Brianna Gaither, an Oklahoma City native, crafts a unique blend of vocal-centric, emotionally charged indie pop, reminiscent of artists like Regina Spektor and Sara Bareilles. “Brianna’s songs tell stories about freedom, stress, and escaping oppression… The message is hope.” (Edmond Outlook)
Brianna’s first release, New Thoughts EP, caused quite a stir. The album’s release show in April of 2009 gained so much attention that the venue had to be moved to accommodate the large crowd. A second release show was even held at a nearby church the following night for those who couldn’t make the first one. Following the EP, Brianna began a regional tour, performing 3 to 4 shows per week on average.
In the summer of 2010, Brianna returned to the studio to record her second release, Love Is Patient, with producer/engineer Chris Freels (Matt Redman, Charlie Hall). Even before its release, Love Is Patient created an immense amount of buzz. Over 1,000 people downloaded Brianna’s two-song preview within one week of being posted online, making it the third most-downloaded album on the music website NoiseTrade.com. Excitement from the album even allowed Brianna to perform at Arlington Convention Center for 2,500 people. Once again, Brianna's release show completely sold out, filling the venue over capacity.
Momentum continues to build for Brianna Gaither. She has over 4,500 fans signed up for her mailing list, released a music video, appeared live on CBS in Oklahoma City, and performed over 75 shows on her Love Is Patient Tour.
"[Brianna] pulls off timeworn themes with an earnestness and clarity that makes them feel new and vital. It's icing, however; with a voice this strong, she could sing the phone book... "Love Is Patient" is on my shortlist for the year's best albums, local or no." (Oklahoma Gazette)
"Piano-led singer/songwriter fare rarely sounds this confident, powerful or memorable." (Independent Clauses)
Brianna Gaither - Vocals, Piano
Ryan Parker - Vocals, Guitar
Keith Ellingson - Vocals, Guitar
Ryan Groves - Vocals, Bass
Kelcy White - Drums, Percussion, Sequencing
New Thoughts EP (2009)
Love Is Patient (2011)
Piano Pop On The Shortlist For 'Year's Best Album'
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Piano-based singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen, so it’s always a shock when one immediately jumps...Piano-based singer-songwriters are a dime a dozen, so it’s always a shock when one immediately jumps out from the first seconds of a track. Edmond native Brianna Gaither’s “Find You” does that immediately, kicking off her brilliant “Love Is Patient” album with a bang.
“Find You” opens with a pensive piano line, haunting guitar and a propulsive snare/ kick beat that creates intriguing tension between the urgent rhythm section and the casual melodic instruments. Then, her lilting voice comes in, residing somewhere between the songbird tone of a true soprano and the dusky tones of an alto. It’s a jaw-dropping voice, commanded with a maturity that ignores the fact that this is a debut album.
Most singer-songwriters can’t pull of a five-minute tune without getting repetitive, but Gaither does it four times in eight tracks. Impressively, the two longest tracks (“Find You,” “Faithful”) are the strongest. Her lyrics are taut as well; she pulls off timeworn themes — “Home” describes a lover as her residence, while “Harvest Moon” is a “get over that boy” tune — with an earnestness and clarity that makes them feel new and vital. It’s icing, however; with a voice this strong, she could sing the phone book.
From the upbeat, lyric-intensive “Let It Go” to the pensive “Dreamer” and the brilliant “Faithful,” this disc doesn’t disappoint once. “Love Is Patient” is on my short list of the year’s best albums, local or no. More, please? Thanks. —Stephen Carradini
SXSW Buffalo Lounge: Brianna Gaither, Absolutely Stunning Songwriter
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Piano-based singer/songwriter is a pretty crowded genre, but Brianna Gaither stands head and shoulde...Piano-based singer/songwriter is a pretty crowded genre, but Brianna Gaither stands head and shoulders above the competition. Her dynamic mezzosoprano can hit dusky lows and electrifying highs, while her melodic songwriting is hard to forget. Her set at the Buffalo Lounge featured her on piano accompanied only by a cajon, and it was still a riveting performance.
