Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?
Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.
"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
Every artist should be the star of their own creative life, which makes Kyle Reid’s steps out of the shadows of the many ensembles and supporting roles he has played in Oklahoma bands over the years to front and center on stage feel like a just journey.
Piano-based singer/songwriter is a pretty crowded genre, but Brianna Gaither stands head and shoulders above the competition. Her dynamic mezzosoprano can hit dusky lows and electrifying highs, while her melodic songwriting is hard to forget. Her set at the Buffalo Lounge featured her on piano accompanied only by a cajon, and it was still a riveting performance.
She played through several tunes from her debut album Love is Patient, then treated the audience to a new tune. Most of the songs on Love is Patient are pensive, moody pieces, but the new tune was upbeat, more in the vein of Ingrid Michaelson or Regina Spektor. I enjoyed it immensely, and am looking forward to its recorded version (which can't come soon enough)!
Even though the first few songs of the set were quieter, darker pieces, Gaither and percussionist Kelcy White were consistently smiling. It's fun to be at a set where the band is having fun, and there's no question that Gaither and White were loving the experience. They probably smiled a bunch during the last song too, but I was bouncing about and smiling and having a great time myself; I wasn't paying as much attention to the band. It was an incredibly fun set, and that's rare in singer/songwriter sets, which are often all about the self-expression and self-discovery and stuff. And if Gaither's songs are about that, she's inviting people in for the party, not for the cryfest. Fans of Spektor, Michaelson, and other bouncy pop songs should be intrigued.