“Having your crew is essential,” says Paul who relocated to Portland for college and stayed after graduating. “When you walk outside and don’t see people who look like you, it makes you feel helpless. It’s a lonely feeling.” She goes on to say that the people of color who supported her during the creation and release of Mother of My Children were invaluable for their love and understanding. The “party” Paul’s new album refers to is a bittersweet one, the unavoidable and contrasting beauty and despair of life, born of a worldview that’s inextricably linked with her Native upbringing, friends, and family.
Some amount of personal suffering is expected to be felt by those who create music, but it’s rare for musicians to fuel their work with it as adeptly as Lightning Cult’s Mike Marchant. Now living in Santa Fe, the former Denver musician was hailed as one of the city’s most promising songwriters until a devastating cancer diagnosis stopped him in his tracks in 2012. Marchant survived but experienced significant memory loss related to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. A crippling self-destructive period followed. The Lightning Cult project represents Marchant’s return to music-making and reveals an artist transformed through tragedy and tenacity.