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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The New Pornographers’ “Together” Review

Album Cover

The New Pornographers

“Together”

May 2010; Matador Records

By Emily J Ramey

Click Here to See the Published Version on American Music Channel

The New Pornographers is what we like to call a supergroup, due to the numerous solo ventures from A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar, Todd Fancey, Kathryn Calder, as well as the films directed by keys-man Blaine Thurier.  Individually, these guys are some of the most talented and astute of their youthful generation, but together they are an array of extraordinary musicians, who produce a rich, electric sound not unlike The Shins or Spoon.

With their most recent body of work, The New Pornographers are not only showcasing their own dazzling musical prowess, but also making regular use of strings sections and The Dap-Kings’ horns, not to mention collaborations with St. Vincent, Beirut’s Zach Condon, and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff as well.  Together is a tight combination of thundering toms and casual harmonies, with cymbals and tambourines filling out the highest registers, collectively creating a fabulous balance of rollicking indie rock.

“Moves” kicks off the album with what sounds like killer electric cello.  Resonant and upbeat, “Moves” showcases piano and violin instrumentation, along with lyrical lines like, “And all the years/At quarter speed/Haloed and/Trembling clean.”  “Crash Years” makes me wish I could whistle. With opening lyrics like, “The skirts go up/Before the war/Among the madding crowds/They’re ruined like the rest of us, ruined,” the track is melodic yet catchy, magnetic yet sharp.  The single “Your Hands (Together)” is a little Beatles-y, with its silvery harmonies and highly rhythmic beat, but the words are eloquent and blistering: “Put-put-put your hands together/For the cause and cure is calling/Put-put-put your hands together/For the silver bullet falling.”

“Up in the Dark” is sparkling and bouncy, a second-listen discovery.  “A Bite Out of My Bed” boasts a brazen guitar melody, sprightly beat, and clever little lyrics: “I must have brought the weather back with me/Soaked us ’til we’re see-through and drip-ping/Now early every morning I come to/Somebody took a bite out of my bed – you.”  And the album closer, “We End Up Together,” is steady and warm, its electric strings accompaniment strong and prolific, a solid wrapper-upper.

Together, the group’s fifth studio album since their formation in 1997, is yet another musical triumph.  A sound as opulent and bold as theirs is a rare find on the scene today, though speaking to the band’s consistently cool efforts, I don’t think anyone is surprised.  Still, don’t take my word for it.  Have a listen for yourself.

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