Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (7/8-7/12): Sweet Crisis, Leif Vollebekk

Sweet Crisis – “Black Magic” [single] – rock

Sweet Crisis’ new single “Black Magic” is a hit-in-waiting that pays homage to the good old days of classic rock. It’s hard not to nod along to the multiple layers of electric guitar (including a layer of slide!) and the strong drum beat. Lead vocalist Leo Robarts’ voice ties the group’s sound together perfectly as he sings about love being like black magic. On top of all of this wonderful music, Sweet Crisis treats us to not one, but two solos! There’s not much else to say about this rock masterpiece. Give “Black Magic” a listen below to experience Sweet Crisis’ classic rock vibes for yourself!

Continue reading “Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (7/8-7/12): Sweet Crisis, Leif Vollebekk”

Audio and Video: Kate Schutt plays BIRN Alive

Kate Schutt is a New York City-based singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer. Schutt received education in Harvard’s English department, where she studied the influence of jazz on modern poetry, and at Berklee College of Music, where she studied jazz guitar. Growing up, her biggest influence was the electrifying music of Tina Turner, which inspired her to learn to play the guitar, bass, and drums, and also how to arrange music, produce records, and write film and theater scores.

Kate stopped by the BIRN studios to play a live set on June 22, 2019. Listen to the entire set here:

Watch Kate play “Fight the Good Fight” and “Nothing I Won’t Bear” here:

Ryan’s Reviews: Demos II by Hippo Campus

Hippo CampusDemos II – (indie alternative)

Hippo Campus album Demos II is a collection of material that came to life during the sessions around the band’s most recent album Bambi, and includes such fan favorites and live staples as “No Poms,” “Chapstick,” and “Joy.” This album is a window into the creative process that is album making. It allows a glimpse into the different changes that songs take on to eventually become what we know as the finished product. Demos II is an eclectic map of stories and recurring motifs that make this reel of “demos” feel more like a finished album. The album is fun to listen to and will keep you stomping your feet and grooving with it for at least the rest of 2019. While the music from this album would later become Bambi, it is just as great to listen to and it is interesting to compare the two releases.

Here’s what the band had to say about the album: “When we made plans to release Demos II, it felt like this incredibly cathartic purge. So we decided not only to include the songs that would eventually become Bambi, but also include other things we were writing and working on over the summer of 2017 and the winter of 2018. It means you can hear a pretty expansive document of where we were creatively throughout the process.”

This record is fantastic and could not be more highly recommended. Check them both out on any major platform!

Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (7/1-7/5): Surf Curse, Run River North

Surf Curse – “Disco” [single] – (indie pop)

With the new single “Disco,” musical duo Surf Curse manages to put a modern spin on the idea of disco, while still maintaining the original upbeat aspects of the disco era. “Disco” is a wonderfully dance-worthy song that draws on the lighthearted aspects of the indie pop genre – clean guitars and energizing drumbeats. Light music and simple lyrics come together to create a track that one can easily sing along with or dance to. Why not both though?  Listen to “Disco” below!

Continue reading “Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (7/1-7/5): Surf Curse, Run River North”

Ryan’s Reviews: Omoiyari by Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi Omoiyari – (indie pop)

Kishi Bashi’s newest work, Omoiyari, which translates roughly from Japanese to mean “creating compassion towards others,” connects the difficult subject of the internment of the Japanese during WWII and mixes it with summery arrangements of acoustic instruments, modern pop, and indie styling to paint this entire sweet, yet melancholy world around the listener. The album touches on many different aspects of the internment, but in a unique way, to imply that the human spirit will continue through the most trying times. For example, “Summer of ’42” is a soft sweet song about a love growing inside one of these camps.

This album is Kishi Bashi’s most mature work, and was inspired by visiting the remains of many of these internment camps. As a Japanese American, this subject truly resonated with him to create what would be considered, a masterpiece. This is truly a summer album, but in a bittersweet way, considering the message presented, but the music is perfect to lay down at the end of a hot day and relax too. Continue reading “Ryan’s Reviews: Omoiyari by Kishi Bashi”

Video: Brayla plays BIRN Alive!

Brayla and band give a soulful R&B and Latin jazz-inspired serenade, exclusively here at the BIRN studios!


Brayla – Voice
Alec Winter- Keyboard
Fernando Felo Lopez- Percussion

Songs featured in this video: “Alright” and “10 Seconds.”


BIRN Alive is home to great live performances and insightful conversation every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EDT on BIRN1.

Video: Danielle Ponder plays BIRN Alive!

Danielle Ponder, a vocalist and songwriter whose voice ranks with the best working in the industry today, performed April 20 on BIRN Alive.

In 2016 the soulful powerhouse singer released her debut EP Blow Out The Sun and has since performed around the world. This sensational singer lists powerful influences like Nina Simone, Big Mama Thornton, Shirley Chisholm, Cornel West and Lauryn Hill. Ponder opens her mouth to sing or speak and it’s readily apparent, there’s another name that belongs in that pantheon as well.

For more information on Danielle Ponder visit Instagram: @daniellepondermusic

BIRN Alive is home to great live performances and insightful conversation every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EDT on BIRN1.


Video: Anna Clendening plays BIRN Alive!

Watch America’s Got Talent contestant and internet star Anna Clendening perform a acoustic version of “Bend & Break” on BIRN Alive!

Clendening first came to the public’s attention as a Vine star and later as a contestant on season 9 of America’s Got Talent. She has amassed over 89 million views on her YouTube channel and over 50 million streams on Spotify as of March 2019.



Twitter:  @annclendening

Her official site is here.

BIRN Alive is home to great live performances and insightful conversation every Saturday at 4:00 p.m. EDT on BIRN1.


Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (6/17-6/21): Aron Blom, Esther Rose

Aron Blom “King Kong” [single] – indie pop

Aron Blom is an artist with a distinct and beautiful voice that you’ll want to sit and listen to all day long. His new single “King Kong” shows off his smooth voice, as well as some great production. The song takes listeners on a musical journey as multiple layers come together seamlessly to give them exactly what they want, without being predictable. It starts with simple instrumentation that focuses on a guitar line and Blom’s voice, and quickly grows into a musical masterpiece that’ll make you want to dance. It even has a brass-y surprise for you at the end! I cannot recommend this single enough – check it out below!

Continue reading “Kelsey’s Prime Slices of the Week (6/17-6/21): Aron Blom, Esther Rose”