Even though Frank Ocean still hasn’t released Boys Don’t Cry (but his younger brother Ryan Breaux was seen hanging with Drake for whatever that’s worth); Impose’s Week in Pop carries onward with breaking executives along with some of the week’s biggest headlines. Rounding up some of the week’s biggest stories & buzz, we saw & heard various hints of a new Bon Iver album; Secretly Group (Jagjaguwar, Secretly Canadian & Dead Oceans) launched the Secretly Store webstore/record club; Rihanna to receive the “Michael Jackson video Vanguard Award” at this year’s MTV VMAs August 28; Green Day announced the new album Revolution Radio available October 7 & dropped the lyric video for “BANG BANG”; The Orb announced the new album Chill, Out World! available October 14 through Kompakt & dropped “5th Dimensions”; Killer Mike talked about the election; BitTorrent launched a grant program for promoting & marketing artists called the Discovery Fund; Clams Casino & Lil B announced their co-headlining fall tour; Dev Hynes announced new Blood Orange tour dates in support of Freetown Sound; Nice as Fuck dropped the Luke Rathborne video for “Guns”; Rae Sremmurd announced the “SremmLife II Tour” featuring Lil Yachty; PC Music’s Danny L Harle dropped “Super Natural” featuring Carly Rae Jepsen; The Gaslamp Killer announced the new album Instrumentalepathy available September 16 through his new label Cuss Records, & dropped “Residual Tingles”; Anderson .Paak dropped the Chris Le video for “The Season / Carry Me” & “The Waters”; Kamaiyah dropped the Damien Sandoval video for “How You Want It”; Tinashe went all “Baywatch” in her Hannah Lux Davis video for “Superlove” ft. choreography by JaQuel Knight; Joey Bada$$ dropped his “Devastated” video made with Shomi Patwary; Massive Attack dropped the John Hillcoat directed video for “The Spoils” ft. Hope Sandoval & starring Cate Blanchett; Sunflower Bean dropped the Ruby June directed video for “Come On” off Human Ceremony; Chvrches presented a 360° studio tour for an inside look at their new album Every Open Eye; Chrysta Bell’s David Lynch produced EP Somewhere in the Nowhere will be available October 7; Beat Connection dropped “For The Record”; Leonard Cohen announced the new album You Want It Darker; Mike Mills from R.E.M. to release his own classical composition cycle with Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra available October 14 from Orange Mountain Music; Rostam Batmanglij from Vampire Weekend dropped the solo track “Gwan” & more; New Order’s “Stray Dog” beer; Obama dropped his Summer Playlist; Puff Daddy is curating the “WWE 2K17” game soundtrack; “NBA 2K17” game soundtrack curated by Grimes, Jay Z, OutKast, Chairlift, Noah “40” Shebib, etc; Werner Herzog narrated Kanye’s “Famous” video; Theophilus London’s jail tweets after arrest over a cabbie dispute; Prophets of Rage denied performance inside of a Norco, California state prison; Ed Sheeran sued by the family of “Let’s Get It On” co-writer Ed Townsend; and The Maccabees called it a day.
Continuing to today’s biggest news, it is our pleasure & privilege to present the following world exclusives, interviews, media & insights from LIFER, Parentz, Pastel, Alpha Consumer, Diners, Film Jacket 35, Motion Graphics, guest selections by Future Islands & more—in no particular order.
Longtime Impose readers will remember some of our earliest reporting on the Parentz phenomenon with the advent of the beloved Big tape, & a few years later with the FP&B<3Z1:FLY EP. The principle project of Oakland’s own pop visionary is his own right Jeremy Sullivan, he’s sampled the beeping effect from trucks in reverse as heard on “Back it Up” to the beginnings of a conceptual work titled 1989 heard on the single “FP&B<3Z:PART1“. This ambitious work that coupled nostalgia & Sullivan’s own aesthetic forms of futurism barely had a chance to get off the ground as Jeremy found his own health in jeopardy—right around the time Taylor Swift announced her own 1989. After a few years of recuperation, Parentz rises again, completing one cut at a time and putting together a new testament to the resolve of the human spirit. With a new lease on life & a new attitude, Sullivan further develops his sound on a level of distinction & sophistication that sharpens the definition & tone that all stems from Jeremy’s own audio journeys that began years ago.
