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Artist Spotlight

Our Violet Room Emerges as Cinematic Folk Singer-Songwriter With New Single “Winter”

Burgeoning Denver artist Our Violet Room – aka Matthew Birch – has released his highly anticipated single “Winter”. “Winter” is set to be featured on Season 3 Episode 17 of the popular FreeForm show Good Trouble, airing only a few days after the single release on August 25. Writing about the seasons and the changes they bring with them, Birch compares the seasons of nature to the changing seasons that inevitably come with a relationship. The metaphor digs deeper as the lyrics describe trying to hold on to something that is slipping away…. which for Birch was his marriage. Featuring Emma Cole from Wildermiss, “Winter” haunts listeners with breathy lyrics against a driving acoustic guitar – something that is quickly becoming Birch’s signature sound. “Winter” is the first tease to a larger release from Birch coming later in 2021.

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A deep love of movie scores and the composers that made them alongside an admiration and passion for folk music is the base of the music that Birch creates under the moniker Our Violet Room. An “indie singer-songwriter with a cinematic twist”, Birch got his musical start in 2018 by playing SoFar Sound shows – first in Denver but soon all over the world. A humble story of overcoming depression, working hard, and diving headfirst into his dream, Birch only has one goal…. to make thoughtful, well-made, emotional art that inspires his listeners and causes them to feel. His music has been compared to the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, and Coldplay for its lush atmosphere, emotional lyrics, and cinematic arrangements and has quickly launched his music career with two songs featured on FreeForm’s Good Trouble series and two songs featured in a Magnolia feature film. “Making movie scores has been a dream of mine and to look at each song as a little movie score has been a great way of creating,” says Birch. Thus far in his career, Birch has released two EPs – Our Violet Room and the live EP Loss and Death in Winter – alongside a handful of singles. Mixing folk and cinematic soundscapes seem to be working for the emerging artist as his songs have a combined 37K+ streams. “ I don’t go for cool or hip, I go for what moves me.”

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Natalie is a journalism major with a focus on Entertainment and Music who aspires to become a Content Creator For Honk Magazine. Eventually, she wants to be the Publisher or Editor-in-Chief of a major Publishing House. She loves helping people find their voice and passion for writing and journalism, and she can always be found with coffee in hand, editing another article.

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Artist Spotlight

Celebrating Beauty of “A Natural State” with Cliff & Susan’s Latest

“A Natural State” by Cliff & Susan is a song that celebrates the beauty and spirit of Arkansas. Through its lyrics, the song paints a picture of the state’s natural landscapes, its welcoming communities, and the pride of its residents. The title itself, “A Natural State,” is a play on Arkansas’s nickname, highlighting its unspoiled, scenic environments and the genuine warmth of its people. This track likely aims to evoke feelings of home, belonging, and appreciation for the simpler, yet profound aspects of life that Arkansas embodies.

The song describes a nostalgic and peaceful scene of growing up in a rural setting, appreciating simple pleasures like fishing, family time, and nature. The lyrics evoke feelings of warmth, contentment, and a strong connection to the natural world, emphasizing the beauty of everyday moments and the importance of cherishing them. The mention of specific details like honeysuckle, fireflies, and a river bank creates a vivid imagery of a serene and idyllic environment.

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“A Natural State” vividly paints a picture of idyllic rural life, embracing the simplicity and beauty of nature. The song is structured traditionally with verses and choruses that collectively celebrate the essence of living in harmony with nature. The song captures moments of serene rural life, from fishing in a flat bottom boat to relaxing under the stars on a porch swing. It highlights traditional family values, leisure, and the deep connection to one’s roots and nature. The chorus invites listeners to experience the natural wonders and laid-back lifestyle that define this “Natural State,” using honeysuckle and fireflies as symbols of its untouched beauty.

The lyrics emphasize a strong bond with the natural world, suggesting a lifestyle that values simplicity and the outdoors. Reflecting on traditional ways of life, the song evokes nostalgia for a simpler time, underscored by family moments and childhood memories. The imagery of sitting by the water, listening to family play music, and enjoying the natural beauty around suggests a peaceful, serene lifestyle. The mood is tranquil and reflective, inviting listeners to reminisce or imagine a life intertwined with the rhythms of nature. It’s both uplifting and comforting, offering an auditory escape to a serene, natural setting.

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For those interested in exploring similar themes through other mediums, consider the works of John Denver, whose music often celebrates the beauty and majesty of the natural world; Mary Oliver, a poet known for her profound reflections on nature and human interaction with it; and Andrew Wyeth, a visual artist whose paintings capture the stark beauty and simplicity of rural American life.

–Pete Provo

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Artist Spotlight

Gary Pratt Delivers Heartbreaking Single “Before Someone Gets Hurt”

Country artist Gary Pratt has released a new single, “Before Someone Gets Hurt,” from his album, “Something Worth Remembering.” The song, written by Larry McCoy, Bart Butler, and Westin Davis, tells a story of love, fear, and the difficulty that comes with making the decision to end a relationship.

Pratt, who hails from the small town of Slickville, Pennsylvania, has experienced the ups and downs of relationships firsthand. He shares, “I have been in many relationships. I’ve been hurt and I’ve broken some hearts. We all tend to paint a perfect picture of ourselves when we start into a relationship, but when the true people emerge, it just doesn’t work out. There is always one person out of the two who hurts much more than the other.”

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“Before Someone Gets Hurt” is a poignant and emotive track that showcases the team’s exceptional songwriting and Gary’s vocal abilities. The song is a heartfelt ballad that delves into themes of love, heartbreak, and regret, delivered with sincerity and raw emotion.

Pratt’s vocals are the highlight of the track, conveying a sense of vulnerability and longing that perfectly complements the introspective lyrics. The production is minimalistic yet effective, with acoustic guitar and gentle percussion providing a subtle backdrop to Pratt’s soulful voice.

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The chorus is particularly impactful, with Pratt’s voice soaring over the instrumentation as he sings about the consequences of a failed relationship. The song’s melody is catchy yet melancholic, sticking with the listener long after the song has ended.

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Overall, “Before Someone Gets Hurt” is a beautifully crafted song that showcases Gary Pratt’s talent as a singer-songwriter. It is a heartfelt and authentic track that is sure to resonate with listeners who have experienced the pain of lost love.

–Norman Strain

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