WYEP’s Reimagination project provides a unique approach to music education for high school teens from the Pittsburgh region. Over the past eight years, we have engaged more than 240 young musicians looking to hone their skills, learn about the music industry and prepare to launch their careers. Reimagination alumni include GRAMMY-Award winning artist Daya, Emmy-Award winning artist Jessica Bitsura, American Idol contestant Sloane Simon, and blues phenom, Pierce Dipner.
Elliana: Vocals, Piano
Dana Cannone: Guitar, Bass
Dave Hidek: Drums
Jenn Wertz: Percussion
If you listen closely to “Repeat,” you’ll hear it. “My dreamcatcher’s just about to fall, and it’s hanging by a thread, like me.” That last part’s quick, by design, Elliana insists. If you’re not listening closely, you might miss it, and that’s the point. Pay attention. The indie-pop song rises out of the ashes of the lockdown and a difficult 2020-21 school year awash in vulnerability. “My producer, Jenn Wertz, was amazing to work with and helped me to achieve my first studio recording,” Elliana says, noting Jenn helped to enhance details that she hadn’t even realized were significant. “Dana Cannone helped the vision Jenn and I developed become a reality and I could not be more grateful.” She hopes others listen to her music, which calls on topics from mental health to a love of summertime, and find common ground. “I create my music to try to give teens (or people of any age) who are going through the same things I am a way to relate and know that they are not alone.”
About Elena Bishop:
Elena Bishop: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano
Dave Hidek: Drums
As if a pandemic weren’t bad enough, Elena Bishop had just recently moved to Pittsburgh from North Carolina, losing all her friends. Starting over was difficult and it was only natural that she romanticized her prior life. Such is the theme of “Hourglass Eyes” — the tendency to make the things in your rear-view mirror better than they really were.
“Hourglass half full eyes/fooled eyes/but a full life,” she sings with pop-punk delight, adding a twist of words. The lyrics, melody and guitar riff are hers, with fine tuning from producer Dana Cannone. “It was quite fun, and it taught me a lot,” she says of her studio time. “Seeing what they were doing when mixing in real time was very surreal … Being in an actual recording studio with recording studio-level equipment was wild. Everything anyone could ever think of was there and that was just crazy.
Bishop, who taught herself how to play guitar on a 60-year-old classical guitar her grandma bought at a yard sale in the ‘70s, draws music inspiration from Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo and her writing inspiration from Paramore. Yet it’s her family, friends and her band, Bad Judgement, that most influence her life.
About Bad Judgement:
Xander Bier: Bass, Vocals
Elena Bishop: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
David Weisfield: Drums
Turing Zelsnack: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Bad Judgement chose lead singer and rhythm guitarist Elena Bishop in the middle of the pandemic by making her sing Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy” at the library. It seems the “Shushing” did not work.
With a lineup that also includes Turing Zelsnack on lead guitar, David Weisfield on drums and Xander Bier on bass and backing vocals, Bad Judgement has the good sense to understand how sad people can still find beauty in themselves and others. “Rain falls from your eyes, on the ground they’re fireflies,” they sing, noting the song is the perfect tune to hear during the credits of your favorite coming-of-age movie, as the beloved characters drive into the sunset.
Admirers of the Strokes, Stand Atlantic and their family and friends, Bad Judgement enjoyed the emotional and musical power producer Sean McDonald brought to the song. The band is finding this all “quite the fun journey.”