30.5 Michelle Blades: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Photograph provided by River Jones Music

Photograph provided by River Jones Music

Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

Michelle Blades is an eclectic musician who was born in Panama, raised in Miami, spent time in Arizona along with a handful of other locations around the world, and is currently based in Paris. Her music is as fluid as she is, going from acoustic sounds in her early albums to experimentation with electric guitar, synthesizers, found sounds and repeating vocals in her more recent releases. 

LISTEN to and PURCHASE the music of Michelle Blades on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify. Her music can also be heard on Midnight Special Records' Soundcloud. Take a peek at her blog while you're at it!


29.5 Womanmay: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon



WOMANMAY is the solo project of Maylin Colmenares, Venezuelan-bred and Miami-based guitarist and vocalist. There's a lot of soul and wisdom in the experimental folk music that Womanmay puts out, and we were lucky to have Maylin open a live show with Almudena Toral at Film Gate for us. At the end of the this live episode, catch a short interview with Maylin and enjoy her music as we’ve sprinkled songs from her latest album Ahi Ahi.

LISTEN to Womanmay on SoundcloudBandcampSpotify and iTunes

LISTEN the Womanmay play "Ahi Ahi" 

27.5 Chargaux: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Charly and Margaux of Chargaux are classically trained in string instruments but create music that blends traditional orchestral sounds with hip-hop, electronic music and Jazz. It's definitely music you can’t fit into one box. They started playing together in Boston and New York's subway stations and were quickly discovered by people and companies that wanted them to perform, like Opening Ceremony, Kendrick Lamar, and First Lady Michelle Obama. They are all about experimenting with both their music and their visual aesthetic, wearing colorful clothing that actually looks like the music they play. 

WATCH: "Lullaby" Official Music Video

FOLLOW: WebsiteTumblrFacebookInstagramTwitter


LISTEN: Chargaux on Soundcloud and iTunes. Be sure to download their mixes Art/Sex Volume 1 and Brown History Starter Pack FREE on Soundcloud.

26.5 Alexandria Hall: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon

Photograph by Brittain Shorter

Photograph by Brittain Shorter

Anything creative really depends on play. We don’t really value play, we value work.
— Alexandria Hall

Alexandria Hall, a musician and poet, has been performing under the name Tooth Ache for over seven years. We featured music from her 2013 album, “Flash & Yearn," in last week's episode with Charlotte Cook. In this episode, Alexandria talks about growing up in Vermont, where inspiration comes from, lessons she has learned from the music industry and how being outside of your comfort zone spurs creativity.

You can do it your way and you can ask for help. That’s one of the things I didn’t realize for the longest time was that it’s okay to ask for help. Especially as a girl I felt like I always had to prove myself to the guys. I had this weird pride about things that stopped me for asking for help when I could have.
— Alexandria Hall

25.5 The Daddyo's: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon

Kylie Hastings (left), Allen Martin (center), Kylie Slabby (right) 

Kylie Hastings (left), Allen Martin (center), Kylie Slabby (right) 


Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

Kylie Slabby and Kylie Hastings met on the first day of 6th grade, became best friends, and started making music together in their bedrooms because their parents wouldn’t let them go to the movies on Friday nights like all the other kids did. Along with drummer and guitarist Allen Martin, they became The Daddyo’s, a lo-fi, dream pop, grunge band based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. No matter the genre of their music or weight of their songs, The Daddyo’s will transports you to a very specific time in life. And even if your teenage years and early twenties are nothing like theirs, somehow, you can still fall into their world.


LISTEN: The Daddyo's Bandcamp & Soundcloud, Kylie Slabby's other band Who and The Fucks Bandcamp, Kylie Slabby's solo project Ramona & The Phantoms Soundcloud

WATCH: "Crop Top"

FOLLOW: TwitterFacebook

24.5 Cécile Schott of Colleen: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon

Photo by Estudio Primio

Photo by Estudio Primio


Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

Cécile Schott, a musician and composer originally from outside of Paris, has been making music since she was 15 and she started releasing albums under the name Colleen at age 27. She has 6 full albums and 1 EP in total, her most recent album being Captain of None, released in April of 2015 with Thrill Jockey Records. Our talented sound designer and friend, Billy Wirasnik, has been a long time fan of Colleen. Billy calls her work, “The music a beautiful brain would make if you could plug a quarter inch jack into it.” Cécile uses repetitive loops of old scratchy recordings, instruments like the glockenspiel, guitar, viola da gamba, bells, chimes and a variety of music boxes to make up the sounds in different combinations across her albums, building mysterious atmospheres that can be dark and playful at the same time. Colleen tracks differ from album to album, but are all unified by a tenderness, a curiosity, and a will to experiment and play, always taking you somewhere you weren’t expecting. In this episode, we talk about falling in and out of love with music, taking time to pursue other creative outlets, an artistic response to hardships and tragedy, and really, just living a simple, happy life.                                                                                                                                                