She played through several tunes from her debut album Love is Patient, then treated the audience to a new tune. Most of the songs on Love is Patient are pensive, moody pieces, but the new tune was upbeat, more in the vein of Ingrid Michaelson or Regina Spektor. I enjoyed it immensely, and am looking forward to its recorded version (which can't come soon enough)!
Even though the first few songs of the set were quieter, darker pieces, Gaither and percussionist Kelcy White were consistently smiling. It's fun to be at a set where the band is having fun, and there's no question that Gaither and White were loving the experience. They probably smiled a bunch during the last song too, but I was bouncing about and smiling and having a great time myself; I wasn't paying as much attention to the band. It was an incredibly fun set, and that's rare in singer/songwriter sets, which are often all about the self-expression and self-discovery and stuff. And if Gaither's songs are about that, she's inviting people in for the party, not for the cryfest. Fans of Spektor, Michaelson, and other bouncy pop songs should be intrigued.
Woody Would Pick'er- The best in metro music, right here!
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With thousands of votes submitted, the people have spoken! These winners are your winners of Oklahom...With thousands of votes submitted, the people have spoken! These winners are your winners of Oklahoma Gazette’s Woody Awards for 2011!
BEST IN ROCK
The Non describes itself as “experimental,” and obviously, its four members’ willingness to stretch boundaries has paid off. That the band does it without words — being instrumental — makes it all the more amazing, crafting melodic soundscapes that move listeners’ minds as they quicken the pulse — from 2007’s debut, “Paper City,” to the recent “Tadaima.” That means “I’m home” in Japanese, and we’re fortunate that our home of Oklahoma City is also The Non’s.
BEST IN POP
Brianna Gaither’s piano-based pop songs have an unusual depth to the songwriting, arrangement and lyrics. The tracks on the OKC songstress’s new debut album, “Love Is Patient,” have made many around the metro impatient to see and hear more from this young talent. With a tempered optimism powering her tunes, Gaither doesn’t fly a feminist flag or sell boy-crazy antics. Count us in, impatiently.
BEST IN FOLK
Shawnee is known for creating flour, not music-blog darlings, but the Crain dropped one off when the stork was on vacation. Samantha Crain’s emotive tunes have propelled her to real-world recognition in and out of the state, touring with national and international acts First Aid Kit, Murder by Death and Thao Nguyen. Her acoustic sound is occasionally fleshed out by her band, The Midnight Shivers, which are what you get when you hear her unique voice.
BEST IN METAL
Rainbows Are Free
Remember all that recent online hoopla over the “double rainbow” video? We’re more inclined to flip out over Norman’s men of metal, Rainbows Are Free. The riffs behind RAF recall classic stoner rock of yesteryear, but with a touch of the today. The band’s latest album, “Believers in Medicine,” is out now on homegrown label Guestroom Records Records, and may be just what Dr. Feelgood ordered to wake you the hell up.
BEST IN JAZZ
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
As its name suggests, the Tulsa-based Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has taken listeners in unusual directions to interesting sonic destinations since its inception in 1994. That continues with the progressive quartet’s recent recording of a suite based on the historic Tulsa race riot of 1921, which it will premiere live in May. Think Michael Bublé has the balls to do that? (That’s rhetorical, but the answer’s still “no.”)
BEST IN BLUES
Blues Tiger Band
Blues Tiger Band shows its stripes, bringing its Oklahoma-fried version of bluesy rock to the metro’s masses. And those masses respond to Blues Tiger Band’s energetic live shows with gusto. These aren’t “so that’s why they call it the blues” blues. These are gritty, loud, crowd-interactin’ blues that will take your breath away and make you wanna pounce. Rawr!
