A fanfare of enterprise and adventure: talking with Krista D

Singer, songwriter, artist; Krista D is an emerging talent beginning to lure keen attention especially with her multi-flavoured rock bred sounds. For our introduction to the Canadian’s music we had the pleasure of talking with Krista about her sounds, songwriting, other projects and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you for this opportunity!

Can you first introduce yourself and tell us how you began making music?

My name is Krista Acheson and I’m a singer-songwriter, with no official live line-up right now. I record with the help of session musicians and I’m mainly a studio project. I started writing quite young, around 14, and completed my first full length album at around 16. I was moderately active up until 2008 then I took a 7 year break. It’s been awhile since I’ve officially released anything.

Have you been involved in bands or projects outside of your solo work and if so how has those experiences affected your own creativity?

One other band I sang with a long time ago was called A Beautiful Disaster from Moncton, NB. They were a wonderful, talented group of guys. We weren’t really similar in style preference, but what I did learn from that experience is that music can be fun. Not that I never have fun with my own music, but when I write something it begets the process of tracking down session players and doling out money. It was just nice to play for the joy of it and get paid opposed to always being the one who is paying.

For the sake of style variety and a different direction, I actually have two other projects I’m doing right now, but they are also governed by me. Hooha and the Peter Guns is a project I will be releasing experimental rock music under and I have a soft rock project called Molly Grue. I intend to release EPs for each of those this year.

Any particular story behind the name Krista D?

I was young when I started in music so I just based it on my name, Krista Doucet. I was also recording in the Christian music genre at that time but as I got older I disconnected from that lifestyle. I decided to keep the name but ,in order to indicate the life shift, I visually branded myself to allude to the character Sandra Dee from the 70’s movie Grease; who also underwent a bit of a life transition in the film. The band logo, the name of the EP, the pitiful accordion bit I play at the very end of You & Me, are all references to the movie/musical. There’s also a snippet of the movies’ audio hidden somewhere on the EP.

Was there any specific idea behind your music and songwriting when starting out in what you wanted it to offer?

Forming my project was mostly initiated by the discovery that I had a knack for singing and songwriting in my early teens and I have carried on with it because it’s another branch of creative expression; aside from the visual art I create.

Intent-wise, I like there to be levels of meaning. For example: I would want people to listen to a track like Run Jane Run and catch that the title, and writing format, is alluding to the old Dick and Jane phonics’ books. There’s also no chorus in the song; and that kind of forces people to have to listen to the lyrics. It’s a simplified story about a mother who experienced trauma and refused to deal with her subsequent coping behaviors which then resulted in the same behavior pattern being replicated by her daughter. So it’s a song written in a basic teaching format about a topic I feel is very important.

Sonically, I choose genre to direct mood. I pick elements from various genres that I feel make a song sound happy and then contrast it with some punk rock elements because then the tone goes from happy to snarky. I also think applying perkier genre elements make lyrical content dealing with rape or domestic abuse more emotionally palatable.

How has your writing and music evolved over time?

I have to say that I didn’t evolve on this project, at all, especially as a few tracks are re-mastered re-releases from a previous album. I chose to give a few tracks a second chance because I’m very eclectic and I tend to bounce between different genres a lot. The last album was a bit of a marketing nightmare as a result of being so mixed and it didn’t do any of the tracks any favors. That’s why I’ve decided to divide my songwriting efforts into 3 projects. This project is the one I’ll release any tracks that are a hybridization of punk rock, ska, 50’s style, 3 part harmony and doo-wop. Once I complete the other two EPs and I step back and look at all of the material as a whole, it might be clearer if I’ve evolved as a writer.

It evolves a little depending on what musicians are brought in to play the project; mostly because their taste and style is automatically imprinted onto the song by the way they approach it. Where I don’t have a consistent band line-up the only thing that is left to truly evolve is me and I don’t feel I ever change very much. Overall, I feel I have a distinct pattern or rut, depending on how you view it.

So anything you try or new hues you bring in to your music is organic or more deliberate?

