Posts tagged New Signing
NEW SIGNING: COURTNEY HARTMAN

We’re so thrilled to welcome the multi-talented Colorado-based singer-songwriter Courtney Hartman to the Maximal Music Sync roster!

With her stunning new release, Ready Reckoner, out as of June 14th, Courtney Hartman provides the listener with a conduit for self-exploration—a factor that fulfills one of her greatest hopes in sharing the album with the world. “If you listen to any of these songs and step away feeling lifted or carried to a different place, that is a real and true honor,” she says. Born from purposeful self-examination, Ready Reckoner finds Hartman taking the helm as producer transforming her most private ruminations into songs both bracingly intimate and magnificently vast. In that process, the Loveland, Colorado-based artist worked in collaboration with co-producer Shahzad Ismaily (a multi-instrumentalist known for his work with Lou Reed and Tom Waits) and assembled a close-knit community of musicians, including guest appearances from Anais Mitchell and Bill Frisell. Recorded mainly at Figure8 in Brooklyn and mixed by Tucker Martine (Neko Case, My Morning Jacket), Ready Reckoner unfolds in extraordinarily detailed textures, a nuanced yet wholly unpredictable sound equally given to moments of hushed simplicity, improvisatory freedom, and flashes of symphonic splendor.

Hartman’s finely-honed musicality has firm roots in her upbringing, which included taking up violin at three, learning to play guitar at 11, and writing her first song at 12. She spent much of her childhood immersed in the bluegrass world, a factor that eventually led to her seven-year stint in Grammy-nominated band Della Mae. During her time with the band, Hartman also released a collaboration album with Robert Ellis (2017’s Dear John) and another with Taylor Ashton (2018’s Been on Your Side).


NEW SIGNING: CHRIS STAPLES

We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome songwriter and musician Chris Staples to the Maximal Music Sync roster!

Chris Staples is a Seattle based multi-instrumentalist and song maker. His songs are narratives that are plainspoken and universal, with simple, disarming arrangements and delicate melodies that seemed to float on air. His music has been featured on NPR Music, Paste Magazine, American Songwriter, and Apple Music. 


NEW SIGNING: SHY BEAST

Maximal Music Sync is ecstatic to welcome Austin-based indie-pop outfit Shy Beast to our roster!

Shy Beast is undeniably Austin, with a strong following of fans, but the band is not bound by geography or genre—the appeal is universal, while all their own. This tight-knit group evolved organically, with deep connections to one another and to the local music scene. Shy Beast is made up of Mariclaire “MC” Glaeser (lead vocals, synth), David Tenczar (guitar, backing vocals, synth), Jay Cesak (bass), and Drew Silverman (drums). All have collaborated in different iterations before joining MC in Shy Beast. Newest member, Taylor Wilkins (lead guitar), joined the group after the band finished recording their forthcoming album, Shy ‘Til You Die, which is due out May 30th, 2019.

MC’s mature, feminine vocals belie the vulnerability she confronts in her honest, straightforward songwriting and the refreshingly playful charisma she exudes on stage. This demure beauty breaks free all insecurity—jiving behind the keyboard, breaking into Byrne-esque dance moves, miming her passions and pain, and belting out choruses in a swell of certain strength. With inspiration ranging from The Cardigans to Burt Bacharach, MC says her ultimate goal in writing songs is to “make people feel something similar to my experience, and also get them to move.”

NEW SIGNING: HAYBABY

Maximal Music Sync is super psyched to welcome Brooklyn-based indie rockers Haybaby to our roster!

Haybaby is a very good band from Brooklyn, NY, that makes music for human beings. It is post-90s pre-death sometimes loud sometimes less so music for flipping out or being sad to, or you can put it on while driving past a big empty field and feeling a way about yourself. Vice's Noisey called Haybaby's 2015 LP Sleepy Kids "everything you love about grunge, punk, art rock, indie rock, and riot grrrl rolled into one", and The Fader called follow-up EP Blood Harvest "visceral and nearly terrifying." Haybaby's sophomore LP They Get There is due out in June 2019 via Tiny Engines; it's a record about encountering loss and reckoning with legacies of harm both public and personal. They Get There expands on the band's already broad sonic palette, maneuvering between demolishingly huge and delicately small passages with lush layers and an intimate understanding of the power every note can hold. 

