Week in Pop: Beat Radio, The Bulls, Hidden Hind, unhappybirthday

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Echo Courts, Pastel, SheLoom, ft. guest selections by Emily Yacina.

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Sjimon Gompers | January 15, 2016

The Bulls' frontwoman Anna Bulbrook on the rise, hosting Girlschool Field Day in LA January 29-31, releasing a new single today, & just being a boss; photo appears courtesy of the artist.

After the loss of one of the world’s most influential artists, an entire globe grieves and pays homage to the space oddity man who sold the world and captured our collective attentions, hearts, and minds. With hearts full of both thanksgiving and sorrow, Impose’s Week in Pop turns the pages to tomorrow’s and today’s new heroes, starting off with all the biggest stories from the week: Buzzy insights from the Kardashian inner-circle about Kanye’s forthcoming February 11-slated album Swish; that Golden Globes buzz; Kendrick Lamar visited President Obama at the White House and shared his mentoring PSA titled “Pay It Forward”, will also receive the key to Compton courtesy of Mayor Aja Brown, and preps the debut of his new Reebok trainers line Kendrick Lamar Classic Leather January 16 with promo; El VY and Wale played the State of the Union pre-show; Courtney Barnett dropped “Three Packs a Day” off the forthcoming Valentine’s Day-slated compilation Good For You from Milk! Records; an epic Downtown Boys performance and discussion session on “Democracy Now!”; Majical Cloudz dropped the EP Wait & See; Black Mountain announced their new album IV available April 1 from Jagjaguwar, plus March 19-May 21 tour; Woods announced the new album City Sun Eater in the River of Light available April 8 from Woodsist, sharing “Sun City Creeps”; Guerilla Toss announced the album Eraser Stargazer available March 4 from DFA Records sharing “Diamond Girls”; Evan Weiss announced the new Into It. Over It. album, Standards, produced by John Vanderslice, available March 11 from Triple Crown Records, dropped “No EQ”; Chairlift dropped “Moth to the Flame” off the upcoming album Moth; the return of Wolf Parade; Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to celebrate the big 8-0 with screenings of the film, Vision of Paradise; Weezer announced forthcoming self-titled album available April 1; Paris Saint-Germain are not happy about M.I.A.’s use of their soccer jersey in her “Borders” video, further discussions ensue; Yasiin Bey, fka Mos Def, arrested in South Africa over passport debacle; Sam Smith apparently hasn’t heard Radiohead’s prospective theme made for the Spectre film; our warmest thoughts are with Blowfly (real name Clarence Reid) at this time; and we continue to mourn the passing of David Bowie.

As the world turns to the next-new day; we are proud and privileged to present the following exclusives and insights from Beat Radio, The Bulls, Hidden Hind, unhappybirthday, Echo Courts, SheLoom, Still Flyin’, Pastel, Mikael Delta, Morly, featuring guest selections by Emily Yacina, and more—in no particular order.

The Bulls

In and out of the blur & focuses with The Bulls; photographed by Juan Azulay.

In and out of the blur & focuses with The Bulls; photographed by Juan Azulay.

Following up last year’s Small Problems EP, LA’s The Bulls return with today’s release of the single “Prudence” and our premiere of the Supergrass cover b-side “Alright” featuring Cecilia Della Peruti of Gothic Tropic. Frontwoman Anna Bulbrook (of Airborne Toxic Event, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes, etc) readies the return of her Girlschool event expanded to a festival being held January 29-31 at LA’s The Bootleg theater titled Field Day that brings the rock n’ roll girls camp concept to a larger stage and forum. The future frontwomen of tomorrow here are celebrated through rounds of discussions on the industry, performances, participation, and more in a supportive and safe environment that in many ways debuts the artists that the rest of the world will be singing and talking about tomorrow.

On the debut of “Alright”, Anna, Marc Sallis, with Cecilia re-sort the arrangements and expressive aspects of Supergrass’s fun-loving original to become a vast cinematic affair. The Bulls orchestrate an atmospheric baroque audio environment for the song to enjoy, with Cecilia providing some half-awake & half-baked viscuous bass dollops as Anna provides a dreamy-breathy delivery of “we are young, we are free” sentiments that gently float like clouds seizing the day’s sun (while in no hurry at whatsoever). The Brit pop legend is slowed for an added degreee of sophistication that serves as the perfect opening to that cult rom-com blockbuster that snubs the pragmaticism of the status quo for the seasons and sensations that simmer beneath a summer’s sky. Cecilia from Gothic Tropic said this about the making of the Supergrass cover:

I heard The Bulls’ rendition of “Alright” and I wanted to play to the languid qualities, so I did a sloshy dragged out simple melody with plenty of fuzz. The track reminded me of everything I like about Sonic Youth’s cover of “Superstar”.

We also bring you the a-side “Prudence” from The Bulls new single available today. This single sits between The Bulls’ album Small Prolems and Anna Bulbrook’s Girlschool festival called Field Day (January 29-31 at LA’s The Bootleg Theater) and features the more prudential aspect of The Bulls sounds that savors in the most delectable and desirable of synth tones and subtly psych-kissed sections.

We had the pleasure to catch up with Anna Bulbrook the other day to talk everything about The Bulls, Girlschool Field Day fest, and more in the following interview session:

Take us through your adventures and journeys from Boston to LA, from Airborne Toxic Event to the beginning of The Bulls, and from playing the violin, to writing your own songs.

I grew up playing classical violin in a pretty bucolic suburb of Boston. My parents took us to music school every Saturday for almost as long as I can remember. (My brother is also a violinist, but in a classical string quartet.) But in the classical world, people don’t tell you, “Hey, go write some songs! Follow your heart!” They tell you, “Hey, go practice and play this stuff that this old guy wrote in fucking tune. And once you can do that, now put some feeling into it.” It’s a terribly beautiful, but also vastly perfectionist and highly specific, discipline.

So I pursued violin through college very seriously, but by the time I graduated, I knew the constraints of classical life weren’t going to suit me. But “the violin” had been such a part of my identity that I had to kill the classical violinist in me for a while to make some room for new things. So I showed up in L.A. on a whim, I guess, and didn’t play. I went to shows; I listened to indie rock for the first time; my tastes grew and changed. And the Arcade Fire first happened around that time, and I remember thinking, “Oh. Of course. Yes.”

Anyway, I ended up staying, and I wandered and worked and listened for a bit. And then one day, the singer of Airborne (whom I already knew from around town) asked me if I wanted to play with him. And that same weekend, I got a call to fly to Aspen and play a weird gig on the side of a mountain with Kanye West. So I went from not playing the violin at all, to standing behind Kanye, to having a revelation about a new way I could be musical outside of the classical realm, to joining the newly-formed Airborne Toxic Event almost the moment I got back to L.A.

Then there was this insane period of time when I was working a more-than-full-time job, rehearsing and recording and taking all my vacation to tour with Airborne, and I was making a record with a band called Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (their first record!) at the same time. I love that band to this day, but I really don’t now how I did it. Time must have moved at a different speed then!

