Justin Klump
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Justin Klump

| INDIE

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Band Folk Acoustic

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Feb
08
Justin Klump @ Living Room, The

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

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Press


"Justin Klump's latest, Stick & Stones, is a collection of five beautifully stripped down and introspective songs that showcase an artist on his journey. Recently relocated from the Pacific Northwest to Music City, Klump is set to embark on the next chapter in his personal and professional life, one he sings about it in the title track and "Time To Leave." The songs on Stick & Stones are reflection of Klump's simple and straightforward approach to his work. The lyric and melody are front and center, joined together by tasteful instrumentation performed by Klump himself. The moving "Come To The River" ends the collection with an invitation for healing and hope. It's a fitting ending to the ep, and leaves us waiting to hear what's next from this promising artist and songwriter." - Music City Unsigned


One of my favorite things about Music City is the amazing music you can find just about anywhere you go. This town is full of great artists and it just added another that you definitely need to check out. Justin Klump is brand spanking new to Nashville from Vancouver….not Canada…Washington…and not DC (the other Washington)….Vancouver, WA (look it up, your 4th grade geography teacher wants you to know where it is).

Justin released a brand new EP today! Do yourself a favor and check out “Sticks & Stones”. He brings his stripped down, heart felt songs of healing and hope to you showcasing his journey through life. The title track and “Time to Leave” both speak to the struggle and fear that many of us feel when it’s time to take the next step forward in our lives. The music is simple and smooth, and paired with lyrics that are full of feeling. This is definitely one album that you’ll want to listen to over and over. You’ll discover something new every time you give it a spin.

Buy “Sticks & Stones” on iTunes - Music City Rambling


I normally don’t review music, because I know nothing about music. I’m sort of like Ellen DeGeneres on “American Idol” in that way, only not as funny or famous or talented. But I’m going to make a rare exception here, because I saw Justin Klump perform at a small venue near my home a couple years and was impressed by his sound.

Klump, who grew up in my state of Washington, has since moved to Nashville, because apparently he thinks Nashville is better than Washington, or that it offers more opportunities for budding artists such as him (he was named – back when he was under 21 – as one of the top artists under 21 by the Seattle P.I., among other honors). I’m pretty sure it’s the latter, but I hear Nashville is nice nonetheless. Klump has just released his new album Stick & Stones, which is now available for purchase.

Klump’s music – acoustic guitar and tenor vocals – is not usually the kind of music I listen to. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate his sound. I also could see his music working in a movie soundtrack, especially a romantic drama or a Zach Braff film, if he ever decides to make another movie as follow-up to 2004's Garden State.

His EP has only five songs, but the small number is a product of an intentional decision to focus on delivering the best he has to offer rather than throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks with audiences. The five songs are easy on the ears, with an emphasis on songwriting over guitar tricks. The songs work well on two levels: 1) as music you can lose yourself in, regardless of lyrics, a bittersweet backdrop of melody; and 2) as music with meaning, where the lyrics take center stage and the acoustics support his words.

I tend to be someone who zones out and focuses on the instrumental work rather than lyrics, and Klump’s music is mesmerizing in that regard. I also made a concerted effort to listen to the music with the lyrics, and it resonated just as well, albeit differently.

Like I said, I’m no music critic, but it’s not hard to see how Justin Klump’s music could end up in the movies. Sticks & Stones is a step in the right direction, and I don’t see him having to worry about words hurting him anytime soon. - filmjabber.com


Justin Klump's intelligent, thoughtful approach to songwriting is starting to pay off. His new EP, Sticks & Stones, shot up to #9 on the iTunes Singer / Songwriter charts within its first week, and is currently being featured in their "New & Noteworthy" section. Stylistically straight-forward and clear, its intricacies are found through poetic lyrics and creative guitar lines. Though his songs are stripped-down and unembellished, he has a fullness of spirit that breathes extraordinary life into them. Enormously talented and without a hint of pretension, Klump is an artist on the rise worth following.


