Sun Culture- Nashville, TN

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What could the world use more of? -Always more cowbell.

Letting go means leaving something behind.


Title track, ‘Crooked Line’ sets the tone for a revival and caustic ambience to lure the ears into Sun Culture.

Crafts the perfect soundtrack for hot summer days.  

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Photo Credit: Mikaela Hamilton Photography

Sun Culture, a distinctive name. Tell us more:

 The whole idea for this project centered around fun music that had a summery vibe to it. I was thinking a lot about beaches and sunny days when we worked on this music.

How did Music find you?

I have always loved writing songs, and began pursuing that at a young age. I eventually signed with a major label as a solo artist and released a record, then returned to my first love: making music independently. That’s how Sun Culture was born.

 Does your musical inspiration derive from Nashville?

Nashville inspires me in many ways. I get to soak in the amazing music scene here and listen to all kinds of great new bands and songs, and I am also motivated by the immense pool of talent here, both as a songwriter and a producer.


Sun Culture, where was it recorded? Was the Album culminated to tell a story as a whole, or a compilation of eight songs over time?

 Sun Culture was one of the last records to come out of Fantasy Land Studio in Gallatin, TN before they moved to their new location in Nashville. My friend Jordan and I co-produced the record, and we wrote most of the songs while we were in the studio. As a result, I think this album is very much a snapshot of a moment in time for me.

 Would you share a story behind one of the songs?

Crooked Line is particularly meaningful to me because it speaks to how difficult it is to start over with something new. In many ways, this is how I felt about making the record. I was scared to start something new, and I knew it would take a lot of work, but I knew it was worth it. When we sat down to discuss the order of the songs, this was a clear choice to open the album.

 What does the perfect summer day look like to you?

 I’d love to be sipping lemonade outside with good friends and something delicious on the grill.

 Everyone is always looking for new music. Shout-out to who you cannot get enough of lately: 

 I’ve been really digging the new Magic Man and Strange Talk albums. Both very solid.

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 How did/have you grown as a songwriter since the Sun Culture Album?

 I tried to tackle some more complex topics on this record than what I’ve written in the past and tried to draw inspirations from some unexpected places.

There are hints that Sun Culture will be releasing a new single, ‘Young Blood.’ What is the essence behind this song?

 The song is all about the feeling of being young and invincible. It’s about those nights where you think you could can take on the world and win.

When in Nashville you must…

Visit Pancake Pantry! It just doesn’t get better than a good batch of fresh pancakes.

Sun Culture is hosting a Dinner Party. Fill in the blanks…

The dinner party is at Panda Express, because I have a serious addiction. I arrive in my spacious yet gas-efficient Kia Soul, wearing shorts and a tee along with the most glorious set of Crocs your eyes have ever beheld. I walk through the door with a Russian supermodel on my arm, much to the surprise of Abraham Lincoln, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and of course Juan Pablo. We listen to three copies of Yeezus on repeat, while drinking the finest Italian wines, coupled with value meals from Taco Bell. If the conversation is lacking, I simply attempt to present Ms. Swift with an award, then sit back and enjoy.

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Sun Culture has always wondered why?

Sun Culture has always wondered why not.

On a final note: A quote or piece of advice that will always stay with you?

 “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I cannot tell you how much this means to me. It really is true, pursue your passions and find a way to support yourself doing what you love.


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Nate Maingard – Cape Town, South Africa / London

Nate Maingard is living proof that amazing things come from Capetown where the surf is cold, the mountains rugged and raw creativity runs wild and free.

We caught up with him to find out more about the man behind his music.

Now located in London, Nate Maingard brings forth his organic essence and love for mankind in his latest album ‘In the Shadows’ which will drop on 12/12/13 but you can Pre Order it right here, right now:

I N   T H E   S H A D O W S 

1. Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours and where you are from.

I’m from a little village in South Africa, on the outskirts of Cape Town. The village is named Scarborough and I grew up with the ocean and the mountain as my neighbours. I think those early years shaped my views of life a huge amount. Home is a recurring theme in my music.

a capetown

2. How do you best describe your musical style?

I would say lyrical and melodic. If we go for a genre, then indie-folk or folk-rock would probably describe it.

 3. When did you know music was going to be an important part of your life?

I come from a musical family and so I’ve always been around music. I think it started with lyrics for me though. From a very young age I was fascinated by the images lyrics could make in my mind; so I just grew into this place of writing music from wanting to communicate in the same way music has communicated with me.

4. Which lyrics are closest to your heart and tell us what they mean to you.

“See me trapped within this construct

Beating at the locked up door and

Gripped tight deep within my fist

Is the key to all I’ve missed

That the pain is just the teacher

And the cage is just a myth.”

I love that verse because it’s so true for me that sometimes I push so hard to make things how I want them to be when if I just relaxed the things I need already rest right in the palm of my hand.

a Nate collage

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L U R A Y // Ethereal indie-banjo from camp Bon Iver

Hence upon the passing of one season to another Washington D.C./’s  L u r a y evolves the soul to a place of calm and sweetness. Somehow it just sounds right. Fresh Independence is proud to Debut Luray’s The Wilder LIVE and off the floor.

Keep it in the family. Luray is the indie-banjo creation of Shannon Carey. With production help from brother Sean Carey (of S. Carey and Bon Iver), Luray\’s unique sound creates strange and lovely bedfellows of different genres. Banjos, vibes, pedal steel, and ambient vocals make up this bluegrass-trained songwriter\’s new and vibrant approach to making music. The end result is somewhere between Iron & Wine and Emmylou Harris. Luray live includes Shannon Carey on banjo and vocals, Sarah Gilberg on keyboard and backing vocals, Gabriel Wisniewski on electric guitar, C.J. Wolfe on drums, and Brian Cruse on bass.

Luray is releasing their debut album, The Wilder on 8/27 and touring the east coast and midwest in September.

*Recently F R E S H  I N D E P E N D E N C E  caught up with L U R A Y to learn about the Debut Album and so much more…

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Ben Taylor – Massachusetts

“Beautiful things are here, there & everywhere.”

Those are words that come to mind when listening to the songs of Ben Taylor. He has inherited the very best of his genetic roots and made those attributes uniquely his own. We get lost inside his music as it takes us to a place and time that is so familiar yet suddenly one realizes, you are hearing it for the very first time.  

Sit back relax and enjoy “Listening” to Ben’s latest album available on iTunes now.

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