Given a few minutes, Phil Barnes will show you something. It’s simple and honest – a few words and chords that envelop into a relatable, driven piece of music. His roots in the Americana and Folk genres lend to his sound in an undeniably recognizable way – one that has caught the ears of more than a few. His first single, Letter, cracked the Top 100 in the national Singer/Songwriter charts during its first week of release. Climbing to a comfortable #47, Barnes was able to accomplish this without any professional marketing or promotion.
Since 2010, Barnes has tacked over 750 shows under his belt, garnering attention at both a local and regional level. This Summer and Fall, he will further his efforts with tours through the Southeastern US in support of his new single and forthcoming album.
This year alone, Barnes has shared the stage with Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J, Austin Mahone, Nick Jonas, Shawn Mendes, Emily Kopp and numerous other major label recording artists at venues across the US.
His honest approach coupled with road-tested talent has placed him where any songwriter could wish to be – a guitar slung over his shoulders and a microphone placed just ahead. His one request: lend him an ear.
A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, Aaron Krause makes vivid pop music rooted in mood and melody. He cranks up the electronics on his newest release, Jade, a five-song EP that mixes the airy atmospherics of M83 and Sigus Ros with the R&B punch of The Weeknd. It’s music with a sense of place — a soundtrack for a movie that doesn’t exist, if you will — and it arrives one year after his full-length debut, Holding on to Love.
Partially co-written with Nathan Spicer, guitarist for worldwide pop star Katy Perry, Jade came together during the nighttime hours, after Krause had wrapped up his daytime gig as a producer for Nashville-based artists like Erin McCarley, Amy Stroup and Liza Anne. Working in his home studio, he began whipping up a synth-pop sound of his own, making room for everything from keyboards to saxophone. The music took on a nocturnal feel — the result of the songs being recorded during the late-night hours, perhaps — and at the center of everything was Krause’s voice, a wide-ranging instrument that was breathy one minute and booming the next.
Krause began using that voice — as well as his skills on piano, drums, and bass— during his childhood days in church. That’s where he first learned how to combine instruments into an orchestral sound, and he carried those lessons with him during high school, where he performed in bands and began writing his own songs. Now based in Nashville, Krause has grown into a rare triple threat: a songwriter who can write, perform, and produce his own music with little (if any) outside help.
That leads us to Jade, an EP that focuses not on where Krause has been, but where he’s going. This is modern pop music, fueled by tracks that cast a vibe and transport the audience. Songs like “I Will Wait” are towering, anthemic tributes to love and life, while the title track ebbs and flows like a wave, its crashing choruses giving way to a low-simmering outro. Krause produces the songs like a filmmaker, zooming in for close, intimate moments before pulling away for full, dramatic bursts of sound.
“I love music that’s so vivid, you can almost see things when you listen,” Krause says. “Music that takes you somewhere. Music that can really move you.”
Jade certainly moves, and it’s taking Krause to somewhere he’s never been before. He’ll see you on the journey.
This will be part of the “Rivals Tour.” Phil and Aaron are playing all college towns and pitting rivalry towns together night after night and will appear on WXRY Unsigned LIVE from The British Bulldog Pub on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at 8PM