Presenting the world premiere of “Beach Body”, the Parentz song for summer sails out like the windsurfers on Ocean Beach, or the boats floating in the Bay on a cloudy but sunny day. The track opens with a pristine chorus of synths that are surrounded by punctuated bass bubbly beats that only egg on and encourage other keys to join in on the shore-front party. “Beach Body” is the Parentz track that should be played at all ocean-side fashion shows where the opening beats imagine the models making their way in glassy-eyed strutting steps on the sand in front of a group of revelers, surfers, scuba divers, volleyball enthusiasts, and more. A soon to be released digital single, Parentz gifts the world one of the greatest summer anthems to let the past three months settle, where reflections of the mind, spirit & body let experiences & emotions sink deeper into the system of self. In a recent conversation with Jeremy Sullivan, he described the forthcoming super ridiculous visual component for the track involving consumption of In-N-Out and KFC mixed with dancing and singing, and plenty of aerobic push-ups. Read a transcript of our recent conversation, right after the following debut of “Beach Body” from Parentz.
Rumor has it great things have been abounding & surrounding Parentz; give us the scoop.
Well my recent history is quite melodramatic and sad. You know I wrote my last tape about Tom Hanks. Well this time around I was writing a huge concept album, 1989. I had a bunch of like weird vine/instagram video teasers with clips from movies and television shows from the year. Some pretty good songs going. I filmed maybe three videos that I didn’t finish. Taylor Swift announced her album, 1989. I had a pretty brutal health event. Everything sort of collapsed under it’s own weight.
That took me out of commission for a long time. I continued to work on the songs, but something about it all was like this big spider web so any time I worked on a song from that batch I just remembered how I had sort of missed the boat, hadn’t worked hard enough, and had an extended pity party for myself on the creative front.
But now my eyes are fully on the ball, and and I’m a lot more focused. I’m just trying to create, finish, and release a song at a time, and not let them languish.
The new single “Beach Body” is the jam, describe the summer vibes & more that lead to it’s inception & creation.
My approach now is just to make laughably obvious pop, and fast, but with hints of darkness around the edges and underneath.
Some friends of mine in LA do this yearly camping trip on the beach, and it’s pretty much inspired by that, that vibe, a little bit by Charles Manson, and just the absurdity of life. The self-improvement as masturbation thing.
Describe how the project of Parentz has evolved from the beginning to now.
It started as a result of my love affair with Ableton. I still can’t believe how amazing it is. It’s like someone made a magic spell for getting ideas out of your mind and into a program, and you can control everything. I love it.
From there it was about finding where I fit in in the greater music community, what I do that other people don’t do, what do I want to accomplish. I haven’t got too far, but I’m definitely getting somewhere. Just finding what ignites that flame in the process.
What about production & track creation catches your own particular fascination, and how would you begin to describe our own creative focuses, lenses, and the like?
I try to find one very strong core hook or core idea, and build everything around that. A lot of times it’s a phrase. Sometimes it’s a very strong melody, or (less often) rhythm. Look around at the world or coincidences. Turns of phrase that I hear a few times in a row. Stuff like that.
Like Dale says: “When two separate events occur simultaneously pertaining to the same object of inquiry we must always pay strict attention!”
I am pretty much all in-the-box as they say. All inside the laptop, very little outboard synth gear etc. I know that’s not very en vogue, but it’s the truth. I love keeping everything there because I like being able to change things a lot along the way. Like I’ll be in the mixing phase, but I’ll want to recompose a keyboard line around the vocal. If it were outboard gear I’d have to re-write the midi or re-perform it, re-record it, and hope I didn’t mess with it too much to blow the whole song mix. Plus I can’t afford a lot of gear, but I’ve been meaning to go check out the Vintage Synth Museum and try to get inspired or track some stuff there.
