“I never, ever thought this would be my career,” says award-winning actress/director/producer/writer turned singer-songwriter Tara Beier. Although trained in classical piano for over a decade, it wasn’t until Beier immersed herself in the role of Buffy Sainte-Marie for her 2014 film Covered that she found an identity in music. The process of learning to sing and play songs on a guitar inspired her to write meaningful music of her own.
For her latest EP, California 1970, Canadian-born Beier let the ocean, sunshine, mountains and history of Los Angeles inspire her songwriting. With the intention of writing from a purely honest place, she weaves her personal struggles into universal truths. Positivity is a recurring theme throughout the record with lyrics like “We gotta love a bit better” and “I am enough, just to be alive” repeated like mantras. Surrounding herself with some of the best session musicians in L.A., she orchestrated an environment of musical expression that resulted in the free-flowing, organic rhythm of the record. Produced entirely by Beier at the legendary recording studio The Village, the EP presents airy alt-folk songs with psych-rock influences. California 1970 is the sound of an artist blossoming.
Today, Tara Beier premieres California 1970 ahead of its release date on Stories Behind The Songs:
Our WANDERLUST playlist was created for all of the free-spirited wanderers and soul-searchers who take the time to break free from routine and breathe life in. Curated with the good vibes of Ryan Adams, Lord Huron, Maggie Rogers, The War on Drugs, alt-J, Lana Del Rey and more!
Common Deer’s Sheila Hart-Owens performing for The Strombo Show | Photo: Vanessa Heins
Last month Common Deer performed a cover of Against Me!’s “Delicate, Petite, and Other Things I’ll Never Be” during their guest appearance on CBC Radio 2’s The Strombo Show. With their orchestral indie pop sound, Common Deer reinvented the song as a slow, stripped, haunting expression of the longing that lies within the original punk rock song. Two days after their cover aired on The Strombo Show, Laura Jane Grace (lead singer of Against Me!) tweeted to the band raving about their performance.
With festival season around the corner, we’re feeling those groovy summer vibes. Our latest curated playlist is filled with vintage tunes from the ’60s & ’70s and the best new wave psych-rock tracks of today. From Jefferson Airplane and The Doors to Dope Lemon and Temples, SPRING PSYCHEDELIA was made for your inner hippie.
Follow Stories Behind The Songs on the Spotify app by entering spotify:user:storiesbehindthesongs into the search bar.
Canadian singer-songwriter Peter van Helvoort (formerly of Teenage Kicks) premieres the first of his solo work today on Stories Behind The Songs. Inspired by his childhood songwriting heroes Neil Young, Jim Croce and Cat Stevens, “Down On Me” is an intimate recording of a man documenting his time and the burden it places on its people. Rich in emotion and raw in its intensity, “Down On Me” is a fitting introduction to van Helvoort’s autobiographical songwriting style.
Peter van Helvoort shared the story behind “Down On Me” with Stories Behind The Songs:
“All of my music has always been very personal, perhaps to a fault, but I think this was probably the first song I wrote that kind of laid my faults out on the line in a way that wasn’t just about ME. The goal was to make an effort to show admiration for the person in my life who has to deal with the consequences of those faults. Throughout the song the response from my significant other is always the same, that person never comes down on me, their devotion never waivers.
I have a fairly significant back catalog of songs but I chose to release this song first because I think it really applies to the world we’re living in right now. We’ve been trained to live in fear, and this song tackles how I’ve personally dealt with that fear. When I really get sucked into a bad news day it makes me spiral and sometimes I can’t get out of that for days. This is the part that I hope can resonate with people, I understand the black holes that are depression and addiction. I’m my own worst enemy and it took admitting that I can’t face the darkness on my own to make it possible to have some good days.”
Follow Peter van Helvoort:
Instagram: @doubledutchrec Twitter: @teenagekicksto
This article, written by SBTS founder Stephanie Horak, was also published on Indie88.com on March 9th, 2017.
The birth of MTV in 1981 changed the game of the music industry. Suddenly the artist and their music could be launched simultaneously to a massive audience. The art form of the music video was born and the importance of image became even more powerful.
Nothing defined this new art form like Michael Jackson’s 1982 “Thriller” music video. Produced in partnership with MTV, the video set viewers’ expectations high with its technically advanced visual narrative, massive budget and Hollywood director.
By the time the ’90s came along, the music video, still a relatively new medium, was the most effective method of an artist’s exposure. Remember, this was a time before YouTube and instant access to music, videos and concert footage. The larger MTV’s audience got, the more crucial an artist’s video became. A single video could take an underground emerging genre to the masses; it could ignite fashion trends and inspire technological and design innovation; it could act as a political statement or a glimpse into another world; but most importantly, it could sell millions of records.
The ’90s was a decade filled with music videos that both challenged and delighted the viewer. Some pushed boundaries and were unlike anything we’d ever seen before while others acted as a snapshot of an era. Below is our list of 25 music videos that are iconic in their ability to capture the essence of ’90s pop culture.