BEST IN COUNTRY
Camille Guitar might be a better moniker for this OKC songwriter, as the six-string and strong vocals are the building blocks of her sound. She writes everything from drinkin’ honky-tonk to drinkin’ ballads. If you’re able to do something else while you’re listening to her riveting voice, you’re probably deaf. And we mean that, too, but in a nice way. *Hic!*
BEST IN RAP/ HIP-HOP
The 405 rapper Jabee is nothing if not prolific. Last December, he gifted the rhyme-hungry among us with his “Lucky Me” mixtape for free. Ever since, he’s filled our inbox with links to sweet new music on a regular basis. He calls the tracks “joints,” so smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em. Plus, anyone who appears on the cover of his album eating a bowl of Froot Loops is A-OK with us.
BEST IN R&B
Shortt Dogg’s soulful take on R&B never comes up short. The ninemember band pulls off slinky, soulful R&B, as well as upbeat funk, smooth jazz and more. Lead by bassist Johann Kimbro, the group’s tight sound purrs and hums more than barks. With three- and four-part vocal harmonies above the instruments, this pack knows how to beat the dog days of summer: with cool songs.
BEST IN ELECTRONIC
Kite Flying Robot
Behind one of the most headscratching names in the metro lies subtle, smooth, electronic-based tunes for this Tulsa/Oklahoma City group. But past the Robot’s beats and keyboards exists a human heart of trumpet, violin and more. Hey, robots have feelings, too, right? Even if they’re “Solid Gold,” as this robot’s latest album was? Yes. Yes, they do.
You’re not blind to the truth if you can imagine yourself on the coasts during a Crystal Vision set. The DJ duo’s bassheavy, wobbly tracks and remixes fit in right on the edge of what’s happening in electronic music these days. Things are looking up for the act, as it has a sweet gig at XIIIX Lounge’s Robotic Wednesdays, a full lineup of remixes to its name, and a WTF website at catspank.com. Here’s to hoping Crystal Vision tours with Crystal Method, to up its profile while fostering confusion.
BEST COVER BAND
For more than 10 years, Oklahoma City’s Hi-Def Howlers have led many a moonlit show at metro-area clubs, playing revered classics and of-thenow hits to please pop-rock fans. That includes Beatles and Ramones to Cake and Coldplay, with an original thrown in as well.
BEST EMERGING ACT
Folk fought the Law(son), and the Law(son) won. Lawson’s appearances at Acoustic Oklahoma and Norman’s The Blue Bonnet went a long way toward garnering a show at Austin, Texas’ South by Southwest music conference last month. The solo artist lays down the law in his folk/country tunes with a raw, passionate voice and a heavy strum. With an album on the horizon and plenty of open mics to be cased, his 2012 could be even more (insert obligatory police joke here).
BEST RECORD STORE
Try as the Internet might to kill the record store completely, a handful still remains around town for those who like to get physical (albums, that is). The indie hipster’s favorite, Guestroom Records, even has two of them, with an original location at 125 E. Main in Norman, and the newer Oklahoma City one at 3701 N. Western. From vinyl to CDs, Guestroom feels like the best basement hideout ever. Bonus: Its logo is the ginchiest.
BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE
ACM@UCO Performance Lab
Barely half a year old, the ACM@UCO Performance Lab at 323 E. Sheridan already has hosted the likes of The Mountain Goats, Dr. Dog, Wye Oak and none other than rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson. Formerly the Bricktown club Purely Sinful, the Lab doubles as a classroom to ACM@ UCO students, so it serves purposes for education and entertainment. Not since peanut butter bumped into chocolate, ladies and gentlemen …
BEST MUSIC INFORMATION SOURCE (OTHER THAN OKLAHOMA GAZETTE)
You may have heard Ryan LaCroix spin the tunes of local bands on The Spy, but you should read LaCroix cover them on OklahomaRock.com. Since 2003, the Normanite has kept the Sooner sounds flag flying high with near-daily news featuring MP3s, videos and more — all local, all the time. Keep it up, ambassador!
