Category: Music

Viva la New Revolution! The amazing Meresha is here

Viva la New Revolution! The amazing Meresha is here

Very few indie artists emerge on the scene with the immediate success and appeal of Meresha. The 18 year-old Palm Beach County native (by way of Warsaw, Poland) came to the states at age 15 on a mission – take the music world by storm. Drawing from influences including Robert Plant, Joss Stone, Freddie Mercury, Björk, Hayley Williams and James Blake, Meresha composed “New Revolution,” her debut EP. Yet it’s not only her determination that sets her apart – as an accomplished vocalist, guitarist, drummer, and pianist, Meresha both sings and performs on each song on the EP. This is a foundation for long term success, even as we are just witnessing her initial rise. Drunken Mermaid caught up with Meresha just after the release of New Revolution and out front her upcoming show with Adam Lambert and Third Eye Blind. “New Revolution” is a great debut song and video that involved some industry heavy hitters. Tell us about what went into the making of the video. 

Meresha: Thanks. David Rousseau, who directed the “New Revolution” video, has an amazing story.  He has worked with Pitbull, Shakira and many others.  He was nominated five times for MTV VMAs.

Before I reached out to him, I read about him in the Washington Times.  As a kid, he used to sit on a car outside the Orange Bowl and listen to concerts that he couldn’t afford to go to.  He would visualize in his head what the music looked like.  That’s how he starting building his skills as a Director.


I knew how to paint a sonic picture with my music, but needed a partner who could convey the music in visuals. After reading that article, I knew David would be the right guy.  We guessed what his email address might be.  To our great surprise, he personally replied. Connecting was the hard part.  Once we started talking it was clear that we shared a vision on how to get my first major video out.  David was really easy to work with.  He and his team were very professional and got all the shots in during one (long) day.  He even organized that the torrential rain start only the second after he yelled “cut” on the last take…


[youtube] How did you develop your amazing voice and diverse musical talents? What do you take from your musical influences?


Meresha: Thanks.  That’s very kind.
Some of the early concerts I went to were with Paramore before they were really famous.  Between those experiences and seeing the Black Eyed Peas live, I got the idea of what I really wanted to do – make and perform my own music. I’m a huge music fan myself and have a bunch of Led Zeppelin, Queen and other LPs and CDs in my collection.  Someone called me the musical baby of Joss Stone and Björk.  That’s a lot to live up to.


I’ve been performing for about 7 years now.  When I was twelve, I composed my first song called “Fool Don’t Be”, which I recorded in a CD booth in Miami.  People who heard it encouraged me to further develop my music. Guess the lesson is to just try.  You’re then forced to learn the things you don’t know to get things done without embarrassing yourself.  Luckily along the way I’ve found a bunch of great teachers – for voice, guitar, drums, keys, dance, acting, etc.


I also learned music production myself by playing with what essentially is a recording studio in a software program. That let me put out my own original music to iTunes, etc. for the first time ever. I’ve been working hard at getting the music better since.  It’s great that my music has developed the point that radio stations are playing it, but it is still a thrill and surprise to hear my songs being played. What is your favorite song off of the New Revolution EP? Tell us about it.


Meresha: All the songs on the EP, mean a lot to me but probably “You” is my favorite.  It is the first love song I’ve written.  It’s not autobiographical, but I think people can relate.  The heroes of the song love each other, but neither knows what the other thinks until the end. You have a major hit indie song at 18. What does the follow-up to New Revolution look like (or should we say sound like)?


Meresha: Short term, I’m still focused on New Revolution. Most people still haven’t heard it or the other songs on my EP. A Remix EP will be out in about a week. 300 Producers submitted remixes and I selected some new takes on the song “New Revolution” to put out. Next year, I’ll have new material out, but I haven’t decided yet in what form.  The good thing about being an Indie is that I can follow the sound that inspires me.  Then I just have to hope others like it too. What would you like the world to know about you


Meresha: That I really appreciate any support. I’m an Indie.  That means I don’t have an army of label staff around the world to get my music out.  Every time someone watches my videos, clicks like, shares, comments, Shazams, etc. they are helping me.  Without this army engaging with my music, I can’t compete with label artists.  Main message – if you like an artist – let them and the world know. Are you performing live in support of the EP? If so, where can we see you?


Meresha: My band is in rehearsals right now.  Nov. 21 we will be playing in front of a studio audience on Cape Cod TV, then on Dec. 12 we will play with Adam Lambert and Third Eye Blind in Boca Raton, Florida. That’s a hometown show for me, and I’m trying to get a loud crowd out for it.


