Providing a moment of sanctuary from the endless feed of election hype from the socials, Impose’s Week in Pop presents a plethora of artistic visionaries worth campaigning for. With a host of breaking exclusives to present, we first give you your obligatory news blotter with word that the upcoming album Run The Jewels 3 is halfway complete; Kanye West updated “Ultralight Beam” to make “Ultralight Prayer”, with The Life of Pablo now available in wide release; Andrew W.K. has started the new political, um, party called none other than, “The Party Party“; FYF Fest lineup hype; Glastonbury Festival lineup hype; Azealia Banks dropped the Slay-Z mixtape that features appearances from Rick Ross and Nina Sky; Puff Daddy is opening Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School in Harlem, and dropped the “You Could Be My Lover” video ft. Ty Dolla $ign and Gizzle; Christian Fennesz and Jim O’Rourke are collaborating together on the June 4-slated album, It’s Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry; Lil’ Kim dropped the Lil Kim Season mixtape; MOURN shared “Storyteller”; Fear of Men dropped the Eleanor Hardwick video for “Island”, Fall Forever available June 3 from Kanine; Psychic Ills new album Inner Journey Out available June 3 via Sacred Bones, and dropped “I Dont Mind” ft. Hope Sandoval; Queen Bey received a visit from Hillary Clinton; Joanna Newsom was joined on stage in LA by Dirty Projector’s Amber Coffman and Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold; Anderson .Paak is featured on Snakehips’ new track “Money On Me”; Purling Hiss and Kurt Vile covered Spaceman 3’s “Hey Man”; Destroyer announced My Mystery 12″ available May 6 via Merge; White Lung dropped “Kiss Me When I Bleed” via Paradise available May 6 followed by summer North American tour; A$AP Ferg dropped the new track “World Is Mine” ft. Big Sean off the upcoming Always Strive and Prosper available April 22; Holy Fuck announced the new album Congrats available May 27 from Innovative Leisure, and they also dropped “Xed Eyes”; Drake covered the Jackson Browne/Nico song, “These Days”; Twin Peaks extended their tour, dropped “Butterfly”; a posthumous Faith Evans x Notorious B.I.G. collaboration is in the works, and holographic hints; get ready for 67 tracks of PureMcCartney; play an interactive video for Jeff Buckley’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like a Woman”; the resurrection of LCD Soundsystem; Lil Wayne’s Tidal lawsuit apparently never was served; DIIV cancelled the remainder of EU tour, citing an “urgent health issue”; The Roots pulled out of Bowie tribute concerts on account of what Questlove calls #Bitchassness; Krist Novoselic responded to Melvins’ man Buzz Osborne’s criticisms of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck; Brandy sued her label Chameleon Entertainment Group for 1 million; Jay Z versus the previous owners of Tidal; we wish for Kehlani’s recovery; Action Bronson issued an apology after being pulled from George Washington University’s Spring Fling and pulled previously from NXNE over misogynistic and transphobic perceptions; Offset from Migos got busted by the fuzz again in Chattahoochee, GA; we lost the Glands’ Ross Shapiro; we remember Patty Duke; and the passing of Joe Skyward of The Posies/Sunny Day Real Estate.
As we carry on, we look to today and tomorrow’s new torch-bearers with the following interviews, insights, and world exclusives from Andy Clockwise, Ezinma, Rabbit Rabbit, Bible Pilot, Captain Supernova, Confident Hitmakers, Dia, Don Tigra, Fog Lake, Froomador, Howth, Jennifer O’Connor, The Loom, featuring guest selections by Antwon and more—in no particular order.
You might already be familiar with Ezinma from her amazing violin covers, where she applies a classical sensibility to the contemporary electronic currents of pop music. The Nebraska by NYC multi-disciplined artist has played with legends from Stevie Wonder to Yo-Yo Ma, and now readies her upcoming debut EP I Am Ezinma (available later this spring). Shifting focus from her re-conceptualization of modern music, Ezinma presents with the world premiere of her single “Spacemajik” where the concerns over saying goodbye to a loved one are delivered in violin strings, and restrained atmospheric spaces. Ezinma composed the instrumental for “Spacemajik” while exploring Berlin, drawing it’s title from a segment of the Berlin Wall from the East Side Gallery, international memorial for freedom. From here you can witness the rush of feelings and emotions that are triggered from the melodic slide of strings and the perpetual electronic pulse at the song’s heart.
One of the fascinating aspects of Ezinma’s violin string skills (of which she has earned her MA in performance) is how she actively utilizes the classical approach to enhance and expand the possibilities in pop musical construction. Applying innovations to contemporary arrangements, Ezinma introduces various aspects from her own experiences into the picture from the departures of others, the arrivals of new adventures, and the feelings that ruminate in the spaces between the ennui of the minute to minute. As the narrative and reflections rush forward with the poetic scheme of an overseas bound jet plane, Ezinma paints grander scopes of the story of the empty spaces and misconceptions between lovers in a mist of atmospheric synths, and backup over-dubs that mingle between the kinetic rhythm sequence and the lush, skyward string compositions. “Spacemajik” is a song of celestial healing for parted lovers coping with the world after the smoke & mirrors settle after the roar of a formerly burning flame has been extinguished to the smoldering embers. Read our interview with Ezinma right after the following debut.
What first lead you toward the violin, and how did you move from classical to crafting your own pop songs?
I started playing when I was four years old. I’m from Nebraska and I went to a Montessori school on a farm. They had a Suzuki violin program and my friends had these little violins. Every afternoon during violin class I’d hear the other kids scratch away on their fiddles. I wanted a violin to join in the fun so my parents rented me my first instrument. I don’t think my parents ever thought I would stick with it and they never imagined I would become a professional violinist. From there I started practicing more and more. Even as child I would play concerti and sonatas. I loved the violin and was always very serious about it. When I was in my undergrad, I switched from pre‐med to music. I was 20. It was then that I decided I wanted to build a career as a violinist. After studying at The New School, I began to think outside of the rules of classical music. Once I experienced the musical versatility and power of my computer, I became very interested in blending my love for classical and popular music.
How do you define or describe your own song-crafting process?
I listen to a lot of music. For inspiration I usually turn to classical music and electronica (usually without lyrics). From there I just dream. I listen, I think, I journal, I sketch. Then I sit down at the piano and start figuring stuff out. I am not a pianist at all, but I usually use the keyboard to hash out chords. Melody comes naturally for me because I am a violinist. Once I have those things, if I’m really feeling the track, everything else flows. Even though there is struggle in the process, I’m always amazed by how a song unfolds.
Tell us what the process of recording & creating your I Am Ezinma EP was like, and what sorts of discoveries and the like surprised you along the way?
The process was very organic. I wrote the EP over the course of a year and a half.
At first it was just me messing around in Ableton. I posted some stuff on Soundcloud and had very positive response so I decided to write more, that turned into I’m going to make an EP, and now the EP is inspiring an album. Probably the most interesting development was the addition of lyrics. These songs were first instrumental tracks. It’s funny because deep down, I always wanted to sing on the tracks but felt I wasn’t good enough to be a singer. So one day my friend was listening to the EP and was like this is dope but you need lyrics, “why don’t you sing?” I’m not sure what it was, but at that moment I was ready to take the leap. The next day I started writing lyrics and melodies. I’ve always loved writing and melodies come pretty easily as a violinist so the writing process was surprisingly smooth. What was more difficult was overcoming my fear of singing. I’ve never been a singer and to be honest I’m very self conscious of my voice. I think that comes from my classical background where to be a “singer” you need training, the best teachers, and years of experience–which simply isn’t true. Standing in front of the microphone for the first time was so hard, but now that we’ve been recording for about a month, I hear my voice in the tracks and I’m loving it.
