Cold Weather Company – An Artist to Watch

Every day when I arrive to work I immediately start my music discovery process. Often there are a few songs that make me pause, that stand out among the ocean of artists. But Cold Weather Company made me stop working altogether. Odds are you haven’t heard of the New Brunswick trio, but you damn well should. In today’s very special post, I present to you “An Artist to Watch: Cold Weather Company”.

I was lucky enough to speak with the band on their art, lyrics, and future. But first, take a listen at my four favorite songs…and read the interview below.

Steve, Brian, and Jeff of Cold Weather Company

Steve, Brian, and Jeff of Cold Weather Company

“What Do I Do” starts with a two minute intro, walking you through the fields of Cold Weather Company. As the pace picks up, so do the number of integrated elements within the song. All of a sudden we are hit with deft hands on the guitar, which link lyrical passages, sprinkled with piano riffs and gorgeous overlying harmonies. It’s about now when you’re beginning to try to understand why you haven’t heard of this band before. It doesn’t stop there. Solos on the piano and guitar circle back to those fields you started walking through in the beginning of the song; the contrived memories of your “folky past” come flooding through your mind.

In “Fellow of the North”, Cold Weather Company starts providing depth similar to that of Radical Face or Horse Feathers. For cello lovers, this is the beginning of a long night with Cold Weather Company on repeat. But before you move to the next song, don’t forget about the interlaced layering of “I was humbled by the stars”. Snap. Crackle. And Pop.

Are comparisons to Coldplay too much for “Someone Else”? No. Not at all. I felt I was in the same room as a young Chris Martin. The volcanic eruption of talent coming from pianist, Steve Shimchick is something unrivaled by some of the more popular bands of today. Be on the lookout for this to appear on many future playlists.

Lastly, “Horizon Fire” is a folksy, Mumford & Sons / Jared & the Mill (one of my favorite AZ bands) like tune. If anything, it rounds out the beginning premier of a band that has a successful future ahead of them. Make sure to share them with your friends, and if you love their music go download it from their SoundCloud!

The Audible Threshold meets Cold Weather Company

TAT: Making art can be a way to preserve or capture a moment. It can also be means of catharsis, of letting go. In “What Do I Do”, you showcase a conflicted mind, an inconsistent soul as you call it. Do you write these songs with the intent of remembering and capturing your soul at those moments, or do you write with the intent to let the inconsistency go?

CWC: (Brian and Jeff)  There’s always a bit of both.  I think we all strive to let our inconsistency go—we’re all searching for our truest selves.  Songwriting is our way of exploring our thoughts and emotions.  Our songs are all based on our lives, so their writing requires introspection.  In a way, while writing, we have to try to look at ourselves from an outsider’s perspective in order to see how everything works together.  Once a song is written, it represents a moment of understanding and relief for the writer.  So we would definitely agree that songwriting (as well as performing) is a cathartic process.  That said, each song that we write acts as a snapshot of our lives at that moment.  Writing a song is like bottling up a thought, emotion, or memory and storing it on a shelf.  After the song is finished, one does not have to worry about forgetting that moment, for the combination of melodies, harmonies, and lyrics brings it right back.  Brian is a photographer, and he takes pictures for the same reason—to preserve worthy moments in life.

TAT: In “Fellow in the North” there seems to be an underlying tone of angst towards a certain individual. However, the frustration seems to be solved by an immersion into nature, a Walden-esque solution. Thoreau did say “we need the tonic of wildness”. In your opinion, does solace actually come from the natural world, or is this an analogy to something bigger? Can angst be solved by this tonic?

CWC: (Brian)  I am both inspired and healed by nature.  Since my childhood, the woods around the towns where I grew up have been my escape when I needed to put things into perspective.  The forest is a place full of mystery—where the smallest patch of land carries within it such a complex ecological network of functions and processes.  “Fellow in the North” is written as if it is a letter from a man to a past friend (perhaps an ex) with whom he had a falling out.  Already stressed and tired of the structured, day-to-day existence of the average person, the problem between the two was the final straw for the Fellow.  In an escapist move, he decided to venture into the wilderness to find a simpler, more fulfilling life.  Once there, he is “humbled by the stars”—in awe of and appreciation of the vast system in which he is but an immeasurably small part.  It is a realization both beautiful and frightening, but it brings him peace.  The line “You were hollow from the start”, however, hints that the Fellow still has some bitterness left.  This is something that we plan on developing further in future songs, as he will be a recurring character in our music.  

