Carrie K is a writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist based in Nashville, TN. Frequent collaborator of Grammy-nominated producer JT Daly (K. Flay, Grandson, PVRIS) and Gabe Simon (Dua Lipa, Maroon 5, Lana Del Rey, Noah Kahan), Carrie got her start drumming on tour opening for the likes of Foster the People and Sheryl Crow before shifting into a producer/writer role. She recently wrote, assisted production, and played drums on Noah Kahan’s critically acclaimed album, Stick Season and the extended edition Stick Season (We’ll All Be Here Forever). Carrie also produced five songs on the recent PVRIS record earning her a #1 UK Rock & Metal Album and a Top 10 Spotify Top Album USA Debut. Recent collaborations and upcoming releases include Sasha Sloan, Jessie Murph, Suki Waterhouse, Greg Kurstin, Rodney Jerkins, Amy Allen, Steph Jones, and Julian Cruz among others.
Archive for the ‘Artist Management’ Category
Maddy Davis, a middle kid hailing from the suburbs of New Jersey, spent her teenage years throwing concerts in her mom’s basement with pockets full of round-trip NJ transit ticket stubs. Now a vocalist, songwriter, and producer, Davis masters raw and empathic indie rock through a pop lens—bringing an addictive, nostalgic angst to the forefront of her storyline.
Drawing on her experiences from driving her jersey plates cross country to LA, to too many nights out past curfew playing some of NYC’s most respected venues, Davis, through her music, allows her childlike spirit to immortalize.
Davis’ debut EP MUD released in 2022 connects back to her roots while acknowledging how many she still has to plant. Maddy Davis commits to making songs that relate to everyone’s 20 somethings; dreaming big, moving fast, and not letting anyone tell you otherwise.
Gatlin’s music captures the fullness of existence—meditating on life’s pain while celebrating the joy too. “Whatever emotion you’re feeling? Feel it deeply. Don’t numb it out.” she says. The Florida-raised singer-songwriter had that epiphany after a whirlwind couple of years that included a move from Nashville to Los Angeles, opening shows with Ashe, Pale Waves, and VÉRITE—and her first heartbreak, an experience that led her to dive into pop that communicated deep feelings while allowing for communal catharsis.
Raised on Stevie Nicks and Taylor Swift, Gatlin has been cultivating her musical acumen since she was young. After heading to Nashville to study songwriting, she released her first solo music in 2020, and has been thrilling audiences with emotionally open pop songs like the swirling “2000 Miles” and the strutting “Talking To Myself,” and her breakout 2021 single “What If I Love You,” which has amassed more than 36 million listens on Spotify since its release.
In April 2021, Sara L’Abriola went to a house party with her girlfriend. The scenario was fraught from the start, as the soiree was actually happening at the home of that girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend. The situation soon deteriorated—the girlfriend disappeared into the boyfriend’s bedroom to, as L’Abriola later put it, “air griefs on the sheets you used to share.” No good, right? It was, however, a crucial moment in the development of L’Abriola’s full identity, in the acceptance of her id. Her jealousy, she remembers, suggested that of an alpha male, all-consuming and relentless. She needed to get the fuck out of that party, and fast. She funneled those harsh feelings not only into a sharp indictment called “Your Ex, Man” but also into a more masculine, more extreme side of her emotional self. She (they works, too, thank you!) calls it Hank, and you should, too.
Indeed, Call Me Hank—L’Abriola’s classically modern five-song debut under the name Hank, equally indebted to Brill Building pop and ultra-processed hyperpop—is a prepossessing coming-of-age snapshot. Questions of sobriety, pronouns, maturity, and empathy show L’Abriola wrestling with who they are in real time. At 24, they wonder if they are ready to grow up and settle down or if they are too young to feel so old? Is staying sober the best way to deal with a problem, or should she rush out of that party house for “a shot and a beer”? Can a very hard break-up be a new beginning when it only feels like the end? In 16 minutes, Call Me Hank convincingly poses decades of questions threaded together by a single experiential credo: You gotta live to find out, man.
