Exclusive Artist Interview: Nightbird Casino

Rogue Valley, Oregon-based quintet Nightbird Casino emerged onto the scene as a duo and in the last six months have manifested into the fully functional unit they are today. Known for their ambient and cohesive indie signature sound and inspired by prominent 90s artists like Hum, Interpol, Silverchair and Radiohead, the band formed in 2017 and quickly began hitting the ground running, putting out a handful of prominent releases since their inception into the market and proving that their artistic merit is more than deserving of your undivided attention.

Now in 2021, with their highly anticipated upcoming LP ‘Russian Carpet’ slated to release in two days on September 5th, we got a chance to sit down with the members of Nightbird Casino for a comprehensive interview where we got to discuss the past, present and future of the band.


How long have you guys been active under your artist/band name?

Nightbird Casino has been around in some fashion since mid-2017. The band was started by myself (James Moore, lead vocals/guitar/piano) and Don Shepherd (guitar/piano/backing vocals). We met in a tribute band and branched off to start writing our own original music. It took until 2020 for us to get serious and actually write a full album. It wasn’t until early 2021 that we recruited our other three members (Oliver Orion – drums / Amanda Moore – ondes martenot/keyboards / Patrick Manville – bass) and really took off.

What music scene/city do you currently represent?

Currently we live in Medford, which is in southern Oregon – but there’s not much of a music scene here at all. We’re originally from LA, so ultimately I’d say we have much more of an LA vibe than a rural Oregon vibe.

The pandemic has really thrown a wrench into the live music experience and for artists altogether. How has it affected you and your career (if at all)?

It’s been a mixed bag for us. On the downside, we haven’t been able to tour, which has been frustrating of course. It’s pretty difficult to build an audience without playing any shows. On the plus side, it’s allowed us an enormous amount of time to write and record. I doubt we would’ve finished two full LPs, a live album, an EP, and four singles in just over a year if it weren’t for the pandemic.

What are some of your music influences?

There are five of us in this band and we all draw from different influences. Some of those might include some more indie/alternative rock artists: Interpol, Radiohead, The National, King Krule, Modest Mouse … a lot of early 90s grunge i.e. Nirvana, Bush; The Beach Boys are a big influence, lots of classical music too.

What kind of concepts do you tend to write about as an artist? Shine some light on that.

I don’t have a particular subject matter I plan out when writing lyrics, but I think most of our songs have themes of alienation and anxiety running through them. I tend to use intimate personal stories and dreams as metaphors for more big picture concepts about what’s happening in the world. Frequently I’ll find out what I was writing about after the song is finished… lyrics are usually the last part I finish. I’ll write down words and phrases and stream of consciousness ideas and then I look at it all and think ok, what is this about? What was my subconscious trying to say through these lyrics? There’s also a pretty prominenttheme of psychedelia and the psychedelic experience that comes up again and again.

If you could put together a dream show or tour, what bands/artists would be on the bill?

Oh gosh, that’s a hard question. We’d love to tour with Radiohead or Modest Mouse, I think our style of music would make sense with those bands.

When is your next release coming out?

Our 2nd LP, Russian Carpet, will be released on September 5, 2021. (on all streaming services everywhere, physical copies available to purchase via our website nightbirdcasino.com).

•What’s in store for you in 2021? Give us the goods.

So much. Our second LP Russian Carpet will be released in a few days as I mentioned. We also have a live album / video series that’ll be released in some fashion later this year. Also, with a full band in place and some covid restrictions easing, we’re finally able to start playing shows and touring. We’re currently planning a west coast tour as we speak. Also also, we’re in the beginning stages of LP3 – we’ve just started putting together some ideas for new songs and we’ll be recording that in – hopefully – early 2022 with Matt Talbot of HUM.