What have you been listening to, reading, and watching that has caught you attention lately?
Impossible to ignore Stranger Things. I like it a lot. As a Twin Peaks fan I’m very pleased to see its influences making it to the forefront of pop culture all the way in 2016, and hey just in time for the new season in 2017. This feels like a really big moment for synthwave, VHS-wave, whatever you want to call it. Anything that brings people in to appreciating electronic music is good.
Reading a lot of comics: The Vision, The Wicked + The Divine, Planet Hulk. I’m playing Enter the Gungeon and Hyper Light Drifter, trying to get in to video game sounds in some way. Have some buds that are really thriving in that world. A totally new frontier and a lot to be done.
Listening to the new Frank Ocean a lot(sike). New Blood Orange I think is a pretty amazing and important record, and I’m not sure why it’s not getting more attention and acclaim. It’s really brave and vulnerable, speaks to a lot of the racial/class conflict we’re seeing out in the world today.
State of the Bay Area, east & west Bay scenes?
I don’t know if I’m plugged in enough to comment, but I wonder if we’ve sort of weathered the storm, financially/housing-wise and it’s about to break, or cool off, if it’s going to get much worse out here. It might be a bit too late as we’ve definitely watched a ton of buds forced to move away. My wife and I definitely can’t afford a two bedroom, but we’re buckling down to be here at least another year. If things decompress a bit maybe everyone can stop talking about rent and start talking about things that matter. Maybe we should knock on wood and wait until after November 8…
In SF you’ve got Noise Pop and Patrick at Different Fur really going above and beyond to maintain and grow the scene out there and even over here in the East Bay. On the East Bay side you’ve got a lot of homies and some good friends in the music world that have hunkered down and low and behold a lot of them now have bars and music venues opening like Rockridge Improvment Club, Eli’s is back, Uptown is back open. Jason Kick from Maus Haus is going balls to the wall at Nightlight booking that room. Sarah and some other folks are crushing both rooms at Starline…
Also, there’s a small crew of musicians and creative folks that do this monthly meet-up where we play songs and ideas for each other. That’s been really motivating and given me some hope that a community can still thrive here and make good art stuff whether that’s songs or games or video or whatever.
I dunno. I feel like maybe we’re sort of opening the fallout shelter doors and seeing that there’s been some serious damage to the bay area as we knew it, that world that we knew is gone, but we’re still here, and we can still make this place what we want. Might just be the optimist/dreamer in me. Maybe it’s going to keep getting worse.
What’s next for PARENTZ?
Music video for “Beach Body” films this weekend, and another couple jams I hope to just shut the fuck up and put out.
Prayer/hymn for the Bay/world?
Drop Names, Not Bombs.
New York anonymous outfit LIFER works to translate the isolated feeling of being a human alone in the big city at night. The name alludes to a steadfast, loyal & dutiful persistence that can pertain to one’s own occupational routine of employment and/or the dedicated repetitions that reinforce the hobbies & aesthetic practices that help define who we are (and hopefully help to make better sense of the world & ourselves). LIFER’s music too captures these committed struggles, which documents everything from the artist/individual’s connection to their environment, themselves, others, & the world at large. With the debut EP From Kuru available August 19 from Forged Artifacts, we are proud to present LIFER’s self-made video for “Nightlife” that provides a bit of sparse warmth with an intimate view of our masked protagonist holed up making lonely sounds that express earnest sentiments from a humble apartment.
