Tag Archives: music

“Like Destiny” Coming Soon!

On Thursday, January 21, 2016, Barley Station will release a new single titled “Like Destiny”.  Blending folk and rock with progressive beats and pop sensibilities, this one has been called the best yet by those who have heard the song. The song will be available at most digital retail outlets.

Here is a sneak peek of the album art:

Like Destiny11400pix

Snippet from a Pre-release review:
“You’ll want to find a pretty spot under the old oak tree by the river and let Barley Stations new single ‘Like Destiny’ flow right through your soul.

“The unique instrumental in the song pairs perfectly with Vocalist Randy Wayne Belts ‘tranquil fluid motion’ vocals transcending one into a heavenly place of peace also known as: bliss… Infectious and pretty, this song is one for the iPod ‘favorites’ playlist for sure!”
~CA Marshall editor of Starlight Music Chronicles and Magazine

(Click here for a sneak audio from the track “Like Destiny”)

 

Album art by Candice Anne Graphics & Photography

 

 

Review/Interview of Naomi Psalm

Interview With Naomi Psalm and Review

of Naomi Psalm’s new single “Now You See Me”

You may remember awhile back I did a review of the music of recording artist Naomi Psalm titled “The Musical Art of Naomi Psalm”.And remember that section that talked about looking for a song by Naomi Psalm in October that was to be in a movie titled Ghostumentary?

Well, it’s here! The title of the song, “Now You See Me”, and the atmosphere created in the song were made to fit perfectly for the film with the line “Now you see me – now you don’t”.

And as always, with Naomi’s consistently good songwriting, it is not only a good fit for the film but is also a very catchy song that will definitely be stuck in your head!  Psalm has proved once again that she is a consistently good songwriter and vocalist!

(Click here to learn about the film at: http://www.ghostumentary.com/)

Produced by Scot Alexander (from the band Dishwalla), the big thumpy beat that comes in and the thick bass sounds drive the song home accenting, pulsating and drawing you into all those little nuances, such as the effects on the vocals, which in spots will leave a haunting impression as you hear it in stereo. (Yes, stereo is still the best way to listen to music) The mixing job and effects on the vocals are perfect and helped lend to the song the haunting effect that make the lyrics come alive.

IMG_8238The depth of Psalm’s songwriting will always intrigue as you wonder what some of the deeper meanings of the lyrics are when she sings “I’m not only in your dreams, but that’s the way it seems”. If you are a fan of the song “Ink”  from the Stare album, you’ll also be a fan of “Now You See Me”, which is in the same creative vein.

Click here to preview and purchase “Now You See Me” on iTunes here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/now-you-see-me-single/id1046929061

So on the thought of creativity, I was able to get in a quick interview with Naomi

and being a visual artist myself as well I had to get into that right away.

Randy: What other creative arts are you into?

Naomi: I’m also a visual artist using the medium of water acrylics. I got into that in 2003 when I didn’t want to pay someone else to design my album cover.

Randy: I also paint (oil paint), so I have to ask, was there any artists (visual) that have inspired you or that you look up to?

Naomi: No one in particular. I just really like artists that paint abstract and colorful.

(Click here to view Naomi’s art on her homepage)

Randy: How did you get started in music?

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Naomi: I began writing poetry when I was 8. When I was 13, I inherited my grandfather’s guitar and started playing. I am self taught, and would glean inspiration from friends of my parents that would come over and jam all the time.

Randy: Explain your passion for music:

Naomi: I am deeply passionate about music. It is what makes me feel alive. The world seems right when I am performing music, writing songs, and creating art.

Randy: Do you have a “pet” instrument? (your favorite guitar, a ukulele, etc.)

Naomi: My takamine is my favorite guitar and has been with me since my dad bought me it in 1993. It gets better with age.

Randy: Yeah, the older the instruments the better they sound. So, who are your biggest influences and musical role models?

Naomi: Brandi Carlile is one of my biggest influences. She’s is an incredible singer/songwriter who really moves me.

Randy: What are you working on and what’s in the future for Naomi Psalm?

Naomi: I am finishing up an EP right now, as well as 2 music videos. I also just released the song that is in the movie Ghostumentary.

Randy: Does the EP you’re working on have a title yet? And can you divulge any of the song titles from the EP?

