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Don’t Box “Classical:” Naïve, Classique & More

naive-classicalOne of the great things about signing a new deal with a label is getting the opportunity to apply our expertise to new genres, talent and strategies that best fit our budding partnership. With naïve, the second largest indie label in France, we have the privilege of working with experts in genres ranging from French Pop to Jazz, and one in particular for which I’m very excited: Classical.

Some of you may know that my earlier formative years in the last century were (mis)spent becoming very obsessive about Reggae — not difficult for a musical culture whose phonographic output, and yes I do mean as in Phonograms, could be measured in the number of vinyl singles being released each week — on average around 500. While of course, my musical interests vary widely, I admit that Classical music is one genre on which I’ve always wanted to work closer. Now is my chance!

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Unleashing Toto XIV: First New Record in 10 Years

TotoAfter a wait of nearly a decade, Toto has released new music in the form of TOTO XIVtheir 13th record release and their third new album since the turn of the century.

The sheer dedication and hard work that Toto put into this new record will not leave fans disappointed. Though it’s technically the follow-up to their 2006 record, Falling In Between, the band considers this to be more of a response to TOTO IV, the record that gave them world-wide recognition. With everything from Progressive Rock and Jazz to Pop and Blues, the album embodies the band perfectly and the music reflects the classic sound that fans know and love.

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Who Run The World? Girls! Celebrating Women Making Music in 2015

LeslieKnopeAs the internet probably told you, March 8 was International Women’s Day. It was a day rife with appreciation for the ladies in our lives and open astonishment at the unwavering grace and role model-ey-ness of Emma Watson.

In a time when it seems that women in music aren’t getting the attention they deserve, I wanted to take this opportunity to give some overdue love and respect to some of the badass female artists in The Orchard’s family.

Holly Miranda has been taking names as a card-carrying musician since the early 2000s, both as a solo artist and as a member of Rock outfit The Jealous Girlfriends. Now she’s gearing up to release her sophomore solo record via Dangerbird Records on May 19.

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Stream Our Texas-Sized SXSW 2015 Sampler

radial-playlist-sxssw2015It’s hard to believe, especially given the record-breaking supply of cold and snow heaped on us here on the East Coast this winter, but SXSW is once again right around the corner. To that I say YEE FREAKING HAW! Good riddance freezing weather and possibility of snow flurries. Hello to the relative certainty of warmer temps and inevitability of good BBQ, breakfast tacos, margaritas, cold beer, and more great music than you can shake a stick at.

To that end we’ve assembled the following 90-track Spotify playlist featuring music from some of the artists we’re excited to see. Some highlights include new music from Austin natives The Bright Light Social Hour, whose second album, Space Is Still the Placeis out now [RIYL: Tame Impala, The Black Angels]; Atlanta rockers Royal Thunder, whose new full-length, Crooked Doors, will be released April 7th [“imbued with the raw, weatherbeaten evangelism of prime Zeppelin, this elegantly powerful quartet write songs that aim straight for the heart,” The Guardian]; Austin’s psych trio Ume [“somewhere in between Warpaint, Metric and Mogwai,” Relix], who will be releasing a six-song EP titled Too Big World in early April; and much much more.

See you in Texas.

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Mello Music Group Lacks No “Persona”

MMG_Persona_1500x2015 is going to be a banner year for our friends at Mello Music Group. Out next week, Persona not only embodies the vision of Michael Tolle, founder of Mello Music Group, it’s also a great sneak peak of what’s in store for the label in 2015. The album consists of all exclusive content and spans the majority of the Mello Music Group roster. More than just a label sampler, Persona also succeeds at echoing the all-too-present societal undertones of racial discrimination, excess for the 1%, and the deepening economic disparity plaguing our youth and inner cities. And this isn’t all that Persona touches on: the intertwining stories throughout the record beautifully weave throughout each track creating tension and release like that of a Jazz virtuoso. To borrow from the album’s notes…

“Persona unveils the murderer’s row that is the Mello roster of 2015. Oddisee, Apollo Brown, yU, L’Orange, Red Pill, Open Mike Eagle, Rapper Big Pooh, Quelle Chris. The stars of the present teamed with timeless innovators like Phonte (Little Brother), Blockhead, Ras Kass, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), Oh No, Masta Ace, and Bilal Salaam. The result is something that binds current greats with the pioneers who paved the asphalt. It’s both a historical moment and hard as hell.”

And while this is a long look into what’s to come in 2015 from MMG, it’s barely enough to whet the palate. There are some amazing albums in the works from new additions to the label (see Kenn Starr and Rapper Big Pooh) as well as some true bangers from the tent-pole artists, Oddisee and Apollo Brown. There’s also real excitement from the bullpen, the up-and-comers L’Orange and Red Pill. And while calling L’Orange an “up-and-comer” might do a disservice to his early body of work (see Orchid Days and The City Under The City), you are likely to recognize his name better before the year is out. There are some more surprises in the works too, but we can’t share those details just quite yet. You’ll just have to stay tuned for that!

About The Orchard

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