Let’s make it happen – you can see Meresha at the 2015 No Snow Ball, Saturday December 12th, at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca Raton.   
Sun Falling over Sydney: Meet Elstow

Sun Falling over Sydney: Meet Elstow

Drunken Mermaid caught up with Sydney’s finest, Elstow, immediately out front of their November 7 Oxford Art Factory gig. Elstow is Jared Shaw, Chel Browne, Toby Shaw, Brian Page and Rebecca Chandler. How did Elstow come about?

JARED: Chel and I started playing old folk songs together as a duo in 2012, like Judy Collins covers and Peter, Paul and Mary stuff. We were also writing songs at that point and were lucky enough to play a couple of sets at Peats Ridge Music Festival just outside of Sydney, which was a huge deal for us. We asked my brother Toby and friend Brian to join us for that, and then in the following year asked another friend Bec to play with us as well. That expanding was a pretty natural process – what happened when we all started playing together just felt bigger and better than what we’d been doing on our own. How did you come up with the name Elstow?

JARED: Elstow is actually the name of the building Chel and I live in. It’s a big old beautiful Victorian-era home that’s been sliced up into apartments. We just liked the sound of it I guess, and it’s where it all started so it seemed appropriate. You’ve recently released your debut EP As the Sun Falls, how did you go about recording it? Who produced it?

JARED: We were recorded by our good friend Benjamin Wickstein, who Toby and Bec play with in the band Aether Beach. We co-produced it with him and recorded different parts in different places. Most of it, though, was recorded in his dungeon… a dark and dingy little basement in Enmore [Sydney]. How do you and Chel go about writing songs together? Is there a process?

JARED: I’m not sure we really have a definite process at this point. Our EP is made up of a few songs we wrote together as a duo, and then a couple that were written independent of each other. And then when we jammed on them as a band they started to evolve again. This is my favourite part of the progression. Its always exciting to see how it will end up when we come together and put our minds to it. What’s your favourite song off your debut EP “As the Sun Falls?”

JARED: Well I think Elderflower Bloom is definitely my favourite. Chel wrote it a long time ago – it was one of the earliest songs we used to play as a duet. It evolved when we started playing as a band and recorded it for the EP. The day we got together and played it like that for the first time was pretty special. I think that was the moment I realized we had something good going on. Who are your main influences?

JARED: Our song-writing influences range from the sixties folk of Jimmy Spheeris and Simon & Garfunkel to the West Coast psychedelic sounds of Jefferson Airplane and the Peanunt Butter Conspiracy. There’s also a definite 90s neo-psychedelic flavour as well. Bands like Brian Jonestown Massacre and Mazzy Star definitely had a huge effect on our sound around the time we recorded the EP. And there’s no doubt Radiohead have had a huge affect on all of us as well. I know I’ve recently fallen in love with their earlier albums all over again. What do you think Elstow is doing that sets you apart?

JARED: I think if Elstow has anything unique to offer it might be an accessibility. I’d like to think that we’ve got a little something for everyone, be it the softer acoustic sounds or the more driven and dynamic stuff. We have a good blend I think. Not that we’re the only ones blending those styles, of course, but I think we’re starting to feel our own sound is coming about. What’s one of your favourite songs or albums and why?

JARED: One of our favourite songs, which we’ve been covering live for a while now, is Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit. It’s got such a great groove to it and amazing lyrical content, not to mention an interesting chord progression. That’s probably one of my favourite aspects of psychedelic music, how the use of unusual chord progressions can create such an eerie or strange mood, like Syd Barrett’s songs. Where to next? What does the future have in store for Elstow?

JARED: We have quite a few new songs written and we’re really keen to start recording our next single in the coming weeks. If all goes well we want to have it out by the end of the year. And with a video! Where can we see you play live in the near future?

JARED: We’re playing the A&R Department’s 50th Music Makers Club on the 7th November at Oxford Art Factory. The line up includes some great acts like Harts, King Colour and Battleships. Will be huge!

No doubt – you can follow (and like) Elstow on facebook.

Hannah Judson and Zeb Achonu launch MUSEFest

Hannah Judson and Zeb Achonu launch MUSEFest

Drunken Mermaid has been itching to get a feature on Hannah Judson onto the site, and with the arrival of MUSEFest, the perfect opportunity has presented itself… How did MUSEFest come to be?

