As a singer-songwriter in New York City, it’s easy to get lost. Every night, hundreds of performers sit at tiny tables with their guitars, waiting for their turn to play a song at an open mic, hoping someone might recognize their talent. After moving to Brooklyn in the Fall of 2000 to begin her studies of creative writing at Pratt Institute of the Arts, Bethany Spiers quickly became one of those struggling artists. Having played regular gigs in the suburbs of Philadelphia since the age of sixteen, she was at first startled by her anonymity.
Over the next four years, she continued to develop her songwriting while playing shows with punk and hardcore bands in New York and New Jersey. It was during this period that she met David Debiak, singer and guitarist of the critically acclaimed band Sleep Station. In an effort to further acquaint herself with the independent music scene and learn from Debiak’s songwriting expertise, she joined Sleep Station as a guitarist and backing vocalist. As the demand for touring arose, which she could not meet as a full-time student, Spiers left the band. But the artistic bond she had formed with Debiak led him to sign on as the producer for her first album, which caught the attention of their long-time friends at Eyeball Records.
After months of pre-production with the coaching of Debiak, Spiers assembled nine songs to be released under the moniker, The Feverfew. The album, titled “Apparitions,” deals with the ghosts, in their various incarnations, that lurk in notebooks, letters and dreams. It is at once, a personal testament to impending disaster, an elegy for those lost, and a celebration of near-escape. She sings of both the light and the dark, coupling the mournful with the optimistic to evoke a feeling of intimacy and urgency. Her studies of creative writing are reflected in songs like “Last Call” and “Selby,” with lyrics taking the shape of stories set to music. They draw the listeners in, as if they themselves are characters in the narrative. The album crosses decades and draws inspiration from the many relationships with which we engage throughout our lives, the kind that never leave us.
Influenced by such artists as the Red House Painters, Cat Power, and Mazzy Star, The Feverfew’s music is somehow simple while retaining impressive, intricate guitar work and haunting melodies. Each song has the power to make a noisy, crowded room stop silent, if only for four minutes at a time. Joined by the talented Jonathon Linaberry on guitar, backing vocals and melodica, the two find a niche wherever they perform— from hardcore and punk shows in basements and bars, to singer-songwriter circles in quiet coffeehouses or indie rock clubs. The synergy of instruments and voices appeal to the many diverse crowds they encounter, as they have attracted fans of indie rock, pop and folk alike. It is certain that as a part of the Eyeball Records family, Spiers won’t be just another singer-songwriter lost in the crowds of New York City.
Edited by DizzyMissA on 18 Oct 2007, 01:56
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