Triplets Electrify With Futuristic Soul

Since debuting as an electronic pop duo last September, Triplets has played to packed houses at Austin venues like Cheer Up Charlie’s, Empire Control Room, and the Mohawk. They’ve been featured in KUTX, gotten 51K plays on their biggest song on SoundCloud, and opened for electronic artists such as POMO. Combining future soul sounds with EDM, pop and trap music, and giving energetic, dance-oriented live shows, Triplets are poised to be Austin’s next breakout electronic act. Can we call them the American answer to AlunaGeorge? Catch an electrifying live set from this dance duo to find out.

We spoke with Triplets members Wangene Hall and Bradley Will to learn more about Austin’s hottest new duo.

Can you explain a little about your artistic background and what brought you each to Austin?

Bradley: Making music has been my passion since I was 13 years old. Though I have many interests, music is the only path I’ve ever considered pursuing. I’ve been playing in bands ever since. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s very rewarding. I arrived in Austin when my former band Holiday Mountain decided to relocate from Boston. Since the end of my time with the band I’ve become focused on writing and producing for other artists; something which allows me to scratch more of my musical itches in a way that being in a band often cannot. I’m very motivated by the possibilities of the recording medium and the worlds we’re able to create.

Wangene: Similarly, I’ve been singing and writing songs since a very young age. I’ve always been obsessed with music and melody, lyrics and narrative. Prior to Austin, I was living and working in NYC. Since Austin is the live music capital of the world, I wanted to come and see the scene for myself. The really vibrant, supportive creative community made me want to stay.

How did Triplets originate?

Wangene: We met at a haüs party where we discussed music and the universe. Pretty standard stuff. We kept seeing each other around town and when we finally got to hear each other’s music, it clicked. We kept making things from there.

Bradley: The spark for Triplets formed when Wangene and I met at the dinner party of some mutual friends. We exchanged music and kept in touch from there forward. One day she sent back three of my instrumentals with some really exciting vocal parts on top of them. I thought “Wow. There’s something really interesting here.” We’ve been writing and performing ever since.

Triplets experiments within so many genres, how would you describe your sound to someone seeing you live for the first time?

Bradley: Get ready for some future shit. We’re trying on all of the new techniques and seeing where we can take them. One thing’s for sure; we’re interested in making new stuff you’ve never heard before. If we can write a great song that also sounds like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, then I’m satisfied.

Funnily, I always wonder how well our stuff will age. Someday we may look back on these tracks and look at them the way we look back at 1950’s concepts of what the future was gonna look like, where everyone has flying cars, jetpacks and silver unitards. That’s a risk that comes with the territory, I suppose.

Some of my biggest inspirations are the single songs or albums that jump-started an entire musical tradition, like James Brown’s ‘Cold Sweat’ or Miles Davis’ ‘On the Corner’. I feel like Kanye’s ‘Yeezus’ is going to turn out to be one of those turning-point records. He staked out a lot of new ground on that record by going super far left field and making radical choices. It’s a really fascinating mutation of what we think of when it comes to hip hop. For a lot of young people coming up, that record is going to be a guiding light that they’re going to follow and develop upon in the years to come.

Wangene: Future soul vibes plus the occasional hella hype dance break. Come to a show and see if you’re picking up what we’re putting down.

Your live shows involve a lot of movement and energy. What should fans expect to see at a Triplets show?

Wangene: I’m interested in sounds that take the listener on a journey. I’ve studied theater and have a dance background, so I incorporate all of that into live performance. When you come to a Triplets show, I want you to come into a space with us and believe in your own magic. I want you to feel powerful, to feel seen, to feel brave. I want you to fall in love with your own sense of possibility. Most importantly, I want you to dance your fucking ass off.

How has the reception you’ve received in Austin been so far?

Wangene: Austin has been great. People are responding to what we’re doing. They’re coming out and getting excited about our shows.

Bradley: Well, I’m not currently being fed grapes by muscly oiled-up servants while laying on a chaise lounge and being manually fanned, so I consider our career to be a total failure up to this point.

Are you currently working on a follow up to “Bitter Brain” and “Check Please”?

