american songwriter

SXSW Music Conference: Wednesday

A look at a few of today’s SXSW panels.

From Songs to Scores: Can Songwriters Score Films?

Writing and composing music for film and television poses a unique set of challenges for artists and bands, often requiring the songwriter to work fully in the service of the film’s producers and directors.

“You’re not writing this music for yourself,” said Michael James, frontman for the Austin-based band Explosions In The Sky. “You are writing in service to the vision of the director. You’re coming in at a late stage to sweeten or enhance the things that are already there.”

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“And Scott, he’s my best friend. His influence on my life is immeasurable. I respect what he says; I respect how he lives. He’s reciprocated the same thing to me, which is pretty much the highest accomplishment that I can get in my life. The man that anyone dreams of him being or guessing that he is – he’s a better man than that.”

~ Seth Avett (American Songwriter, The Avett Brothers - Together through life)

Garbage Drop New Single “Empty”

Grunge-pop stalwarts Garbage have released the latest single off their upcoming LP Strange Little Birds, the band’s sixth studio album, which drops June 10 via STUNVOLUME. “Empty” is a biting, fuzzy track, aptly titled for its subject matter. “‘Empty’ is just exactly what it says it is,” says singer Shirley Manson. “A song about emptiness.”

The band are expected to announce a full US tour later this week, but while you’re waiting to snag tickets, you can listen to “Empty” on repeat here.

Writer Of The Week: SoKo

French actress-turned-singer-songwriter Stéphanie Sokolinski, better known as SoKo, writes no-holds-barred, unapologetic pop songs that touch on the darkest corners of love, death and intimacy. Her new album My Dreams Dictate My Reality finds the singer covering even greater emotional ground, set to tracks befitting of an ’80s popstar deep in the throes of a punk and New Wave obsession. We chat with the singer about insomnia, fears and Robert Smith.

Read the interview here

Lazaretto Is The Biggest Selling Vinyl LP Since 1994

Music’s favorite Luddite has a new accomplishment to notch on a belt that’s already nearly notched to pieces. Jack White‘s Lazaretto has sold 62,000 vinyl units to become the top vinyl LP of 2014, and the best selling since Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy in 1994.

Vinyl sales accounted for 25 percent of Lazaretto‘s total sales, according to Billboard. In addition, the album broke first-week vinyl sales records by selling 40,000 units, the most since SoundScan started keeping track in 1991.

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Chris Stapleton: The Natural

It’s a weeknight in January 2015 and Chris Stapleton is making his way across the crowded floor at RCA Studio A. The place is absolutely packed, filled with journalists, songwriters, label execs and friends who’ve shown up for a sneak preview of Stapleton’s first solo album, Traveller. The record won’t be out for months, but for three hours tonight, attendees can skip the wait by heading over to one of several listening stations that line the perimeter of the 50-year-old recording studio. There, rows of headphones are blasting the album’s songs: country ballads about booze and breakups; roots-rockers about the grind of the road; folksy tributes to women, whiskey and all points in between. Click here to read more.