Describe the bittersweet farewells that informed the enchanted, spaced-out vignette—“Spacemajik”.
“Spacemajik” was about ending a very serious four year relationship spring of 2015. The song paints that feeling of ambivalent farewell. It was sad for both of us, but on a deeper level it was actually a relief. That’s where you get that sugar-sweet happiness at the end of the song.
You are famous for your violin covers…can you tell us who else you plan on covering in the near future?
Definitely Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Kanye West. I haven’t gotten them yet. I do a lot of trendy hip hop songs, but I also plan to do more timeless tunes such as Bob Marley “Redemption Song” and “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. I love those songs.
Other artists you want to recognize that are doing great things in the world?
I am a huge fan of Jamie XX. I am incredibly inspired by his work.
Summer and spring plans?
Right now I am involved in an opera. It is amazing but I don’t have much free time right now. It is hard for me to be creative when I am so busy. Once that is done, I’m excited to finish up the full album.
Hear more from Ezinma via her site, I Am Ezinma available this spring.
From LA artist Andy Clockwise, we proudly present the world premiere for “The Best”, taken from the forthcoming The Good Book EP available April 8 from Exhibition Records where all the audio essences of held-over 80s idolatry is revised for today’s times. Masterminded with a recording assist from Stella Mozgawa (from Warpaint, Kurt Vile, etc) along with JT Thomas (who has worked with luminaries like Captain Beefheart, Sparks) , the collective contributions together make for a neon glossed sports car ride through the chasms of oblivion that reveal the release in discovering the infinite exhilaration in embracing your own insignificance within the grand scheme of the universe. Clockwise, born Andy Kelly, along with Stella & JT collect together a smart array of modern lenses that re-jet the disco 70s & sleek romantic 80s as if it was re-imagined by the entire DFA artist roster.
“The Best” begins with a full synth bath that swiftly beckons the ensuing new wave “Running Up That Hill” drum progression. Andy Clockwise exhibits an intrinsic understanding of the composition minutiae that made up past classics from the likes of Alphaville, Echo & The Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, and so on in a way that shines these beloved anachronistic components forward to the present day. Andy examines and measures the scale of human conceits against the incredible reaches of the world with a sense of humbled awe and wonder. Existential and intimate utterances are illustrated among ear-worm keyboard hooks as Andy, Stella & JT’s harmonized chorus that continues on an in finite loop in the mind: “But we breathe, and we walk to the stores on the block, and we fall on the ground, lying on our backs, and we think that we are the best, the best, but we’re not, they’re so many better than you and me…” Immediately after the following debut of “The Best”, be sure to read our candid interview with Andy Clockwise.
Give us the scoop on how you, Stella Mozgawa, and JT Thomas captured that 80s sort of cadence on The Good Book?
Well to be honest I think it just naturally comes from us all a little, I mean JT was in Sparks for a while and he knows I’m a child obsessed with certain elements of the 80s like New Order, Kate Bush, Tears for Fears, Talking Heads and Orange Juice so he naturally clicks with it. Although he probably thinks it’s weird because he lived through it. With the whole EP we wanted to make something that made my humble little folk and blues rants something fresh but not overly computerized so we just played electronic instruments live. That’s what I like about those above influences they were bringing punk to synths and drum machines and had amazing songs and great words that meant something, God lyrics…I suppose that’s where I was going… With “The Best” it’s pretty much just me and JT and Stella banging it out like a band in our basement, we got to have the fun times… The more laborious scoop is I spent hours on end in said basement tearing my hair out, as you do, [laughs]. Those guys coming in and being part of it was “The Best”—excuse the pun… In all honesty I don’t know how it comes to end up sounding like that, it just happens until I can’t listen to it anymore and I say it’s finished, but people can make of it what they will, I can dig that.
What sorts of good books, biblical or otherwise influenced the title?
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad & The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera, oh and of course possum magic (Australian reference), they would be a great place of pinpointing the themes ha ha…I suppose the title came from the dogmatic tendencies we have as humans and the rules we like to create out of thin air, and I mean this in a good and a bad way, it doesn’t weigh one way or the other, hence the good book.
Please tell us about the tribulations and ultimate triumph that informed “The Best”.
I made that song in 30 minutes and recorded it, and that’s pretty much what you hear , I don’t know where that came from but it must have been lying dormant somewhere…sometimes I don’t know what the tribulations or trials are that get us there with a song but it is personal I suppose. It’s as much a mystery to me. Am I being defective enough yet with this yet? I suppose it is a lot of things I think about life and things I encounter at the moment, we have the tendency to think that our human condition is the center of the universe whether in love in fame in notoriety in anonymity but a realization of our insignificance is actually a little bit more freeing or empowering I believe, why not embrace that…Oh look I don’t know do I? Maybe it’s just a catchy tune.
Thoughts, notes, passages, or perhaps some poetic-prose (or not) on the proliferation of the LA scenes?
NYC the place where they say fuck you they mean, ‘how you doing?’ LA the place where they say, ‘how you doing?’ But they really mean fuck you…but seriously LA isn’t so much a scene as a huge throbbing hub of creativity right now, everybody is etching there way into a stake of that beautiful ugly paradise in the sunshine…I feel honored to live there and sometimes pinch myself of being a part of what I somewhat see as a golden period of its existence. It’s not a normal city or artistic atmosphere and still holds elements of the wild west and it’s obvious tradition of film and television, but there is so much more revealing itself all the time… The minute I think it’s one thing it’s not, it’s transient and unreliable but bewitching and addictive and wonderful…I for the moment am really enjoying the love affair, whilst everybody judges it…like an actual affair. Whispers in the powder room. A scene is not quite the word, though more or a cabaret or a circus? For the young at heart and the people who need a blank canvas or just a really good distraction it comes highly recommended…
Andy Clockwise’s The Good Book EP will be available April 8 from Exhibition Records.
Peter Nichols of Great Valley / Grape Valley has moved the Spooky Town Tapes party over to LA launching the imprint Nicey Music, with a commitment to DIY excellence that Peter refers to as being “dedicated to the freakiest, shiniest pop we can imagine.” The first release on the imprint is the final farewell album from Western Massachussetts’ cult psych group Rabbit Rabbit, with I’ll Always Remember You. Featuring Nichols’ girlfriend Louise Chicoine, with Jason Lavoie, R.R. Macomber, & Jeremy Dubs. Rabbit Rabbit refers to their sound as the “darkest glam rock yet”, with Louise’s theatrical delivery, Jeremy’s fervent rhythm section, and Jason’s side-winding guitar expressions.
I’ll Always Remember You is the keepsake / forget-me-not to remember Northampton’s one and only Rabbit Rabbit for all time. From the opening dark skanking “We Chunk Way”, stormy skies and unsettled sentiments together converge in an invitational to join the group as you step into their world of weirdness & wow. Antagonistic elements are battled like on the electric eeriness of “Big Bad”, before turning up the distortion and volume on the head twist & turn of “Twisty”, to the reiterated feelings that remind the dearest ones that you’re always thinking of them when you’re dreaming on the title track, “I’ll Always Remember You”. Dissonance and the brink of destitution is entertained on tracks like “Verhaulten”, the banshee bash of “Sig”, to seeking histories and beginnings both new and old on “Origins”. Moments of respite but still with the requisite weirdness remain on “OooLaLa”, moon calls & lunar signs on “Howlin'”, right before Rabbit Rabbit leaves you with one of the big highlights from the album with the finale of “‘Membrance” that leaves you with one final blast before parting. Join us after the listen for our recent discussion with Louise & Peter discussing everything Rabbit Rabbit & Nicey Music.
Take us to the jump from life back east to moving way out west to LA.
Peter: It took a long time!, I mean we’ve basically been living out of our vans since last July, when we spent 2 months touring the US with my band Grape Room and its mirror-version The Lentils. Louise was tour manager. That trip was enough of an uprooting that we all kind of took it as an opportunity to make a big leap. We went for the biggest leap we could imagine, more or less.
Describe for us the evolution from Spooky Town Tapes to Nicey Music.
Peter: It’s true I ran the tape label Spooky Town for the last decade. That experience and conversations Louise and I have had during this last year on the road generated a lot of questions about what DIY really means. Nicey Music is a partnership Louise and I share. Experimental vertical empire, partially inspired by the life of Joe Meek. Basically the two of us are extremely lucky and grateful for the love and the friends and the music around us in our lives all the time. Life gives us a LOT of energy and we’re trying to give all of it back.
Give us insights into the creation of the farewell Rabbit Rabbit album I’ll Always Remember You.
Louise: RR was one of those bands that had a hard path, but that last album went so smoothly. The writing, recording, production, all of that was super streamlined. The first thing that popped out was the hook from the title song “I’ll always Remember You”, and right off the bat it was a different game for us. That album is much more confident, personal, and biting than anything we had done before. I want to say its full of sweetness and hope as well, but really only so much as a loved ones departing words. Every week while writing at Jay’s studio (Ludlow,MA) it would be polish up our work from last week, sketch out the new song. Jeremy and Becca were really tuned in so our rhythm was really heady, even when we were bending it. Jay was super inspired then too, whipping up licks that ran the consistency of broken glass to silk ribbons. Personally the writing of those hooks absorbed me. I would leave parties to go sit in my bedroom getting sick and high on the emotions of writing those vicious little hooks. It felt really good.
What’s next in the works post-Rabbit Rabbit?
Louise: Most of the members of RR are back in Mass working on other things now. Jeremy had been working on Speak for sometime before the end of RR and he is still at it. Jay plays guitar in a group Moon Power and works in his studio there in Ludlow. Becca does some horns on Speak but she is really busy stirring up the health care world. Musically for me I’m lucky enough to work with Peter bringing to life Banny Grove, our pop superdiva. Also working non stop at Nicey Music.
What other releases are in store from Nicey Music?
Louise: We are blasting it off with Peter’s latest work for Grape Room “Heart of Gum.” So stoked to get this LP out there because its brilliant. After that a 7” fully loaded from a real debutante of the modern world Jackie (of Sediment Club and Urochromes) under the name Marky Cones. Last on the docket at this time, the first full LP from Banny Grove “Who Is She?”. I think Banny is really going to make waves.
Other cool things happening in LA right now that you two are stoked about?
Louise: It’s so fast out here! There are so many amazing things and people and places! We are really pumped for our friends Greg and Nicky who run the roach motel. Nicky’s little sis Juliana is the front woman of the most amazing band too, yet to have a final name other than ‘Juliana.’ I’m pretty pumped that Odwalla88 is out here now. I’m always curious to see what those two are working at. It’s such an inspiring and bizarre world (LA) I love everyone I meet.
Rabbit Rabbit’s I’ll Always Remember You is available now from Nicey Music.
The experimental Americana explorations of Don Tigra continue onward on April 29 with the upcoming self-titled self-release, presenting us now with the Daniel Peach and Bryan Lemon directed visuals for the single “Maria, Mine”. Started by Stephen Gordon who grew up in Memphis and The Shenandoah Valley had a college band that featured Mike Anderson (who would later form Anderson East), and school buddy Natalie Press, moving to Nashville, and later to Bowling Green, TN where Don Tigra would take form with support from percussionist David Page. The hypnotic lamentation and expression of love and longing on “Maria, Mine” is treated with Daniel & Brian’s interpretive take on the internal & interpersonal struggles at play in the song. “Exploring the uncovering that takes place in the process of being known,” Gordon said about the song & video, “Shit gets buried and we carry it for years. Here, a woman makes herself vulnerable in her effort to move toward/love the man. By this effort, the man is made aware of his own covering, but is then unable to remove it, unable to heal.” Stephen also elaborated on the usages of symobology in the piece. “The flowers, water, wine are a reflection of ritual, things we do, religious, irreligious, effective, ineffective, to make sense of such changes or uncoverings. We search for meaning, but sometimes we are just drowning it.”
Don Tigra’s video for “Maria, Mine” begins with the floral images, as we are introduced to the masked pair of John Perry and Abby Kohake. Various petaled plants are depicted as we watch the two wrestle one another in attempts to remove one another’s hoods, in between embraces and the congress of held hands. The images of blooming and wilting flowers are seen as the action continues depicting the struggles of uncovering, and exchanging the various real tenets of honesty & identity. The artistic depiction provides something of a performance installation where motifs of covered and obfuscated meanings play out like an allegory of hindrances & unbalances that exist between numerous couples. We had a chance to talk to Don Tigra’s Stephen Gordon in an interview featured after the following video debut for “Maria , Mine”.
Describe for us the moments and events that inspired “Maria Mine”, and what it was like for you writing and recording it.
As is typically the case we me, and I believe for many writers, the moments and events comprising the song were gleaned from across my recent lifescape mostly subconsciously as I sang over the music. When I wrote down these words in particular I found a lot of meaning, and worked at them on paper to convey what I was receiving from them. Sometimes in my writing I relate more to the speaker, and other times to the person spoken to. I think both happen here. “Maria, Mine” is a bundle of frustrations voiced beneath some understanding of a safety and belonging, or at least supposedly so. It’s a reflection on the ever intriguing friction of two people coming towards one another. Larger frustrations usually emerge in the small ones; like the communicative breakdown a friend who cannot find the courage to speak their own mind directly. I remember relating to the impatience in this case, more so than to the fear of “speaking up”.
Writing and recording this one brought me a lot of joy, as much of it happened simultaneously. Much of the guitar work, and all the lead vocals in the master were the original takes from the demo. It also makes me laugh because the Josh Hitson [bassist] and David Page [percussionist] still make fun of the drum part I first played on it, a double time of what David ended up playing. Listening back the demo it just sounds so goofy, but I didn’t have another idea. On top of that, I started the writing of this song with that goof ball drum part, so without it there would have been no “Maria, Mine”! Safe to say it would not have turned out the way it did had I been left alone on it.
Tell us about bringing all of the complex interpersonal and intuitive concepts together in the Daniel Peach and Bryan Lemon video with conveyed by the talents of John Perry and Abby Kohake.
John Perry and I had been talking about this idea for some time. We were captured by the idea of the masks representing our personal veils and coverings that would or would not be removed when confronted with true love. I had recently married my wife, whose love for me actually displaced many notions I had of my own value and identity. Though it felt like hell having those coverings removed, I became happier, and freer than I had ever been as they dissipated. Being loved for who you are, and not what you have to offer, is jarring if you value yourself based on what you have to offer.