Bradley: Mmhm. We’re sitting on lots of unreleased material. It’s funny. Most of our work is behind the scenes songwriting and production work, that may never be released under the Triplets moniker. It will all end up coming out under someone else’s name. That said, our next release should be out in a month, so gird yourselves for that.

Wangene: Yeah, we are! Stay tuned. It’s gonna be exciting. Major vibes.

Check out Triplets’ latest track ‘Check Please‘ below.

https://tripletssound.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/Tripl3ts/

https://www.instagram.com/triplets_sound/

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Fastball End of Year Blowout at Antone’s Dec. 1

Austin’s platinum selling rock group Fastball returns to Antone’s on Dec. 1st for their final blowout show of the year with special guests Moving Panoramas. The last twelve months have been quite amazing for the two-time Grammy nominated and five-time Austin Music Award winning Fastball beginning with the release of their sixth album, Step Into Light. In support of the new album, the band hit the road on two cross-country tours, one of which saw Fastball opening for the multi-platinum Everclear. Fastball was also featured on Howard Stern’s Wrap Up Show, made a debut performance with AV Club Undercover and interviewed with MLB. The band’s smash hit, “Out of My Head” was re-interpreted by Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello as the Top 5 Hit “Bad Things”. To wrap it all up, Fastball also premiered their latest Nigel Dick directed video for the fourth single from Step Into Light with “Best Friend”. The band released the video following a nearly-year long #FastballAtChets Twitter campaign in which the band played a concert at the home of Los Angeles comedian Chet Wild and raised $12,500 for Hurricane Harvey Relief. Several shots from the in-home performance are included in the “Best Friend” linked video.

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Tickets for Fastball at Antone’s on Dec. 1st along with VIP Meet N Greet packages can be purchased on the band’s website here.

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Feature Photo by: Sandra Dahdah

 

‘MeToo’: Austin’s Music Industry is Not Immune to the Sexual Harassment Epidemic.

There’s an epidemic going on, if you hadn’t noticed.

To summarize; we live in a what seems to be a dystopian world where a predatory trait is dominant across the schools, the workplace, the entertainment industry, even just day to day life – it runs rampant across every sector of life, both yours and mine.

Sexual harassment is now so common that 65% of US women say they’ve experienced it just walking in the street, according to a survey by Stop Street Harassment (SSH). This plague of inappropriately claimed ownership of women and men is so rife that exclusion from it feels like a privilege, even in our own city of Austin – yet, it’s still taboo to speak about.

Two Austin-based female musicians have spoken out on their anger about this topic; these are their stories.

Who They Are:

Sydney Wright has been making a name for herself across Austin since her debut in the city, in 2015. A born revolutionist with a penchant for telling beautifully intricate stories with her music, she’s strong, believes in herself and is a breath of crisp, fresh air.

Mariclaire Glaeser follows this trend of being a woman of her own design. The lead singer of the popular Austin-based band, Shy Beast, she’s evolved in 2017 into a creature of sheer showmanship and vivacious musicality.

Neither is a stranger to the music scene and both carry with them a heavy reputation thick with respect for that. But both are also no stranger to the sexual harassment and gendered discrimination that unfortunately, and rather archaically, still comes with the success.

Their Stories:

According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, this includes women across every industry, including Austin’s music scene. A very slight gender disparity that sees a male presence of 55% to 45% dominate, the women of this city are not naïve to the dangers.

“The music scene comes alive at night” Mariclaire begins, an aspiring musician’s kaleidoscope dream’s conjured, before the imagery cracks and the warning becomes clear “there is alcohol present most of the time. There will always be predators, and there will always be lowered inhibitions. There will always be drunk dudes attempting to get a piece of you.”

Both women have experience in this pitiful example of mankind – each of them having stories with male tones that range from disrespectful to sheer ignorance of all human rights they have. Mariclaire begins to tell the story of a grim reality; non-consensual sexual advances and inappropriate touching is something 23% of women have experienced.

“The night of my band’s album release party a few years ago, I made my way over to the merch table, I took over for a bit selling stuff. One guy squeezed between me and the wall and started attempting to caress my lower back and whisper things in my ear while I was trying to handle transactions. He was telling me how ‘awesome’ and talented I was, and that he could offer me some great advice, because he ‘knows what works and what doesn’t’” she explained.

