Singer/songwriter, bandleader, and human being Samantha Bowers was born in the small town of Derby, Connecticut. Sam first began writing songs at age 12 while taking piano lessons and listening to Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Freddie Mercury playing on the family stereo. By 16, Sam developed a love of jazz and began to study the great female vocalists of the century (mainly Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Sarah Vaughn) as she started to perform original compositions in local Connecticut and New Jersey venues. She would go on to write and release 3 LP records by the age of 18.
In 2013 at age 19, Sam packed up and moved to New York to pursue music and songwriting. In 2016, The Friends were born from a collection of talented musicians and friends. They would play shows around the NY Metro area as Sam kept composing and sharpening her craft, culminating in the July 2018 release of the self-produced EP ‘The Good Life’, premiered to a sold-out crowd at C’Mon Everybody in Brooklyn. The release marked a fresh start for the seasoned vocalist showcasing her skills as a composer, arranger, lyricist, and bandleader on her fourth release. Since the release of their May single ‘Saw It Coming’, The Friends have enjoyed 12 sold-out shows in New York at well-known venues such as Knitting Factory, Bowery Electric, DROM, and Rockwood Music Hall. The lyrics focus on themes of coming-of-age, defiance, and self-expression. Her genre blending performances are high-energy, honest and quirky, influenced by the great performances of her childhood classic rock heroes.
In short, The Friends are the band. Their full band performances feature 9 pieces: a rhythm section, a horn section, keyboards, and two back up singers, all lead by Rae through high-energy vocals and an assortment of instruments. On a grander scale, The Friends is the community of followers, artists and creatives who help in the creation of the songs and the world. We don’t have fans, we have Friends.
Appearances by SR&TF are fully conceptualized and contained shows with opening and closing themes offering the invitation ‘I Wanna Be Friends With Ya’, sung interludes, choreography, and the occasional costume change or skit. The community of the band is tangible and the energy is contagious.
Seasons change. Places change. People change. As Noah Kahan changes, he casts those experiences onto songs like light through a film projector. At the core of the music’s upbeat energy and unfiltered lyrics, you’ll hear who he was before and who he became—almost in real-time. The Vermont singer still pens songs straight from the heart and still cracks jokes with his signature, self-deprecating sense of humor; he’s just changed in all of the right ways (and chronicled them via his songwriting).
The critically acclaimed singer and songwriter simply took two years of milestones and transformed them into his upcoming second full-length album, I Was // I Am. “While writing this record, I’ve taken stock of who I am as compared to who I was when I started and what that means, for better or worse. I do have some perspective. I’ve also lost a lot. I’ve lost people close to me for different reasons. I’ve lost friendships. I lost my dog. Those experiences haven’t necessarily hardened me, but they’ve made me incredibly grateful for what I have now. The biggest change is a little bit of clarity in terms of who I am and the person I want to end up being. The songs on the record represent a new understanding of myself,” he says.
He gained that understanding through quite the journey from small town Vermont to global renown. He’s racked up over one billion streams, released his full-length debut album Busyhead, picked up a Gold Certification for “Hurt Somebody” feat. Julia Michaels, and performed on television shows such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and TODAY. His 2020 Cape Elizabeth EP received widespread critical acclaim, and not to mention, he’s collaborated with everyone from Chelsea Cutler to mxmtoon to Quinn XCII to Gryffin. In the fall of 2020, he headed to Los Angeles in order to record with engineer Mark Rankin (in person) and his Busyhead collaborator and Grammy Award-winning producer Joel Little. Together, they tracked the bulk of the record during this trip.
Preserving his commitment to vivid lyricism, he kickstarted the music with faster tempos and sweeping hooks, recharging the overall vision. His first single “Part of Me” perfectly encapsulates that sentiment. As handclaps and guitar ring out, the intimate verses drive towards a sweeping and soaring refrain as he tries to grasp a fleeting moment, “Got so close to love with you my dear, but I don’t miss you, I miss the way you made me feel.”
Then, there’s “Animal” where his falsetto skates over head-bobbing handclaps and a slick beat. “Someone Like You” sways with Noah’s soulful vocals towards another chantable refrain. “It’s about immediate regret,” he goes on. “When you lose someone in a relationship, you don’t really understand that the person is gone. You’re never going to have exactly that again.”
For as much as he may have changed, Noah’s goal stays the same. “I still want to be able to connect to folks in the way I do and value when I listen to music,” he leaves off. “Change is something you can learn from. It’s never too late to be a better person and to move forward. Always work on yourself and give yourself a fucking break every once in a while. I hope listeners feel like there’s more to learn about me, just like I do when I listen to my favorite artists. I also hope they’re happy to stay along for the ride, because I’ve been so grateful for them so far.”
In late 2011, Matt Myers, Zak Appleby and Shane Cody started playing music together in a historic home in New Albany, Indiana dubbed “The Green House.” Its rooms were adorned with relics from times past, so it was no surprise that songs such as “Penitentiary” bounced off the walls. Nostalgic sounds from their first album seemed to serve as a welcome escape for listeners from the relentless demands of the digital age. But if you asked any one of the guys, they were ‘just having fun.’
Houndmouth signed with legendary indie label Rough Trade Records in 2012. From The Hills Below The City landed them on several world-famous platforms such as fellow lovable Hoosier, David Letterman’s stage. When vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Matt Myers first spoke with big-name producer Dave Cobb prior to working together on their sophomore LP Little Neon Limelight, the two laughingly agreed to “not make another fucking boring Americana record.” A natural sounding album captured in a familiar fashion came together, except this time with a #1 adult alternative radio single in “Sedona.” “I never once thought of us as an Americana band,” says drummer Shane Cody. “The four of us were just a rock band, but some of us had Southern accents,” he laughs. Cue Golden Age, the third album featuring some of the band’s most innovative and experimental songs yet. Coining the term “retro future”, Houndmouth combined creative songwriting with avant-garde instrumentation like the synthesized roar of an actual black jaguar on the track “Black Jaguar”.
The band finds themselves recording and also touring their upcoming untitled fourth album expected to release in 2021. From their humble start, genre-defining hits, and experimentation, Houndmouth has and continues to make their impactful felt with the unique take on storytelling through music.