When D.C. venues were ready to reopen after COVID-19, indie pop duo GLOSSER was ready to perform. The two, Riley Fanning and Corbin Sheehan, formed the band pre-COVID out of a shared aesthetic vision and passion for music storytelling.
Their first album *DOWNER* was released in January 2023, however they have decided to release a [__deluxe version__](https://open.spotify.com/album/0KLORhtj3ohV4FtbdjoKu5?si=iNZX9fiZSm2M6V8pRdBkow) exactly one year later containing four new tracks – two remixes, a reimagined song, and a cover – that they are hoping will give it a second life and allow them to continue performing around the area.
The band explains that they have spent many shows opening for touring bands that traveled through D.C. “We made music and then venues started to open again,” Sheehan says. Rather than having the “typical grungy” D.C. band experience, they uniquely went straight to club shows.
We’ve been fans of Mystery Friends for a while now. The band released their debut album in 2019 and, like we imagine you are, are bracing ourselves for their followup album, Utopia, releasing January 23. Mystery Friends will be in full celebration mode, performing alongside fellow Washington DC-based rockers Kinda Evil at The Atlantis, DC’s newest and already iconic venue, January 26.
“We’re really proud of this album and we are pulling out all the stops for this show to really make it an event. We’re only the second local band to headline since they opened last year, and we couldn’t be more excited.”
The latest hint of things to come on Utopia is served in the form of the aptly named and transcendental, if at times a little trippy, “Fever Dream.”
While coming of age in Upstate New York, Chris O’Leary recalls his childhood home being replete with the sounds of everyone from opera to the Clancy Brothers, the Chieftains and Bruce Springsteen. But it was a disapproving look from his father, beholding some reprobate New Yorkers on the turntable, that effectively altered his son’s musical course.
“I was like 11 or 12, playing guitar and listening to KISS. My dad basically [said], ‘Turn that shit off!’” O’Leary recalls with a laugh. His father replaced the painted-up rockers’ record with Muddy Waters’s “Hard Again,” telling his preteen son to “give it a chance.”
“I heard [harmonica legend] James Cotton and that was it. I was hooked,” O’Leary said. “I got my dad to blame for my career choices.”
Frederick, Maryland-based artist Mia Celeste has a voice that will stop you in your tracks. Drawing from her Latino roots, classical, and jazz, the 17-year-old pianist, singer-songwriter, and producer creates an enchanting world with her music that rises effortlessly above the surrounding landscape.
Read to learn more about Mia Celeste’s early influences, including the role of her father Jaime Paredes, an established poet, her vision for the future of women in music, and the most important message that she wants audiences to take away from her new EP, The Songs That I Wrote Just For You.
Washington D.C. progressive rock act A Shrewdness of Apes (ASOA) are poised to release their latest offering, Live from Jammin Java on December 28, 2023. Ring in the New Year with the first live EP to be released by ASOA and made available on all major streaming platforms.
Recorded earlier this year while sharing a lineup with Outerloop and Roscoe Tripp at the iconic VIenna, VA concert venue Jammin Java, the live album was then mixed by Ben Green of Ivakota Studios.
Aria Velz is a director, TikToker, and Lesbian Media Enthusiast based in the D.C. area. On November 2nd, she sat down with me to talk about it all, from her latest production at Olney Theatre Center to the things that lead to her little corner on TikTok.
On October 29th, Olney Theatre Center wrapped its run of Prince Gomolvilas’ ‘The Brothers Paranormal.’ The disconcerting, borderline terrifying production was co-directed by Olney’s Senior Associate Artistic Director, Hallie Gordon, and Velz herself. The show was one of the spookiest times I have had in a theatre in quite some time. It was evident that the show was a well researched labor of love.
Queer duo Witch Weather discuss new album and the influence of the DMV on their sound.
Philadelphia-based queer punks Witch Weather have a message for anyone who feels hopeless and worthless: you are not alone. With an irresistible sound that draws from 80’s goth and lo-fi grunge, the indie duo wears their heart on their sleeve, giving voice to complex emotions that many would opt to suppress in the recesses of their minds.
Join Alchemical Records as they connect with Witch Weather to discuss the band’s new self-titled album, their search for a sense of belonging as members of the queer community, the important element that keeps the duo’s creative bond strong, and the influence of the DMV on their sound.
Colombian American artist Velu O manages an ever-growing list of roles within the DMV, including vocalist for WAMMIE award-winning band DeSanguashington; vocalist for all-women cumbia collective, La Marvela; booking agent for SOROCHE; host of podcast Latinas Be Like Us, and Board member of Dia De Los Muertos Benefit Fest.
Read to learn about Velu O’s latest projects that involve launching a solo artist career and founding Latinas Be Like Us, a podcast created to “empower everyday Latina superheroes,” as well as the reason she believes that motherhood may have ushered in her best season yet.
“Trilogy Sound Studio is a minority and veteran-owned, woman-led music studio based in Burke, Virginia” that was founded in 2021.”
I spoke with CEO Sarah Benrazek about the studio’s mission and overall work, as they are quite prominent within the DMV community – the studio is the 3x Winner of Washington City Paper’s “Best Recording Studio” Award in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
Trilogy’s “vision is to build a platform for music independence for artists, creators, and music students.” Its “mission is to empower artists through music education and technology in our full-service recording and music production facility. The studio’s values are: “Creativity, Personal Ownership, Mindfulness, Innovation, Eclectic Collaboration,” and “Inclusivity.”
Dominican-Colombian singer-songwriter, art director, and audiovisual producer Xinola “is an experience ‘ni de aqui ni de alla (not from here, not from there)’.”
The musician is described as “authentic Caribbean fruit” with “Latin flavor and American flow. A jazz singer whose language is Spanglish inspired by the strength of all women and the eternal sound of migration.”
I had the pleasure of chatting with her about what Hispanic Heritage Month means to her, and why celebrating it is so important. I also asked about her amazing music, such as “Shapeshifter” and its accompanying video that gives off a signature island summer vibe. You can feel her bright energy through the screen that perfectly goes along with her beautiful voice, (Spanglish) lyrics, and melodies. Her style is extremely unique, and she is a total (tropical) rockstar that is sure to go far.
“Everything started freestyling bachata and folklore in a Santo Domingo colmado,” says her website.