Hannah: MUSEfest came out of a conversation with Zeb Achonu, about women who become mothers while continuing to produce and perform. Zeb had created a Facebook group for mothers in bands, and we decided we should make a music festival for the group. We began thinking about artists who have inspired us personally to create and continue doing our thing, throughout the arch of our lives, not just right now. We realized that the festival mission needed to expand to women who inspire other women, including but not limited to mothers. We both have varied taste in music, and the festival is not focused on a particular style, but more on intensity, polish, and strength of message and performance.

Zeb: The Mothers Make Music Facebook group had come about from me finding a statistic saying that “The PRS for Music membership (writers and music creators) is currently only 14% women” (statistic from PRS for Music). That’s a shocking statistic, really. Why are there so few women writing and creating? And of that how many of them are mothers, which is just one of many varied reasons that women become less available to create music. Along with the usual conversations about a male dominated music business, it became even more important to celebrate and encourage women who do create music and are working in the music industry. Who are the performers? What can you tell us about them?

Hannah: The headlining performer is Miss Baby Sol, from London. She is a powerhouse, smart and beautiful, taps into historical music moments, and reworks it to make it completely her own. She also has a message to listen to. She is known for her past work with J’nay, Paloma Faith, and Amy Winehouse, but it’s her present work that we should be talking about. Her work is tinged with soul, jazz and reggae, and is completely, currently, her own.

Here’s a taste of Miss Baby Sol:


Hannah: Also performing is Ösp Eldjárn, and Icelandic singer/songwriter. She is great! She grew up performing with her family in a traditional folk musical act, and then with brothers and friends in folk/Americana/blue grass lineup before moving to London. Her work is inspired by the vocals of Ella Fitzgerald, the stories of Joni Mitchell. Now she is writing and performing her own etherial and atmospheric folk.

A few others will be performing that night, including me. My work is alternative folk, with sometimes sultry and very original lyrics. The texts are subtle, evocative and tell stories influenced from both sides of the Atlantic. I work with one foot rooted in folk storytelling tradition like Leonard Cohen or Bob Dylan. My vocals have been compared with Suzanne Vega, Elliott Smith, and Cat Power.

For those of you who don’t know Hannah, she’s like the distilled essence of XPN out of Philly:


Hannah: There will also be an art exhibition before the show, a speaker, various exhibitors and the evening concludes with a DJ. It will be a full, fun evening. What have been your biggest obstacles to making MUSEFest happen?

Hannah: Getting started has not being easy, as we are building this on an extremely limited budget, across time zones, with no history to show as we are speaking with potential partners and performers. The thing that has kept us going is how much enthusiasm we have received from artists and supporters a like, for this festival. The theme really strikes a chord, is positive and is all about moving forward, remaining in dialogue and of course entertaining those who like the music! What do you see it becoming in the future? Where would you like to take it?

Hannah: We will be producing the next MUSEfest in Paris in the spring of 2015. The second edition is beginning to take form already and looks like it will be a bit larger in scope. After that, New York or Chicago are the next logical steps, but we will always loop back around to London.

Zeb: I’d like to see MUSEfest become a major contributor to increasing the visibility of women making music, something that sparks conversation and encourages women working in and around music to continue doing so, and others to restart, or begin. Tell us about yourself – what got you into music? When did you begin to perform?

Hannah: I lived in Spain for a few years after university, studied classical guitar, and began writing songs then. When I moved to Chicago, I immediately got an electric guitar, amp and pulled a band together. I have had bands or musical projects ever since. My creative influences are varied, and my work has been deeply influenced by Lou Reed, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen, Laurie Anderson, Liz Phair to name a few, but also artists, writers and designers too… Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Douglas Kennedy, Frank Gehry. When something shakes you from the feet up, there’s something there, its part of the conversation. It doesn’t matter the medium.

Zeb: I grew up knowing I wanted to sing and make music. There was always a wide variety of music playing in my home as a child; reggae, folk, rhythm & blues, hi-life, soul divas, classical… and when I could choose, I got into indie and rock, before finding hip hop and trip hop. I joined a few bands, specifically the live set up of Euphonic, who I toured Europe with in my early 20s, then when that ended I started working on a solo project with Euphonic producer Rob Henry, put together my own band and started playing gigs in and around London.  When I moved to Paris in 2009, I started the Paris branch of internet music show, Balcony TV, and spent all my time promoting other artists. I really missed making my own music and working with my guitarist Oli Thompson. I moved back to London and started doing a few acoustic shows, joined a choir, just found pleasure in singing again. Having my son forced me to take some time out and consider what I wanted to do next. So, happily, I’m now back making music, actually working mostly with a producer I know in Paris, but really enjoying being both a mother and a musician and finding the balance and synergy in those two things. I’m not saying it isn’t exhausting though! Tell us about the charity White Ribbon Alliance.