 CONNECT via Colleen's Website and Facebook

LISTEN to Colleen's

READ: NPR's top 50 Albums of 2015, FACT Magazine Interview, NYT Review

PURCHASE Colleen's Albums on Thrill Jockey or on vinyl directly from her

I think it’s always worth trying to have your voice heard if its something that you really care deeply about.

23.5 Julianna Barwick: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

Julianna Barwick's truly unique music is built around multiple loops and layers of her voice. Her experimental songs feel spontaneous, sometimes meandering, and always emotional. Julianna has lived in NYC for over 14 years, but she was born and raised in the South--in Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. She grew up singing in choirs at church and school, which has clearly had a lasting influence on her work. 2015 was an exciting year for her; she's finishing up her next album, she played with the Flaming Lips and Philip Glass at Carnegie Hall, and toured in Japan. 

In this episode, we talk about how her work has changed over the years, the collaborations she has worked on, what it's like to play piano for Yoko Ono, and why it's important to teach yourself new skills and be nice to people.

Julianna was the musicmaker from last week’s episode with Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli.

When people ask me to describe my music I still get tongue-tied and don’t really know how to answer it, or classify it, in any normal kind of way. For me it’s about the joy of making stuff.
— Julianna Barwick

22.5 Stag Hare: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon

Photo by Sara Allyson

Photo by Sara Allyson


Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

Living in Boston where I mostly walk, bike, and take the train, I don’t often get to scan through the radio in a car like I would when I zipped around the suburbs back in high school. But a few months ago, I found myself enjoying a car-driving, radio-listening experience. I stopped the radio from scanning stations and settled into an unfamiliar but uplifting track that was hard to ignore. Warm, locomotive synth tones filled the car, rising and falling to different levels of intensity. The 12 minute long track is called Grays (Doom and Gloom Mantra) and it’s from Stag Hare’s 2014 album titled Angel Tech. This song, much like the rest of Stag Hare’s music, made me feel alive and present in each moment as they happened. The maker behind Salt Lake City based Stag Hare is Zara Asha Moonbeam Biggs-Garrick, a kind and thoughtful soul that I had the pleasure of speaking with. Listen to our conversation and enjoy her music as it soundtracks Episode 22 with Andrea Sisson.

The experience of having a child really made a lot of things that were kind of easy for me to push to the back of my mind, it shattered all of that. It became very immediate to be the most authentic, true version of myself that I can be. Because when you have this little person that’s just looking up at you, any facades or inconsistencies that I had in my life, I had to shake those out and be solid.
— Zara


On November 11th, Stag Hare released Tapestry, a collection of 16 tracks commissioned by individuals and recorded under the inspiration and direction of each patron between December 2014 and July 2015. Released by Inner Islands as a box set of 4 cassette tapes clocking in at 4 hours total, Tapestry is a project inspired by the history of art patronage. Purchase Tapestry!

19.5 Jenny Tuite: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

This She Does Music episode features the blue-haired, badass guitarist, Jenny Tuite, from Dirty Dishes and Cloud Cover. We soundtracked Ep. 19 with Stacy Kranitz with Dirty Dishes' full album, Guilty, but this episode introduces you to some of her other work. Dirty Dishes is known for their well crafted and gritty rock songs. They've been called "the best kept secret of alternative rock." The shoegazey pair is made up of Jenny on vocals and guitar; and Alex Molini on synth and bass. She also has her own band, called Cloud Cover. It's lo-fi/bedroom pop, much more minimal than Dirty Dishes. Listen, learn and love.

Dirty Dishes performing "Guilty" live at Hanging Horse in Norwood, MA w/ video & audio recorded by Bradford Krieger, GUILTY available on Bandcamp, 12" Vinyl out now on Exploding in Sound records & cassettes on Seagreen Records

Alot of people that write, they leave it up to the people to decide how to interpret it. But I kind of want to do the opposite. If I’m writing something, I want to make people feel exactly how I’m feeling at that moment.
— Jenny Tuite

18.5 Anna and Elizabeth: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon

Photo by Jim Herrington //    Elizabeth (left) and Anna (right)  

Photo by Jim Herrington //   Elizabeth (left) and Anna (right)  

Music Featured in Episode 18

Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

You don’t often come across a musical duo like Anna & Elizabeth, or at least I haven’t. When they met in 2011, they each brought a pretty obscure knack to the table besides their musical skills. Elizabeth was interested in old time musicians, ballad singers from the past. Anna, also drawn to the old, made Crankies, which are panoramic, mural-like scenes that unwind between two rollers and are accompanied by an oral story.

