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Fringe Pipes & Sister Castle Theater | LMR


Fringe Pipes - Whiskey Kisses EP (self-released) 

Colin Loynachan wasn't sure if Fringe Pipes would ever come back. The alt-country songwriter and multi-instrumentalist put his project on hiatus shortly after releasing a debut album - 2015's Karma Bricks. Friends moved away and post-collegiate life came rushing in. A great deal has changed since then, but Fringe Pipes found a way back. Whiskey Kisses, the band's new EP, is a collection of some of the songs that Loynachan "managed to write...along the way."

While Loynachan's writing is unquestionably the core of Fringe Pipes, he has once again surrounded himself with a murderer's row of local collaborators. Singer and violinist Jillian Rae adds gorgeous backing vocals to two-thirds of the tracks and members of 26 Bats! and Lucid VanGuard play across several songs.

The music on Whiskey Kisses sounds wizened, even as the songs burst with life. Loynachan writes with a timeless pen without sinking into caricature. Classic country song topics - love, drinking, loneliness - are synthesized in a way that is fresh yet familiar. If you didn't know any better, you might think you're listening to a long-lost Nashville-recorded Americana album. Loynachan's prowess as an engineer captures that specific sound, which proves to be a maximal amplifier for his music.

Loynachan and company guide the listener through the emotional valleys and mountains of daily life, all while providing robust music to match. Listen to/buy Whiskey Kisses below.




Sister Castle Theater - "Rome" (self-released) 

Tyler Tholl is no stranger to writing beautiful songs. For the past several years, he has been the primary songwriter behind the shimmering art pop ensemble Maple & Beech. With Sister Castle Theater, Tholl sets off in a new direction.

Late last year, he started writing songs on his family piano, attempting to recapture the modest simplicity of what he came up with on the instrument as a kid. The resulting songs, of which "Rome" is the first to be released, accomplish just that.

Tholl describes "Rome" as "one of [his] first attempts at writing a love song." Rather than paint a portrait of fiery passion, he sings of long-standing commitment and dedication. The listener follows along with the arc of the relationship, starting with uncertainty and arriving at domesticity. "Wherever else we go / we'll still be running together" goes the chorus. The music is equally unadorned, mostly piano and vocals with a gentle dose of pedal steel (played by Zack Warpinski).

"Rome" will appear on the forthcoming Sister Castle Theater EP Piano Songs. Buy the song here and watch the claymation video (all done by Tholl) below.

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