Week in Pop: Dear Tracks, Nicholas Fisher, Pleather, uhlife

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Ghozt Pit, Pelicat, & more, featuring guest selections by Busdriver.

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Sjimon Gompers | November 27, 2015

Nicholas Fisher, aka Nicholas Coleman, along with the Stockton crew present an opus years in the making; photographed by Wesley Allard.

With our Thanksgiving holiday kicking off the annual season of materialistic indulgence in excess, Impose’s Week in Pop provides the gifts of the following breaking media exclusives with first some of the week’s biggest headlines and developing storylines. First up, this week Bernie Sanders & Killer Mike caught a bite to eat at Busy Bee in Atlanta, and Killer Mike also gave a speech at a Bernie Sanders rally; DIIV shared “Mire (Grant’s Song)” off Is the Is Are album available February 5 from Captured Tracks; Waka Flocka Flame dropped the tape Flockaveli 1.5; Animal Collective exclusive music stream happened at BWI Airport in Baltimore; Lil Wayne dropped his new mixtape No Ceilings 2; Wu-Tang’s mythic Once Upont a Time in Shaolin album has officially been sold; Rihanna announced her massive world tour featuring Big Sean, Travis Scott, & the Weeknd; Ariel Pink dropped “Hall of Screams” with news of Dev Hynes collaboration; Kendrick Lamar remixed Jay Rock’s “Easy Bake”; David Bowie’s returning veteran producer Tony Visconti revealed that a lot of Kenrick Lamar music was listened to during the making of (oka Blackstar), and further details of James Murphy’s involvement on the upcoming record; Pusha T to release Darkest Before Dawn on December 18 with King Push available in spring; Jeff Tweedy of Wilco has a memoir in the works; Foo Fighters released the Saint Cecilia EP; Sufjan Stevens will re-release the tenth anniversary of Illinois on Asthmatic Kitty in early 2016; Lil Bub talked to Jon Wurster of Superchunk, Mountain Goats, “Best Show”, etc; new Coldplay material emerged during a TIDAL concert, also dropped “Everglow”; The Coral to return after a five year hiatus with new album Distance Inbetween available March 4; Rock n Roll Record Fair & happy hour with DJ Dollarbin is happening at Don Pedro December 4 ft. performances from Rizzos, Mexican Knives, Paul Collins, & more; M.I.A. dropped the “Borders” video; Eagles of Death Metal opened about the Paris attacks at the Bataclan; & we mourn the passing of Sly and the Family Stone’s famed trumpeter Cynthia Robinson.

This holiday season we give extra special thanks to this week’s featured artists Nicholas Fisher, Pleather, Dear Tracks, uhlife, Ghozt Pit, Pelicat, featuring exclusive guest selections by Busdriver and more—in no particular order.

Nicholas Fisher

Throwing slicked-kick back sonic logs on the fire with works half a decade in the making—Nicholas Fisher.

Throwing slicked-kick back sonic logs on the fire with works half a decade in the making—Nicholas Fisher.

Last thanksgiving season we provided a listen and look at the latest progress from Stockton’s Nicholas Fisher (fronted by the versatile multi-talented Nicholas Coleman) sharing singles like “Thank You” and “Plaxico” and now we present the premiere listen to fine style audio fashions of the Peach Handkerchief. Produced and recorded with longtime friend Justin Paul Vallesteros (Craft Spells frontman) and featuring appearances from Frunk Soto (Frankie Soto from Surf Club), RL, & J Ronin; it showcases the Lathrop/Stockton/Oakland justice league of friends combining their powers and talents together to create a California collaborative event five years in the making.

Artist/producer extraordinaire JPV.

Artist/producer extraordinaire JPV.

Justin’s focuses on production were recently explored on the new Craft Spells’ Our Park at Night 7″ where Vallesteros described his new principle focuses:

…I’m getting back to being a producer first before anything…

The creative consiousness of childhood friends congregating in the kitchen to record tracks that move to transcend the ennui of suburban life reigns supreme on the six cut cycle of Peach Handkerchief. Extoling statements of pride and boss baller status concerns operating in a seesawing swirl of synths and understated percussion sets the table and the stage on “I Don’t Mean To Brag” featuring a verse from RL. Talk of herbsman hustlers and “pulling Miley Cyrus out of duffle bags” teeters on the precipice of the surreal with a mix that mimics the feeling of early morning consious states that rise with the sun that are blended with the the matter of fact chorus lyrical shrugs of, “talking on the loud, keep it on the low, got it keep it quiet because my roommate’s always home…” And that’s when “Kitchen” arrives with slowed-down simples that signal some of the most based and hazed-out production work where Nicholas dishes out the home-baked setup with, “Don’t call it the trap, I’m in the kitchen, all we do is clean, no need for dishes, champagne wishes, lean people dreams, take a chip of Nestle, is what that means, whatever that means…” Fisher spills out the laid back stream of lyrical consciousness flow joined by Frunk’s supportive lines like “still true to the friends I have, if they gonna come through they know where I’m at.” The gang gets experimental with every component of the execution that includes a mind spinning hook that grapples around Nick’s stove stewed call of “I’m in the kitchen, and I’m cooking, and I don’t give a fuck if ya’ll just looking.”

