What do you do when you’re in love with two people?
How about when your attempts to make a difference in the world fall flat?
Let me start by saying that, the journey of life begins once one is born and ends at death, but in some cases, your journey exceeds your death, and that depends on how you lived your life. Though none of us decided how we were going to be born or where we were going to be born but how we were going to die solely and wholly depend on us.
My second album is somewhat of a time capsule. These are the songs I wrote between realizing I needed to get better and doing something about it.
My alcoholism and dependence on other addictive behaviors (weed, sex, etc.) had progressed to a point where they had begun destroying every semblance of a good life I’d managed to build despite them. To preserve any chance I had at living well, I needed to change the way I spent each and every moment of my time. In order to honestly document these in musical form, I stripped away every instrument other than my voice, guitar, laptop, and tape recorder.
by Kyle Johnson
I have an incredibly vivid memory of the first time I heard Bad Brains. It was the first punk rock I had ever heard. I was fourteen years old, and I’m twenty-one now, but I can still conjure the feeling of that moment. The music tore through me. I felt the sound more than I heard it. It was summer, and I was staying in on a beautiful day to listen to music that a youtube algorithm was recommending me – but I’m so grateful I did. It made something click in my brain, like a light in a dingy basement being flicked on for the first time. I felt completely at home in the break-neck speed and sheer volume of the music. If you know that record, the first Bad Brains record, it is insane sounding even by today’s standards. I left the first playthrough of hundreds a completely changed kid. The world looked and felt different. I was in on some kind of secret.
I would later learn, of course, that I was far from being the only person that had this exact revelation. Very far. But it felt so special to me. I’ve played in bands and written at least a couple hundred songs since that day. I started a band with my best friends (Bad Nostalgia, check us out) that’s still kicking to this day, and we’ve played countless shows. We made an album by ourselves. I have grown as a person and lived through trial and tribulation as we all have. But that first experience hearing punk rock music was my watershed moment.
It encapsulated everything I love about music, art, and life. It’s all lead to me starting Pet Traits. I wanted to capture that feeling of excitement and wonder and use it as a creative power-tool. I threw out a lot of what I knew about music: the conventions, the chase of perfection, the safe bet, for total creative liberation. This is how I did it.
“Hey, mom where is my bass and guitar?”
“I took them to grandma’s; you’ve been playing way too much.”
This is how I woke up one day in grade 11 because I wasn’t doing much of anything other than making up random melodies and recording them on a tape player. I loved the fact that I was in control of making these things up and that they were not being graded or picked apart by a teacher or whatever…
The different settings for my latest album, Desert Cities – Part One, span from Denver to Seoul. Track three, Brooklyn, is a love song for the gritty and enigmatic Bushwick neighborhood and track four, Coming Home, rides the metro north to Midtown where home is not a place but a person (and a lovely oasis at that). Track two, Lost in Seoul, reflects on the foreign shores of South Korea, “the crowded streets, the angry East Sea, don’t mind if I belong here for a while.”
Only track one, Hold out Thirst, mentions a dry, barren, lifeless, sandy desert. Its brief and stark first refrain, “I went to the desert and held out my thirst,” captured something much bigger in me when I first listened back to the completed album. The desert, in this case, is where one goes to reflect deeply, to test themselves against the elements, physically and emotionally and to experience thirst as a fundamental sensation of life, to feel acutely alive. The remainder of the album (part two included, TBR Fall 2019) is born of this same desire.
by Ruth McKenna
I first found Naomi Ruth when I was 14. I’d built up the courage to take what my grandmother had taught me about guitar chords and fuse it with the inspiration of pop-divas and bluesy women, blended together with the help of my teenage brain to produce an emotive mess. Out of it all emerged a sound that was bluesy but somehow country, angsty but emotional, and despite the lo-fi quality and cringey lyrics, I somehow liked it a lot.
Hi we’re Limbic, yes we’re named after the limbic system in your brain. The limbic system processes your emotions and memories, two things we believe music heavily influences.
Coming from the north-east of England we found ourselves in a local gigging scene oversaturated with your stereotypical indie bands, a cliché we never wanted to find ourselves landing in. Looking for an original sound to our area we created Limbic. An alt-experimental band that utilises synth to create a balance between your traditional indie band and the whacky world of synth sounds.