Of the 65% of women that have been sexually harassed, Mariclaire found herself in the 75% statistic of women met with anger and abuse they speak up about the harassment and ask for it to stop.

“I kept moving his hand away and asking him to leave.” She continues “This angered him, and he started verbally attacking my music and my performance earlier; telling me that I had a long way to go, and that I wasn’t trying hard enough.”

“In an ideal world, we would strive to identify our similarities, not amplify our differences,” Sydney begins, a poetic twist on what she believes should be the norm.

“But I think sexual harassment and discrimination are prevalent in our society and cultures as a whole, which makes it inevitably present in our music scene.

“There are countless times that I’ve been approached whilst running a console by males and females alike with, ‘So you know what all these buttons do?’, ‘Oh, a sound GIRL, I’ve never seen one of those!’, or ‘I think it’s great that you do this!’.

“I don’t think that being delineated from my peers because of my gender is helpful in promoting equality.”

Discrimination is a dangerous example of ignorance that happens often in the workplace, especially when co-ordinated with sexual harassment with 81% of American women in the workforce experiencing verbal abuse via inappropriate jokes or sexual comment (Atlantic Training Company).

The ‘You Can Stay’ singer tells another story, of a time where an inappropriate joke while she was working a gig forced her to set her boundaries and define the parameters of them.

“At one point, something came up about a phrase someone had coined on tour. I don’t remember the story, but the phrase was, ‘titties and beer, beer and titties!’ It got a laugh as it was repeated throughout the show.

“During one of those laughs, a man comes up to me, and, in the same sing-song voice the act was using, says, ‘sound boards and…’ and makes a motion like ‘eh?’’. All I could do was stare at him with an ‘I have nothing to say to you’ look and turn to do my job as the band started the next song.

“After the show, he apologized. I really appreciated that, and I’m glad that the situation provided an opportunity to make my boundaries clear.”

“We should take responsibility for and control of our mouths, eyes, and urges,” she continues, “and we would strive to treat each other equally, holding everyone to the same standards of respect and propriety.”

While this was an example of a time Sydney took back control of the situation, this isn’t always a feasible option – especially not for the 1 in 6 American women that aren’t able to stop the harasser in their tracks.

“Sexual shame and intimidation is a real and present force in our society whether you’ve been affected by it or not.” Sydney confides, though she does believe quite distinctly that Austin is a ‘liberal bubble’ that shines more of the necessary spotlight on immoral behaviour than many other cities.

This seems to be the general consensus felt across Austin, with Mariclaire sharing a positive reading of the city as well.

She says; “There isn’t as much of a stigma in Austin on how we should look and act. I feel like I have a lot of freedom of expression here, and most people are on board.

“I don’t really know how to fix the worldview of men and women who are so set in their ways, that they see female artists as products from which to glean money and enjoyment.

“It makes me sad.”

While neither of the women’s list of experiences constitute as sparse, both state that they feel Austin is less forgiving of this kind of behaviour – reassuring considering 45% of American women don’t feel safe to walk home alone, according to Gallup’s annual crime survey.

What we can do;

Mariclaire is adamant that better education in the home and in schools is the way to prevent the behaviour – pre-emptively nipping it in the bud, so to speak while Sydney has a less action-based hope for the future and more of rules to live by;

“We shouldn’t get off on being trolls or feed the discord fire by picking our allies apart for the sake of a trivial argument.

“We shouldn’t say things from behind a screen that we would be uncomfortable saying to a person’s face.

“I think we need to take the conversation away from the internet and into our real lives, in a public and intentional way.”

“We need to unite ourselves.” Sydney continues, “We can’t control the thoughts or actions of other people, but we can set steadfast boundaries and be ready to draw those lines when someone is inappropriate and we need to shake biased perspectives with education and emotional intelligence.

“We need our message to be as strong and articulate as possible to incite action among our powerful ‘public servants’ and replace them if they don’t serve us.”

This power is an important step in not only taking care of ourselves, but also taking care of friends, family and even strangers. As Mariclaire suggests, both men and women have a role to play in this revolution, this is something to go down in history if we do it right.