Naomi: I have a title rolling around in my head, but it’s top secret at this point.

“Hole in the Carpet” and “The Postman” are 2 song titles I’ll give away.

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Randy: How did you get hooked up with doing the song for Ghostumentary?

Did you write the song specifically for the movie? Or did you have something you

were already working on that you tailored to the movie? How did it come together creatively?

Naomi:   I am friends with one of the movie directors and he needed a theme song. I watched some rough footage for inspiration, and wrote the song specifically for the movie. That song came together really fast for me. The lyrics and music happened simultaneously.

Randy:  Awesome!  Do you have any collaborations going on or planned?

Naomi: There are 2 newly released songs out on YouTube that I have written with a local musician Ryan Bayne.

Randy: Cool! Link us up.

Naomi:  “Not My Kind” at http://youtu.be/929nhRF_cW4

and  “I Don’t Know Why You Love Me” here:  http://youtu.be/uf2-53R51Sc

Randy:  Great!  My two top favorite videos of yours thus far are “Ink” and “Already Hit Send”

(hint: click the song titles to watch the videos)

Randy:  Thanks for taking the time to interview!

Naomi: Sure! Thank YOU

Connect with Naomi Psalm here:

Website: http://www.naomipsalm.com

YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/naomipsalm

Twitter: https://twitter.com/naomipsalm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naomipsalmmusic

“Now You See Me” on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/now-you-see-me-single/id1046929061

New Single “Double Star” Coming Soon

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“Double Star” is yet another single from Barley Station soon to be released.
The artwork is finished and a release date is set for October 15, 2015.

First released only to fans via mailing list and social networks, the special page made just for this song is now made public and the art and a promo clip are now revealed, and the art alone is stunning! (The page also has the song lyrics)

Go to the page here: Preview “Double Star”

With a reputation of blending and jumping around genres a bit, as usual, this one’s different.
“Double Star” creates a more spacey atmosphere and is a bit more on the adult alternative side of things and it is like a cosmic painting of the heart in sound and lyrical texture. (Somewhat similar to “Never Leave” from the Damaged Goods album or “Dream You Lost” from the album After All)

Cover art for

Cover art for “Double Star”

As one pre-release review stated “Double Star” embodies the desire and longing to have that one special person by your side for all eternity.”

So here is the preview of the beautiful album art which was taken of a real “blue moon”, so we can say  this is “once in a blue moon” single song art with certainty.

Special thanks: Graphics and Cover Art by
CA Marshall – Editor of Starlight Music Chronicles and Magazine

“Double Star” will be released digitally to the following outlets:
Apple iTunes, Spotify, Groove, Deezer, Omnifone,Google Music Store, Rumblefish, Rdio, Slacker Radio, Shazam, Beyond Oblivion, YouTube Music Key, Tidal, 8tracks, Synchtank, Amazon MP3, 24-7, JB Hi-Fi, Yandex, Akazoo,  Rhapsody, GreatIndieMusic, iHeartRadio

New Single “4th of July”

Three days now until the release of the single “4th of July” by Barley Station! Here’s a little sample clip:  4th of July clip

4th of July

                     Single Cover for 4th of July

Barley Station will be releasing a single on Thursday, July 2 and it is planned to be available on iTunes that day.  (and other digital retailers soon thereafter)The title is: “4th of July”. The song is a contagious downhome footstomper sitting solidly in the realm of the Americana genre and about as organic as you can get. It makes a comparison of a promised relationship to the explosiveness of a Fourth of July celebration.

But we have to warn you, if you hear it once it will be stuck in your head for the rest of your life, even if you don’t like it!

The story of how it was recorded is Coming Soon!

The Story of Door Henge

The Story of Door Henge

by Randy Wayne Belt / also published in American Pride Magazine May 5, 2015

backpossible4It’s a peculiar story of how trash becomes treasure. A story of how album art was made from the changing landscape of an American city.

How often have you driven by somewhere where you lived and were, or at least, were very familiar with, only to find it completely changed beyond recognition years later?  You say to yourself, “It looks so different!” Or perhaps, “I wish I would have known that would be torn down so I could have gotten pictures!”

It isn’t anything spectacular or mind blowing like the Eiffel Tower or the St. Louis Arch you’re thinking of, just a piece of your childhood memories perhaps. Or maybe simply a scene you drove by and it is all changed.  You marvel at how one place can look so different years later.  Oh, to have gotten that last picture!