NEW SIGNING: JENN MUNDIA

We are thrilled to welcome acoustic soul singer-songwriter Jenn Mundia to the Maximal Music Sync roster!

Jenn Mundia is a Brooklyn based singer-songwriter with Kenyan roots and a southern upbringing. Her raw and honest vocal has carried her storytelling in albums that will take you from a New York paradise all the way to the point of flipping a coin to decide whether or not to stay in a relationship. As a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Mundia found herself working on the production and engineering side of the business right out of school. Thankfully, she found her way back to the stage singing in her hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, where she recorded “Busy Heart”. Jenn eventually made her way to New York where she created “Heads or Tails” with Greg Seltzer, and she has not stopped writing since. Although the evolution of her sound is clear, you can always crawl inside the airy and vulnerable voice of this acoustic soul songstress and relive her stories as if they were your own.  Jenn’s passion outside of her original music is singing background vocals for local acts as well as on national TV. Most recently, you can see Jenn on the stage of Saturday Night Live supporting Kacey Musgraves. She has also made appearances singing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon behind Wallows and others, as well as Late Night Seth Meyers. Check out jennmundia.com to find Jenn singing her original music around New York, your city, and to stay update on TV appearances and placements.

NEW SIGNING: MATTHEW CONNOR

Maximal Music Sync is delighted to welcome the genre-melding Boston-based singer-songwriter Matthew Connor to our roster!

Matthew Connor is a crooner for the 21st century, writing heart-wrenching songs that combine the windswept ideals of classic American balladry with stark depictions of modern-day alienation. The Boston-based Connor has a haunting voice that conjures ghosts of past heartbreaks, and he pairs it with spectral guitars that recall country tearjerkers and alt-pop brooding. Connor, who also writes film scores, has proven himself adept at crafting intricately wrought mood music that grabs the most painful parts of his listeners’ souls, then soothes those wounds with his knowing lyrics and evocative voice.

NEW SIGNING: SLEEPY KITTY

Maximal Music Sync is super psyched to welcome St. Louis-based indie rockers Sleepy Kitty to our roster!

 With Paige Brubeck on vocals/guitar and Evan Sult (former Bound Stems and Harvey Danger) on drums/tapes, Sleepy Kitty makes what NYLON magazine describes as “rainbow-tinged indie pop." Distorted guitar layers and hooky vocals garner comparisons to Courtney Barnett and the Breeders, while Brooklyn Vegan describes them as “a grungier, more layered Best Coast.” The duo's garagey drums, engrossing melodies and layered harmonies create a sound derived as much from the Velvet Underground as from Gershwin. Both musicians are also designers and screenprinters, and the influence of Warhol and Rauschenberg doesn’t stop in their visual art – Sleepy Kitty's songs are often spiked with shards of French 60s yé-yé, jazz standards, and even deconstructed Beatles songs, making both their live sets and recordings a surprising audio pop-art collage.

NEW SIGNING: IYVES

Maximal Music Sync is so excited to welcome New York-based alternative R&B songstress Iyves to our roster!

You might best remember Iyves from her soulful 2014 debut single “Out of Touch”(premiered on Pigeons and Planes) or from her follow up, the glimmery stunner “Wilinout” (premiered on Noisey). However you best recall the alternative/electric R&B artist, she has left a lasting mark. Now she’s back and sounding bigger and better than ever. Songs like “Not Afraid to Fall” and “Palms” from her upcoming Chromatic EP stand as a message from Iyves; she is back and here to stay.

