02 February 2007

Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips

Two artists, one post? What gives? "Lately you be posting like MC Hammer on crack Mr. Earfarm." Noooo, that's not true. There's reason to the madness. Check it.

The Mayan Empire Recording Empire is a brand new digital label started by Bryan and Mary (of Ruined Music fame among many other things) and this is what they have to say about their first release:

Musicians Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips grew up a few miles from each other in Massachusetts and attended the same small high school a few years apart. As adults they both made their way to Brooklyn and began writing, recording, and performing with bands and as solo artists. Yet somehow their paths never crossed – until now. In the fall of 2006 mutual friends uncovered the coincidences and made the necessary introductions over a late-night game of Scrabble. A joint tour to Gabriel and Alina’s native New England was the logical next step. Their “Get Going” tour is commemorated by a split digital EP of the same name; for this recording Gabriel and Alina each wrote a new song about Massachusetts. The “Get Going” EP, available on iTunes Feb. 2, also includes unreleased tracks from each of them.
If you trust Bryan and Mary as much as I do then you don't really need to hear me tell you that you should check these songs out. But I will, just a bit, because it's what I DO.

Both Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips have gorgeous voices and both are singer-songwriter types; meaning, the songs from this Get Going EP are just these two artists with some words and a guitar, and the vocals are bloody amazing. Beyond a couple of pretty voices, the key factor here is that both of these artists know how to deliver that magical combination of tone, content, and composition. "Winter in Massachusetts" is Alina Simone's rather timely, lonely cold weather song. The finger picking lays a fine foundation for the song but "Winter in Massachusetts" isn't about the guitar, it's about Alina's outstanding voice. In Gabriel's song "Memorial Drive" you'll hear a gentle folk strum and wandering picking style (a bit Jerry Garcia if I might) perfectly complement his softly soaring voice. There's a delicate haunting immediacy to all four songs on this record that manages to get you needing more Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips as soon as the EP has finished. And I'm not going to lie - one of the songs on Get Going gave me chills the second time I listened. What then is one such as yourself to do? Check out these two songs, buy the EP, see the tour. Duh.

"Winter in Massachusetts" - Alina Simone
"Memorial Drive" - Gabriel Miller-Phillips

Visit Alina Simone on MySpace.

Visit Gabriel Miller-Phillips.

See Alina Simone and Gabriel Miller-Phillips live:
Mon, February 19 - Java Hut Cafe (Worcester, MA)
Wed, February 21 - Radio Bean (Burlington, VT)
Fri, February 23 - Strange Maine (Portland, ME)
Sat, February 24 - Nadav's house show (Cambridge, MA)
Sun, February 25 - Pianos (NYC, NY)

Buy the Get Going EP on iTunes, eMusic, or Napster.

Visit The Mayan Empire Recording Empire on MySpace.