The High Divers
Formed in 2014, The High Divers hit the ground running playing shows regionally around South Carolina, recording their debut album, “Riverlust”, and building a fan base that quickly fell in love with their raucous live shows. The follow up album, Chicora, was released to much critical acclaim and found itself seated on many “Best Of” lists. Perhaps the band’s most well known work was 2019’s “Ride With You” EP produced by Jason Isbell guitarist, Sadler Vaden, who is credited with “Getting the band out of it’s comfort zone, and into some close to the vest songwriting”, according to bassist and singer, Kevin Early.
It’s not just the sound that shifted with Vaden’s guidance. He also helped make the song selections for this EP, and opted for the ones that Luke and Mary Alice were a little more uncomfortable with sharing. That’s how they knew they were the right picks. The lyrics stray from carefree, frolicking 2015 hit “Summertime” and 2017′s shimmery, butterfly-inducing “Fall In Love So Fast” into some somber subject matter. The disc touches on suicide, bullying, abuse, depression and PTSD. “If you don’t do something that really scares you, you’re not going to grow,” says Mary Alice, who sings “Our Love is a Fire,” which is about an abusive relationship she was in for four years as a young teenager.
Beat-driven. Employing heavy elements of funk and soul, paris_monster closes the gaps between synth-pop & garage; between modern detail and old-school grit. Solid earth. Soaring soundscapes. A mass of noise. Volatility. Vocal singularity.
The Deli NYC calls paris_monster “a precise, complex and sophisticated mechanism” with a “a monstrous instrumental technique”, delivering a sound that “could be the new face of American roots rock”.
In fall of 2017 paris_monster began recording their first full length LP, set to be released in 2018. The album will solidify their dirty, glitchy, lyric-centered, groove-based sound, and will be a milepost in their search for a focused and flexible musical approach. The elements of funk and soul join with lyrical themes of bygone eras in rural settings, characters lost, and mortality confronted. Love achieved, and denied. Americana. Themes in stark contrast to the pounding grooves and electronic mayhem, creating depths and dimensions that could have been otherwise achieved only by dropping a modular synth in the corn fields of central New York or the woods of Connecticut. And maybe that’s exactly what happened.
Lesley Keller of Pancakes & Whiskey said, “Each time I see them perform I’m dumbfounded at just how great they are”. paris_monster’s live show is something to behold. The challenge when seeing them live is getting past the fact that there are only two people creating all that sound. Two people. A drum set. A bass. A keyboard. A eurorack modular synth. One microphone. And all that sound. Beyond this visual impossibility is a careful and deliberate balance of sounds,colors, and textures. Melodies to serve a story. Chaos to destroy preciousness. The Deli NYC observed, “infallible superior forces: as we all know now, ‘with great power comes great responsibilities,’ and the duo never abuses of it – that’s what good musicianship is.” paris_monster’s full catalogue is available NOW on iTunes. The Deli NYC said of recent release “Ain’t No Movin’ Me”: “…[paris_monster] showcases its prowess for hook writing/crafting a track that could stand without accompaniment as a blues-y, spiritual declaration, but is launched into another realm by its bed of synths and echoing choruses. An inspired take on blues folk that’s both hypnotic and engaging.”
Becca Leigh (Becca Leigh Nicholson) is a songwriter based in Charleston, South Carolina. Her songs emerge from a folk tradition, focusing on melody, imagery, and emotion. They press on the tension between melancholy and hope, beauty and pain.
In 2015, she self-released her debut EP, Doxologies, a collection of five songs recorded in Greensboro, North Carolina with producer Daniel Levi Goans of the folk duo Lowland Hum. In April of 2016, she joined Charleston-based label Coast Records and re-released Doxologies as part of the Coast repertoire.
In November 2017 she was selected as a finalist in the New Song Music Competition and performed at the songwriter showcase at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Her latest single, “Fields,” was recorded in collaboration with producer Matt Lohan of Dyado and Matt Zutell of Coast Records and is featured on a folk vinyl compilation project based in Germany, Down by the Water.
This year she is recording her first full-length album.