When I try something new it’s usually through introducing a different instrument and it’s stemming from the desire to enhance a mood; at least in my mind. I’m not sure it translates to anyone else. Like for Simple Social Tragedy, I decided to write a tuba part because I wanted to communicate a lumbering drunk feeling… like the soundtrack in an old cartoon. I’m probably a nightmare for the session musicians because my main directions are mostly “can you make your instrument sound drunk? Or can you make your trumpet sound slutty? I have a new track I’m working on that I want to hire a harmonica player for. Getting to incorporate a new instrument is always super exciting!

Are there any particular inspirations which have impacted on your music and how you approach and think about creating and playing?

When I was young, I was not really allowed to listen to music that wasn’t religious but I was sometimes able to listen to an oldies radio program called Finkleman’s 45s. I loved it. I attribute a lot of the genre elements I mix into this project to listening to that program.

Tell us about your songwriting, the processes you go through etc.

I think it’s one of those things that processes on a subconscious level and then, once it knits itself into a song, it floats to the surface and I hear it in my mind, sometimes completely formed as if it’s a song that already exists. The emergence is either triggered by a chord progression or sometimes nothing at all. Recently I had a melody repeating in my head but I was going to bed and too lazy to write it out, but when I woke up in the morning, it was still there… like it insisted on wanting to exist. So I’ve written it out and now it’s in queue to be recorded. A frustrating element to my songwriting is that I don’t even play the instruments I hear parts for. I’m sure other songwriters experience it too, but most writers I assume are at least good at one instrument. I think that’ll be my next focus; learning to play at least one instrument well, opposed to being able to clumsily half-ass several.

Where do you draw inspirations to the lyrical side from?

From the people I meet and the things that I’ve experienced. For example: Penny for your Thoughts is about the life of a woman I used to work with named Penny and likewise Black Eyed Susan is about a woman I knew named Susan. Sometimes the songs are about my own experiences; Land Mine is about the emotional process of trying to deal with a bad relationship by starting a new one that promised to be just as tumultuous. My life was a big mess when I wrote Land Mine, so the concept of dancing through volatile, unseen explosives was an apt allusion.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

This is my first release after dividing my music efforts into three. I’ve already divided my visual art, and now I’m re-launching my music career as a trimorphic singer-songwriter. The Krista D project is the one with the most experience behind it, so I’ve started with this one.

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind its songs.

The general theme is it all stems from life events. When songs are borne out of an actual experience, or emotion, I think it’s easier for listeners to automatically relate to.

For example: Simple Social Tragedy is about a guy who relentlessly harassed me in a bar; with such a bizarre intensity it had to have been a bet. I’m sure the track is relatable for any person who has encountered the feeling of being reduced to a sexual conquest. That feeling where the person approaching you seems to have zero awareness that you have any thoughts or feelings; you are merely a thing they want to use for their own pleasure.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

I’ve been told I do things oddly, but this is my general process for anyone that is curious. First, I make a painfully rough demo. If I have no guitar player to help me do that, I’ll just record myself singing the melody and lyrics in the structure I want. The demo goes to a session musician who plays guitar and bass to a click or programmed drums. I then do scratch vocals. Then I hire a drummer. I listen to the track and decide if I like how things are feeling and if not I’ll bring in an additional guitar player whose musical background is a different genre to try to manipulate the track to the feel I’m looking for. If I decide I want to add an instrument, such as a trumpet, I work something out on a keyboard. I take the part to an engineer to help me patch the midi to its desired instruments sample so I can hear the part in context to the song. If the part I wrote works, then I hire someone to write it as sheet music- which I then give to a session player. Then after I have all the additional instruments parts in, I clean up my main vocals and do background vocals and harmonies. That’s basically the convoluted process of how a song comes about.

Is there a live side to Krista D?

You know…I’d have to say playing live is currently my least favorite thing about music, but that’s because I’m fairly reclusive personality-wise and it’s expensive to hire live session musicians. If I ever find a nice group of people to play with regularly, I’m sure it would be a lot more fun.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there still the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there?

