FeminINDIE: Lipstick Lumberjack
Lipstick Lumberjack is the California- born folk duo comprised of Sam Sobelman and Nikki Coles. After both were looking for a change and a chance to be heard, they recently found each other through the power of the internet, and as they say the rest is history. The duo are now working on their full-length album. “Full Steam Ahead” is the first single they have released and after only one listen it’s evident the chemistry and harmonies are a match made in musical heaven. A sugary-sweet love song from beginning to end, it’s impossible to get swept up in their infectious feel-good melodies. As we await more music, we sat down and asked the duo a few questions about the trials and tribulations of being an independent artist, and the story behind the duo’s name. Read on and get familiar with Lipstick Lumberjack!
I’d like to give a warm welcome and congratulations to Lipstick Lumberjack for making it into the top 30 for our FeminINDIE feature! How did you feel when you were notified you made it?
N: Surprised! I had no idea we had been submitted.
S: Oh, yeah…I guess I forgot to mention that.
N: And yet, it’s really exciting that WordKrapht considers us in the top 30! I will be having sweet dreams about this one!
S: Yeah! It’s a real honor to be featured among so many talented artists.
Tell the readers of Wordkrapht a little bit about Lipstick Lumberjack and how you two found each other.
S: Lipstick Lumberjack the concept is about finding the harmony between opposing aspects of life; the city mixed with the forest, the ups and the downs
N: the sweet and the sour
S: …yes! And the cool aesthetic of blending male and female harmonies. Literal harmony, ha!
N: That’s my favorite part. I had been writing my own music, but could not really find an avenue to be heard in the way I imagined…mostly because I do not possess the instrumental talent that I envy from Sam.
S: And I had been trying to make Lipstick Lumberjack a solo act after parting ways with a previous vocalist, but something just didn’t feel right. It was missin’ that, ya know, lipstick element. So I took to the internet!
N: Where I was waiting, trying to take over the world! We met up in January and had pretty much a full set by the end of the month…and started talking about putting out an album.
So you are working on a full-length album? How do you tackle the process of song-writing? Is it a collaborative effort?
N: The initial idea of recording a full-length album was kind of next-step, because Sam and I had already been working on a lot of material individually, and we put the harmonic magic to it all pretty quickly.
S: Yeah, a portion of this first batch of songs were mostly finished by the time we got together, but recently we’ve been working on a few newer songs that have more dual-input. One track, “Mon Bucheron” was the first that really has both of our fingerprints on it.
N: Though I would say that each tune has been polished collaboratively, and would definitely not sound the same–or as good–without the other person’s influence.
N: *Comment stealer.*
It’s inevitable for problems to arise during recording, or even at live events. Being an independent artist, those problems can seem much more detrimental since you don’t have a label backing you up. How do you handle those glitches in the road when they get thrown at you?
S: Well, I try to remember that everything provides a chance to learn something new. Haha.
N: I think it’s important that we are comfortable being honest and communicative, and even teachable at times. We have begun working on multiple tracks at once, so when we come to an impasse or what have you, we are able to work on another project for a time and come back to the issue.
S: It’s tricky being our own producers…and engineers…and roadies.
N: Yeah. I drop microphones. Onto concrete.
S: Just last weekend we played a show plugged into a power source with a timer dial
N: …and I was supposed to “feed the meter” during our break…needless to say, power went out during our set.
S: But we just turned it back on and took the song we were playing from the last chorus. Fans loved it.
N: Great success!
In previous interviews, I like to ask what being “Indie” means to them. Since we are celebrating women with our “FeminINDIE” feature, I would like to ask, what does being “FeminINDIE” mean to you Nikki?
Being FeminINDIE is not the easiest way to go; I think there are certain paths in the music industry that seem to be paved with instant gratification and success, but this is an illusion. I think indie artistry is much more challenging–and, by that same token, more rewarding–because it is created by hard work, and realized by determined individuals who have a fire lit underneath them to keep running, walking or crawling until they get to where they want to be. I do NOT believe that greater audiences connote greater talent; I appreciate the audiences of indie artists, because they can understand where our passions are coming from and stick by us.
Artist Name: Lipstick Lumberjack
Location: Orange, California
Genre: Folk, Americana
Members: Sam Sobelman, Nikki Coles