So now, several years into my time playing in other people’s bands (which is really fun, don’t get me wrong), I realized that I’d grown from being just a player in a band to having some things I wanted to say on my own. I’m just a late bloomer that way. So I started experimenting with singing in my bedroom, and writing music, and then releasing some of it under the moniker the Bulls…and now it’s today.

Anna Bulbrook silk screens, Warhol-style.

Anna Bulbrook silk screens, Warhol-style.

How did your experiences at LA’s Rock & Roll Girl’s Camp set the stage for Girlschool?

Have you ever had a 9-year-old look you in the eyes and confidently ask you who your feminist rock icon is? Or tell a boy in your band that his ultra-long hair is really pretty?—Because I have! Rock camp is just the happiest place on earth. Girls learn to take huge risks, like coming up with a lyric idea, or playing a brand-new instrument on-stage in front of an audience of their peers, in the most loving and supportive environment you’ve ever seen. It’s a special experience to witness or participate in—and the being there rewired my brain the instant I showed up just to sit on a panel and talk to the kids about whatever. So the afterglow of being in this incredibly positive, mutually-supportive, celebratory environment was very much in the back of my mind when we started planning and booking The Bulls’ Monday night residency at the Satellite. And that became the test-run for Girlschool.

What hints and artists and events are you excited about for the upcoming Girlschool Field Day festival happening at the end of January?

Well. Hints? Ha. We have a special guest on Friday night that I’m very excited about. And it may sound corny, but I’m completely excited to see 100% of these bands go out and slay it.

However, I think this is the piece I’m the most proud of: we are kicking off the weekend with a panel discussion by some seriously established female leaders in the music industry—and that includes everyone from A&R to music licensing/supervising to booking agents to music journalism—first thing on Friday night. Girlschool isn’t just a bunch of bands playing in a row; it’s an opportunity to create a loving community and celebratory little nest for people to connect with each other via the festival format.

Women have taken over the industry and are finally receiving more recognition as some of the most innovative and talented artists in the game. Why do you feel this sea change and turning of the tables and tides have occurred?

Has it occurred? There are definitely some incredible women being recognized, yes. And there are other extremely powerful and successful women out there crushing it in the industry. But I recently watched an interview with Alanis Morissette from the 90s when she was lamenting how alternative radio programmers had “one slot” for female vocals. And nowadays, I’ve heard a programmer say that we’ve gone from having “one slot” to “two slots, and one of them is Lorde.” So we’ve gotten somewhere, but the rock world, which is the one I come from, is not exactly wide-open just yet. I think there is plenty of work to be done, and plenty of talent to mine—I just want to set women up to encourage and support each other so that in a few more years, we can see a few more female faces doing whatever they want to do. In music, or in any other field, for that matter.

The Bulls, photographed by Josh Giroux.

The Bulls, photographed by Josh Giroux.

Tell us about what prudential items and more inspired the perfect pop of “Prudence”.

Ha. That’s very kind. Prudence is a very loose ode to one my oldest friends who is named, well, Prudence! She has been a bit of a muse for me, because she always seems to be running towards and away from the finer things in life, and there is a beautiful tension to that. She also is forbearing enough to let me take wild creative license with her life. I wrote it a couple of years ago when I was teaching myself to sing by imitating David Bowie, so it’s also a bit of an ode to him—which is a little bit tragically timely.

Describe the process of re-envisioning “Alright” originally by Supergrass and transformed into a cinematic screen gem theme made by The Bulls and Cecilia from Gothic Tropic.

I thought: what would Phil Spector do? Now, what would I, a 90s-child who loves fuzzy guitars and plays the violin, do? And then I smashed the two together and really didn’t think much more about it.

A coastal moment of pause with The Bulls' Anna Bulbrook.

A coastal moment of pause with The Bulls’ Anna Bulbrook.

What is next in the canon for The Bulls?

I’m writing a record right now, and it’s just the most exciting period of musical growth across the board for me. I can’t wait to make this thing.

Report on the states of the LA scene?

The L.A. scene—the one facet of it that I inhabit—is like a little, never-ending, warm hug. But Girlschool is kind of giving me a new, broader scene, and I just can’t fucking wait.

2016 wishes & hopes?

There are too many to count. I’m not going to be taking any vacations for a while to come, but I’m good with that.

The Bulls’ singles “Prudence” b/w “Alright” are available today, Girlschool Field Day is January 29-31 at The Bootleg theater in LA. Check out the following playlist mix:

Hidden Hind

Front & center with Alessandra Testoni of Hidden Hind.

Front & center with Alessandra Testoni of Hidden Hind.

Hidden Hind just released their self-titled EP from Sherpa Records and we have your first listen accompanied by an insightful discussion. Heralding from Brescia, Italy; Alessandra Testoni is the commanding lyrics and vocal officer, Davide Rosa setting the guitar moods & scenes, Gabriele Lussignoli on guitar reinforcement duty, Alberto Ronca on bass, and percussionist Gianluca Raia who founded the group initially. Putting their collective heads together under a banner of moon-beamed dream drawn musical affections where connective elements of synergistic fibers heard in the feelings emitted from audio mix.

Not even hiding their beloved affinity for 90s influences and more, Hidden Hind taps into some of the key compact disc condensed veins that exhibits the group’s acute understandings of what that decade’s sound was really all about. A proper 90s alternative track had to have something that stood between the gulf and abyss of danger and the mystical lands of something otherworldly and/or immortal in aspiration or lyrical/musical allusion. “Nymphs” accomplishes this right off the back as the ear catching opener where the listener is taken to something of a mystical forest of fairies and fear. Tracks like “Picture Show” fire up dream-pop projectors that depict midnight matinee specials of star-crossed exchanges, right before diving down into the sleepy, slo-mo codeine cough syrup water-slide tunnels of the big slow scuzzy anthem of “D’s Dream”. But before you pigeon hole Hidden Hind as a crew that leans too heavily in the revivalist directions, every anachronistic iota of audio is keenly wrapped up into a richly arrangement collection of hooks as heard on the ultra-bright beacon of international radio ready luster of “Give A Twirl”, while Davide’s dangerous chords keeps a menace in the foreground to match Alessandra’s sometimes foreboding delivery. Alessandra also joins us in the interview featured right after the following listen to Hidden Hind’s self-titled.,

Give us outsiders everything we should know about Brescia.

Well well, so you want to know something about Brescia. You’re lucky, I’ve just had an exam about Brescia and its surroundings and I can assure you there’s so much beauty in it that even Brescia citizens aren’t aware of it. You must know that we’re not talking about a big town, but we’re in Italy, and each small town has a story to tell. Brescia has a magic one but…I’ll leave you the suspense. Talking about the musical side of the town, it surely does have something valuable to offer to your nights (but if you’re hard to satisfy you can always drive to the nearest Milan).

How do your local scenes and surroundings both in/and beyond Brescia inform the sounds that comprise the audio realm of Hidden Hind?

Hidden Hind are a five-piece band and this means there are five different minds in it. The marvelous thing is that everyone of us loves a kind of music that the other one probably hates, and consequently influences the audio realm in his special way. I don’t know how massive has been the influence of the musical background of our city and its surroundings; there are clearly some great bands here in Brescia, for example the amazing Bee Bee Sea and Giulia Bonometti—aka Tight Eye—who you should have interviewed sometime ago for the same Week In Pop column, some old and some new, and they all deserve attention. Some of them are and have surely been more influential than others for us, but it depends, as I said, on each member of the band.

Uncovering the hidden world of Hidden Hind; photographed by Celeste Lombardi.

Uncovering the hidden world of Hidden Hind; photographed by Celeste Lombardi.

Describe for us how you all compose and flesh out your songs.

This is the hardest question to answer to. You must know that every track comes from the dreamy mind of one of the guitarist, Davide, especially from a moment in which a muse, or some kind of goddess, decides to inspire him. You should see him when there’s one of those moments, it’s always kinda funny but amazing at the same time. You can only make him stop playing by switching off his amp. Everything in our songs is a product of his mind, except for the lyrics, those ones are my children. Just like my guitarist, I can’t say precisely how I create them, they just come, like a spontaneous overflow. We are magic, aren’t we?

Tell us too about the making of your recent singles “Nymphs” & “Picture Show”; the things that inspired them, and what else we can look forward to on the forthcoming Hidden Hind EP.

As I just said, there are no reasonable explanations for the birth of our songs. It’s like even their creator finds it hard to explain. “Nymphs” is magic: it takes you through this enchanted forest or wood where you can’t help but getting lost in it, while “Picture Show” is something like our ace in the hole, we chose it as our first single and I can say that each one of us, the first time he listened to it, was incredibly proud of it, more than ever. The rest of our EP will be a surprise: we like to say we don’t belong to a single musical genre, every day we could decide to start working on a different one. However, our first five tracks have a strong guideline, which connects them and leads you through the listening.

Forestall friends Hidden Hind; photographed by Andrea Viola.

Forestall friends Hidden Hind; photographed by Andrea Viola.

Top three things that you all are really excited about right now?

At the top of the list of the exciting upcoming things there is the release of our EP, for what we’d really like to thank Sherpa Records. They are amazing. Then, we hope we will start playing live soon, in Brescia but also in other cities for sure. We are hyper —excited.

Hidden Hind’s self-titled EP is available now.

Hidden Hind self-titled EP is available now from Sherpa Records.

unhappybirthday

Hamburg's unhappybirthday; photographed by Hannah Lora Freeman.

Hamburg’s unhappybirthday; photographed by Hannah Lora Freeman.

Over three years back you may remember our feature covering lo-fi pop experimenters unhappybirhday’s album Sirup, and today we premiere the Hamburg based trio’s title track “Schauer” from the forthcoming album of the same name available January 25 from Night-People Records. Daniel, Tobi, & André continue to build upon their own sincere-styled neue deutsche welle pop that relishes in succinct sound crafts like the punky-moxie of “Artie”, with syrupy synths as heard in further warped passages on the ballad “Keanu”, to the economically precise “Juma” that could have been ripped from the Captured catalog, to the Tawanese day tripping odyssey to country’s capital of Taipei on the sun soaked “Taipeh”. The sad boy bedroom sound from unhappybirthday only continues to create music for everyone out there whose idea of a great birthday party is spent confined to the locked door security of one’s room.

“Schauer” kicks off on a mechanical drum beat axis that invites the new romantic like riffs and bass rhythms to roll forth on the tape. The retreats and hibernation that winter requires are present here where the surface of the tape stirs up a snow globe’s blizzard of elements that are heard like gilded emotionally imbued confetti and chrome-cast glitter. Here unhappybirthday allows all the emotions to sort of rise to a simmer as synths later join on the “Schauer” affair as the guitar tempos are increased as the song draws to somber (yet sweet) close. We caught up with the unhappybirthday birthday trio in an interview round featured after the following debut of “Schauer”.

Describe for us the nearly four year journey and jump from your first album Sirup on Crash Symbols to the making of your new album Schauer for Night-People Records.

After the release of Sirup in fall 2012, we played a lot of shows, released an EP and in spring 2013 we started recording the new record. Moving to Hamburg slowed things down a bit. We came here to get some new impressions for our music, but it certainly was difficult for us to gain a foothold.

Eventually we discovered an early demo of the album title cut “Schauer” on an old tape. We had forgotten about the song, but when we heard it again, we suddenly realized how the album had to sound.

Sitting on the dock of a Bay in Deutschland with unhappybirthday; photographed by Hannah Lora Freeman.

Sitting on the dock of a Bay in Deutschland with unhappybirthday; photographed by Hannah Lora Freeman.

How have these past nearly four years changed, strengthened, or altered the focus of your visions?

Sirup emerged very spontaneously, we didn’t have a clear vision. The sound developed itself quite intuitively, track by track. When we started recording Schauer, we felt we wanted to continue working with that lo-fi aesthetic, but we wanted to use it more nuanced and subtle.

As well as the sound, our attitude changed quite a bit over the last four years. The levity had given way to some kind of apathy and exhaustion. This feeling also contributed to our songs. Instead of anger and optimistic drift, we felt more refusal and stagnation.

Tell us more too about the new lo-fi economies and precision in sounds that you all have been fine tuning as heard on Schauer.

Perfect hi-fi productions seem mostly boring to us, so it was clear that the new album had to be recorded on tape again. Indeed we wanted to use our tape-recorder as an instrument itself this time and work with the narrow limitations of the cassette tape. We wanted to utilize the unpredictability of this recording method.

Water gazing with unhappybirthday; photographed by Hannah Lora Freeman.

Water gazing with unhappybirthday; photographed by Hannah Lora Freeman.

What else is happening in Hamburg right now that is of interest?

We barely go out. That’s why we can hardly tell anything about certain movements in Hamburg. Daniel is DJ-ing from time to time and enjoying some experimental shows, Tobi is standing on the Reeperbahn at night and André buries himself in the local doom and drone scene.

What else has been inspiring unhappybirthday right now in terms of music, books, film, art, exhibitions, tours, etc?

When it comes to the music, we feel more inspired by certain details and atmospheric pictures rather than by specific songs, records or movies. The lyrics of the new album have been heavily inspired by the book A Man Asleep by Georges Perec; an exhaustive exploration of the terrains of both melancholy and indifference.

Prayers, thoughts, and wishes for 2016?

We’d love to play some shows, to hole up and record some new tunes and no dancing on the volcano please.

unhappybirthday’s new album Schauer will be available January 25 from Night-People Records.

Beat Radio

Beat Radio selfie from frontman Brian Sendrowitz.

Beat Radio selfie from frontman Brian Sendrowitz.

No winter is ever complete without new music from Brian Sendrowitz’s musical outfit Beat Radio and we bring news of the forthcoming album Take It Forever available January 29 on digital and May 25 on limited edition 12″ vinyl via Awkward For Life. We have the premiere of the single “Song for Camden Power” plus a listen to a few other songs for Forever that provide musings of the kind of internal reckoning and embrace of life & art pursuit realizations that makes it all feel like everything is going to work out alright. Human experiences here are song from the plight and resolve of the artist with a warm tip of the hat to fans, friends, and family alike all the while.

“Song For Camden Power” is a tribute to a Beat Radio fan who kept in touch with Sendrowitz via emails years back who left the world too soon. From learning the chords to cover Brian’s songs to discussing religious-like epiphanies; Beat Radio provides an epitaph for a long last pen pal made through chords that connect and strum the heart’s dearest strings. Brian spells out a ballad of his band that provides a eulogy to a long gone fan that shared a deep understanding of the music, and existed on his own wavelength. The song resonates with a solemn reverence that reaches for into the great unknown that breaks out of the life & death cycles to recognize a shared correspondence that ended too soon.

The album Take it Forever begins with the motorik title track that reaches for meaning and something that matters beyond the bitterness of the world’s muddles and mayhem. Warm calls to take it easy and more are made to the world weary listeners as narratives continue like natural song therapy sessions heard on “Lost in the World”, measurements of existence and movement on the brass inflected scuzz of “Losing Time”, to musings on audio aesthetics and histories heard on “Art is a War, There are Casualties”. Take it Forever moves between motifs of the temporal and the infinite and what it all really means exhibited on “We’ll Be Forgotten”, moving from the present to past the faded memories to manifest destinies that meet through visions and intimate observations on “Dreaming of the West”. The thoughts, notions, and feelings that connect the art and the audience are contained here in the latest Beat Radio song cycle that provides music for meditative moments and endless eras of thoughts and cascading perspective.

Brian Sendrowitz provided us with the following candid thoughts on the individual who inspired the moving tribute “Song For Camden Power”:

Camden Power was genuine sweetheart and a kid who was into our band. He used to buy all our albums on Bandcamp, and write me emails sometimes. This was the first message he sent me, on the day after Christmas, in 2011:

Dear Mr. Sendrowitz,

I was wondering if you had the time you could tell me the chords to “Stranger Flowers”? I met this girl and it very much reminds me of her.

I’m not sure how you feel on the subject of others using your words to woo girls. Thank you for your time, and your music is amazing.

Sincerely,

Camden Power

I don’t remember whether or not Camden got the girl, but we kept in touch for a while. He would ask me about songwriting and recording stuff, and he would post covers of songs I had written to YouTube and Soundcloud. I always got the sense that he was a really kind and gentle guy, and his sense of enthusiasm about music reminded me of what it felt like when I was first starting out. I guess I saw a little of myself in him.

A year and a half or so later I got a message from Camden via Facebook. He didn’t seem like himself and rambled a bit incoherently. I knew he was aware of my love for Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation writers so I thought maybe it was some sort of writing exercise. “I’m gonna get to retrace some of Jack’s old steps,” he said. A few messages later he confided in my that he had has some sort of vision, of God, and he wanted to speak with me about it. I felt uneasy about it, but since I didn’t really know him all that well and I’m not a religious person I let him know as kindly as I could that I was happy he had found this source of inspiration, but I was on my own path and it was a different one.

A few weeks later I saw people posting on Camden’s Facebook page that he had passed away. He had been driving and lost control, and collided head on with another car. I immediately felt a deep sense of regret. I wondered that if maybe he had been troubled by the things he has written me about, maybe I could have been there for him more than I allowed myself to be. It’s a strange thing to mourn the loss of someone you’ve never met in person. I was too far away to even really know what has happened, but I felt haunted by it.

I knew Camden lived and breathed music, and the best and only way I could think of to honor him would be with a song. This one’s for him. I like to think he’d be psyched to know that it exists, and is driving around somewhere listening to it, volume timed out.

XO-B

The new Beat Radio album Take It Forever will be available January 29 on digital and May 25 on limited edition 12″ vinyl courtesy of Awkward For Life.

Echo Courts

Introducing Echo Courts' Chris Powers, Jacob Darden, Zack Koontz, Luc Swift & Kelly Fahey.

Introducing Echo Courts’ Chris Powers, Jacob Darden, Zack Koontz, Luc Swift & Kelly Fahey.

Meet Greensboro, North Carolina’s Echo Courts who bring their own brand of bright, shining, and shimmering pop tones with their forthcoming album No Damage available January 19 from LA imprint Already Dead Tapes & Records. Taking cues from the psych nuggets left like a bread crumb trail of future instructions; Echo Courts spin the sound of their own happening shindig with the world premiere of “Fairview Place” that coasts like a magic-shag-carpet ride into the sky.

Echo Courts dusts off an old master and re-creates a new recording that is rendered through fuzzy electric organs, guitars, and spacey effects that creates a bubblegum-blown fantasia that turns & tilts on it’s own fun-house foundation. Romantic notions spun through a Rip Van Winkle like fairy tale take the listener on a dark tunnel ride canoed through amusement park styled underground straits replete with spooky channel effects to further compliment the classic 60s throwback fuzz guitar. “Fairview Place” is a theme park attraction unto itself comprised of well arranged and developed pop hooks that out of mind, and out another time.

Echo Courts’ own Kelly Fahey provided the following inside view into the process of making “Fairview Place”:

No Damage” was recorded during the day, which I think accounts for a lot of it’s more sunny, light sound. Prior to this I hadn’t really recorded much music during the day.

It was originally tracked quite some time ago with our full band. Since then, some members left and it sat around. It became a bit of an unloved child. I started devoting much of my time working on a new full length which we’re finishing up now. After giving it some time we decided it would be good to put the EP out, so we went back to the studio and rerecorded a lot of the overdubs. It’s almost unrecognizable compared to the original recordings. “Fairview Place” is one of the tracks that changed the most. It didn’t have those three part harmonies or anything originally. I was listening to a lot of Beach Boys at the time, so I wanted to through some more vocal harmonies in there.

Echo Courts album No Damage will be available January 19 from Already Dead Tapes and Records.

Pastel

Pastel's Gabriel Brenner.

Pastel’s Gabriel Brenner.

Gabriel Brenner aka Pastel shared the Hobbes Ginsberg & Chloe Feller video for the ambient hymn confessional of pains and passions projected through regal silk draped visuals for “I Ache”. Dressed in Pierre Rashard garb and invoking celestial ascending harmonies through sparse expanses of refrains and sustains of pure sentimental exposition (and exhibition); Brenner’s first single from the forthcoming Bone-Weary EP (available in early 2016) shines a spotlight on the artist’s vocal range and arrangement that sounds like future cathedral pops committed to electro-pop devotionals.

Curtains, covers, and sheets of monarch purple hues set the tones amid hanging frames, a pedestal, a candle, and Pastel surrounded and dressed in tones that allude to his namesake. The song and video exists in a heavenly like realms where Gabriel is framed like a messianic/angelic figure bathed in a magical, mystical, metaphysical light. We talked to the artist about the new song, video, and forthcoming EP in our interview session featured after the following video.

Describe for us the making of the Hobbes Ginsberg and Chloe Feller video for “I Ache” and how the Red Lighter Films treatment brought out the more evocative elements and aspects of the song.

I’ve been friends with Chloe since high school, and she suggested I work with Hobbes and her on visuals for my music. Hobbes is a photographer and filmmaker based in LA that’s known for their off-kilter, humorous, and sinister portraiture and still lives, and I felt their work would mesh well with “I Ache.” Chloe, Hobbes, and I all talked extensively about visuals we had in mind, and eventually shot the video in a few hours in Hobbes’s studio. The song was inspired by a very emotionally exhausting experience, and Hobbes paid acute attention to that. They wanted to explore the feeling of collapse and how we often feel like everything around us is falling apart by quite literally creating a setting that was unstable and fluid. We thought of the video as a three-part movement, with each section of the video depicting each section of the song. Hobbes and Chloe drew from depictions of women and imagery common in classical paintings, and we were interested in queering the setting through moments of abstraction, wardrobe, the color palette, various accouterments, etc. We went for a dreamy surreality that would reflect the more ethereal, atmospheric elements of the song.

Give us the story, tales, myths, and legends behind the making of your Bone-Weary EP.

Bone-Weary EP came out of a time where I was spreading myself extremely thin, especially emotionally, and lost sight of myself for a bit. Once I was finally able to find time to process, I basically shut myself in my room and recorded Bone-Weary on my bed with a small MIDI Keyboard and a USB mic. Bone-Weary was one of the ways I processed all that had happened to me prior to its inception. Most of the EP was recorded in Spring of 2015, but the initial take of “I Ache,” was actually recorded the night of Halloween in 2014. I dressed up as the Domino’s Pizza logo and decided I had to record some vocal loops before I went out. Perhaps supernatural intervention was what inspired me to record that night.

Thoughts on how your approaches to productions, arrangements and atmospheres have evolved to this current point?

I definitely have felt a need to focus more on atmosphere in my music. With my debut EP last year, I spent a lot of time on beat-making, but this time around I found myself wanting to create open, fluid spaces to allow my voice to have more presence and power. I’m also really interested in tactility and how that can be expressed through sound textures, so I continued to explore with this upcoming release.The biggest change in my process, however, is the emphasis I now place on lyricism and songwriting craft instead of just beat-making and atmospheres. My songwriting process prior to Bone-Weary and “I Ache” was very insular, but I’ve since found the immense importance in sharing my work with others and getting second opinions, regardless of how terrifyingly vulnerable it makes me feel.

Thoughts on the latest and greatest from the LA scene right now?

I feel like I’m not very tuned into the LA scene unfortunately, but I’m really excited to see where Moses Sumney goes in 2016. He’s an absolutely incredible performer and vocalist, and his Mid-City Island EP was a big part of my listening in 2015. I remember seeing him early on opening for countless artists around LA, so it’s really great to see that he’s grown to his own headlining shows and is now getting Best New Tracks from Pitchfork seemingly every time he releases something new. All the success that’s undoubtedly going to come his way is more than deserved.

Other projects and things to look out for from both yourself and others in 2016?

I’m planning on collaborating with different artists to release a video for every track on Bone-Weary EP, so keep an eye out for those. I’m looking forward to whatever The xx, James Blake, and Frank Ocean put out this year. Their absence has left a bit of a void in my life. Lastly, I’m still praying every single day that Jai Paul releases something new sometime soon. He’s sorely missed. Jai 2016 maybe?

Listen to more from Pastel here.

SheLoom

sheloom week in pop 1 1

SheLoom’s new album The Baron Of The Fjord will be available February 5 from Ray Recordings, and we are proud to present the premiere of the Adam Berg directed video for “America’s On Fire”. With behind the scenes footage made by the band’s own Eric Matthews (whose played with Lou Barlow, Elliott Smith), Jordon Zadorozny (of Blinker the Star, Sam Roberts), and producer Filippo Gaetani (who also edited the visuals together); the audience gets an exclusive view into each individual providing their instrumental contributions to the song in between wild shots of Light Emitting Dudes from Team Farang, Stuntsamazing, Scarlett Entertainment and STROBE. The experience creates a combination of observing the work in progress that makes up the subdued power-pop AM radio toe-tapper mixed with a wild eyed dancing LED light show.

The result of a 10 day recording session that was predominately recorded individually by each artist separately sharing media back and forth with each other via the web. The video provides a series of scenes into the intimate interior of Eric, Jordon, and Filippo sharing their pieces to complete the album rock puzzle of “America’s On Fire”. From digital and 8-track analog recording sessions, the igniting flames of synergy channeled between the three artists is seen here by the night maneuvers made by the Light Emitting Dudes that zig-zag streaks of colorful lights across evening city landscapes.

SheLoom’s Eric Matthews, Jordon Zadorozny, & Filippo Gaetani joined us for the following round table interview session:

Tell us about the making of The Baron of the Fjord?

Eric: Filippo and Jordon had SheLoom up and running a few years before I came on board. I was a fan of Seat of the Empire, the debut they made together in 2010. I think it was late 2013 when they started writing songs for what became The Baron of the Fjord. I have never asked why initially they decided to look me up but they contacted me and asked I listen what they were working on. I didn’t take it too seriously at first but they started sending me session files. Before long, I started coming up with some ideas on songs that were pretty well fleshed out, finished writing some songs that were only loosely structured, lyrics, melodies, harmony bits. At first, it was just “let’s get Eric to help fill out the songs here and there”. I had recently finished and saw the release of the new Cardinal record, Hymns and had some extra studio time open. The songs they were sending were really good and as I got to know the musical personalities of Filippo and Jordon I got more and more involved creatively. I think it was the point I started writing actual singing bits, words and melodies that it became more than just me doing some session work. It was getting into actual song-writing credits territory. At about that point, late 2014 they asked if I would become a full third member of the band. This was the first time I actually collaborated with other guys, actually helped write with other guys on their songs and in a 3-way song fest.

On TBOTF, most of the songs were started by either Filippo or Jordon and then handed to me at various stages. Sometimes it was just me adding parts on horns, strings, guitars, etc. We all sing and play on all the songs, it’s a real partnership and in a way easy. It’s great being in a band with guys so capable, can play just about anything. American On Fire is a good example of how SheLoom works, sometimes. Filippo recorded the acoustic guitar and I think a scratch bass and vocal part. He handed that to me and I came up with the live drums. Then it was a matter of more electric guitars, lots of singing and then off to Jordon’s mixing lab. That song came off really easily. These guys make me feel like I’m in Steely Dan. Cool gig.

Filippo: Jordon and I started working on new material already in 2011, right after releasing Seat Of The Empire.

We did a new ten day session at Jordon studio in Pembroke (ON) recording lots of new ideas on analog tape. Some where instrumentals that Jordon already started earlier, some where ideas of mine I brought on my hard drive in sketch or demo form, some were actually written on the spot there at the studio. Jordon and I were in a pub in Ottawa joking about how to title the new album when for unknown absurd reasons (or maybe given the uncategorized obscure music we were recording) we started phantasizing on decadent sci-fi semi-clerical aristocrat characters, and after visualizing unlikely Archdukes and Archbishops, Jordon said “The Baron Of The Fjord”. It sounded too good and fun to be forgotten so I saved this thing on my notes somewhere. At the same time, while continuing recording ideas and sending each other material to layer up the album in progress, I discovered by chance the music of Eric Matthews and Cardinal. I fell in love with the first 2 solo albums from Eric and immediately became a fan and told Jordon about my posthumous discovery. He replied saying “Oh Yeah sure, these are cult albums and strong inspirations for me and a bunch of friends in LA in the mid and late 90s”.

Eric’s albums were so good and so close to my inner songwriting and musical approach. Such a better version of me ha ha ha! I still listen to these albums, to this day. Some songs are eternal. Criminally underrated. Just as Blinker The Star.

Anyway It was because of this and of what Jordon confirmed, that I wrote to Eric, and shared SheLoom music trying to create an artistic empathy. Eric loved our album and the three of us started chatting for weeks (months), obviously and semi-accidentally of all things non-music. In 2013 we ultimately invited Eric, first to contribute musically with some ideas, then actually to join SheLoom for good. The year after he dove in, spreading his talent all over the place. With a few obvious exceptions, I suppose you can never guess who wrote what these days between us three, as our very personal ideas or musical sketches we send each other reflect very similar influences and a common harmonic sensitivity.

So, fortunately, most of the ideas we sent each other served the song very well and we didn’t have to boycott our contributions very often.

Jordon: The project began as just Filippo and I, beginning work on our second album as SheLoom. Fairly early in the process, Filippo had the idea to ask Eric to sing or play on a song. Filippo and I were both big fans of Eric’s stuff but we didn’t know him personally. Filippo sent an email to Eric and he was interested to hear what we had. When he finished work on that first song, he seemed to be having fun and asked if there was anything else we had that might be suitable for him to work on. At that point, I think we just sent him everything we had starting working on. Eric kept sending back great stuff and by the time we were finished 12 songs, Eric’s contributions to the album were as much as what Filippo and I had put in, so it made sense to ask him to join the band. As a fan of Eric, I love writing instrumental tracks for him to sing on. And I think he likes the freedom of not always having to concentrate on the initial construction of a song so that he can put all of his formidable energies into melody and harmony. “Caves and Shadows” is one that I specifically wrote for Eric’s voice and melodies, where I sort of lead him around on a chain of chords but within my parameters, he has complete melodic freedom. Great fun.

A SheLoom triptych.

A SheLoom triptych.

What was the inspirations behind the song & how how did that translate to video for “America on Fire”?

Eric: I would like to say here that the start of the song, the guitar chords intro and then into the verse chords, Filippo has to have been inspired by my song catalog. Everybody who hears this song assumes that I wrote all the chords. “Those are Eric Matthews chords” people say. I then tell them I don’t own any chords. As for the song, the lyrics, you will have to ask Filippo but I have a theory. See, I am American. To people in Europe and around the globe, all the constant headlines in the news, the shootings, the ghetto crimes, the murder rates, all that…I think it makes people around the globe nervous and they get the impression that America is on fire and an unsafe place to be. I make no assumptions about what’s in Filippo’s head. I know he’s not scared. He’s a black-belt in Karate. Anyway, many non-Americans take our statistics and bloody streets and imagine it all within the context of the tiny countries they are in, smaller places. I have many friends in Europe and unless they live here or travel lots in America have no real specific idea of how big it is over here and how safe it feels most places. Filippo spends time here and gets it but I think it’s a song with a strong statement that many people will identify with. That said, sure, it’s getting hotter and hotter everywhere, and now we even have street level Jihadists in both Paris and California. That wasn’t the case when Filippo wrote the song lyric a year ago. This song has a paranoid / prophetic feel to it and I think it’s fantastic.

Filippo: I wrote the acoustic guitar part and vocal melody during a holiday 2 years ago. So it all started with a guitar riff, really ! The lyrics came up last year, when I started to visualize and write a short sci-fi tale inspired by the lyrics of some of the songs that Jordon or I originally wrote. Somehow, The Baron Of The Fjord , because of the album title and the surreal lyrics, became something like a concept album (I reckon this is how they called many of the great 70’s prog rock albums ). Or at least in my perspective…

Subconsciously, the lyrics also reflect current times. I suppose Contradiction and Paradox are a big part in our life, and what place in the world represents beauty, opportunity and rage and danger at the same time, if not America!

When the song was approved by the other two guys for the album, Eric immediately recorded drums and backing vocals, I overdubbed bass and piano and Jordon added fantastic electric guitars & organ.

The video is an indie rendition of us playing the song, and spectacular shots of crazy guys running in the streets. I guess the video is trying to display a fun metaphor of what the song and the story is telling.

Jordon: That was a late one written entirely by Filippo, with Eric and I enthusiastically doing overdubs and basically producing Filippo. As we all live thousands of kilometers from each other, the video was necessarily shot in 3 locales. Filippo in Vienna, Eric in Oregon, and me in Ontario, Canada. Filippo put the footage together in Vienna.

SheLoom’s follow-up album to Seat of the EmpireThe Baron Of The Fjord will be available February 5 from Ray Recordings.

Still Flyin’

San Francisco's collective/supergroup/etc; Still Flyin'.

San Francisco’s collective/supergroup/etc; Still Flyin’.

Still Flyin’ continues to fly their fun flag as the Athens, Georgia by San Francisco group releases their fourth album Perfect Future today through Ernest Jenning Record Co. / We Were Never Being Boring / Lost & Lonesome Recording Co. and we present the following album listen, plus interview with main man Sean Rawls. A cult group that shakes up life’s mistakes, mishaps, and misadventures for poppy and punchy tales made into music that moves you. The ultimate result here is one of the best bits of good news and great sounds heard yet to start off a sleepy and somber 2016.

The jams begin with the westward leaning tale of do-overs done up with concentrated dance shaker “Way Out West”, to the daytime cruiser cut for the solo riders out there on “Get Out of My Car”, to the day greeting song of salutations on “Morning Boys”. Songs like “Love Both Sides” finds the SF based band created what might be one of the most fun angular pop practically fashioned for any festival that celebrates the rare and sacred bonds of requited love shared between the two separate lives of involved parties. Still Flyin’ solidifies their most balanced sound yet where the freewheeling flair is anchored by contemplative and thoughtful nature heard on the reflective “am I still who I used to be” questioning refrain that makes up “Dad Rock”, nostalgic memory lane sentimentality soap operatic pop on “Brendan”, the Grecian island escape to “Navarone”, to the jagged caffeine jumping tea break of “Tea Leaves”, the do-what-you-say dance pop dialogues on “Verbal Commitment”, to the bubbly synth champagne sparkling brilliance heard on the closing time call of “Keepers”. With a gift like the impressionable and endearing nature of Perfect Future, Still Flyin’ has earned themselves the title as one of the Bay Area’s best bands around. After the following album listen, read our interview with frontman Sean Rawls for a unique peek behind the sounds & scenes..

What’s good these days in San Francisco beyond the techie curtain?

Good question! A lot of SF is the same—just some subtle vibe stuff that’s different. It’s like when George Bush 2 became president. People were upset but really everything in day-to-day life was the same. I still have too many friends to handle adequately but the number is perpetually dwindling—they keep moving away because they can’t afford the rent. You’re stuck in the same house you’ve been and if you have to move, it’s not to Oakland—it’s to Portland or Liechtenstein. But SF still has tons of good stuff going on and always will.

Describe the hiking incident involving a bandmate and friend that inspired Perfect Future, “Brendan” and more.

Bren was hiking, alone, and was sitting on a boulder playing Tetris on his phone or something before heading back. When he got off the boulder that probably hadn’t moved in thousands of years, it moved, throwing him off the front and rolling over him, breaking his pelvis in six places and almost severing his arm, yet somehow missing his head and not damaging any of his internal organs. He had to drag himself with one arm to his nearby phone and called 911. Later, when the helicopter couldn’t find him, he had to download a GPS app to pinpoint his location, which turned out to be too treacherous to land near so some rescue hikers were dispatched to hike several miles up to him and carry him in a stretcher a few miles to where the helicopter could reach him. By the time they finally got him to a hospital, they thought he’d lost too much blood and would not live through the night. They were wrong because Bren is the Terminator. It was early the next morning when Bren’s sister contacted my wife – at that point she had been told that Bren fell off a cliff. It wasn’t until I spoke to Bren a few days later that I learned everything that had happened.

Bren’s been one of best friends since high school—we’ve lived in three different places together and have been in tons a bands together. The emo lyrics just shot out of me immediately and I decided to leave them intact because it was the most raw and real song I’d ever written.

He’s totally fine now! No one encountering him now would ever know anything happened to him, because he’s tough and a robot from the future. It feels weird to play or even hear the song now, but it’s a snapshot of a very real and specific time.

What’s next for Still Flyin’?

We recently played some West Coast shows which were a lot of fun, and in February we have a small tour on the East Coast that we’re looking forward to. Several songs on the album are about becoming a dad, which meant a real, full time job with health benefits and all that riff raff, and very little ability to tour. These shows are the first time we’ve toured since my son was born and I’m very happy to get to be doing a little bit of that again. Hopefully we’ll do a bit more in the future!

2016 wishes and hopes?

Would love to play/make more music. I’m scoring a feature length documentary this month—hoping it turns out well. The next John Williams. I’m also hoping in 2016 my brain starts working again because I’m really struggling to answer these questions beyond the Brendan song origin. What’s good in SF these days? Uhhhhhhhhhh……… [shrugs] I have no idea………. Which feels so negative. I think I’d equally struggle to answer a what sucks about SF these days question. Brain just doesn’t work. So I’m hoping 2016 brings better brain function, not just for me, but for the entire world. I am feeling good about that too. 2016 seems like a good number for human advancement.

Still Flyin’s anticipated new album Perfect Future is available now from Ernest Jenning Record Co. / We Were Never Being Boring / Lost & Lonesome Recording Co..

Mikael Delta

Greek composer Mikael Delta.

Greek composer Mikael Delta.

Off Greek composer Mikael Delta’s Inner Ear album Life is Now, we present a look at the video for “Snowing in Berlin” directed by Anna Noti, with cinematography from Iason Arvanitakis. Vast outlays of landscapes that bring the low laying gravely lands seen by the towering majestic mountain towers provides a stroll through Delta’s work where the audience feels as if they are traveling about by foot through Delta’s piano adorned sparse work of atmospheres that exist in places outside the biospheres of adjectives. Mikael said this about the video and evocative composition:

The first concept idea of the track “Snowing In Berlin” was captured in Kreuzberg, Berlin. I thought that it would be so obvious to shoot a video in that location so, I decided to work on something more poetic, avoiding possible descriptiveness.

The whole story focuses on the main character, who could be described as someone who’s searching to find his true self, a contemporary soul-searcher. During his journey he is surrounded by various symbolisms which compose abstractly the canvas of the whole story.
The amazing landscapes, the dawn over the water, the birds, the pyramids of snow and the crystal, underline the relationship between his emotional field and the spiritual quest of a continuous open up of new and greater life prospects.

Morly

Minnesota's Morly.

Minnesota’s Morly.

Morly follows up her debut EP, In Defense of My Muse with the illustrious single “The Choir” from Cascine that finds the Minnesota artist working in ways like an opera delivered from a glacier. Morly talked about working with her favorite producer Psymun on the track:

This song is something I’ve been trying to articulate-lyrically and musically-for a long time, I wrote it a while ago, but felt it was missing something. I played it for one of my favorite producers, Psymun, and he really liked it. So we spent the afternoon at his spot in Minneapolis giving it some additional Psymun love.

Toronto based artist Merival shared the sparse acoustic single “Kicking You Out” ahead of her debut EP Lovers available January 29. The song reflects on premonitions of break-ups with past lovers that never quite are kicked out of the mental frame and gallery of memories. Thoughts on the passage of time brings the feelings of yesterday rising to the surface that resonates still with the sparks and splinters from those feelings and reminiscent impressions that never leaves the mind’s own banks, safes, & vaults. Merival lent the following words on the single:

All of the songs on Lovers were written before I was 20. I wrote “Kicking You Out”, the second single, when I was 17—it’s the oldest song on the EP—about someone I’d been in love with for two years already. I’d never lived with him so I took some artistic liberties there; the idea of kicking him out was more of a premonition I had, that I would carry him with me for years and years after the fact and would need to be continually kicking him out of my mind. So far it’s held true.

Introducing Scary Little Friends who played this week at their San Francisco hometown’s famed venue the Great American Music Hall, sharing the single “Made Up My Mind” found off their forthcoming Silent Revolution EP available January 29 from Randm Records. The trio made up of Charlie Knote, Chris Jones, and Jon Payne make passionate music that presents the feelings that follow after one finds the strength to follow through with their resolve.

Philly trio Lanterns return with word of their second album Black Highways and Green Garden Roads available February 19 from Montréal imprint Fixture Records, and rock out to the swarming and swelling psych storm of “We Are Here”. The firm, assertive affirmation welcomes you to twist, nod, wave an arm/hand or any limb/appendage along with Zachary Devereux Fairbrother, Christian Simmons, and Emily Robb as they take you to the gates of dawn via the doors of your own perception.

Watch Shields video for the single “Alive” from Kristian Young for Burning Reel that goes from the club to trailer park weirdness done to the UK group’s anthem-addled vibe. Their album How Can We Fix This? will be available February 26 from Kaleidoscope.

Embrace the fight, bravado, and garage pop brawl on Jack Berry’s single “The Bull” that boasts of flagrant emotive exhibitions to follow soon on the forthcoming Mean Machine album available later this spring.

Get an ear-load of Junior Boys getting the Ikonika remix treatment of their track “Over It” from their upcoming album Big Black Coat available February 5 from City Slang. The ‘into it’ and ‘over it’ sorts of mentalities are thrown into the sparse echo-trip zone where a blunder of feels become stirred and whirred into an audio puree.

Matrixxman presents Mike Parker’s subtle and deep subterranean bass striking remix for the track “Opium Den” originally off of M’s debut album Homesick available now from Ghostly. Listen as the secret lives of electrical entities and synths become revealed before your very ears.

Sulk’s album No Illusions will be available April 15 from Perfect Sound Forever and we bring you the single and video for “Black Infinity (Upside Down)”, directed and edited by Andrew Needle. Let the band lift you out of your slumped depressive state and into a world of colors, silhouettes, and a performance of psych-Brit pop that steps from the shadows and out of your speakers as the new festival sound you wouldn’t mind hearing everywhere.

Plunging into the scorched earth layers of dystopian catharses conveyed by a next level brew of visceral sounds of crushed metallic entities as Brood Ma declares the forthcoming arrival of DAZE. The news is broken with the mood/life/mind altering audio substance titled “Nrg Jynx (Daze End Version)” from the anticipated album available February 19 from the prestigious imprint Tri Angle.

Our Solar System pronounced the forthcoming promise of their album In Time delivering the freak-out prog slice of goodness with a-side “In the Beginning of Time” ahead of the album’s March 25 release from Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records. Known as Vårt Solsystem in their homeland of Sweden, Mattias Gustavsson from Dungen assembles a ragtag collection of creative visionaries that bring monster jams that travel well over the 20 minute mark.

Wall of Death plays LA’s The Echo tonight and dropped the single “For A Lover” off their album Loveland available March 4 from Innovative Leisure. Following up Main Obsessions from 2012, the trio of Gabriel Matringe, Brice Borredon, and Adam Ghoubali bring a kind of cinematic orchestration of adventure concept organized pop that would make Jeff Lynne & Roy Wood both smile.

Hear Jacque Ryal’s electric new single “Jill” from the RYAL EP available February 19, providing a song that goes out to all the wallflowers at heart that at the end of the long and loveless day just want something they can dance the whole night alone with.

Relax by the winter-time flicker of cabin comforted flames with the title track from Alexei Shishkin’s second album, Yucca Street available February 19 on digital and golden tapes from Forged Artifacts. Following up Shishkin’s debut album for Forged, Alexei’s unique self-made strumming style ignites those nostalgic sentiments that travel through the halls of vintage pictures and rogues galleries of both cherished and painful memories displayed galore.

Lionlimb announced the forthcoming of his debut album Shoo available March 4 from Bayonet Records, presenting a first listen via the single “Domino” accompanied with animated colorful performance art sketches. Hear how Stewart Bronaugh and Joshua Jaeger (from Angel Olsen’s band) continue to take their fused sounds further into a journey through frequencies that summon the semblances of classic and future wax heroes/idols.

Engineered here by Preston White and caught live at Parlor Studios; watch The Pressure Kids perform “Consequences” from their Tiger EP. Causes, effects, truths, and their repercussions are all laid plainly and passionately here on the line with pleas for understanding and expressions of the utmost dire of desires, and more.

Watch Hearts Hearts’ video for “I Am In” off the debut album Young available globally on Tomlab January 21. In the video from Eyup Kuş, David Österle’s lyrics and feelings are portrayed by Magdalena Lermer & Tim Oppermann acting out interpretive motions (and emotions) all in the dim, low key lit chambers.

Hear Holy Wave’s out-of-body-experience on “California Took My Bobby Away” off the upcoming Freaks of Nurture album available March 11 from The Reverberation Appreciation Society. Prepare to enter a lush atmospheric psych sphere that you might not want to leave.

Check out the swagger spin of gritty blues pop-sters With Lions, who kick up some dust and peanut shells with their single “Down We Go” from their new album Fast Luck available today.

On January 22 Joyful Noise will release Half Japanese’s new album Perfect and we have the animated video for the lively “We Cannot Miss” featuring all kinds of critters moving in time to the song’s hip-shaking, weird rhythms.

The Zolas dropped the debaucherous fraternizing misadventures of connected points of bonding with bros during spates of time spent in disconnected states on “Get Dark”. Hear this and more on their forthcoming third album Swooner available March 4 from Light Organ Records.

Minotaurs drops their album Weird Waves available March 11, and we got the tripped-out & decked-out cut “Blind Luck” that rolls the tumbling dice out into the streets. The track moves with smoky cool bravado with a swagger like the feeling of being way too turnt whilst making your way to find your friends in a club.

With their debut album How Do You Feel Now? having dropped in the spring of 2015, take a look & listen at the Philip Andelman video for Joywave’s “Destruction” that relishes with charm and wit in a presentation of the performances and pratfalls of the ups, downs, highs, and lows of band life. The Rochester, NY here takes on the industry and media outlet coverage cyclones with fun, fascination, and tongue firmly planted in cheek.

From Minneapolis’s Mark Mallman, hear the title track from the artist’s (eighth) full-length, The End Is Not The End available March 25 from Polkadot Mayhem. Pushes past the temporal state of things, time, and place with a theatrical panache for a supernatural infinite ever after that exists beyond finite concepts and constructs.

“EOS” from Rostam is available now from XL Recordings that features cosmic visuals directed by Rostam Batmanglij featuring epic motion graphics & animation from Jon Race that makes for an audio/visual ecstatic-experience that may return to mind in the form of audio/or apparition.

Hear Dear Boy’s new single “Local Roses” off the upcoming debut EP available in March 2016 that presents a bouquet of feelings and expressions from the LA group. From here sentiments from the heart stitched on sleeves are synthesized into an electric blend made just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Peep the cool punk of peace adventures on the “Calm Punk” video from Micah Weisberg & Bill Dvorak for Brooklyn’s Dead Stars, off their upcoming second album Bright Colors available March 4 on their own imprint Weird Tree Records. Watch a day in the life of a counter culture anarchist go about the day, walking in the park, kissing babies, going to the grocery store, and eating healthy—all in between performance clips of the band getting their pop-punk on.

Hear Sego’s new cut “Obscene Dream” that oozes with a whole lot of exciting originality of one big dance-floor oddity from the forthcoming album Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around available March 4.

Available today from Ghostly International, hear the work of Scott Hansen, aka Tycho re-worked on Awake Remixes featuring re-tricked fashions and interpretations from RJD2, Bibio, Com Truise, Baio, and more. Explore the alternate realities originally dreamt up by the San Francisco based synth wizard.

C Duncan presents an underwater drifting cover of Cocteau Twins’ “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops” from C’s forthcoming EP available from FatCat Records digitally February 19. Even if covers aren’t your thing, Duncan knocks this one out of the park and into an alternate arena of consciousness.

LA’s Feels have a self-titled album in the works produced by the great Ty Segall and we have a first listen to all the fun garage goodness with the thrashing great times on “Close My Eyes” from the album available February 26 from Castle Face Records.

Take a look at the Christophe Acker/Thatfilm b/w video for Your Friend’s brand new single “Come Back From It” from the forthcoming album Gumption available January 29 from Domino. Taryn Miller delivers her rhythmic melodies that are coupled with images of the city that evoke French new wave movie images and pop audio gestures of genuine desires.

Emily Yacina’s Week in Pop

Catching the Metro with NYC's innovative artist of influence—Emily Yacina; photographed by Charlotte Lewis

Catching the Metro with NYC’s innovative artist of influence—Emily Yacina; photographed by Charlotte Lewis

NYC’s influential Emily Yacina has been an artist’s artist and a word of mouth best-kept-open-secret for a minute now, and has hit her stride with the spellbinding beauty of her much-awaited cassette, Soft Stuff. Today we are honored and privileged to present Emily Yacina’s following Week in Pop guest selections:

My picks are:

Brittle Brian, “Plant Boy”

Emily Yacina performance.

Emily Yacina performance.

Japanese Breakfast, “Beating Off”

The Julie Ruin, “Apt. #5”

The cover of Emily Yacina's 'Soft Stuff'; cover created by the artist.

The cover of Emily Yacina’s ‘Soft Stuff’; cover created by the artist.

The Cranberries, “Dreams”

Follow Emily Yacina via Twitter.

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