I’m here to put a jump in your step and add some silver musical linings to your life this week by telling you what some musicians in Maine have in store for the year.
I reached out to several of them to find out what their release plans are for the coming year and what inspired their recent writing and musical creation. The pandemic has certainly influenced some of their material, and some artists are branching out into different genres with their new material.
Drive by Todd are the midcoast-based alternative rock trio who just released the song “Aubergine” last week. The band was formed in 2013 and includes drummer Peyton Clark, guitarist Jake Nagy and singer / bassist / guitarist Joanna Grierson. Grierson described the new song as “a dreamy ’90s acoustic rock-inspired ode to the tumult and joy of love and long-term commitment …”
After listening to it a few times, I already have a feeling that this is going to end up being one of my favorite Maine songs of the year. Find Drive By Todd on facebook.com/drivebytodd and on Instagram @drivebytoddband.
Saco-based singer-songwriter Doug Kolmar will release their fourth album, “So Said Life”, on February 22.
Kolmar said much of the dossier reflects life in the pandemic as well as the social upheavals of 2020 and 2021, and themes of isolation abound.
The album features him on vocals, guitar, mandolin and bass; Jud Caswell on 12 string guitar, bass, melodica, saxophone and percussion; singer Janice O’Rourke; cellist April Reed-Cox; percussionist Colin Kolmar; bassists Mike Burd and Sheldon Byrd; Eleanor Caswell on French horn; and organist Ben Hunsberger.
Assuming the pandemic doesn’t mess things up, there will be an album release at Frontier in Brunswick on February 25. Listen to a few preview tracks on dougkolmarmusic.com.
One of the most memorable songs of the past year was by a Portland-based pop-rock artist. Alex nelson. âIn Timeâ, like I said myself, is perfect power pop. So I was delighted to hear that he had another new song slated for a spring release.
Nelson described the track “Lonely” as a darker, blues-inspired song that addresses the feelings of loneliness and existential dread we all face, even when it’s hidden behind the biggest of smiles. Nelson sent me the song and what he said ringed true. It is indeed blues and, as the children say, it slams.
The song stars Nelson on vocals and guitar, Manny Urgiles on guitar, Conor McGrory on bass, and drummer Chuck Martin. Find Nelson at xandernelsonmusic.com.
Rockland-based Peter Galway will release his next album in late spring, a project he called “particularly organic, inspired by Costello-Cohen-Petty-Fagen-Springsteen”.
Under the name of Peter Galway and the real band, he features him as a songwriter and lead singer, and he also plays bass, keyboards and percussion. The rest of the group is made up of Andrea Re on vocals and percussion, Dark Wainer on guitar and Joe Wainer on drums. There are also a number of guests.
Galway has been working on this for decades, so, incredibly, this will be its 30th outing.
Additionally, it turns out that Galway is married to a singer-songwriter. Annie gallup who told me she had a single up her sleeve that will be out soon, called “Harvey Moved To Queens”. I consider Gallup to be one of the best songwriters in the state, so I can’t wait to hear his latest work. Find Galway on petergallway.com and Gallup on anniegallup.com.
Portland based Connor garvey is a singer-songwriter of folk-rock persuasion, but with his upcoming album, “Another End of a Year,” due out this spring or summer, he’ll be leaning more into Americana and rock.
âThe emphasis remains on writing songs, but the textures to make it stand out have deepened,â Garvey said.
His band is made up of Pete Morse on electric guitar, Dan Boyden on drums and percussion, and Colin Winsor on bass. Guests are Ben Cosgrove on piano and organ, Eric McDonald on mandolin and Sorcha Cribben-Merrill on harmony and backing vocals.
Garvey sent me an advance of the track “Water to the Well”, and it’s a fantastic bittersweet song about trying to get out of it and encouraging someone to recognize their self-esteem. self.
Garvey said the album’s tone and subject matter is darker than most of his previous work and that the songwriting and production is the best he’s ever done.
âI am immensely enthusiastic about this project which is taking shape in its mature form and yet still a seedling that has just been born. Themes of letting go, letting go, trusting the path to reveal oneself when needed, and areas of hidden hope fill the song. Find it on connorgarveysongs.com.
Portland punk trio The worst released her debut album “Jane Doe Embryo” in 2017, and her new one, “Yes Regrets”, is slated for release on June 3.
The band said the album was about addiction, depression, recovery, redemption, salvation and remorse, all through brutally honest lyricism from band frontman Brooke Binion.
Alongside Binion on vocals, guitars and keyboards, band members Will Bradford on vocals, bass, guitar and keyboards and Craig Sala on drums and vocals. The album, which also features members of Morphine and The Distillers, was recorded at Chillhouse Studios in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and at several remote home studios.
Fans got a preview in the fall of 2020 when a video for the album’s title track was released. Once the pandemic was released, they were able to complete the rest of the album. Find the worst at solo.to/theworst.
from Portland Love by Num3rs this week began recording sessions at the Waterhouse studio on Peaks Island for a full album slated for release in July.
The indie-pop / Americana / soul / roots group is made up of lead members Anna Lombard on vocals and keyboards, Jonathan Roods on bass, pedal steel, guitar, percussion and Moog (synth) and Dan Connor on vocals and guitar . Other players on their recorded work and in their shows are Josh Dyum and Zach Jones on electric guitar and drummer Gary Gemmiti.
Previous releases are the feature film “Parachute” in 2020 and the EP “Colors” from last year. Lombard said the new record plunges into experimental and psychedelic vibes with elements of R&B, soul and world music versus writing narrative songs. Find their music at lovebynumb3rs.com.