The Pass The Mic Podcast is dedicated to amplifying female, trans, and nonbinary voices in music.
Songs for the end of the world with Oceanator
This week I’m joined by Elise Okusami, singer, songwriter, and arranger for the band Oceanator. Today, Oceanator is releasing their debut full-length album Things I Never Said. In many ways, it seems like this album was written about this particular moment in time. Songs like “A Crack in the World” or “I Would Find You” have an end-of-the-world energy that could easily be talking about the coronavirus pandemic, the pandemic of police brutality and racism, or the economic crisis that the US is facing. But Elise wrote these songs years ago — she says she’s always been a little bit of a doomsday person. Despite the album’s apocalyptic themes, it also finds solace in relationships and catharsis in ‘90’s inspired alternative rock.
Songs included in this episode: "I Would Find You" and "Heartbeat" by Oceanator
Unapologetically a Smart Mouth with Riverby’s Sophia Greenberg
This week I’m joined by Sophia Greenberg, the singer and guitarist in the Philadelphia band Riverby. Riverby released their debut album, Smart Mouth with Take This to Heart Records on July 10th. Smart Mouth is an unapologetic and energetic album that pays homage to Riverby’s influences, which range from Mayday Parade to Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair. Sophia and I talked about how their mom cultivated their love of music, building Riverby’s rock-solid lineup, and releasing an album that’s been years in the making.
Songs included in this episode: "Smart Mouth" and "Giving Tree" by Riverby
Loud music for hard times with Pity Party's Sarah Levy
The Pass The Mic podcast has been quiet for a few weeks as Minneapolis has been grappling with the police brutality and call for social change that has exploded across the country and around the world. But we're back to share a new episode with Sarah Levy, a vocalist, songwriter and guitarist in the Oakland-based pop-punk/emo band Pity Party.
Sarah talks about the vulnerable and empowering songs on Pity Party's new album "Concrete," her work as an activist, and how becoming a high school teacher gave her an outlet to bridge music and community involvement.
Songs included in this episode: "Empathy" and "Concrete" by Pity Party
In touch with nature and each other with Sister Species
Outer space, magnolia trees, and the “inevitable heat death of the universe” are just a few of the things that influenced Sister Species’ latest album. Sister Species describe themselves as a “chamber pop septet” and the Minneapolis-based band is led by singer, songwriter, and accordionist Emily Kastrul.
In this episode, I’m joined by Emily and Sister Species’ guitarist, Willow Waters. The three of us met up over video chat, from our prospective quarantined locations, to talk about the many musical projects that Emily and Willow play in, how they blended their influences into Sister Species’ upcoming album Light Exchanges, and how they’re connecting with nature — and each other — despite social distancing.
Songs included in this episode: "Heat Death (Hold Me Here)" and "Cottonwood Trees" by Sister Species
"I'm going to sound like myself" with Joan Griffith and Anna Dolde
Playing music has connected me with some of my best friends and most influential role models, like Anna Dolde and Joan Griffith. Anna and I met in our college's jazz band. Joan was our director, and also my guitar teacher. For this extra personal episode, I wanted to pay homage to the women who inspire me. Anna, Joan, and I talk about our musical upbringings, inspirations, and how we found the confidence to say, "I'm going to sound like myself."
Songs included in this episode: "Sautéed Mushrooms/Deviled Eggs," "Butter," "A Lot of Things Are Edible If You Only Eat One," and "Detective Sprout" by Rabeca; "Blues in Hoss Flat" by Foster & Basie performed by Mac Jazz; noodling from Joan Griffith
Diving into new emotions with Lalin St. Juste of the Seshen
The Sheshen are a 6-piece band that combines sequenced synthesizers, syncopated beats, and Lalin St. Juste’s soft, skillful vocals. Their third full-length album, CYAN, was inspired by the strength and softness of the color cyan, the tumult of the 2016 election, and personal struggles with depression. In this episode, Lalin breaks down some of CYAN's songs and talks about how she fused personal lyrics with bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara's textured grooves.
Songs included: "4AM," "Don't Answer" and "Dive"
A wonderful show that interviews all my favorite bands. Colleen is an excellent host as well. Love Pass the Mic!
Super terrific bands!
I discovered this podcast aftered they featured the band ahem, who are one of my favorites! The conversations on here are great – it feels like listening in on friends having a funny, deep, totally relaxed and natural conversation. But also those friends just happen to be super cool musicians who are making amazing art (no biggie). I'd highly recommend this podcast if you're at all interested in how music gets made!