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Shakey Graves at Nutty Brown Amphitheater in Austin, TX

Live music is back! We were so excited to see Shakey Graves perform in Austin this weekend, and he did not disappoint. Check out all the photos below, and a video recap on TikTok. Photographs and video by Gaby Deimeke.

@crowdsurfermag

Shakey Graves performed a socially distanced concert in Austin last night and ROCKED 🎸🤘🏼 #shakeygraves #livemusic #concert #folk #FreeFreeDance

♬ original sound – Crowdsurfer Magazine
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Hinterland Just Dropped Their Lineup And We’re Hyped

It seems like live music might be a real possibility as music festivals around the country started dropping lineups and offering presale tickets this past week.

A folksy music festival based out of St. Charles, Iowa, named Hinterland, has just dropped an impressive Fall 2021 lineup with the likes of Leon Brides, The Avett Brothers, Caamp, Old Crow Medicine Show, Elle King and more.

Check out the lineup below for the full list of acts.

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Music News

Life is Beautiful Lineup Out Now!

One of the first music festivals to release a new lineup since Coronavirus cancelled shows everywhere in 2020, Life is Beautiful is ready to get going again this fall in Las Vegas.

To kick it off, Life is Beautiful just dropped their star-studded lineup for the fall edition of the festival. Some of the headliners include Billie Eilish, Tame Impala, Dillon Francis, Haim, St. Vincent, and more.

Check out the lineup below for the full list of acts. It seems that music might be back soon!

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Artist Interview: Cassie Dasilva

This week, we sat down with Cassie Dasilva to chat about her new single, her writing process, and her plans for the future. Check it out below.

Crowdsurfer: Give us a background on how you got started with music.

Cassie Dasilva: I started out as a really shy kid taking piano lessons and performing in recitals from a young age. I got a guitar for Christmas in grade eight, and taught myself a song that same day– literally playing until my fingers bled.  I always loved writing poems and lyrics in my fuzzy pink notebook, but once I had a guitar, I really started to fall in love with songwriting. I played my songs in highschool talent shows, local open mics, and opened for some smaller shows that came to town. 

CD: I moved across the country to study audio engineering and music production in Vancouver. Afterwards, I split my time between multiple part-time jobs, and gigging with my acoustic in any pub, restaurant or wedding that would have me.  I ended up busking downtown Vancouver for a while, eventually making enough in tips to quit all my other jobs, before moving back home to Ontario.

Back home again, I went to Canadian Music Week in 2018 with some friends, and found myself singing at an impromptu Universal Canada jam night. I was signed shortly after (initially as a folk-pop act).  I’d started writing EDM toplines and pop songs for other artists by then, and that led to my eventual love for/ transition into pop music and my first label releases.

CS: What is your songwriting process like and where do you come up with inspiration for your lyrics?

CD: I’m mostly inspired when I’m trying to process or deal with something, but I’m also always listening to everyone around me and writing notes in my phone with certain phrases and circumstances that I find interesting or can relate to.  I usually start with lyrics– I like to write a few lines and then twist them into melodies. I approach writing kind of like making a puzzle– fitting pieces together until suddenly the picture starts making sense and everything just fits and has a place. 

CS: How has TikTok changed the trajectory of your career?

CD: TikTok has been AMAZING. I went from having under 100 followers to 20K  and over 1M views almost overnight– just crazy. I can’t believe the response to “Unsolicited Contact” on there and what it’s done for me.  I’m excited to be reaching more people, and thankful for every single interaction, comment, and message I’ve received. It blows my mind that people are not only leaving the app to go listen, but liking the song enough to add it to their playlists/ follow me/ send me kind messages. I’m doing things completely independently right now (which can be trying, to say the least). I’ve questioned if I’m on the right path so many times over the past few years, so this sort of positive reinforcement from complete strangers all over the world has been life-changing for me as an artist. 

CS: What has the response been to your new single?

