Bio writing services available starting at $150
(includes interview, long form and short form bio, pull quotes of notable press
and two revisions)
Also interested in any other writing-based projects available!
sample music writing:
ERIK GUNDEL BIO (LEVEL ONE MAGE)
Erik Gundel thinks a lot about music’s ability to communicate one’s interiority. In his work as a music therapist in Brooklyn, he encourages patients to explore music as a means of understanding and accepting their emotional states. Outside of his day job, he is the producer/multi-instrumentalist of the experimental pop duo Gemma. Early in the pandemic, with no live shows on the horizon, he started playing Dungeons and Dragons with his older brothers. He noticed how low-level characters in the game, who are essentially powerless, are still given magical characterizations. This discrepancy resonated with him and his work, as anxiety and depression fester when aspirations don’t line up with the way things actually are. Gundel approached making his new record, ‘Level 1 Mage,’ with this tension in mind.
Gundel’s sonic toolbox was similar to his 2017 record ‘Worn of my Strings.’ Where that album was recorded frenetically over two days, ‘Level 1 Mage’ required a more measured hand and the result is far more ambitious. The compositions that make up ‘Level 1 Mage’ attempt to prescribe form to formlessness. The pieces started as freeform synthesizer experimentations using VCV Rack, a free-to-use Eurorack simulator. He then began constructing songs over these shifting synth beds, richly layering an array of guitars, flute, pedal steel, and other sampled textures. This process embodied the record’s Quixotic theme: the imposition of order on a chaotic universe. Gundel doesn’t deny the value of this pursuit, but urges us to come to terms with its ultimate impossibility.
The record plays like a multi-textural collage that should be taken in all at once, but it has two distinct pillars that give shape to its emotional arc. ‘(Wanted To) So I Went There With You’ features Felicia Douglass, fellow Gemma bandmate and member of the art-pop outfits Dirty Projectors and Ava Luna. Douglass was given minimal instruction by Gundel, and ended up penning an indelible ode to showing up for the ones you love. Her vocal performance is dextrous, warm, and inviting. The track pushes the needle forward, an exciting look at the hyper-evolution of electronic pop music glimpsed by artists like Oneohtrix Point Never and SOPHIE.
Later on comes ‘Red Cradle of the Night,’ the only other piece on the record with vocals, this time sung by Will Skarstad of the black metal band Yellow Eyes. Skarstad’s screams are a shock to the system, unnerving due to their extreme juxtaposition. It provides the record with its climax, a moment of pure catharsis where everything that has been bubbling to the surface finally boils over. The piece highlights one of Gundel’s strengths, his ability to marry disparate sounds to create a truly distinct sonic landscape.
‘Level 1 Mage’ is an unforgettable listening experience due as much to its fluidity as its rigor. The compositions are dense and rich with color, elevating both shadow and light. They are sonic thickets to allow oneself to become hopelessly lost in. The record is an emotional listen, rife with fissures and eruptions. To listen to this album is to engage with a potent alchemy, and Gundel, the alchemist, is clearly no novice.
MJ LENDERMAN BIO (GHOST OF YOUR GUITAR SOLO)
MJ Lenderman is the project of Asheville native, Jake Lenderman, guitarist in country/indie band Wednesday, who released ‘I Was Trying To Describe You To Someone’ to critical acclaim in early 2020 on Orindal Records. His label debut for Dear Life Records is ‘Ghost of Your Guitar Solo,’ a ten-song collection recorded and performed entirely by Lenderman.
The record was written and recorded quickly, songs often being fully constructed and recorded within frenzied single day sessions. Songs were born out of freewheeling jam sessions with his roommates, with Lenderman often freestyling lyrics that would later become the foundations of the finished songs. Inspired by a writing exercise conceived by the late David Berman, Lenderman would write 20 disconnected lines a day, scrapping most of them but preserving a few to be used later. This process aided in what became an extremely prolific writing period for the artist this past spring. The record sounds like country music being played by a noisy punk band, unkempt and imperfect like the characters in his songs.
Lyrically, Lenderman broadened his scope beyond solemn introspection, adding humor to scenes larger than his own life. He points to authors Harry Crews and Larry Brown as inspirations, both who were southern, self-taught writers who balanced empathy, humor, and darkness. This leads to the erosion of the line that separates humor and sadness. The resulting songs are about over-indulgence and drug/alcohol abuse, full of self-loathing and pity while simultaneously celebrating the absurdity of it all.