For many locals in a section of St. Charles, MO right near Lindenwood University, and close to the old Lewis and Clark trail of which we all learned in history, there was a permanent change of scenery that may have them wishing for a piece of that history.  When land owned by the University was sold to allow the building of a supermarket, the result was the destruction of the old homes that rested in their aged place there on that historic land.  The homes people lived in are gone and in their place – a grocery store. But in between those two – came art! Door-hinge-Missori

(a never before seen picture from behind the doors where you can see the surrounding historic homes that were not demolished)

Though the images of history before the homes were destroyed are not available to me, a fascinating artistic scene lived a brief life, speaking its message of desolation, of loss, and of art itself or perhaps a symbol of a doorway to what is new, depending on your artistic perspective.  For what must have been a personal disaster for those who lived in the homes that were tore down, something strangely beautiful showing that from what was old to what is new, sometimes there’s that little in-between that doesn’t last very long but gives a glimpse of art, a gleam of glory, in its own fascinating way.

This interim scene between demolition and construction, was captured and is memorialized in the form of music album art.  I don’t know who took it upon themselves to create the artistic scene that they did with the broken pieces of homes, and memories of the lives of some, but there it was – in it’s own artistic showcase – Doorhenge!Door-hinge-Missori-photo

(this is the original picture that became the artwork for the cover of the album ‘Damaged Goods’ by Barley Station)

And the story goes something like this:

As the homes were being demolished, someone took the pieces and used them to make an artistic statement.  Or maybe they were just being silly or trying to be funny, who knows? But the final result ended up being art no matter how you look at it.  And that art became forever memorialized as the artwork for the entire album package of an album known as Damaged Goods  by Barley Station, a band on its own Independent Label – Barleyfields Records, with one member who lived a mere two blocks from the scene of what is known amongst us insiders now as “Doorhenge”.

For a band whose sound is often defined as earthy, organic, and rustic beneath it but with a view towards tomorrow, this became the perfect album art.  The symbolism of doors that lead to the future and open to the past were perfect.  If you hear the music, you’ll understand why this artistic concept worked so well for the album.  The scene brings to life the albums concept of the lyrics, “We are all damaged goods, uh huh”.

As the album begins, you hear the sounds of broken glass, junk, and other imperfections. And then the album takes many twists and turns.

—————————————–

We wanted an album cover that reflected the theme of the album, naturally, being this is a semi-concept album.  So we spent a couple of weeks working out a really nice album cover collage of various pieces of damaged goods – old things, rusty stuff, pieces of junk and so on. Brian Kious, one of the two vocalists/and guitarist of the double fronted band, put together most of it, sent it to Randy Wayne Belt (the other of the two vocalists/ and its bassist) for final edit, who shared it with then drummer Nil De Silva for his approval. We all liked it a lot. Door-hinge-Missori-photo-3

A lot of work went into it! But then… on one partly cloudy day, Brian was driving past his old neighborhood in St. Charles, MO where he grew up only to discover it was being torn down and utterly leveled to the ground to make room for a huge strip mall, or some type of shopping center, or grocery chain store.

What was once his old neighborhood was reduced to piles of rubble and all the homes were torn down. There were piles of debris, tractors, bulldozers, and torn up trees. He came upon one area where someone had arranged the doors, presumably from the houses that once stood there, into a Stonehenge like display.

Always one to have an eye for art and things that seem to scream ART by their very existence, he snapped a picture of it with his ipod and sent it to Randy suggesting it might be a good idea for the back cover of the album that we had just finished recording.

Randy agreed it was good. Really good! In fact, so good it should be the cover. Now after spending so long working on what was going to be the cover, it takes a good bit of humility to accept the fact that you’ve just taken a snapshot of something that you didn’t even work that hard to get and it just surpassed all the hard work you put into what you thought was going to be the album cover for a really great album.

(I’m sure all of you artists out there know what I mean) Just that stroke of pure chance at the right moment and you have exactly what you were looking for. After a flurry of texting back and forth, we all knew, that this was going to be the album cover. It just demanded to be. We don’t know who set up the doors, but whoever it was just gave us a fantastic album cover!

