Exclusive Interview: Alice Russell Talks New Album and Upcoming NYC Show


On May 12 at LPR, Alice Russell will be performing her new album, To Dust, which dropped in the US today! We caught up with the vibrant singer to talk about her new album, the upcoming show, and her love for music, amongst a couple other things. Dig in below.

Find show details on our event page.

Giant Step: Congratulations on completing your newest album, To Dust! What can folks expect on this album; how does it compare to your previous works?

Alice Russell: Well for me it was a return to My Favourite Letters, the album before Pot of Gold. Pot of Gold for me was like a love session album really, and both TM Juke and I wanted to twist it up and get back to playing around with the production. Building up the sound bricks from the ground up, there was a lot of deconstruction then reconstructing. Some of the songs went through 5 different versions before they felt right. Others we reverted back to the demo for the original energy of the song. There are foot stomps, layers of vocals and all sorts of other treats in there. Also Alex (TM Juke) had a lot of new production tricks up his sleeve to try out. We played around a lot on this album .

GS: We know you command a huge presence when performing, but for those newer to that experience, how would you describe your live performances?

AR: Pretty raw, energetic – come and see for yourselves! We have changed it up so there are more triggers and synth bass present! New album, new live feel for sure.

Read more after the jump

Interview: Party Time with Tortured Soul


After throwing down at their recent Stage 48 show in NYC, Tortured Soul gave us their take on the evening and also offered us some bits on what’s next!

Giant Step: Congratulations on a great night at Stage 48 in NYC earlier this month! What was your highlight of the evening?

John-Christian Urich: Well NYC is my home town (I was born and raised in Manhattan). With all the constant talk about how NYC isn’t what it used to be, it was good to see that that isn’t true if you know the right party to go to. Some old school heads are indeed still around holding down the fort, and coming out to get down on the dance floor (with many new I might add!) and support soulful house and live music.

Giant Step: How was it to share the stage with DJ Spinna? Each collaboration brings about a unique energy – anything in particular that moves you about this synergy?

John-Christian Urich: What is great about Spinna is that he approaches each production he’s involved in as its own special creation. The remixes he has done with us start from scratch. He doesn’t just throw a vocal over some pre-programmed beats and see what happens; he crafts a remix.

The same can be said about the music he chooses to play at a live show. What he decides to play for a Tortured Soul event is different than what he’ll do for one of his other nights. He discussed with us beforehand what we were going to play, what tempo we wanted to start at and various other details, which helped to make the night a better collaboration for us, and a more special night for the audience.

Read more after the jump

Hiatus Kaiyote Rocks Sold Out NYC Debut


For a band that formed in 2011 and released their first album less than a year ago, Hiatus Kaiyote has enjoyed a whirlwind of accomplishments in a remarkably short period of time: a backstage serenade of their own song “Nakamarra” by Erykah Badu at SXSW; a long and forceful reiteration of support from ?uestlove at his party at Brooklyn Bowl; a sold-out show at their debut performance in New York City.

Hiatus Kaiyote, comprised of Nai Palm, Simon Mavin, Perrin Moss and Paul Bender, is also a perfect example of the limited utility of the “genre” in characterizing an album’s sound or capturing its integrity. But nonetheless, the sources of inspiration for their music are unmistakable. “Atari” takes cues from Flying Lotus’s fractal spidering of digital sounds. The keyboard section on “Jekyll” draws inspiration from Fela Kuti and afrobeat. The woozy space sounds of “Shaolin Monk Motherfunk” are reminiscent of Erykah Badu’s latest album, New Amerykah Part 2. And Nai Palm herself sounds like a blend of Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse.

Their inaugural performance at LPR was also remarkable for the depth and loyalty of the fan base they’ve already amassed. Here’s what some fans had to say of last night’s show:

Naikhoba Munabi: “The power of the performance was in the immersive experience. It felt like performance art. Each song individually carries its own weight, but the concert felt like a complete feast as opposed to just one ingredient or one meal. Also, sonically, their tones are extremely well refined so that no one artist is the star of the band. All four of them complimented each other so well and fit together seamlessly. When you listen to their music, it consumes you; I felt like I was a part of it.”

Read the rest after the jump