JASON CALHOUN BIO (NOTEBOOK)
(text messages, both sent and not)
this is garbage
-you are a genius
i really appreciate your love and support my friend
-you always end our phone calls with “I love you”
-i always feel guilty for never saying it first
am i getting through to you? am i making sense?
this is garbage
-you are a genius
i have complete faith in you
do anything you want
-this is garbage
you are a genius
i was definitely trying to be overly sentimental
maybe that’s why i’m feeling so sensitive about it
always appreciate your thoughtful listening <3 <3 <3
this is garbage
-you are a genius
also these may be the final masters but my ears are too clogged to listen lol
Jason Calhoun’s ‘notebook’ finds the artist confronting doubt in his own abilities while affirming his unyielding faith in loved ones. Incepted during his first sojourn to a trappist monastery, and recorded in a process that was stretched over a year and a half, the record feels uncharacteristically stark for a Jason Calhoun record. Singular voices seem to protrude out of nowhere, supported by vapor-thin and wistful chords. This is Calhoun at his most romantic and most devastating. His music is a page torn from a diary, thrown out a car window, and picked up off the sidewalk by a stranger who cherishes its brutal honesty and unknowability forever.
NATALIE JANE HILL BIO (AZALEA)
Azalea is Austin-based folk musician Natalie Jane Hill’s debut record release. A Central Texas native, Natalie began writing songs once moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2013. While being immersed in the folk and primitive guitar scene, she started creating her own finger picking styles and progressions, adding a contemporary feel to them. From spending some years around the southeast, Natalie’s performances have ranged from farm festivals to eclectic house shows and intimate listening rooms. Her songs are intricately layered with melodious and descriptive thought.
This collection was recorded in the spring of 2019 at Broad Street Visitors Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She worked with Jared Michael Pepper on creating a stripped down and honest approach to what was being told. This being Natalie’s first full length record, it felt important for her to give a genuine introduction to her abilities as an artist. She wanted to give space for her words and guitar, without any added distractions. Using the natural acoustics in the studio space, the vision of the album came together quite effortlessly. Natalie’s brother Logan Hill mixed and mastered the record at Hilltop Media in Redding, California.
Nature plays a significant role of inspiration for this record, while giving a backbone for each song. Azalea is a poetic ode to the changing of seasons, along with the memories that tie into them. Folk artists like Michael Hurley, Karen Dalton, Connie Converse and Jean Ritchie are deeply influential for Natalie as a musician. She also gives infinite gratitude to Toronto-based band The Weather Station, for being a constant inspiration for her songwriting.
Above all else, Azalea depicts passing moments, subtle revelations and quiet truths...all cohering within the interior landscape of the artist and the natural world.
FUST 'EVIL JOY' REVIEW (excerpt)
Fust is the mystifyingly understated project of Durham, NC artist Aaron Dowdy. With 7 four-song EPs in his back catalogue, Evil Joy is the most realized manifestation of Dowdy's methodical approach to songcraft. The ten songs presented here are instantly canonical. With their structural integrity and undeniable familiarity, they feel like the bones of an old house discovered off some well-tread path. This music is respite for weary travelers, a noble reminder of the impressions we leave in the dirt as we walk away. His narrators navigate elation, pain, longing, and belonging. They imagine themselves high in the rafters, looking down on life lived without them. They tie themselves to rusty anchors in futile attempts to disappear. They feel the lasting catharsis of biking down Main St. no-handed, laid bare for all to see. Like all great country music, these struggles and epiphanies become our own. Never has song managed to feel so magnanimous and well- lived.
WENDY EISENBERG 'BENT RING' REVIEW (excerpt)
Wendy Eisenberg has no peers. 'Bent Ring' finds the songwriter/improviser abandoning the guitar, their primary instrument of virtuosity, for an old tenor banjo. The nine original songs on the record deconstruct indie-folk forms, allowing for Eisenberg to set the beguiling simplicity of falling in love in opposition to the wretched complexity of navigating life within capitalism. The result is a record as unsettling as it is comforting. Eisenberg's critiques and humor pull no punches. Bent Ring demands we look long in the mirror, accepting the fragility of our nakedness. It pleads with us to come to terms with the inevitable wobble of the first domino before the rest are set into motion.