Week in Pop: Grape Room, L.A.Drones!, Littlefoot

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Fog Father, Jónó Mí Ló, Naked Hour, guest selections by Eagulls.

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Sjimon Gompers | May 13, 2016

L.A.Drones! (from left), Darlingtonia Brackets & Kontrol Remoto flashing gestures of X's; photographed by Rata Rosa.

L.A.Drones! (from left), Darlingtonia Brackets & Kontrol Remoto flashing gestures of X's; photographed by Rata Rosa.

Helping you catch up on everything and more you may have missed, Impose’s Week in Pop brings the latest breaking media from your heroes and future favorites. First with the news roundup, Radiohead’s ninth proper album A Moon Shaped Pool is tearing up the album charts; Lollapalooza schedule buzz; 16-year old Max Krasowitz wants the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences to consider free music for Grammy nominations as well; Animal Collective’s live album sales proceeds will help Progress NC fight the HB2, anti-LGBTQ legislation; Will Butler announced upcoming Friday Night live album available in June via Merge; local police protested Beyoncé’s Houston, Texas performance at NRG Stadium; “Anarchy in the UK” performed by Bethany Cosentino, Kristin Kontrol, Meredith Graves, Win Butler, & more; the Stone Roses dropped a new single in 20 years time with “All For One”; Schoolboy Q dropped “THat Part” ft. Kanye West; Nicholas Allbrook (of Pond, fka bassist for Tame Impala) dropped “A Fool There Was” off the upcoming Spinning Top album Pure Gardiya; Cornelius’ Fantasma will be available June 10 via Lefse, & will be performed in full August 4-13; Tobacco announced the new album Sweatbox Dynasty available August 19 from Ghostly, & dropped “Gods In Heat”; Thee Oh Sees’ will release their Live in San Francisco double LP July 1 via Castle Face, & dropped “Web”; Maximum Rock n Roll’s archive project; Discogs sold Bowie’s self-titled/Space Oddity LP for $6,826; A$AP Mob & Juicy J dropped A$AP Yams tribute “Yamborghini High”; Metronomy’s new album Summer 08 will be available July 1, & they dropped the video for “Old Skool”; Mistah F.A.B. dropped “Survive” ft. Kendrick Lamar, Crooked I, & Kobe Honneycutt; Erykah Badu remixed PARTYNEXTDOOR x Drake’s “Come and See Me”; Wolf Parade to play first gigs in five years under the assumed moniker of Del Scorcho, & announced upcoming EP4; 2 Chainz dropped the “100 Joints” video; Yacht allegedly selling their own sex tape, then later laboriously explained the elaborate hoax, followed by immediate internet backlash, & later an apology of sorts; Azealia Banks dropped from Rinse FM’s Born & Bred Festival over racist tweets directed at Zayn Malik, later resulting in the alleged suspension of her Twitter account; some bro’s ear got bitten off at the Toronto Opera House Eagles of Death Metal show; Chance the Rapper hospitalized earlier this week, & today dropped the Coloring Book mixtape; Die Antwoord’s upcoming mixtape is titled Suck On This, dropping “Dazed & Confused” produced by GOD; Billy Corgan returned to the Alex Jones show and shared thoughts on Bernie Sanders & more; Merle Haggard’s last song recorded is called “Kern River Blues”; Sinéad O’Connor versus Arsenio Hall continues; Ozzy & Sharon allegedly split; and we lament the passing of Isao Tomita;

As the narrative continues, it is our pleasure and privilege to present the following wealth of insights, interviews, & exclusives from Grape Room, L.A.Drones!, Littlefoot, Fog Father, Naked Hour, Jónó Mí Ló, Tim Lannen, featuring guest selections from Eagulls, and more—in no particular order.

L.A.Drones!

Introducing L.A.Drones!; photographed by Leva Ann.

Introducing L.A.Drones!; photographed by Leva Ann.

Currently making some big buzz about the greater Los Angeles area, our friend Rachel Mason introduced us to L.A.Drones!, a duo of disguised identities that operate under the the handles Kontrol Remoto and Darlingtonia Brackets. Performing with bandanas and masks that prominently feature Xs on them, the L.A.Drones! alludes to drones that have become a part of our everyday existence coupled with the Spanish wordplay where ladrones in English translates to thieves. With their debut album The Name Of This Band Is L.A.Drones! available May 22 from the Oakland imprint This Starcraft—L.A.Drones! present the world premiere of their nu-techno, post-industrial invitational video that begs the questions, “Don’t Want You Dance?”. Invited by Michael Stock to host their tape release party May 22 at Part Time Punks at The Echo, Kontrol Remoto and Darlingtonia Brackets will play 80s French synth legends KaS Product (playing their first stateside shows), with a later unveiling of the album on red vinyl in late August at HM157.

Featuring combined concert footage & film the group’s travels, the Calvin Goode and Ernesto Reynoso video for L.A.Drones!’ “Don’t Want You Dance?” captures a wild Tuesday performance held at LA’s Los Globos where the duo performed alongside Cellars, Terminal A, & Obo Des. Featuring the slick moves and pretty faces from fans & festive friends-L.A.Drones! roll with a posse of dancers that includes (but not limited to, mind you) Tristene Roman, Allen Norton, Cameron Tyme Edison, Matt Sherin, Adam Brooks, Lee Busch, Cooper T. Moll, Heather Galipo, Cleo Hoover, Maren McConnell, Fenex, Jean-Paul Miller, Chris Nowak, Xe Davis, Peter Kalisch, Joe Gamache, Daniel L Munoz and Max. As Darlingtonia begs for the listener/viewer/ear & eye of the beholder’s soul, the visuals take you on a psychedelic trip into fantastic locales of lesser known splendors. Prepare yourself to go on a hyper-drive trip through Chiapas, the Sonora Desert in Mexico, the breathaking vistas of Huasteca Potosina-San Luis Potosi, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Tonina & Palenque Pyramids & riding along the Mexican roads of Chiapas / Huasteca, Roosevelt Dam in Arizona, Sinaloa ants at work, Sir James Surrealist Garden Xilitla in Huasteca Potosina-San Luis Potosi, Tijuana, Nevada roads, Venice Beach LA, La Mision Beach & Rosarito Noria in Baja California, Mazatlán Beach in Sinaloa, and more in just over six minutes. L.A.Drones! took the time to chat with us in an interview featured right after the following video debut for “Don’t Want You Dance?”.

Take us to the very dawning of L.A.Drones and what sorts of events brought about this masked endeavor?

Back in the summer of 2013, a little before returning to Mexico City—where we had our hideout at the time—we were on tour in Los Angeles with our previous band Lineas Albies: We used the initials of Lineas Albies for L.A.DRONES! in order to continue with our hidden identities. Lineas Albies is a bizarre electronic post punk band with guitars, sequences, synths, and with the fierceness of a punk rock band live; however, and like many other post punk bands, we understood our last album more electronically (The Pink Album[2010]). I guess we were evolving or changing our skin. In fact our shows had like two parts, some songs were electronics with synths and others with guitar. I remember doing “1969”—a Stooges cover. Really powerful blend of guitar noise industrial electronics super destroy to finish the shows, that was a mix of everything.