Solace can absolutely be found in nature, but I believe the solution to angst and other problems comes from within.  The Fellow may have been humbled by the stars, but his realization and growth occurred within himself.  Nature simply provided the inspiration he needed to transform his perspective.  Thoreau entered the woods to explore not only nature, but his thoughts and predispositions.  Nature provides the conditions necessary for healing, growth, and learning—one simply has to listen.  

TAT: Talk to me about “Someone Else”. The power behind the lyrics and the emotion conveyed throughout the arc of the song is as special as it gets. Where is this emotion stemming from?

CWC: Steve here, first off thank you for your insight! I wrote the lyrics for “Someone Else” based on a personal experience. They’re fairly straightforward in that I really just wanted to be upfront about the whole thing. I wrote it in early November of 2013 at a time when things were pretty confusing for me regarding a girl. Like the title says, it’s about ‘someone else’ (or more so the girl who was interested in someone else). Interestingly enough, eventually things seemed to be going really well, but then later on (around the early part of 2014), things were downhill again. The song was still relatable by early 2014 because now there was the same girl but there was a new guy (who still wasn’t me, that’s a double whammy right there). I consider the situation a mix of bad luck, lack of trust, being led on, and more negative things that go along with that! However I’m in a way grateful that it happened, because I’m not sure where I’d be if it hadn’t and it definitely shaped me in a big, positive way, moving forward. In all honesty, I haven’t had too many experiences to incorporate into my songwriting, so when something does happen it tends to stay with me for at least a few songs. By now the song is essentially the first of a trilogy regarding the situation. I didn’t write them with that idea in mind, but it just ended up working out like that! So be on the look out for “Seafarer” and “Unlocked” in the future.

TAT: In “Horizon Fire” you touch on the fact that “I don’t know my self now”. As young adults, many of us speed through life filling our time with distractions that provide no insight into who we truly are. By writing and performing these songs, do you three feel any closer to finding that essence of self?

CWC: As you can tell by our previous answers, the “search for the self” is a recurring theme in our work.  Maybe each song we write brings us a step closer to figuring ourselves out.  Maybe you never truly know yourself.  Life is a collection of moments, some small and some large.  The moments we make determine who we are, and there is no period in life more volatile than young adulthood.  While we, as young adults, often look back on our recent history—wild nights, wasted days, and that scary search for a career—as a series of distractions, those moments have aided our understanding of ourselves.  Often times, the journey is the best part.  We know, however, that we never feel more sure of ourselves than when we are writing and performing.  So I think we’re on the right track!  

TAT: What are the next steps for Cold Weather Company? Album coming out soon?

CWC: Now that Jeff is back from his five-month stay in New Zealand, we are going to be focusing on writing and recording.  We are hoping to release our first full-length album around November (isn’t that fitting—just as things start to get cold).  We are also playing a good number of shows in the New York/Philadelphia area, and we hope to expand our range soon!

TAT: If fans are looking to support your band, what is the best way for them to do so?

CWC: The best thing anyone can do right now is share our music.  Everything we have released to this point is available to download for free, and you can find it all on our SoundCloud page.  We’re honored to have gotten this far with our songs.  Nothing is as fulfilling as knowing others appreciate what we do.  

TAT: Thanks guys for everything & good luck with the upcoming album!

Do you know a band I should showcase? Let me know on Twitter @logan_stoneman or click the follow button on the top right of the page!

Cold Weather Company

A little more about Cold Weather Company:

Cold Weather Company is an independent alternative folk band from New Brunswick, New Jersey.  Combining influences such as Fleet Foxes, Coldplay, and Dave Matthews Band, the group creates a unique sound rich with vocal harmonies.  The members of Cold Weather Company are from all over New Jersey.  Steve grew up in Cherry Hill, Brian in North Brunswick, and Jeff in Sparta.  Brian and Jeff met by chance one afternoon on the Cook Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ in 2011.  After two years of sporadic jamming around New Brunswick, the two finally felt it was time to create something cohesive in the early Fall of 2013.  They had met Steve at a variety of on-campus open mics and musical events, and were quick to call him in on the project.  After just two meetings, the trio had written their first song together, “Horizon Fire”.  They played their first show at a benefit concert on November 15th, 2013 at Rutgers under the band name, “The Horizon Mindset.”  Quickly realizing that “The Horizon Mindset” was a terrible choice, they began thinking about a more serious name.  The name Cold Weather Company was the result of a three-week brainstorm.  While discussing possible band names, Fall was becoming Winter, and the weather was growing colder by the day.  The trio also felt that they were most inspired to write during the colder months of the year.

Songwriting is a collaborative effort for the band.  Instrumental parts are written by the group as a whole during the writing process.  Lyrics are written first by the member with whom the song seems to resonate most.  The lyrics are then revised by the group as a whole until they form a cohesive story.  Most of their songs focus on love, nature, and the inner search for one’s self and purpose.

