Marie Hines Bio

Supporting HeartCrash

By Emily J Ramey

Written for Marie Hines

Marie Hines

Marie Hines is a creator. She cooks dinner, she bakes cupcakes, she’s an avid DIY-er, and true to her Southern charm, she’s not afraid to get down in the dirt if it means cultivating something colorful and fragrant. Drawing inspiration from nature, HeartCrash boasts music that mimics the fine lightness of a summer breeze and the rolling current of a cool autumn stream. By broadening her scope and expanding her thematic obsessions, Marie has fallen right into place between Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles, an artist as spirited and smart as she is talented.

Those familiar with Marie’s debut, Worth the Fight, or her live follow-up EP, The Living Room Sessions, will recognize her characteristic feminine grace, billowing piano melodies, and incandescent strings, but there’s something new and exciting in this collection of songs. On HeartCrash, Marie’s brush strokes are broader, more confident. Like a bright-eyed bride lifting her gauzy veil for the first time, letting the sun dazzle her and the wind brush her skin, the young Nashville singer/songwriter is stepping out and making strides. “With HeartCrash, I wanted to do something that wasn’t safe. I wanted genuine and natural and raw. These songs embody where I am now, I think.”

“Hammer,” written from the perspective of a character in a book, opens the album with the leaden lines, “You never think your lover’s words could kill you, and you can’t foresee the blow that is your last,” and continues to unfold into an rolling instrumental landscape that explores the windswept valleys of slighted love. The unshakable title track was a new experience for Marie; “it didn’t come out of love or lack of love; it came out of anger,” she claims. A song about “a collision of two souls, the realization of clashing opinions and irreconcilable differences,” “HeartCrash” stomps out a driving beat, sullying forth with words like “I won’t stay, stay around for you to take, take me down, down, down.”

“Mending” is far and away the most complex song on HeartCrash, piano rivulets spilling into swirling ocean depths, dissonant strings surging and eddying into a roaring cascade. “The song has a steady 4/4 rhythm, then a 3/4 rhythm enters in the bridge. The different rhythms layer together perfectly,” Marie reveals, “and to me, it feels like two people falling in love.” The single “Perfect Kiss” is a playful acoustic refrain, silvery and gleaming in its idyllic innocence. “It’s a very personal song,” she says. “It’s a snapshot of the moment I realized I was blissfully happy in my relationship, and that I had found the person I want to be with for the rest of my life.” And “Poison in the Well” is a potent, pleading struggle to let go of the past, an emotion that elicits the strongest vocals on the record.

Marie’s debut album saw critical success with a feature in WalMart’s Valentine’s Day in-store promotional campaign in 2010 and 2011 and the top prize in both the Intel Superstars Competition and the Avon Songwriting Competition. Following the release of Worth the Fight, Marie embarked on a national tour, playing venues like LA’s famous Hotel Café on the West Coast, Nashville’s Bluebird Café, New York’s The Living Room on the East Coast, and cafés, house concerts, and coffeeshops all along the way.

More recently, Marie’s songs have provided background music for dozens of wedding videos, iTunes, Hallmark, Delta Airlines, Spotify, and Forever 21 have showcased tracks in various capacities, and the “Perfect Kiss” music video is in regular rotation on CMT Pure.

Marie Hines’ new release is available on February 28, 2012. For more information about Marie and HeartCrash, go to http://www.mariehines.com.

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Ingrid Michaelson at the Belcourt

I dropped and broke my camera on Halloween, so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the Ingrid Michaelson show at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville yesterday.  We did get a picture with her afterward though, courtesy my sister’s camera:

Ingrid Michaelson

My sister, Ellen, Ingrid, me, and my boyfriend, Tyler

Also, the show was amazing.  I’ve seen Ingrid play 4 times now.  Twice while I lived in New York in 2006/2007, once when the Hotel Cafe tour came through Nashville in 2008, and last night was my fourth.  My only problem with the Belcourt was that we were sitting down; I wanted to get up and dance!  I can’t wait for her to come back, though.  Last night was a fabulous way to start off the month of November.


Quote of the Night: Ingrid, after drinking from her aluminum water bottle: “You know, I’m trying to be good to the environment, but this just tastes like a key.”