The video takes the listener/viewer to the lair of LIFER where the feeling of evening descends upon the artist & the Spartan comforts of their home digs. “Nightlife” revels in the honesty that nightfall affords, where the catchy chorus hook of “if your love life is killing your nightlife isn’t it time to get untied,” continues as an internal tug of war between affections & focuses. We see LIFER in mask & hood playing guitar by the radiator & pushing keys & feelings on a synthesizer. The torn sentiments between investing interests & energy on outings versus nurturing the causes that are most beloved & close to the heart are pitted against one another. The deductive reasoning suggests the rationale of breaking free from the cycles to entertain more extroverted endeavors & events that exist outside the apartment confines & comforts of staying in one’s shell. LIFER projects a ghostly figure that exhibits the pull between the passions that both drive the entirety of our beings & all the adventures & opportunities that beckon & await the attention & RSVP of our responding call.
Describe for you what brought about the formation LIFER.
LIFER started as a reaction to the way i have always written and recorded music. I wanted to stop over-thinking everything and make the recording process feel more like a reflex.
What significance does the name have for you?
Basically the name refers to a general outlook I’ve tried to develop. I’ve always been focused on the next thing, whether it’s a city, a project, people etc. Moving to NY and the struggle to make it work here taught me how to stop imagining that things would be so much better once i got the next thing and to just embrace what’s around me. It’s a stubbornness that borders on masochism but it’s a mindset that’s really changed my perspective.
Tell us about what the making of For Kuru was like, and what sorts of revelations you may have discovered along the way.
I recorded all of From Kuru in my apartment in Greenpoint. Kuru is a rare and fatal brain disease that develops in people that practice cannibalism, specifically when they eat another person’s brain. The irony of that stuck with me. I feel like I’ve definitely hurt other people’s brains without realizing that it was only going to end up damaging mine even worse down the line, which I guess is funny.
The minimalist video for “Nightlife” has a real moody sort of solace at work. Tell us about how the single inspired the masked & hooded visuals.
The songs on this EP were never really supposed to go anywhere. It was the first time that i’ve made music for myself with no intentions. But once I decided to put things on the internet I realized I didn’t want my friends or social circles to
know about it. Also the idea of self-promotion has always really bummed me out. I just wanted it to be my personal thing, which is why I still haven’t told almost anyone about it. The video was just supposed to be an extension of that. I wanted it to feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable. The idea of a person filming themselves alone in an empty apartment with a mask on seemed like it would accomplish that so that’s what I did.
What have you been listening to, or been watching as of late that has moved you?
There’s always a balance of inspiration and influence I try to be careful about. That also makes it harder for me to fully commit to liking new bands and new things too. I guess the benefit of seeing how a thing will age before you fully commit to it is convenient. But in the last few weeks I saw the band Royal Headache play live, re-watched “Buffalo ’66” and read the manga “Death Note” and those were all really inspiring.
What can we expect next from LIFER?
I genuinely don’t know.
The debut LIFER EP From Kuru will be available August 19 from Forged Artifacts.
Within the eye of the storm that has observed the transformation (some might say hostile takeover) of the Bay Area by the suburbanite-techie-hordes; new artists & bands continue to break through the static & deluge of apocalyptic hype. Introducing the new San Francisco band Pastel (not to be confused with LA x OC’s Pastel) who present the world premiere of their Eyelids cassette available next week with a release show at Bottom of the Hill August 17. Band leader Nicholas Lomboy & the gang of Henry, Matt & Michael recorded their EP with Max Senna at Oakland’s The Secret Bathroom where they continue to raise the bar & mantle of the Bay’s time tested noise & dream pop continuum where amplified guitar-grinding emissions dovetail in the atmosphere alongside the billowy cushions of fog. Like the powdery-crayon pigments of their namesake, Pastel makes music from an analog pallet that reminds the digitally obsessed SF and it’s surroundings that there are greater arts that can convey and relay feelings & meanings that exceed far beyond all binary frames of focus & interests.
