Singer/songwriter, author, and poet Moses Mikheyev, released his new alternative folk pop ballad “Fernanda, It’s All Right.”
Moses wrote the song after a particularly tough breakup, using writing songs, poems, and a novel titled “This Time Next Summer,” to help him get through it.
“I process emotional trauma by writing about it,” he reveals. “I tend to turn everything into a poem, a novel, or a song. Music is therapy. It saved my life, and I hope it can save yours, too.”
The song itself is similar to Lighthouse, Coldplay, or The Fray in its cinematic essence and poetic lyricism. The song is sung from the male character’s perspective, longing for the Fernanda. He imagines that a breakup never happened. In his mind, they are still happy.
The opening refrain goes “In her room she’s busy putting on her dress/ But in my mind she’s naked and she’s on my bed/ Somewhere in Seattle she is getting loved/ But in my mind I still think it’s the both of us.”
“Soren Kierkegaard once said, ‘What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music…’ I think that’s very true in the case of ‘Fernanda, It’s All Right,'” explains Moses. “The music was made possible through pain.”
Kristen Rae Bowden’s work is a penchant for clever metaphorical turns of phrases, raw emotionality, and imaginative musical arrangements. Her musicality stretches through adventurous journeys with a dramatic flair, melding classic rock and prog-rock melodies to highly personal emotional explorations. She counts as inspiration such diverse artists as Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Primus, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, and legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim.
Her new single “Hard to Love” was actually written with an unanswered question in mind: Can you restart a heart? Kristen didn’t have the answer at the time of writing this which is why the song never answers the question definitively.
The video visually pulses alongside the music. When the chorus arrives, there’s a depiction a woman forming in the lines of the beating heart. She breaks out, shattering the heart and finds freedom. Set in a magenta hue, Kristen is seen singing the verses, almost like she trying to find the answer to her question.
We spoke with Kristen about her video, what it means, and how she came up with the idea of the video:
Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
When I wrote “Hard to Love” I was grappling with what you might call “post-broken-heart syndrome”. Just like a physical wound scars over with harder, less flexible skin, I felt my broken heart had healed in many ways, but I felt numb, hardened, and incapable of intimacy. I thought, is this my new normal? Feeling so much less alive than I used to? And I realized I was hiding, dimming my light on purpose, so I couldn’t get hurt again.
The story of “Hard to Love” is all about that feeling: hardening your heart after a breakup like it’s a fortress, not letting anyone all the way in. And at the same time missing how it felt when your heart was open and you were vulnerable, but free. You can’t have both. You can’t shore up your defenses so you don’t get hurt and live life to it’s fullest simultaneously.
The song is centered around a metaphorical question: “Can you restart a heart?” Given its inspiration, when I wrote the song I knew I wanted it to be centered sonically around a heartbeat. And then when it came to the video, I was excited to get to see that heart beating. So I knew I wanted animation to be the vehicle.
I also wanted the world of the video to be different from the real world, to express how alien, fake, and two dimensional the world can feel when you’re anxious and hiding yourself.
What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?
I wanted to metaphorically express the way “post-broken-heart syndrome” feels, and I knew the heart would be the central image. So I came up with the idea of a girl hiding inside of her heart, which she’s turned into a fortress of protection. No one is allowed in, but no one is allowed out either, so she has essentially imprisoned herself for her own safety. Veins turn to vines and wrap around her wrists and ankles like shackles.
She grows weary of her self-imposed cage and breaks the heart in order to be free, but even then she finds herself on a cliff, alone. All of this imagery, to me, really works to express the feelings of a fear of intimacy.
I also thought the video should have a human aspect. I’m there singing the song in this pink x-ray landscape where a human is out of place and shouldn’t really exist. That’s how I felt when I wrote the song, lost in uncharted territory.
The storyline shifts in the bridge of the song, and I love that you can see my human frustration in that “I can’t go on this way” moment.
The lyrics of the song never offer any hope or assurance that yes, you can “restart a heart”, but the musical section after the bridge has the feeling of hope and triumph. I wanted the video imagery to push that feeling into a certainty. So I went with the idea of growth and blooming to represent that hope, and I love watching the glowing heart grow into a garden.
What was the process of making this video?