Together, Anna & Elizabeth revive songs and stories that might otherwise go unheard. It’s folk music from the mountains rich with banjo and fiddle, traditional hymns and lullabies never recorded, all found in archives and then discussed with historians and relatives who share what they know of these long-gone greats.

Anna & Elizabeth honor the originals but bring their own and it was a magical feeling when Elaine and I realized how perfect their music fit with our 18th guest, Kalyanee Mam’s narrative. All three of these women see the value in keeping heritage alive by unearthing stories and retelling them in a contemporary, relevant way. It’s a beautiful thing when melodies from old Appalachia heighten and even become a part of a story from so far away, from Cambodia. It’s that common thread of ‘home’ that brings it all together, and we hope you feel its power as we did in working with the voices of these women.

INTERACT: A&E on Twitter and on tour

LISTEN: Their latest album

READ: VICE Noisey, Huffington Post

WATCH: NPR's Tiny Desk performance 


How are you two different and alike? 

Anna: "If I were to describe Elizabeth, I would say she is way more inward. I would be more likely to just babble to a stranger and she would be more likely to listen. You have to be a lifer to really get to know her. Maybe when I'm 35 I will get to the next level of LaPrelle. Elizabeth's energy helps ground our project, and also the energy that comes with where she lives (rural Virginia). Because when you're making music in a city, you see the rat race around you, you see this desire to get ahead or have more people know about your band...there's this energy toward quantity. There's a slowness in the way that Elizabeth approaches things. This depth that I think grounds our work together." Elizabeth: "To frame it the same way, I feel like maybe when I'm 35 I will have accomplished some of what Anna has. She is certainly the more ambitious of us two in an outreaching way. I value that alot."

Is it fair to say you two share a value system? 

Anna: "Yes. I trust this project to always want to have a mission. I can't say that of some of my musical peers. For me, that's the most important thing about any project is that it have a goal beyond notes and recognition. We are always trying to dig for deep meaning and purpose in being a traveling band and storytelling project. There's no one else that I share the same sensibility and set of ethics about that. That's really special and rare."

How important is trust and building relationships with the sources of inspiration for your music? 

Anna: "It's a really important process because we're singing the songs of someone else's family and so that is something that we take really seriously." Elizabeth: "It's amazing what they want people to know about their family members. They're like, 'make sure people know that they were a really caring grandma. I want people to know how she would make food for us after school. Tell them that.' If people can walk away from our show with the idea of someone like that in-mind and the idea that people can pass art to each and that it would be this loving and nourishing thing that's what we're after.

17.5 Springtime Carnivore: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

In 2014, Greta Morgan released her first album as Springtime Carnivore. Following that release she has had an exciting 2015; touring with Of Montreal, Father John Misty and Jenny Lewis. When we talked with her for this interview she was gearing up to join Jenny Lewis on tour. “I’m doing this interview on a hammock. Something about talking about myself lying vertical makes me feel like this is therapy. So it might get weird.”

It didn’t get that weird, but it definitely got exciting when Greta told us that she’s currently recording her next album, set to release next year. “This album will be the best thing I’ve ever made. It really feels like the past 10 years I've been preparing to make this record. Everything that’s happened in the last year has opened me up and allows me to be way more vulnerable and way more raw than I ever have.”

Before that next record drops, we recommend you spend some time with her first album. It brought Sarah and I alive while editing, and made Pamela Ribon’s stories that much more impactful. Heck...even when we weren’t editing this episode we still craved this album. We listened to it while cooking and in our mid-day slump to give us a boost. We’re eternally grateful to have collaborated and met Greta. Songs like “The Collectors," "Name on a Matchbook,"  and “Last One To Know” are crowd hits, but I love what Greta has achieved with “Western Pink,” “Low Clouds,” and “Karen Bird’s Theme.” Instrumental tracks that say so much without saying anything at all. They are on repeat and keep me wishing for more. Keep 'em coming Greta.