The Pastel quartet begin Eyelids with waking sounds to inspire eye-opening & an awakening endeavor that teeters on that see-saw that tilts between the dichotomy of life & death. “You hide like new cancer,” Nick sings out in a maudlin mode as he, Henry, Matt & Michael bring about rippling doses of melancholia that that sway like amber waves in the autumn breeze. And right as your heart begins to sink into the bowels of the basement, Pastel strikes with full force on “Nervous” that turns over the poker tables & beats up those inner-quivering nerves that keep all confidence, courage & self-esteem at bay—idling like a pier-docked sailboat wallflower in the wind. The thin line margin between love & hate is further explored & exploited with “Halfhate” that entertains real feelings of extreme dislike that attempts to convey these emotions in constructive manner that requests a little empathy & understanding with the refrain of, “see how it feels…” As the guitars burn & blaze with a furious—but mellow—glow like a sundown/sunrise that arches from east and west like a rainbow palette of markers connecting communities like the Bay Bridge on “Hensong”. The finale on the tape finds the band firing on all cylinders, along with firing off every proverbial firework in the arsenal that was leftover from Fourth of July, New Years, etc. After the following debut listen to Pastel’s Eyelids tape, check out our roundtable interview session with Nick, Henry, Matt & Michael.
Take us to the beginning when Pastel first became a thing, and how the band became a codified entity.
Nick: I met Henry at a party. He was pretty gone and demanded that I bought him in a few games of dice. Initially I thought he was a crazy sociopath, little did I know he’s actually a sweetheart. We kept seeing each other at parties, and I still thought he was an asshole until we ran into each other at The Knockout. Saves the Day came on and we embraced each other… never let go ever since.
Henry: I don’t know what sociopath actually means, but I like it. Nick and I met at an emo night here in San Francisco where they played old high school music. We talked about jamming together because we liked a lot of the same bands. I later asked Michael to hop on bass, knowing him from our other band. After weeks of playing together, Matt Curtis finalized the band on second guitar… and he blew our ears off with his shitty feedback during practices.
Matt Curtis: I’ve known Henry and Michael through their other band Commissure for a bit. I tried out for Pastel once which is when I met Nick. When I played with them, I was feeding back the whole time (intentionally). They never called me back. I hit them up and no one responded.
With the visual aesthetic notion of pastel having been entertained as the moniker for many other independent artists from now and over the years; what does the name Pastel represent for you all?
Henry: Honestly it was just a cool sounding name I came across. Didn’t think there were other bands that had that name. I was originally going to use it for some solo project but that never happened, so it was brought up during band practice and it just kinda worked out. I guess you can think we’re very artistic, dreamy, etc. Like pastel colors if that answers your question better [laughs].
Nick: I won’t print on a pink shirt.
Matt Curtis: It’s a Nai Harvest song (RIP). That’s it.
Tell us about the experience of recording the Eyelids EP with Max Senna at The Secret Bathroom in Oakland, California.
Henry: We’ve known Max through the music scene out here, seeing him at shows and in bands over the years. (Shout out to John Cota!) Michael and I worked with him before and he just seemed like the obvious choice. We recorded in the span of two days in his studio that he built from scratch. It was a smooth process due to Max’s style of recording, very easy and pretty much gave us all the freedom to make it sound the way we want.
Michael: We were all (except for Nick) playing on borrowed instruments, so we were learning the different feel of the gear. My fake ric had a shitty output so I used max’s P bass with heavy ass strings. Matt Curtis’s squire was too twangy, so he used Max’s SG.
Matt Curtis: Max was super easy going and fun to work with the entire time. He made us feel really comfortable and took a lot of the pressure off.
Nick: Max is funny, I am friends with Max. We snapchat each other while we’re pooping. Hi Max!
What lessons did you all take away from this, and how do you feel this EP will shape a possible full album?
Michael: It was a great first experience for us, and we feel that you should always leave the studio looking forward to the next opportunity to get back into the studio. This tape is a great example of who we were when we recorded it, and now we’re very excited to be growing into who we’re becoming for the next release.
Matt Curtis: I think it made us realize where we’re at, and where we want to go with this project.
Nick: Expect another ep before a full length.
Most amazing things about the Bay Area right now?