CD: I’m blown away by the support this song is getting.  I get so many messages from people thanking me for writing the song, saying how much they can relate, or even that it gave them the courage to block their ex. When we were recording the song, I kept saying that I wanted it to be a song that people screamed in the car with their friends, and now I’m getting messages from people saying that’s exactly what they’re doing. It’s wild!

CS: Tell us about working with an all-female team and why it was important for you to do that.

CD: When I was signed, I found myself working with a team of mostly men. It was difficult at times to explain my point of view, or see my perspective mirrored in those around me.  I’d been one of only five females enrolled when I went to recording school, and afterwards found myself in a network and industry completely dominated by men– which was at times intimidating and confusing as a young woman. I worked entirely with male producers, and attended writing camps where I was the only female. After I was dropped from the label, I just felt like I needed to consciously explore other avenues, including working with other women in the industry, especially on production.

CS: Tell us about creative directing your music video (we love the pink vintage aesthetic!)

CD: I started envisioning this video from the moment I wrote the song, and knew exactly what I wanted it to look like. I was writing and revising outlines for months leading up to shooting, handmade a ton of the props, art-designed, and even styled the entire cast.  Though I almost lost my mind taking it all on, I’m so glad I did because it feels so authentic this way. I was completely comfortable on set because I knew exactly how I wanted everything to look and feel ! I’m so thankful that the director, Kate Harrison, was willing to take on the project and bring all of my ideas to fruition!  It’s my “New Rules” meets “Scream Queens” meets “Euphoria” dreamscape. 

CS: Who are your musical inspirations?

CD: I’m a lyrics person through and through, and I’ve always been drawn to storytellers.  Taylor Swift, Brandi Carlile, Kacey Musgraves, John Mayer, and Winnetka Bowling League are a few of my favourites. 

CS: What’s your 2021 look like–what are your plans for this year and beyond?

CD: I’m releasing more singles throughout the year, and an eventual EP that I’m REALLY excited about! In the meantime, I’m writing more music, and I hope that post-global pandemic I can get a tour spot and play my songs for people in REAL LIFE. I am really missing performing and connecting with people that way, so I’m looking forward to getting back out on stage.  

CS: Anything else you’d like to mention?

CD: Just want to say thanks for having me!! Oh, and please go stream/ watch the video for “Unsolicited Contact”, and follow me on socials @cassiedasilva! I’ve put my whole heart into this project and I’m doing it on my own terms, so any support truly means the world! 

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Album Review: Run River North’s “Creatures In Your Head”

In a Covid world, music has taken on a different meaning. It’s helped us express all the things we’re feeling as we’re navigating this crazy time: anger, frustration, sadness, loss. And that’s exactly what this album did for me.

I didn’t realize how much I needed a beautifully written album on the softer side to listen to this week, and Creatures In Your Head is the perfectly produced quarantine album just for that reason.

The opening track, Creatures In Your Head, was a refreshing opener that began with soft singing and a relaxed melody, and that thread continued throughout the album. As lead singer Alex Hwang crooned on the second track Spiders, “It’s just the way it is… for now.” Talk about hitting home.

Pretty Lies jumps up in tempo and is the best ride-around-in-your car anthem for air drumming the bridge, and the catchy whistling and sassy lyrics of Lonely Weather are the perfect yin and yang to the slower songs on the album.

Then there’s Hummingbird, which has a darker, spacy, bouncy vibe. “Light speed with the crack of dawn, Hummingbird with the high beams on,” will be stuck in your head all day (in a good way). It almost reminded me of some classic Neighbourhood tracks.

Things speed up and get a little chaotic in Funhouse, just to dip down with a ballad, One For Me, as the following track. The album ebbs and flows in all the right ways.

Cemetary gives you goosebumps upon a first listen. The lyrics of the chorus got to me: “Everybody needs a way to hold on, just a little bit, just a little bit longer.”

The album wraps with a gentle acoustic track Goodnight Moon and Weight, which has major throwback vibes in the best way. If you need some new quarantine music to listen to, look no further. This band is highly underrated and I hope their new release has all the success it deserves.