Do you have any pre-performance rituals? Before the show, the most important thing to do is make sure I feel really connected to bandmates. I play with a rotating cast of people depending on who is available; all people who I trust completely. We have a huddle moment where nothing else matters but us. I like the rituals of dressing for a show. I'm the least diva person you've ever met. Generally all my show clothes are crumpled in a grocery bag. But I like the feeling of doing a vocal warm up by just singing songs that I like and putting on show clothes. It's such a nice feeling, a beautiful kind of anticipation.

Do you know what triggers creative moments? I've been of going through a ton personally. A breakup from a very serious relationship and pretty intense family stuff. There's been a lot of...growth emotionally and mentally. I'm processing a lot of feelings that I've never experienced before. Complicated venn diagrams with a million feelings all at once. There's alot of stuff to process, that really fuels my creativity, if I don't release the emotions I freak out.

What does music have the potential to do? Everyday that we are living our lives, we are either moving closer to becoming the person we were meant to be, becoming the person we are possible of being, or becoming a numb, zombified, dumbed-down, mediocre version of what is possible. Music has been the the thing that keeps drawing me into the possible side. Music reminds people of who they are or of what they want; a sense of themselves that they might lose otherwise.

Do you identify with your home city of Chicago? I really identify with Chicago and the Midwest. The people are salt of the Earth. People work without expectations and without delusion. There's a very realistic hardworking attitude that most of my Chicago friends and I have. I really identify with that. I love working and identify with the attitude that, 'Any job you do with dignity is a dignified job.' 


INTERACT: Greta on Twitter and upcoming tour dates

LISTEN: on iTunes

READ: Paste Magazine review, feature in Interview Magazine, VICE's Noisey Blog

WATCH: Springtime Carnivore music videos

16.5 Dubb Nubb: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon

Photo by  Kylee Gregg    //   Hannah Rainey (left) and Delia Rainey (right)  

Photo by Kylee Gregg  //   Hannah Rainey (left) and Delia Rainey (right)  


Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

Hannah and Delia started writing and playing music together at age 15, but they’ve known each other for 23 years. They’re twin sisters. And when they play together, they go by Dubb Nubb. Hannah plays guitar, Delia plays the ukulele, and sometimes their older sister Amanda joins in with percussion. They hail from St. Louis, Missouri but I saw Dubb Nubb play at True/False about five years ago, and then again every year since. They’ve become familiar faces and voices in the Columbia and St. Louis music scenes, and this has a lot to do with their tangible synergy onstage. Between the musings on home and the raw harmonies, Hannah with the lower and Delia with the Higher, Dubb Nubb pulls you in, making you feel like a part of the family. My words can’t do them justice. Lend them your ear and listen—you won't regret it.


LISTEN: Bandcamp, iTunes

WATCH: "Don't Ever Find Me"

FOLLOW: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook


15.5 ZIEMBA: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon

Photo by Ben Grad

Photo by Ben Grad


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

René Kladzyk is a Brooklyn-based solo musician and performance artist who goes by the moniker Ziemba. She played her first solo show as Ziemba on October 27, 2013. Since then, she has put out two EPs and is working on her first full-length album. She recently had several songs featured on Season 2 of Broad City. Sarah first met René on a roadtrip through the South, where she saw her perform at The Mammal Gallery in Atlanta. “She’s incredibly kind and warm, but it’s almost like she’s from another planet,” Sarah said of Ziemba's performance. “We were all entranced by her performance, which concluded with her quietly asking the audience to shift their attention from the front of the room, where she had been playing a keyboard with pedals, to an old stand up, piano, where she sat down and sang ‘With The Fire’ (hear this song in episode).” It was a pure joy to collaborate with Ziemba on Episode 15, featuring Emily Best, and record a live performance with her for episode 15.5 She Does Music. I have had "Phantom See" stuck in my head from the first listen, and am secretly hoping it never escapes my memory. 


LISTEN: BandcampSoundcloudOfficial Website

WATCH: "Phantom See"

READ: Impose Magazine feature


14.5 Nona Marie Invie: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

I come across a lot of talented musicians every year atTrue/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri, but this one is special. Back in 2012, when I was confused and in college, I saw Nona Marie Invie perform with her band Dark Dark Dark and I’m not even kidding, from that moment on, things changed. Her voice and musical talent helped me tap into these feelings of sorrow and hope and longing and strength all at the same time. She sings, plays the piano and the accordion in Dark Dark Dark and is the leader of Anonymous Choir, a 16-piece all women’s choir that recontextualizes songs we all know by Neil Young, Kate Bush, and Leonard Cohen. Nona is not afraid to bend and experiment, exemplified by her project Fugitive, electronic, drone compositions brought to unique spaces like a yoga studio in Mexico. RONiiA is her most recent synthpop project that maintains a warmth through Nona’s unmistakeable voice. All of these projects are different and Nona doesn’t leave any of them behind, she just shifts her weight around and lets things change. Like I said, things changed for me after I first heard Nona and things might change for you after you give her a listen. Go ahead, find out.