In the kitchen imbibing gelatin shots & Simpler Times with Nicholas Fisher.

In the kitchen imbibing gelatin shots & Simpler Times with Nicholas Fisher.

Then there is “Fomo”, a bouncy and zany instrumental where the fear of missing out warbles out of the digital racket cooked from a chirpy slop-bucket-funk full of electronic bass variations combined with crowd-noise sourced field recordings of loud crowds.Nicholas and Frunk’s “Front Side” is kicked off with a Ric Flair “wooooo!” sample kitted out with industrial pipe steam blasted production that creates the feel of driving real slow in laps around a Stockton strip mall park lot after dark. Frunk illustrates priorities right off the back in the opening verse, “I ain’t gonna front, so I’ll tell you where I from, born and raised on the southside, got a shorty from the northside, making money on the othersides almost every other single night” right before Nicholas delivers some ‘protect your neck’ style PSA bars about “don’t catch a fade from the spray” right before a section of a vintage Flair promo tops it off where the o.g. Nature Boy pops off with the hopped up with verbal taunts of, “”it’s so hard for me to sit back here, in this studio, looking at a guy out here hollering my name when last year I’ve spent more money on spilled liquor in bars from one side of this world to the other than you made,” replete with one last “woooooo.”

Frunk popping Cook's corks on city roofs.

Frunk popping Cook’s corks on city roofs.

On “4am On Drake Lane” feat. J Ronin, the guest artist’s wavy auto-tuned tailored deluge of effects and expression right before Fisher dabbles lightly with the aforementioned vocal effect in an atmosphere of lovers lane backseat blues that roll in a late night mode featuring surprise moments like a quick one second audio cut-in channeled from a televised basketball broadcast. The hedonistic and heady Peach Handkerchief maintains it’s lane of freshness and ‘live life to the fullest’ attitude to the closing track “Teal Grey” that ends the polychromatic chemical trip full circle in a neon-keyed styrofoam cup of Day-Glo radiating tea as Nicholas throws it up with Earl Grey addled toatst of “I don’t give a fuck, I’ve been living it up since I was 21, I’m the raisin in the sun.” Your holiday winter season thermostat is about turned way up.

Get closer to the world of Nicholas Fisher and the Stockton crew in the Wesley Allard video for the single “Kitchen” off Peach Handkerchief that features guest appearances from YUNG STKTN luminaries such as Frunk Soto (aka Frankie Soto of Surf Club), Sam Regan (Satan Wriders, Baseball Gregg, etc), Luca Lovisetto (Baseball Gregg), & Eli Wengrin (Satan Wriders). It’s as if you are joining everyone in a party that is popping out of the pantry, raiding the fridge for sustenance while flailing provisions proudly and emphasizing the Fisher found affinity for cooking room values and ventures. After the following video, check out recent interview session with Nicholas and Frankie featuring exclusive behind the scenes photos courtesy of the YUNG STKTN clique.

We celebrated last Thanksgiving and New Years Eve in exquisite fashion. Tell us about everything that has inspired everyone in the Stockton from then unto now.

Nicholas: Fall! Stockton is beautiful during fall. Really feels like the northwest, probably the most around this time of year.

Justin deep in the mix.

Justin deep in the mix.

Give us the tales on all the boats of “I Don’t Meant To Brag”, and all about working with RL.

Nicholas: This song was recorded on December 31, 2014. New year’s eve before heading to the city. We were literally sitting in my crib hella bored. The beat was a lot darker originally, but we decided not to be so trappped out and add some cool flutes.

Introducing RL.

Introducing RL.

Nicholas: RL is my favorite rapper! Watching him write is the best part about working with RL.

Describe the mind-expanding experience in making the super vacation sail boat pop track “Kitchen”

Nicholas: To be honest I record in my kitchen. It’s just the most convenient place for me to set up when multiple people are part of recording. I’ve heard people calling their home studios ‘the lab,’ for years. just stop! Call it the kitchen. Or something else that doesn’t sound so serious.

J Ronin in the kitchen & in session with Justin.

J Ronin in the kitchen & in session with Justin.

Tell us about how you all made the expanding cut “Front Side”, and what provoked the decision to include a sample of Ric Flair?

Nicholas: I wanted to call this ”Bodied by Frankie” but then you would listen with expectations and say that he didn’t body this. Also little flex moments are fun as fuck. Ric Flair is the God of flex.

Frunk: I was at Nich’s place and Justin was playing this beat and I just wanted to try it out so I wrote a few things for it and J recorded it then Nich just came in killed it.

Frunk (right) hanging with Jose (left).