So, it’s time we re-educate. Use the disgust and shock fuelled by the #MeToo movement, and hold the offender responsible, refuse ‘boys will be boys’ and instil a new mantra – ‘responsibility for all’. It’s no longer a case of mindlessly offensive comments, nor has it been for a long time; what you see Mariclaire and Sydney saying is the thought process present across many minds – some of which are scared, some of which are empowered and some of which are in danger.

Photography: Sophia Louise of SophiaDPhotography – Flickr
Author: Megan Matthews

Ani DiFranco Visits Emo’s on Her Binary Tour

Alternative-folk rock singer-songwriter, Ani DiFranco, made a stop by Emo’s Saturday night with special guests World Poetry Slam Champion, Buddy Wakefield and women’s rights champion, MILCK. DiFranco’s performance at Emo’s was the next-to-last stop on the Righteous Babe’s tour showcasing her latest album, Binary. The 20th studio album from DiFranco, Binary is an unprecedented mélange of folk-rock, punk, hip-hop and jazz social commentary covering a broad range of topics from love and maturity to politics and feminism. NRP wrote of the album, “Binary might not be the record that specifically speaks to you in your next heartbreak or your first year of parenting, but it could be the record that wakes you up to the world.”

DiFranco’s tour wrapped-up on Nov. 19 in New Orleans and the hardworking, always touring artist will be back on the road in Spring ’18. For additional information and upcoming tour dates visit https://www.righteousbabe.com/.

In the meantime, enjoy these images of Ani DeFranco at Emo’s captured by J. Alan Love.

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Photos by: J. Alan Love

https://www.jalanlovephotography.com/

 

Texas K.G.B. Welcome Home Release Party at Mohawk

Welcome Home, the third album from Austin’s ‘Original Americana’ band, The Texas KGB, immediately asserts itself with the anthemic opening track. Anticipation boils from the reminiscent, Folsom County chords rolling steadily off the fingertips of KGB bandleader Kelly Green before bursting into a captivating arrangement of folk-rock harmonies. There’s no subtlety hidden within the seven tracks of Welcome Home. It’s a bold and innovative take on contemporary Americana that unapologetically twists through a southern whirlwind of classic rock, country, blues and funk.

The album was produced by Omar Vellejo and The Texas KGB (Kelly Green Band) and was recorded at Vallejo’s 512 Studios. The Georgia-raised, Austin-based Americana quartet consists of Kelly Green on the lead and slide guitar and vocals, Jace Cadle on the rhythm guitar and vocals, Kody Lee on drums, saxophone and vocals and Violet Lea on bass and vocals.

Welcome Home lives and breathes through Green’s sophisticated vocal range. Whether softly crooning with a sugary-sweet twang or overpowering with a heart-wrenching ruggedness, Green enchants on nearly every track aside from ‘The Way’ where Cadle’s rustic gravel shines over the emotive country ballad. The nostalgic title track is an alluring arrangement that builds and cascades in melodic momentum with sweeping vocals and a chanting chorus while the smoky blues-drenched ‘Frangela’ howls with southern country-rock bravado. The deeply personal ‘Burnt Spoons’ represents the albums most poignant track detailing with candid openness the emotional turmoil and collateral damage caused by addiction. The album swings in conclusion with the blues-guitar heavy enthusiasm of ‘Funk 69’.

Make no mistake about it! The Texas KGB is not your grandpa’s ol’ timey Americana band. Their diverse interpretation of the genre combined with jaw-dropping live performances make for an Americana band that must be experienced. Welcome Home should catapult The Texas KGB to the forefront of new-age Americana in the Live Music Capital.

Check out some of the highlights below from The Texas KGB’s Official Welcome Home Release Party last Friday at Mohawk.

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Photos by: Valerie Riels @photo.atx

That Girl Dre at that place ‘Geraldine’s’ Photo Recap -11/18/17

A suburban girl that’s brightened Austin with her smile alone, Dre Mazzenga is nothing but extraordinary and it shows in the photographs from her latest show – she’s effervescent. Having begun her Texan adventure in 2014 with ‘Do Me Right’, she has over 60,000 streams under her belt and has gained some well-deserved attention from her latest single ‘Follow’.