Now the picture Brian took wasn’t going to work because the resolution and quality was not high enough to convert into artwork without ruining the shot. And, someone was tearing down the doors!! We had very little time to act.   With a high resolution digital camera, we needed to go back… fast!

Here’s the REST of the story – in Randy’s words:

“The sun had to be right in the sky and we needed a day without rain to cause problems. On a day shortly thereafter, I decided it was THE DAY to get the shot. Being a photographer as a hobby (and used to have my own black and white darkroom) I decided the day was right and announced to my family, “we’re going on a little trip today to see “DOORHENGE”. I didn’t use my Chevy Chase voice and we certainly don’t resemble the Griswolds, but it was almost as exciting as traveling to the UK to see the real Stone Henge! This was better than going to the art museum, or the structure park it seemed.

Door-hinge-Missori-photo-4

(the original picture that serves as an inside booklet page with the CDs artwork)

“When we got there it was the most surreal scene. We were really in awe. And when a little kid is in awe of it, it’s really special. It was a strange awesomeness because it was accompanied by a certain sadness for the neighborhood that disappeared and for the people who lost their homes (to whom we dedicated the album).

But in the midst of it all, someone had created this work of art made of doors.  Someone took what was a tragedy for someone else no doubt, and turned it into something that will be the cover of something else that we hope will bring smiles and happiness.  I didn’t even recognized the place anymore. If not for the street signs I wouldn’t have known where I was.  It was strange. This was Brian’s old street!”

Randy continues, “I got picture after picture, angle after angle of this fascinating array of art. Then we drove by one last time and said goodbye to “Doorhenge”.  We knew we wouldn’t see it again.  I asked myself ‘Did they really have to tear it down’? ‘Couldn’t they keep it as a monument even in a small little area in honor of the old neighborhood?’

It sometimes puzzles me the coldness and heartlessness of the way business is done. I’m just only glad that this work of art, this memorial of what was a lot of people’s homes or dorm rooms, or place of residence, will be memorialized in time by our Album cover, the name is perfect:  ‘Damaged Goods’. damagedgoodscover1000pix

Several days later, Brian called me, and said ‘it’s gone!!!’ So, indeed, we captured the photo in the nick of time!”

That’s the story behind the album cover. The songs contained within and the pictures in the artwork all have a story to tell!  In an imperfect world, “we are all damaged goods, uh huh”.

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(a crop from the artwork inside the CD booklet – the two singers/songwriters and front persons for the band, Brian (left) and Randy (right))

Story and Photos by Randy Wayne Belt  @randywaynebelt

Barley Station:

 
Digital at iTunes:

Review of ‘Shine’ by Josh Newell-Brown

Review of SHINE by Josh Newell-Brown
https://soundcloud.com/joshnewellbrown/shine-1

joshnewellbrown  Josh Newell-Brown is a folk/pop music artist from the beautiful coastal town of Saltburn-by-the-sea, UK

     I find a well crafted song here with a positive message.  In a setting of folky pop from the UK, this song starts out with a happy shuffle of a beat brought in by acoustic guitar, bass, and pleasant piano riffs – some instrumentation that grabs you right away.  There is a deviation away from the opening shuffle feel on the drums to a more straight beat leading into the chorus gives a lot of added interest and keeps the listener engaged.

And anything that blends genres a bit or is creative in this sense, gets my attention!  The song is well  structured and that is what stood out most to me.  With well delivered vocals and a voice that stands out as fairly unique and exceptional, the lyrics give a positive vibe to the listener and will leave you humming along. Experimenting around with sounds and the beat, this song shows the artist is capable of more than just one good tune.

The song does indeed “shine” with a chorus that hits you. It’s a good solid song that demonstrates that this artist bears watching for what he does next.  And what’s next?  indeed, this song is the first single from Josh’s upcoming EP Inner Treasure and follows right in line with his heart for the hurting, as it’s proceeds will be used to aid national charity Dreams Come True in their work.

Considering the artists heart for terminally and seriously ill children and young people, it’s no wonder that the hopeful message comes through the song.  Josh’s EP Inner Treasure is expected to be out May 29, 2015

Connect with Josh Newell-Brown at the following links:
https://soundcloud.com/joshnewellbrown
http://www.joshnewellbrown.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/joshnewellbrown

https://twitter.com/joshnewellbrown