What do you love most about making music? People tell me about when they’ve listened to my music in hard times or in good times or how it's helped them or affected them in these different ways. That feels really special and important to me and when I don't tour, when I go through periods of not performing, I realize that I miss that connection in the world, because I'm not that good at social media or calling people back a lot of the times. It's nice to be out there in the world and to know that people are hearing me and they're interested and they're processing it in whatever ways that may or may not be helpful for them, but that kind of connection or interaction feels important.

How does working with a group of women in Anonymous Choir compare to playing with Dark Dark Dark, where you are the only woman? The whole vibe is different when I'm surrounded by women. Just the way that we interact with each other and the things that we talk about are just sort of innately different than being the only woman in a group of 4 or 5 men. And the men in Dark Dark Dark are great, but there's just -- they’re not necessarily giving each other back rubs and asking about each other's days. There's differences too because with Dark Dark Dark, we were on tour all the time and so we were in this deep relationship with each other. We were more like family where we spent months at a time sleeping in the same room and being in the car all day and playing this intensely emotional and personal music. I think the way that we were with each other was more like sibling kind of. We really loved and appreciated each other but also needed space. And with the choir, we'll take little tours but it's not really like that. So every time we're together it feels really special and I think everybody brings everything that they can to the room with them; all their energy and all the good vibes and that always feels really nice.

What would you like people to know? I guess mostly, I just want people to, people who are playing music, I just want them to keep trying and keep playing and keep doing whatever they want to do. All of us struggle with figuring out how to balance the mundane things like paying for rent and trying to lead creative and inspired lives and I just know that if you keep working at it you'll figure it out. That's what I wish I had heard more throughout my life.



LISTEN: Dark Dark Dark   Anonymous Choir  RONiiA  Fugitive

WATCH: FLOOD TIDE (Feature w/ Dark Dark Dark as cast & soundtrack)

Anonymous Choir performs Tonight (You Belong To Me)

READ: RONiiA Updates via Minneapolis label Totally Gross National Product

13.5 Brooke Singer: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

Brooke Singer is the songwriter, vocalist and pianist of French for Rabbits, a New Zealand based dream-folk band, along with guitarist, John Fitzgerald. Brooke says songwriting is a life-long passion. She started writing songs as a child; sitting at the piano and coming up with her own tunes. She was six years old when she wrote her first song. It was a ditty about her cat who died. French for Rabbits may be best known for their songs about the sea. Brooke said their home country, New Zealand, influences their work greatly. In addition to be inspired by nature, Brooke also is inspired by real events in her life. French for Rabbits is working on their new EP now. Special thanks to Lefse Records for connecting us with Brooke.


How does being from New Zealand Influence your work? I didn't realize it until I left, but New Zealand is quite isolated. It's not until you get on a plane and you're on that plane for 24 hours to get somewhere else that you realize how far it away it is from Europe and America. Where we're living is a small settlement in a harbor. There are still big forests here and it's just alot more wild than other countries. I think nature is a big aspect to our music. I have always lived by the sea so it tends to creep into my lyrics even if I try to avoid it. 

Where do you go to spark creativity? For me, creativity comes from a few different sources. It could be reading a book, or just going out in nature, or watching people and experiencing things. I do like mining. I like taking a situation that has happened to me and turning it into a song. I do that quite a lot. I like bad things to happen occasionally so I can write a really good song. 

What advice would you have for aspiring musicians? You have to have confidence in your ideas and go with it. You don't know what will come out of an idea before you follow it through. You have to have a passion for music. It doesn't have to be a career, it can be something that you do in your bedroom or play tiny shows to your friends. You have to take it where you want to take it, and that's all. 

What would you say to someone who is "waiting for the right moment" to make their first album? In New Zealand, people just kind of 'do it.' They just make it happen, regardless of the gear that you have. I think limitations are a good thing. It changes your process in a way that could make it better. I don't have every piece of equipment that I would like to have, but that's probably a good thing. I can't go too wild. I think people should just start and see what happens.