You can check out Run River North’s new music here and their latest YouTube videos here.

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Interviews

Whitney Woerz is an Ambassador for Mental Health

The number of artists who are speaking up publicly about mental health awareness is growing by the day. Up-and-coming artist Whitney Woerz wants to be part of that discussion. She’s an ambassador for Bring Change to Mind, a nonprofit who’s mission is to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, and she’s been using her song lyrics to cover a plethora of topics surrounding mental health and wellbeing. We sat down with Whitney this week to talk about music, inspiration and all things mental health.

Crowdsurfer: What inspired you to start writing music?

When I was 13, a friend one day reached out and said that she was planning to kill herself… As a 13 year old, I didn’t even know what that really meant. I didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t responding or anything.So I wrote a poem for her and then put a melody to it. I had never written a song before, or a poem for that matter, but I recorded a video and sent it to her, not even expecting a response. She did respond though! And she said that the song saved her life. And it inspired her to get therapy. Wow. Saying it out loud still shocks me. That literally was the biggest life changing moment, I think, ever, because I realized my lyrics did that.So we sent my song to Bring Change to Mind, which is an organization run by Glenn Close to help end the stigma around mental illness. I’ve been a teen ambassador for them ever since I was 13, and I’m still working alongside them. We start the conversation basically. That’s like, honestly, the most important thing you can do is just start the conversation.

CS: What inspired your latest song Retrograde?

I wrote Retrograde right as Corona kicked off. It was a really weird time obviously and on top of that, a Mercury retrograde was going on. I, and everyone i knew was feeling like their life was upside down. I wrote it with a writer Ayelle and producer Stavros and we were kind of all feeling life was just not good at the moment. So we’re just like, “It’s the retrograde.”But, it also has a positive message too. There’s always the light at the end of a dark tunnel that you can never see at the time. Whenever you’re in a dark space, not even just in retrograde, you feel like you can’t get out of it and like it’s the end of the world. Think back to a time you thought everything was miserable. And then suddenly there’s the light.

CS: How do you find positivity amidst all this chaos happening right now?

WW: Personally, I find happiness within myself when everything externally isn’t amazing. I realized one day that I have control over my thoughts, which was quite a profound realization. And then I was like, wait a second. Anybody can do this, like I feel like we’re all magicians, but we don’t know it. And you can literally just switch. If you want to be positive, just be like, I’m quitting the negative. It’s going to be positive. And then once you start thinking positively, just watch how your life will do a 180 flip, because that’s exactly what happened to me. I started thinking positively, almost to trick myself at first, actually, and then it wasn’t a trick anymore. I was just thinking positively and then manifested basically almost by accident, good things. So it’s very interesting when you, I don’t know, learn that you have control of your thoughts. I like to say that I create my own life now because of that. But I just always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel. To me, I think Corona happened for a reason. And we’re going to make it out because we always make it on dark places.

CS: What challenges have you gone through personally with dealing with mental health issues?

In high school, everybody around me was just really, really sad. It’s so interesting, though, because I feel like we all put on such a happy face, but really underneath, we’re just sad. And yeah, it was a lot of external factors. My family wasn’t doing that great. And my first boyfriend broke my heart. I feel like so many people can relate to that, especially with a first love. And I, as a junior in high school, was distraught. I didn’t want to live anymore. And so I channeled that into lyrics. Writing lyrics was basically therapy for me. Everybody who I played like the breakup songs for who had been through a hard time was also just like, wow, it’s relatable and it’s hard. It’s really hard sometimes.But looking back at the person that I was, I saw how harshly I treated myself, also how harsh and negative I was. And how sad little Whitney was. But all those were ALL learning lessons. Everything is a learning lesson and everything happens for a reason, too. So now I’m looking back at that stuff and I’m like, wait- that literally shaped me. I am so thankful for all the pain that I’ve experienced because of that. And if anyone’s going through pain right now, one day you’re going to look back and be like, it made me who I am.

CS: What’s your self care routine like, or what are some things that help you to feel better sometimes?

WW: I suggest writing down the thoughts in your head that stand out to you, then they become art in a way. And also like actually pay attention to your thoughts. We’re just on autopilot with our thoughts so much of the time and they just let go speeding. So what I’ve been doing is just trying to, like, really be conscious of my thoughts. And that has changed how I think and how I live.

I also meditate almost every day, even just for ten minutes. Let’s you clear your head and let positive energy come in. I have a bunch of spiritual candles charged with different energies I like to light too to clear my mind. But the biggest thing for me is to try to focus on my thoughts and decide if they are beneficial to me or not. It’s a little bit scary when you first do it, actually trying to be conscious of your thoughts, but very very cool once you achieve the good that comes from it.

CS: What does it mean to you to be an advocate for mental health awareness?

I think my main goal in life and music is to be happy and to make other people happy. That’s Bring Change to Mind’s exact same goal too! Like everyone deserves to be happy and we have such a short time on this planet.I’m just so thankful that I’m able to have a platform where I can share. I am so thankful that I can share my music with a message every day.

CS: What’s next for you?

WW: A lot. I’m actually at a studio right now. We’re working on a very cool song. And so next for me is new music. I’d love to do an album. I would love to just get a Whitney album out there. So hopefully that’s what’s next. But definitely just new music. I’d love to continue singles, if that’s what it’s going to be.

CS: Anything else you’d like to add?

WW: Well, actually, yeah, there’s a mercury retrograde happing right now and it’s last day is the election, so listen to my new single Retrograde to have something to relate to while the energies are off! Oh and one more thing. One thing that has really helped me whenever I’m feeling like a bad thought or anything, I just think about how I am one hundred percent not the only person who’s thinking that thought. So no one is alone in anything that they’re going through. And if you’re thinking something, someone else probably has too. So you’re not alone in anything. 

Learn more about Whitney at her website right here.

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Album Review: The Vamps “Cherry Blossom”

As a longtime listener of The Vamps, I was very eager to get an advance of their 5th studio album Cherry Blossom. I’ve been listening nonstop for a few weeks now, and I can confirm that it’s an all-out bop, with catchy hooks, solid vocals, and an all-around feel good album. Here’s some of our favorite songs on The Vamps new album Cherry Blossom.

The opening song on Cherry Blossom is Glory Days, and the first time I heard it, I was definitely in my feels. It has a super catchy hook: “I just wanna lie back in your room / While I’m getting high off of your fumes / And I’m thinking these are our glory days.” It’s a perfect song to start the album, because it’s a mix of a classic The Vamps sound, but with a more mature tone. They’ve gotten even better since Night & Day.

Next is Better, which has a throwback vibe to it, and you can’t really listen to it without moving along to the beat. It’s about getting complacent in a relationship and realizing that you can do better. “We should be lovers if there’s a spark / We should recover all that we lost”

Married in Vegas is one of the singles from the album, and for good reason. The piano dances around the song and adds a playful melody to the storyline of surrendering to your whims and getting married in Vegas.

Chemicals is sexy from the moment it starts. It’s about that dreamy feeling when you’re so into someone else. This song is catchy to the max, and there’s a rock sound mixed with growling vocals. “Sweet like caramel / The way that you get me high / Is something like chemicals”

Would You focuses on a lover second guessing their partner. “If I walked out the door would you even notice I’m gone / Would you even miss me at all?”

Bitter is one of those songs that has a super fun beat and tells the tale of a love that you just can’t get away from. The line, “You turn cold, and I turn bitter” will be stuck in your head all week.

The album rounds out with Part of Me, Protocol, and Nothing But You, which balance the album with some more serious themes about love lost and broken hearts.

