Ghettoblaster Premiere - Soft News Releases "70 First Ave" - Prince Covers EP

Prince’s masterpiece of stripped-down funk “Kiss” has been transformed into an ethereal and emotional ode to intimacy, courtesy of indie folk musician Soft News. Draped in melancholic strings and ambient guitar work, Soft News’ version of “Kiss” is a lush and meditative duet.

The passion project of New York City-based musician Erik Laroi, Soft News highlights Laroi’s knack for turning glossy hits of the 1980s into melancholic hymns of the present. Produced by Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, The Bones of J.R. Jones), the song also features vocalist Olivia Price, cellist Christian Dupree and violinist Claudia Chopek (Father John Misty). “Kiss” will be released on April 19 as part of 70 First Ave., an EP of Prince covers.

Says Laroi:  “When you think of Prince songs, you usually think of them as funky and with a bit of sass. But I’ve always sensed a layer of melancholy or sadness in the way he writes. I wanted to strip “Kiss” down to its sonic barebones, slow it down, and reveal new emotions that the original didn’t communicate.”

According to Laroi, the way in which Soft News interprets “Kiss” is very much in line with the project’s daring treatment of other gems from the ’80s. He describes what he does as “stripping songs of their decade’s trademark glitter and bombast in favor of a sound that is intimate, exposed, and soothing.”

This grown-up and innovative approach to childhood nostalgia has been the product of collaborations with a who’s who of the indie music world. Soft News has featured contributions from producer Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields), Claudia Chopek (Father John Misty), vocalist Lorraine Lellis (Mahogany, Aarktica), vocalist Margaret White (Sparklehorse), and string arranger Perry Serpa (TV On The Radio).

“Kiss” is one of four Prince songs covered by Soft News on 70 First Ave. Also making the list are “Paisley Park,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Little Red Corvette.” Ghettoblaster has the pleasure of sharing Soft News’ treatment below:

Mother West Releases Soundtrack to Orion Pictures "All These Small Moments"

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When embarking on the soundtrack for her debut film, Melissa B. Miller-Costanzo plucked Dan Lipton from the theater world (conductor of The Band’s Visit and The Last Ship by Sting on Broadway) to compose an original score that would breathe additional life into the characters. Shortly after, she recruited music producer Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, The Bones of J.R Jones) to handle the music supervision and help find the perfect source music to not only compliment the story but help shape it.  What ensued was a partnership between Miller and Newman, taking them on a collaborative journey of the senses. With Newman taking on the music editor duties as well, the two cut their way through an array of musical options to align with the tone of Lipton’s developing score, while keeping a cohesive sound between the intertwining score cues and song choices they were narrowing down. What resulted was an indie pop rock retro-americana mashup, with a dash of ‘80s and shoegaze thrown in for good measure.

 

Featured tracks include the film’s musical centerpiece and theme song “My Love Will Bring You Back” that was written and recorded by Slow Runner, featuring Michael Flynn. The song’s music video even incorporates a performance by stars of the film Molly Ringwald and Brian d’Arcy James that Parade Magazine called “a sweet, touching, delicate and heartfelt rendition.” The score and accompanying tracks organically compliment the tale and shape it by closely weaving the music into the fabric of each scene. Miller-Costanzo wanted every song to take the viewer back to a place where they felt something real. Other featured tracks include Vermont troubadour Kris’s Gruen’s “Coming Down Around Me” which was co-penned by Miller-Costanzo after Newman tasked Gruen with writing a song to fit one of the scenes. Miller-Costanzo helped complete the chorus lyrics that enter at a key moment in the story, creating one of the peak marriages of song to picture in the film.

 

“Not all the storylines connect directly, but there’s a connecting theme. It’s really what the title says: It’s all these small moments that make up a life. It’s all the minutiae. To me, it’s very much like real life.” - Molly Ringwald as told to Entertainment Weekly

 

The coming-of-age drama is about a teenage boy's infatuation with a woman he sees on the bus that further complicates his already tumultuous adolescence. While he navigates life at home and his parents’ crumbling marriage, he pursues the woman. Other stars of this film include Jemima Kirke, Brendan Meyer, Sam McCarthy and Harley Quinn Smith.