LISTEN: Bandcamp

PURCHASE: French For Rabbits Website

CONNECT: FacebookTwitter, Record Label

12.5 Emily Hope Price: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon



Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

Emily Hope Price is a beyond-talented cellist, vocalist and ⅓ of Pearl and the Beard, along with percussionist Jocelyn Mackenzie and guitarist Jeremy Lloyd-Styles, who are also vocalists in the band. I saw them just destroy it at True/False Film Festival a few years ago, and I mean that. When they play, it’s like they’re playing for the last time, everything goes into it. Emily, who comes from Logan, Utah, joined the Brooklyn-based band not long after Jocelyn and Jeremy created it, but it still took work and time and patience to become the family they are today. Even when they aren’t playing together, Emily continues to create. She’s worked on Broadway with Sting, scored a feature film, and recorded one song everyday for a year as a part of 365 Project. My conversation with Emily was a powerful, memorable experience, and you know what? So is listening to the music of Pearl and the Beard. We hope you enjoy both!


What was it like to join a band that had already been making music together? It took a long time for me to feel like I had a voice and allow myself to have that voice because I did feel like Jeremy and Jocelyn had main ownership. I felt like I was an au pair to our child for awhile. And then when I felt good about it, it felt awesome. It’s letting that selfishness go and letting go of that entitlement and that this isn’t just about you. It is a co-parenting situation no matter how many parents are involved. You’re all a part of it and everyone has a piece of themselves in it and it’s a matter of putting that together appropriately.

How did you navigate the dynamic and your own role in the band? It was up to Jocelyn and I to kind of feel out our relationship as two women, and not only that, but two women who have egos, honestly. In order to be a performer, you really have to have an ego. Even if you feel like you’re the most humble. We really worked on being kind to eachother, and fair and honest. I didn’t know what it was like to try to get along with another woman, not only in a business sense but also in a personal sense, because it went beyond being friends; we were family. But I have to say, looking at it today, she has become my family. She is my sister.

We call this, The Emily Hope Price Manifesto for musicians and all artists alike: If I could say anything to a young musician, it would be to just...create. Just create. Just keep creating one thing after another. Just write, write, write, write, write and play and play and play anything. If you don’t want to practice, if you don’t want to play, do something creative. Create everyday. Peoples’ souls need to produce. This is purely coming from a place of having experience of feeling trapped by my own perfectionism, actually stifling my own creativity because there was so much judgement and so much criticism upon myself and not letting my inner intelligence breathe and just live and make mistakes. Most, most of the time, most of the things I thought were mistakes, ended up being the best things I’ve done.


LISTEN: 365 Project & Pearl and the Beard on iTunes

WATCH: Reverend Live Performance & The Lament of Coronado Brown Official Video

CONNECT: Emily & Pearl And The Beard on Twitter

11.5 Audrey Ryan: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

Audrey Ryan is a one-woman band with some impressive multi-instrument skills. An electric guitar, accordion, ukulele, banjo, vibraphone, drums, kick, tambourine and a loop station are all part of her setup--among other tricks. She grew up on an island off the coast of Maine and comes from a musical family; her dad played guitar and her mom sang and played piano and the organ. She started learning the guitar at the age of 10 and violin at 7--playing folk tunes to the likes of the Indigo Girls, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan. In college, her main gig was playing in bluegrass and jazz bands. It took her nearly several years, to find her voice and develop her own style as a solo artist in Boston, but she's done it and stands so strong. In the past, she has opened for artists like Suzanne Vega, Sam Amidon and They Might Be Giants. Audrey is a new mom with anew EP that you should download. She’s taken a break from touring and is collaborating with Will Dailey to create music for commercial licensing. Several years ago she wrote, “The Need to Be Heard,” a book for and about DIY musicians.


How would you describe your relationship with your fans? I’m very casual. I have this loft in Somerville, Mass. that I have been hosting shows at for years and it’s incredibly intimate. I usually ask people to tell me what they want to hear, instead of doing shot lists. I’m not someone who is distant from the audience. Here are these people staring at you, if you make them feel like there’s a lot of separation, they’re not going to connect with the music.

What is a piece of advice you would give to a young musician? You should really hone in your craft and try to be really good at what you do, before you do it in front of other people. I myself, when I started playing out, was not very good. I hadn’t rehearsed as much as I probably should have, and probably spent alot of time rehearsing in front of other people. But the problem with that is, you turn people off. And then it’s going to be hard to get people to come back in two or three years when you are good.