Nothing But You is one of my personal favorites and picks up the tempo. I love the line, “Over and over doing over emotions / I know it’s hopeless so can we skip to the moment / Nothing I would lose if I know I’d / Wake up wearing nothing but you”

The last track on the album, Treading Water, starts with an acoustic guitar and solemn vocals. “This lonely heart of mine / Grows colder every night.” It ends, “I just wanna feel understood / Patiently I waited patiently to share all of my insecurities / First I really gotta work on me”

You can feel the growth in this album for The Vamps, who have continued to build their songwriting and musicianship in maturity and style. Cherry Blossom is a quality album that’s catchy in sound and relatable in lyrics. We can guarantee that you’ll be streaming this album for the rest of the year.

You can check out Cherry Blossom right here and follow The Vamps on Instagram here. Comment below with what your favorite song off the album is!

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Interviews Music News

Georgia Webster releases first single “Tell Your Mom”

“Now I don’t know what to do / I got a call yesterday afternoon from someone I used to know / Summer nights and the way we kissed / Thought I was done, didn’t know I missed it / But when I heard her voice I couldn’t breathe / Tell your mom to stop calling me”

These are the very clever lyrics from 17-year-old Massachusetts native Georgia Webster. Nearly two million people watched her serenade us singing and playing guitar from her bathroom in a TikTok video that went viral last month. I hopped on a Zoom call with Georgia to learn more about her writing process and her new single that drops today.

Georgia started writing songs in fourth grade. “When I was ten or eleven, I started writing songs for school projects. My first song was about Ulysses S. Grant. People in my class kept singing it after because it was catchy. So from there, I wrote songs for other school projects. One was about horses and another was about the Aztecs. Then around sixth grade, I started writing songs about my friends and relationships and it grew from there.”

I asked her what it was like when she found out the video had gone viral. She said, “I was pleasantly surprised. I woke up and it had 100,000 likes and I was like, “What is going on?!” From there, Georgia wanted to get the song recorded and out into the world as quickly as possible. Her dad was a big help with helping her find a recording studio to make the song.

“He has always been really involved in my music. He didn’t have a background in engineering, but he’s figured out all of the sound stuff and helps me set it up for shows. He’s just always helping me.”

After the video went viral, Georgia decided to have the song recorded. “I realized I needed to get the song produced and into a real song.

I asked her what she thought of the song after hearing it recorded, and she said, “This song is definitely–I can hear it being on the radio. I have so many songs and this is the first one that I’ve actually heard it come together as an actual song, which was really cool for me.”

When it comes to writing, Georgia prefers the writing process to performing. “I love writing the songs way more than performing them. I like being in my room and writing songs. Once it comes together, that’s the height of it for me. And my rule is if it takes more than 20-30 minutes, then it’s not a great song.”

“Usually for me, songs start with something that actually happened to me, and then it grows into more of an exaggeration. I’ll write about pretty much anything, but a lot of it is dating and that kind of stuff. If I’m writing about a relationship, it’s not forced.”

Some of the people commenting on her TikToks mentioned that Georgia reminded them of a young Taylor Swift. “That’s the biggest compliment to me. She’s one of my favorite artists and I can see myself being that singer-songwriter vibe but also pop-country. Lennon Stella is also one of my favorites, and I love Chelsea Cutler. They’re such good songwriters.”

Georgia also covers songs on her YouTube, including songs by Mazzy Star, Cage the Elephant, Lennon Stella, and Billie Eilish. You can check out her YouTube page here.

Her plan is to keep building herself as an artist and writing more songs before signing with anyone, but she does have an acoustic version of Tell Your Mom in the works for people that loved the stripped down version. “I want to release an EP soon, and then I also want to do some SoundCloud acoustic covers and stuff that people can listen to.”

She’s a senior in high school now, but she’s thinking of going to Berkley, Belmont, or a music school in California next year. A lover of all types of writing, Georgia has also begun writing a book, but of course today she’s focused on the release of her first single, Tell Your Mom.

“I want people to hear the whole song. Just hearing the little bit of it, you don’t get the whole story line, so I’m excited for it to be out in the world. And I have so many songs that I think people would love.”

Her new single, Tell Your Mom, is out today, and we’re so excited for you to listen to it! Check it out below, and follow Georgia’s SoundCloud here.