Hannah Taxman, best known by her stage moniker, Iyves, is a Colorado native, now based in New York. While undergoing a period of major life transitions— endings and new beginnings in relationships and with collaborators, changes in scenery— Iyves has been relentlessly pursuing and creating new music. This combination has resulted in the creation of her unique personal sound, as evidenced on her stunning debut EP, Chromatic.

A serendipitous meeting with REFS producer Zach Lipkins provided her with exactly the outlet she needed to realize the full potential of her sound, her “voice”. “Working with Zach was immediately comfortable, and familiar; yet I discovered so much new and unfamiliar things within myself. The experience made me unafraid to use my voice as a vehicle to tell my stories of pain as well as those of triumph.” This period in her life also exposed her to new contemporary influences like SZA, Solange, and NAO.

Iyves speaks often about her constant evolution and strong pursuit to develop her artistry. She recalls this fire within her since she was a young girl. She grew up in a musical home surrounded by instruments and relied on music as her main form of expression. The natural environment of her home in Boulder, Colorado, was extremely influential and impactful to her songwriting and craftsmanship.  The precision and ethereal vocal layers that build up the imagery and soundscape of her music are something that leave Iyves’s unique fingerprint on her creations. She draws from a myriad of natural and musical inspirations to develop her deep soulful vocals and R&B groove. “Soul music has always spoken to me,” she muses when asked about her major influences, ranging from the legends of soul to the timeless grit of southern blues. “If you respect those that come before you, you have more of an understanding of what modern music can be,” adds Iyves.

The result of her collaboration with Lipkins is a collection of songs detailing the competing emotions that one experiences at the end of a long-term relationship. From the impactful opener, “Pressure”, detailing the realization that a relationship is over, the listener is taken on a journey to the truthful closer, “Phantom”, which describes the discovery of a higher self-awareness. “When I was able to let loose and belt out the words, it was an extremely cathartic and spiritual experience for me. It was a release of emotions as well as a cleansing of what this period of my life had been for me.” It was just the tip of the iceburg, Iyves mentions— she is discovering a new sense and access point in her voice to drive the vehicle of her instrument.

The other tracks on the EP continue to represent a nuanced departure from traditional breakup songs, depicting the brutally honest and confusing emotions of the “transition” experience. The haunting title track, “Chromatic”, sonically balances layered vocals with powerful rhythms as an expression of one’s relationship coming to an end while also embracing the resultant, often frightening, yet exciting, revelations of self-discovery and an appreciation for new experiences. Iyves’ full vocal range can best be heard when she tackles her most cathartic song on the EP, “Let It Play”, which illustrates how she allowed herself to let a relationship go, and begin to move on. Songs like “Not Afraid to Fall” and “Palms” state that no matter what hardships and confusion come her way, she is clearly here to stay and persevere.

With this new release, Iyves has embraced themes of vulnerability and change. While she has been quiet on the scene, she has been working with a creative team that aligns with where she is currently as an artist. “I’m excited to tell my story on my terms. This is some of my most honest work to date, and it was important for me to step back and ask myself not only who I am, but who I am continuously becoming.”

Iyves’ powerful EP, Chromatic, is as much a forward-leaning memento of evolution and self-discovery as it is an ode to the legendary female vocalists of music’s past. It re-introduces Iyves to the music scene as an artist without compromise or artifice. “At the end of the day, you really only have yourself, and that is indeed enough,” she confidently concludes.

 

NEW SIGNING: MERCI RAINES

Maximal Music Sync is absolutely fired up about welcoming moody and mesmerizing pop singer and songwriter Merci Raines to our roster!

With a mood that mirrors her home state of Louisiana, Merci Raines writes pop songs with an undeniable dark side. She claims inspiration from all art forms, from Cabaret shows to Shel Silverstein. Her path to music started early, sitting in on her mother’s band rehearsals as a child, and even sometimes being pulled onto the stage herself when she could sneak into a show. Her educational pursuits eventually took centerstage as she studied psychology in college, but it wouldn’t be long before her focus was back on music. Between graduation, Merci decided to join a band and head 80 miles down the interstate to her hometown’s less conservative sister city, New Orleans.

It’s her first year living in New Orleans that she credits for her decision to pursue music full-time. Walking the city at dusk, she was inspired not only by the flood of classic jazz musicians and street performers, but the more alternative, modern acts as well. Merci was just beginning to get a feel for life on the road, playing shows from New Orleans to Austin, when her band unexpectedly decided to part ways. This lead to her teaming up with producers Chris Leon and Elliot Jacobson in Brooklyn, NY, where she would continue developing her sound and would go on to record her first single, “Moon City”. With spellbinding vocals, driving beats, and a sometimes cinematic flair, Merci Raines conjures the essence of a city best known for its eclectic character and mystique. Her songs range from ghostly and enigmatic to danceable exclamations of perseverance.

NEW SIGNING: CANDI STATON

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that four-time Grammy® Award-nominated singer and R&B legend Candi Staton is the newest addition to Maximal Music Sync’s roster!

Candi Staton has sweetly strutted between several musical genres over the course of her celebrated career. However, danceable music has always been her main groove, as her iconic tracks “Young Hearts Run Free” and the multi-platinum “You Got the Love” attest. The former is a liberating self-preservation anthem that peaked at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B Singles chart in 1976 (No. 2 on the UK Pop chart). The latter is an inspiring chant that has, through various remixes, hit the British Top 10 Pop Singles chart in 1991, 1997 and again in 2006 – an amazing feat. Staton has just released her 30th album, Unstoppable, a new retro R&B album out via Nashville’s Thirty Tigers label.

The Hanceville, Alabama native got her professional start as a teenager singing with The Jewel Gospel Trio that recorded for Nashboro Records and toured with Sam Cooke and Mahalia Jackson in the 1950s. Eventually, she launched her R&B career at Birmingham’s 27/28 Club, where she won a gig opening for R&B star Clarence Carter, who snagged her a record deal with Rick Hall’s Fame Records label in 1968. Over the next five years, she cut a string of Top Ten southern soul hits such as Grammy-nominated renditions of “Stand by Your Man” and “In the Ghetto.” Staton was crowned the First Lady of Southern Soul just as she was leaving Fame for Warner Bros. and tossed off her tiara to become a disco princess with smash club hits such as 1976’s million-seller “Young Hearts Run Free”, “Nights on Broadway”, “Honest I Do”, “Victim”, and “When You Wake Up Tomorrow.”

 By 1983, Staton had beaten an alcohol addiction, joined a church, and left Pop music. For the next two decades, she recorded gospel music exclusively, including the Top Ten Grammy-nominated projects, Make Me an Instrument (1983) and Sing A Song (1986) LPs. Her gospel classics include “Love Lifted Me,” “Mama,” “The First Face I Want to See,” and “Sin Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”

In 2004, Staton returned to the Pop music scene to promote Honest Jons’ Candi Staton compilation of her 1969-1973 Fame recordings. It sold over 100,000 units and reached the Pop charts in England, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and Germany. Since then, Staton has released two critically acclaimed Americana albums, His Hands (2006) and Who’s Hurting Now? (2009). The latter won the Academie du Jazz in Paris’s Best Soul CD of the year in 2010. In 2014, Staton released Life Happens, which debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Top Blues Albums chart and earned her appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The album boasted the radio hit “I Ain’t Easy to Love”, featuring Jason Isbell and John Paul White of The Civil Wars. Rolling Stone magazine hailed it as one of the 25 best country recordings of 2014

As 2018 closes, Staton is promoting her soulfully empowering, upbeat album of anthems, Unstoppable. The production was steered by Mark Nevers, who produced Staton’s critically acclaimed His Hands and Who’s Hurting Now? albums. Staton’s son, Marcus Williams, a seasoned drummer, co-produced the project.  “This is one of my favorite albums,” she confesses. “Even though we tackle some serious issues on it, it’s still upbeat and inspirational.”