Hannah: A percentage of proceeds of the event will go to the White Ribbon Alliance. They are an amazingly effective organization with the basic goal of healthy birth for all women and children, everywhere. Much of their work is focused in Africa and Asia, but the overarching goal is to bring education, resources, systems and care to people who need it most. This charity is so well run, with a profoundly low overhead. We are going to show some videos from their work at the event as well. Childbirth is such a fundamental topic. Everybody either is a mother, or has one. We should take care of mothers! Who are your major influences? What do you take from them? What do you add or do differently?

Zeb: The obvious, corniest, but truest answer is my Mum. She is always on the go, starting new exciting projects, encouraging others to do the same and finding herself frustrated at her own or others’ missed opportunities. I remember doing gigs with very few people in the audience and really not feeling like dressing up and giving it my all, and she would remind me that those people came, they deserve the best you can give. And she is right. So on goes the face, and the sparkle, because you just never know who or what may come of it. Musically, there are many influences; Ella Fitzgerald for her voice, Madonna for her business savvy and performance, PJ Harvey for her incredible music and ability to reinvent but stay true to her own sound, Jill Scott, for her consistently incredible vocals and songs, and for me, Martina Topley-Bird. When I first heard her voice on a Tricky track I was mesmerised. Here was a young, mixed race woman, singing in a somewhat bluesy manner, but with a very modern edge, over electronic, sample based beats… it was combining everything I was into at the time, still am, and it was like I was being told “yes it’s true, you can make the music you feel”. That was huge for me. What are your best and worst experiences to date?

Zeb: I have been lucky enough to play in some amazing places, but it was Malawi, at the Lake of Stars festival that I have my fondest memories. I travelled through parts of Africa with a bunch of musicians and DJs I hadn’t known before and loved every minute, partying wherever we stopped. All the way to the festival. Which was great because everyone was so supportive and made sure that we all caught each other’s sets and there was a genuine good music good people vibe about the whole thing. Worst experiences…? Oh gosh, I’m sure there are many but I try to blank them out! How can we get more information about the festival?

Saturday Nov. 29, 2014
Hackney Attic
270 Mare St
+44 871 902 5734
Buy tickets here.

EOTO Outer Orbit Tour

EOTO Outer Orbit Tour

Drunken Mermaid will be interviewing EOTO live on Friday, December 5 courtesy our friends at Tsunami. Here’s their press release:

EOTO is kicking off the second leg of their Outer Orbit Tour on Nov 21st.

With over 600 live shows under their belt, EOTO’s unique live approach to EDM has allowed them the freedom to perform with drummers of Stomp, members of String Cheese Incident, members of Umphrey’s McGee, Stanley Jordan, Dominic Lali (Big Gigantic), David Satori & Sidecar Tommy (Beats Antique), Billy Kreutzman, Vinx, Toni Childs, Karsh Kale, Jamie Janover, Steve Kimock, Jamie Shields (New Deal), and Adam Deitch (Lettuce) just to name a few.

EOTO has recieved dozens of awards and accolades for their live production including “Best Live Dubstep” at the Dubstep Awards in 2012, “Top 50 bands to see live” and most recently voted “Best Late Night Show” at III Point Festival in New York City, by Societe Perrier.

EOTO is the rhythm section for the underground sensation, String Cheese Incident. While they don’t like to talk about SCI in this configuration, this is a band who has performed with such legendary talent as James Brown and have performed in front of hundreds of stadium sized audiences and sold out crowds. Their talent is undeniable.

Not just a haphazard foray into experimental EDM music, the duo starts their musical adventure from scratch (there are no pre-recorded loops, no backing tracks, and no pre-constructed songs in their live production) building each set, note-by-note, beat by beat, live before the audience as each show explodes into a full-scale dance party. EOTO just announced new additions to their award winning light show and visuals as part of the fall tour.


