Ingrid Michaelson

Foundation Presents

Ingrid Michaelson

Sugar + The Hi-Lows, Storyman

Mon · May 19, 2014

6:30 pm

The Beacham

$25.00 - $35.00

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This event is 12 and over

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Ingrid Michaelson
Ingrid Michaelson
In the past two years, Ingrid Michaelson -- who'll drop her fifth studio album, "Lights Out" (Cabin 24/Mom+Pop) on April 15 -- has vaulted from overachieving indie-pop sweetheart to a bona-fide pop star. Her last release, "Human Again," debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard album chart (plus No.1 on iTunes).

This achievement merely crowned the considerable success Ingrid had already earned with her previous compositions: beautiful, idiosyncratic songs that have been prominently featured in popular films, television and on regular rotation in commercials. Her DIY approach to making music -- composing her own songs, co-releasing albums on her Cabin 24 imprint, building an organic following through music-licensing, and back in her MySpace days (where she was discovered in 2006), promoting herself -- was a slam-dunk. Now, it had evolved into a well-oiled machine, The New York Times even weighed in, declaring her songwriting "smart," her tunes "irresistible" and her live show "seamless."

Then, says Ingrid, "Everything just came to a screeching halt." While helping out seriously ill relatives, her dog died. Soon after, Ingrid herself fell sick with serious stomach issues. "My whole throat was on fire for a few months. I had to stop writing," she says, of the time between April and August 2013. "I was so ill, I couldn't sing." After seeing countless doctors -- "like, three a day" at its worst -- she got better and was able to resume writing "Lights Out." For someone associated with crafting sunny tunes about escapism, a creative detour into dusk seemed almost inevitable.

Technically, "Lights Out" refers to the two words uttered on Ingrid's tour bus when everyone's ready to call it a night. But given recent developments, it's become a metaphor for contemplating mortality and letting go -- themes more thoughtful than they are dark. The album builds into intensity, but is anchored by the swelling pop-affirmation "Time Machine" and the sweetly buoyant "Girls Chase Boys," which fits squarely into her existing catalog. "We thought of that song as the bridge for people. I'm still respecting what people want, but showing them what I can do," she explains, adding: "Some of the songs, like 'Over You,' are written to sound like relationship-y songs, but they're not."

The ethereal "Handsome Hands" is arguably "Lights Out"'s most left-of-center offering. "The song is about death, but it's also about the higher power," she explains. "In moments of desperation, even the most non-religious people pray. When you're pushed to your limits, you look for help from something other than yourself." Similarly, "Wonderful Unknown" is a positive, if beguiling narrative about the fears and uncertainties of growing old with your spouse, which she delivers in a lower register. An after-effect of her illness? "I don't think I've lost part of my voice," she explains, "but my voice has somewhat changed."

Perhaps more dauntingly, "Lights Out" also marks Ingrid's entry into a brave new world of songwriting. Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, the album features six producers and ten co-writers, including singer-songwriters Katie Herzig and Trent Dabbs, as well as the very in-demand Busbee (Pink, Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum). "With every other record, I've always written all of the songs. I've worked with one producer. And we've stayed in one room," she says. "I've been such a control freak about my songs! But if you can get with the right person, there are ideas you could never come up with. It totally opens doors."

And with opportunity comes meaningful change. "It's funny. It doesn't even feel like I wrote 'The Way I Am,'" Ingrid says of her platinum break-out single, recorded seven year ago. "It's a memory." She'll continue to perform it live as she tours "Lights Out" -- just stripped-down, recasting the flittering ditty into something weightier. "It feels like a little girl wrote that song. So much has happened to me in life."
Sugar + The Hi-Lows
Sugar + The Hi-Lows
Sugar & The Hi Lows know that popular music isn’t a mirror, that melodies and lyrics aren’t tethered to the cultural landscapes of their day. Breathing a new sound into music with an old soul, this rootsy, vintage duo reminds us why we dance, especially in the midst of hard times.

Music has always had the power to buoy spirits and wash communal hardships into the background. When Judy Garland clicked her sparkling heels together and sang of a place “Over the Rainbow,” for example, the rest of the nation was still reeling from the Great Depression. And though decades have come and gone, music has never lost that power.
Ringing in their new sound, Sugar & The Hi Lows are bringing back the era of feel good music, the days when one take was enough and an auto-tune was a thing you did to your ’55 Chevy. Brought to life by experienced songwriter/performers Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup, Sugar & The Hi Lows is a bit of a nostalgic love offering.

Growing up in Mississippi under the sway of Memphis blues, Dabbs was raised to the soundtrack of Motown, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations. “My father used to make blanket statements like, ‘It’s not good if you can’t dance to it,’” he remembers. And though he wasn’t into his father’s sonic selection at the time, he says that style of music has come to evoke a feeling he can’t get anywhere else.
“The older I got, I realized how that was kind of seeping into what I loved musically, and it just brings this joy, it brings this happiness,” Dabbs says. “With the climate of everything right now – with the economy – you could write the most depressing songs ever, but I really feel like the world needs light; the world needs lighthearted.”

Dabbs and Stroup are certainly no strangers to pop culture. Both mainstays in Nashville’s singer-songwriter scene, the two have heard dozens of their songs spinning behind hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood, Private Practice, So You Think You Can Dance, Pretty Little Liars and more.
Dabbs’ music has been touted by Taylor Swift, and Stroup was named one of the Top 20 Songwriters Under 30 by A Prairie Home Companion. Though fully at home in their niche, the two still chose to step away from their self-described “heavy mellow” sound to pursue something with a bit more swing in its step.
The happy-go-lucky numbers that evolved into Sugar & The Hi Lows first began to take shape when Dabbs purchased a vintage box amp and sat down in his basement for a regular co-write with Stroup.
“We got to talking about his dad and throwback music from the ‘50s and ‘60s and just like, ‘Why isn’t there that type of music now?’” Stroup recalls. That day, their song “This Can’t Be the Last Time” came in less than two hours. A newfound creative freedom had been tapped, and the next seven tracks for the project fell quickly into place.
“We weren’t really trying to treat it like a band,” Stroup explains. “We just wrote this series of songs, but they didn’t feel like an Amy Stroup song or an Amy and Trent duet.”

Sugar & The Hi Lows’ self-titled debut is an eight-track project with the heart of a younger Robert Plant and Alison Krauss collaboration. Crackling with throwback phrases – “I’ve been buzzin’ round your honey/ And babe I want it all for me” – the record is laced with gospel, soul, rock and an edge that will convince you you’re listening to new music through an AM radio.

From the James Morrison-like groove of “Show and Tell” to the peppy 1950s beat of “Two Day High,” Sugar & The Hi Lows let the music speak for itself and simply invite their fans to join in whatever ensues.
STORYMAN is the songwriting partnership of Kevin May and Mick Lynch.

Former members of The Guggenheim Grotto, Kevin May and Mick Lynch realized early on when faced with the concept of career that they had only one choice: Art. Their art of choice was music.

They set out developing their multi-instrumental sound to support what has become one of the most unique, identifiable and chilling vocal marriages. It's not by chance that they have been compared over the years to the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel with a dash of Leonard Cohen and a few drops of Radiohead — add some of Ireland's most poignant crooners and you might have a hint of their pedigree. Most recently they have been likened to Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, but they always remain outside the trends of the day retaining an aura of permanence along with deep wisdom.

Yes, they were born and bred Irish lads but their music has always been universal with a signature debt to Irish melancholy, the sad sweet fragrance and elixir of pain that only the Irish can inject into a beautiful melody and lyric.

Despite their continued success with The Guggenheim Grotto, releasing three critically acclaimed albums and creating a sizable fan-base, the guys have always split their time between their native Ireland and the US, with life on the road and grueling tour schedules never offering a chance to truly find their creative homes.

The guys (having lived in Brooklyn for the last three years) have had a musical rebirth, working with producer Chris Kuffner (Ingrid Michaelson, Bess Rogers). They have developed their sonic landscape to produce an album that indicates a true breaking of the The Guggenheim Grotto mold.

Whilst retaining the sensibilities that made The Guggenheim Grotto so successful, STORYMAN takes it to a much edgier, bigger and beautiful place, and their album This Time Round is a glorious debut for a band who, originally from Ireland, have in the last three years immersed themselves in the rich musical haven that is New York City.

This Time Round features some of the city's finest: Chris Kuffner on electric guitars, bass and beautifully crafted synth work, Elliott Jacobson on drums/percussion, stunning vocals from Katie Costello, Lelia Broussard and Hannah Winkler, plus a host of other talent from New York's vibrant and creative scene.

As always, their songwriting is marked with a belief in the promises of the universe, a curiosity about humanity and a hopeless romanticism embodied by only the most passionate of artists and dreamers. With equal amounts melancholy and jubilance, the duo's signature mix of soaring melodies and emotionally intelligent lyrics remains intact.

On the title track "This Time Round" we are exposed to the urgency of the new creative process going on within the May/Lynch camp. On tracks "Coming Home" and "You Got Me" you get a sense of the band's new found identity as they sing of their love of their new surroundings, "Strange" picks at the human condition while "For a Cat" delves into the madness of love. Tracks like "Cherry Red" asks the question who you would like to spend your last moments on earth with?

On "Electric Life", carrying on the environmental theme, May and Lynch challenge the listener to "fight for your Electric Life", while offering a haven from all the madness with the beautiful "Lay Your Weight."

"Hola" declares a rebirth thanks to a new love.

A rebirth indeed,

Venue Information:
The Beacham
46 N Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL, 32801