Speaking of life, L’Abriola lived a fascinating one before they found Hank. The kid of a jazz pianist in New York’s rural Hudson Valley, they fell hard for swing music, especially the swiveling brilliance of Django Reinhardt. They toured the world as a swing guitarist while still a teenager before decamping to Brooklyn and enlisting as an instrumentalist with an au courant cadre of young songwriters there. First there was Gus Dapperton, then Samia, Del Water Gap, and Hippo Campus.
It was actually that last band that, after learning L’Abriola had started writing her first songs ever while off the road during the pandemic, helped convinced her to take them seriously. At the start of 2022, she flew to Minneapolis to collaborate with Hippo Campus singer Jake Luppen and his partner, Raffaella Meloni, on these early tunes. (She’d already started the great group Peach Fuzz alongside Samia, Meloni and Ryann.) That trio wrote, recorded, and wrote some more, eventually finishing the core of what is now called Call Me Hank. L’Abriola had finally found space, time, and inspiration to sort through who they were and wanted to be—including long-standing ideas about gender identity—by singing through those feelings. Hank became not an endpoint but a catalyst for self-actualization. Sara, meet Hank, and so on.
Just as Hank became part of L’Abriola, they soon found that Hank, too, contained multitudes. It’s impossible to ignore that in these first five songs. The title track, for instance, hinges on the kind of sharp country riff Clarence White might have loved but offsets it with vertiginous synthetic strings and a beat that canters, corkscrews, and canters again. It’s a song about being one of the boys—riding motorcycles, jamming in the basement, covering Neil Young in the bar with some local roughnecks—rendered in a sunbeam soprano. “Your Ex, Man” is like pop-punk reimagined by a ProTools native, cascading harmonies and squiggling electronics unspooling beneath their side of that party story.
There’s a sublime piano ballad that’s unflinching in its vulnerability (“One True Dear”) and a playful interrogation of romantic insecurity (“All for You (Baby))” that feels like Alex G remixing the Moldy Peaches. It ends with the fathoms-deep “Guilt Trip,” an attempt to survey the dividing line between youth and adulthood, or between who we are and who we know we might someday be.
Hank represents L’Abriola’s home for such ideas and, more broadly, the extreme sides of their personality. They admit that Sara is the one who will smile and tell you everything is OK. Hank, however, is the hard-ass, the one who will write a song to tell you that “airing griefs on the sheets you used to share” is a terrible thing to do to the person waiting outside. Call Me Hank is only the first batch of those feelings, a songwriter’s opening salvo after two decades as a guitar ace. L’Abriola is now working on a full-length debut that amplifies those personality poles through the story of a gambling fiend, Hank, who endures the dizzying highs and terrifying lows of addiction. This is the foundation for a fuller exploration of self, rendered in character. More on that soon; for now, what a riveting start.
Scott McMicken has always thrived on switching things up. As a founding member of Philadelphia rock mainstays Dr. Dog, McMicken and his bandmates consistently explored new sounds and new ways of writing songs across 10 gleefully eclectic albums before their 2021 hiatus. While McMicken has quietly released solo projects via cassette and vinyl on his own label Press On Records, for his latest effort, he’s done something he’s only done once before: started a band. With Shabang, out March 31, 2023, via ANTI-, comes the debut album from Scott McMicken and the Ever-Expanding, and he’s made some of his freest and most adventurous music yet: a wonderfully collaborative collection of songs that feel lived in and true.
Part Basement Tapes and Paul Simon, and part a globetrotting foray into progressive sounds, Shabang is some of the most exploratory music of McMicken’s career. There are elements of jazz, dub reggae, country, and bossa nova throughout these 13 tracks, each exuding the excitement of being in a room with several other curious musicians. Opener “What About Now” originally started as a folk rock dirge but when McMicken decided to add some bounce to the rhythm, the whole thing opened up. Even songs that dig deep into personal conflict like “Reconcile” radiate with a joy that’s tangible and rocking.
