We return to Rock n’ Recipes features with one of my absolute favorite musicians, Emma Kupa. I first stated my fandom with Standard Fare, but she’s gone on to her current projects Mammoth Penguins, Hayman Kupa Band…and, this month she’ll release her new solo LP. We caught up with her via email to chat about her songwriting process, the new LP, and she shares her go recipe for Vegan Banana Pancakes! It Will Come Easier is out Friday via Palo Santo Records and Fika Recordings.
A Break in the Battle is a relativelyy recent project begun by three musicians from Dallas: Salim Nourallah, Chris Holt, and Paul Averitt; they joined up to pay homage to some of Salim’s favorite songwriters and songs. You might recognize Nick Heyward as the core songwriter of Haircut 100, who then later went on to have a pretty decent solo career; the track being covered comes off 1993’s From Monday to Sunday. In the version below, you get more of an almost elevated rendition, highlighting the pop sensibility rather than the rushed tension of Hayward; I love how this version still holds tight to the emphatic vocal that pops up in both versions around the 2:30 mark. Check out the new version below courtesy of Palo Santo Records…you can also find the OG track HERE.
If you’ve been following Emma Kupa since Standard Fare hung things up, then chances are you’ve likely heard live versions of “Nawlins.” But, with It Will Come Easier not too far away from the official release date, we finally get a lovely recorded version. I’ve listened to previews of this record quite a bit, and the strumming style and various accompaniment make this tune one of the immediate standouts, particularly when backed up against the stunning “No Easy Way Out.” That initial strum caught me instantly, filled with the accent of shakers and banjo; be weary of the chorus, as once those backing vocals get their hooks in you, you’re not getting away! Honestly, I think the soloing guitar is a nice touch; it kind of adds that light twist that shows a willingness to maybe throw something else in the genre’s mix. The LP drops September 18th via Fika Recordings/Palo Santo Records.
Avowed Emma Kupa fan here, and I’ve been fortunate enough to get a little glimpse at the entirety of It Will Come Easier. Today we bring you the album’s second single, and one that really highlights Emma as a singer. The video, and the song for the most part are pretty stark, just Emma and her voice; you do get some delicate string work to build in the slightest hint of texture throughout, though the focus remains on Kupa’s dynamic pipes. Honestly, her voice and lyrics make this entire record; I love the lyric below reminding us that “nobody’s a saint/and we’ve all got our problems.” It’s a good thing to keep in mind as we all hold tight to our relationships. It Will Come Easier is out via Fika Recordings/Palo Santo Records this Fall.
Make no mistake about it…Emma Kupa is one of my absolute favorite songwriters; I loved Standard Fare; I love Hayman Kupa Band and Mammoth Penguins (that MP LP last year is still great!). So, when she announced her new solo effort, It Will Come Easier, I nearly knocked over my chair to get a listen. It’s interesting to hear this track, as it seems to draw on bits and pieces of her musical career, from the folkier moments with the banjo to that ripping guitar line you can hear in the distance…but of course, its always about that distinctively powerful voice. It’s hard to not see this song’s lyrics through the lens of the last few weeks, however, as the protagonist seems fed up with facing the same dilemma time and time again…so even our art is starting to call us out. A beautiful tune, and one we’ll look forward to picking up when It Will Come Easier drops via Palo Santo Records and Fika Recordings this Fall!
SXSW is meaningful time to all of us here at ATH. It allows us to now only see some great bands, but to also meet some truly amazing people from all over the globe. One of our dear SXSW buddies hails from Glasgow and originally turned us onto Catholic Action a few years ago at a showcase he helped put together. Today I am pleased to share this short interview from the band prior to their appearance in Austin next month. Hit it after the jump.
Man it’s a busy time of year for me at the moment and it’s sometimes tough to find enough minutes in the day to post about music. It is easy though when one finds a song like this one called “Another Name for Loneliness” from Glasgow based pop group Catholic Action. For me, this one reminds me a bit of my old favorites Los Campesinos! with a stronger pop song structure similar to say a Shout Out Louds. Really it’s giving me good vibes and offering a sort of throwback feeling to a time when we were first kicking off this site.
This song appears on new album Celebrated by Strangers due out March 27th on Palo Santo Records.
I can’t get enough of this new tune from Catholic Action; it’s every bit as serious lyrically as it is fun, as a track. Taking notes from Eno and Byrne, building artistic messages into these delicious pop numbers. I’m super into the band’s propulsive vibe on this track, almost as if you’re on some sort of treadmill jogging in place while the vocals are blasted at you from afar. And the vocals, they have this off-kilter delivery almost 90% of the time, but their natural hook comes with the “d-d-d-d-despise” stutter line; it’s superb. The group are set to release Celebrated by Strangers on March 27th of next year via Palo Santo Records.
Previously having made a name for herself a pop/folk artist, Soren Bryce has stepped away from the genre to record under the name tummyache. A welcome change to her older music, the Amarillo native has created something truly beautiful with her debut single “In Between”. It’s rare to find a song which can progress as well as this one with a quiet, stripped down number slowly building into a gut wrenching and powerful final minute. Raw emotions seep through the track and one can’t help but feel it all.
Bryce’s new group tummyache will release a debut EP entitled Humpday later this year on Poor Man Records.