erin mccarley promo photo

Tuesday Tunes – “I Can Be Somebody” by Erin McCarley

This announcement came as a pleasant and unexpected surprise. New music! I first heard Erin McCarley’s music in 2009 when Love, Save the Empty was released. I bought the CD at F.Y.E. (whoa!), played the heck out of it, and it became part of the soundtrack to my junior and senior years of high school.

In 2012, McCarley released the iTunes-exclusive My Stadium Electric, a departure from the stripped down songs of her debut albumMy Stadium Electric didn’t quite match Love, Save the Empty for me, but it’s definitely not a bad album and it deserved much more promotion from the record label than it received. More on that in this 2012 Huffington Post story.

With my curiosity piqued by the announcement; I wondered if McCarley new music would sound closer to her debut or sophomore album, or if it would be something entirely different. This new single is in the same vein of My Stadium Electric. It’s upbeat, catchy, and the motivational lyrics have been replaying in my head quite a bit for the past 24 hours. “I Can Be Somebody” is the pep talk I didn’t realize I needed.

“Busted heart and it’s pouring rain / I feel the world turning for a change / I’m ready, I’m ready for a better life / And the waves running through the sky / I will raise my voice and cry / Oh, I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready!”

Lyrics like these make me feel that McCarley is not only embracing a new direction after some setbacks, but that things are only getting bigger and better from here. It’s a healthy, empowering attitude, and I love it.

I’m ready to hear more.

For more on Erin McCarley: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube


Chris Cornell - promo - higher truth

Tuesday Tunes – “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” by Chris Cornell

The Soundgarden frontman is back in solo territory with his new single, “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart.” Produced by Brendan O’Brien, this is the first song on Cornell’s forthcoming album, Higher Truth, and it’s paired with an excellent lyric video by Josh Graham.

On the first listen, this song’s arrangement reminded me of Cornell’s first solo album, 1999’s Euphoria Morning, which was remastered and reissued earlier this month as Euphoria Mourning. In this Kerrang! interview, Cornell discusses his solo career and new album. What’s most interesting to me is that “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” originally began as a country song! How interesting is that? I’m always fascinated by the way songs evolve from their early demos to the finished product.


press photo by Jenn Five

Tuesday Tunes – “Giant Peach” by Wolf Alice

Today, I’m featuring a song from one of my favorite new(ish) bands, Wolf Alice. Hailing from London, England, members Ellie Rowsell, Theo Ellis, Joel Amey, and Joff Oddie have a sound that seamlessly blends rock, pop, folk, and other genres. I discovered Wolf Alice’s music in late 2013 when “Fluffy” played on my “Hole” Pandora station. I liked what I heard, but after hearing the Blush EP,  I was 100% sold.


promo photo

Tuesday Tunes – “Dyslexic Heart” by Paul Westerberg

After a mac ‘n cheese cook-off and fireworks show on July 4, I watched Singles, one of my favorite feel-good movies, with a relative who’d never seen it. I got inspired to watch the film again after seeing the Facebook event for a screening of Singles at the Seattle apartment where it was filmed, which ultimately did not happen (bummer). Since then, “Dyslexic Heart” has been stuck in my head on repeat. Usually I like to feature weightier songs, but hey, some Tuesdays call for catchy, upbeat tunes. Reminder to self – you can enjoy music that doesn’t punch you in the gut with its heaviness.


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Tuesday Tunes – “Parting Ways” by Pearl Jam

Lately, I’ve been listening quite a bit to Pearl Jam’s Binaural (2000). I feel it’s their most underappreciated album, and this week I’ve chosen my favorite track, “Parting Ways.” Several songs on the album use binaural recording techniques, which is the use of two microphones to create a “3D” sound. The band employed producer Tchad Blake to help create that sound and feel for Binaural. I’m really interested in binaural recording and every time I listen to this album, I uncover new sounds. Although “Parting Ways” does not use the binaural technique, it’s no less of a treat to listen to. Make sure you’ve got a good set of headphones for this one. It makes all the difference.


Field Report promo photo

Tuesday Tunes – “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” by Field Report

After a bit of a hiatus, Tuesday Tunes is back! For the two people wondering where I’ve been, my next post will explain.

Today’s tune is “I Am Not Waiting Anymore” from Field Report’s 2013 self-titled debut album. Like some songs I’ve previously featured, I feel that the accompanying music video directed by Manny Marquez greatly enhances the song. The video has beautiful cinematography, with a recurring “ocean/water” theme that reminds me someone reflecting on life, aging, and relationships. Enjoy this tune :-)

I have read between the lines / I have been wrong every time / It burned up on the altar but I am fine / I am not waiting anymore

For more on Field Report: Website | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

stone gossard

Tuesday Tunes – “Your Flames” by Stone Gossard

Stone Gossard is a founding member and guitarist of Pearl Jam. He has released two solo albums, Bayleaf (2001) and Moonlander (2013), both of which I feel are highly underappreciated. Although the studio version of “Your Flames” appears on Moonlander, this live version was recorded in 2008. Don’t tell Stone, but I like the live version a tad more. (It’s the vocal harmonies and that bass clarinet, guys.) But don’t get me wrong, the studio version is great, too. I’ve chosen to feature the live version today as I’ve listened to it on repeat while relaxing, studying, and writing papers. It’s so calming, and on top of that, it’s just a darn good song. Hope you enjoy!

You’ve got a light inside, so there’s no need to hide your flames.

Interview with Barry Privett of Carbon Leaf

Virginia-based band Carbon Leaf has been going strong for more than twenty years. The founding members met while attending Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia before relocating to Richmond, Virginia. Current members Barry Privett (lead vocals), Terry Clark (guitar/vocals), Carter Gravatt (guitar/vocals/various instruments), Jon Markel (bass), and Jason Neal (drums) are known for their energetic live shows and a sound that blends elements of folk, Celtic, and other musical styles. In August 2014, Carbon Leaf released Indian Summer Revisited, a tenth anniversary re-recording of their 2004 major label debut, Indian Summer. On March 20, 2015, the band played an excellent set at the Cat’s Cradle, which included a beautiful, completely unplugged performance of “One Prairie Outpost.” A few hours before the show, I sat down with Barry Privett to discuss the band’s decision to leave a major label, songwriting process, and contributions to save Sweet Briar College, among other things.



Tuesday Tunes – “Awakening” by Switchfoot

Have you ever associated a song so closely with its music video that it feels weird to listen to the song by itself? For me, Switchfoot’s “Awakening” is one of those songs.

This music video takes us back to 2007, when Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero were culturally significant games played at high school parties across America. Then again, maybe that was only my high school experience.


Janet Devlin, press photo by Rosie Hardy

Tuesday Tunes – “Suantraí Meisciuil” by Janet Devlin

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today’s tune is a new single from Janet Devlin, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland. Devlin rose to fame after appearing on The X Factor (UK) in 2011. Since then, she has released two albums, 2013’s Hide and Seek, which received a limited digital release through Pledge Music, and 2014’s Running with Scissors, which is available on iTunes and in stores.