“I’m constantly trying at all costs to avoid feeling like a singer-songwriter,” says McMicken. “I would like to create a welcoming place that we can share rather than trying to yank you into my inner world.”
Over the past few years, McMicken has been building out his home studio operation,working on music and recording other artists like Big Thief for their album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You. For most of 2021, he wrote and recorded a sizable batch of solo songs but no matter how much he tinkered with them, something felt off. “When you study how to make a good recording, inevitably, you land on the realization that it has so much to do with the performance,” says McMicken. “You can’t truly replicate the feel and the freedom of people playing music together in a room by doing everything yourself. There are no surprises, and there are no mysteries there.”
He sent the songs to Nick Kinsey, an engineer and producer with a home studio in upstate New York. “The two of us started talking and we got excited about the idea of putting together like a really large band,” says McMicken. “That way, we could really go aggressively in the direction that these recordings I had made lacked and make a full live sound.” Because McMicken’s previous band was composed of lifelong friends who over time developed an unbreakable musical bond, he decided to try something totally different: He told Kinsey to choose his future bandmates himself, selecting a group of total strangers who could collaborate on these songs.
Kinsey assembled every musician, with McMicken only asking for his longtime friend and collaborator Michael Nau to join the band, which also included Kinsey, Elizabeth Pupo-Walker, Neil Ochoa, Jared Samuel, Zach Tenorio, and Paul Castelluzzo. “I needed to go into it with as little control as possible,” says McMicken. “I just want to be in a room with wonderful people and encourage them to be themselves and be present to create nice musical moments.” As the band arrived at Kinsey’s studio, The Chicken Shack, McMicken decided to scrap most of the songs he’d painstakingly demoed to invite unshaken improvisation. “There’s something about being around strangers that just kind of holds the mirror up on you,” says McMicken. “I think there’s a higher degree of accountability when you’re making music. You thrive within the limitations and awkwardness if you are really honed and you’re intuitive.” Over a fruitful week, the band hashed out 13 songs.
One of the few tracks that came from McMicken’s demos is the lead single, “Another One.” Originally written during his tenure with Dr. Dog about getting out of writer’s block, the song takes on new meaning in this full-band context. On the kinetic and joyful track which boasts a buoyant groove and a horn section, McMicken sings, “Once the morning powers wake up / And the hours flower on / A moment’s all we are to take up / And here comes another one.” When introducing a song to the band, McMicken preferred to encourage improvisation and freedom to have everyone’s idiosyncratic voices join together to make up the whole. “The last thing I’m going to do is walk in the room and say, ‘This is your part,’” he says, noting that one single, “Mountain Lion,” came from him saying, “Everybody just get going on G minor: I’m gonna sing about some animals.” Even the band name, the Ever-Expanding, came from an extended early jam where the band found its first chemistry.
By being present and living with these musicians (quite literally: McMicken and Nau stayed in tents outside the studio) united under one common goal, Shabang is full of life and endlessly candid. “I knew nothing good will come of this unless I am totally free and away from any pressure and pretense,” says McMicken. “Such an incredible spectrum of emotion passed through me while making this album. There was this lightness and un-self seriousness. I feel like music and life cruises at that spot: everybody was so wholeheartedly invested and open.”
Music has always lured Ricky Montgomery back. He blames the internet. First a devotee of the Vine underground, then—more than half a decade and several jobs later—an unexpected hitmaker, the Los Angeles native has spent the last few years trying to reconcile with his artist self. He has already surpassed one billion global streams thanks to Platinum-selling indie-pop hits “Mr. Loverman” and “Line Without a Hook.” But those songs, written when he was a teenager, have come to feel like they were written by a whole different person—at least to Ricky. So here comes Rick, his first full-length album on Warner Records, a labyrinthine alt-pop collection of stories about life in all its messy and mundane glory.
