HELLO STRANGER – Virginia

Sam Deffenbaugh wrote “Virginia” in 7th grade after moving from his childhood home to Chicago. Although this song is literally about moving away from Virginia, it is meant to invoke the feeling of absence and longing that comes with any move. Moving makes the old home into an idyllic place that is unobtainable. The danger is that one might not see moving as a chance for reinvention and growth and instead focus on the lost friendships and tarnished memories. 

LISTEN

Take me far away from here
Where spent candles have no hold
And we gaze into sticker starlight
Reminded of weeks grown old

I can hear it ringing out
Under Virginia skies
No bridges left to burn
Or heroes to watch die

The girls walk like reflections
Always mirroring your steps
But out of time to the music
Until only a reflection’s left

@HelloStrangerBandOfficial

JORDAN PAUL – Night Moon

With symbolic inspiration from English poet William Blake’s late 18th century works — including The Four Zoas — “Night Moon” is Paul’s self-professed sonic probe into the seemingly opposing yet harmonious forces that encompass all things ‘human nature.’ 

“Night Moon is about the nature of every being,” he reflects, “and the complex interplay of elements that fuse together to form the whole of all that is within and without us. 

“It is the contrast of dark and light… Of life and death… Of every opposing force that must exist in twisted harmony as all things seek homeostasis and balance at all times.” 

So far, “Night Moon” has proven ultimate evolution in Jordan Paul’s distinctive style. His music boasts notes of delicate, spacious, exploratory alt. folk/rock — all with a shadowy edge — and he has been dubbed “Canada’s Jeff Buckley” by three-time GRAMMY Award-winning producer Chris Birkett (Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads). Sleeping Bag Studios’ Jer has mused he’d be the result “if Queen, Mimicking Birds, Radiohead and Led Zeppelin had a beautiful love child.”

@jordanpaulmusic

I’ve brought the thief to the house of the just
I’ve taught the morning to a pale artifice
My son’s a pestilence that’s burning at noon
Vapour in the death of the night moon

The night moon
The night moon
The night moon
The night moon

To speak the laws of prudence
To keep the wolves at bay
To hear the dog howl at the wintry door
Oh take me back to days of holy vellichor 

I’ve brought the thief to the house of the just
I’ve taught the morning to a pale artifice
My son’s a pestilence that’s burning at noon
Vapour in the death of the night moon

The night moon
The night moon
The night moon
The night moon

Oh mental flames redeemed
Valla’s in the shadows of the leaves upon the tree
Oh mental flames redeemed
Valla’s in the shadows of the leaves upon the tree

I’ve brought the thief to the house of the just
I’ve taught the morning to a pale artifice
My son’s a pestilence that’s burning at noon
Vapour in the death of the night moon

I’ve brought the thief to the house of the just
I’ve taught the morning to a pale artifice
My son’s a pestilence that’s burning at noon
Vapour in the death of the night moon

ARIEL ROSE – Reach For The High

#ArielRose

My song “Reach For The High” is autobiographical. When I was in high school,last year, people were criticizing everything I did, as many were jealous of my music career. I know this because before I came out with a CD and music video people did not make fun of me much. When I was 16, I released my first CD, ‘Rhythms of Life.” There was a large launch party, attended by over 2,000 people at a major club in South #Florida. The event was covered by the press, both in print and on TV.

As a result, after I started generating a lot of attention, the whole school knew who I was and many of the students did not support my career. They would make fun of my songs and make fun of me as a performer. I would go home many days and feel really bad about myself. Oddly enough,i found out that the very people that were criticizing me and making me feel bad were following me on #Facebook, #YouTube, and #Twitter, and secretly knew where I had been performing. But, they would never compliment me or publicly support me. So, as a comeback to all of the offensive remarks, I decided to write a song to all of the people who tried to bring me down.

I realized when I was writing the song that this theme is bigger than I am; it is universal. I know so many people have experienced something just like I did and could relate. I wanted to write a song that would empower everyone to never give up and believe in themselves. So I wrote, “Reach For The High.” I structured the lyrics in a way where the verses explain what people said to me in an attempt to pull me down. For example, the song begins with “Give up before you fail. Stop trying, and dream on, they say!” and in the second verse I wrote the things that my “friends” would do such as “They kiss you, hug you when they see you and they tell you ‘You’re great!’. Then they turn around and whisper to their friends. They’re so fake.” People would pretend to be nice to me when they were with me, but I would later find out that they would talk about me behind my back and make fun of me. I then structured the hook to be inspirational to people who have ever felt bullied, criticized, or judged and wrote, “Reach for the high. The power’s inside. There’s nothing you can’t do if you believe.”

I wrote these words because after my experiences, I realized that it really does not matter what other people say as long as you believe in yourself, work hard to reach your goals, and keep your head up high. I debuted “Reach For The High” at the Annual “Inspire Greatness” Gala for the #SpecialOlympics in #Miami and felt it was a great song to instill in the young athletes that they can overcome their obstacles if they believe in themselves and to not let others bring them down. I can’t wait for the day when I prove to all of the people who didn’t believe in me that I can achieve my dreams and I hope “Reach For The High” empowers all of the Special Olympics athletes I sang for, and many other people to feel the same way.

ALEX SILAS – Catania

Last year, Alex Silas set out on a three month backpacking trip across Italy and the Balkans to do a little soul-searching – all while balancing a full time job to put himself through university, pay rent and fund his own studio sessions. Along the way, Silas met up with fellow travelers, hung out with locals at a stop in #Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina and even went as far as to jump off a bridge 27 meters above the Neretva River.

Inspired by his travels, he immediately started writing and recording upon his return home and, over the next few months, #Catania, Silas’ new EP, was recorded, mastered and released independently. Almost immediately, Catania started getting adds on local college and university stations, charting in the Top Ten across the country. The song Carryin’ On has received features on major stations like #CIHT (Hot 89.9 FM in Ottawa) and #CILV (Live 88.5 FM in Ottawa). All of this attention earned Silas a spot opening for Kardinal Offishall and Classified at #JUNOFest 2012.

Now, Silas is back in the studio working on a follow-up EP due out this fall and performing shows in full support of Catania all over eastern #Ontario.

SOUL PURPOSE – Bump

One particular song, Bump, is an angry hard driving look at the destruction of #drugs. The inspiration came when at one particular studio, the sound engineer who had been nominated for a #Grammy asked me, “hey, ya wanna do a little bump?” It was obvious after years of “bumping” all that he had was gone, and all that was left was remnants of a man and #heroin. Along with that picture was the memory of a close friend bass player with a gold record, and a beautiful, brilliant little boy, was so enslaved by #cocaine, he would neglect his son. During a sober, cogent moment he realized what he had done, then realized his addiction. So torn, so filled with remorse and a feeling of no way out, he installs a hose in his exhaust pipe, closes all the windows, starts the car and goes to sleep forever. ” Do a little bump and it all goes away”