The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Talented Local Artists Deserve Wide-Spread Attention

Margot MacDonald

A native of the Arlington and Washington, D.C. area and a graduate from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, nineteen-year-old Margot MacDonald is no stranger to the music scene. Releasing her first album when she was just 12, MacDonald had originally started out as a classically trained opera singer. These powerful vocals soon led into a career in the pop acoustic rock genre with world influences that have guided her songwriting and powerful voice.

MacDonald’s haunting vocals resonate with anyone who has the privilege of hearing her perform live, because not only are they powerful, but pertain a richness and complexity that is not easily compared to any other artist, especially in her genre. Her musicianship holds a talent all in itself as well, for MacDonald’s ability to use not only her voice for background tracks on her loop pedal, but other instruments as well is not only fascinating, but amazing to see in live performance. MacDonald’s music also strikes a chord with listeners, whether it be a dark ballad such as “Hold On” from her album Walls (which was a possible GRAMMY nominee for Album of the Year) or a more recent hit called “King of Hearts”, which is not only upbeat, but relatable to all who have or wish to take a chance on love.

MacDonald’s line of work is also incredibly impressive for her young age. A featured performer at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, The Birchmere, the State Theatre, 9:30 Club, Hard Rock Cafe, National Cherry Blossom Festival, BMI Showcases, various benefit concerts, and many other famous venues, she has also found time to host Young Songwriter’s Showcases and open mics through the Songwriter’s Association of Washington (SAW). MacDonald has also shared the stage with some other very recognizable faces, including Josh Groban and Jessica Simpson.

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Somehow, even on top of all of this success, the 2011 Artist of the Year and various other WAMMY award winner is still incredibly down-to-earth and genuine. While her music remains more than worthy of buying and putting on replay, try to catch her live at one of her many shows around the D.C. area and be transfixed yourself by the talent that is Margot MacDonald.

For show dates and further information on Margot MacDonald, check out her official website at

James Britton

Having been compared to the sounds of John Mayer and Jason Mraz, multi-talented James Britton has been writing songs for only a handful of years, although his knowledge and unique sound for the art is easily shown through his already developed music. After having recorded and released his first album, So Far, in the basement of his house with the help from his father, Britton has gone on to win awards from the Mid-Atlantic Songwriter’s Association, including the coveted “Young Artist” award, which was presented to him by fellow Songwriter’s Association of Washington (SAW) member and musician, Margot MacDonald, in 2011. Though Britton performs in various showcases alone through the organization, Britton has recently joined up with a new band called “Stone Collective”.

Britton’s music is easy to keep on your mind, as it is not only catchy, but meaningful at the same time. He writes in a way that is not only endearing, but keeps you attentively singing along to his melodies and lyrics. Some of his catchiest songs include “200 Pounds” (for which he won the Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Award for), “Looking for Something to Find”, and “Girl Like You”, to name a few. All of these songs can be found on So Far, even though you can catch him taking along his exciting stage presence and charisma on tour along the East Coast this summer with “Stone Collective”. Having being incredibly down-to-earth, James Britton is probably one of the kindest and most approachable musicians in the area, so don’t be afraid to say hello if you’re ever at one of his shows!

For show dates and further information on James Britton and “Stone Collective”, check out their official FaceBook page at!/stonecollectivemusic

Adam Swink

After taking some time off while attending the University of Nashville, twenty-year-old singer/songwriter, Adam Swink, is back with a new song titled “Midnight Sun (War)” off of a new EP to be released in June/early July of this summer. As part of a new band called “Our Vintage Film”, Swink’s style consists of catchy melodies and lyrics that are equally as impressive as his long list of awards, which include many Mid-Atlantic Songwriter’s Awards as well as being an International Songwriting Competition Semifinalist.

A native resident of Vienna, VA, Swink could be found gracing the stage of Jammin’ Java starting in high school, opening for such artists as Kate Voegele and Kina Grannis. His albums can be found on iTunes, including his first released EP in November of 2006, “Not What it Seems,” and his second, “Seasonal Delivery,” in 2008, which includes one of his most popular songs, “Save Me”.

In Feb 25, 2009, Swink released an exclusive single track titled “Wake Up” with Atlantic Records recording artist and friend, Chelsea Lee. The song went on to win a Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest award and various other mentions, including being featured on a PBS roadshow that documented student music across the country.

For show dates and further information on Adam Swink and “Our Vintage Film”, check out his official FaceBook page at

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Talented Local Artists Deserve Wide-Spread Attention