Henry: A lot of new bands popping up that are creating this new music community. It’s pretty awesome, but all the gentrification and fires in the city [are] not so awesome. Also, there’s so many music venues it makes it great for playing shows and hosting touring bands.
Michael: There’s a ton of creative people here so it’s easier to network than when I was growing up in a small town, but it can also be very cliquey. On a positive note, the more weird the music is, the more it seems to get noticed which is something I really appreciate.
Nick: It’s amazing that I have to pay 600 dollars to live in a closet, but also amazing that bands in San Francisco can still survive despite the gentrification and how un-affordable it is. It was kind of a shock when I moved here from Philadelphia two years ago. The music scenes are completely different. Regardless, we’re happy to contribute.
Matt Curtis: lol idk.
What should the world being listening to right now?
Nick: Blue Smiley from Philadelphia just released Return. I play it at least twice everyday—It’s really good. The Down House is sick. I’m excited to hear their new stuff. I also heard Balms is recording at The Atomic Garden this winter. I’m very anxious for that too.
Matt Curtis: I also really Blue Smiley’s new record.
Michael: Creative Adult and Ovvn (shout out to The Last Record Store, Santa Rosa)
Henry: Hazel’s Wart, and Marbled Eye, Diiv from New York…
Fall & winter hopes and closing thoughts?
Michael: Up in the air between recording and touring. Best case scenario we can afford to do both.
Matt Curtis: Play more shows and write more music.
Nick: Recording and maybe a pacific northwest tour. Hopefully Henry will get his own drum set. We have talked about doing a split with an awesome band from Philly.
Henry: Stay tuned.
Pastel plays their release show August 17 (tape release day) in San Francisco at Bottom of the Hill with Balms, The Down House & Whatfunlifewas.
Playing Bon Iver’s Eaux Claires Festival this weekend in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Minneapolis’s Jeremy Ylvisaker, J.T. Bates, Michael Lewis of Alpha Consumer present the performance pizzazz of their video for “Honey Effigy”. Taken off their 2011 7″ b/w “Life Size Voodoo Doll”, the AC-three shake & rattle up the beehive with an explosion of strobes, colored lights & sequences of eccentric & electrical science experiments. Quicker than you can recite the lyrics, “that ain’t no way to behave in the beehive,” Alpha Consumer find a way to match their velocity & tornado of sounds visually in a bit of sci-fi/smart punk camp to compliment the mathematically calculated chord equations.
“Honey Effigy” is the sound of buzzing, grumbling, bumble bees having a revolt within the hive. Alpha Consumer take on the role of busy worker bees kicking out the nectar of punchy-distortion in front of a background of amplifiers. But Alpha Consumer are not your ordinary honey-making bees, as Jeremy, J.T. & Michael don their space-age circular goggles as they engage in sound-craft tests & strange electric-experimentation that goes up in a cloud of smoke. The sharp minute and a half economy of Alpha Consumer’s “Honey Effigy” is an excuse for the group to gather together as many wacky visual moments where flashes of light & effects bounce the viewer & listener from their practice space & a science laboratory. All involved scenes further illustrate the trio’s unabashed love for all things analog & a passion for making punk pop with conscientious concision.
Jeremy Ylvisake shared the following insights on the making of Alpha Consumer’s single “Honey Effigy”:
The bees are not behaving properly, so we figured, as humans, a good way straighten them out would be to yell at them. The riff is a nod to the Kinks, and the honeycomb-like amp structure tips a hat to Sunn O))) and Filpp, but also our interest in test patterns like you find inside the flap of a cereal box (as seen on the cover of our debut recording).
Film Jacket 35
Film Jacket 35 emerged from the DIY Athens, Greece underground early in 2015 with their raw & jangly self-titled EP, returning with fuller clarity but with all the lo-fi clamor intact on singles like “Waiting For a Way Out” with the world premiere of “Cameron Dee”. The duo of Dimitris “Jam D” J. on guitar, bass & vocals along with Giannis “John Skaviz” S. on percussion & vocals absorb themselves into the international conversation on creating the most succinct, scuzziest & loudest garage pop that just hoover a bit above the two minute mark (but make an indelible & resonating impression all the same).