Rick is only Montgomery’s sophomore album, but it’s rich with maturity, down to the title itself. Rick is a name the singer always assumed he’d eventually take on—“it seemed more ‘adult,’” he quips—but never had the nerve to. Instead, he embodies the role through a soul-searching mix of electro-laced, emo-tinged tracks that balance sadness and doubt with lightness and levity. His lyrics dig deep and cut sharp as he navigates his wildest highs (doing cocaine for the first time) and most devastating lows (coping with his father’s death).
“Rick is about my long, awkward path toward remembering myself as an artist. It’s been embarrassing and difficult, but also thrilling—kinda like changing your first name,” he says. “It’s everything I’ve ever wanted to do but was too scared to try.”
Working alongside Grammy-winning vets Dan Wilson and Jeremy Hatcher and Grammy-nominated producer Tommy English, Montgomery pushes his limits as a songwriter. There’s still that sunny, sardonic urgency of his early work, now heightened with a lusher, fuller sound on nostalgia-pop singles “Eraser” and “Don’t Say That.” His wit remains refreshingly intact: “I’m not fun, but at least I’m not as sad as I used to be,” he teases on the swirling experimental bop “Boy Toy.” And so does his sincerity, with tracks like “One Way Mirror,” a gentle lament that hints at the airy eeriness of Elliott Smith.
The album’s title also alludes to Montgomery’s father, nicknamed Rick, who died by suicide in 2009. “We thought it was an accident, but later found out that it wasn’t,” he explains. The singer faces that traumatic discovery on “Black Fins,” one of the album’s most gut-punching statements. “Calling the album ‘Rick’ is as much a goof as it is a magic spell to lay those feelings of resentment to rest,” he says.
Montgomery sees Rick as something of a spiritual sequel to 2016’s Montgomery Ricky—another self-titled album that isn’t exactly self-titled. While he feels mostly removed from those songs now, they are just as personal and poignant. They’re also reminders of why he picked up a guitar in the first place.
Montgomery began honing his singing and songwriting chops at age 14, shortly after moving from L.A. to Missouri. To flee the culture shock, he went underground, literally, shuffling through various bands in the suburban basements of West St. Louis County. “Music was just an escape from everything,” he says. “Sometimes writing or playing was the only way I could get out of panic attacks.” In college, he channeled that anxiety into comedic bits and intimate music performances that gained him his first viral audience on the now-defunct Vine platform.
In the summer of 2014, he released his debut EP which landed on the Rock and Alternative charts. His yearning to move back to the West Coast was palpable in those songs, and he knows it. “At the time, I defined my personality around wanting to leave Missouri,” he admits. “It was almost obsessive for me.” The success gave him the excuse. He dropped out, hightailed it to his hometown, and released Montgomery Ricky.
Of course, music careers in L.A. are rarely so simple. Things didn’t exactly take off with the album, and when his stepdad faced a near-death experience, Montgomery decided to quit music for good. He found success at a marketing startup and even founded his own company, but a round of major setbacks led him to a job in catering. Getting recognized at one catering gig shook his world. “Don’t quit Vine!” the fan told him, even though Vine had long since gone dark.
A week later, running late to another gig, he couldn’t stop thinking about that comment. “It pissed me off,” he recalls. “I looked at the house and said, “Fuck this.’ I drove back home and wrote music for the rest of the night.”
Montgomery soon resurrected his band The Honeysticks, a side project with a childhood friend. In 2019, the band booked their first national tour, but the pandemic put a stop to it. By the summer of 2020, he was considering quitting music entirely. Then the seemingly impossible—yet somehow inevitable—happened: Suddenly people were finding solace in his songs. And they still are. He now has millions of followers across his socials and a string of sold-out tours under his belt. But he’s ready to move on—to present a whole new Ricky Montgomery to the world.