You know…I’m not quite sure yet. Locally I’ve had a difficult time connecting with live musicians so it’s been a challenge for me to get out and play. I’ve been told it’s a great community though. Other musicians I meet seem to be very embraced by it. I, however, will be playing my first show in this city next month, karaoke style, with mannequins as my band. I do have a band to back me if I play in the Maritimes or in Calgary, if I travel west.  So, as soon as I finish up some visual art projects for local gallery shows, I may just plan to tour outside my city.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I actually have very little social media presence right now, and that’s a combination of my being terrible at it and the fact that my online social media efforts are divided into 6 projects. But the internet, in regards to connecting me to places I can’t physically travel to, and making my music accessible worldwide, is an extremely positive and vital thing.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thank you for the interview! And thank you to anyone who read the interview and listened to the EP. If anyone is interested in following my 3 music projects and/or my 3 visual art aliases, feel free to add me on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/krista.acheson https://www.facebook.com/theoriginalkristad/  https://www.facebook.com/KristaAchesonArt/ or everything is accessible individually through here: http://www.trimorfik.com

Pete RingMaster 19/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Jane Allison – Methylene Blue

As 2017 went through its final handful of rewarding weeks, it is fair to say it produced some of its biggest musical treats, one of which was the new album from singer songwriter Jane Allison. The follow-up to her hypnotic debut album Just Another Girl three years earlier, Methylene Blue is a tantalisingly magnetic affair in its own right deserving of all the praise carrying attention it can muster.

The former vocalist of indie outfit KarmaDeva, Jane Allison Stanness to give her full name is one of those talents and voices which almost haunt the imagination. Her songwriting is an embrace of observation and intimacy, her fusion of folk and Americana a warm melancholic hug on the senses which carries you away in thought and creative seduction. Proof came with Just Another Girl and its bewitchment of emotive shadows and personal angst, attributes all the richer within the breath-taking thought courting adventure of Methylene Blue which confirms Jane Allison as one of Britain’s finest modern day troubadours, or should that be trobairitz.

Unveiling tales of “dereliction, salvation, obsession and allure, with its title track inspired in parts by the breath-taking love letters of Violet Trefusis to Vita Sackville-West”, all providing an “homage to triumph, defiance, the heroine, the daughter, and the muse”, Methylene Blue was recorded in fits and starts during Kula Shaker’s 2016 20th anniversary and K2.0 world tour. Blessed with the backing vocals of Audrey Evans from Mediæval Bæbes, the album arose at a time of great personal loss and during the devastating attack on Brussels. There is sadness at its heart but equally defiance and hope thick warmth which brews a melancholy so easy to immerse within.

The album opens up with Ain’t Wreckin’ Me, a country fuelled canter with the rich familiar twang the style often brews; its lure wrapping Allison’s enticing tones soon backed by equally beguiling harmonies. Rising from the ashes of a lost relationship, the track is a bouncy self-affirming affair getting the album off to a very potent start.

The outstanding Another Prayer follows, its mellow sighs riding a captivating swing as Allison again lures total attention with her bewitching voice and keys bred melodies. The darker pulse of bass is as compelling; its lurking presence engaging as the song with a certain Kirsty MacColl hue to it sublimely seduces ears and appetite before Hollow Rock slips in on a vibrant shuffle, growing second by second into a similarly absorbing proposal. Harmonica and guitar weave their own Americana spawned temptation but there is no denying that it is Allison’s voice and craft which takes the tightest grip.

Oh Girl is next, caressing ears with its gentle but determinedly infectious and lively serenade while its successor, For What It’s Worth shares a heart spilling ballad. From its initial breath, the first of the two is working away building towards a galvanic crescendo, Allison the fascination at its core while in contrast the second strolls along with reflection and brewing affirmation for company. Both songs simply charm in their individual ways as too the album’s title track, another skilfully catchy and soulful croon upon the ears hard to get too much of.

That is something which applies to all tracks within Methylene Blue, as the charismatic saunter of Forgotten Son and the brooding drama of Outlaw Valentine prove. The pair seizes ears and imagination with unstoppable ease, the first arresting ears with its expression and emotion, the body with its bounce while its companion takes the listener into a spellbinding landscape of long shadows and dark romance with a delicious carnival-esque hued undercurrent. The track, the best or not on the album, is undoubtedly the most enthralling.

The smiling invitation of Texas Baby blends the country joy of its named state with Nashvillian flavours before Unknown Soldier bring things to an alluring and haunting close. It is a fascinating and highly enjoyable end to an album which commands regular attention. It is fair to say that the genres at the heart of Allison’s music do not generally induce our passions but in her hands they combine to truly pleasure our ears and enrich our days.

An accomplished actress in her own right and soon to be seen in the film Slaughter House Rulez, a Simon Pegg / Nick Frost comedy horror movie directed by Crispian Mills and surely basking in plaudits for Methylene Blue, Jane Allison could find 2018 a very big year.

Methylene Blue is available now @ https://janeallison.bandcamp.com/

https://janeallison.net/     https://www.facebook.com/janeallisonmusic/    https://twitter.com/JAStanness

Pete RingMaster 10/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Micky Diana – No Bells This Christmas

Such our instinctive aversion to Christmas songs it is almost a result to get our ears to just listen to such propositions. Occasionally something does slip through which catches the imagination, clicks with personal thoughts, and grabs increasingly eager ears. The new single from British singer songwriter Micky Diana is one of those rare persuasions; a song we can easily recommend you check out.

No Bells This Christmas comes off the successful back of Diana’s previous single Run With Me and it was through its highly enjoyable presence that he caught us in a moment of ‘weakness’ with the new track and thankfully he did. No Bells This Christmas is a melancholic reflection of the lack of sheen the holiday season has for a great many for whatever reasons. For the lonely, the love lost, and the desperate; all those going through the motions at a time of supposed love and joy just wishing it swiftly away, the song is an anthem which resonates but equally with Diana’s natural wit and skill with words brings a wry smile to the lips and imagination.

As shown by his previous track, the Londoner’s voice and delivery is organic captivation, a distinct invitation into his lyrical craft and both in full magnetism within No Bells For Christmas. The gait of his delivery is sharp and mischievous, a trait which also lines the song and blossoms in the accompanying video to the single.

Catchy from its first breath and increasingly so thereon in No Bells This Christmas is a song easy to remember and even simpler to enjoy. Maybe Christmas songs are not that bad after all…well until the next one tries to convince anyway.

No Bells This Christmas is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/mickydiana01/    https://twitter.com/mickydiana

Pete RingMaster 02/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Joe Dolman – Something Beautiful

We all need a warm caress to get through the all too often intense days of life and one rather knowing one comes in the shape of the new single from Joe Dolman, a song which itself looks at “how it can be difficult to get anywhere no matter how hard you try; and that sometimes you need help from something or someone to help you get to where you’re aiming for because nothing you’re doing seems to be working out.” Inspired by his fight trying to make a career in the music industry, Something Beautiful is a melodic hug on ears which needs little time to catch the imagination.

British singer-songwriter Dolman has increasingly drawn keener and broader attention over the past three or so years. The21-year-old from Leamington Spa has independently released two EPs which have taken him to the top 10 in the UK and US iTunes charts, gained support and plays with BBC Radio 1 and BBC Introducing, played the big stage at Hyde Park in 2014 as well as festivals such as Reeperbahn in Hamburg, The Great Escape 2017, and headlined the Acoustic Stage at Godiva Festival 2017. Adding regular jaunts around the UK and dates and tours across America and it can be said that Dolman is winning the battle especially with songs like Something Beautiful in his arsenal.

As soon as the inviting strum on guitar coaxes attention is right there, harmonies adding to the beckon before Dolman’s potent tones take centre stage. Even in verse there is a quick and potent catchiness which subsequently ignites in the chorus, its rousing call sublimely backed by a magnetic melodic hook to further get the appetite fired up.