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Interviews

Artist Interview: Wolfi

We had a chance to chat with Wolfi about his new music, artists that inspire him and going viral on TikTok. Check out the interview below!

Crowdsurfer: Tell us how you got started writing and recording music.

Wolfi: I really got started after my parents made me quit my high school band. I was at a loss because I couldn’t find anyone serious enough about music to really put in work. Then I discovered Skrillex and learned he made everything on a laptop. I wasn’t confident in my singing at the time so I taught myself how to produce and mix. After a few years of that I started writing songs over my beats and released them so I could build a portfolio for songwriting. Some of the songs ended up doing well online, so I decided to give an honest effort to being my own artist.

C: Who are some artists or songs you’re loving right now?

W: My biggest long-term influences are probably Michael Jackson, Green Day, The Beatles, and Skrillex. Nowadays I’m listening to a lot of ITSOKTOCRY, Denzel Curry, Oliver Francis, and John Mayer. I’m also loving the local music that’s coming out of Indianapolis right now. We have some real stars here (i.e. Sirius Blvck, Joshua Powell, Baby Ebony, Jeremiah Stokes).

C: You went hugely viral with your TikTok “hot girl bummer” video. How did that come about?

W: My buddy sent me the stems to the song totally randomly. It was so odd because I’m a huuuuge blackbear fan and this project just lands in my lap. I knew immediately that I wanted to make a remix with my own verse on it, but I didn’t think it would be very cool to release it. When they first announced that TikTok was getting banned I started scrambling because I wanted to take advantage of all the exposure that was happening there. So I made the video one day at work and posted it thinking it wouldn’t really do anything, but I was wrong. I was really worried that I’d get in trouble. It’s crazy how those 30 minutes of my day did so much. It was like the universe gave me a cheat code.

C: How have you been spending quarantine – writing or recording any new songs?

W: I’m always writing stuff. I started writing an EP during quarantine, but it looks like it’ll turn into a full album. It’s gonna be my darkest, most high energy release yet. I view my music kind of like a diary to my life, and we’re going through some really dark times right now. I’m nervous to show the world because most of my previous work has been pretty light-hearted and these songs are such a sharp contrast to that. 

C: What was the concept with writing “ugly” and the music video?

W: I was just being honest on the song. I like “Ugly” because it was one of those songs where I didn’t have to overthink a single lyric, it all just came out. Those are the best kinds of songs. I was just reflecting on my life and despite everything I’d done, I still felt ugly at the end of the day. My good friend Herb Maximo shot the video with me in Florida. I just told him I wanted something simple that was outside, so he brought me to this grassy place. It was such a great day and the video turned out very pretty.

C: What are your plans for the rest of the year and on?

W: I’m just gonna keep dropping singles until the album is done. I have some cool collaborations coming out too. I’m really focused on getting as many videos out as possible. I’m making some big changes to my sound and I want people to digest that on both an auditory and visual level. 

C: Where can people find you on social media?

W: @akawolfi on everything!

C: Anything else you want to add?

W: Next song is coming out October 30th. It’s called “Cameras” and it’s gonna be my most banging song so far. We’re about to shoot a video for it and I’m very excited. I’m also working on a very cute song with Sara Kays. She’s truly the GOAT.

Photos by @jakewiththeshot and @outherevisuals 

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Concert Photography Music News

Deanna Wheeler Kicks Off Hometown Heroes Show in Austin

Deanna Wheeler had a special birthday yesterday. She kicked off the Hometown Heroes music festival in Austin, Texas, and hosted the show, held at Brushy Creek Amphitheater. This event is the first large scale social distancing live music festival to be held since Covid-19 began closing music festivals in March.

Dressed in all black and showcasing her signature classic country sound, Deanna and her band got the crowd warmed up for the weekend’s festivities in style.

You can check out the backstage pictures and all the photos from the concert below. Head over to Deanna’s website to learn more about her and her music, and follow her on Instagram here.