CAT LONDON, HOLLER AND THE HAND, JESSIE ELLIOT AND THE FALCONNAIERS

Cat London is a New Jersey, USA indie artist with a 4-piece dark-pop conglomeration backed on stage and in the studio by Rich Aveo (piano/vocal), Paul O’Keeffe (bass), and Anthony Freda (drums). London’s sound, performance, and songwriting combines Ryan Adam’s and Damien Rice’s tender portrayal of love and conflict with electrified indie-pop tunes invoking the energy of Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga (and add in some Fiona Apple and Jewel while we’re at it).

Then simply billed as “Cat,” London’s 2012 debut EP, Box of Chocolates, produced and engineered by Robert Frazza (Tony Levin, Donna Lewis) in Woodstock, New York, showcased introspective lyrics and melodic acoustic guitar. Following a BMI A&R rep’s fortuitous suggestion that her voice was better suited for piano than guitar, London taught herself to play the piano, and “Cat London” was born. Armed with a more refined sound and streamlined editing process, London developed the controlled musicality and darker, more substantial narratives that her songwriting exudes today.

London has shared the stage with world renowned performers like Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Jeffrey Gaines, Bobby Bandiera (Bon Jovi), Garland Jeffreys, John Eddie, Glen Burtnik, The Head and The Heart, and Hey Ocean. She has performed at legendary venues like the Hard Rock San Francisco, Bearsville Theater, Stone Pony, Count Basie Theater, State Theater, Strand Theater, Carnegie Hall, and Rockwood Music Hall.

In 2014, London recorded her haunting duet, “The Right Way” featuring Jerzy Jung and produced by Rich Aveo, at Lakehouse Recording Studio in Asbury Park, NJ. The single is the heart of London’s #TheRightWay, a bullying awareness and kindness campaign encouraging unity among peers. Both the campaign video and music video garnered the attention of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, National Dance Week Foundation’s Kicks for Kindness, News12 NJ Spotlight TV, and Dance Magazine’s video-of-the-month. It took home awards at the Garden State Film Festival and Ridgewood Film Festival, and screened at the Asbury Park Music in Film Festival and Rahway Film Festival.

London’s EP, Dangerous Me, finds the singer confronting the monster of self-doubt. On the album, London questions how she can trust herself if she is made up entirely of contradictions: the strong, enigmatic femme fatale of “Dangerous Me” is also the vulnerable girl of “With Him,” and the detached lover of “Involved.” The record deftly reveals that there is knowledge to be found in the mystery of the human condition. London challenges listeners to engage in their own self-reflection and find confidence in their complexities.

In Spring 2016, “Involved” was submitted and accepted by the casting directors of television show “The Song,” making London a successful entrant and finalist for its pilot episode. During filming, London was on set with Lisa Loeb, Eliot Sloan (Blessid Union of Souls), Andrew Copeland (Sister Hazel), Shelly Peiken (wrote “Bitch” and “What a Girl Wants”), and other industry names. The Song is a competition based show for songwriters and is still in development phases.

At the start of 2017, London’s image was selected for the cover of Indie Bible’s latest publication. London was also featured in NJ.com and Star Ledger’s January article “NJ Bands You Must Hear in ’17.”

Foes of Fern, Thee Idea Men, Apollo Sonders, Nick Ryan and The Mess Thoughts

You don’t have to look too hard for the man underneath the beanie and the frontman behind Foes of Fern. Matthew “Fern” Fernicola is a regular, perpetually-bearded face in the Asbury Park scene. So when the former Airacuda guitarist conceived a solo project—something that could feel multilayered and simultaneously folk—he didn’t have to look hard for the Foes. Inspired by the friendships made in the shore side community, Fern decided to let his musical family spread his stories. Yes, while Fern himself is easy to pinpoint, defining the Foes is trickier. In short, they’re everyone.

Ok, that’s a dirty lie: formally the Foes backing band includes frequent party-goers. The V.I.P.S include Andrew Oliva on drums, Dave Chiesa on bass, Jessie McKormick slaying the Uke, Joseph Pomarico picking up the acoustic guitar, and Victoria Laurence blowing the tuba. Less formally, Fern has a rotating door of talent that can morph night to night. With local celebrities Andrew Ludwig, Matt Honold, Victoria Romano, Micheal Squillace and others jumping on various horn and string instruments. It’s not uncommon to have gigs featuring an entirely different band than the show before, adding different instrumental nuances to each show. Good humor, a chorus of Asbury’s finest, and crowd sing-alongs, however, are a constant.

Whether it’s idealizing your Tinder matches (based on a true swipe-right story), dealing with your biggest haters (including yourself) or crying about someone going downtown on what used to be yours (“I miss my bicycle”), the Foes tell tales familiar, irreverent, and warm. And though he draws buckets from his own well of experiences, Fern always has an extra microphone at the ready in case someone else wants to take the stage and lend his or her voice.

The Foes provide a full-bodied experience with an open heart, a lot of soul (or a little bit a soul, an entirely appropriate amount of soul) and a wild head of hair that would make Rubeus Hagrid proud. Don’t hesitate, join right in.