Where are you at in your career and where do you want to go? Things have changed for me in the past couple of years. In my 20s, I was touring non-stop, but now I don’t tour extensively. I’m focused more on licensing. I work with Will Dailey, a singer songwriter in Boston, to write pop and electronic songs for commercials. We’re both married and we both have a kid--he actually has two kids. We’re still artists and musicians but we have a very practical side of our lives now which makes it difficult to stay at bars until 2 A.M. So I’m moving more towards co-writing and working with someone. I think it’s better at this point to work with someone and not be an island.


LISTEN: Audrey Ryan on Bandcamp

READ: Review of Latest EP "Let's Go To The Vamp"

WATCH: Audrey crushing the accordion in Dublin, Ireland

CONNECT: Audrey on Twitter

10.5 Lira Mondal of Mini Dresses: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon



Curated by Sarah Ginsburg

Lira Mondal is as sweet as can be. She’s a native Arkansan, an aspiring pastry chef and the heavenly voice of Boston-based Mini Dresses. Comprised of Lira (who also plays bass), guitarist Caufield Schnug and drummer Luke Brandfon, Mini Dresses is making what you could call Boston’s beach music, a little dirty and not a lot of surfing going on, but listening to these folks might make you want to grab a board and try. It’s definitely not typical for music like this to be coming out of this city, but I’m glad it is. Staying true to their name, Mini Dresses has been steadily putting out EPs since 2012 and most recently released FOUR under shiny new label Little Death Records. Allow Lira to take you through the waves of Bianca Giaever’s story in Episode 10.


Do you like to play another version of yourself when you are up on stage? When you're a performer, you're always playing around with how you put yourself out, how you present yourself, what your identity is. There's this pressure, especially on women, that you have to be this outgoing person who is making witty banter with the audience, always having that clever thing to say. It’s that pressure that you have to be a rock star with a capital "R" capital "S." I guess I've always flirted with the idea of playing around with the kind of personality that I want to give off, but then not being so comfortable with myself that I'm actually able to. But Mini Dresses isn't that kind of band, it's not a band that’s out to manipulate how we are perceived.

Who, in your music and in general, are you influenced by? I’m really into Broadcast and love Trish Keenan. I feel like she was a really genuine person and she definitely came off in her music as this curious woman who had all of these different influences. She was into film and literature and occult but even though she had all of these far flung interests she always sounded familiar and so warm and inviting, even when she was singing some very dark things. I guess I really look up to her as an influence and that’s how I kind of want to come across but then sometimes I do want to be really cool and...I don’t know how to do that.

Your latest EP FOUR was put out by Little Death Records who handprints cassette tapes in addition to a digital download. What is the benefit of the physical tape? I love recording on tape and listening to tapes, especially being a child of our generation on the cusp of both the CD coming into prominence, but also making mix tapes as a child, that was really attractive to me. People are more and more starting to appreciate the materiality that comes with tape and that it does sound richer, sweeter and warmer. Just like vinyl sounds different than an MP3 with the pops and the scratches. You have to be in tune to what you’re listening to. Little things like flipping the record or flipping the tape become these ritualistic experiences. That was something that resonated with me as a child because I would always listen to the radio with an empty tape in the deck, just waiting to hit record when my favorite song came on. I hope that they really do come back into play...quite literally.

Where and how are you inspired to write the lyrics to your music? I have to be in control of what I'm singing and what I’m saying. That's why it's so hard for me to write lyrics because if I don't have an immediate source of inspiration like a book or a movie, which are the first things I go to, then I just have no clue where to go because I feel that if I don't have something to say, what's the point in trying to sing something because it won't be genuine.


LISTEN: Mini Dresses on Bandcamp and buy their latest EP release on cassette from Little Death Records

READ: Vanyaland Review

WATCH: ‘Bracelets’ Video on Boston Hassle

9.5 White Hinterland: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by Elaine Sheldon

There's no way you won't fall in love with Casey Dienel's voice. But take it from me, falling in love with her, as a person, is fairly easy too. I picked up the phone to chat with Casey for an hour, and within five minutes I felt like I was catching up with a good friend. She's full of talent and experience, but it was refreshing to see her humility and gratitude come through when talking about dealing with depression and sharing funny stories from her early career (HINT: listen to the last four minutes of Episode 9 to hear). You may know Casey from her hit Icarus, which has had a life of its own, including being featured on Project Runway. But spend 20 minutes with her last two albums, Kairos and Baby, and you can hear Casey's life bleeding into her music. They are vastly different in arrangement and tone. Pitchfork said it best, "Kairos was woozy both instrumentally and conceptually, leaning toward gossamer dream pop. Baby, her newest, sheds the downtempo beats of Kairos, experimenting with more jagged percussion and orchestral flourishes, notably horns." Casey explains the deeply personal journey of making Baby, among other tidbits. We're greatly honored to showcase Casey's talent in Episode 9 with Linda Pan.


