Leigh Nash is perhaps best known as the pixie-like singer with the heavenly voice from Sixpence None the Richer, a CCM group that enjoyed considerable fame in 1999 with the single “Kiss Me.” She had started the band at age 14 with schoolmate Matt Slocum. Nearly half her life later, at age 27, Sixpence None the Richer split, albeit on good terms. Nash then decided to return to her roots, which consisted of Christian and country music, though she remained in touch with her pop influences. Nash’s original musical inspiration came from classic country heroines Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, and Tanya Tucker — whose songs she used to learn on guitar long before the Sixpence days. With motherhood as an inspiration, she recorded Blue on Blue in 2006 and moved back to Nashville to join Movement Nashville, a recently formed collective of musicians geared toward expelling the myth that Nashville’s music scene consists only of country and Christian music.
The Bruised Reed
“The Bruised Reed” is a female-fronted, fuzzy indie pop band led by husband and wife team Josh and Kirsten Wheeler. The music leans fuzzy and ragged when it wants to, but contemplative and slowcore when it needs to.
The band started as a basement-bound side project for Josh to exercise some of his songwriting demons; composing, recording, and playing all instruments on their 2008 debut LP “Pass Around the Easy Lie”, and 2010’s follow-up EP “New Words For Old Desires”; with Kirsten handling all vocal duties. They released the albums for free online, with no real intent for the project other than to have the songs available so people would get a chance to hear them.
Attention quickly followed as their music was picked up for local airplay on several radio stations, written about in local blogs, and even had a song featured in a Chevrolet commercial. The band went on to contribute the lead-off track to 2013’s Elliott Smith tribute album “Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands.”
Around this time, “International Pop Overthrow” Festival curator David Bash happened upon the recordings online and invited the duo to put together a full band and play at the 2014 event. Josh recruited local musicians to fully realize these basement noodlings as stage-ready songs. Shortly thereafter the band was invited to play 2014 and 2015’s “Metro Times Blowout” festival, made a live appearance on WDET 101.9FM’s “Ann Delisi’s Essential Music”, and booked several surrounding dates; including performances at 2015, 2016, and 2017’s “Detroit by Detroit” showcase, and 2018’s “Dally in the Alley”.
The band is hard at work on new music, issuing a regular series of two-track digital releases (not-so-cleverly titled “Doubles”). There are now four installments available for purchase and streaming at all major digital retailers.
“…the band manages to weave dreamy layered melodies and Kirsten’s ethereal vocals together with angular chord changes in a way that is mellow and rocks at the same time. ” – International Pop Overthrow
“…Kirsten Wheeler has a stunning voice, while Josh Wheeler can write a killer tune and thwack his axe. The results are hard-rocking yet gorgeous and soaring. A marriage made in heaven, then” – Metro Times Detroit
“…a band we’re sure everyone will be talking about…the band is going big!” – HipinDetroit.com