31-Oct Suwannee Hulaween 2014 Live Oak, FL
20-Nov The Westcott Theater Syracuse, NY
21-Nov Stage 48 New York, NY
22-Nov Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
28-Nov Winstons San Diego, CA
29-Nov El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA
4-Dec Arcata Theater Lounge Arcata, CA
5-Dec The Independent San Francisco, CA
6-Dec Cargo Reno, NV
10-Dec Parish Austin, TX
11-Dec The Conservatory Oklahoma City, OK
12-Dec Granada Theater Lawrence, KS
13-Dec Ogden Theatre Denver, CO

We Are The Catalyst featuring Kenny Boufadene and Cat Fey

We Are The Catalyst featuring Kenny Boufadene and Cat Fey

Watc_3_april14_mediumScandanavia – in particularly Sweden – is an awesome source of up and coming talent, especially in Drunken Mermaid’s favorite vein…metal. We’ve featured Pound, Red Nova, and now, thanks to Stuart at One Night Stand Management – We Are the Catalyst! Their new Album, Monuments, releases October 1. Here’s Fight for Air:

[youtube] Tell us about yourselves – how did We Are The Catalyst form? How did you choose your name?

Kenny: We Are The Catalyst was formed in Varberg, Sweden, by Cat Fey and Kenny Boufadene in November of 2012. After several years of touring and releasing albums as members of the Swedish Modern Metal act One Without, (In which we toured with bands like Dead By April, Katatonia and Evergrey, and were signed to Lifeforce Records and released two albums) we both felt the need to do something different from what we had previously done both musically and ideologicallym hence “We Are The Catalyst”

The meaning of the band name is simply that if you want something to change, you have to start that change yourself, being the catalyst.

When we started to write songs for WATC we quickly realized how easy it was for us to work together only the two of us in the studio, me making the foundation of the songs with the music, and then having Cat bringing in the vocals, then working together to polish the songs as much as possible, and not being satisfied until they felt really special and worked through. We had not worked this much in detail before in any other band we were in, and looking back I feel that we maybe hurried the songwriting to much in our old bands, and had to many people involved in the writing. Working just the two of us has been so much easier in the end, and I already look forward to writing our next album.

When we write songs we mainly just work directly in the studio and try out tons of ideas on the songs before making the final cut, and it has been a great start for us, as is evident in “Monuments”. What is your favorite album?

Kenny: Bring Me The Horizon’s “Sempiternal” – because it has such a raw energy as well as having a very produced sound. It doesn´t hurt that there´s an ominous sound to the songs as well as an epic atmosphere, and a “Pop meets Metal”-vibe to it . I often get tired of albums pretty quickly, but this album I have been listening to almost constantly since it was released. I just can´t go many days without hearing “Can You Feel My Heart” or “Shadow Moses”.

They really deserve all the success they get! Who are your major influences? What do you take from them? What do you add or do differently?

Kenny: Tons of influences! Many of them subtle in our sound, some of them you might hear more, not going to say which is which because I honestly don´t know! But some of the big ones are bands that I grew up listening to, like Linkin Park, 30 Seconds To Mars, In Flames, Katatonia, Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and Kent.

Others are more recent additions, like Bring Me The Horizon, Paramore, Skrillex, Ellie Goulding and many more. I learn something from all of them and conciously or unconciously add that influence to our songs. I also get very inspired and influenced by movie scores, as I feel that there are so much potential and story telling in that kind of “background music”. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by you?

Kenny: “Can You Feel My Heart” by Bring Me The Horizon, It would probably sound the same as I wouldn´t want to change a thing! Seriously one of the best songs ever written. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your music?

Kenny: We have started writing a few new songs the last couple of weeks (as we are always writing songs, not just when working on an album) and currently I have been in a kind of dark mood, making the songs more ominous than the ones on “Monuments”. Some of them have also become more heavy, more “Metal” in a way, and more serious in the feel, so will be interesting to see how they turn out in the end and if they make the next album or not. I don´t think we want to be too dark in the end, but there certainly is a lot of those songs being written by us at the moment. Are you signed to a label? Are you looking for a label or artist’s representation?

Kenny: We are currently talking to several labels, as we have been getting quite a lot of bigger label interest with “Monuments”, but I really can´t say any more at the moment. As for representation we are working with One Night Stand Management in the UK and Chris Bianchi (Mercenary Management/CB Entertainment) in the US. What would you like your fans/audience to know about you?

Kenny: Aside from the music, my biggest interest is playing video games. Also, me and Cat are married and have a daughter. 🙂 Could be that´s why we work so well together! Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see you perform in the flesh?

Kenny: Intense! Where can we see you in the near future?

Kenny: We are currently booking tour dates for early 2015, but no dates are official yet! Keep your eyes out and your ears open!