“After a couple years of running away from music, I had to re-inhabit all of these old songs I didn’t identify with,” he says. “I had to become ‘Ricky Montgomery The Music Artist’ again. And that’s where I’ve been since 2020. Figuring out how to be that guy. Ultimately, that’s what Rick is all about.”
rainbolt (Trevor Rainbolt) is a 24 year old Creator and professional Esports Athlete. With an elite ability to identify a location in seconds by only looking at an image of a street, rainbolt quickly rose the ranks and has become the face of the GeoGuessr (the popular browser facing program with over 30M users that gamifies Google Maps) community.
Trevor began posting content on TikTok on January 1st, 2022 and immediately saw a meteoric rise in views, forming a budding new audience. He’s worked with companies such as The NFL, Chipotle, Google, BODYARMOR, Red Bull, and more. With over 3.9M followers on socials, over 3M impressions per day across channels, rainbolt is the most viewed and consumed Geography content creator in the world.
Andrey Azizov is an incredibly dynamic creative. Both a musician and designer, Andrey has amassed an audience of over 400K followers for his multifaceted artistic endeavors. Having worked with artists such as Bazzi, BROCKHAMPTON, Chelsea Cutler, Kevin Abstract, Glaive, Blu DeTiger, Alexander 23, and more, Andrey looks to shift industry norms, pioneering an audience that is hyper in-tune to both sonics and design.
The Brook & The Bluff is perfectly poised between the past and the present, at an unexpected
crossroads where indie rock and folk-rock have found new frontiers and possibilities online.
Their new album Bluebeard feels like a modern classic, shaped by the past but very much of
and for right now. The first song from the album titled “Long Limbs” is a song about the highs
and lows of being in love and the work that goes into a relationship but also a reminder to just
be present and let yourself be with someone that makes you happy.
In recent years, The Brook & The Bluff’s incandescent harmonies, winning arrangements, and
observational acumen have unexpectedly put them upon a different on-ramp for success:
streaming stardom. They are now, by far, one of the most successful young bands at folk-rock’s
amorphous contemporary edge, fusing the craft of the past with the ideas and avenues of the
For emerging alt-pop icon Zolita, every song begins as an elaborate movie in her mind, irresistibly rooted in both riveting drama and viscerally real feeling. A truly multidimensional artist, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter/filmmaker matches her fiercely honest musical output with self-directed videos, each revealing the singular aesthetic she honed in part through her studies in film at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Recently signed to AWAL after earning massive success as a D.I.Y. creator (including over 140 million global streams to date and growing thanks to her recent acclaimed viral trilogy of singles), Zolita continues to share her most magnetic and polished work yet, a new EP and video series that spotlights her cinematic storytelling and her wildly catchy, newly unbridled sound.
Zolita’s new single “20 Questions,” a pop anthem that blends shimmering textures and euphoric harmonies with themes of betrayal and taking your power back, perfectly encapsulates her pop-punk energy and gritty effervescence. Introducing a whole new cinematic universe and set of characters, “20 Questions” and its compelling music video (produced, directed, and edited by Zolita) confronts an unfaithful partner and takes cues from real life. “‘20 Questions’ was born when I was thinking back on an ex who cheated on me and all of the initial questions that ran through my head that I didn’t get the chance to ask,” she shares. “20 Questions” is the beginning of Zolita’s most ambitious project to date, one that will take listeners on a sonic and visual journey through falling out of love, falling in love again, and the time in between with guitar-driven pop gems, sparkly acoustic love songs, and meditative ballads.
