Skip to main content

INDEPENDENT EP RELEASE: Cindy Jollotta, "Ghosts"



I would expect the likelihood of finding good country music in Los Angeles about as likely as that of Berlin or Moscow. Nonetheless, Cindy Jollotta is actually a singer-songwriter based in LA, previously playing across the country with her band, The Podunk Poets. Her daring new EP release, “Ghosts,” now has Jollotta striking out on her own with songs that attempt to inject alt-rock with some down-home bluegrass ala Lucinda Williams. (A comparison that any younger female country singer without big hair must get exasperated with.)

The EP starts with “Hony-Tonk Heroine,” a slow beat ukele-violin combo that finds Jollotta morose with regret over what might’ve been had her career been influenced better. “Sometimes broken people can be just a little too much to take,” she sings. “Coulda been a honky-tonk heroine but something got fucked up along the way…” Poor decisions have caused her dreams to strand her. “So I’ll be here, just singing to the wall…”

The next song and first single, “Leave Slow,” is--funny enough--much faster and sounds like what I consider true honky-tonk to be: fast and sassy. It’s a breakup song. “Please leave slow. I want to watch you go,” the chorus chimes. “I want this pain if it’s the last I feel of you…” The tune contains a nice piano change up before bringing in a heavy guitar riff, a very unexpected development which demonstrates that Jollotta isn’t afraid to take risks. It’s also a great way to stay relevant.   

“Now You Can Wait” is perhaps the EP’s most powerful song with the rawest feelings. It’s also another break up number. “I let you build your walls and tell your scary stories…,” Jollotta sings. The lyrics hint at not just an emotionally abusive relationship, but a physical one. “Thanks for your hands around my throat. I promise to be good if you let me go.” Yikes.

The EP concludes with the delicate and quiet ukele tune “Merry Christmas, Darling,” which makes for a positive message to send us off with. It’s the holidays, an occasion for closure and restoration. It’s also a time for hope. “Maybe it’s just the season,”she sings.“I’ll take what it’s giving because, look around, we made to ring a new year in…” 

Jollotta categorizes her music on “Ghosts” as Americana Gothic. “Dark Country meets Folk Pop. Dixie Chicks meets My Chemical Romance.” Perhaps, sorta. But I would venture enough to say that Jolletta defies such labels, for the most part. Her music and message feel more original and compelling than that. More personal.  

As she sings on the last track: “Because after all that we’ve been through, it’s still me and you…”

Included below is the music video for the single “Ghosts.” For some reason it’s not included on the track list for the EP itself with which it shares a name. Jolletta describes this song as “feelings of heartbreak and remorse that only one can experience and know by going through the trials and tribulations or life itself.” 

Like what you've read? Please comment and share!
Want to listen? Please buy the album here:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: Ethos, “V: Parents”

Ethos is the stage name for Alex Hlavna, a 19-year veteran of the Cleveland, Ohio music scene where he played guitar , bass, and drums on numerous recordings. He has now released his own song entitled “V: Parents” from his new album Ten Commandments. The V is the Roman numeral for 5, as in the 5th Commandment: “Honor thy father and thy mother.”  Each track on the album is titled this way, named after a commandment. Is this some type of “religious rap” or is Ethos being metaphoric? The actual definition of “ethos” is “the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.” Judging from such a moniker and from statements he’s made in interviews, it seems his goal is more about making observations, rather than instructing us that “thou shalt not whatever.” It’s a more provocative approach. The song is a funk-bassline over an electronic beat and soft synths. Meanwhile Ethos ’ voice is anything but soft as he raps about honoring your

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: Elise Hayes, “Giving Up”

“You never wanted me to get that tattoo,” sings Nashville recording artist Elise Hayes . “I’m going to get that tattoo.” This the start to her new single “Giving Up,” (co-written with Johnny Mo ) which is about not giving up, an ode to post-relationship defiance. There is freedom in being your own person again, even if you were the one dumped. The music itself is a tapestry of sorts: sonic styles patchworked together into a compact yet pleasing mix. Pounding drums and sitar give way to softer guitar, then back to drums, which sometimes beat rapidly as a door knock. A wake up call. The song often stops and starts as if her thoughts are coming to her in jagged fits as she’s singing them. “You never wanted me to have that haircut / Well, now I do…”   It’s a hard style to pull off but Hayes does it effortlessly. She is a strong singer/songwriter, doubtlessly helped in her confidence from being featured in TV shows, such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” MTV ’s “Siesta Key,” and other

INDEPENDENT SONG RELEASE: Micheal Bruner, "Midst of a Mistake"

By Michael Bruner Getting tendinitis was surely a setback, but it also proved to be a positive constraint, an evolution in my approach to music. Instead of contorting my hand into a tense, fleshy spider, I did what felt best: Forcing my head and body to meet halfway. I kept writing. I finished the song “Midst of a Mistake,” inspired by a thieving taxi driver in China. I wanted to start producing this song, but I knew the audio production and editing would prove too strenuous to pull off single-handedly.  Just a few weeks after returning from China, I received a message from Rodrigo Cotelo. I’d met him at the first installment of a house show I performed at (shortly after the onset of my tendinitis). He accompanied a handful of talented Jacob’s students who had backed me up on a set of my original songs. I knew Rod and I would click with each other from the moment I found him sitting at a table, pouring a gourd of yerba maté. Rod’s lively spirit, carefree attitude, and co