What is your process for writing? Every time I write it's like I am reinventing the process. I don't have one strict method and I'm not superstitious at all. I am always writing, even if I'm on an album cycle, I am still writing on my days off. I write a lot when I'm on tour. I just always keep it going so that way I'm not stressing the source. When I have writer's block it's usually because I'm getting antsy. So I found the best way to prevent that anxiety is to be pretty casual about it. 

You've toured around the world, so what piece of advice would you give to a young producer? Do it yourself, as much as possible. If you want to go on tour, and you're waiting for someone else to book it, don't wait. Just figure it out. If you want to make a record, and don't know anyone, it's so easy now to get a student copy of Ableton, Garage Band or Logic and just bang it out. Especially on the technology side, women aren't encouraged enough to take that on. I really think that the more girls take that stuff on themselves (like writing your own beats) the better it's going to be for us. Alot of times they just assume you don't know what you're doing. And the power of assumption is so insidious and quiet. And over the years, you will be like, 'Am I crazy?' But you're not crazy. When you walk into a studio and they're talking about microphones and then they're like, 'Let's just talk about clothes now,' because you're in the room. 

Baby is a very personal album, how does it feel to look back on it? I feel like Baby was this really cathartic work for me and it healed a lot of things that I didn't even realize were in pain. When I take a step back and look at that work, I'm like 'Holy shit, that person was really, really depressed and unhappy.' I'm also extremely grateful that I'm not there anymore. Like when you see a photo of yourself when you were a teenager and really depressed, and you are like "God...thank you to everybody who asked me how I was doing.' But here's the thing with mental health, you're never all better. But I think it's good to talk about because I think a lot of people who have depression are really embarrassed by it. 


LISTEN: White Hinterland on SoundCloud

READ: Pitchfork Reviews White Hinterland

CONNECT: Casey on Twitter, White Hinterland Official Website

WATCH: White Hinterland on VEVO

8.5 Taryn Blake Miller: She Does Music by Elaine Sheldon


Curated by: Sarah Ginsburg

Every March, I go home to Columbia, Missouri for my version of ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’: True/False Film Festival (T/F). Besides getting to see stacks on stacks of films, my favorite part of T/F is the music. T/F hand picks musicians from all around the world and brings them to the middle of Missouri to play for moviegoers before films, at late night showcases, and on the street corners of downtown Columbia as we stumble out of one dimly lit venue and run to the next. One of the buskers that we were lucky enough to hear is Taryn Blake Miller who plays simply divine music under the moniker Your Friend. It’s hard for me to describe the feeling her songs give me, but I will tell you that every song makes me close my eyes, put my hands on my heart, and just sway. Elaine and I were simply taken with Your Friend, and we’re pretty sure you will be too. 


How would you describe your music? A blogger once said that it was kind of like something that would exist in a pretty unpopulated territory but is still welcoming. I like to say that it’s evolving and it’s open. There’s a lot of space and room within it. But I’d say it’s a well intentioned hand shake.

Where does ‘Your Friend’ come from? I’ve had a lot of experiences making really serious connections with strangers and not knowing who they are later, not getting their name, nothing, probably not ever seeing them again. But they’ve kind of stuck with me so I guess it’s kind of related to that in a way. What does it actually mean to be somebody’s friend? Whenever I’m interacting with anybody I try to be present and real with that person, because what you put out is what you get back and that’s how you make those connections with people. If you go into it being earnest and honest, then they react that way and it becomes genuine.

When you are performing a song, even if you’ve played it live countless times, are specific feelings from when you were originally writing and developing the track triggered? If I can’t hear myself in the monitors or if there’s some sort of technical difficulty, I can still find the notes that I’m singing based on how it feels. I can go back to those moments and channel how it felt to write it because that’s how it physically felt in that moment. So I can revisit that. Your brain remembers that, your muscles remember that. I think it can be sustained and even grow to something more important or special to you if you want it to.

Musical Inspirations? Arthur Russell, Lucrecia Dalt, Dave Harrington, Jenny Hval, William Basinski, Holly Herndon, Tim Hecker, Andy Stott, Julia Holter, Jana Hunter, Annie Clark


Your Friend website

Jekyll / Hyde EP on iTunes

True/False Busker Line Up