We will, no doubt. In the meantime, check out more of We Are The Catalyst on their official website, facebook, and Twitter. You can see their video for “Tomorrow” on Drunken Mermaid’s facebook page.

Coming next: Basheba, Absynth Quintet, Gordon Duthie, Alec Morrison, and news from Brother Octopus!


And Introducing Caitlin LeBlanc!

And Introducing Caitlin LeBlanc!

We’re back with Battle of the Bands finalist 4 of 5 – Caitlin LeBlanc! As is the case of late, we’re late again – law school is killing our publication schedule. But we are coming down the home stretch, tonight with Caitlin and wrapping up next week (we promise!) with Joy Focus.

Caitlin is a 14 year-old singer/songwriter from Michigan who plays guitar, ukelele, mandolin, banjo, and piano. She began performing publicly at the age of 11 and this past July, she won the singing competition American 1 Teen Idol in Jackson, Michigan. Some 50 teens auditioned, and Caitin placed first out of ten finalists. Listen to her perform her original song “Move On” and you’ll know why:


Caitlin’s main influences are Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and her mother Mariah, who has always supported her in her goal of becoming a professional musician. “Move On” and “What We Could Be” are the first singles off of her debut album, releasing in 2014.

Until then, you can find her on facebook (at and YouTube ( Check her out and give her a like. You’ll be hearing more and more from her in the near future…

The Return Of Bill Madison! (and a quick contest update)

The Return Of Bill Madison! (and a quick contest update)

First, a quick update – we’ve had some MAJOR delays getting the contest entries up and we still have more to run.  Drunken Mermaid is grateful for everyone’s patience. We are also invoking the contest rules and revising the timeline as follows – all entries will run by October 25, 2013. Winner to be announced Monday, October 28 with award payout October 31, 2013.

Now, back to the good stuff – in the Summer of 2012, had the good fortune to “meet” Bill Madison via facebook.  Not only did Bill give us a great series of submissions, but he hooked us up with one of our first big industry partners – One Song World.

Bill sat out our last two competitions – but threw his hat in the ring for this one, which is awesome. Here’s Bill’s video entry, Desperate Wind, performed with his band, Them Fargo Brothers 


And here’s Just Pass On The Love, the title song of Bill’s new album–which is, of course, his favorite album to date:

You can keep up with Bill on facebook and at his web page, where you can hear his new song Can’t Stay Away written by his wife Nancy and his remake of one of his early songs, The Loner.


And We're Back with a Vengeance: Former champs, Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

And We're Back with a Vengeance: Former champs, Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

So August 2013 came and went in blur, and law school kind of kicked our publication schedule in the teeth – but the good the news is we’ve a got a glut of great contest submissions. The Battle of the Bands is now closed to entries, and we will resume running the finalists starting NOW.  What better way to challenge the awesome Red Nova, and what better way to come back, than with Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands? Those of you who’ve been with us know that they were the champions of our first 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands. We would LOVE to put them head to head with Missy and Chelsea (or better yet, on a double bill) somewhere down the road. For now, just consider them on the short list of “Bands that we will suck up to until we launch our record label” (2014 – its coming!). Without further ado, here’s their 2013 entry, Especially Your Mother:

It has been a very busy year for Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands, with over 150 shows from Canada to Austin, TX and New Orleans to Nashville in support of the latest release, “Muses and Bones.” Bright is rising through the ranks quickly and performed with the North Carolina Symphony in 2011 on an arrangement of her song “Toy Hammer,” at SXSW and Savannah Stopover in 2013 where she was highlighted by Savannah Now as one of the “Must See” acts, and will be featured as one of the On the Rise performers at FloydFest 2013. The group has an eclectic, haunting but yet whimsical, carnivalesque world folk sound. Singer/Songwriter Crystal Bright plays accordion, musical saw, concertina, piano, Taiko drum, adungu (Ugandan harp), and various others, leaving people captivated with her operatic & soulful vocals and virtuoso command of her exotic instruments. Together, the band “creates an uncommonly dignified circus sideshow or a melodramatic, gorgeous Eastern European street performance. Think Kate Bush with Tom Waits’ sense of humor, or maybe a Tim Burton film with the steampunk quotient maxed, alternating between reckless klezmer and enormous gothic ballads.” Who are your biggest influences these days?

Crystal Bright: Tom Waits, The Tiger Lilies, PJ Harvey, Lhasa de Sela, Yann Tiersen, The Gotan Project, Michael Nyman, Tori Amos, Flamenco, Children, Dreams It’s been about a year and a half since we last “spoke” –  which of your songs or albums is your favorite to date?

Crystal Bright: “Muses and Bones” is by far my favorite album so far. There was so much time and love put into it and it really encompasses all of my different sounds to date. What makes you unique?

Crystal Bright: I really play and write from my heart instead of trying to play a certain “genre.” I really love to collaborate with different kinds of artists, dancers, and performers. I am a crazy multi-tasker and love to play many different instruments from around the world.

If you need proof and Especially Your Mother didn’t do it for you, here’s Drowned Out that won the 2012 Spring battle:

[youtube=] What has been your biggest challenge/hurdle to date?

Crystal Bright: Keeping a steady line up of musicians that can go on tour with me constantly and still have jobs. It’s been pretty stable for a year now, which has been great! What has been your best experience to date?

Crystal Bright: There isn’t just one, but I really love all of the new friends that I’ve made from touring. It has been amazing. Also, playing with the NC Symphony on one of my songs was pretty amazing. When is your next song/album coming out? What can you tell us about it?

Crystal Bright: I will hopefully have an EP out by the end of 2013. Are you working on any videos?

Crystal Bright: There is a live DVD of one of our Cabaret shows being worked on right now, so can’t wait to see that! It involved silk aerials, acrobats, fire dancing, burlesque and a lot of other dance while the band played live.

We can’t wait! –

And we're underway! The 2013 Battle of the Bands opens with a Red (Super) Nova

And we're underway! The 2013 Battle of the Bands opens with a Red (Super) Nova

Happy August, everyone. From now until mid-September, Drunken Mermaid will be featuring a new band weekly as our 3rd virtual Battle of the Bands is underway.  We’ve got new talent and old favorites for you, including Crystal Bright, Bill Madison, and Joy Focus.  This go round we are kicking off with Swedish sensation Red Nova, featuring Pär Eriksson, Simon Hjortek, and Tobias Ohlsson. Red Nova describe themselves as “the band that makes your head explode. With small means the band delivers music of greater proportions and makes you constantly hunger for more.” How did Red Nova come to be?
The band was formed a sunny afternoon when sipping tea peacefully in a garden. When the beverages ran out, all members felt a sudden urge to play rock music. So we did.  Who are your biggest influences? Why?

Our biggest influences are Muse and Nirvana. Muse is simply superb and always gives you a performance out of this world, Nirvana is likewise and good if you feel like smashing stuff.  Which of your songs or albums is your favorite to date?

Our favourite song constantly changes, but the song we enter this competition with, called Appearances are Deceptive, is always a blast to play.

Let’s give it a listen:  What song by another artist do you wish you’d written? Why? What would your version sound like?

Panic Station by Muse. It´s simply the perfect song for every moment, whether your walking down a lonely street or need to wake up in the morning, it always make you feel groovy. Our version would probably feature a lot of whammy-guitar and tap dancing. What makes you unique?

We´re never afraid to stick out, and love changing our sound. We also have a big groove and harmonies that you don´t see that much in similar bands.  What has been your biggest challenge/hurdle to date?

We recently toured in Japan, and it was a big challenge getting our drummer Simon out of those sushi-places. That guy´s appetite just never ends.  What has been your best experience to date?

Playing the Peace & Love Festival and touring in Japan and the Philippines. All those places rocked so much.  When is your next song/album coming out? What can you tell us about it?

We recently released our debut album “Sharp Colours And A Taste Of Dust” recorded in co-operation with producer Henrik Edenhed who has also worked with acts such as Robyn, The Sounds, Jordin Sparks and others.  We´re still busy touring with the material, but we´re simultaneously working on the next record, which we have a lot of ideas for. It´s gonna be a mixture between the sound of a broken synthesizer and a dragon swallowing six guitars.  Are you working on any videos?

Absolutely! The video for the song we´re competing with will be released soon. It will include revolvers, shaved legs and quite a few pillows…  Where can we see you live? 

We play at the festival Rockstad Falun this summer, and we´ll also do a tour in Germany by the end of August. We´re super-turbo-mega excited about both!

Awesome stuff. We recommend checking out both. If you can’t make either, you can always catch up with Red Nova at their facebook page. – Drunken Mermaid

Our Other Favourite Creature from the Deep: Brother Octopus!

Our Other Favourite Creature from the Deep: Brother Octopus!