– EJR

Ingrid Michaelson’s “Everybody” Review

Album Cover

Album Cover

Ingrid Michaelson

“Everybody”

August 2009; Cabin 24 Records

By Emily J Ramey

Click Here to See the Published Version on American Music Channel

Ingrid Michaelson’s sophomore album, Everybody is velvety and bold.  Michaelson is flexing her quirky intellect, clever witticisms, and musical prowess on this album, all the while proving that she is capable of growing and changing with her career and audience.

Lyrically, her pearls of wordsmithing genius are numerous: the opening lines of “Sort Of,” for example – “Baby you’ve got the sort of hands to rip me apart/And baby you’ve got the sort of face to start this old heart” – or of “So Long” – “You’ve made me into someone who should not hold a loaded gun – or the chorus of “Soldier” – “The battle with the heart isn’t easily won, but it can be won.”

Musically, Ingrid’s playing around with what she can construct with a full production team.  She’s trying overdubbing and counterpoint as well as additional instrumentation – strings, piano, etc., all played by Ingrid herself, of course.  She’s enjoying the power that orchestral builds can muster, and the melodic beauty that many voices can supplement.

Everybody’s focus tracks include the first song “Soldier,” a melancholy, harmonized tune that toys with off beats and time signatures; “Are We There Yet” for its arresting lyrics: “They say that home is where the heart is/I guess I haven’t found my home/And we keep driving round in circles/Afraid to call this place our own;” a studio version of “The Chain,” a blithe and beautifully feminine canon that we first heard in live form on Michaelson’s previous body of work Be OK; “Mountain and the Sea,” a zingy, light-hearted track with whimsical lyrics like “You can move me if you want to/You can move a mountain/You can move everything;” and the magnetic single “Maybe,” which serves as a dazzling springboard into Ingrid’s future endeavors.  “Maybe” is mature and poignantly uplifting; the song leaves its audience with their hearts warm and their heads buzzing.

“Incredible Love,” on the other hand, is a step outside of the characteristic buoyant indie pop we’re used to from Ingrid, with its mellow, minor intonations.  And “Locked Up” is another new feel for Michaelson: the song has a fantastically jazzy, almost R&B groove driving the melody; the lyrics, though, are still quirky Ingrid, referencing The Wizard of Oz (“Like an angry apple tree/I throw my apples if you get too close to me”) and drawing jaunty analogies between pennies lost and young love: “If I was 17 I could find it in between the cushions of somebody’s couch.

The title track is too damn catchy for its own good, and yet, I don’t mind that it’s been stuck in my head for the past four days.  “Everybody” is an ideal complement to Ingrid’s signature folk fusion, complete with catchy chorus, ukulele accompaniment, and unaffected simplicity.

What’s most fascinating about this album though, is that there is something good to say about every track.  Each song possesses undeniable forward motion, maturing in a direction as unique as Michaelson herself, without sacrificing the effortlessness and rare purity that made her popular.  Bravo, Ingrid.

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Ingrid Michaelson’s “Be OK” Review

Album Cover

Album Cover

Ingrid Michaelson

“Be OK”

October 2008; Cabin 24 Records

By Emily J Ramey

Ingrid Michaelson has achieved notoriety in an innovative and novel way.  Michaelson’s name flowered into the proverbial musical realm after the song “The Way I Am” from her second album Girls and Boys was featured on ABC’s drama Grey’s Anatomy.  Don’t think Ingrid’s journey has been an easy way to the top though.  Michaelson played hundreds of local shows in the northeast and even created her own label, Cabin 24 Records, to gain footing in the business.  Still, in the end, it was Ingrid’s delightfully clever tunes coupled with down-to-earth lyrics rooted in simple, universal truths that made her an indie marvel.  Be OK is a compilation of old and new, which in some ways should classify it as an EP; five of the eleven tracks are either covers or acoustic or live versions of previously recorded songs.  However, the originality and expression of Ingrid’s new material makes the album worth the purchase anyway.  Quirky, blithe tunes like “Giving Up” and “Keep Breathing” are blended with melodic adaptations of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “Oh What a Day,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” on Be OK, while the title track, along with “Lady in Spain” and “You and I,” demonstrate Ingrid Michaelson’s distinguishing fusion of indie pop and folk.  The most impressive tune, however, is decidedly “The Chain,” a sinuous canon recorded live at a performance at Webster Hall in New York.  Overall, Ingrid has gracefully remained true to the unique quality of music that won her so many indie hearts, and that alone is something she should be proud of.

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