Music

Trading Cards for the Faithful

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Trading Cards for the Faithful (2020)
 

1.    St. Theresa

2.    Bailing Water

3.    Feed Your Soul

4.    A Few Bad Apples

5.    Use You For Me

6.     My Joyfully

Love and a Gun

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Love and a Gun (2017)
 

1.    Your Attention 3:03

2.    Love and a Gun 3:53

3.    Best Love 4:38

4.    Tired Eyes 4:07

5.    Renew 3:48

“O God, it’s happening again

I turn on the news – I can’t keep watching.

Buildings on fire, people are crying,

Desperate because there’s no solution.

Where do you run, between Love and a Gun?”

 

Michael lays out a stark choice in the title track, Love and a Gun. “It’s impossible to have watched the news at any point this past year and not have your heart broken and your hope challenged.  Music has always helped me process the things that break my heart.”

 

Fortunately, it’s not just the bad stuff that can break hearts.  “Thankfully, hearts can be broken wide open with brimming love, too”.   In this latest EP,  Michael vacillates between tender acoustic love songs, like the one to his kids (“Best Love”) that would melt any parent’s heart, to heavy electric guitar-laden blasters that cautiously criticize the surrounding culture, such as the track, “Your Attention”, where Tiernan goes after our modern addiction to our personal electronic devices when he writes, “Dog on a leash, tied to the beat, and each new piece leaves you hungry. But you gotta know every post in some stratosphere. Craning your neck, lack of respect, you presence is a preset I never get, what’s it gonna take for you to put that goddamn thing down?”  Overall, the album is a mix of steel and heart, as the title suggests – the heavy mixed with the light-hearted, the hopeless mixed with the hopeful.  

 

Tiernan’s 6th studio release, “Love and a Gun” was produced by Grammy winner Andre de Santanna.  Santanna has produced Tiernan’s last 3 albums, and this outing features the talents of keyboardist Will Herrington (Lukas Graham), electric guitarist Jaco Caraco (Miley Cyrus, Kelly ), Andre de Santanna on bass (Sergio Mendes, Natalia Lafourcade ,Herb Alpert, Jason Mraz, Bushwalla), Tamir Barzilay on drums (Macy Grey, Tal), along with Gabe Steiner and Aaron Leibowitz on trumpet and saxophone (the Vibrometers), with a feature by Armenian cellist Artyom Manukyan. 

Inside your Head

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Inside your Head (2014)
 

1.    Inside Your Head 3:24

2.    Run 3:05

3.    What am I Gonna Do? 3:59

4.    Never Alone 4:38

5.    Bloom 5:06

6.    Heart Speaks 3:37

7.    Rage 4:12

8.    Dark Heart 3:27

9.    Stainless Steel 2:53

10.  Release 4:14

11.  This Could Be the Year  3:19

12.  What's Holding You Up 4:11

 

“Inside Your Head” is a bold mix of Tiernan’s tried and true fleshed out intelligent poppy acoustic tunes that have that  happy, positive, and pensive vibe that Tiernan is known for, and a new darker side to Tiernan’s writings, that hints of a more industrial, ethereal sound that calls to mind bands like Radiohead and Imagine Dragons.  “Stylistically, I experimented a lot more with this album – and I wasn’t afraid to depart from my usual hopeful/cheery self, I really got in there with exploring being hopeless, angry and afraid, without coming up with some positive antidote to solve everything.  Some of it just leaves the rawness of feeling crappy and going through crappy situations, and being OK with that.”  

 

"Inside Your Head" placed in the finals of two of the major songwriting competitions in 2014/15, including Male Aritst of the Year Finals in the International Acoustic Music Awards, Singer/Songwriter Finals at the Great American Song Contest.

 

 

 

 

 

L.A. Can Wait 

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L.A. Can Wait (2010)
 

1.    Write Me a Love Song 3:48

2.    Let Go 3:20

3.    L.A. Can Wait 3:59

4.    You With Me 4:09

5.    You Make it Easy 3:19

6.    Father and Child 4:19

7.    Small Things 3:39

8.    Strong 4:27

9.    Dying Tree 2:59

10.  Here 5:52

11.  Easy 2:51

 

“L.A. Can Wait” is an 11 track journey through the difficult but joyful landscape of human experience; from birth to death, and the spectrum of wild stuff in between. It has both a big city sound, and a beachie undertone. It is temple meets tavern, city meets sand. It has racked up awards of its own since it’s release, being a finalist in two of the most prestigious music competitions The Great American Song Contest and the International Songwriting Competition. Several of the songs have been featured as well on several TV shows.

Spaces 

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Spaces (2007)
 

1.    Don’t Wake Up 3:53

2.    Same Sky 4:18

3.    Better Life 5:25

4.    I’m Ready 3:33

5.    So Cruel 4:21

6.    Distractions 3:44

7.    I Was Wrong 3:04

8.    Spaces 4:34

9.    You Hide 5:32

10.  Changing All the Time 4:03

11.  Love & Commitment 3:25

12.  Sleeeeeeeping…. 7:01

13.  The Fruit Song (Hidden Track) 4:17

 
As an album, “Spaces” plays on the ideas of several different spaces in our lives. From the all-important space we find in our own hearts that we must enter into to meet our purpose, our inspiration, and even our suffering; to the space between people in relationship, both physical distance between the two, as well as emotional distance, or closeness, between them. “Spaces” plays on all these spatial “ratios” that are operative in life, and treats topics such as self, love, God, and society.  Several tracks from Spaces have been featured on national TV shows such as ABC’s “Men in Trees” and MTV”s “Real World”.  Music from spaces also helped garner Michael several awards, including the 2007 International Acoustic Music Awards Male Artist of Year Runner up, the 2007 Songwriter of the Year, Pacific Songwriting Competition, and won a spot as a finalist in the 2008 Great American Song Contest.
Jumping In 

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Jumping In (2005)
 

1.    Swim 4:12

2.    Slow Down 3:50

3.    Child On Your Floor 4:31

4.    Song I Can’t Remember 4:40

5.    Born Again Contradiction 3:27

6.    Don’t Hold On 3:43

7.    This One, Not That One 3:19

8.    Plasticity 3:41

9.    Pass On By 3:59

10.  The Day I Tried To Live 3:44

11.  Jumping In 5:41

12.  The Other Side of the World 4:00

 

Winner of the Triple A Album of the Year from the Los Angeles Music Awards in 2005, and also Finalist for the Kerrville New Folk Competition Jumping In is Michael’s full-band debut.  Honest, raw, emotive, and rockin’, its folk, its rock, its bluegrass, rolled up in one.

Still Listening

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Still Listening (2004)

 

1.    The Other Side 5:26

2.    Drive 5:43

3.    The Great Unknown 6:00

4.    The Track 5:42

5.    Bullet Train 6:01

6.    My Own Two Legs 5:41

7.    Unplug 4:56

8.    Ego 4:34

9.    West Coast Life 5:19

10.  Better 5:00

11.  Knowing You 4:40

12.  World of Gold 5:19

13.  Lifeless 5:03

14.  Teaching Me 6:23

 

“Still Listening” is Michael’s break-out album that set him on the path.  Winner: 2004 Male Singer/Songwriter of the Year, Los Angeles Music Awards;  Billboard Song Contest Honors: ”The Other Side’; and Winner: Call to Arts Song Contest for the song  ‘Better’.  It’s all acoustic goodness, bare bones and honest.

© 2020 Michael Tiernan.  Still Listening Productions