The people have chosen pants — Dr. Pants, that is. The OKC band can prescribe you its brand of “nerd power groove rock,” which is promised to “make your mixtapes & playlists better.” Take two of its Weezer-esque power-pop tunes and don’t call in the morning. Pants is probably busy shooting a video entirely on iPhone 4 (“Sarsaparilla Girl”). At Pops in Arcadia, no less. Can these guys get any more charming? No. But they’ll try.
NOW LET’S PARTY!
To celebrate this issue and our Woody Award winners, we’ve planned a few Soundcheck parties, and you’re invited! Come hear live music and have the opportunity to win free Soundcheck shirts and other swag all night long! Sponsored by Boulevard Brewing Co., the parties are scheduled for: › this Saturday, Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E. Sheridan › April 16, TapWerks Ale House & Cafe, 121 E. Sheridan › April 30, Hi-Lo Club, 1221 N.W. 50th
For more information, call 528-6000.
Student to debut full studio album
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Every aspiring musician dreams of producing a full studio album. For senior Brianna Gaither, that dr...Every aspiring musician dreams of producing a full studio album. For senior Brianna Gaither, that dream is now a reality.
Gaither will release her album with a live performance Jan. 29 at Bridgeway Backroom.
“I’ve had to work harder [on this album] than I’ve ever had to work for anything before,” Gaither said. “It’s just been so much work and so much fun; I’ve had more fun doing this than I’ve had doing anything. It’s definitely a huge payoff for the labor.”
Gaither’s passion for music began at a young age and has evolved into more than just a hobby.
“I’ve always been singing, and I’ve always been writing little melodies for as long as I remember,” Gaither said.
Aside from her singing ability, Gaither has also honed a talent for playing the piano.
“I started playing piano about six years ago,” Gaither said. “I took lessons when I was five, but I hated it so much that I never improved at all until I really wanted to improve, which was about six years ago when I started to rediscover the instrument and incorporate it into songwriting.”
She started performing a few months later and has continued to perform for the past five and a half years.
“I used to be terrified to perform,” Gaither said. “It’s been a huge battle with fear, and I accredit the success of that journey to God.”
Gaither took advantage of the opportunity to record a five-song extended play (EP) with drummer Kelcy White about two and a half years ago. They gathered the equipment to make the self-produced project sound as professional as possible.
“Kelcy White has partnered with me in both records,” Gaither said “He and I grew up going to church together, so I’ve always known him. I have been really blessed to come in contact and develop strong friendships with really talented people.”
White and Gaither used the experience making the EP as a springboard into a summer tour and, eventually, into a full studio album.
“There was a release party for the EP two years ago, and that was really my first experience with this type of concert for the purpose of releasing a project,” Gaither said. “But this is definitely a step up from that because it’s 100 percent professional. It’s a little bit different this time around.”
The duo put in countless hours to ensure the quality of the new CD. They began writing for the album about a year ago.
“At the end of [last] summer, we went to the recording studio,” White said. “We spent about a month in the studio and then another month or so of sending the album out to Nashville to be polished and mastered.”
All the time and effort dedicated to the production of the album not only shaped the final outcome but also improved the musicians.
“It’s been a year of the hardest work I’ve ever put into anything with Brianna,” White said. “This CD shows exponential growth for her as a musician and as an artist. Whereas the last album was an acoustic EP, this one shows her with a full band backing her and with really lush orchestral arrangements.”
Spoken word poet David Bowden will open for Gaither and her band at the release party. He will perform two small sets, including the debut of a few new pieces.
Bowden said he looks forward to being a part of the release party.
“Brianna is a passionate and talented up-and-coming artist,” Bowden said. “The music world won’t be able to keep her from being heard. She has an enchanting and unique voice with reflective and inspiring lyrics that fill it out. I have had the pleasure of hearing her new album, and it’s a real treat.”