Armed with a Telecaster, a 50s Telefunken, an SM58 microphones, heads, plates and their trademark iron lid ripped from an old 35mm film; Film Jacket 35 launch their latest home-grown fireworks-strapped-style rocket with “Cameron Dee”. Dimitris & Giannis suddenly make 2016 feel like the year punk originally broke from back in 1976 where stripped down sets with improvised & inventive forms of instrumentation were the order of the day. “Cameron Dee” is an energetic mosh-pit ode to a crush where love notes & would-be Valentines become imaginative day dreams where the fantasy of dating the individual of your deepest & dearest desire comes (almost) true. Film Jacket 35 has made a jam for both the infatuated & the rejected seeking some catharsis to shake off the disappointment & frustration.
The duo shared the following words on their new single “Cameron Dee”:
The song was recorded live, along with some other stuff, in our rehearsal room by John Vulgaris (Bazooka, Acid Baby Jesus). Some additional vocals were added afterwards to the already existing material. We wanted to sound bright and sunny in the middle of a blurred period for us. Cameron Dee is a sweet blonde girl. We don’t know her and she doesn’t know us either, but she knows our little secret and we know her secret parts. No shame on her, no shame on us. Not being able to control your thoughts can make you miserable. The funny thing is that imagining yourself with someone else you don’t even know may help you go on with your life and forget about how lonely you really are…but for how long?
Listen to more from Film Jacket 35 via Bandcamp.
Watch the nu-psych visuals from CULTURESPORT for “Anyware” found off Motion Graphics’ forthcoming album available August 26 from Domino. Blurs of colors are presented before the eyes while east-meets-west sound stems are sampled in a cluster of rhythms that will awaken the mind’s most dormant sections. The CULTURESPORT video component compliments the arrangement of samples and keys from MG that operate on a sparse but hard hitting maximalism where all involved audio elements are used together to create cohesion through new sequences & conventions that technology and criticism still have yet to truly define (let alone pigeonhole). We got the inside scoop with the following exclusive words on the creation of “Anyware”:
The opening marimba was written with a QWERTY keyboard on an Amtrak headed to Grand Central Terminal. The train was full of people playing Subway Surfers, Pokemon GO, Candy Crush Saga. The marimba reminds me of an alert sound. The ambient melody overheard on the train. This is where I see the landscape of “Anyware” living.
Indian Wells dropped the single “Racquets” via Boiler Room available August 26 and sporting artwork by Chiara Tomati that expounds the aesthetic initially found on their lauded “Wimbledon 1980” track from a handful of years back. “Racquets” gets into the consciousness & mental framework of the tennis player’s mind where the concentration is expressed through the atmospheres that exist in the textures emitted by the involved synthesizers.
Diners took us on a psych-pop vision quest to the most lovely lounges about with the glimmering new single “Plastic Cactus” found off the forthcoming album Three available September 16 from Asian Man Records. “Plastic Cactus” very cleverl taps into that vault of familiarity with Beach Boy harmonies & elaborate 60s pop art chic arrangements that create for an overall hypnotic affair, especially once the listener is left with the time passage reckoning closing refrain, “learning to live”. Tyler Broderick leads the band on a rediscovery of all your favorite songs in succinct & sharp homages (while borrowing liberally from all imaginable thrift store record stack heroes) that toast all the standard, staples & stand-bys for both fan & musicians alike. Join us following the jump for an insightful interview round with Diners’ own Tyler B.
Describe for us the experiences & realizations that were at work while recording Three.
Working on Three was a great exercise in trusting instincts, letting go of shame, embracing clichés, and learning how to love myself (and believe it.) Three is my most personal record and I truly believe that I made it for myself without worrying about if what I was doing was cool. Sometimes I’d make choices that were intentionally not cool, but not in a passive aggressive way, just to keep myself entertained. I recorded most of it by myself in my friend’s studio and I wrote practically everything while at work or in the car. It was also an exercise in practicing patience too, I tried to pay attention to arrangements and I didn’t stop working on them until they sat right with me. I don’t know if they’re great, but I feel this record as an extension of myself and it still makes me happy when I hear it.