We had to return to Mexico City, when we were invited to play in a party, so we delay our trip to give our last concert. The night was amazing! Especially with the electronics, and as many times it happened to us, we ended up spinning at the after party. We throw some electroclash, EBM with Gigolo Record and more European stuff—for some reason people just wanted that night electronic dance music, which we thought was weird ’cause we did not see that too often in L.A., at least not at that time. It was fun, people danced wildly throughout the session! That night we decided that we would start the side project, that we were thinking of doing before. And that night we saw it very clear; we want to do electronic music for the dance floor and we wanted to do it so bad. We were so inspired by the idea of mixing our classical rock souls with electronic music. Our idea was always work with the same bpm (127, we like prime numbers) so that the tracks were interchangeable, creating the feeling of a dance live session with our own sequences, samplers, synths and other devices. The concept was drone per se, with the drone references to inspiring bands like Suicide or Spacemen 3, E.A.R., Can, Crash Course in Science, Silver Apples, Coil, the concrete music of Terry Riley, the first Cabaret Voltaire or the dub music with the acid house and early Detroit techno, and the whole disco and funk music of James Brown, that is basically repetitive and drone. After all, drone music comes from Africa—to go into a trance and get in contact with the Gods with a single note or a simple drone sequence and the repetition as a concept. This was what worked well on Don´t Want You Dance? or Horrible Dreams. The idea was to mix tracks, and each concert was different.

And so L.A.Drones! play their first concert. It took place in VOLTA on December 2013, in a very cool festival of alternative music in Mexico City that still today dedicates its line up to experimental music, noise and sound art. Our second show was on February 2014 at HM157, our favorite venue in Los Angeles. By then Give Up was born—although, less dronic [sic], the concept still remained—open electronic music played live. The songs were born out of a live improvisational process. Although we began to have more defined songs, everything was changing and live improvisation made each concert different. All sounds were separated. They were their own entities, we went with the controller, and mute and throwing tracks, mixing them together. In the beginning four songs were created that took 40 minutes to play live. As new songs emerged through this live experimental mixture we decided to reduce them to half and simplify the concept to go faster in live shows.

This was how L.A.Drones! songs were born: playing live in the studio and on the stage. It is our mobile studio that travels everywhere, and of course to stage. By May 2015 we thought that we had enough music to make an LP so in the summer we locked ourselves three months to record everything and our first record was born, The Name of This Band Is L.A.Drones! with 7 songs, which is what we do now live, and what we call our first capsule. Second capsule will be created by the same way like we did the first one. That’s our plan, the methodology will not change. First goes the live show and after the record, and that will be our second capsule…

Artists of elusive mystery—L.A.Drones!—photographed by Amy Darling.

Artists of elusive mystery—L.A.Drones!—photographed by Amy Darling.

Describe for us the wordplay of your moniker, and the Spanish word for thieves; what sorts of connections do the two of you make between things like thieves, your home in LA, and the concept of drones?

With the initials of our previous band Lineas Albies and the concept of drone easily came the name, L.A.Drones! with such a magic that ladrones in the Spanish language means thieves, and really quickly, we came masked as ladrones—badasses like Diabolic, Phantomas, El Zorro, The Shadow, or similar characters from the comic books—and hidden identities like our favorites The Residents or like We Are The Walrous—that would really work also—especially to differentiate L.A. Drones! from our old Project—also we find the concept of uniformity attractive, like Devo, Kraftwerk, etc.

Yes, somehow we relate electronic music with the uniform, synthesizers, the revolutionary army, the Sci Fi, robots, future, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Logan’s Run—all examples of how sci-fi brings to everyone the future-fabric that they will uniform themselves in. And also traveling through space and time. That’s all there. There is also a lot of Sex Fetish concept introduced throughout Synth Pop through Crash—the book by JG Ballard, which had also so much influence on Cabaret Voltaire, the first Human League, Soft Cell and as The Normal with “Warm Leatherette”, Chris & Cosey—well, the fetishist concept is basic in synth music. And of course black music, the Black Panthers and uniformity as Public Enemy (Terminator X, Malcolm X), we can’t forget that in the end we are all some whities using the 4X4 beat invented by the blacks, with the blues, funk, disco, and rock. We had our suits, so we just needed masks—we wanted something simple, easy to make, something a little scary and at the same time create mystery—that was easy!! And the X, ancestral symbol, the unknown in algebra, the forbidden, the number six in numerology, multiplication, an amulet against poison—of contemporary music [laughs]—X means the search for the new, the lover of the the unknown…the X-Men of Chris Claremont, and the most important, On Earth “We Belong To The X Generation” (very few left). In Spain and other parts of the world such as China, an X scratched into the stone or written in chalk outside of a house signifies a message to a thief that the residence is a good place to rob. And tacháaaan! L.A. The City of Los Angeles, the city where the whole idea was conceived, and the city where we will be back soon, and where we live now. Everything was very magical from the beginning.

And what do we like to steal as ladrones—thieves? We had this hobby a long time ago. In the first LP of our previous band, the songs were constructed with samples, as a collage, it was crazy ’cause you might find the piano of Lennon, Michael Rother Guitar, the Warren Ellis violin, the moans of Lux Interior, all in one song—what a band, a total treat! Then adding our own vocal melodies, synths, whatever—it was like making the [Great Wall of China] or something. It all makes sense that being the music lovers and collectors that we are, the concept of sampling would be very attractive for us to work with. So the name L.A.Drones! again came to adjust well to the concept. Stealing samples was part of the plan, as the primary basis of the creation of our songs, besides programmations [sic], drum machines, etc. So we went to our old files, “la samplería” with lots of gigabytes of samples recorded from our records in the past. Cabaret Voltaire, they seem to be our favorite, most inspiring resource for L.A.Drones! To this date, I guess Richard H. Kirk is an idol for us, ha! And all this work, to say that using samples is very tricky stuff, you have to pay royalties for it or it must be covered to avoid detection. Sometimes the sample is merely the spark that starts the process of creating a song—like an engine you have built a whole song around it, in the end sometimes you decide that the sample no longer works good for the song and you get rid of it. But still the sample was so important to make the song come to life. It is always fascinating. X marks the spot where not only the sample is stolen, but also where the treasure is found—the pirate’s booty—from which the center of the song flowers or perhaps explodes. The samples we steal is actually homage paid to who we steal it from. The engine of our next new track, it is the bass from a song of The Saints.

What should we be expecting May 22 with your big tape release at Part Time Punks, playing with 80s KAS PRODUCT?

Obviously we will play The Name Of This Band Is L.A.Drones! tape/LP which our beloved label from Oakland/San Francisco, This Starcraft, will release to the world on May 22! You should expect an awesome L.A.Drones! show and we really expect to sell the 100 cassettes, limited copies [laughs]! If we have time we will play one of the two covers we have like “Cosmic Car” by Cybotron, or “Fashion” by Bowie, or maybe that one that we are programming now—a cover by the fucking king of the 80s, which is Prince, super important for the synthesized music.

Interested in hearing some favorite anecdotes from two of you about the live performances that comprised the video for “Don’t Want You Dance?”

It was a very exciting day. We had just returned from Europe and we had a show with friends’ bands that Cellars had organized and many of the friends who were there we haven’t seen for 4 months, so it was very thrilling. Suddenly we found out that our sound card and the laptop did not work, the jet lag, maybe? (seriously, machines also suffer this kind of “shock to the system”) so we had to run back to the house to fix the problem. We were the third ones at the stage, so we had time also to drink maybe a little more than usual, with all that excitement, to limit the situation and stress. This takes you always to get more crazy, and the fact that we had so many issues with the machines and were able to fix it and do the show finally—it was an explosion, we really had so much fun at the stage! Problems take you always to be in more crazy state, with all the adrenaline totally up, ha! Many wires and many machines can give you some problems, ha! But magic happens again cause Calvin Goode and his marvelous camera, captured everything, the whole live performance. Thank you Calvin, and Ernesto Reynoso who also capture real dancers in the L.A.Drones! shows, [the] venues, Los Globos in Sunset and Honey Trap and The Redwood in DTLA. The rest of the travel shoots and the art is by L.A.Drones!.

As a group that knows who to sample, who to alter, what to emulate (and when); I would really be interested in hearing about synthesizing modern models with the new approaches that you two employee through your dark dancing/laser scanning styles.

This is all about a sonic experiment that, without abandoning strong electronic rhythm, joins styles such as electro, kraut rock, dub, acid, space, synth, noise, disco, funk, never forgetting melody, through the interaction of loops and drones, with the manipulation of these sounds playing live, with effects being squeezed to the extreme. Voices, two synthesizers, effects modules, plus pedals, and a mixer combine in order to generate a unique experience. So, we already had several machines that we bought years ago, we put all of them together, a synth, mixer, modules effect, many pedals octaving, flanging, distorting—we’ve got a new more gorgeous synth and many many wire. As we said before, we go like nomads with our mobile studio through the world creating our sonorous capsules in different houses, couches, places, stages and so on…

L.A.Drones! get dramatic; photographed by Christopher Samuel Ashworth.

L.A.Drones! get dramatic; photographed by Christopher Samuel Ashworth.

What else is happening in LA and elsewhere right now that you both have to tell the whole world about?

What happens in the rest of the world nowadays we don´t know too much about, because when you live in a city like L.A. it happens the same thing like to the Angelenos, that you get to the core, and stocking up (hanging out?) with the bands around, listening to music from your friends, go to the concerts of your friends, you listen in the car to the cassettes that your friends barter with you. The music and the scene itself absorbs you and at the end you don´t know about the rest of the galaxy. It happens very often that when we hear something that a trendy magazine says is good, it is actually bullshit, so we don´t trust too much the topicality—we actually hate the current pop music. We nurture with people around us. It is a reality that we live. We have friends that are doing amazing music. Today we have received by post the last Greg Gomberg [from The Centimeters] solo record, a good friend of ours, and it sounds so cool, we love it. The local scene right now is so good. It is much more exciting than years ago when we came in 2010-12, then it was more hardcore and rocker. Lately there is more post punk, more electronics, more synths, more avant-garde, and L.A.Drones!. We feel so proud to be a part of this as an electronic duo of the city with our dronic, sonic, melodic, and at the same time, influenced by the synth of the end of the 70s and early 80s, electro, techno Detroit like Cybotron, with the concept of the motorik of the kraut rock, predominant in Neu and Can and people like Laika made sooo good in the 90, in the so-called post-rock, the whole concept, led to a contemporary music (we are a cocktail for sure, no doubt). We believe in the cocktail and we hate the cliché. The cliché is a shit bitch, total bullshit. Viva la cocktelera! People like B´52s, mixing disco music, with surf, no wave, but trying to create their own sound. We know that to do something totally new is a really difficult matter, but at least we should try. For us the worst is to do the fucking cliché and be the new Sonic Youth for example. They however were inspired by Velvet Underground, Crime, Stooges, Swell Maps, they are the shakers of many things from the no wave era, but they would not imitate Velvets, and that is the cool thing about them, cause at the end they have found their own sound. So when music is a fucking cliché it is so boring. The last years we’ve found in California many interesting projects, but in general the music world sucks. It is very sweetened and very awful, no substance at all, we don´t like it, when we listen to the latest popular songs we actually think that we have not missed anything at all.

Spring/summer itinerary for L.A. Drones?

Since our return from Europe in mid September we were almost eight months non-stop playing almost every weekend, some times two or three times solely in L.A. and surroundings. We can almost say that we were on tour for seven months locally here in L.A. As we will not have the vinyl until late August—which is coming out on the label This Starcraft—we want to continue working on the new songs we already have for the second LP. Surely we will continue playing some concerts during the spring/summer, but only a few until the VINYL RELEASE PARTY at the end of August in HM157—a big party, that you should not miss. The idea is to expand our repertoire of songs. Right now we have seven plus three versions, and another seven in the pipeline for our second LP. From September we would like to tour Northern California and the Bay, and maybe more, lets see what happens…

L.A.Drones! album debut The Name Of This Band Is L.A.Drones! will be available May 22 via the Oakland label This Starcraft.

Grape Room

Grape Room's Peter Nichols, the dawning of Nicey Music, & the great Los Angeles migration; photographed by Luke Csehak.

Grape Room’s Peter Nichols, the dawning of Nicey Music, & the great Los Angeles migration; photographed by Luke Csehak.

Allow us to quickly bring you up to speed—Peter Nichols of Spooky Town Tapes made the big jump from Brattleboro, Vermont to sunny Los Angeles, California where he launched the new imprint Nicey Music with Rabbit Rabbit’s farewell album (also featured in Impose’s “Best Music of April” article) I’ll Always Remember You ft. Nichols’ girlfriend Louise Chicoine (of Banny Grove, who also has another release soon in-store from the label). Peter’s beloved solo project of love Grape Room (formed from the ashes of The Great Valley) prepares the next Nicey release with the upcoming album Heart of Gum available June 21, presenting the world premiere of the electrifying eccentric-ism enjoyed on “Yankee On The Run”. Nichols pitched us the new album as being “the most modern Grape album, almost entirely synth-based and computerized,” Peter explained, being an artist known for devising the most clever of DIY home-brewed hacks to make lo-tek/lo-fi symphonies come true in a world where Windows 95 is the most cutting edge GUI/operating system around. “Even the guitars were fed to a guitar-to-MIDI interface,” Peter elaborated, “And replaced with Japanese bells and whistles, and the drums were all notated hit by hit. At the intersection of prog musicality and Prince-obsessed pop-mania, as usual.”

Imagine if Peter Nichols got the chance to re-track and remix Ariel Pink’s Mature Themes, and even then you’re not even close to encapsulating the freedom flights of delightful, freakish fancy that awaits on “Yankee On The Run”. The east coast origins of that signature Peter Nichols sound can be heard here like an earworm constructed from Lite-Brite vacuum tube takes on colonial state traditional-style hymns of the republic. The harpsichord-esque synth is put together like an 80s pop take on classic forms, where every eastern bell tone strikes a succinct chord & tone that provides further decorative detail while the audience follows a yankee doodle dandy taking flight across the song’s fleeting narrative. Read our interview with Grape Room’s own Peter Nichols featured right after the following debut of “Yankee On The Run”.

We’re interested in hearing about the making of what is allegedly the most modern Grape Room album to date—Heart of Gum. How did it feel to take on a more synth-based-quasi-digital approach than you’re normally used to?

Incredible. I recorded songs on a cassette 8-track every day for nine years, literally every day, that’s how we made all of the Great Valley albums. About a year ago something inspired me to try a different way. It’s been really a joy working with my computer. I’ve recorded at least 100 songs since then—these will be some of the first to see the light.

Grape room week in pop Heart of Gum cover

In what ways did this more electronic approach impact the recordings from your ear and view?

I lost my patience for anything real. Nothing on this album is mic’d, except the singing. All the drums are lifted from the drum machine Prince used on Purple Rain and Around the World in a Day—real crunchy synthesized but imitative sounds, programed hit by hit. Almost all the instruments are presets from a few different Japanese synths from the 80s. All the guitar parts swapped out by means of a MIDI pickup. I’m hooked on the idea that a synthesized sound can be more realistic than the instrument it’s imitating, like for example if I play the slap bass sound on my Casio it sounds more like a bass than if I point a mic at a bass amp—but also totally false. The move from analog to digital went with a whole question about authenticity for me. Also, feeling less need to look at the past for musical inspiration. Also, understanding music and pop songs now in a more theoretical context, needing these recordings to exist in a clean and codable form to represent like their true form.

What is the story behind the free-wheeling “Yankee On The Run”?

It took me five years to move to LA from the magic valley town Brattleboro, VT. This album was written right at the end of that time. There’s a line of reasoning in the northeast, probably everywhere, that’s like why would you go anywhere else? I love the sun. I found true love around that time too, and that was very freeing!

What else awesome is happening at the Nicey Music offices, and how are you taking to your new LA digs?

After this release we have a fast and hard 7″ from Mark Cone, the new 12-tone-Casio-playing alter-ego of the most popular man in punk, Jackie from Sediment Club and Urochromes. And then the maiden sail of Nicey’s flagship, Banny Grove, which I can’t say enough to prepare you for. We’ve been hosting Nicey Nights at LA’s 2 newest and coolest venues, The Roach Motel and Werk. I like LA.

Grape Room’s upcoming album Heart of Gum will be available July 1 from Nicey Music.

Littlefoot

Littlefoot live; photographed by Annie Melden.

Littlefoot live; photographed by Annie Melden.

Providence by Boston’s Erica Sutherland leads the band Littlefoot, alongside TJ Freda (of Midriffs) & Nick Makarovskiy, and presents the video premiere for “Night of the Living Dreams” directed & edited Brandi Diaz, co-written by Sutherland. Featuring additional cinematography from Nick Valaskatgis, we follow Erica & company Caroline Conley, Tori Moline, Kristen Momoko, Ben Semeta & Peter Colpack from beach to briar where the feeling of walking around a world of lucid feels vaguely familiar and real. Diaz’s video opens a door into a dimension where things are both fanciful, frightening, fascinating, and magical all at the same time.

Originally featured off the album of the same name, Littlefoot opens the gates into a dreamworld where the narrative shifts like the ever revolving gears of the sleeping of the unconsciousness. Brandi Diaz’s video begins with the emergence of our heroine from her futuristic tent pod on a seashore guarded by a trio of glamorous maidens that run off with a cryptic map that Erica discovers. The following scene finds our protagonist in fancy formal dress attire in a field where a suitor proves to be a zombie. A doorway brings Sutherland to a mystical magic show presentation, that sends the entire sequence of dreams spinning to a head where all of the motifs and plot device objects (treasure map, sunflowers, etc) are carried up an attic staircase where an upper level light can be seen emanating in an entrancing glow from an open door. Erica Sutherland took the time to chat with us in an interview featured after the following video debut for “Night of the Living Dreams”.

First off, tell us about working with Brandi Diaz on bringing your title track Night of the Living Dreams to life, moving from shore, through the trees, leaves, & low lit intimate interiors.

I wanted the video to feel like a series of dream sequences that flow into each another, the narrative inspired by the lyrics in the verses. The song and the narrative in the video reflect themes of loss of innocence and trust, uncertainty, not always knowing where you stand or who’s on your side, and how quickly situations and people can turn on you. Whenever I’m having a lucid dream I try to just wander around outside and see who I can meet instead of trying to make things happen, and I think the video feels like a series of lucid dreams that I might have.

Making this video was a pretty wild ride—we were pretty ambitious about how much we wanted to get done; lots of scenery and costume changes. There were a lot of people involved that helped make it happen—Brandi and her friend Nick Valaskatgis filmed the video, Maureen Dane was in charge of hair and makeup, and a bunch of our friends acted in the video (Peter Colpack, Ben Semeta, Tori Moline, Kristen Momoko, and Caroline Conley). Julia Sullivan, John Sutherland, and Ben Semeta helped out with props, Kelly Eident from “I’m Your Present” made one of the costumes, and Brandi did a great job coming up with the final edit.

Littlefoot; photographed by Virginia Sutherland.

Littlefoot; photographed by Virginia Sutherland.

Interested in hearing about what making the album Night of the Living Dreams was like, what sorts of dreams and inspiring nocturnes informed the album?

Most of the songs on this album were inspired by some kind of loss, heartbreak or stress. Dreams have always been a good vehicle to express these kinds of thoughts in my songwriting, since dreams are usually metaphors for the things we experience in real life.

What are you and your friends working on right now, and what should we be expecting next in the pipeline from Littlefoot?

Currently working on writing a new album—and hopefully doing some upcoming tours this summer and fall. And more videos! I’m also working on a tour diary from my West Coast tour—photos, drawings, etc.

Stepping into the light with Littlefoot; photographed by Leo Burke.

Stepping into the light with Littlefoot; photographed by Leo Burke.

Spring and summer fixations and focuses right now?

Every Stevie Nicks album from the 80s, music biographies, ballet, Star Wars fruit snacks, tarot readings, being outside.

Best of Boston right now—people, places, faces, etc?

Too many good bands to name! Some of my favorites have recently relocated to LA or New York (Gracie, IAN, Guerilla Toss). I just moved to Union Square in Somerville & found a lot of great spots to eat—Brass Union, Bloc 11, El Potro. The Middle East in Cambridge is definitely one of my favorite venues. My job is actually one of my favorite places to be—I work at Gateway Arts in Brookline, an art program for adults with special needs.

Catch Littlefoot on the following dates:

May
22 Wilmington, DE @ 1984 w/ Fiance, The Year End
23 Blacksburg, VA @ Robin Williams Center for the Arts w/ Manic Pixi
24 Nashville, TN @ Drkmttr w/ Dogtooth, Pinkwash
26 Washington, DC @ House Show w/ Free Cake for Every Creature, Foozle, Julian
27 Philadelphia, PA @ Gremlin’s Den w/ Steep Leans
28 Brooklyn, NY @ Gateway w/ Klozapin, Aloha Machine, Jouska

Littlefoot’s album Night of the Living Dreams is available now via Bandcamp.

Jónó Mí Ló

Keeping up with the prolific Jónó Mí Ló, aka Jonathan Milu Lockhart; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Keeping up with the prolific Jónó Mí Ló, aka Jonathan Milu Lockhart; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Available now via cassette on Moon Myst from NYC artist/Afternoons Modeling operator/curator/provocateur Jónó Mí Ló—we are proud to present the latest round of new atmospheric environments, ambience, & new age energy on Lavender Plates III: Panic Attack. The first side allows you to enter the cavernous cisterns where water, steps, and the flutter of natural wild animal & mineral life resonate in call and responses that echo off the spacious curved ceilings and walls on “This is What I Wanted (For Grandpa Gene)”. These vast chambers of sustained sounds of nearly infinite wonder are complimented through the electric shrill tones of organic feedback that course through the nervous system of “I Can’t Wait to Meet Him (For Ary)”. Check out Moon Myst for further details.

Naked Hour

Introducing Naked Hour; photographed by Claire Gunville.

Introducing Naked Hour; photographed by Claire Gunville.

With roots that go back to their days in middle school, Naked Hour’s Teal Bluestone & Ethan Conroy prepare to release their debut album for Good Cheer Records titled Always On The Weekend. Completed as a trio with the addition of Jackson Walker, Teal & Ethan take a math class meeting from 2009 that bloomed into a would-be concept album turned coming of age tale that tackles the complexities of adulthood & youth by way of cathartic scuzz-pop candy. On today’s world premiere of “Crossfade”, Naked Hour bares it all out there on the table for for all to marvel and relate to according to each individual’s own experiences, understanding and intimate connection to the lyrics and catchy melodies. Teal draws from a trove of experiences surrounding former friends, lovers, and the sailing away departure like two formerly allied ships leaving one another as the moonlight casts it’s reflection on the ripples of the sea.

“Crossfade” finds Ethan & Jackson providing rhythm & moods for Teal’s narratives of questionable attachments of oddball ex-significant others and their antics. Bluestone describes the baffling case of the weird one that would often come around and all the awkwardness, excuses for strange behavior, and more that arises as the instrumentation on the verse take on a storytelling style of progression mode. The “sail away in the crossfade” resolve that bursts like a supernova blast is the entire anticipated build-up that results from Teal’s story about those tedious characters that appear without invitation that make life stranger than it has to be (or should be). “Crossfade” keeps your ears glued to the skipping percussive momentum that brings you to the big break in big explosion of emotive audio dynamite that creates the feeling of freeing yourself from all undesirable and unwanted attachments. After the following debut, be sure to read our candid conversation with Teal Bluestone, Ethan Conroy, & Jackson Walker.

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Take us back to that fateful meeting in math class back in the days of middle school and the musical bond that would launch Naked Hour.

Ethan: Freshman year of high school, Teal and I were in math and band class together. We became close friends pretty quick and started jamming together at her parent’s house a lot. I showed her a bunch of pop-punk bands I was into, and she sort of evened me out with all the cutesy indie bands she showed me, and I think that’s where our sound comes from.

Teal: Gosh, either I was just plain lucky to have sat next to Ethan or, they just got a run for their money because, lets be honest I am horrible at math. So glad Ethan put up with me. I remember asking them how long they had played guitar for and they said like oh five years before I was born also do you want to listen to Bayside….and I think that’s when I really started to get back into pop punk.

Jackson: I was unfortunately not lucky enough to be sharing the same school district as Teal or Ethan; same town the whole time, but we all didn’t finally meet till first year I was in college back in 2012. I’m the recent addition as of about just under a year….can’t say I remember the date exactly. I’m certain the moment in question had a mystical sort of vibe; can’t say I have any reason to be certain at all because I was not physically there. But I will think it anyway.

Interested in hearing about the making of the self-titled, expanding on the minimalist nature of the debut EP Long Run recorded with bass & drums.

Ethan: There are four songs on the upcoming record that are updated versions of songs that were on The Long Run EP. I remember the first day we brought Jackson in to play guitar. He just added so much dimension to the sound. Between that and me being behind the whole drum kit and not just a floor tom and a snare, I’m really stoked on the way we expanded those minimalist tracks.

Teal: Yeah we recorded the new album—it’s going to be called Always on the Weekend—this winter and about half the songs were from the old album and half were new ones. Jackson wrote these sick, sick, sick guitar parts for the old songs that really brought the influences that we wanted into the forefront of the songs. Also with the new fuller sound we could just play louder, something that I desperately had a yearning for.

Jackson: Before I joined Naked Hour officially, Ethan and I both had started this band with another friend called Robot Boy. Some time between these two bands coming together Teal came to me wanting to record the Long Run stuff. I’m not much of an engineer in my own right. Like, through just trial and error I had at that point figured out how recording stuff on a basic level—just enough to get some Robot Boy demos recorded. But I said yes to Teal anyway thinking it would be a fun excuse to hang out more than anything. I’d seen them perform the songs live a few times—in a few differing varieties of my friend’s basements and figured the songs had lots of potential. Looking back now—having recorded Long Run and now playing on the new record Always on the Weekend—it seems funny that my initial thought was to get that potential I heard by strategic recording; again, not too much of a producer in my own right. Now I see that when I was seeing them play I was already subconsciously thinking of it with guitar already added as if I was already in the band—I really wanted to help fill out the sound. The new record definitely reflects that. The minimal vibe on Long Run is still something we try to keep in mind with the scope of what we want this group to accomplish going forward—but after recording with Matt at Ivy League recordings it became clear that it’s still possible to continue to embody that minimal spirit while making something as a three piece and adding guitars. Also on a personal level, having tried to fake being a real engineer for Long Run, Matt’s expert hands in the project really helped us be able to just focus on the musical aspects of the project while he did all that lovely computer wizardry. Seriously can’t talk him up enough.

Ethan you have talked before about the freestyle nature of the Naked Hour songwriting process, and I was interested in hearing how that method was involved with the making of this album.

Ethan: Teal will usually come to Jackson and I with a song mostly written, and then we work together to complete it. She’ll often have a melody in her head and sing it for us and then ask, okay so how do I play that on bass?

Teal: Most of the songs that I write I think about what message or abstract feeling I’m attempting to get out. Either its melody line first and then lyrics or reverse. I will be humming something on the way to my car and then its like, oh, looks like I’m thinking about a dumb boy again, gotta write it down. I will get a weird itchy feeling and that’s how I know I need to go to my room and just write. The best part of this whole process is I’m not very good half the time of translating the song into music from my head so often I will just freestyle shout/yell/dance/hum/ things to Ethan—drum parts, or guitar parts that I cannot figure out—and thank god Ethan and Jackson are so talented because they just right away understand, Oh, that’s just B flat, blah blah blah

Jackson: Yeah, the songwriting process is kinda all over the place. Teal does take the lion’s share of the initial work—that really is key. Ethan and I both write songs for ourselves and other projects—but the sound of Naked Hour really comes from Teal’s unique perspective. She usually comes to the table with some rough outline of something already thought out; usually about 70% of a chorus and a vague idea what she wants the chords to be in a phrasing sense. The fun, freestyle part comes in just you know—joking around. Playing that as a group over and over until you turn it into something that makes you personally excited to play it again. That tends to be the place where Ethan and myself will find opportunities to suggest fine tuning stuff—usually making a point to add some tonal and rhythmic depth to the songs while still trying not to distract from the song’s initial intent. That varies plenty, sure: sometimes Teal already has it all worked out, lyrics and chord progression and all, and then it’s hella easy. Other times we start writing a song thinking things as vague as “let’s have a song that starts out with drums,” and just play around with that until something sticks. Ultimately through Teal’s example Naked Hour has really been a band that values something that I think is integral to all music but easy to never talk about—that it’s supposed to be fun for those listening. What’s the best way to try and ensure that? Well I wouldn’t pretend to definitively know that—none of us would. But I can say without a doubt that Naked Hour is fun for me to be a part of in every respect—and I think maintaining that on a working level with those you play with is often overlooked when it comes to making your sound together, fluid, tight, all that jazz.

Catching up with Portland's Naked Hour; photographed by Claire Gunville.

Catching up with Portland’s Naked Hour; photographed by Claire Gunville.

Also want to hear how the concept album approach gave rise to a song cycle of moving experiences and more.

Ethan: I can’t speak much to the lyrical content on the album but I’m sure Teal has lots to say about her experiences that influenced the songs.

Teal: Basically my ex-boyfriend disappeared for eight months and nobody knew what happened to him. Part two of album: he came back and we went out for a while and eventually he became this horrible dark person that ended up making some not safe choices…Then we wrote part three. He called me some really horrible things [laughs], we almost titled the album Jewish American Princess Bitch. Priceless catch phrase. Anyways, what was so beautiful about that relationship was that it brought forth so much material and intricate story lines to draw upon. It had endless nooks and crannies to pull characters and dialogue from. Making art from real life experiences always seems to be the most significant to me.

Jackson: We talk about boys a lot. Boys are often pretty dumb—certain boys have also metaphorically vomited their dumb into Teal’s life whether she’s wanted them to or not. You’d have to talk to her for a lot of the specifics because it’s really not my place to talk about- but these songs are inalienably linked to those experiences: how she has processed and learned from them, and to a lesser extent how Ethan and myself have gone through the same process just being in the vicinity of it. In a lot of ways I think while we started with a concept record in mind—it became harder to call it that the more we realized that it was about Teal, not a representation of a person but the real friend in our actual lives. People can call it a concept record if they want because I mean—they’re not wrong. There is a subtle sort of narrative that moves along the new record maintained from the beginning of the process. But as we’ve played shows we’ve come to see just how many people resonate with the kinds of situations, and subjects, and feelings we mention throughout the record: relationships, distance within them, how they come and go, why that matters, and questioning why it is that boys can get away with so much more terrible things in the process—often without apology. We saw that they weren’t just resonating with the songs on a symbolic level; they were relating to the literal, actual experiences Teal had been through and making a point to tell Teal how much that meant to them—how much it was a nice change of perspective in an art form often dominated by white cisgendered males—myself included. That’s what changes my perspective from thinking of the record less as a concept piece and more as our way to say, hey, we know that there are people out there that are shitty to those they’re supposed to love. And we know that often times the people who receive said shit have no reason to deserve it. And we know there is no one way to help everyone uniformly in dealing with that realization. But we hope these songs will remind you that you aren’t the only one trying- and that there are people all around willing to talk and fumble out our feelings together…hopefully with a party…and guitars.

What are you all listening to, watching, & reading right now?

Ethan: Currently listening to: PWR BTTM, Little Star, St. Vincent, Beyonce’s Lemonade

Teal: Current Bands: Julie Doiron, Adult Mom, Basement, Teen Suicide Mosaic, Pity Sex, Broadcast, Mirah, Regina Specktor, Pedro the Lion, French pop music from the 60s, Little Star, Blowout…

Jackson: I’ve been loving Frankie Cosmos’ new record. Also our friends Sioux Falls are doing really cool stuff- should be finishing their most recent tour just about the time this comes out. Other local shout outs: Blowout, Little Star, Lubec, Dowager, Cool American, Two Moons. It’s been great to recently be in a place where I forget to listen to a lot of new nationally released stuff because local music in Portland and northwest bands in general are doing such cool stuff that I genuinely want to hear. Blake Hickman just showed us this chill band Churn from Washington that’s pretty killer. Wishing every day that Pedro the Lion would come to a show here that doesn’t sell out before I can afford it. Also that Glocca Morra never broke up.

Summer game plan?

Ethan: Summer plans include releasing the album, writing more songs, and going on a west coast tour!

Teal: Plans: Tourtourtourtour…

Jackson: Looks like this summer we have our record officially coming out with with some bigger shows down here in Portland- following that we have the beginnings of a tour—possibly August? Still working out the kinks—in the works as well as a director already picked out for a video we’ll likely be filming in June. Very up in the air currently but the energy and potential is palpable. Probably soon after all that is done we’ll be getting serious about recording again and, if all goes well, kinda repeating the process.

Naked Hour’s Always On the Weekend album will be available soon from Good Cheer Records.

Fog Father

Direct from the Portland scenes, we bring you Fog Father.

Direct from the Portland scenes, we bring you Fog Father.

Despite the upheavals of tech squares and bubble investing venture capitalists invading practically any remotely interesting city in the greater 50 states of North America—bands like Portland’s Fog Father further help keep the misty dream and creative spirit alive. Proving that IFC’s ordained ministers of PDX snark Fred Armisen & Carrie Brownstein have not turned the entire city into a parody of it’s former (weirder) self; Fog Father’s Thomas Burke, Marty Walsh, David Rosman & Bryson Hansen tap into the sound that emulates the feel of the fog arriving on the northern shores from the extensive bodies of western waters. With news of their upcoming album The Plauge of Fantasies available soon, we are honored to present your ears with the following treat to the world premiere of Fog Father’s “Trapped in a Web” that ensnares the listener in an elaborate dreamcatcher like a fly caught in a spider’s cross-cut lattice spindles.

With the school seasons letting out for the summer duration, “Trapped in a Web” rises above the midterms, finals, student loans, debts, creditors, & deferments with ephemeral overtones that tower like gaseous convection cycles observed through a view canopied by Douglas Firs. Rhythms roll out the individual elements of audio that move like electric creatures from the great ocean deep surfacing to witness the world above. The studious trappings are alluded by the band in the song’s title and chorus while waterside daydreams and fantasies occur like extracurricular urges and instincts that are naturally felt in the daily life of a student. “Trapped in a Web” feels like the holiday that happens on the stage in the mind’s theater after falling fast asleep while enduring the pedantic penchant for didactic that lessons & lectures often bring. Read our interview with the band, featured after the following debut.

How did you arrive upon the name Fog Father?

Fog Father is a made up wizard-like gatekeeper that allows sound to pass through cross-dimensional spaces. The name its self evolved out of a series of sound collage pieces Bryson was making for his MFA. The series was called Phantom Noise and in its final iteration the Fog Father character performed live to reel to reel mixtapes and loops.

Describe your own approach to make some such spacey, dreamy styles of synth kissed psych pop?

Many of the songs are the result of late night tinkering on pianos and tape machines, mixing up trippy pop hooks and jazz chords into swirly ballads. A lot of our material has started out that way and then the band does a ton of rewriting and rearranging together to see where the songs will go. Our guitar player, Dave, is a really creative producer and helps weave together the vocal and tape effects stuff Bryson makes, along with full band overdubs and arrangements, in addition to his own background in electronic music.

Tell us about the trappings, webs, and events that inspired “Trapped in a Web”.

“Trapped in a Web” is about addiction and isolation. It has a darkness to it, even though its kind of a dance song. Simultaneously, it’s about feeling cornered and going into tons of debt for student loans. Sallie Mae is like a spider sucking blood out of my wallet.

What’s rad in Portland right now?

Portland’s music scene is getting bigger and crazier every day. There’s some really cool electronic and hip-hop coming into the city. The Last Artful, Dodgr is a favorite.

Give us the grand Fog Father spring summer preview:

Fog Father is hitting the studio really hard right now, putting final touches on a album that has been developing for over two years. There’s been a ton of material and experimentation with homemade loops and tape effects, in addition to mixing live and electronic drums and sounds. We’ll have another single coming out very soon! We’re also hoping to get the album out and do another tour in the next few months. Hang on to yer butts!

Check out Fog Father’s site for further details.

Tim Lannen

The legendary Tim Lannen; press photo courtesy of the artist.

The legendary Tim Lannen; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Formerly of Huntington, NY’s legendary The Diggs (circa 2004-2009); we give you the new release from the group’s former leader Tim Lannen with Heaven O’Clock, Part 1. Produced by Beat Radio’s Brian Sendrowitz, he brings out the inner spark from Lannen in self-affirming anthems like “I’m a Solution”, reaching for beams of new brilliances on “Same Light”, the unsettled settlements of “A Calm I Don’t Like”, that coast into sentimental rekindling reels of “Feel Song”, where those feelings are rolled up into the bonfire of the DIY vanities. Sendrowitz introduces their collaborative work with the following preface:

Tim Lannen fronted a band called The Diggs from 2004 to 2009. Although they were ultimately under-appreciated they were a seminal NYC band of an era where the music industry was collapsing, mp3 blogs reigned supreme, and nobody knew what the fuck they were doing. The prevailing wisdom was to keep pushing forward, keep making content, with the hope that it would somehow turn into a way to build a career. The Diggs were my favorite band, and they were my friends. They were a constant source of inspiration. By 2010 we all woke up from the dream, bands parted ways, and it was clear that the content race was a race that nobody would win. There was no quitting your day job, no more major label debut.

For the next few years Tim lived a quiet life in his apartment in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. He kept busy running a coffee shop in Tribeca, making music casually with friends, starting and abandoning different projects. He didn’t stop making music but his creative output was less song-oriented and more experimental in nature. Tim shared songs with me from time to time—long drone-y synthed-out instrumentals, remixes of tracks by Phoenix and Arthur Russell, noisy electronic experiments. It was never not fascinating, but with a few exceptions, it also seemed like he was holding back, protecting himself, and masking the vulnerability that had made the songs he had written with his old band so riveting.

Then last August Tim sent me an iPhone demo for a new song via email with the message “I think I want to be in a band again.” It was clear that some sort of awakening was taking place. The next day another song followed, and the day after that. Within a few weeks, he had written an album’s worth of material, in what seemed like a fever dream. Tim’s Heaven O’Clock EP is a return to a sort of focused, direct, guitar based songcraft, but it also expands on the palette of his previous work with a more sonically adventurous spirit. There’s a sense of ease and confidence to these songs that’s undeniable. It’s as if all the experimentation of the last five years was building up to this moment.

I remember once talking with Tim about a song I was working on, and expressing frustration over how long it was taking to get the lyrics right. “I know man,” Tim said. “Me too, and then all the sudden shit writes itself.” That’s how Tim songs feel to me. He makes it sound effortless, and revelatory. The songs feel like they’ve always existed, waiting for us to find them, so we can get lost in them, and maybe even be healed by them. I don’t know if music comes from divine inspiration or not. I don’t care either way. I just know that listening to songs like these makes me feel a little more alive, and connected to the world around me.

Shad Shadows cast silhouettes and synth noir lurid pop with their self-made b/w video for the title track found off their debut album Minor Blues available from Disko Obscura. Springing from the dark mascara tinted vibes arrives a menace of might and passion depicted in the collages of obscure art and vintage blue film montages that provide further layers of jagged edges to the Shad Shadows presence.

Presenting the Ross Harris video for the Dungeon Sessions video for “God” off the Stones Throw release Kindness for Weakness; Homeboy Sandman sets us up with a lesson about his relationship with the subject of deity and metaphysical entities. This is a little rhyme to share with the folks the next time you are forced to attend church.

Austin, TX garage-blasters Basketball Shorts prepare to play full court on their forthcoming debut full-length album Hot and Ready available July 8 from Fleeting Youth Records and Austin Town Hall Records. With their single “Looking”, the classic Jay Reatard canon is paid tribute in delivery where the homage creates a rippling cause and effect that points to the continuing narrative in the ever unfolding stories of southern DIY legacies.

Featured off of LA trio Susan’s debut full-length album Never Enough for Volar Records; the band released the Abby Banks directed video for the anthem of identity assertion & ultimate autonomy, “I’ve Been Known”. In true-Susan fashion, the three harmonize testaments of experience and vindication while the video showcases Susan in a most glamorous and jubilant fashion.

Philadelphia’s Chynna Rogers, known by the primary, sans surname, sharing her new track “The Conversation” that encourages generative dialogues while sporting TĀLĀ production.

Hear Paul Gilmore’s remix of Leena Ojala’s “Poison Words” that casts away negative words like a shield from epithets hurled like poisoned tipped darts. The remix slows the cut out and smooths it out so that Ojala’s voice is placed on a pedestal like an oasis of kindness discovered in an unforgiving desert.

From Grand Rapids, MI; meet the psych rocking three-pack Heaters that ride the big ripping waves of distortion and other delights with “Centennial” from their upcoming Baptistina album available August 5 from Beyond Beyond is Beyond. “Centennial” shreds in ways like those vintage surf secret songs withheld on clandestine 45s and then later discovered in the current common era.

Comprised of members from Hoop Dreams and the legendary White Laces by way of Brooklyn; check out their group Teen Body who dropped the recollection rocking horse sways on “Can’t Remember”. With their supergroup collaborative album debut Get Home Safe available June 17; the group champions the Polaroid memory pictures that fall in the crevices of the void, awaiting new recollections.

Paideia’s self-titled EP will be available later this June, and you are invited to step into the slick electric world of legend, lore, & “Myth”. From here all the really big entrancing electronic pop tropes spring to full maximalist effect in manners that sound unstoppable and off the charts.

We bring you The Blank Tapes’ new video from Cameron Holland, Matt Adams, Kehana Krumme, co-directed by Megan Kelly, & styled by Pearl Charles for “LA Baby” off the new album Ojos Rojos. Matt & the gang keep those sun-kissed California gold gems shining bright as we witness Adams & the Tapes strutting it up around the great Los Angeles era. This is where all the glorious & glamorous facets of southern California lore & love come to thrive for life.

Russian dream weavers Sounds of Sputnik release their album debut New Born May 16 via Moon Sounds Records and we give you the following listen. Featuring a series of collaborations throughout the record, the Ummagma synergistic connections strike the senses like your favorite lost resurrected narratives from mid 90s dream pop, revising your nostalgic notions on the brilliant duet of shared illumination on “Light Scheme”, harnessing the sciences of space & more on the interstellar “Overdrive” that also features generous contributions from Ummagma. Remixes abound from Malcolm Holmes of OMD re-tricking the echo spaces and places of “New Born”, new techno terrain uncovered on Oleg Mezherovsky’s remix, to the nu-house re-dressing heard on Morozov’s re-rendering. “Light Scheme” is brought to new bright beams of being on the Fran Ashcroft remix, stretched across new synth & rhythm terrains on Sputnik’s own remix, right before you are left with the cinema for the ear version made exclusively by the meticulous pop minds of Mind Movies. This is an auditory event for the senses not to be missed.

Czech dream-wavers Manon Meurt just released the self-titled EP via Toronto imprint Label Obscura and we deliver you the following listen of modern day lullabies for the heart & soul. Vague recollections lost are lamented on “To Forget”, delivering the illuminating ever-glow heard on “Glowing Cityscape”, to the pensive places of solace on “’94”, tales of pride and potential on “Until You Can”, jettisoning forward on the blazing blizzard of “In These Eyes”, leaving you with the might mountain majesty of “Blue Bird”. Manon Meurt is a musical treat you have waited nearly all your life for; a band that empathizes all the feels imaginable in a universally attractive sound.

Lille, France’s Helix Pulsar recently released Beyond The Wall that punches holes in Roger Waters’ Floydian conceptual work with electronic synth pop mechanisms. “Rapture” brings about an industrious mode of operations where the event of the tribulation is depicted like anachronistic Soviet-era pop made in clandestine corners beyond & behind the barricades and blockades or iron, brick & mortar.

Alan Abrahams, aka Portable has just signed to !K7 and released the track of ennui, entropy and empathy with “As For Me” ft. Kinoo & Alexey Kochetkov. In a mix of electronic rhythms & strings; questions of desire and directions mull about in an express symphony of deep felt sentiments.

Edinburgh, Scotland’s Spook School return on the forthcoming Continental Drift comp available August 26 from Slumberland Records / Fortuna POP, presenting the video for “Gone Home” that highlights the prominent presence and prowess of frontwoman Anna Cory.

Hotel for Strangers’ self-titled EP will be available July 1 and we have the single “Work” that delivers a cluster of synth-arrangements that illustrate an electrically enhanced pop discipline.

Porches’ Aaron Maine traveled from New York to Philadelphia to provide some intimate sessions, where Out Of Town Films provides a view and listen to Maine performing “Mood” captured by Colin Kerrigan, Michael James Murray & Rocco Avallone & shot at Berks Warehouse. The stripped down quality of Aaron’s voice and the resonating golden glow from his understated guitar chords provide the perfect accompaniment for those particularly pensive afternoons that you would rather enjoy all by your lonesome.

Touring May 18 through July 27, Little Wings dropped the down on the farm video for “Where” from Eryka Del Mundo & Marton Meszaros off the Woodsist album EXPLAINS. “Where” is a song that inspires a kind of return to nature impulse, here complete with a video that further entertains these holistic characteristics of Kyle Field’s own created aesthetic.

Swedish pop star & producer Merely brings the pain that hurts so good with the flare-up fire-fall of “Backdraft”, found off her Sincerely Yours album Silent Pain. Merely revels in the ultra-Scandi-sophisti-pop that has evolved from Balearic obsessions to maximalist components that are rapidly influencing tomorrow’s radio hits (while taking a lot of bold cues from modern day FM radio tropes & more).

Amy Klein of Titus Andronicus dropped the red, white, and blue of “American City” from her forthcoming album Fire available June 10 from Don Giovanni Records. The sound of a life spent on the road, seeing the sites, experiences, and sounds of towns strewn from sea to shining sea heralded by power chord chops. Catch Amy’s release show June 23 at Silent Barn.

In case you haven’t yet, bathe in the pretty electro-pop made by NYC duo Paperwhite with their new Escape EP. From “Get Away” to “Storm” the duo bring the big diamond synth sparkles that shine like the floodlight glow that illuminates abandoned warehouse happenings, and subterranean soirees.

From Yeesh’s forthcoming Confirmation Bias album available July 22 via Tiny Engines, lending us a listen to the anthem-amped shred & shout single, “End Results”. Alex Doyle discards the conceits for greater metaphysical constraints and concerns that are reiterated in riffs and progressions that push power chords beyond the preconceived notions and previously established biases.

John Carpenter’s upcoming Redux 12″s are said to include Halloween b/w Escape From New York, Assault on Precinct 13 b/w The Fog Out; available June 17 from Sacred Bones Records. Now the great auteur and synth-soundtrack maestro presents a listen and view of live studio performance for the iconic theme from Escape From New York.

Oslo House delivered the b-side to their new 7″ Plateau available today from Trendy Feelings with the mystic rolling tributaries “Kamo River”. Let the chords let you roll down the streams like a canoe or barrel riding floating into the channels of pure blissful tranquility.

Catching up with the good folks at Toronto’s Buzz Records, we bring you Twist that puts a new spin on your favorite power ballad classics with the saturated pop sentiment of “Soaked”. This is the song that you always wanted to soundtrack your favorite moments where you felt consumed by heart felt passions that you could barely describe.

Get “Lifted” with the following listen to the single of the same name off the upcoming album PAGAN—the upcoming debut album from Palmistry available June 17 from Mixpak. Vocal and synth edits and chops dot the surface of the sequencing for a punchy effect.

Portland sextet Reptaliens are comprised of Ian Anderson, Bambi Browning, Cole Browning, Lex Browning, Bryson Hanson, & Cat Hoch are prepping the release of their debut Recordings EP available from the band in July, as they treat us to the treasures of “Nunya”. The result is a restrained love note ballad inflected with twinkling synths that shine like wayward, smiling stars that sit studded while emanating perpetual beams of reflected light.

From inc. no world’s vocalist/guitarist Andrew Aged & Daniel Aged busting out the B3 organ & rhythms on “The Wheel” from No World Recordings. The result is a turning tale of putting yourself out there on the platter or rotating pedestal where the feel of carousel-style induced euphoria is turned like a psychedelic lazy-susan whirl-o-sound.

And in case you haven’t gotten all wavy with this one yet; here is cln’s “Owls” that not only flies/floats but zaps like microwave rays to a frozen specialty pizza wrap.

Al Scorch’s Bloodshot Records album debut Circle Round the Signs is available today and we give you a listen to the schmaltz and nu-vaudeville antics with a listen to “Everybody Out” & “Lost At Sea”. The jange-town jamboree kicks off with the jubilation of “Everybody”, right before busting out all the accordion and banjo blaring energy that mixes 1916 American trad styles for 2016.

From rising pop star Jazz Morley featuring Draper production; we deliver her new big single “Bad Love” where the onset of new bonds & attached are matched against the feelings of distrust and unease at the prospective potential for even newer heartbreaks to follow.

Magic Potion’s anticipated debut album Pink Gum will be available May 27 from PNKSLM Recordings (vinyl) & Beech Coma (cassette), and we have your listen to the single “Jelly”. The lo-fi hums & strums provide a lackadaisical style that feels like the slow, sure & steady beginning of a brand new day that has a homemade warm glow.

REVILO dropped electronic emotive allure of “Lure”, where attractions and feelings stir together in a mix of metric rhythms wrapped in satin silk synths.

Witness the Olaf Stuut remix of Esh’s “Trigger” that moves like urgent 8-bit side-scrolling adventures met with contemporary cavern pop ambience.

From the May 27 slated Saddle Creek album Masterpiece from Big Thief; get caught up in the nostalgia storm that opens the floodgates of memories with feeling on “Paul”.

With their new album Down in Heaven out now, & doing a Reddit AMA via the /r/music subreddit at 6PM EST/5PM CST today; hang around the ancient crypts of a Chicago cemetery featured near a convenience train stop in the Ezra Ewen video for Twin Peak’s “Butterfly”. Matters of life, death, and notions of ceremonial goodbyes are presented as visuals to accompany one of the most upbeat sounding songs around.

Watch their “Butterfly” video here.

Touring now through July 3 with Wild Belle, take a look at the NSFW video for James Supercave’s Alexandre Souêtre video for “Burn // No Pressure” off the album Better Strange. Observe the artistic body moves from nude models with prismatic masks that make for mystical creatures that exist within the Supercave universe.


Atoms and Void shared the heart-string pulling song & video “For Sharon, With Love” from Melissa Henderson found off the debut album and Nothing Else available May 20 from Arctic Rodeo Recordings. The sparse and minimalist naked piano note tones make for an emotional plea & prayer for love & kindness that strikes the most sensitive & guarded sections of our core.

Catch the following chic Rexy cover of “Don’t Turn Me Away” from Nite Jewel, Zoe Kravitz & Samantha Urbani, originally found off the 1981 album Running Out Of Time recently re-pressed by URU/Lucky Number.

Off their upcoming anticipated album Yoncalla available May 27 from Cascine / Arch Hill in Australia / Rallye in Japan / Double Deer in Indonesia—Yumi Zouma brings their own glittering brand of super-sophisti-pop with “Short Truth” that resounds like some of the most glamorous synth pop ever made.

More from the Cascine camp, hear Maria Usbeck’s beautiful “Jungla Inquieta” that provides some ethereal environments for dwelling, found off her debut solo album Amparo available May 27.

In case you missed it, feast your eyes, ears, & the entirety of your senses with the beautiful Sean Miller video for Ethereal and the Queer Show’s (aka EATQS) “Symmetry” off their Noumenal Loom album Fairy Super Crystal Blue. Read our recent headline feature with the duo here.

Eagulls’ Week in Pop

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Eagulls, photographed by Leslie Kalohi at Fox Theater, Pomona.
Leeds’ Eagulls recently released their new album Ullages for Partisan Records, and to help celebrate this momentous occasion proper, they present their following Week in Pop guest selections:

Jane Arden, “Sleepwalking”

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Eagulls performing at Fox Theater, Pomona, photographed by Leslie Kalohi.

Mad Season, Live at The Moore, Seattle 1991

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Eagulls at Fox Theater, Pomona, photographed by Leslie Kalohi.

Underworld, “I Exhale”

Parquet Courts, “Human Performance”

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Eagulls playing Fox Theater, Pomona, photographed by Leslie Kalohi.

CC Dust, “Never Gonna Die”

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Eagulls playing the Fox Theater, Pomona, photographed by Leslie Kalohi.

Pale Saints, “Henry”

Massive Attack & Young Fathers, “Voodoo in My Blood”

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Eagulls taking on the Fox Theater, Pomona, photographed by Leslie Kalohi.
Suede, Live a Glastonbury 2015

Iggy Pop, “Gardenia”

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Eagulls playing Fox Theater, Pomona, photographed by Leslie Kalohi.

Suede, Live a Glastonbury 2015

Prince, “The Cross” (Live)

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