“Sundust” is the new album by The Ballroom Thieves.  Image courtesy of Nettwerk

The Ballroom Thieves is the Midcoast indie folk-rock duo of Calin Peters (vocals, cello, bass) and Martin Earley (vocals, guitar).

The nationally touring band’s fifth album, “Sundust,” comes out on Friday, and they hit the road for a 17-date run of shows that starts in New York City on April 25 and includes two shows in Maine.

The 10 tracks on “Sundust” are a continuation of the duo’s ongoing commitment to writing from a place of self-awareness and a search for light, despite carrying the burden of generational trauma.

With songs like “Time Just Falls Apart,” “Everything Is Everything” and “Tender,” The Ballroom Thieves offer listeners a soft, safe place to land.

“Give me a heart without the teeth/Give me the glimmers in between/Give me the happiness of hope/Give me a knot without a rope,” sing Peters and Earley on “Everything Is Everything.”

“We were writing about childhood wounds and started looking at patterns, and I think the whole world is looking at the same problems. We got more into psychology this year and got more specific,” said Peters.


Earley said he and Peters, who are married, have always written about what they know, and “Sundust” is no different. “What’s more important is that people identify with the themes and see some of themselves and what they’re dealing with.”

Another standout track is “Casual,” which Peters said flies in the face of the notion that kids are resilient, because when critical love and support is withheld, a child’s notion of love is impacted.

“I think humans are actually pretty delicate, like soft sponges, and until we learn to stop tossing each other around as if we’re going to bounce back without wounds, we’re going to continue to pass down all the hurt that came from the people before us,” she wrote in the album’s liner notes.

“Sundust” is available everywhere on Friday.

The Ballroom Thieves have two upcoming Maine performances. See them at the Sandy River Music Festival in Farmington on May 26 and at the First Parish Church in Portland on May 31.


Cover of the Louisa Stancioff album “When We Were Looking.” Image courtesy of Yep Roc Records


Warren-based indie singer-songwriter Louisa Stancioff’s debut solo album “When We Were Looking” is out on Friday, and she has a pair of shows this weekend.

Stancioff describs her sound as folk and pop mixed together with a little bit of country. “It’s folk and roll with a little bit of edge to it, and it’s dreamy vocal-centered.”

“When We Were Looking” has nine songs on it, all drawn from Stancioff’s life experience.

Stancioff plays acoustic and electric guitar. Her vocals are wielded with enthralling precision that create a silky aural cocoon.

She cites Margo Timmins of alt-county band Cowboy Junkies and singer-songwriter Faye Webster as influences.


Stancioff ‘s childhood exposure to music came in the form of  traditional Bulgarian tunes from her paternal grandfather’s side of the family. This led to sing-alongs of American folk and roots songs with friends.

When Stancioff, 30, was a 17-year-old camp counselor, she wrote “The Friend Song” on her ukulele. It was an instant campfire hit with campers and counselors. “It felt really good to have people connect with a song I made up in my head,” said Stancioff, who from that point on continued to write songs as a way to process emotions.

In 2017, Stancioff and her cousin Matt Gaillett formed the band Dyado and released the album “Dreamcountry,” taken from the term they liked to describe their sound.

For the next few years, Stancioff’s movements were nomadic, with stretches spent in North Carolina and Los Angeles. The pandemic led to her return to Maine during the summer of 2020.

In 2021, while working a variety of jobs, including as a seaweed farmer Down East, Stancioff couldn’t shake the feeling that she wanted to make a solo album and started seeking advice from friends on social media. Her friend Eleanor Buckland from folk trio Lula Wiles reached out and invited Stancioff to open a show for her at the historic folk venue Club Passim in Harvard Square.


During her set, Stancioff mentioned on stage that she was hoping to record her songs on the off chance anyone knew a producer.

It was her lucky night.

Producer and keyboardist Sam Kassirer was at that show and said he was game. Kassirer owns the Great North Sound Society in Parsonsfield, where the album was recorded. Kassirer produced it and plays keys.

Once the album was done, Stancioff sent it to several indie labels. On that list was Yep Roc Records, which Stancioff is especially keen on because it’s the label singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan is on. Stancioff’s a fan.

Label owner Glenn Dicker responded to her email 15 minutes after she sent it and suggested they talk on the phone. Stancioff is now labelmates with the likes of Alejandro Escavedo, Chuck Prophet and The Felice Brothers, among dozens of other well-known artists.

“When We Were Looking” will be available on streaming platforms and on seaglass blue vinyl with emerald green splatter. Order it at louisastancioff.net.

See Stancioff live Friday at Triangle Gallery in Rockland and Saturday at Oxbow Bottling & Blending in Portland.

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