Frunk (right) hanging with Jose (left).

Give us the tale on how the “Jank Spring” demo became “Jamaica Spring”.

Nicholas: This EP was created out of cool moments of extreme boredom. That’s partly the reason why it took so long to finish, also J’s move back to Seattle and tour schedule kinda slowed things down. I feel like it was the break we needed.

Tell us all about “4 Am On Drake Lane feat. J Ronin”.

Nicholas: This is J Ronin! He’s so good! Personally I feel it’s the best song on the EP.

Chowing down with J Ronin.

Chowing down with J Ronin.

Tell us about the all tea everyone was imbibing while making the wild “Teal Grey” cut.”

Nicholas: I actually produced the beat months before putting any vocals to it. I thought the drums were too busy and the snyths were too loud but I like that for some reason. I thought I was Timbaland or some shit for a minute.

Nicholas Fisher repping that kitchen cooking life.

Nicholas Fisher repping that kitchen cooking life.

Tell us about how you all were able to match the lyrical hedonism and focuses into the kind of atmospheric mix of production, and the cameo appearances.

Nicholas: Phil Jackson moment, bring awesome people to the court and let them slam dunk on fools. I don’t know. Shout out to Sam [Regan]!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Stockton son Sam Regan.

Stockton son Sam Regan.

What sorts of narrative considerations did you all entertain during the making of this EP? Like the whole smuggler’s predicaments and boasts on “I Don’t Mean To Brag”, the home cooked and home-based (home baked) chopped and stewed syrup slow screw of “Kitchen”, to the nu-trap post-industrial banger of “Front Side 180”, to the Netflix binging staycation holiday of “Jamaica Spring”, and so forth.

Nicholas: We started recording back in 2010 with no real project in mind but it seemed like we songs more and more often. If we didn’t finish a song, Justin and I would work on beats or other shit. I got semi comfortable with the production this past year. I love slow shit.

Justin texting on tour.

Justin texting on tour.

Describe the creative synergistic scenes and anecdotes at play behind the scenes during the making of Peach Handkerchief.

Nicholas: The timeline is long as shit. We started at J’s. I would take trips to his place is the city to hang and work on music. I would get lost constantly and end up taking really long cool walks by myself. I found a 12” of Baduizum for a dollar. We took long breaks but continued to work separate on other things.

Frunk: Doing that track was so fun. It was me, J and Nich all at his place and we were talking about how recording in his kitchen was almost like cooking to us. We were sorta trying to do our own lingo and we all just went for it.

Frunk & Summer.

Frunk & Summer.

What’s next for everyone in the Stockton crew?

Nicholas: Turkey, bowel movements and gifts?

Frunk: I recently moved to Oakland and I think Nich will be out here soon too.

Further hints about the forthcoming chapters from the Nicholas Fisher cannon?

Nicholas: I’m focused more on production at the moment. Maybe a beat tape?

Listen to more from Nicholas Fisher via Bandcamp & Soundcloud.

Pleather

Introducing Pleather; comprised of Couple Skate boss Andrew McKibben & FF's own Claire Nelson.

Introducing Pleather; comprised of Couple Skate boss Andrew McKibben & FF’s own Claire Nelson.

A few months when we were talking to youryoungbody’s Killian Brom and Duh
Cripe they gave us cryptic information about “a new amazing electronic project” that had no music out that was comprised of personnel from FF and M. Women. And then came news of their forthcoming December slated cassette from Couple Skate Records from none other than the label operator Andrew McKibben (who runs it with Ian Judd, and former guitarist of M. Women) who has founded and formed Pleather with FF’s Claire Nelson from what McKibben describes as “the ashes of Seattle’s briefly fertile ’nu-grunge’ scene” with promises of a whole new nightmare. Running wild on a few too many frappuccinos, tales of “goofy nights at the karaoke bar, elaborate social media jokes;” the two set the anti-rock stage of continuing the canons found in the movements they champion like what they refer to as the “feminist futurist divas” and their own slacked-back style of future-primitivism.

The Seattle artist threads of pop pranksters, movers, and shakers from Lisa Prank, Chastity Belt, Childbirth, Tacocat, Pony Time, Mega Bog, Dude York, imprints like Couple Skate, Help Yourself Records, Beating a Dead Horse and More; Claire and Andrew give the retro-obsessed creative cultures of personal negativity the finger in favor of their own styles of shimmering shambles. Skronk guitar shreds forward right before samples of water waves signal the swift sea change charged by Claire’s vocals that bask in the glow of the moment with the “here we are at last sentiment” where angelic hair like strums of guitar stings are balanced by chorus sections of grinding singular chord crunches. “Wish U Well” features tidings of joyous gatherings while foregoing the trappings of conventional musical composition and arrangement. Don’t call it a throwback, as notable breakthrough anachronisms found from the works of your favorite ambitious artists who dared to go can be heard in the glow from between the catchy licks, samples of cats, rugrats at play, and oceanic cycles and swells that crash like waters lapping at a westward glancing wooden Washington pier.