Receiving critical acclaim for the release of “Somebody I F*cked Once,” which was shortly followed by “Single In September” and “I F*cking Love You,” Zolita’s episodic viral trilogy of narrative-driven music videos were a sharp departure from the moody dark-pop of past efforts like her debut album Evil Angel and put a brilliant twist on the classic teen movie. Showcasing Zolita’s desire for LGBTQ+ visibility, the trilogy was produced, directed, and edited by Zolita herself (who played an essential part in everything from production design to casting) and also starred her as a cheerleader who falls in love with an artsy outsider named Gia. The “Somebody I F*cked Once” video went viral immediately after its premiere, amassing five million YouTube views in its first week alone. As a follow-up, the trilogy’s second installment “Single in September” introduced a heavy-hearted but exhilarating portrait of a fast-fading romance, built on a particularly poignant vocal performance from Zolita. Continuing the narrative arc of its predecessor, the video follows Zolita and Gia through the blissed-out whirlwind of summer love (sharing ice cream cones, making out in a topdown convertible), then crashes into the quiet heartache of their breakup. “I think it’s so common for people to believe that your first love is going to be your only love,” says Zolita. “I wanted to capture that feeling of trying so hard to hold onto someone, even though you’re in such different places now.” And with “I F*cking Love You,” the trilogy closes out on an unexpected and thrillingly joyful moment of reconnection.
Born Zoë Hoetzel and raised near L.A., Zolita grew up in a highly creative family who nurtured her artistic side from a young age. To that end, she first discovered her innate gift for music by playing flat-pick guitar with her father (a bluegrass aficionado and longtime banjo player), and later began writing her own folk-leaning songs in her bedroom. “It was mostly something I did for myself, as a form of therapy,” she says. In high school Zolita immersed herself in photography, almost instantly unveiling her left-of-center sensibilities.
Naming David Lynch and Darren Aronofsky among her favorite filmmakers, Zolita next headed to NYU to study film but soon found herself drawn to the world of music-video production. “It hit me that videos were a way to combine everything I love,” she says. “Not just music and film, but choreography, fashion, activism—there’s so much you can do in a threeminute time span.” After refining her stylistic approach by creating a number of videos for her own songs, Zolita had a major breakthrough with the spellbinding visual for “Explosion”—a deeply intimate track she wrote alone on guitar, then transformed into an epic yet slow-burning meditation on desire. With its heady collision of religious iconography and raw sensuality, the “Explosion” video quickly went viral and ultimately clarified Zolita’s intentions as an artist. “There were so many young queer people coming together in the comments and talking about how healing it was to hear someone sing about love between queer femme women, and I realized how badly that gap needed to be filled in pop culture,” she says. “That was the moment when I decided, ‘This is what Zolita is.’”
Since the arrival of “Explosion,” Zolita has gained lavish acclaim from the likes of Billboard, i-D, Paper Magazine, V Magazine, Out Magazine, NYLON, Gay Times, Dazed, and Interview while further pushing her boundaries with releases like “Holy”—a darkly hypnotic track for which she created a dystopian narrative short, centered on a female student who joins the girl she loves in leading a rebellion against their cult-like patriarchal schoolhouse. In the making of her latest body of work, she achieved yet another milestone with the production of “Somebody I F*cked Once,” whose guitar-heavy and galvanizing sound defines the next era of her music. “For a long time I was bouncing off other people and exploring different ideas for my sound, but ‘Somebody I F*cked Once’ was a real a-ha moment,” says Zolita, who recorded the track with L.A.-based producer Hiser (Chloe x Halle, Hey Violet). “It makes so much sense to go for something more guitar-driven, considering my whole experience of growing up playing guitar.”
Zolita is also focusing her seemingly limitless creative energy on developing her live set. “I’m excited by the idea of combining a very conceptual, theatrical stage show with music in a more pop-punk vein, because I don’t think we’ve seen that before,” she says. And as she’s learned on past tours (including a nationwide 2019 run with electropop star XYLØ), the live show allows for an extraordinarily close connection with her audience. “I talk to people online all the time, but to hug the people who’ve supported me is so amazing,” she says. “I love it because I never hear things like, ‘I’m so obsessed with you’—it’s usually something more like, ‘You really helped me embrace my queer identity.’ One of the most important things for me is to normalize queerness, and to show happy endings for queer people. I never thought of that as a kind of activism before, until I saw firsthand what it can actually do.”