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.

drunkenmermaid.com: “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…

 

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

 

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

 

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

 

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

 

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.   

Ontario Tag Team: Winston Marley and Trench Town Oddities release “Bonk”

In from The Alex Ian Agency, we are checking out Trench Town Oddities and Winston Marley (pictured above) following the release of “Bonk.” Here is some Trench Town Oddities by way of introduction:

Drunken Mermaid recommends both bands. Here’s the release:

Acoustic folk-rockers, the Trench Town Oddities and rock-reggae band Winston Marley have released a new split CD entitled `Bonk!` earlier this month. The Ontario Canada bands each contributed 2 new songs to the release as well as a cover version of their favorite song from the other band.

“Bonk!” marks a new chapter for both bands who, in the past, have both released CDs engineered by Roy Nichol (current touring drummer for Canadian rock legends April Wine). For “Bonk!”, both bands decided to take a more DIY approach and decided to record the EP themselves with Trench Town Oddities/Winston Marley guitarist Bix at the controls. The recording took place in the spring of 2015 at various houses, sheds and alleys, coming out as a rawer, more back to basics release for both bands. “Although both bands loved the way our CDs sounded with Roy, who is an amazing engineering, we both felt that a more back to basics approach for our next release would be something we’d like to explore” say Trench Town Oddities frontman Sean Harley. “So what better way to test the waters then by doing a split EP ourselves” he adds.

Both bands are currently writing new material for their respect next releases and performing select dates throughout the fall of 2015. In addition, the Trench Town Oddities are also in the planning stages with an as of now unnamed Toronto band for a spring tour of Ontario & Quebec as well as gearing up for the summer  2016 festival season in both the North Eastern United States and Eastern Canada.

`Bonk!` is available at all major online retailers including iTunes, Spotify, Bandcamp and others.

Ummagma’s “Frequency” drops November 13

Our friends at Shameless Promotion PR have turned us on to Ummagma. Here’s their video for Orion:

From the release:

Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma have confirmed details for the UK release of their EP ‘Frequency’. This mini-album will be available through Raphalite Records and is slated for release on November 13th. Alongside five original tracks, the EP features remixes from Cocteau Twins legend Robin Guthrie, Wales’ celebrated Lights That Change, and Malcolm Holmes of Orchestral Maneouvres in the Dark (OMD).
Ummagma consists of Shauna McLarnon, who hails from Canada’s Yukon, and Alexander Kretov, who is from Ukraine. They are currently based in Peterborough, Canada. Since bursting onto the music scene in 2012, they have made a significant impact on the underground music scene. Their potent combination of uplifting and melancholic textured dreampop, shoegaze, postpunk, ambient and electronica rapidly gained them a sizeable international following despite the numerous issues they faced living between Canada and Ukraine.
‘Frequency’ follows the band’s two debut LPs ‘Antigravity’ and‘Ummagma’, which were simultaneously released in 2012. This release represents a slight departure from the first two albums, which whisked the listener through the romanticism of first meetings, big love, adventures abroad and optimistic dreaming through to the realities of birth, loss, death and departure. In contrast, ‘Frequency’ explores such themes as space and distance, timelessness, escapism, and the search for tranquility.

Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma have blazed quite a trail for themselves in their short history. They’ve landed press coverage and radio play in more than 50 countries, including Rolling Stone Russia, and have managed to strike an endearing chord with a good number of ‘first wave’ shoegaze and dreampop artists, particularly from Creation Records and early 4AD rosters.

“Ummagma have something very special about them that you don’t find in many bands, that is an honest, believable & beautiful lyric delivered by an honest, believable & beautiful voice,” says Malcolm Holmes of OMD. “When you combine this with the swirling ambience of lush layered guitars, this duo end up with their own unique sonic landscape.” 

“This new release feels like a farewell kiss to a dear friend while, at the same time, embracing new horizons. Our music always reflects what is happening in our lives and, as we have left Ukraine for Canada because of the war happening there, this also means new beginnings. Now we are searching for new grounding, and still questioning everything we’ve just been through in the past few years. This comes out in this music. There is light here – now we must grow it and spread it,” explains Ummagma vocalist Shauna McLarnon.
While Ummagma may have been influenced by the likes of Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian, Peter Gabriel, The Sundays, Pink Floyd andSlowdive, they don’t immediately wear their influences on their sleeve. They have their own beautiful and unmistakeable sound and lead you on sonic trips and awesome detours. Ultimately they tell a story in an aesthetic that is wonderfully unique, invigorating and absolutely loaded with hope.

AND WE’RE BACK. That’s Right, Dear Readers – it’s Winters End!

Our Winter’s nap ran long this year at Drunken Mermaid, and we have a lot of catching up to do. Features to run. The reveal of our new YouTube brand channel. A status on our Drunken Mermaid IPA, still hiding away in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Our new features on models and indie film makers. But there is no better way to declare Winter’s end than to feature Winters End, the awesome brother- sister duo out of Sydney, Australia (Have you noticed that Sydney is like our favorite place for indie talent, outside of Sweden?)

We recently caught up with frontwoman Marissa Pinto from to talk about the band’s new single Mayfair, due for release in August.

drunkenmermaid.com: So our readers can get more of an idea about you, tell us about Winters End – where did your name come from?

Marissa: We’re Marissa and Christopher Pinto, brother and sister indie electronic band Winters End from Sydney, Australia. Our band name was chosen as I’m born in Winter and Christopher is born in Spring. Commonly mistaken for “Winter’s End,” our lack of apostrophe in our name is due to the band name being a collective term, as in ‘All winters end eventually’. Being from Australia, and avid board-riders, we’re used to hot weather, and so we really feel the lack of warmth in the cooler months of the year.

drunkenmermaid.com: You released Walls back in July 2014. The single had a big effect on your career and saw you play not one but two international music festival stages. Tell us about your time in Canada and Los Angeles. 

Marissa: Walls did quite well and received quite a bit of global exposure through the positive reviews it received from online blogs, as well as radio play in the US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, and Australia. This success resulted in us being invited to play at two music festivals: Indie Week Canada in Toronto, where we were lucky enough to play 5 showcases, and Youbloom Music Festival in Los Angeles. We had an amazing time at both festivals, and we look forward to returning to North America.

drunkenmermaid.com: That’s quite an adventure – most indie bands never get invited to one international festival, let alone two.

Marissa: We were quite taken aback, especially as we were the only Australian band at both festivals so it was quite incredible to be included and asked over. With more bands remaining independent in the current music industry climate, I think this is something that we will see happen more and more with time.

drunkenmermaid.com: Who are your major influences? What do you take away from them?

Marissa: Christopher and I both have varied tastes in music, ranging from trance music to psychedelia. Weirdly enough, Christopher and I were both inspired separately, and at different times, by the same song: Midnight Juggernauts’s Road To Recovery, to form a band, and so we did.

drunkenmermaid.com: We caught your Balcony TV performance of Waking Dream. It must have been amazing performing at such an iconic location. Can you tell us about it?

Marissa: It was amazing, and such a fun experience. Balcony TV is a wonderful platform for new and established artists to perform through, and really helps with global exposure due to its international spread. We were humbled to be included with such notable artists who have performed before us, some of whom we really look up to.

Without further ado, here’s Waking Dream:

drunkenmermaid.com: We heard in the Balcony TV shoot that you are releasing your new single, Mayfair, later this year. What can listeners expect from the track?

Marissa: Yes, we will be recording our next single Mayfair in July with producer Lachlan Mitchell (The Jezabels, The Whitlams, Phil Collins) at Jungle Studios in Sydney. The track is in its pre-production stages currently. Not to give too much away, Mayfair is a big sounding track. We’re looking forward to its release.

drunkenmermaid.com: What is your favourite original track to date?

Marissa: Mayfair is my favourite track. I like its anthemic and epic sound.  Christopher’s favourite track is a newer one of ours called Passenger, which is a tribute to the inner children in all of us.

drunkenmermaid.com: What would you like your fans to know about you?

Marissa: It’s always the same answer: Just how important our fans and audience are to us. They are the reason that we have succeeded as we have, and the reason we continue to do what we do. I guess of interest is that we both have professions outside of music. I am a midwife and Christopher is a high school teacher.

drunkenmermaid.com: Cheers then – that means you do three things that matter! 

You can watch the video for Walls on our Facebook page and follow them on the Winters End web page, Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

Can’t wait for Mayfair to drop. Stay tuned – got a winter’s worth of awesome stuff to post and it’s coming steady on staring this week!

AronChupa releases visuals for his smash I’m an Albatraoz

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends Stateside, and indeed to everyone – it’s a holiday we can all relate to. This year, rather than turkey – we give you an Albatraoz:

Jesse at Space Promotions has turned us onto Swedish sensation AronChupa, whose track I’m an Albatraoz has gone viral in Scandinavia and is beginning to infect the ROW like an insane, wonderful pandemic. Here’s the visuals and the official press release:

Swedish DJ/producer/songwriter Aron Ekberg – otherwise known as AronChupa – has unveiled the official music video for his smash hit single ‘I’m An Albatraoz’.  Aron had spent quite some time wanting to create music in English, so he asked his sister if she could sing on a track that he began producing. The result was “I’m An Albatraoz,” which exploded to #1 on Spotify in Sweden and topped the viral charts. “I think this is insane and unreal, but very, very fun,” says AronChupa on his success. “I will try to live in this moment as much as I can, because it could all be over tomorrow.”

Somehow, we doubt it will end that soon. This is going to go up and up like a rocket now that the BBC has picked it up, and soon the States…Look for Drunken Mermaid to interview AronChupa in early 2015.

Ikes unveils visuals for latest offering ‘No Commercial’

Drunken Mermaid will be interviewing Ikes in December/January. In the meantime, here’s his latest video and the press release courtesy our friends at Space Promotions…

Ikes returns to the UK scene with his hard hitting rap track ‘No Commercial’, produced by Freek van Workum (B.O.B ft Mila J ‘So What’ and Doe B ft T.I ‘Homicide’).

UK rapper Ikes has been gaining a lot of heat over in the states with his latest work. ‘No Commercial’ has impacted the US hip hop charts with top 20 entries on the Rapnetwork and Rap Attack charts as well as a host of press support including DJ Whoo Kid (who premiered the audio), Hip Hop Since 1987, The 65 Connection, AO! and many more!

Having been signed to Indie label Reignassance (ChipmunkRandom ImpulseWizzy Wow) and with a critically-acclaimed back catagloue of mix-tapes, features and EP’s, including the hit single ‘Girl Talk’ (Music Week PresentsBBC1Xtra), Ikes knows what it takes to make catchy and original UK hip hop.

Previous EP ‘The Intermission: Last Call’ gained IKES a lot of attention, with BBC 1Xtra supporting its lead single ‘Girl Talk’, featuring Jermaine Riley and Scorcher on their BBC Introducing podcast.

IKES received rave reviews for his ‘WarmUpSession’ on SB.TV, with SB.TV creator Jamal Edwards later picking it to be featured in one of the company’s Google Chrome adverts.

Off the back of a 5 date college tour in the states and making serious strides there, this Hackney boy is back in the UK with a new vigor and drive. Alongside a number of upcoming performances, including the influential SXSW festival in 2015, ‘No Commercial’ is the first of a series of new tracks coming and is a sign of things to come from Ikes.

Socials:
https://twitter.com/ikesonthereal
https://www.facebook.com/ikesmusic
http://lifeofikes.tumblr.com/
https://soundcloud.com/ikesmusic

www.spacepromotions.com

 

 

 

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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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].

 drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.

drunkenmermaid.com: 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!

drunkenmermaid.com: 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.