Schwartz started The Hollow Ends alone in the summer of 2014, occasionally sharing Saint Louis stages with other musicians from near and far. After playing a handful of basic guitar + vocal “singer-songwriter” gigs, it became clear that the music would benefit significantly by involving a more folk-rock sound. Through adding a kick drum and tambourine, rehashing old songs and developing new material, a sound eventually took shape.
As The Hollow Ends, Schwartz released a self-titled debut EP in the summer of 2015. The 3-song record (stream below) will demonstrate a more fleshed-out version of the songs, including drums and auxiliary percussion, a measured level of electric guitars, and harmony vocals. It will also enlist additional STL talent like bassist Charles Clements, violinist Jenn Rudisill, singer Tawaine Noah and trumpeters Pat Swan and Ethan Payer. Schwartz continues to write new material for a THE full-length set for a not-so-near future TBA release.
The first summer as The Hollow Ends will indeed be a full one for Schwartz. This includes the aforementioned release, as well as some regional touring with fellow Saint Louisan Tawaine Noah. The future for The Hollow Ends includes playing as many shows with as many folks as possible, and continuing to write new material and expand the sound.
Born south of St. Louis and raised in the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama, Fitzgerald has honed her craft in iconic cities of musical innovation. She’s spent extended periods of time in Bakersfield, California, and, most recently, Austin, Texas, though she considers Columbia, Missouri home.
Lyrically heavy, the crux of Fitzgerald’s work is the autobiographical depiction of life changing situations, relationships and observations. This creative writing major’s words are heavy-hitting—a strength she accentuates with dreamy vocals, ethereal melodies and grooving beats.
Rae Fitzgerald’s upcoming release, Popular Songs for Wholesome Families, shifts away from the sparsely decorated acoustic instrumentation of previous albums and lands her in the thick of dream-folk/progressive indie-rock territory.
Utilizing a broad palate of sounds, Popular Songs ranges from electronic anthems of loss to upbeat folk songs that depict a range of musings on religion, mortality, the American plight and, as the title suggests, the ties that bind. The album is purposefully littered with glimpses into her familial life, and the self-described “fantastical historian” doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects.
Despite her tendency to capitalize on somber material, Rae Fitzgerald is master of the silver lining. Each loss is almost equally matched with a gained insight, evolved perspective or cathartic exorcism. The indomitable spirit present in her work is what gives the seasoned singer-songwriter the freedom to sing, almost as if a mantra, “sorrow is a juggernaut.”
Popular Songs for Wholesome Families was recorded, mixed and produced by her longtime collaborator and close friend Lucas Oswald of Shearwater (formerly of Appleseed Cast, Minus Story, Hospital Ships and Old Canes). He plays a variety of instruments throughout the record, adding a distinct flair that’s become a calling card for the gifted young producer.
Justin has toured and recorded with such acts as Zombie Bazooka Patrol, Locust Cloud, Middlemen, Children of Spy, Toxic Teeth, Mose Giganticus, Henry Daggs, and Seth Moore.
These recordings are done by JDH alone in his room, in his moms garage, dad’s kitchen, in the bathroom, on the porch, and various other random places where the mood has struck him. If you happen to catch one of his live shows, you may see him solo, or with any number of friends, former band mates, or fellow musicians accompany him. Listen and learn something about yourself.