Archive for June, 2021

Paper Boats EP – street date 6/11/21

Nashville-based singer-songwriter James DiGirolamo has extensive experience as a session musician and touring sideman. As a keyboard player, he’s worked with Mindy Smith, Holly Williams, Peter Bradley Adams, Alice Peacock, and many others. DiGirolamo’s latest solo work draws on a wide array of influences including Paul Simon, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Elliott Smith, Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Thomas Dolby, XTC, Ben Folds, Ron Sexsmith, and to no small degree many friends and peers from his time in Nashville, such as Sarah Siskind. In his words, “These are not always overt, or even apparent, but they’re in there- that’s part of the beauty of the DNA of songwriting.”

The title Paper Boats is a playful combination of the names of the first and last tracks. As DiGirolamo puts it, “in my mind, each of the songs is a tiny boat I constructed, which I now hope to launch across a glassy pond, or -more like it- a turbulent sea.”

The opening track, “Same Boat,” comes from a Stevie Wonder/ Paul McCartney-esque place. From the song – “I can’t pretend that I have all the answers/ by magic turn these fighters into dancers.” JD explains, “Sometimes a phrase just sticks in mind, or goes perfectly with what you’re playing on the piano, and so you see where it leads. In this case, words tumbled out to form a catchy tune about people coming together to face big challenges. It’s not meant to be an exhaustive statement on the subject, it’s just one sweeping aspect of the conversation. We have to imagine that world before we can make it real. The musical style is a bit of a stew, too, just like all of us diverse humans who need one another.”

The hypnotic track “On Paper” finds the song’s protagonist reflecting on divorce with some startling imagery: “Black is the color of ink a squid jets out when he takes a fright/ silly me, I never stop to think, I might just have to gear up for a fight.”  In his songwriting, DiGirolamo clearly seeks to avoid predictable lyrics and chords, but skillfully walks the high wire with creative choices. The results are fresh and complex, resonant rather than  opaque.

The rest of the EP is made up of love songs, though decidedly not the run of the mill. “The Girl Who has Everything” explores a few fanciful notions about what you might offer such a person, besides one’s undying love and devotion, that is. The song was co-written with Daniel Tashian, “seemingly a lifetime ago,” notes DiGirolamo. We were in no small way emulating Burt Bacharach at the time, and I have not shied away from this in my horn arrangement. It is marvelous that Daniel has gone on to actually record an album with Burt!  I’m very happy to finally give this song wings, after a few pre-Wright Brothers-style attempts.” 

DiGirolamo confides, “I didn’t originally set out to become a songwriter or performer. I was sure I would write film scores. I was in love with work by Bernard Hermann and Ennio Morricone. But, I was a dreamy kid, I didn’t have any idea what was actually involved. My odyssey as a creative person has been full of rude awakenings and jarring disappointments, as well as some truly unforgettable peaks. I’ve come through with that inner dreamy kid intact and active, ultimately. It’s a quality which helps me to see the world from a unique angle, which keeps my writing fresh. I never get bored. That’s one of the biggest things that makes me grateful and glad to be alive.”

Jamesdigirolamo.com

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Hailing from Corpus Christi, Texas, J-Minu$ is a true hustler in every sense of the word. With an early attachment to music at a young age, J began recording and writing music at the age of 16. J-Minu$ brings a unique sound to the industry with a cinematic approach at contempoary bedroom pop & hyper pop with musical influence from the punk wave of the ’80s along with modern superstars such as Juice World, All American Rejects, Michael Jackson, Post Malone, & Big Sean. Priding himself in his hard work and dedication towards his craft, J has been recording music out of his family’s food truck while juggling a full-time job and various side hustles since 2016. Early in his career J-Minu$ has released over 70 tracks independently with a song going viral to earn him a verification badge on Instagram before completely rebranding himself and starting fresh in 2021. Since hitting the scene with his unique sound J-Minu$ has released two singles that have garnered him attention of blogs such as Buzz Music, Tha Produce Section, Roadie Music. J-Minu$ has managed to build himself an online community with various underground music outlets and streamers supporting his music such as iListenLive & The Creative Hills. J-Minu$ is not anticipated to slow down in 2021 with a project on the way with eOne’s Audio Network (music library) and a debut album release this summer there is much more anticipated from this South Texas artist.

NEW SINGLE “OPTIMISTIC” OUT ON JUNE 9TH: PRE SAVE HERE! https://jm.cubemusic.ca/optimistic

“Optimistic” is the 3rd single from J-Minu$ releasing June 9th anticipated to be followed up with a debut EP releasing later this summer. This track tells a story of the internal struggle J-Minu$ has faced in his music career. Although J has been finding success with his new sound, he uses this song to speak how he’s been feeling stuck in the same spot despite these recent accomplishments. In this song, J delivers a catchy memorable chorus spreading an optimistic approach to his craft to tie together this story of his struggle while bridging together verses that outline the mental and emotional barriers he has been facing. This song speaks to the mental health struggles that musicians face every day while taking an optimistic approach to the mentality and vision they need to keep persevering through these obstacles. J hopes this song speaks to listeners to keep positive throughout their journey; although they may not be seeing changes right away from their successes it is important to keep moving forward and manifesting their goals.

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