In many ways there is nothing surprising about the track, the likes of James Bay and Damien Rice coming to mind, yet it does not mean it is not as fresh and vibrant as anything heard this year from similarly styled artists or that it is anything other than one highly enjoyable proposition from an artist on a certain rise within the UK music scene.

Something Beautiful is out now.

Upcoming UK Tour Dates:

01/11 – Rough Trade, Nottingham

06/11 – St Pancras, London

08/11 – Latest Music Bar, Brighton

11/11 – Loft Theatre, Leamington

12/11 – The Kings Arms, Manchester

13/11 – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

15/11 – The Fox and Newt, Leeds

16/11 – The Glad Cafe, Glasgow

https://www.facebook.com/JoeDolmanMusic/    https://twitter.com/joedolman96

Pete RingMaster 27/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Micky Diana – Run With Me

Run With Me is the richly enticing debut single from British singer songwriter Micky Diana, an artist who took his first steps as a teenager, primarily as an MC to Drum & Bass and Jungle music. His career since has seen the Crawley based Diana act alongside Sheridan Smith and Jamie Bell, perform in numerous plays, operas, and musicals such Whistle Down The Wind, Hamlet, and Phantom Of The Opera in the West End and globally further afield as well as becoming the lead backing vocalist for Hurts. All the while he has developed his songwriting, embracing contemporary styles to his already diverse experiences in music with a debut single an ear pleasing first result.

An atmospheric wash is instantly joined by the emotive melody of the piano and the quickly impressing tones of Diana as Run With Me envelops ears. As rhythms bring a slight but lively skittishness to the developing drama of keys and stringed suggestion, Diana reveals a varied textural appetite to his vocal delivery, crooning with a kaleidoscope air which just works.

There is theatre to sound and voice which equally grabs attention but one deliberately and organically controlled to keep things intimate and emotionally earthy. Looking at moments “where people felt they had no voice or were not allowed to have an opinion”, being inspired by the story about the bakery which refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple soon to be married in N Ireland where he was at the time, Run With Me is a magnetic first look at Diana, one which makes ears want to hear more and intrigue eager to see how things develop ahead.

Run With Me is released September 15th

https://www.facebook.com/michaeldiana01/    https://twitter.com/michaeldiana01

Pete RingMaster 22/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nasher – 432-1: Open The Vein

Taking the listener in a melodic hug whilst opening windows and spotlights upon lives, intimate and more politically social, the new album from Nasher is nothing less than captivation. 432-1: Open The Vein shares memories and reflections like the sun provides warmth and clarity through songs as compelling in their writing as in the melodies and harmonies bringing them to life. It is blessed with truly bewitching and memorable moments within a body which from start to finish has ears hungry for more as the imagination weaves away.

Nasher is Brian Nash, the guitarist for Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Before his part in their success, he had already linked up with drummer Peter Gill and vocalist Holly Johnson in Sons and Egypt, forming the outfit with the duo after playing in several other bands with varying styles. Sons and Egypt came to an end in 1980 when his colleagues left to join a new band in the shape of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The departure of Gerard O’Toole from that band two years later saw Nash link up with his former band mates again, the band going on to have international triumphs of course with the likes of Relax and Two Tribes. After their demise in 1987 Nash collaborated with singer Grant Boult as Low and later again in Dr. Jolly’s Salvation Circus. Two solo albums in Ripe and Le Grande Fromage appeared in 1999 and 2002 respectively, Nash also creating his own Internet-based label, Babylon Pink, around that time upon which 432-1: Open The Vein now appears.

It opens up with Salt in Our Veins and the sound of water falling and lapping from presumably the Mersey of his hometown as its specific noises raise their heads. From within their evocative textures, Nash’s acoustic guitar strokes the senses, his following vocals similarly coaxing attention with their harmonic warmth. The emotional suggestion and plaintive insight of his words are just as magnetic, Nash seemingly sharing light on his move to the capitol and the retaining by Liverpool of his heart. The wonderful song is a sign of things to come, of the drama lining every note and syllable, of the infectiousness fuelling every ballad and livelier engagement with ears and thoughts.

