Skylar Gudasz is arguably one of the Triangle’s most overlooked songwriters. Whether she’s churning out haunting folk rock with Spooky Woods, catchy hooks with Skylar Gudasz & The Ugly Girls, or most recently crooning somber songs of love with her solo project, you’ll always find yourself fixated on Gudasz’ enchanting voice. But one of the reasons she’s so overlooked may be due to the fact that she’s just so damn busy that it’s hard to focus on any single project.
Grant Golden of “Carolina Grown” sat down with members of Dark Water Rising on Aug. 8. Listen back to their conversation here.
One of the best parts of North Carolina’s music scene is the familial vibes that go around. Some have described it as an “incestuous” community where lineups are interchangeable, band members come and go, but everyone feeds off of one another. So what happens when one of the area’s most beloved songwriters decides to go on his own and craft an album entirely on his lonesome…well something along the lines of Weller.
Nathan Toben has long been a fixture of the North Carolina music scene. Years ago he could be spotted in rhythm sections for acts like Wild Wild Geese or Americans in France, but he’s best known for being the mysterious front man for The Toddlers. The Toddlers received constant praise from musicians and concertgoers alike for their dark, dreamy pop songs that propelled them to opening spots for acts like Lost in the Trees and The Love Language. But once the band released their full-length debut they seemed to die out with a whimper. Now nearly half a year later Nathan Toben has resurfaced as the sole member of Weller, an incredible music expedition into the depths of “studio magic” and the inner-expanses of one man’s mind.
Toben joined Grant Golden in the studio for Carolina Grown two weeks ago to discuss the inspiration behind his concept album 1, a piece of work that’s as brooding as it is groovy. Compelled by the age-old concept of the four elements, Toben teamed up with Wesley Wolfe (who covered most of the production for the album) to crank out an album’s worth of introspective pop brilliance. Throughout the hour Toben discussed the songwriting process behind these tracks, his inspiration for making this a studio exclusive project (meaning no live shows) and what we can expect to hear from the esteemed songwriter in the near future.
Listen below for some selected tracks from Weller’s debut full-length and the full conversation:
Grant Golden interviewed High Point band The Low Counts last month on Carolina Grown. You can also hear three of their songs during the interview: You’re Crazy, Cut Me Out and Lush.
The Low Counts will be coming to Raleigh on July 18th, but you can check out their show schedule to find a show closest to you.
Grant Golden interviewed Durham/Chapel Hill band Beauty World this month on Carolina Grown. You can hear four of their songs during this interview: Meteor & Me, Rambutan, Alpine and Jheri Horton.
They will be playing a free show at Nice Price Books tonight at 9 PM with Ser Onda and First Person Plural!
Grant Golden interviewed local act See Gulls before they played at the WKNC / WXYC / WXDU / WUAG benefit concert, Play It Safe, at the Pinhook on May 30th.
You can also hear two of their songs, You Can’t See Me and Don’t Write Me Love Songs during the interview.
Carolina Grown Podcast: thefacesblur
Adam Graetz is better known as thefacesblur, up until recently that was the moniker adopted primarily for Greatz’s visual projections. These visuals have been spotted all over the Triangle throughout the past few years, a handful of Hopscotch sets have been graced with them, sets from Zack Mexico and T0W3RS as well. But towards the end of 2013 Graetz fully made the leap from visual to audio, crafting dizzying dance tunes under the same name.
Listen to the full conversation along with new tracks below.
Carolina Grown Podcast: Crowdsource
Phil Torres is a man you can expect to hear a lot more of in the North Carolina music scene. For the past few years he’s been blazing musical trails as Baobab alongside his partner Whitney Trettiien, but recently he broke out of the “folktronic” territory and has begun to craft heady dance tracks under the moniker Crowdsource. On this electronically themed show, I spoke at length with Phil about the origin of his electronic obsession, how he crafts these infectious beats and some of his sampling sources.
Check out our full conversation, along with three brand new Crowdsource tracks from his forthcoming album Bit Rot Blues below.
Carolina Grown Podcast: Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba
Few artists are as capable of crafting music as emotive and engaging as Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba. Though Cissokho is primarily singing in a wide array of languages that the average layman won’t be able to comprehend, the passion still oozes from this incredibly charismatic performer. The music of Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba is unlike any I’ve heard before, be that from North Carolina or West Africa. Cissokho has been working on mastering the kora since he was 5 years old, and after a few decades the instrument seems to be an extension of himself. Leading up to the release of the band’s second full-length album, The Great Peace, I was joined in the studio by Diali and the rest of the band.
The band also shared three tracks from The Great Peace that you can stream below along with our full conversation.
Carolina Grown Podcast: Jan. 3 w/ Six String Drag
For the second hour of our first show in 2014 I was joined by the iconic alt-country act Six String Drag. In the late 90s Six String Drag was taking the scene by the horns and delivering a sweltering dose of all-out good ol’ fashioned rock n’ roll. It’s been over a decade since the band broke up and moved on to other projects, Kenny Roby has led a successful solo career while Dave Wright has dabbled in acts like The Countdown Quartet and Bone Slinger and Rob Keller forayed into bluegrass territory with The Welfare Liners. Since their breakup the group has only performed together twice, but on Jan. 4 they made their long awaited return to the Triangle after nearly 8 years at The Pour House.
I had most of the original members in-studio to talk a bit about how this reunion came together and exactly where they’ll go from here. As it turns out Roby has been storing up some songs that feel quite similar to Six String Drag, and while he hasn’t specifically stated that it’s going to turn into another Six String Drag album…the band is certainly all here. Throughout the hour we cover the looming question on everyone’s mind (more music?!), run down what the band has been doing since their break up, speak of the preparation for the show and hear a slew of in-studio performances from their marquee album High Hat. The band even played a tune that may end up on their new recordings! Listen to the entire session below: