Job opening in Nashville

Music Row has an impending office vacancy.

Sony Music Nashville announced Tuesday morning that current CEO and chairman Gary Overton would be stepping down from his coveted position in the music industry at the end of March after 5 years of work with the company.

Overton’s departure, which Sony noted as mutual agreement between the company and Overton, comes almost a month after an interview in The Tennessean, in which Overton emphasized the importance of country music radio in promoting country music, praised the overall efforts of Sony in the months prior and spoke hopefully about the future of Sony Nashville in 2015, saying, “We had a very busy second half of ’14. Three of our four superstars — Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney — had albums out in the fourth quarter. Miranda (Lambert)’s came out earlier in the year. I believe this year we’re going to have two more superstar albums come out and then a Jake Owen album, a Chris Young album, both those guys are in the studio right now. “

Overton’s view of mainstream country radio as the most important vehicle for success in the country music industry drew a lot of criticism from members of the country music community and sparked a mild amount of conflict amongst current stars.

Image owned by Sony Music Gary Overton no longer owned by Sony Music
Image owned by Sony Music
Gary Overton no longer owned by Sony Music

Prior to serving as CEO at Sony Nashville, the Middle Tennessee State University graduate spent 15 years at EMI Music Publishing in Nashville as the executive vice president ad general manager. Before EMI, Overton served as country star Alan Jackson’s manager.

“Working at Sony Music has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career,” Overton released in a statement on Tuesday. “I will deeply miss the talented team at SMN, but I am also excited about starting the next chapter of my career. I want to thank the amazing staff for their tireless commitment to supporting our incredible artists.”

Sony has not announced any considerations for the position, nor has Overton stated whether he, a long-time Nashvillian, will stick around Nashville or leave Music City behind in search of other prospects.

Years & Years is Electrifying Britain. Next Stop, America.


Years & Years plays at London club Heaven, 3/6/15.
Years & Years plays at London club Heaven, 3/6/15.

Like my colleague Brandon Bout, I made sure to catch a live show over Spring Break.  For me, the destination was London and the band was electro-pop trio Years & Years.

I had heard of the group from a fellow Lightning 100 intern in December.  She had spent time working in Britain and assured me that they were on the verge of blowing up across the pond.  Her promise was confirmed when I learned that Years & Years had won the BBC’s prestigious Sound of 2015 poll–an award won in previous years by such acts as Sam Smith, Adele, and Ellie Goulding.  So when I saw that the band would be playing in the British capital during my stay there, I convinced my traveling companions that we needed to go to the concert.

[Read more…]

Trust fund / No one’s coming for us

Hey if you’re feeling sad, or maybe only a little sad, or going through some relationship problems, or maybe feeling that life is thwarting your every attempt at happiness or you lost your dog and you can’t find them or you know your dog’s whereabouts and you’re currently playing with them then you need to get on over to Trust fund’s bandcamp page and listen to their new album at least 4 times. Think of it as self-help that actually helps the self. Plus it’s really fun.

Trust fund is from Bristol and is headed by Ellis Jones, a young man who I can only assume is also from Bristol and also seems to be a first-rate lover of dogs, cats, and writing sugary indie pop riffs and melodies. Trust fund also seems to be less of a “band-band” or “solo project” in the traditional sense, and more of a way for Jones to write and perform music with a shifting group of friends. Jones’ songwriting is truly great here, and this is an album where the lyric sheet comes in very handy for two reasons, the first being that Jones’ words are sometimes drowned in noise and the other being that you really want to know what this man is singing. His distinctive, highly pitched voice matches the fast-paced indie pop jams very nicely, and on the slower moments it delivers an extra emotional punch.

[Read more…]

(Biased and Preemptive) Top 10 Rap Albums of 2015

Real Riff

We live in a world where Riff Raff can make this claim. Does it matter whether he follows through on his Panther Album Series? I personally would download any Riff Raff album or mixtape immediately post-drop, regardless of panther-color and regardless of when it happens. This is what truly matters in hip-hop nowadays: Internet buzz.

[Read more…]