Gaither finds inspiration from anything of significance in her life.
“As far as inspiration goes, there will be seasons of writing where I will feel like all the time ‘Oh this needs to be written down’ or ‘I need to get to a piano,’” Gaither said. “Then I’ll have seasons where I’m focused on other things. I’m very sure that the seasons, this journey, the ups and the downs, the hills and the valleys are all part of where God has me when he has me there.”
Although her music has Christian themes, Gaither would not categorize it as Christian contemporary because her goal is to simply write truth.
“My music is first and foremost about honesty,” Gaither said. “It’s about presenting something that’s real and something that’s honest. It’s from a very deep part of me, my life, my heart; wherever my heart is, that’s where my music ends up. Because I’m a Christian and because the Lord is so much to me and my life, it ends up being Christian music.”
Throughout the experience, Gaither has grown and changed, but the success has never distracted from her passion for music and performing.
“I’m at a point where occasionally there are doubts and fears and a sense of nervousness before a show, but I really love music and performing,” Gaither said. “I am delighted to share the things that God has shared with me. To have the opportunity to do that and to be in a position where I can express thoughts and feelings in ways that can connect with other people is really humbling and exciting.”
Aside from the performance at the release, Gaither and White will be on tour this summer as soon as the school year ends. The entire album will stream until the release party at 6:30 p.m. at briannagaither.com and will be available on iTunes Feb. 1. The entrance fee for the show costs $7 or $10 for the entrance fee and a copy of the album.
“This is a concert you will not want to miss,” Bowden said.
OKSee's 30 Favorite Albums of 2011
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#21 There are few artists who hook me from the opening seconds of a release, but Edmond native Gaith...#21 There are few artists who hook me from the opening seconds of a release, but Edmond native Gaither's astonishingly mature “Love Is Patient” puts delicate piano playing, a shuffling snare and an evocative alto voice on full display before a minute is up in "Find You." Her attention to detail creates a consistent mood throughout that is rare for a debut album; if this is what she can do on her first LP, she's got my vote for best new artist.
Top 20 Albums of The Year, pt. 1
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I’m incredibly excited that I’ve finished my year-end lists actually correspond with the end of the ...I’m incredibly excited that I’ve finished my year-end lists actually correspond with the end of the year. Without further pontificating, here’s the first half of the year’s best.
Honorable Mention: LCD Soundsystem - Madison Square Garden Show. It’s not an official release, but it proves that the tightest live band in the world only got tighter with time. “Yeah” is an absolute powerhouse.
20: Beirut – The Rip Tide. The mellower, less brash Zac Condon won me over.
19: The Antlers - Burst Apart. Mostly because “Putting the Dog to Sleep” is my favorite song of the year, although the rest of the album stands up well.
18: Gray Young – Staysail. Post-rock with heart and technical abilities.
17: Bon Iver - Bon Iver. It took a while to grow on me, but now I think that Vernon out-James Blaked James Blake.
16: David Ramirez – Strangetown EP. Moving songwriting, evocative lyrics and a beautiful voice make this a brilliant collection of tunes.
15: Restorations – Restorations. The sound of punk rockers growing old without giving up.
14: Battle Ave. – “War Paint.” A more indie-fied Titus Andronicus? Sign me up twice.
13: Brianna Gaither – Love is Patient. Piano-led singer/songwriter fare rarely sounds this confident, powerful or memorable.
12: Pete Davis – The Pottsville Conglomerate. The instrumentation of Sufjan Stevens meets the acrobatic enthusiasm of a pop-punk band. Fireworks ensue.
11: Oh Look Out! – Alright Alright Alright Alright Alright. Electrifying, intricate indie-pop that loves video games just as much as music. “Kam” is brilliant.
Let It Go
Love Is Patient
PDF RiderBrianna Gaither Stage Plot
There are no upcoming dates at this time.