If you love this, check out this playlist of related folk and indie rock music! 
Click here!!

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Summer’s Paradoxical Passage

The Paradoxical Passage

Summer is over & sadness sets in, but for many, school begins and the reunions with friends (and homework) quickly clear the air. I may not be attending class, now emerging as a young professional (whatever that is), but the conflicting feelings of joy and sadness still exist.

To continue the cheer of summer and ecstasy of friendship, press play and listen to the upbeat part 1 a collaborative mix from my friends of their favorite 2014 summer hits.

And for more mixes, check out my sixes.


Click here to listen on the 8tracks site

MØ – A Takeaway Show

La Blogotheque produces some of the most magnificent acoustic shows, but today I stumbled across MØ strolling the streets of Paris and I’m blown away. Singing the same song, “Never Wanna Know” on three different streets, La Blogotheque showcases MØ in three impeccably beautiful variations.

Friday Flicks 8.22.14

Friday Flicks 8.22.14

It’s been a real busy week at the “office”, so these Friday Flicks should be the perfect medicine for weekend relaxation. Be sure to check out past Friday Flicks to keep the entertainment flowing through the weekend.

The Tallest Man on Earth

Josh Garrels

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Bryan John Appleby

Volcano Choir

Motivation Monday 8.18.14

Motivation Monday 8.18.14

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
– Joseph Campbell

Once again proving that there is no theme to this blog, today’s Motivation Monday is a series of blood-pumping speeches and athems by some of my favorite motivation idols. I often get lost in guilty pleasures, and re-listening to these seven tunes always set me straight. Cheers to another week and thanks for all the lovely support!

If you love this mix, and want more delivered exclusively to your inbox – shoot your email in the top right Follow Box!

 

Friday Flicks 8.15.14

Friday Flicks 8.15.14

Welcome to another week of Friday Flicks. This week I have six covers, which I through and through believe are just as good as their originals. Enjoy the live music and have a fantastic Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

If you missed last week’s breathtaking videos, click here.

There’s nothing Chet can do that I won’t thoroughly enjoy.

The Last Bison covering M83’s “Midnight City”

Nothing can contain the burst of emotion within this original song by Damien Jurado, not even Night Beds.

Favorite band of all time. Favorite lead singer of all time. Of course this is good.

YES. YES. YES.

An Old Peasant Like Me – Explosions in the Sky, David Wingo

The soundtrack to Prince Avalance has to be the most underrated score from the past year. Explosions in the Sky & David Wingo present something so emotionally packed, it inspired my most recent Audible Thought: The Invisible Cascade. 

Take a listen by clicking on the picture below.

Prince Avalanche

Motivation Monday 8.11.14

Motivation Monday 8.11

A simple change in routine can quickly spice things up in one’s life. Take this week’s Motivation Monday mix for example. The opening song may not be expected, but it will sure as hell get you out from under those covers. Let the rest of the mix do its normal work, but let the cover of the Arthur theme song by Chance The Rapper be the change you so desperately needed. Hope you enjoyed your monday and take on your upcoming Tuesday with crazy, quirky fervor.

Stop Signs – The Moondoggies

A quick song for your Sunday afternoon: “Stop Signs” by The Moondoggies. The new music video came out mid-July and somehow I just stumbled across it. One of my favorite songs from them, it brings me back to Timber Winter Music Festival where I saw it live!

Check out my Timber Music Festival mix made back in January!

Hope you all enjoy the video and to learn more about this great band – visit their website!

Friday Flicks 8.8.14

“it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday”
– American Beauty

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The seven videos below need no description. Blending incredible songs with put-you-on-your-seat images, these immensely powerful music videos are a testament to what “music videos” were made for. I’d love your thoughts on your favorite, or if you have one I should watch. Send me anything via Twitter @logan_stoneman .

I’m speechless. My mind is firing on all cylinders. Without lyrics, Explosions in the Sky partnered with one of the co-directors from Tree of Life and produced one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen in my life. I dare you not to share this with everyone you know.

I can’t even begin to describe the swell of emotion here. Radical Face did it perfectly.

Read the background to this music video. Then watch how Bear’s Den brings terror, youth, and reality to the screen.

Repetitive in nature. Powerful in repetition.

It’s amazing what the undervalued simplicity of a stroll can do for you.

This one is NSFW and should only be watched in the confines of your house…not in a coffee shop like I did. Watch and read the description behind this piece – it is powerful beyond belief, but my warnings are out there. Be careful.

Where my obsession with the power of film & music came from. I seek moments in life which slam the brakes on the rampant & wild thoughts in my head. This is the first one that did exactly that.