John’s character in the video is confronted with a vulnerable and sacrificial love of a woman (Abby Kohake). We see him discovering for the first time that he is, in fact, veiled; hiding. We go on to see him in agony unable to unveil anything but another black mask, another false covering. No happy ending here, but then again, I guess we don’t truly know the ending.
The flowers, water, and wine are the study of ritual. Hopefully not in the fussy way you often see it these days. I was shocked when I saw the footage Daniel Peach and Bryan Lemon had composed here. The ritual imagery echoes the coverings we call on to tell us who we are, and what we are. But the rituals by themselves have no power, and only leave us veiled, not free. They are worthy only to point beyond, to enable us to understand something greater that can name us, give us a true identity.
Can you share what other items you’re recording right now?
I am at work writing and demoing the next Don Tigra record. Biggest challenge so far is concealing my hip hop influences! It seems to be full of life though and I’m pretty pumped to keep fleshing out this new idea with the band. It feels as fresh to me as the record we’re putting out now, and for that I am very thankful.
Best things that have been keeping you inspired lately?
I started woodworking on the side last fall, and it’s just the most fun I’ve had since I learned to play guitar. And you’d never believe how many people need furniture. I’m amazed by the “motion” of a piece of furniture. It can teach you or manipulate you, it can calm you or challenge you. But it just doesn’t work at all if it fails to make a space more liveable. I enjoy greatly letting tradition, invention, and everyday practicality speak to the music I’m making.
Other things you’re looking forward to for spring 2016?
I can’t wait to release the record, Don Tigra. I’m just proud of our work on it I look forward to sharing it, the reason we made it to begin with.
Don Tigra’s self-titled will be available April 29.
Carl Creighton of Howth keeps his creative streak burning bright with the latest offering of More songs, providing more candid listens from the Brooklyn artist. Catch the prolific artist’s band Howth playing April 7 at Brooklyn’s The Gutter with Uncle Meg, Tron & DVD, and Jennifer O’Connor who recently released her album Surface Noise via Kiam Records.
Carl’s latest cycle of songs finds the artist delivering his latest stream of thoughts and sentiments from musings on “Heather Locklear’s Hair” to SxSW (lampooning the sponsorship inundated & over-hyped festival summed up in the indifferent shrug of “I’ve got other plans”). The departments of URL & IRL run into disparate directions as heard in Creighton’s lamentations heard in the smile provoking lines like, “Wikipedia is easy, truth is hard.” Carl from here takes off on his own disciplined vision in creating clever pop for bedrooms, DIY spaces, & really anywhere.
Carl introduces his latest round of solo musings with the folowing insights:
Here’s my thing on More Songs:
I’ve got like three albums ready to record with Howth after we get a record deal (hi!) or some money to do that (pay me!). In the meantime, I’m just recording stuff on my own and putting it up on my Bandcamp without any kind of purchase funnel in place (until now!).
The first song’s about my dad dying. And the second one is about Heather Locklear’s hair / Steven Avery (it’s all the same). The third one is about how infuriating it is when people say this is just like that because no it’s not. Fourth about Sucks By Sucks West. And the final song is about confusing possibilities for what really happens and how it gets me all the time.
Playing with Howth, Tron & DVD, & Uncle Meg, April 7 at Brooklyn’s The Gutter; Jennifer O’Connor will bring a live performance of songs from her new Kiam Records album Surface Noise and more. Jennifer draws from experiences that coast along and beneath the surface of life’s noise and chatter in the pursuit of truths and the hopes for enlightened new discoveries. “Mountains” is a statement of strength like a fortress, the jangly newfound beginnings of “Start Right Here”, the strummed sentiments of “Falling Feeling”, to the electric shutdown of dishonesty on “It’s A Life”. Life’s paths are re-examined on “The Road”, illustrating the struggles on “Standing For Nobody”, the warm beat embrace of dialogue requests on “Tell Me What You Need”, before tackling themes of discontinuity on “It’s gonna Get Worse”, “You’re Not There”, “Don’t Talk To Me”, right before wrapping up the entire Surface Noise affair in a darkened blanket of night.
Howth’s Carl Creighton also had a chance to catch up with Jennifer O’Connor
I really love the bass driven groove on Mountains, especially live. How did that song get its title? I like imagining it’s because the bass line is the vanishing distance and the harmonica (is that a harmonica?) is the jagged mountains cutting through it.
The song got it’s title because those are the lyrics that came tumbling out of my mouth when I wrote the song! I like your version though. the bassline actually came way later. Song was written on an acoustic guitar then demo’d with a drum loop, then the real drums and bass were recorded way way later.
How long were you working on the songs before recording them? Any tipping points of thought that brought them into being?
A long time. I worked on the songs and the recordings of the songs over a period of about three years. I finally finished the record last fall after a series of things happened that really just wanted me to put the album to bed and get it out into the world. it was time.
What was the recording process like?
Depends on the song. some were recorded with me and jon and james all in the same room. some were just me playing all the parts. some were really easy. some put up a fight. as per usual. the recording process is a living, breathing entity.
I really admire your attention to detail both in the songwriting choices and the recordings themselves. What are your influences as far as all that?
Thank you. I think my influences as far as that goes is just being a fan of music. The more I make it, the more I listen to it, the more I want to get better and better at it – or why bother, you know? there’s so much music out there that if you aren’t making something quality and adding to the pool instead of just diluting it, then I think you should not be doing it. I want to add to the pool.
The Loom’s new Kevin McMahon recorded album Here In The Deadlights will be available April 22 from Crossbill Records/Stereocilia, with the world premiere of the world wandering/life rambling, “I Am Not Young”. The Brooklyn band marches forward incorporating their own take on Americana, as John Fanning, Lis Rubard, John Mosloskie, & Mike Rasimas make musical movements that document the ages and eras observed. This aesthetic is delivered with the audio equivalent of walking through a gallery of vintage portraits of matriarchs, patriarchs, pictures of the places traveled, with the resonance of the life lessons learned.
“I Am Not Young” finds John Fanning musing through his back pages with an austerity that The Loom reinforces with a grand stoic & brooding arrangement. The meeting of nostalgia with the present frame of mind provides an outlet for a monster ballad that pays tribute to the testament of time past that swiftly marches ahead toward the uncertain pull of tomorrow. The nearly five and a half minute song begins with the subtle call to all the instruments to join in a rite of passage style ritual that slowly rises into the steam wheeling engine drive of an overnight interstate trucking Freightliner. Once The Loom kicks into full gear, there is no stopping this train as awe-striking song takes on a towering form that levitates on a path toward the draw of a new epoch.
John Fanning shared with us the following insights behind “I Am Not Young” and the new album Here In The Deadlights:
Time is such a weird thing. There have been stretches in my life when I felt like I had all of it in the world, and others where it felt like it was slipping through my fingers at a frightening pace. The moment in my life when this song was written was definitely the latter. I still remember exactly where I was when I wrote the long winding intro, and it was quite literally the lowest point of my life. Everything was falling apart both externally and internally, and the feeling of being behind in relation to where I wanted my life to be, of having fucked up, in just about every conceivable way, had never been more acute. So in a way, this song is trying to rail against that feeling.
That said, this song and this record are not at all about wallowing and miring in that, but rather about pushing backing against and through it. Of digging out. And it’s funny, when I hear and when we play this song now–it feels much more like floating. This one is probably my favorite to play live at this point–not only because it incorporates so many of the things we were inspired by when making these two new records–groove, repetition, noisy guitars–but because of that blissful cathartic feeling of floating through the long jam at the end. It makes things feel new. I’m obviously older now than when this song was written, but for the first time in a while things feel new. The band feels new. The music feels new. Life feels new. It’s all starting to feel like floating, and I’m super grateful for that.
The Loom’s new album Here In The Deadlights will be available April 22 from Crossbill Records/Stereocilia.
Fog Lake returns with the incredible spirit waking single “Rattlesnake” from the forthcoming follow-up album to last year’s release Victoria Park available later in fall via Orchid Tapes. The artist from St. John’s, Newfoundland works in sidewinder ways to provide heart-breaking personal views into those vulnerable patches that we attempt to cope with and cover up via chemical panaceas that provide something of a temporary & necessary diversion from the inequities that embody the whole of our very being. These feelings and much more are expressed through sung whispers that are reverberated from the guitar strings & rich progression schemes. Or as Fog Lake described it for us:
I wrote this songlate last February while living in the basement of a new house I’ve recently moved into. The songs for the new album I’m working on seem to have recurring themes of how we medicate ourselves, and bad habits we all have to keep ourselves sane.
Introducing Seattle’s Bible Pilot, spear-headed by Ethan Hamlin who presents the premiere of “Whyland”, taken from his forthcoming Get Human EP. Following up 2014’s debut An Enormous City EP, Hamlin draws inspirations from a German vacation where he found himself fascinated by seeing the words get human spray-painted on an old section of the Berlin Wall that lead to recording a six song cycle made a in a Puyallup storage space, recorded & mixed by Scott Colburn.
Ethan’s eccentric approaches as Bible Pilot are the culmination of experiences from his Rochester, NY upbringing that also saw him playing around various groups in the DC/VA regions before focusing on his own audio explorations, and performances involving wonky president masks. “Whyland” is a journey to a land of questions, where inquires and experiences are flung into a relative free play blender of electronic effects and rhythmic organ progressions. “Whyland” is what happens when you enter the organ-grinder-fun-house that spirals into strange halls of mirrors that brings about existential angst and inner unrest in the same way that the distorted mirrors alter our own perceived reflection. This is a trip into a theme park that flies it’s own freak flag while taking you along through a subterranean dark-ride of chills & thrills. Join us after the following debut, for our interview with Bible Pilot’s Ethan Hamlin.
Alright….first things have to be addressed first; what’s with the freaky presidential masks? They’re kinda freaking us out here, ha ha.
Did you know that President Obama skipped Nancy Reagan’s funeral earlier this year? There’s a divide in our nation that genuinely pains me, and it seems more acrid than ever. I have become obsessed with trying to understand different kinds of people, to figure out what motivates a Bernie Sanders voter versus a Donald Trump voter. Everybody is convinced they are righteous and the other is evil. Can it be that simple? I’m sure it’s not. Sorry for the indirect answer.
From Enormous City to the humanist constraints & concerns on Get Human. Ethan, we heard you got the title from something you saw painted on an abandoned block of the former Berlin Wall. Can you describe to us the human synthesis that is at work here on your new EP?
Around central Berlin, there’s a permanent art exhibit called the East Side Gallery. It’s a mile-long chunk of the original Berlin Wall covered with over one hundred paintings from individual artists, each illustrating what the wall coming down meant to them. A little over four years ago, I visited this spot and it had a tremendous impact on me. What an incredible triumph of art and politics and freedom! There was one section of the wall where an artist had painted the phrase “GET HUMAN”, which was particularly striking. It’s phrased like a command, but begs several questions…What is human? How you “get human”? Why would you want to “get human” in the first place? Those questions percolated for years before becoming the songs you hear on the EP.
As an aside, I have trawled the internet for details on the artist but to this day I cannot figure out who painted those words. If you’re reading this and know the deal, hit me up!
Describe how the title Bible Pilot became the suited moniker for you two.
Those words sound lovely together, don’t they? They’re both double syllables, there’s the leading rhyme between Bi- and Pi-… A lot of people hear the name and assume it’s a religious reference, which is not surprising. That’s our fault for using a word as loaded as “bible”, but it’s intended to be lower-case. We’re interested in understanding and deconstructing an individual or society’s worldview (ie. their bible) and the things that drive and inform that worldview (ie. their pilot). Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Give us all the gear talk/nerd talk deets on the making of your new single “Whyland”.
Truthfully I’m not much of a gear-head. In fact, I don’t think I’ve bought any new equipment at all in the last three years? It distracts me from the critical components of music-making: songwriting, melody, rhythm, structure, etc. All the guitar you hear on this album was performed on my first (and to date, only) electric guitar, a Fender Stratocaster I bought with my father at the House of Guitars back home in Rochester.
That said, the synthesizer sounds you hear on this record were all recorded with my Moog Sub Phatty, which I absolutely adore. I couldn’t make an unpleasant sound on that thing if I tried!
Other fellow Seattle acts you all love? There are always so many great groups and artists up there.
I appreciate how Macklemore grappled with race politics in a sincere and vulnerable way on White Privilege II, and it’s a shame that he got so much shit for that song—at least in the blogs I read. He’s the only white rapper at that level who has addressed his racial privilege so directly. Just because Macklemore isn’t cool doesn’t mean everything he does is wrong, you know? Also, “Thrift Shop” had absolutely the greatest opening line of any rap song in 2012. It’s really too bad that Macklemore’s music isn’t very good. I’d like it a lot if it were very good.
Spring & summer agenda for Bible Pilot?
We have no touring plans at the moment, instead focusing on recording and creating new music. Maybe videos too, we’ve already got one in the can for a Get Human track. There doesn’t seem to be much money in music outside of shows, but we like to create things and performance is a completely different, logically unrelated pursuit.
We’re well into writing on the third EP, which will hopefully be out this year? That’ll dominate our spring and summer I think.
Given your aforementioned fondness for presidential visages; what big election night plans do you all have?
Voter turnout is notoriously low in the United States. In 2014, we had the lowest percentage of voters for a midterm election since World War II. We live in a country full of people who are too busy with their jobs to participate in our democracy. This is why election days should absolutely be a national holiday. But, they’re not, so we’ll be at work.
Bible Pilot’s Get Human EP will be available June 17 via Bandcamp.
We bring you a listen to the latest from LA’s Captain Supernova, with Doors of Perception that continues the future flight of the artist’s synth fueled journeys to new yet familiar frontiers. The elusive artist follows up last year’s Lost in a Dream by continuing to explore new fascinating frontiers, featuring various collaborators.
Your journey is initiated with the super-cinematic thrills of “Doors Into Doors” (perhaps an allusory cross between the progenitor of the expression William Blake, and Jim Morrison who would later name his band The Doors after the psychotropic referencing titular quote), hurdling you through the cosmos of cool. You are brought to some kind of chill lounge parlor on a distance planet heard in the discourse of desires and needs on “Only One” ft. Jackie Gage, to the down tempo survey of of actions and feelings on “How Could I”. The downtempo modes shine, with a guest vocal appearances from Angela Muhwezi on the “take me higher” lifted delivery featured in the space floating “Without Gravity”, continuing on a mission to go where no human has gone before as the quest for eternity echoes onward on the trip-tastic “Searching For Forever” ft. Natasha Agrama (while turning a funk-fusion back on the empty hollows of yesterday with “Leaving the Past Behind” ft. Laura Mace). Your descent to tarmac is guided & hosted by more vocal stylings from Natasha Agrama as “Free Fall” brings you cruising back down to earth musing on what you have experienced over the past seven song cycle.
Captain Supernova has re-entered the atmosphere from out of nowhere with a fantastic new EP, titled Doors Of Perception. An ‘American astronaut’ sent to interact with extraterrestrials using synthesizers, but also an multi-instrumentalist with high profile appearances at San Jose Jazz Festival, Rendezvous LA, and Loftsess under his belt,Captain Supernova has developed a unique and confident sound that draws upon equal portions of jazz, hip hop, funk, and synthy trip hop to complete his vision. After the acclaim and success of his self-released debut Visions of the Unknown – which made its way on many ‘best of 2014’ lists – Captain Supernova has adjusted his flight plan to orbit the Cold Busted label. Doors Of Perception builds on his stunning musicality and deft stylistic fusions to reveal seven tracks of smooth and uncompromisingly funky jazz-influenced music.
The secret weapons in the Captain’s arsenal are an amazing crew of guest vocalists. Jackie Gage, who was heard on Visions of the Unknown, contributes her soulful tones to “Only One”, with the lovely music providing an ample showcase for the Bay Area singer. “Without Gravity” is a smooth, jazzy wonder that dreamily incorporates the voice of Notown Sound’s Angela Muhwezi … the result is a fine sonic approximation of ‘floating.’ Globally active Los Angeles-based vocalist Laura Mace waxes wistfully with “Leaving The Past Behind”, capturing a feeling of psychedelic balladry when mixed with Captain Supernova’s flowing music-field. Also from Los Angeles, Natasha Agrama collaborates on two very different songs: the late night waltz “Searching for Forever” and the pensive but upbeat groover “Free Fall (Of Your Soul)”. Despite the variety of vocal contributors, Doors Of Perception has a cohesive story-telling sequence glued together by Captain Supernova’s smart and melodic arrangements.
Captain Supernova’s Doors of Perception is available now.
Dia presents the Renick Turley & Robert Condol video for her title track “Tiny Ocean” taken from her forthcoming EP of the same name available April 15 from Heliophilia/Manimal. Danielle Birrittella brings her sea searching visuals to submarine experience where she takes on a mermaid like form, where reflections from the ocean’s surface reflect rippling light upon the artist and the aquatic floor.
Dia’s operatic approach to composition for piano and ukulele are further impacted by contributions from Joey Waronker (on percussion & production), Tim Carr and Frankie Siragusa also providing reinforced instrumental contributions. Here we see Danielle’s musical visions met with the cinematic / oceanic eye from Renick Turley & Robert Condol that make the world’s seven seas together feel like one great beautiful, and blissful, aquarium.
Danielle shared some words about the video adaptation for “Tiny Ocean”:
“Tiny Ocean” was filmed in a pool in the early morning. I was leaving to catch a plane and I knew I wanted to do something with the water where I was staying so I went for this swim, in an almost somnambulistic state. Water is magical no matter what you do with it. Because the song is so much about a past love, the superimposed fish and flowers, and even the layers of myself, became this way of visualizing how memory is fractured and fuzzy. The images that remain are fragments of the original experience.
Ryan Froom, aka Froomador presents the natural beams of thoughtful bliss with “Solar Energy”, found off the troubadour’s debut release Can’t This Wait available now. Combining constructs and concepts pertaining to the notion and motions of time and ecological thoughts on economic energy harnessing are played out in this AM pop operetta. We’re talking Wilson brothers harmonies that conjures the feel of meditating on deep concentrations in your favorite chair or loveseat while attempting to discover that certain peace and balance of mind, while enjoying the naturally resourced gifts of the world in a sustainable manner.
Ryan shared the following thoughts about Can’t This Wait and the new single:
Can’t This Wait is an album that comes from a sort of frustration yet fascination with the concept of time and how time doesn’t seem to wait for anybody. Unlike humans, it doesn’t seem to have a sense of good or bad timing. It just rolls along unfolding at its own pace. Sometimes I tend to forget that I can’t control time, when I buy in to the concept of time-management for example. So the artwork was an effort to capture this idea and represent two unusual, unanticipated events simultaneously.
The single, “Solar Energy” has to do with the consequences that can come about from human behavior and a lack of environmental sensitivity. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of renewable energy being readily available, so I decided to put these mixed feelings in a song.
Listen to more from the Orlando based artist via his site.
Not one to be outdone by Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Friday song release series, Confident Hitmakers kick into high gear with collective leader Logan Wells serious about kicking out one new collaborative jam every week. Presenting the singles “Another Time” & “Escape to a New Paradise”, the Stockton crew keeps pushing the limits of post-genre exploration and expanding the lines of stylistic syntheses in the spirit of collaborative creativity.
The single “Another Time” is an excercise in fusing future lover’s rock with the auto-tuned enhancements and ghost-trapping production. Made with longtime friends Sam Regan, Justin Paul Vallesteros; Logan Arthur Wells makes a shot at another first try where second chances and opportunities at life feel as good—if not better—than the first time around. Those atmospheres heard on the recent single “Vegas Big Shot” are further pushed & expanded into the outer, abstract reaches of electronic experimentation.
For this week’s new single, “Escape to a New Paradise” finds Logan recording solo wise with a keyboard and a drum machine, sharing intimate passing thoughts on the world, loved ones, the self, and others. The minimalist yet evocative arrangement presents the candid feelings of musing through the various libraries and corridors of thought, where inner monologues are put together in an honest vignette. “Escape to a New Paradise” also showcases Logan’s own songwriting knack where the most personal places of observation and feeling are relayed in a way that the audience can relate and respond to in their own way. We dare you not to get choked up by the time your arrive at the closing lyrics of; “Through most of my time, I’ve always managed to think that the things I’ve done, were just things I’ve done and not some grander scheme to make me feel some way about them, I’ve been thinking lately, everyone’s cool for a while, so I’ll just look in your eyes and skip to a new paradise.”
Listen to more from Confident Hitmakers via Bandcamp.
Watch the David Cambridge & Beau Vorous video for Kooley High for “The Cleaners” where the NC crew takes you to the cleaners, hangs you out to dry, and even starts up a dog-washing operation. Found off their brand new Heights EP available via MECCA Records, KH’s fresh vibes here are heard and seen flying high in the neighborhood while the Foolery production keeps that swinging strings soaring even higher up in the stratosphere.
For those seeking more bliss from the follow up to Chris Cohen’s Overgrown Path, we bring you the folk-tale lush treat of the tranquil “In A Fable” from the forthcoming As If Apart available May 6 from Captured Tracks. Cohen finds the mysticism and mysteries that exist in our everyday worlds in sometimes plain site that instill a sense that one is existing within a modern day fantasia.
As we continue to anticipate the forthcoming D.I.T.C. Studio album, we keep the hype pushing with the traveling/clock smashing “Lost In Time” produced by DJ Manipulator featuring O.C. & A.G. Further vibes soon to follow from the NYC clique, keep listening.
You idolized and adored her in Selebrities, play your Soda Shop records and singles obsessively, and on May 27 we will be graced by the debut solo album from the one and only Maria Usbeck with Amparo from the discerning tastes over at Cascine. The title alludes to Maria’s mother’s name and her own middle name where the Brooklyn based artist draws upon her upbringing in Quito, singing in Spanish, combining fusions with various cultural linguistic tongues from Catalan, Costa Rica’s Bribri, Ecuador’s Quichua, Easter Island’s Rapa Nui, and more. These can be heard on the soul seeking sanctuary of sacred sorts of unities between two parties that has the power to reach down to the most guarded sections of the heart.
Yoni (Yoni Wolf of WHY?) & Geti (Serengeti) dropped the track “Madeline”, from their upcoming album Testarossa available May 6 from Joyful Noise. The tales of lovers Maddy & Davy continue with the parallel and sometimes contradictory narratives that finds sung verses from both Yoni & Serengeti providing lamentations and cold sentiments over a dazzling arrangement of warm synth production.
Kid Flicks remixed Tendts’ track “Grass”, featured off the new remix EP Cheap Poetry Remixes (via the Thessaloniki, Greece label Fair Weather Friends Records) that also features remixes from other modern day musical luminaries like Larry Gus, AFFECT & Giganta. KF, aka Nickos Dervisis of Athens, Greece applies his own unique spin on the cut where vocal edits and other tweaked synths are spun into a rich, viscous puree of feelings and day-glo bright sensations. Keep an ear out for further word about the new Kid Flicks album coming this spring via Klik & wordandsound Records.
Viktor Longo just recorded & dropped the Please surprise album while cooped up in bed fighting off a nasty flu. The results are electric romantic illustrations that burst to life on the opening “Romantica Nervosa” that illustrates the rattled nerves of pure amour. The beat goes on with the jazz keys & ambience of “Goodnight”, the dramatic keys and vocal quips on “The Good Wife” (inspired by binge watching the show of it’s namesake), taking a tall swig of the drum & bass experiment, “Room Temperature Water”, right before an instrumental pause on “Intermission”. Heavy synths are brought to a boil on the narcissism play of “Fucking Beautiful”, before leading you to the gorgeous piano rhythm rolling title track “Please”, as the healing process fights forward on the electro-percussion-pusher—”I Feel Stronger”, leaving you with the “we get the money & we get the job done” big-band swagger of “The Robbery”. Viktor introduces his new recordings with the following behind-the-scenes insights:
I made this album in three days while I was completely bedridden with influenza b in between coughing fits and episodes of “The Good Wife” in a cloud of cough syrup, Mucinex, and ginger tea. God bless you for listening, please enjoy a glass of room temperature water.
Hear the big striking beats and the synth tension of “Hypnocoin Redux” from Norwegian producer Spiny Norman’s Motion Capsule available today from Oslo imprint Sellout! Music. Listen and witness as the synths run loops and spirals around every percussive iota of audio involved.
Check out the latest from Vandaveer with “The Wild Mercury” that recalls mercurial states of being and basks in the questions that surround the rhetorical inquiries of “where do we go from here?” Catch them on their tour kicking off April 8.
From Austin psych-pop lords Megafauna, we present you with their latest “Desire” that channels all the wants and urges into big crunchy chords. Dani Neff keeps the event mean and the mood tough as nails, and all the attitude the three can muster up. Find this and more on Megafauna’s forthcoming album Welcome Home available May 27.
Introduing LA’s best kept secret—a race of angels—who emerges with the first listen, “Hiding In The Light” taken from the forthcoming Before The First Goodbye available April 8 from Fresh Selects. From here truths are illuminated through these new consciousness expanding channels that focuses in on all those mysteries and miracles that are revealed within the shine of the sun’s warm light.
Katie Benett, aka Free Cake For Every Creature releases Talking Quietly Of Anything With You April 15 through Double Double Whammy, and we present you the Craig Scheihing b/w video for the evocative sparse brilliance of “Talking Quietly of Anything With You”. From here those intimate moments shared between the most precious and special of intimate others is celebrated in an intimate depiction of conversations shared with the city looming in the backdrop.
Feast your senses on the “Wonderland” video from Eriel Indigo, director Thor Wixom and friends that takes you to a bright world of colors and kaleidoscopic perfectly choreographed chaos off the recently released Elevate EP. Enter the unequivocal world of wonder now.
Catch the big lit vibes from Brooklyn trio Violet Sands (comprised of folks from Savior Adore, French Horn Rebellion’s David Perlick-Molinari, etc) EP Strange Attractor set for release on May 6 from Ensemble Records, sharing the bright single “Coming Back”. The track features that big blossoming/booming production value (David did produce MGMT’s Time To Pretend) where vocal sample edits cut through the thick atmospheric fog like a boomerang.
In case you missed it, catch a buzz and a synth-shining-fade off the big poppy luster of Stone Cold Fox’s big glossy single “Change My Mind”. Find this and more on their EP that is best suited for road trips spent crossing interstates, highways, two-lane roads, and more on Tunnel Vision.
Available today via Smooch Records, Melbourne band SMILE shared a listen to the song “Old Boys” that presents a sentimental strumming song that sits at the twangy intersection crossroads between the states of boyhood and the passage way entrance into adulthood.
For those late to the Hoodlem party, we are pleased to present a listen to the Australian duo’s self-titled EP that recently arrived. Bubbly vocals and punctuated beats percolate in abundance on “Collapse”, moving toward the altered states of rhythm & blues on on “Kintsugi”, busting out more big rhythms with “Real”, moving the percussion along dualling escalaters on “IGOTU”, before the closing the party down stripped down friendly minimalism of “Old Friend”. Your early twilight-lit evenings now have new audio accompaniment that pays tribute to the day while welcoming the blanket of night.
Forged Artifacts will drop the debut album by St. Paul by San Diego artist Lattice Moore, with Spilt available April 29. The passion project from Theo Jacobson brings us recordings from his dorm, garages, college radio station, and other sessions that stir about that super familiar lo-fi glimmer of “Superused”.
Ryan Hemsworth continues to keep the clandestine buzz stream freely flowing with Secret Songs keeping the tradition of “free downloads, friends only, bi-weekly,” this week introducing us to Tokyo producer LLLL, with “Sincerely Yours”. What begins as an emotional power synth ballad goes for the dramatic hilt and gusto as subtle electronic elements come in via the most subtle atmospheric means, like incidental music that creeps up within a larger score.
Solids dropped the track of patience, persistence, and scuzzy passions with “Wait It Out” off of Else available April 15 from Topshelf & Dine Alone. Catch them touring the States with Stove and Clique in May, with an appearance at Wrecking Ball Fest this August.
LA’s Pollyn ready their albumDistress Signals for release May 13, presenting the surreal animated NSFW video for “Dark Tokyo” from Adam Jay Weismann. Pollyn fuse together with electronic technology the visceral components of digital interfaces that transfer experiences of both the supernatural and the explicitly carnal.
Gold Panda presents the Rob Brandon video for “In My Car” found off the upcoming Good Luck and Do Your Best available May 27 on City Slang where we are treated to an inside look at the artist’s world of Chelmsford, and meet his grandma Lakhi Shiner. With a summer schedule that will see the producer hitting up Bowery Ballroom June 1, Echoplex June 2 and FYF August 28; join GP and his grams as they enjoy a day about their hometown, over a hearty home-cooked meal, sampling some of the artist’s synth gear, portable game systems, and more spots and sections of deep significance. It’s the up and close and personal Gold Panda that his music has always alluded toward. GP described the video with the following thoughts:
I asked Rob to just come and film us (my gran and I) being boring. But now, when I watch it back, it doesn’t seem mundane at all. It seems actually really nice and sweet. I was thinking about all this cool stuff we could do, slow-mo shots, what outfit I could wear, maybe an explosion and who could be in my crew. But real life is exciting enough; you just don’t see it when you’re in it.
Check out Perturbator’s Valenberg animated video for “Sentient” featuring vocals from Hayley Stewart off Parisian artist James Kent’s forthcoming album The Uncanny Valley available May 6 via Finnish-American imprint Blood Music. From here you get to witness a pixelated tribute to Drive and all the cyberpunk-style dystopian fantasies about malevolent futures manufactured like 8-bit adventures in metropolitan environments from the not-so-distant future.
We just got a memo through our pipeline that Arlington’s own trio Burnt Seeds unleashed a six minute ripper titled “Dive”. While beach-bound titles about everywhere (count how many groups have at least one song/album titled “Wave[s]”), this one presents the garage droning three firing out on all chords, pedals, pistons, and diving off into a deep end mixed by Magic Shoppe’s Josiah Webb.
UK tune-smith Mara Simpson releases her debut album Our Good Sides May 20, the same date that will find the artist performing at the Alternative Great Escape Festival, and an album release show at St. Pancras Old Church, London. Performing a series of shows in NYC April 5-10; we present you with Mara’s Timothy Armstrong video for “Keep Holding On” that combines trad ballads set to constructive modern day volitions for proactive and constructive action to be taken on life’s long & open roads.
Gordi presents the grandiose video for her big stomping anthem “Can We Work It Out”, from the upcoming album Clever Disguise available May 13 digitally and on vinyl July 8 via Jagjaguwar. Gordi’s request for a second try, a second go-round are depicted with a bevy of elaborate designs, emotive framing, and colorful backdrops.
London’s Sundai dropped her new track “Sugar Sweet Tea” that delivers some saccharine bathed electric sweetness produced by Jarreau Vandal of Soulection. Sundai amid the synth zaps and slow-pitched vibes request a rain of tea to pour forth.
Niki Bar & Scott Ensign are The Last Year who dropped the ultra glossy single “Rush” that delivers a rush of serotonin to the dome off their Static Automatic available April 8. “Rush” finds Niki, Scott & friends bringing about the kind of urgency of the here and now with recitations of “tonight” that request the graces of company and revelry to last all night, and for all time.
John Robinson readies his upcoming Water The Plants EP available April 22, sporting the nice life accentuated by Count Bass D’s serene and succinct production styles that provide a canvas for Robinson and Scienz of Life to share some flossed thoughts and more on “Very Nice”. The two reflect on the length of time experienced and the importance of keeping the styles nice in these modern times.
Watch the Nick Baily & Tom Bayne video for KINO KIMINO’s (Kim Talon, Lee Ranaldo & Steve Shelley) “Passion” featuring shower stall reflections and feelings of the forthcoming Bait Is for Sissies album, available June 3 from My Favourite Chords.
PINKWASH blazed up an inferno that will be sure to have you feeling the burn with “Burning Too”, taken from their debut album Collective Sigh available May 13 from Don Giovanni.
Montreal, Quebec’s Zachary Knuttila and Alex Stooshinoff are Lying Light in the Dark who present the high soaring bomb-dropping warplane visuals (courtesy of Zachary) to compliment the thoughtful atmospheric stratospheres of their single, “Carrion” found off their May 6 slated album from Touch Records. Observe the empathetic moments in the fuzzy sustains as you survey the aftermath of a world that was formerly on the brink of destruction.
Sego delivered the party starter single redux cut “The Fringe: Cellar Door Remix”, as they prepare to grace you with more LA party vibes on May 6 with the release of Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around via Raygun.
Introduce yourselves to the Cork, Ireland’s The Shaker Hymn who shared the glamorous and melancholic meditations on life’s shifts with “Waters Of Sea Change” taken from the Do You Think You’re Clever? available May 20 from Heavy Noids Records.
Watch the cosmic animated visuals from Jonathan Pui for sleepmakeswaves’ epic ripper “Traced In Constellations” found off their Bird’s Robe Records album Love Of Cartogy as the Australian group tours the states through May 1.
In case you missed it, check out the Summit Collective video for Well$ new track “130” featured off his upcoming release The Way I’m Living Makes My Mom Nervous. The Charlotte, North Carolina emcee, born Leroy Shingu, sports some of that on the level excitement with some of his boys, getting wild in an abandoned school bus and dramatic lit tunnel strolling sequences.
Check out the snazzy synth saturated rendering of Tina Turner’s classic on Fig Vision’s cover of “What Love Got Toi Do With It” where the radio hit wonder is transformed into a dance infused DIY party.
Toronto’s Greys dropped the video for “Blown Out” directed by Allison Johnston and the band’s songwriter Shehzaad Jiwani presenting a foray into the inner thought arenas of those that are struggling with their own matters. Found off the Outer Heaven available April 22 from Carpark Records and Buzz Records; revel now in the emotive effects of the video and sweet, scuzzy sounds.
Frankie Cosmos’ new album Next Thing is finally here (via Bayonet), and you are invited to bask in the latest statement of solidarity, the embodiment of timeless bonds & friendships with the following listen courtesy of your heroes, Greta Kline, Aaron Maine (Porches), David Maine, Gabrielle Smith (Eskimeaux) & Hunter Davidsohn.
Today is the big day that sees Antwon release his debut album for Anticon, Double Ecstacy, and we present the Lars Stalfors & Bad Channels produced “Girl, Flex” that brings the Nature Gang movement to the next level. Antwon delivers his own lusty brand of carnal pop that finds the o.g. Bay Area legend moving the natural lifestyle forward with a hedonism that is not just expressed explicitly in the lyrics but in the breathy arrangement and euphoric delivery. Stay tuned for Antwon’s own Week in Pop takeover.
Antwon’s Week in Pop
Celebrating his big Anticon album debut—we are honored and thrilled to present you with Antwon’s Week in Pop guest selections that provide a privy view and ear to some of the boss’ most treasured favorites:
Ramones, “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg (My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down)”
I used to love this song so much growing up getting into The Ramones as a kid. I had a Ramones shirt I used to hand-wash so I could wear it everyday. I heard this song in lockup off the TV and it made me happy. <3
The Cure, “Apart”
When I was 18 I used to listen to this whole album in the dark in the shower. I don’t do that anymore but this was my fav track when I did.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “The Impression That I Get”
Something about this songs makes me very happy and sad at the same time. Dicky Barrett is a legend and this song gives me chills every time I hear it.
Shai Hulud, “My Heart Bleeds the Darkest Blood”
One of my favorite bands growing up. I loved the lyrics the most overall and felt like they were the most honest lyrics I heard at that time and they weren’t destructive at all. Love these fools.
Antwon photographed at Fun Fun Fun Fest by Matt Draper.
Jawbreaker, “Do You Still Hate Me?”
Fucking legends! This song goes off. My favorite emotions come to me while jamming this. I had a burnt CD of this album. Jam this one and cry.
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