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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Regina Spektor’s “Far” Review

 

Album Cover

Album Cover

Regina Spektor

“Far”

June 2009; Sire Records

By Emily J Ramey

Click Here to See the Published Version on American Music Channel

Poetic, insightful, and seemingly effortless, simple, yet astoundingly esoteric, Regina Spektor is one of the last of her kind – a songwriting maven, if you will.  She has enchanted the indie pop world with her signature dichotomous staccato and graceful, fluid vocals, and her newest masterpiece is no exception.  Melodic, full, and well-blended, Far starts off with a bang – “The Calculation” is upbeat and irresistible; however, if one can get past the first track, he realizes that magnetic element isn’t the song, it’s Spektor herself: every track is saturated with her adorable wit and unconventionally beautiful voice, not to mention her elegant, inventive piano accompaniment.

Unpredictable and wide-ranging, Spektor’s melodies and subject matter are always anyone’s guess because everything and everyone is fair game – perspectives, situations, stories; Regina Spektor can sing about anything.  On Far, Spektor delves into new and fearless subject matter, including death, religion, and humanity.  “Blue Lips,” “Human of the Year,” “Machine,” and “Laughing With” are all clear examples.  However, Spektor’s sharp insight and spitfire intellect allow her to address heavily human themes with her characteristic light-hearted quirkiness, and with blithe, buoyant tracks like “The Calculation,” “Folding Chair,” “Dance Anthem of the 80s,” and “One More Time with Feeling” strategically placed throughout, the album not only flows with flawless forward movement, but overall comes across as optimistic, radiant even.  As does the woman herself.  Regina Spektor is a refreshing influence on today’s anti-folk scene, and a burgeoning musical icon.  Spektor proved herself worth listening to with her previous releases – Soviet Kitsch (2004) and Begin to Hope (2006), but Far goes on to show us that a little bit of charm and a lot of talent are tickets straight to the top.

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