Supported by the rest of ‘That Girl Dre’, Mazzenga has truly found her feet in the Lone Star state. Bringing along drummer Tracy Sampedro from her Brooklyn days, they’ve adapted to the passionate music scene that Austin boasts and the relaxed vibe that Geraldine’s offers. The team truly showed the crowd their best selves, this past Saturday.

Check out some of the photoset below!

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Author: Megan Matthews
Photography: Mindi Westhoff of Time and Place https://www.timeandplacephotography.com/

Shy Beast Release Debut EP at Swan Dive

Austin’s dreamy, indie-pop outfit Shy Beast celebrated their debut EP Friday night at Swan Dive supported by a powerhouse local lineup. The self-titled debut represents a natural maturation for the spirited pop band who previously rocked Austin under the moniker of MCG and is reflective of their growth towards a sophisticated pop outfit of anthemic proportions.

Produced by Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River, Bright Light Social Hour), the debut EP features three infectiously uplifting, synth-layered tracks that meaningfully illustrate a common experience about human nature.

The band consists of singer and keyboardist Mariclaire Glaeser, rhythm guitarist and vocalist David Tenczar, lead guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist Andrew Bennett, bassist Jay Cesak (aka Jayzilla) and Drew Silverman on the drums. Gleaser may lead the band…however, each member contributes to the creation process as Glaeser, Tenczar and Bennett each wrote one of the three tracks of Shy Beast.

Last month, leading up to the album’s release, the band premiered the video for lead single “Back With Me”. “The video, uses movement, replacement, color, and light, to explore a woman’s transition from the feeling of being trapped in an apologetic spiral, to a deepening trust and confidence in herself,” states Glaeser.

At the EP Release Party, it became evident why the band chose the new identity. Shy Beast is a particularly fitting name for the outfit’s leading lady, Glaeser. She’s a self-described, “relatively shy and certainly awkward person.” But, on stage, the towering frontwoman comes alive with a commanding presence and seductive confidence that alludes to her internal beastly nature.

The EP Release Party began with a lavish, dance-inducing set of soaring synths and ambient vocals form homegrown electro-pop songstress and resident Swan Dive starlet Dossey. The Austin product’s performance featured the entirety of her latest EP, Electric, along with several favorites from her debut effort, Diamond. Dossey is the electro-pop alter-ego of artist, songwriter, enigma Sarah Dossey, who is also a member of Austin-based folk/bluegrass outfits The Reliques and Indian & The Jones.

Next up was local indie rockers Slomo Drags. This nostalgic, four-piece considers themselves equal parts pop gold and noisy guitar irreverence. The band shimmers and crunches in melodic, transgressive power pop harmony with diverse song structures that are tight and crisp while also colorfully loose and flexible. This is boisterous rock with a surreal pop twist that culminates in damn-fine entertainment.

The evening also featured experimental electronic-pop and folky trip-hop trio Fort Never who took the crowd on a transcendental, digitized fantasy. The trio consists of producer and songwriter, Timothy Ruch, singer Chantell Moody and drummer Deano Cotè. The eclectic, avante-garde band pulls from a huge range of influences and genres to defy categorization with their forward-thinking and innovative approach towards music composition and direction. For a wild trip take a gander at Fort Never’s latest video for “Paradigm”.

In the meantime, check out some of the highlights below from Shy Beast’s EP Release Party captured by Valerie Riels.

Shy Beast

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Fort Never

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Slomo Drags

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Dossey

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Photos by: Valerie Riel @photo.atx

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AMF Presents The Next & Best at 3TEN ACL Live

The Austin Music Foundation hosted its Next & Best FUN-raising mixer last Wednesday at 3TEN ACL Live showcasing back-to-back performances by their inaugural Artist Development Program graduates. The event and silent auction featured live performances by Jackie Venson, Magna Carda, Gina Chavez, Jane Ellen Bryant, Migrant Kids, Charlie Faye and The Fayettes and James Junius.