Brother OctopusWay back in August of last year, we at Drunken Mermaid became sober enough to realize there was something else interesting lurking in the depths, something lurking in that OTHER pond on the left coast of North America, where Drunken Mermaid gets far too infrequently, given our penchant for washing up on Cape Ann, or heading up the Thames for a pint or twelve. That “something else” has since emerged from the Pacific Ocean and is taking over Edmonton, much in the same way as Godzilla owns Tokyo, albeit with electronic riffs and plush octopods rather than pyrotechnics. We give you 2013 Edmonton Music Award Nominee BROTHER OCTOPUS! Where did the concept for Brother Octopus emerge from (other than the deep)?

Brother Octopus: Under the depths of the Pacific Ocean, it can become quite dark and lonely at times. Luckily for me, a “human” from above decided to drop a guitar into the ocean which had sank down to where I resided. I picked up the guitar and played it to my hearts delight, eventually I learned how to play the drums and keyboard. The name Brother Octopus began to take it’s place through the voices of my friends. Lady Friend had loved my name so much that we decided to stick with it as our band-name. Tell us about yourselves – who are Brother Octopus and Lady Friend in the real world (whatever that is)?

Brother Octopus: The real world is boring. I’m half man, half octopus currently living in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. Canada. The only real thing here is the snow and it gets cold!

Lady Friend: I would prefer not to state my real name since I’m a wanted woman for stealing a chocolate bar in my early ages. If it wasn’t for Brother Octopus, I’d still be serving time in jail for life! I owe him the world but all I can offer him is my vocal and tambourine skills which I put to good use on Tentacle Trauma. You recently released your first full length album, the 7-track Tentacle Trauma.  What went into its creation? 

Brother Octopus: It’s actually a 6-track EP since the 7th track is a hidden bonus track (thanks a lot Drunken Mermaid!). We incorporated plenty of silliness into this album including songs about Jurassic Park, Animals and even Aliens. We like to write songs out of the ordinary but with serious intentions. It’s meant to make you laugh and enjoy the overall track at the same time so I think Tentacle Trauma nailed the tail on the donkey. How does it differ from your debut EP, Yukilo?

Brother Octopus: Well, Yukilo was the first album we’ve ever released and so it will always be dear to my heart. Since it only had 3 full tracks on the album, I think that Yukilo was considered more of a sampler album – a taste of what’s to come and Tentacle Trauma is the icing on the cake. However, the cherry on the top is yet to come. What are your favorite tracks to date?

Brother Octopus: Underwater Mysteries from Yukilo

Lady Friend: Recreational Zoo from Tentacle Trauma

While we’re at it, here’s the video for Recreational Zoo:

[youtube] Who are your influences? What do you take from them? What do you add?

Brother Octopus: For me, I’d have to say The XX and King Cobb Steely are my main influences for Brother Octopus. I love the elements that The XX brings into their sound and we have the boy/girl vocals in common with them. King Cobb Steely just has that cool electronic vibe to his tracks and so we incorporated that to our music and added some playful lyrics.

Lady Friend: Daft Punk, definitely. I’ve always been a fan of the electronic sounds of Daft Punk and I’m happy to be in a band that can bring in some of that awesome sound. Chemical Brothers is also a favourite of mine. Good stuff. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by Brother Octopus?

Brother Octopus: Lately, I’ve been digging that Tegan & Sara song called Closer but I’m sure if Brother Octopus wrote it, it would become to be a song about Robots for some reason. I like Robots. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your unique brand of music?

Brother Octopus: We are already working on a full-length album which will be entitled Sea Of Champions and is due for release in late 2013. I’d like to get our music into a comedy film or commercial. It seems to be the most prominent way of receiving exposure. However, with so many artists to choose from, I’m sure we’re just a drop in the ocean (see what I did there?). Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see Brother Octopus in the flesh?

Lady Friend: Brother Octopus insists on always bringing a plush toy of an Octopus to EVERY show and sometimes throws toy tentacles around on stage. It’s really a sight to see. I’m usually the one in the background trying to avoid the soaring tentacles, I’d like to keep my eyes intact.

Brother Octopus: I like to have fun on stage! I wear my bright red top hat and octopus ties. I mean, we’re already singing about silly things, why not dress silly as well? That said, where can we see you in the near future?

Brother Octopus: Although, we’ve only been touring around in the province of Alberta, we’d like to expand our tours not only within Canada, but to the US as well. You can always keep up to date with our shows by liking our facebook page and following us on twitter.

Drunken Mermaid suggests you do, while we wait for their immanent victory in the 2013 Edmonton Music Awards.