I’m here to put a skip in your step and to add some musical silver linings to your life this week by telling you what some Maine musicians have in store for the year.
I reached out to several of them to find out what their release plans are for the coming year and what inspired their recent songwriting and music-making. The pandemic certainly influenced some of their material, and some artists are crossing into different genres with their new material.
Drive by Todd is the midcoast-based alternative rock trio that just released the song “Aubergine” last week. The band formed in 2013 and comprises drummer Peyton Clark, guitarist Jake Nagy and vocalist/bassist/rhythm guitarist Joanna Grierson. Grierson described the new tune as “a dreamy ’90s acoustic rock-inspired ode to the tumult and joy of long-term love and commitment … about finding the balance of give and take, knowing when to hold on and when to cut your losses.”
After listening to it a couple of times, I already have a feeling this is going to end up being one of my favorite Maine songs of the year. Find Drive By Todd at facebook.com/drivebytodd and on Instagram @drivebytoddband.
Saco-based singer-songwriter Doug Kolmar will be releasing his fourth album, “So Said Life,” on Feb. 22.
Kolmar said that much of the record reflects living in the pandemic as well as social upheavals of 2020 and 2021, and that themes of isolation abound.
The album features him on vocals, guitar, mandolin and bass; Jud Caswell on 12-string guitar, bass, melodica, saxophone and percussion; vocalist Janice O’Rourke; cellist April Reed-Cox; percussionist Colin Kolmar; bassists Mike Burd and Sheldon Byrd; Eleanor Caswell on French horn; and organist Ben Hunsberger.
Assuming the pandemic doesn’t mess things up, there will be an album release show at Frontier in Brunswick on Feb. 25. Listen to a few preview tracks at dougkolmarmusic.com.
One of last year’s standout songs was from Portland-based pop-rock artist Xander Nelson. “In Time,” as I myself said, is perfect power pop. So I was thrilled to hear that he’s got another new tune slated for a spring release.
Nelson described the track “Lonely” as a darker, blues-inspired song that tackles the feelings of loneliness and existential dread we all face, even when it’s hidden behind the biggest of smiles. Nelson sent me the song and what he said rang true. It is indeed bluesy and, as the kids say, sure does slap.
The song features Nelson vocals and guitar, Manny Urgiles on guitar, Conor McGrory on bass and drummer Chuck Martin. Find Nelson at xandernelsonmusic.com.
Peter Galway, based in Rockland, will be releasing his next album in the late spring, a project he called “particularly organic, Costello-Cohen-Petty-Fagen-Springsteen inspired.”
Under the name Peter Galway & The Real Band, it features him as songwriter and lead vocalist, and he also plays bass, keyboards and percussion. The rest of the band is Andrea Re on vocals and percussion, Dark Wainer on guitar and Joe Wainer on drums. There are also a number of guests.
Galway’s been at it for decades …….