Austin Music Foundation (AMF) is a nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen and connect the local music industry and community with innovative programs that empower music professionals and music businesses within Austin’s creative economy. The innovative organization offers free education specifically tailored to today’s music business climate. With expert panels, consultations, mentoring, and mixers, AMF’s programs provide the necessary tools and opportunities to help the Austin music industry succeed. Since 2002, AMF has helped over 15,000 musicians and music industry professionals and remains committed to ensuring that Austin’s creative class and music industry thrive.

AMF’s Artist Development Program provides musicians with the advanced knowledge and tools they need to navigate the music industry and build their careers. The program consists of panels, workshops, networking event and career consultations. The artists can focus on being artists while AMF handles jump-starting the financial and logistical aspects of pioneering a career in the music industry.

The Next & Best silent auction granted an array of winnings from Yeti coolers to tickets to several local venues such as ACL Live, Emo’s, Stubb’s and Hotel Van Zandt that retail between $300-$500. All event proceeds went towards the Austin Music Foundation and the advancement of its mission. The event provided fans with the opportunity to see several of their favorite local artists and mingle amongst the Next & Best in Austin music.

Check out some of the event highlights below captured by Anie Walsh and listen to The Next Playlist from AMF’s Spotify at the bottom.

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Photos by: Anie Walsh @aniewalshphotography

https://aniewalshphotography.myportfolio.com/

Shana Falana Plays Cheer Up Charlies Recap

Veteran NY psych-pop musician Shana Falana delivered a transcendental live experience at Cheer Up Charlies late Thursday evening. Emerging from New York’s vast drone/psych scene, Falana combines live looping of reverb-drenched vocals and guitar with tribal drums and stunning visual projections.

Falana is currently on tour in support of her latest album, Here Comes The Wave. The album’s nine ‘dark pop’ tracks deal in “paradoxes and oppositions: drones stormy and serene, layers of warmth streaked with wildness and troubled riffs, ethereal forces at war and play.”

The origin of Here Comes The Wave began in 2006 after Falana lost half of her index finger in a workplace elevator accident. Oddly enough, the morning of the accident, Falana was stopped for a minor traffic violation. As she sat in her car waiting for what would be a warning, rested cassette tapes of Django Reinhardt and Jerry Garcia, two guitarists famous for adapting to missing or damaged fingers in the pursuit of their art.

Falana, who previously battled with addiction wrote furiously following the accident and the burst of productivity led to nearly half of Here Comes The Wave a decade later. “Somehow, I knew those songs would serve me well later,” states the long-sober and creatively disciplined artist.

The emotional turmoil of addiction and calls to clarity through recovery, acceptance and affirmation wash over Here Comes The Wave. The underlying themes of the album deal with the songwriter’s gain from loss, maturity and closure. On the album’s single, “Cool Kids”, linked at bottom, Falana delivers an ethereal message to her younger self and to all young people disfigured by social pressures, driven to addiction, marginalized by gender and racial identities.

Check out the single along with the images below of Shana Falana at Cheer Up Charlies.

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Photos by: Mindi Westhoff of Time and Place Photography

https://www.timeandplacephotography.com/

Tori Amos Performs at ACL Live On her Native Invader Tour

Multi Grammy nominated singer-songwriter and composer, Tori Amos, made a stop by Austin City Limits Live Friday night on her current world tour in support of her latest album, Native Invader. Amos broke through as a solo artist in the early 1990’s with her progressive style of music that focuses on a broad range of topics, including sexuality, feminism, politics, religion and spirituality.

Released in September, Native Invader represents Amos’ 15th solo album since 1992. The album “looks to Nature and how, through resilience, she heals herself. The songs also wrestle with the question: ‘What is our part in the destruction of our land, as well as ourselves, and in our relationships with each other?'”

Amos released the album’s first single, “Cloud Riders”, in June. NPR described the single as “a song that paints troubled love as a tempestuous, erratic storm. Part swagger, part reflection, it both smolders and shimmers, with Beatles-y guitars and chord progressions as Amos proclaims her determination to ride out the roughest weather. Like the clouds above, the song never stops moving and slowly changing shape.”

You can find additional information and remaining tour dates at http://toriamos.com/.

In the meantime, check out the images below from Tori Amos at ACL Live captured by Mindi Westhoff.

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Photos by: Mindi Westhoff of Time and Place Photography

https://www.timeandplacephotography.com/