Rio en Medio is composed of songwriter/producer Danielle Stech-Homsy and a continuously evolving cast of friends and guest artists. Aligning herself with visual art, film and literature as much as music, Danielle’s primary influences are the textures, sounds and patterns found in nature, the human voice, the sacred, childhood, dreams, language, chance and divination.
Danielle’s new album, Frontier, (Manimal Vinyl) was written and recorded at home in the wintery isolation of Northern New Mexico, where Danielle now resides. Written first as a series of interrelated poems, then later set to music, the album unfolds as a sort of constellation of tales, inviting a narrative reading but perhaps without all the lines drawn in. What results is a wildly imaginative journey into the cosmos, where concepts are reduced to light and matter and Mystery. Lifting the mythology of space exploration and the conquering of the wild, western forests, and aided by Danielle’s intricate collage style and a remarkable host of synthesizers, the featured instrument is still Danielle’s crystalline voice and the careful way she uses it to serve the magic of the song. Frontier is scheduled for release in October on Manimal Vinyl. It will be available on vinyl and on itunes. Two singles, “Heartless” and “Fall Up” are currently available for purchase on itunes.
Born in New Mexico and raised in California by her mother (a costume designer and flamenco dancer) and her father (a gay Syrian painter and set designer), it would be surprising if Danielle didn’t turn out artistic. As a child she pursued dance, writing, drawing, playing, singing all with the same passionate intensity. When she lost her father to the 80’s AIDS epidemic, it was through art that she continued to receive her father’s guidance and speak to his memory.
After studying Russian in college and writing and translating poetry for a year in New York, she suddenly and inconveniently found herself victim to a period of songwriting mania. She recorded her first album while living in Brooklyn and working as a writing teacher at a public school. With no intention of releasing it, she was quite surprised when Devendra Banhart, who had heard her music through a mutual friend, approached her about releasing the album on his label, Gnomonsong.
The Bride of Dynamite , as her debut album came to be called, is a sparse and haunting trio of baritone ukulele, subtly harmonized vocals and electronic/sampled soundscapes. The songs are delicate and fragmented, evoking the spun poetry of ancient folk lullabies, but not without a hint at the darker side of today’s cultural climate. Since the release of The Bride of Dynamite, Danielle has performed across the States and in Europe and has opened for many notable artists such as Grizzly Bear, CocoRosie, Devendra Banhart and Patrick Wolf. She has been joined on stage and in the studio by a number of special guests including Andy Cabic, Sierra Casady, Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, Cibelle, Justin Riddle, Tim Fite, Christian Lee (guitar/keyboards), Vlad Kromatika (video projection/keyboard), David Coulter, Cohdi Harrell (trapeze) and Nicholas Toll (live painting/percussion).