New Music From Faultlines, Travis Moser & Citizen Queen


Faultlines – Ashley Morgan and John Flanagan (photo: Steve Limones)

Something for everyone in this round-up of new music: country/folk, Broadway/cabaret, and diva R&B.

Folk duo Faultlines (comprised of Ashley Morgan and out artist John Flanagan) dropped their first original holiday single, Snowfall, this week. The cozy and warm song remembers spending the holidays with the ones you love.

The seasonal track takes the band back to its early stripped acoustic sound with minimal instrumentation, consisting of acoustic guitar, light electric guitar tones, and a cello by Artem Litovchenko.

“I always swore I wouldn’t write a Christmas song,” Flanagan shares from his Los Angeles home. “With its heavy religious overtones, I feared Christmas might be too heavy a topic for our diverse listeners.  I’ve since softened my opinions. Western culture celebrates Christmas as a season of giving, of geniality, of love.  That’s the feeling we tried to capture in Snowfall: a warm, safe space in a dark, cold season.”

The duo also recently released their third EP, Bittersweet Revival. The collection of upbeat songs and ballads draw inspiration from Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, Joni Mitchell, and Brandi Carlile.

“Snowfall” is available on digital streaming sites here.

Cabaret artist Travis Moser recently released a new EP, So Many People: The Sondheim Sessions, which “explores the experience of 2020 and the effects of COVID-19 through the lens of the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim.”

The five-track EP, a collaboration with music director/pianist Drew Wutke, includes new takes on Sondheim tunes from Merrily We Roll Along, Follies, Dick Tracy, and Saturday Night.

“This collection of songs represents my feelings and emotions over the past 6 months through the lens of Stephen Sondheim,” shares Moser. “Family, friends, politics, self-identity, and love…Sondheim says it better than I ever could.”

The stripped-down collection of songs, created entirely by queer artists, was done as a homage to the albums of the great Julie Wilson. The EP is available on all digital download/streaming sites.

The all-girl group Citizen Queen drops its first original single, “Call Me Queen.”

Gays love talented, strong female singing groups, and this pop/R&B track is wrapped firmly in self-empowerment and swagger.

“These brilliant young women are exactly what a girl group should be in 2020,” says songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote the song. “Diverse, inclusive, passionate, loving and truly dedicated to every detail of their craft. They don’t take their extraordinary vocal gifts for granted for one second.”

Dressed in stunning outfits embellished with Swarovski crystals, the music video showcases the girls’ powerful vocals and dance skills as they prepare their heist to reclaim their rightful crowns.

“Call Me Queen” is available on all digital sites now.

New Music: Faultlines “Rain”

Ashley Morgan, John Flanagan, Todd McCool in “Rain” (screen capture)

Ashley Morgan and John Flanagan, of the folk-pop duo Faultlines, are causing a political storm with the re-release of their anti-Trump song, “Rain,” the first single from their next full album, Bittersweet Revival.

“Rain” focuses its spotlight on the threat to women’s, LGBTQ, and immigrant rights.

“As we are approaching the 2020 election, it’s so important to remind everyone that we cannot endure four more years,” says John Flanagan. “Donald Trump is not a president for the majority minority of America. We want to encourage everyone to get out and vote.”

“I honestly wake up every morning and think there’s no way it can get worse than this,” Ashley Morgan reflects from her Los Angeles home. “Then I read the news and sure enough, it gets worse. I truly don’t understand how this man became our president when all he does is encourage violence, white supremacy, fear, and hatred.”

Their unique brand of folk is a mashup of modern pop and roots country. Interestingly, the duo has become known for their signature three-part harmonies.  To achieve their sound, they rotate between two talented guitarists, Sean Beck and Todd McCool (who sings the third verse of “Rain”).

“Rain” is available on all major digital platforms.