry Bomb” and performed Carter Family songs
with opener Carlene Carter. Unsurprisingly, diving right into making Canterbury Girls also helped the
sisters learn a lot about themselves.
“Writing this record definitely made me realize I’ve never worked on myself physically or emotionally,
and so I’m definitely trying to do that more now,” Lily says, while Madeleine adds, “I am always
self-conscious about my art. I often think, ‘Who cares? Who wants to listen to this?’ But I was forced
to assert myself and be independent, and say exactly what I wanted, and it just made me feel more
powerful. I feel like I’m getting closer to feeling more like, ‘This is who I am.'”
With this growing self-confidence and musical poise, it’s clear that Lily & Madeleine are positioned
for even greater things going forward. “I feel like I finally found my voice in this record, which makes
me feel really vulnerable and a little nervous for people to hear it,” Madeleine says. “But, most of all,
I’m just really excited to get to express myself fully. And we’re only going to get more vocal about
things. I really appreciate it when artists have an opinion about things, when they use their platform
and their voice to talk about things that matter. Lily and I want to be loud—and we want to be heard.”
ZUNIS is an indie-psych rock trio comprised of three romantics in the modern age. Having met indirectly thru their involvement in the high school jazz program at Tulsa School of Arts & Sciences, ZUNIS set out to create something: a band they wanted to listen to, and a band they wanted to see. Formed within the budding music scene of Tulsa, Oklahoma, ZUNIS built their name and following in the Tulsa music scene by curating and fronting all-ages shows around Tulsa. Where the music scene has a number of good places to play, but virtually no good all-ages venues. Through their platform of all ages shows, backed by their philosophy of good entertainment for all ages, ZUNIS solidified themselves as major players in the local music scene by making events happen for music lovers in Tulsa. ZUNIS experienced firsthand the lack of all ages entertainment in Tulsa and pledged to change that by making shows happen. Be it a warehouse, a friends backyard, or the living room of your mom’s suburban home, the show must always go on. Because (for Tulsans) the show wouldn’t be happening anywhere else. After the success of their first release, “Self-Titled EP,” Gaining such praise as a nomination for 2017’s Best Local Album of the Year in the Tulsa Voice. ZUNIS is looking to take their sophomore release, “EARTH TO SELF” EP to the world.
“These guys are doing things differently and it’s f***king great.” -MARTIN ATKINS, Artist, Author, Educator
“For just three dudes, ZUNIS makes a ton of noise. I immediately caught Tame Impala vibes and was very impressed by their live sound and visuals on stage at SXSW.” -TREVOR CHESLER, Booking/Marketing – BOK Center, Tulsa
“Wickedly talented and professional, ZUNIS earned a spot on our official Tulsa stage at SXSW 2019. From promoting the show, to set up, to performance, working with ZUNIS is a treat that everyone should enjoy.” -ABBY KURIN, Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture