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Often compared to artists such as Sara Bareilles, Regina Spektor and Sheryl Crow, singer-songwriter Erin McCarley has been making a name for herself since the release of Love, Save The Empty in 2009.
Although McCarley currently calls Nashville home, she got her musical start in San Diego where she met producer/writer Jamie Kenney. “He was looking for a project,” McCarley notes. “He was ready to throw himself at something. We walked to the beach and I played him some of my songs.” McCarley and Kenney spent the next two years sitting around a piano bench and trying to figure out what to do. The result? 2009’s Love, Save The Empty, an album that debuted at #85 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and whose songs have been featured on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Vampire Diaries and The Hills. “I love the use of my music in that medium [TV and Film]” she adds “ I do have a say if I think it is a good creative fit so I’ve found that it’s opened up more creative opportunities for my songwriting”
Check out her performance of Survey back in 2010
In 2012, McCarley released her sophomore album titled My Stadium Electric. The album, which features the hit single “Elevator”, retains McCarley’s fantastic sense of melody and pop beats. “The songwriting for this record had touring experience and performance in mind. I felt like I was shedding a few layers and breaking into a braver and more animated version of myself.”
Check out her performance of “Elevator” for Lightning100’s 615 Day
Just this year, McCarley has been featured on multiple episodes of ABC’s hit show Nashville, where she played Rayna’s touring guitarist. “Here in Nashville, I feel like everyone’s got my back,” she explains “Friends that understand the highs and lows. And people that push me and make me want to me to be better.”
It’s rare to find an artist who possesses the gift to compose songs that are as thoughtful and passionate as singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson.
Raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, Nathanson grew up listening to hard rock bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Van Halen. “Then, this folk movement happened and the Indigo Girls came around, and that’s how I transitioned into acoustic music,” he claims. “The Indigo Girls were the reason that I play acoustic guitar.” Nathanson later moved to Claremont, CA to attend Pitzer College where he recorded his first album, Please, when he was just a freshman.
Ten years later, Nathanson would go on to release Beneath These Fireworks, an album that debuted at #17 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and topped the iTunes Pop Chart. In 2007, Nathanson released Some Mad Hope and its first single “Come On Get Higher” has sold more than 2 million copies to date. The success of the album eventually earned Nathanson a coveted spot as a VH1 “You Outta Know” artist and performances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Show with David Letterman and Ellen.
Check out the video for “Come On Get Higher”
Nathanson’s most recent album Last of the Great Pretenders was released earlier this summer debuted at #16, making it his second top 20 album in a row. The album features the song “Kinks Shirt”, a track inspired by a waitress who works the lunch shift at San Francisco’s Toast Eatery. Nathanson and his producer ate at the restaurant almost every day while they were recording the album. “I like to think I spend most of my creative energy in those situations, imagining what my life would be like with the girl in the Kinks shirt, that kind of idea,” he admits.
Check out the song here
It only seems fitting that an artist as passionate and committed as Nathanson has remained in the business for almost 20 years. “This business isn’t getting any richer so it’s only those of us who live and breathe music who will be able to stomach it,” the singer adds. “And from my experience, it’s all about doing as much as you can. Work with as many people as you can, be open to unusual experiences, while still retaining your identity and eventually you find your niche.”