The fine start continues through the folkish stroll of Still Can’t Find the One, a song embracing eighties pop hues more akin to the likes of Blancmange and Heaven 17 than his Frankie exploits, and the observational melancholic theatre of I Spy. Not for the last time upon the album, there is something of XTC to the songwriting or more the Colin Moulding side of the band, the song a pastoral reflection in sound and insight in word of modern life. Both tracks are instinctive magnetism, warm yet shadowy caresses matched in strength and beguilement by the sunny disposition and emotional sentiment of Whole.

Through the harmonic questioning of one of the bitter protagonists of today in Katies and the boisterous rock ‘n’ roll of Prostitutes and Cocaine, the album only adds to its riveting and skilled pleasuring of ears while Just Sounds Like Noise engagingly repeats words that people of a certain age share about Saturday afternoon and evening TV. It was better in our day is a staple claim of every generation and forever will be though not always with the charm given it by Nash.

The mellow hazed Pebbles to Dust seduces next; the increasingly bewitching song almost somnambulistic in gait and air as it melancholically smooches with the senses. Its darkly lit atmosphere flows into the equally sombre glide of Where Will the Kids Live? through the lively antics of youth. The track is gorgeous, once more drama seeping into every melodic sparkle and haunted glaze of sound and emotive shadow.

Both Nothing Homes and XO simply captivate; melodies and harmonic sighs to the fore with the second of the two slipping into an animated skip for its pop catchy incitement of feet and emotions. With a whiff of Pete Wylie to its contagious enterprise, the track has the listener physically and emotionally bouncing before Yesterday’s News closes things up with its Jam lit croon. More of a grower compare to the instant persuasion of earlier tracks, it emerges as a just as momentous and stirring proposition within 432-1: Open The Vein, an album which leaves the heart even more lustfully in love with music, especially if you hang on for its hidden Bowie inspired finale.

 432-1: Open The Vein is out now through Babylon Pink Recordings.

https://www.facebook.com/Nasher-105270312871476/

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Scott Swain – Like Nothing Else

From the dark country drama and sultry intrigue of last year’s single Oil!, Scott Swain casts his imagination into even more deceptive corners with its successor Like Nothing Else. The song is a gentle yet brooding encounter; warm and seductive yet with darkness in its lining which as much blossoms into a provocatively mesmeric enticement as the melodic warmth within, .

Making use of the downtime from his bands How to Dress a Monster and Fire at Night to explore his personal writing and songs, Swain unveiled his solo project last year and released the irresistible single Oil!, a song showing hints of inspirations ranging from Elliot Smith and Mark Lanagan to cult cinema. As its predecessor, which was inspired by There Will be Blood, his new track was written about a movie, Event Horizon the spark for Like Nothing Else.

The opening caress of acoustic guitar is an earthy yet celestial lure, Swain’s warm vocals adding to the song’s elevating flight of melody and temptation. With rhythms laying shadows in close quarter to the radiance embracing vocal and lyrical reflection, the song swiftly becomes an easy transfixing of ears and imagination. Simmering with creative and suggestive theatre, the track slowly but openly builds in emotion and intensity from there, its journey into an understated but rousing crescendo a gripping realisation before a final kiss of melodic and harmonic sighing lies poetically on the senses as the song drifts away.

Throughout its evolution, Like Nothing Else is pure captivation and confirmation that Swain’s solo side is heading towards major attention.

Like Nothing Else is released 28th April.

Upcoming Live Dates:

23/04/2017 Craft Beer Company, Brixton, London.

26/04/2017 The Cellar, The Finborough, Earls Court, London.

08/05/2017 Spice of Life, Soho, London.

18/05/2017 The Bricklayers Arms, Hitchin.

28/05/2017 Opium Bar, Edinburgh.

http://scottswainmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/scottswainmusic   https://twitter.com/scottswainmusic

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright