FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Folk-pop artist Carly Taich has been named the winner of the fifth annual LEAF Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition, presented by NewSong Music. Taich – who along with seven other finalist singer-songwriter solo and duo acts – was selected from more than 500 entries to this year’s contest. The finalists performed at LEAF Saturday, May 12, in front of the packed Barn venue and judges Gar Ragland, music producer and founder of NewSong Music; Alli Marshall, arts editor at Mountain Xpress; and Jeff Santiago, a local musician and operations manager at the Orange Peel.
Other finalists were Alexa Rose from Asheville, NC; Randy Steele from Chattanooga, TN; My One and Only from Nashville, TN; Lee Jean Jr. from Raefield, NC; Joe Shields from Northern Michigan; and Leon + the Fantastic from San Mateo, CA. Taich, My One and Only and Alexa Rose were the three songwriters selected to move on to the second and final round.
Taich will release a new single this summer, the first release since her October 2017 album titled Reverie. Her music video for her song “Give Me a Likeness” recently won “Best Soundtrack” at the Music Video Asheville awards show. She, along with her band, will perform at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival this June.
Of her time spent at the LEAF Singer-Songwriter Competition, Taich says, “The LEAF/NewSong Competition was awesome. From start to finish, a great experience. I loved their emphasis on it being a celebration of songwriting rather than a cut-throat competition.”
Taich says she played mostly new songs at the competition, as opposed to what she calls “the more tried and true stuff.” This made the win that much sweeter, says the songwriter. “This really affirmed the direction I’m going with my writing,” says Taich. “I have so much respect for the judges and admire their work, so that makes the win all the more rewarding. I’m so grateful to NewSong, LEAF, and my good friend Alex Travers for accompanying me on violin and adding greater depth to my songs. I am still pinching myself that I get to perform at the fall LEAF later this year!”
“We had an outstanding pool of finalists this year for the 5th annual LEAF Competition,” says NewSong founder and producer Ragland. “I’m always amazed at the caliber of songwriting and performances each year, and this year was certainly no exception.”
“The caliber of musicianship was so high, and the creativity really on-point.” says judge Alli Marshall. “Each artist managed to channel themes and sounds from the American songbook while bringing something truly authentic to the stage. From roots-country to radio-ready pop, it was a thrilling showcase.”
Adding to that, judge Jeff Santiago, an accomplished songwriter and performer himself, says “Choosing this year’s winner was quite difficult. I felt Carly made bold choices in her writing, as well as the selection of songs she presented.”
As the winner of the LEAF Singer-Songwriter Competition, Taich will receive a paid, featured performance at the fall 2018 LEAF Festival (October 18-21, in Black Mountain, NC), including lodging and accommodations. She’ll also receive an opening performance at Asheville’s the Grey Eagle music venue on Thursday, October 18, for artist Eileen Jewell, and a featured performance on Wednesday, October 17, in the Lounge at Asheville’s Isis Music Hall.
Taich also advances as a finalist in the 17th annual, international NewSong Showcase and Competition, held later this year. The grand-prize winner of that contest will be awarded the opportunity to make a six-song EP, recorded and mixed at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville and released on the NewSong Recordings label; and a performance showcase at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival’s coveted ASCAP Music Café. The 2018 NewSong Music Contest is now accepting entries.