I had been playing with the FlipaClip app (flip-book style animation) while dreaming up the conceptual images for this video, so I learned a little bit about how time consuming animation can be and what an awesome skill it is. I knew I wanted the finished video to look more artistically advanced than anything I was going to be able to do.
Through a mutual friend I was very lucky to find Pat Bradley, award-winning animator and illustrator at Spring Shoe Animation. I was thrilled when he signed on for the animated portions, and to edit the video into the imaginary pink x-ray world. I sent him the storyboard I’d made with pieces of amateur animation and drawings of the girl in the heart, and we set up the video shoot together through more mutual friends, Sanjay Suchak and Stephen Thomas.
The video shoot itself was a lot of fun. I sang along with the song in front of a green screen, and though it took me a couple hours to loosen up, eventually I was able to let go of my inhibitions and really express some of that frustration and movement you see in the final product.
Pat did an incredible job taking my crudely drawn ideas and putting them into cohesive, flowing lines that tell the story of the song. He also integrated me into the animated world in a way that I hadn’t imagined.
Low Tide Levee is the newly emerging band of seasoned musicians featuring singer/songwriter, composer, drummer, pianist, and former marine biologist Amy Brookes as the primary creative force. She writes the songs, sings lead vocals and harmonies, and plays drums, percussion, and keyboard. Her husband, Sasha Ames, is the band’s bassist and, sometimes, studio guitarist, and the trio is rounded out by a guitarist.
The band just released their new single “Dang Diggy” and it’s accompanying video. The 60’s pop and progressive rock song was written during one of Amy’s jaunts to a local tea shop she used to frequent to get the creative juices flowing. She came up with this tune, not really expecting much from it, but it ended up being a band favorite.
The fun Claymation video depicts the character of Dang Diggy as an almost divine entity, throwing pies down onto the man below. This man is in a boat with nowhere to run from the pies, his only options are to jump out and swim or sit and take it. It’s a clear depiction of life through whatever it has down on you, good and bad.
We spoke to Amy about the video and what her ideas were:
Tell us the story of this song. Why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
Dang Diggy came to me during one of my jaunts to my local tea shop that I used to frequent, a unique kind of place to gather and chat with random strangers, while enjoying the subtleties and meditation of gongfu tea ceremony. I often used my walks there and my time sipping tea to invite in the creative process, and many a gem came and was captured with my voice memo or note app on my phone.
The words just came into my head, and I thought it was a fun, silly, trippy song that could be a camp song. Little did I know that my band would love it and we would turn it into a rock anthem. Each pie is a ridiculous stoner dream of an over- the-top kind of dessert that exceeds all reason and just sounds like heaven, even if it would in reality be too much. Eventually, I realized that this incredible mask we found for our music studio (aka the “Funk Palace”) *was* Dang Diggy, and that Dang Diggy was absolutely this non-gendered deity that hung about in the sky throwing down pies to whomever might be fortunate enough to receive them.
What was the inspiration behind this video (visuals, storyline, etc.)?
It was my dream to have a Claymation video showing the story of this character Dang Diggy, a deity-like being who hangs about in the sky throwing down all the different pies. I found someone on Fiverr (Aleksej Pezzi) who did really cool Claymation music videos, and we worked together on filling out the rest of the story and visuals. He proposed a number of different characters for the little creature receiving the pies, and I fell in love with one of them that was sort of Gumby-like with this big heart on its chest. I liked the idea of the creature being in a boat since our band is very inspired by the ocean.
What was the process of making this video?
I wrote to Aleksej about the Dang Diggy mask (and sent photos) and the idea of a Claymation version of it throwing down pies, and we went through a process of sketches and proposals for each character’s look – starting with a sketch and progressing to a clay version. He sent me a mock-up for each scene and we ironed out the details. I wasn’t exactly keen on having Dang Diggy’s pie come out of its nose bathed in snot in one verse, but he kept it in and I just went with it (lol!!). In the end, I wound up loving the whole little movie, it was beyond the sum of its parts and I was so delighted with the expression Aleksej created in each character as the story progresses. No matter how many times I’ve viewed it now, it still cracks me up!
For Brooklyn-based modern folk duo emily + shawn, the stuff in life that makes a difference requires heavy lifting, and careful attention to detail. Their music is an authentic reflection of their lives. emily + shawn’s songs are informed by their ethics, their myriad of experiences and interests, and their day to day interactions, which they characterize sweetly as “healthy clashes.”