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Exclusive Artist Review: Cory M. Wells – “The River” & “Change Of Heart” Singles

Denver’s Cory M. Wells began hitting the ground running in the music realm during his early teenage years, diligently mastering his craft in guitar, piano and violin as his weapons of choice. And soon enough, he began writing his own material and also formed his well-known rock outfit Falling Through April. But on top of his band efforts at the time, Wells in 2016 officially launched his solo career and quickly began taking the scene by storm. At age 17 he won the prestigious “Queen City Idol” competition and also began working alongside prominent producers like Rene Moore (Michael Jackson, Jay-Z) as well as performing opening slots for industry heavyweights like Third Eye Blind and many others. Now in 2021, Cory M. Wells has established a promising career for himself after several successful releases, including his track “Change Of Heart” and his most recent single “The River”, two diligently crafted tunes with distinctive flavors that showcase two very effective angles of Cory’s signature sound.

“Change Of Heart” is very atmospheric with multi layered drums, blissful acoustic guitar swells and ambient keyboard leads that tie the anchor melodies together. Cory’s mid-to-high range voice is right out in the forefront of the mix and really delivers passionate measures of melody. His performance value parallels the production value almost perfectly and really captures his biggest strengths as a songwriter and performer. This song serves up quite the visceral journey and you will be instantly impressed with it upon first listen. Which brings us to Cory’s most recent single “The River”, a piano-based anthem that captures the same musical essence as his previous track but also brings a more traditional flavor to the table. This beautiful song really shines light on Cory’s writing ability and really delves deep into his vocal melody structures. This track will easily get stuck in your head, but it isn’t some kind of pretentious Pop sensibility or one-trick method, this song delivers solid hooks that bring out every melodic measure from start to finish. It’s performed with a very natural approach, impressively embracing more traditional production methods as opposed to today’s tendency to have producers throw in overproduced studio theatrics. “The River” truly captures Cory M. Wells’ authenticity and his overall artistic merit – bound to leave a strong impression on anyone who comes into contact with this single.

Both singles are very strong releases that really deliver solid performances from Cory M. Wells’ craft. If this is your first time hearing him, then it definitely won’t be your last either. You can find both singles now on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music and several other digital music streaming platforms.


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Exclusive Artist Review: Golden Way – “Heard It All” Single

Milwaukee’s Golden Way has been drawn to the music world since she was young and eventually manifested her love for music into a rising career. After taking up piano and vocals during her high school years, she quickly began writing her own material and solidifying her own style not long after her graduation. Fast forward some years later after many trials and tribulations, and Golden Way is finally ready to take on the industry by storm and show the world exactly what she’s made of: gold. And a sample of that gold has come to fruition with the release of her debut single, “Heard It All”.

Manifesting a multifaceted signature sound that is reminiscent of industry heavyweights like Aaliyah and Brandy, Golden Way with this new single brings her style, look and swagger right to the forefront with her authentically visceral R&B sensibility. Utilizing a mid-to-high vocal range that is angelic and ambient, her blissfully breathy vocals take flight in this song to highs not normally heard in many independent artists. You can tell Golden has a natural gift within her and her musical presence on this single is made apparent from start to finish. This is one catchy tune, and she proves that sometimes it’s not what you’re singing, but how it is executed; and Golden delivers a glamorously nostalgic vibe that reminds us just how crucial R&B has been for the industry, showcasing musical elements that has made the genre what it is today – and how it came to form many years ago when it hit the market.

The chorus on this track has a sustained catchiness that serves up that rare staying power – where it stays with you even long after it’s over. For a debut track, Golden Way has set the bar high for herself and will undoubtedly follow up with another release that will prove its justice. But one of the biggest factors of this song is its authenticity, the fact that it isn’t overproduced into oblivion and really encompasses a mixing/mastering process that is simple yet very effective. Her words are crisp and clear, her melody choices are beyond sufficient and her swagger is integrated in a way that’ll draw you right to her. It’s the type of song that’ll have you diving deeper into Golden’s career and discography as she continues to hit the ground running. But at the very least, you’d be crazy for sleeping on this song, and artist altogether. You can get your copy of “Heard It All” now on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and several other digital music streaming platforms.


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