NYMM: Fill us in on the new EP, Sticks & Stones.

JK: I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to record it. I started the process with a guy in LA, but just wasn't completely happy with it. I went home, and since my brother and his wife were out of town, I decided to turn their bonus room into a studio. I recorded it there myself. I played the instruments, produced it, and then mixed it. I sent it to a friend who put the final touches on it with the mastering. Part of it was due to lack of budget, and part just to see what I could do. I wanted the acoustic guitar to be central, and the songwriting prominent, and the vocals right up front. I want people to have a similar experience to what they would have if they saw it live. It was difficult in the recording to not want to throw a bunch of instruments at it. It's hard to keep it simple, yet intriguing.

NYMM: So you wanted to focus on the songwriting?

JK: Because of the kind of album I wanted to make, I had to spend time honing the songs. I couldn't hide behind other instrumentation or elaborate production, or a lot of the recording tricks that I could have relied on to cover up a weak song. I also wanted to develop a theme based on the stripped down acoustic angle I was taking. That's how I came up with these songs about going through life and getting beat up through the ups and downs. I wanted it to be something you could listen to from top to bottom and feel like you went through a journey of sorts.

NYMM: Then lyrics are really important?

JK: I've tried to focus more on lyrics. When I first started writing, it was more about melody and harmony and groove. Generally speaking, that might be the first thing people hear when they listen to a song. But after a while, they pick up on the lyrics. I want to say something with my songs. I want to say something with the melody and harmony, but I think the lyrics are what takes a song and gives it legs for years. If there's a song with a catchy groove, that can be replaced by the next song with a better groove. But if there's something in the lyrics, you're connecting with the human experience somehow. So I think it's worth taking the time to do it.

NYMM: Where do your lyrics come from?

JK: I write from either experience or observation. I try to tell a story with those impressions, and I try to be specific and not too vague. That's something I've learned from other writers. The tendency, initially, is to think, "If I don't get too specific and I leave it open-ended, more people will be able to pick up on it." After studying it for a while though, I've found that more people connect if it's a little more concrete. Everybody loves a good story.

NYMM: Is that something you've grown into as a writer?

JK: I've had to learn how to trust my voice, how to get out of the way, and allow what I'm supposed to be writing to get down on the page. It's hard for us songwriters sometimes, because we tend to want to overcomplicate things. We find a clever line, but it can hang up a song if it gets in the way of the overall emotional development of the song. I try to make things easier to listen to and digest, make them simpler. Songwriters are communicators, and we have to communicate in the best, most effective way.

NYMM: What's your process of self-critique?

JK: With most songs I'll take some time and then share them. My wife is sometimes my toughest critic. I'll play something, and she knows if it's not there. Sometimes I'll keep it anyway, but most of the time she's right. Every now and then, you get one of those songs that only takes a few minutes to write, and you think, "This probably could be better, but what's the point of messing with it?" If it connects right away, then there's some danger in digging in further. You have to figure out what type of song you've just written: one that needs finesse, or one that needs the rough edges. You can take the life out of it if it's too perfect. I'll write something, and then step back and ask myself what it is that I'm really trying to say with it. If I can't answer that in a few words, then I go back to writing until I can get it narrowed down to something specific.

NYMM: What's an example of this type of writing from Sticks & Stones?

JK: Maybe "Time to Leave." I'm from Vancouver, Washington (I always tell people it's Portland, Oregon. If - New York Minute Magazine


Link: www.justinklump.com

Category: Artist/Songwriter

For fans of: Gavin DeGraw, Matt Nathanson, The Weepies

Releases: “Thousand Mile Dream” , “Sticks & Stones”

Take note:
- Has shared the stage with Allen Stone, Jason Reeves, Matt Nathanson, and Tyrone Wells.
- Was hand-picked by the Berklee College of Music to perform at the school’s official SXSW party (2012).
- Debuted at #9 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter chart with his new EP, “Sticks & Stones,” which was also featured by iTunes as a “New and Noteworthy” release.
- Has received airplay on KINK (commercial), WRTL (commercial), Sirius XM’s station The Coffee House (satellite), and Jet City Stream (online).
- Has been covered by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among other outlets.
- Will be touring in early 2013 in support of “Sticks & Stones” and has started work on a new album. - I Think I Love It


Discography

Sticks & Stones (2012)
Life. Longing. Love. (2010)
Live at Downbeat Sounds (2009)
Thousand Mile Dream (2008)
Something for September (2006)

Photos

Bio

JUSTIN KLUMP is an emerging American modern folk Singer/Songwriter & Producer. His latest release, Sticks & Stones, a self-recorded, produced & mixed 5-song EP, debuted at #9 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter on November 13, 2012. A week later, iTunes dubbed the album “New & Noteworthy”. He has showcased at SXSW & NACA, and shared the stage with artists including Matt Nathanson, Tyrone Wells and Allen Stone. Justin’s music has been played on Sirius XM’s The Coffeehouse, WRTL (Lightning 100) & KINK, and featured by Seattle Weekly, I Think I Love It & Music City Unsigned.

Justin is currently touring in support of Sticks & Stones, and writing new music.

Read the story behind "Sticks & Stones" below:

“Life is sweet, but it’s been a bitter road”, sings Justin Klump on his latest album, Sticks & Stones. This November, Klump, a Singer-Songwriter, Guitarist and Producer from Vancouver, Washington will be self-releasing his most authentic and personal album to date. Justin wrote, recorded, produced and mixed the 5-song EP near his home in Vancouver. While the result is nothing but sweet, there were some bitter points along the way.

“I finished a week-long recording session with a Producer in Los Angeles, and by the time I was on the plane flying home, I knew what we got down wasn’t right”, says Justin. Before heading to LA, Justin spent three months writing for Sticks & Stones. Rather than writing as many songs as possible, he focused on a small batch of songs that he wrote and re-wrote over the period of a few months. When all was said and done, Justin had ten songs to choose from. He chose to record five of them.

The grandson of a symphony conductor, Justin began writing songs twelve years ago. Five years later, the Seattle P.I. included him as one of the Top 21 Artists Under 21. With a catalogue of releases spanning the last six years, more than 10,000 hours of practice and over 100,000 miles touring throughout the country, Justin has been honing his talent and finding his voice.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about the way I wanted the album to sound”, says Justin. “I wanted to record an album that allowed space for the acoustic guitar and the vocal, and featured the songwriting instead of elaborate instrumentation. We didn’t accomplish that in LA, so I got home and got back to work.”

Getting back to work is nothing new to Justin. Two years ago, the Singer-Songwriter didn’t know what to do next with his career. But, instead of giving up, Justin decided to enroll in a Writing & Producing program through Berklee College of Music’s online school. It’s paid off, as Justin was handpicked as the only online student to showcase at the 2012 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, TX. The program also helped equip Justin with the skillset to record, engineer, produce and mix Sticks & Stones at a makeshift studio he built.

“My brother and his family were out of town when I got home from LA, so I set up a studio in their bonus room and recorded everything over the following two weeks”, says Justin. “I got creative with the space, and even built a vocal booth out of a ladder, two bookshelves, a Ping Pong table and some blankets. When I finished recording, I decided to mix the album too because that was a big step in capturing the sound I wanted.”

The sound Justin achieved is his finest work to date: a 5-song EP whose central theme is that our lives are built by how we respond to the highs and lows in every day. The music is centered on masterful acoustic guitar playing, smooth tenor vocals and candid, well-crafted songs. Sticks & Stones marks the beginning of a definitive chapter for an artist with much more to say.

Justin Klump released Sticks & Stones this November. He is currently touring in support of the album & writing new music.