They just released their new acoustic folk ballad about finding love and connection in the smaller moments that usually get forgotten. It’s a tonal departure from their previous singles, but just as beautiful. It has a strong Mumford and Sons meets The Lumineers with an Ingrid Michaelson undertone.
“’you and i’ is a song we wrote about our life as both a music duo and as a couple,” shares the duo. “Memories of living in New York City are present throughout, and the pensive chord progression gives the listener an element of nostalgia we tried to create lyrically. We produced this with David Baron of The Lumineers and wanted to emulate their raw, stripped-down feeling within the folk-rock genre.”
Singer, songwriter, and musician KALEN has become a Brooklyn mainstay during residencies at Alligator Lounge and Spike Hill, performing high-kicks and jumping off amps in kinetic kinship with the audience. She began by hauling her keyboard and amp up and down Bedford Ave, forging a sound rooted in soul, funk and electronic music.
Getting set to release her newest EP, Silence Like Sirens, her electro pop single “Phoenix” bounces with an anthem like piano hook and a chorus that elevates the overall message of redemption and healing. The chorus is bound the get stuck in your head as you find yourself singing it throughout the day. It’s reminiscent of Madonna, both in her vocals and pop musical style.
“Phoenix” was named after a friend’s second child after losing her first. “I couldn’t fathom the pain they went through. Now, as a mother myself, it’s even more difficult to imagine,” shares KALEN. “I love the way the bridge really came to life on this one with that rhythm section! The most magical thing that happened on this song, though, was the choir that sang on the choruses! Maggie Collier arranged sick BVs and led 6 incredible singers. I was 8 months pregnant and the world was about to shut down, but we didn’t quite know it yet. We were all talking about whether or not we should hug goodbye (which we did).”
She’s performed at Brooklyn Bowl, Rough Trade, & Joe’s Pub, DC9 (Washington D.C.) and Hotel Café & The Mint (LA). During the pandemic, KALEN brought us into her world streaming her moody tunes in late night solo sessions. Performing live again KALEN tailors each performance (and the accompanying visuals) to the specific site and space, from analog slide projectors coupled with poetry and acoustic bands in Brownstoner salons to projection mapping and thumping tracks with a full electric band on stages around NYC.
Low Tide Levee is the rising band featuring seasoned musicians and lead by singer/songwriter, composer, drummer, pianist, and former marine biologist Amy Brookes. She writes the songs, sings lead vocals and harmonies, and plays drums, percussion, and keyboard. Her husband, Sasha Ames, is the band’s bassist and, sometimes, studio guitarist, and the trio is rounded out by a guitarist. Formerly, Low Tide Levee has included Chris Amato on guitar, engineering, and production, and Harold Spiva on guitar.
Their trippy and transformative music is fun and exciting with heavy, blues-based riff rock, stanky funk, and sneaky adventures into sprawling psychedelia. Lyrically, the songs can be mystical, playfully irreverent, and enlightening—sometimes in the same song. “A lot of the subjects we write about are things bubbling inside of me—themes of finding one’s power, and rising like a phoenix as an allegory. I’ve been through a lot of trauma in my life, and I am waking up to seeing the things that held me back,” Amy shares.
Their new single, “Dang Diggy,” is a whimsical 1960s garage-rock single with an ABBA meets The Beatles sound that came to Amy during one of her creative sessions at a local tea she frequented. The lyrics came to her quite quickly, but she never expected the band to love it. The song boasts a sing-a-long refrain and oozes mystical overtones.
“Eventually, I realized that this incredible mask we found for our music studio (the “Funk Palace”) *was* Dang Diggy, and that Dang Diggy was absolutely this non-gendered deity that hung about in the sky throwing down pies to whomever might be fortunate enough to receive them,” says Amy. “These days in band practice, we use Dang Diggy both as a great warm-up, and as a sort of casting of the circle for our ritual of music creation, offering homage to Dang Diggy as it hangs out above my drum throne on the wall. After this musical ritual, I can’t help but laugh, every time.”
“Dang Diggy’s” hallucinatory charms come to life via its silly and fun claymation video. The video depicts the character of Dang Diggy throwing pies down on someone alone in a boat, almost like Dang Diggy symbolizes a God or life and the person down below in the boat represents you and your reality. This figure sits there letting life throw everything they’ve got, good and bad.