Claire’s understated delivery with Andrew’s buzz saw guitars continue along their own self-styled collaborative paths on “Come Away With Me” that invite the listener to join the duo to experience the Pleather trip. From here ritualistic guitars and Claire’s harmonies interchange with breathy recitations and sparkling abstract allures of audio fantasias paint the entrance of a whole new world. Claire’s chants shepherd along the twinkle and shine of spinning notes that are inflected by the restrained percussion that embodies everything about the American DIY primitive penchant for arranging drum schemes that bop to the beat of their own sequences of drums. The following debut of this two song cassette signals fun things ahead from Couple Skate where the new realms not unlike the gorgeous sound crafts found with labelmate Erin Birgy’s Mega Bog (heard on her album Gone Banana) are made with the home spun care to create an entire new abode from the rudimentary instruments and skilled tunes of sound that hear things differently Stay tuned after the debut of “Wish U Well” and “Come Away With Me” for our interview with Claire & Andrew.

Tell us about the circumstances that would give rise to Pleather.

One day a friendly demon woke up inside of both of us. Suddenly we didn’t want to follow any rules that used to govern our musical lives. We just wanted to be truer to the animals who live inside of both of us. We got into our practice space that we’d once used for rocking out in the grunge band FF and started jamming to some chopped up samples that Andrew had complied on his funky antique sampler. We really liked the foundation we’d laid down so we kept building.

Claire & Andrew of Pleather.

Claire & Andrew of Pleather.

Give us the tales of well wishes that would ultimately make up “Wish You Well”.

“Wish You Well” was Pleather’s first song. It’s a rock music ballad that tells the story of a self centered lover who never cries in front of his partner until the relationship is falling apart and then the tears come but they’re like the a topical serum that doesn’t sink in. It’s about the rawness of really seeing someone for who they are at the end of a collaboration and being tragically disappointed…but also holding that love for them in your heart that will always be a part of you. The well wishes are for a damaged ego and they are both empty wishes and wishes full of hope.

Talking with Pleather's Claire & Andrew.

Talking with Pleather’s Claire & Andrew.

Give us the story on the individualism commitments and more at work on “Come Away With Me”.

“Come Away with Me” is a nu punk-country song about an inner desire that only answers to real emotions and not the emptiness that can sometimes arise when having casual sex. Andrew and I were inspired by contemporary country songs that we heard on the radio while driving around in his truck. Like “drunk on a plane” and “doin’ what she likes.”

Kicking it with Andrew & Claire of Pleather.

Kicking it with Andrew & Claire of Pleather.

Next big plans for Pleather?

We are busy writing and producing a fresh batch of songs, and making plans for recording more. we’re trying to upgrade our gear and technology; leaving some outdated & ‘retro’ gear & techniques behind in the trash can; figuring out how to make the music of the future. we’ve got a release show at Chop Suey in Seattle on 12/16 and shows in Vancouver and Victoria BC after that. And yep, way more tour hopefully early next year. Number 1 hit single and number one hit record after that probably.

It is also maybe important to note that the cassette was recorded by Jeff Johnson from Couple Skate noise creeps The Numbs, and was mastered by Killian Brom from spooky house music creeps youryoungbody.

Look for the cassette available later in December from Couple Skate Records.

Dear Tracks

Dear Tracks' dearest Matt Messore, Victoria Ovenden, Jacob Juodawlkis, & Alex Militello.

Dear Tracks’ dearest Matt Messore, Victoria Ovenden, Jacob Juodawlkis, & Alex Militello.

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s dearest DIY darlings Dear Tracks have returned with news of their upcoming album Soft Dreams available February 26 from Furious Hooves & Track and Field Records and shared the following listen to the new single “All the Outs Are Free”. The “Wildflower” / “Connectivity” 7″ won us over a while with the haze cascading ever-dream songs that evoke everything from the anorak sets to the baggy Jnco-gaze sorts, to the ultra-serene sonic dream-scheme tunnel of loves on the b-side. The Midwest dreamers at heart Matt Messore, Victoria Ovenden, Jacob Juodawlkis, and Alex Militello continue ahead on their chosen paths of creating music that brings the endearing aspects of their moniker like gazing with a naturalist wonder and care at tracks left in the wake from deer trotting through the wooden sanctuary of a forest.

Dear Tracks’ new single “All the Outs Are Free” begins with an wild array of bright chirping synths right before Matt and company hit you with the Grand Rapids dream-scape therapy treatment. Lyrics like “come as you are, I’ll let you in” wrap the listener in an inclusive security blanket and embrace that gives cause for the icicles to thaw that play about the cold window panes. The guitars blend and bend along with Matt’s wind tunnel harmonies that wrap around the celestial keys that flutter like a nest of fowl taking flight through an unattended door from the confines of an caged menagerie. Matt described to us the concepts of embracing “peace into your life, dreams and reality” as one of the underlying elements that informed their new album where Dear Tracks expands the realm of possibilities in arranging tones and feelings that illicit an abundance of empathetic feels. More on all the aforementioned later in our interview featured after the jump.

Tell us about the dreams and visions that informed the cloud cushioned textures found on Soft Dreams.

Soft Dreams is a collage of euphoric melodies that were written & performed throughout this year. The idea behind these songs were to embrace peace into your life, dreams & reality.

Michigan's own dears—Dear Tracks.

Michigan’s own dears—Dear Tracks.

Describe how you were able to translate these sensations and thoughts into sound.

The music came naturally while developing parts into song structuring. We use a lot of chorus & reverb effects to blend together dreamy-pop sound waves through each individual track. Each instrument carries the melody in unison.

Dear Tracks live.

Dear Tracks live.

Give us the latest from what’s happening out in Grand Rapids, Michigan that we should be aware of.

Grand Rapids will soon be opening a coffee / cafe shop called HAPPY CAT CAFE, where you can experience your visit with a room full of loving cats by your side.

The cover of Dear Tracks' 'Soft Dreams'.

The cover of Dear Tracks’ ‘Soft Dreams’.

2016 plans and dreams from the Dear Tracks camp?

The dream of owning my own van will soon be reality & we’re planning to play more shows around North America. We’ve been piecing together new tunes that we’re feeling very pleasant about. Maybe we’ll have a full length in 2016.

Dear Tracks’ upcoming ablum Soft Dreams will be available February 26 from Furious Hooves & Track and Field Records.

uhlife

Elegy for those affected by ebola & chanting down babylon; Philly's uhlife.

Elegy for those affected by ebola & chanting down babylon; Philly’s uhlife.

Introducing Philly’s uhlife who delivered the powerful “no ebola” single that features solemn, lyrical percussive chants and dimensions of global duress that are further highlighted by the minimalist style displayed from NiceGuyxVinny of the Soulection crew’s production. The lyrics goes deep to the heart of Gana, Liberia, and everywhere the recent ebola epidemic spread by providing disparate perspectives of power, complacency, classicism, and Babylonian cycles are depicted in creating the earth opening gulfs of institutionalized racist & classicists mass grave cemeteries. uhlife’s forthcoming debut album lofeye will be available summer 2016 on 12″ along with limited edition t-shirts available from Booster where half the proceeds go to funding the recording and production of uhlife’s album with the other half being donated by to the charity Street-Child for Sierra Leone & Liberia orphans on account of the recent devastating outbreak.

The poetic pursuit of justice and humanity for the African communities ravaged by such a grisly affliction is given a moving death knell supplied by NiceGuyxVinny’s production that delivers a funereal atmosphere for uhlife to chant down the systems and manufactured infections administered by the colonial powers that be. The plight of struggle and survival in the face of questionable governing forces is expressed through uhlife’s observations of bleak options illustrated like an overwhelming battle against adversaries with your back against the wall. The bases are covered from conspiracies and confusions that face off against aggressive authorities of power to an apocalyptic virus implement of mass destruction.

Peep the video for uhlife’s “no ebola” directed by Anaka that breaks the battle against Babylon down to the street level of tribal, human struggle in a reality realer and more frightening than the complacency of the 24 hour cable news feeds. Sidewalk gatherings of shooting craps to lighting smokes with USD paper currency, and a masked uhlife shines a light on the crisis while expressing a litany of unanswered questions.

Philly’s uhlife shared with us the following exclusive thoughts on how the ebola crisis informed the new single:

When the news of the ebola outbreak spread, it struck me as very peculiar. Almost too peculiar. It’s a virus that doesn’t even seem to be from this realm. It attacks every tissue of the body except the skeletal muscles and bones. It’s more like a venom than a virus. In fact, there’s mad evidence—put forth by scientists and professors alike—that it is a genetically modified disease born from laboratory experiments in the 70s.

I also found it convenient (if you will) it’s largest outbreak occurred in very historical, resource-rich, and symbolic regions of Africa: Sierra Leone (a hotbed of diamonds and ‘conflict minerals’) and Liberia (an independent nation founded by freed slaves). Virtually all of its victims have been black people and it’s ‘discoverers’ were white scientists from a colonial nation.

It’s been speculated that it was purposely introduced into the population as a ploy to squash out peoples of melanin, build prejudice against them, and create paranoia throughout the globalized world, for colonial purposes.

Whether you believe this or not, government agencies and the media have historically used weapons and propaganda to oppress human beings, gain power over them, and exploit their resources. In modern earth history this has especially went down in Alkebulan (mother Africa): the most resource-rich continent and birth place of conscious humanity. In this sense, ebola symbolizes all of the tools that the colonial powers (Babylon) have used for control and evil.

This song is meant to be a middle finger to those powers that try keep peoples of melanin down:

“I’m outchea and no ebola can kill me. We don’t die, we multiply.”

My upcoming project lofeye is all about overcoming. It’s a grimey, spaced-out rap narrative of being a broke nxgga in working-class capitalist society, manifesting the power to navigate through it, opening one’s consciousness, and creating positive outcomes along the way. It’s full of deep vibes that blend my major musical influences: dub, jazz, 90s boom-bap, electronica, psych rock, & punk.

uhlife’s single “no ebola” is available now from Brooklyn imprint Youngbloods.

Pelicat

Season's greetings from Pelicat's Andreas Kase, Mads Johansen & Jonas Rohde-Moe.

Season’s greetings from Pelicat’s Andreas Kase, Mads Johansen & Jonas Rohde-Moe.

Oslo, Norway trio Pelicat releases their EP Pelicans and Rainbows today from the venerable Norwegian imprint SellOut! Records and we are pleased to bring the world a listen accompanied by some exclusive words from the band. The perfect extended player to close out a befuddling year provides a sense of winter warmth and a kindred kinda hope for 2016.

Andreas Kase, Mads Johansen & Jonas Rohde-Moe kick the slacked-back party off with the subtle psych tones of new days and stars with the intro of “Brand New Start”, that basks in the importance of being and loving yourself for “Who You Are”, right before the gentle romantic chill of Roman holidays on “Head to Rome” that ring like a lost track that someone from the Mac DeMarco/Makeout Videotape camp might have cooked up with some fellow Canadian compadres. That sentiment continues forth on the closing glimmer and glow of “The line that we keep walking on” that observes the plains of terrain traversed with a snowy day shine and shimmer that fades into the snow blind ether of seasonal solitude and reflection.

Pelicat’s own Jonas Rohde-Moe provided us with the following introduction preface to the group’s own dynamics with a behind the scenes look at the making of Pelicans and Rainbows:

Pelicat was formed as a result of some really fun jam sessions in early 2015. The members, Andreas Kase, Mads Johansen and Jonas Rohde-Moe had all worked together in different constellations (Kaja Gunnufsen, Disaster in the universe, Away), but had never played together as a trio.

For us, Pelicat is first and foremost a fun side-project, and it was actually never intended that we should release anything. We just wanted to jam out without bigger plans. But when we played some of the rehearsal-recordings to our friends, they’d seem to like it, and honestly, we really like it too!

We decided to bring our gear to a cabin by sea in February, and stayed there for a week-end, where we wrote and recorded the first track on the EP. We liked this process so much that we also did it for the rest of the songs. The songs all come really quick, and they all start with a basic melodic idea. We try not to overthink to much in any part of the process. When we have something we instantly like, we just put it on to tape. And the funny thing is that we agree 99% of the time! The mixing is done in Mads studio outside Oslo, but we try to not overdo it, just keep the chill vibe from the cabin. Then we send the tracks to the fantastic Steve Fallone in NYC, who adds his little magic touch in the end.

As in all other aspects of the band, we haven’t made any big plans for the future. What we have done however, is that we’ve written quite a few new tracks , and also started playing live. So the main plan is keep having fun, and keep making music that we like.

Ghozt Pit

Ghozt Pit, the new moniker from the artist fka Blac Hollywood—Cephas Munga.

Ghozt Pit, the new moniker from the artist fka Blac Hollywood—Cephas Munga.

The artist formerly known as Vancouver’s Blac Hollywood, oka Cephas Munga, returns as Ghozt Pit returns with the album Soft Spoken produced by Funeral Homme. Having resituated himself in the vast cool yet cold world of NYC, Cephas’s sound takes on tones that reflect subterranean spheres of influences and odes to the odd and tributes to life’s eerier corners, abandoned pockets, and creative basement allure. The Soft Spoken adventure begins with the sound collage called “Felicia Hardy’s Apology to Spider-man” that starts the movement, leading to the ‘Plain Jane’ ballad of electro west coast by east coast trap buzz, to the auto-tuned terrains of “Static” that hum and oscillate between tone cadences.

The frequencies move between synth-symphonic modes made in the key of lo-fi heard on the weirdness of “She Take Me to her Poom Poom Party”, martial art obsessions and fixations on the scuzz-beat of “KarateBoy Hot; Add Me”, the wandering worlds of arid appeals and carnal desire of “Desert Years”, mortal spectrum continuum conjecture on “Death is The Last Step”. The pitch-skewed slice of the surreal interlude “The Blood of Metapod” dovetails into the transcendent closing cut “R.I.P. Mr.West” that leaves the audience with fantasias for what dreams may come between the emotion expressed into the sinewy blend of synths and rumbling percussive production.

Cephas shared a few words with us about his transition from Blac Hollywood to Ghozt Pit and the harsh transition of his move from Vancouver to NYC.

The transition from Blac Hollywood to Ghozt Pit is one that comes after a rough 3 months in New York with out much planning. My friend Jonathan Contreras-Whitney and I decided to make the move to the big apple to explore new opportunities. What we didn’t know next was that NY was going to swallow us up. We had to sell our clothes to get money for food and transit.

We ended up rooming with someone who was addicted to meth and he lived in this rundown building where there was always pee on the second floor and the elevator always smelled of it as well. One faithful evening he got into a run in with some kids in the building and at 2 am they came trying to knock down our door with baseball bats, so our roommate decided it would be a good idea to fend them off with machetes.

Our next move was to find a place of our own, so we ended up finding what we thought was a decent art studio. Turns our we weren’t allowed to make any noise in it. No music, no having fun pretty much. The building is full of old geezers who paint cheap recreations of Van Goh. After one week of abiding by the rules I went back to making music and finished my album. The city had worn me down so much and showed me new experiences that I knew I wasn’t the same person who had left Vancouver. I had to reinvent myself to peel off the excess skin.

Listen to more Ghozt Pit via Bandcamp.

NYC pop darlings Soda Shop (featuring Drew previously of the Drums, and Maria of Selebrities) recently released their single “Grow Up” b/w “Nightmares” via Velvet Blue Music and we bring you a listen to the a-side. “Grow Up” grapples with all those adult responsible things that you have to take into consideration when all you want to do is steal away the entire day hiding away at home and listening to the feel-good sound of Soda Shop.

Taylor Jordan, aka The Greatest Hoax has released his electronic meditations on the anticipated album Enso, sharing the following listen to the DC artist’s song cycle here streaming in full. Listen here where every track is titled “Opus” with numeric figure indications that run in non-linear orders that share different facets of consciousness and feeling. “25” introduces the warped electrical terrain with rushes and hums of buzzes, as “29” creates passionate yet pensive atmospheres for thought, “24” creates expanses of personal space, to the new day rising radiation of “28”, or the hushed presences of “21”, the climactic apex on “22”, that all leads to the finale of “30” that presents some beautiful pulsating techno designed for the thinking person. An event not to be missed. Check out our further coverage of The Greatest Hoax here.

Happy release day to Lyon, France’s Sierra Manhattan’s Antoine Aubert who sees the release of the self-titled cassette available from Atelier Ciseaux/AB Records, sharing some more DIY audio du jour. Hot on the heels of the affection afternoons found on the lo-fi/no-fi single “Dancin”; “Moonburned Girl” describes an Icarus like angel that flies high up above to the lunarian galaxies and then back again before return to the lofty and mystifying cosmos.

East London’s Naala dropped the track of hunters and prey with the electro-underbelly deep jungle ambience of “Predator”. Wild rhythms run about the audio channels like an adventure delving into the thicket of it full of dangers untold and unsaid.

Suffolk’s Cathedrals & Cars present a listen to their new single “The Concierge” that busses an energetic single to tide you over until their forthcoming second album available in 2016. Musings on friendship, bonds, and the keys to the castle (or at least a five star rated hotel room) present an entrance into a world of new opportunities and an abundance of possibilities. “The Concierge” single will be available digitally December 11.

 

 

Club 8’s album Pleasure is available now on Labrador Records, and we have the Andil Dahl video for “Skin” that features the bright-night-light fancy free of those decadent nights of luck, and chance, and the allure of a never ending evening where the future is left unwritten and wide open.

Check out Uncle Meg’s “For a Second” video that basks in the desires and pleasures of feeling good in your own skin that defy the conventions of conventional gender roles and more, starring Ashley Lawwil & Millz Serrano and shot on location in Ossining, New York. Super deep thrill seeking sensations and more await.

Flowers have made the big Fortuna POP! jump announcing the upcoming Everybody’s Dying To Meet You available February 12, releasing the jubilant renaissance scuzz and unending elation that is “Pull My Arm”. Sam and Rachel previously recorded Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do in 2013 with the legendary Suede-man Bearnard Butler and now deliver the results of their sessions with their other alt-Brit-pop-everything legend Brian O’Shaughnessey.

With LA’s Harriet readying their new album American Appetite for January 29, the quartet politely invites you to get “Bent” with a listen to their new single. Confessionals are delivered in pop arrangements like that best from the power pop canons with a passion that belongs strictly to Harriet. For those that have gotten all bent out of shape from 2015, this is the audio panacea to soothe that savage beast from within.

From their forthcoming December 4 EP Temporary Love, check out the chill romantic title track from The Brinks’ Scott Mellis and Matt Friedman that sends a restrained ode to the temporal and fleeting state of our affectionate bonds.

Check out Roman pop star LILI N with her new single “One”, produced by Sanford Livingston of Her Habits. Angelic rhythms and blues take flight like low flying clouds rushing over head that provide atmospheres that make Romanesque ruins and stateside metropolises seem a little bit closer.

Canada’s Ten Kens’ own Dan Workman and Brett Paulin have rebranded and rechristened themselves as OVER, sharing their debut single “Gone Are the Days” that deals with the temporal nature of instances and moments depicted in a blend of electronic blends and human expression. The Toronto DIY push to discover new forms of feels and ways to convey thoughts and meanings in manners not unlike the offshoot Odonis and their fellow local denizens dedicated to the new ground crafts of sound.

London artist Jelani Blackman has an EP coming in early 2016, and we bring you a listen to the single “Repeater” that delivers an around-the-world in four minutes twist with a globally leaning hip hop framework. Desires and the secret knowledges that exist between two hearts play out in a big percussive arrangements of heartfelt expressions that Jelani delivers through different movements, suites, styles, and fashions.

From Orange County, California; five piece The Gromble recently dropped the plugged-in and switched on sweetness of their new single “Real Sympathy” that laments that genuine sympathy is indeed a very hard thing to find.

Punk Slime Recordings give you the Mancunians The Foetals from Jolan Lewis of The Pink Teens, previously Temple Songs, and of Francis Lung’s (formerly of WU LYF) group Aldous RH sharing a listen to the delightful derelict power garage pop gold of “Nothing” from their debut LP Meet The Foetals available December 4 from PNKSLM Recordings.

From North Carolina’s Sam Higgins, hear his new release cell phone that offers up an array of songs recorded on his cell phone that made the cut. Field recordings can be heard, to piano vignettes like “huh? baby – naw”, train sounds, school interludes, public transit interludes like “Chinatown Bus in Maryland”, to the closing piano plinks of “i can’t play piano”. SMLH’s upcoming Occoneechee Haunts + Staring Thru The Wall cassette will be available November 30 from Babe City Records.

Hear Snowpoet’s new single “Waves” that casts some rustic-electric ripples into your regularly scheduled winter hibernation routine programming off their debut LP available January 15 from Two Rivers Records.

Sarah P.’s upcoming EP Free will be available December 14 and we bring you a preview listen to three new singles from the extended player. “Dirty Sunday” dwells on weekend wonders made of electro minimalism of keys and beats crafted around various punctuated sequence’s of Sarah’s vocals, propelling forward with the beauty and brightness heard on “I’d Go” that aligns volition and impetus toward directions of new brilliant pop frontiers. Well wishes of good luck and more are exhibited further in the new beginnings of departures made in the name of finding a new dwelling and new sounds down the wide open roads that unfold up ahead. Sarah P. promises to bring us her new directions of “moving on”, “changing it all”, and “standing tall” before the new year commences.

Annika Zee is an NYC artist that works in various mediums, one of them being the transference of emotion and energy into outlets of visceral audio. Readying the release of her forthcoming album Aging Aesthetics for release in December, the artist further reclaims the human right to feel things for what they are without duplicity or irony on “Crazy”. Call it an update on the Patsy Cline classic that cuts to even deeper valence levels of pertinence and implied meanings where she channels the stark simplicity of her voice and restrained course that become engrossed in the delightful dissonance of reverberations that echo onward. Must hear.

Busdriver’s Week in Pop

Busdriver presents his Week in Pop guest selections.

Busdriver presents his Week in Pop guest selections.

Early this November LA’s Busdriver dropped one of the best releases of the month and year with his follow-up to Perfect Hair Thumbs featuring guest spots from all of your favorites from Anderson .Paak, Daveed Diggs (clipping.), milo, Jeremiah Jae, Del the Funky Homosapien, and more, along with a plethora of producers. It is now our pleasure and privilege to present a special holiday guest selection session featuring Busdriver’s own Week in Pop picks:

Music is the hidden memory index. It’s the last place you think to look but always the place where the feeling is made real. When I recall my stomping grounds in Leimert, it’s that music that brings me closer to the shared laughter, long talks and electric personalities that formed my awareness then. The songs I’ve been paying attention to lately let me bridge eras in a rapidly changing world by locating the common beating heart they all share. The autonomy of the modern citizen; device in hand, agenda at play, making his or her way through the digital realm as it shapes their physical world. Cutting that with an undying appetite for something unknowable and beautiful strikes a balance that opens up some options that I think jive with the current demand. The ever-present demand on our time. The demand to be richer, more whole or something closer to sane at the very least.

My year in music has been all about returning to zero. Returning to the beginning to find the wormholes that shut everything else out. Here’s what I’ve been bumping lately, while mixing Thumbs and writing the new new with my folks.

Dwight Tribble, “Little Sunshine”

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Busdriver at Doug Fir Lounge; photographed by Ximena Bedoya.

EARTHGANG, “… And on the 8th Day”

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Busdriver performing at Doug Fir Lounge; photographed by Ximena Bedoya.

Majical Cloudz, “Heavy”

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Hermeto Pascoal, Hermeto

Jose James,”Equinox”

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Bizzarh, “Pangaea” (produced by AFTA-1)

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