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Singer/Songwriter Erica Leigh Shares Her Story of Survival, New Single "Calling All Survivors"

 Boston-based artist Erica Leigh, is not only a singer/songwriter with an exceptional talent. She is also an uplifting figure in the community, a source of hope for those who share in her struggle. Diagnosed with thyroid cancer on the day of her debut CD release, Erica was told she may never sing again. Now she is back in the fold with a message of perseverance and courage, hoping to spread awareness and get her story out to the people that need to hear it. Erica reached out to us to help pass that message along and to premiere her new video, "Calling All Survivors":

The new song is called "Calling All Survivors". What do you hope to achieve with this single/video?

When I wrote this song, I was writing the song that I needed to hear - a song of defiance, resilience, and hope. After it was complete, I knew I had to turn this experience into something positive by bringing awareness to this disease, and bringing people together so that no one has to feel alone with what they are surviving through.

The video features a number of talented local musicians. How did you pull the group together?

I feel extremely grateful that my friends also happen to be talented local musicians and a brilliant local videographer! All I had to do was ask: they made it too easy on me! Hearing their voices in surround sound as I played the song was a magical experience that I'll never forget!

You received some devastating news on the day of a milestone in your career. How did that phone call affect how you approached your performance that night? Has your creative process changed since you have overcome this obstacle?

I still remember being startled awake by that call. I was in shock, of course, but I didn't want to walk off the stage to a bunch of apologies and worried faces. I wanted the evening to be solely about the music. And as a result, there was a tangible emotion behind every lyric. It was certainly traumatic, but also a bit serendipitous to receive this news on a day when I was scheduled to be around all my family and friends. Looking back on the difficult years that followed, I am not the same songwriter or singer (or person) I was before. My lyrics are no longer limited to love songs. They're about overcoming loss, letting go, and strength in vulnerability.

In your documentary (link listed below) you mention that you began singing again mere weeks after your recovery process started. What was this like for you? What role did music play in your recovery?

I remember singing through the pain at an open mic, with surgical tape still on my neck. I was devastated to release a CD one day, and then have to completely abandon it the next. I was afraid that if I stopped too long to recover, my album would become irrelevent, so I pushed myself too hard and burned out completely as a result. I was losing a loved one to cancer at the same time. Times were dark. Suffice it to say, no release tour happened. I tried to keep up appearances but I lost all desire to make music in the process. Long story short, the identity crisis that followed led me to finally take a long break. And several false-starts later, I am finally loving music again!

What would you say to someone going through a similar struggle?

I would say let others help you. Don't feel guilty and be compassionate toward yourself, too. Allow yourself a break without any deadlines. Also prepare for late-onset emotional trauma when you think you're finally out of the woods. Advocate for yourself. Consider therapy. Hang in there - you are not alone!

It seems that, understandably, this has become a motivating force for you. What can we expect from Erica Leigh in the future?

I've got new songs to share that I'm going to release in multiple waves of 2-3 tracks, beginning sometime in 2018. I just finished building a state-of-the-art vocal isolation booth with my boyfriend Sean, and I'm currently setting up shop in a new multimedia music & art studio where my songwriting and painting can influence each other! I'm playing a bunch of shows, headlining at The Burren Pub 1/27 and Amazing Things Art Center 3/31!

Erica's debut album, Puzzle Heart, is available now on iTunes and you can see more of her story in a short documentary featured here.

Catch Erica Leigh live at The Burren Pub backroom in Somerville, MA on 9/30.  Discount tickets available here. -Brian Varneke

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Tory Silver Brings Blues Rock to Allston 09.19

Observere, the debut album from Boston's Tory Silver, is one of those records that hits you right on the first downbeat and never lets you go. It's dirty and dance-able with a genuine vibe of self-expression. This is a record that needs to be listened to in its entirety, from the tasty licks of "There's No Need", to the smooth Latin grooves of "I've Been Stressing", to the stripped down folk of "I Feel Like". You can catch Tory at Christian A Herter Park in Allston on 9/19. -Brian Varneke

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Today Junior Releases Video for Fan Favorite "Lee's Anthem

Boston trio Today Junior has been quickly gaining steam, combining fresh, upbeat melodies with a classic, throwback vibe, creating memorable and lasting tunes for their fans. Don't believe me? Check out their latest video for popular song "Lee's Anthem", a fuzzy, energetic offering from their EP "Leaving Easy." Catch their vibrant indie-rock at Smith College on 9/28 or O'Brien's on 10/14 with Colbis the Creature. -Brian Varneke

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Covey Releases First Single Off New Album, Haggarty

 Boston-based indie-folk project, Covey, is gearing up to release a new record, Haggarty, and with it, a brand new single.  "Same White Shoes" is a new indie anthem, with a sustained melancholy broken up by a bright, catchy sing-along chorus.  Covey captures the listener with full-bodied guitar tones, unique and complimentary, and a wonderfully warm, analog sound.   Soulful and engaging, the album is expected to be a must have for our playlist when it dropped on 9/22.  Check out the single below. -Brian Varneke

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We Can All Be Sorry play Lilypad Inman August 3rd

We Can All Be Sorry is a band made just for you. For a Boston-based group that fails to escape the usual math-rock tag, they thrive on simplicity and utilize a hodge-podge of things you've heard and like. In the best way, We Can All Be Sorry brings you bits and pieces of bands you've seen in another basement or even in another city. They channel bands like Philadelphia's fuzz-rockers like Blue Smiley, Brooklyn's Celestial Shore (featuring members of WCABS), or other Boston boybands like Krill or Peaer. While these comparisons place We Can All Be Sorry among their peers in the Northeast, it doesn't account for a certain purity that comes from the band's sound. Whether its the genuinely sweet vocals of their frontman or the the angsty, yet polite quality to their power pop sound, their music is a unique brand of punk. Listening to tracks like "Vision Quest" from their 2017 EP Down the Hall, its like meeting the first pissed-off bedroom-popper. See them in their hometown at the Lilypad Inman on August 3rd or at Deep Thoughts August 22nd. -Allie Miller 

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