What sorts of desert psych vision quests guided “Plastic Cactus”?
I wrote most of “Plastic Cactus” in my head while walking to the Taco Bell on my lunch break. Lyrically, it’s about trying to figure myself out and what makes me happy. I guess I also name drop SMiLE.
Apart from Nilsson & Wilsons; what are some of your favorite 60s singles & albums?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Burt Bacharach songs/arrangements lately, Dione Warwick’s “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” being a favorite of those. I guess the Song Cycle album by Van Dyke Parks was a big deal for me. Though I’m not a fan of his language, Van Dyke’s music is phenomenal. I’m always interested by The White Album—even the not-so-great songs.
What are some of the most tragically overlooked singles & albums from the 60s in your opinion?
I don’t know if I’m qualified to say what’s overlooked, I’ve never prided myself in being a 60s music historian. Honestly, I only listen to the same five albums over and over again. With that, here are some albums from the 60s that were not recorded by The Beatles: Song Cycle by Van Dyke Parks, 1st by Bee Gees, Days of Future Passed by The Moody Blues, Forever Changes by Love, Reflections by Diana Ross and the Supremes, Axis: Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix, “I Love You” by The Zombies, “The Village Green Preservation Society” by The Kinks, I think The Beach Boys’ “SMiLE” outtakes are fun, and I like every song I’ve heard by Vashti Bunyun.
How do you even begin to go about channeling anachronistic sounds for current day technologies & audiences?
The more I learn to trust my instincts, the less attention I pay to my audience. Funny enough, I feel this way because of the encouragement I get from my audience and my peers. In terms of going for a specific sound, I definitely show my influences -which are generally from classic rock- but I think what I’m doing is very contemporary. In the year 2016, you’re able to take an artist like Brian Wilson or Neil Young and appreciate an entire career’s worth of music as a single collage. “Three” was my attempt to do my whole career in one album, a collage of different production styles and genres in one collection. Also! Sometimes I feel like music has gone as far as it’ll go (not true) and that the only way to say something new is to be sincere. I believe that my music is sincere and celebratory of melody and my universe.
I’m sure you get asked this often, but what are Diners’ current favorite foods to dine on?
I love pretzels of all kinds!
Bay Area’s Hazel Rose sent news of her forthcoming upcoming A Lover’s War EP available soon that follows up last year’s The Seed with the video for “Silly Me” filmed by Bousa Concepts on location in Kingston, Jamaica. Rolling around the lively street scenes and gorgeous surrounding landscapes of the island with local heroes like Sanjay & Shelly Belly; Hazel’s dancehall inflected rhythms & blues sing of internal dialogues that are given complimentary visuals of exciting environments & a view to cultures the outside world still knows very little of or about. Hazel describe the new single & visuals with the following insights:
“Silly Me” came together in rhythm. Soon after we created the song (produced by Marty Mxfly, Stylo and Mic Angelo) my good friend and collaborator Bousa Concepts invited me to travel with her to Kingston, Jamaica. We both have a shared love and appreciation for Reggae and Dancehall music and culture. We decided to make this video together with no budget and little time, but with the incredible inspiration of the vibrance of Jamaica and its people. We ended up being lucky enough to get an inside look at Kingston from two of the city’s most inspiring upcoming artists, rapper/TV host Sanjay and dancer Shelly Belly. They showed us around their home and featured in the video as well as an upcoming remix of the song. The way it turned out perfectly captures the meaning of the song for me. Mixed emotions of heartache and joy. The fleeting beauty in experiences felt; the nostalgia of longing, love and memory. The might-have-been, and the unfolding of what comes next.
There is something of a musical tradition of imitating the terrain traveled by way of audio composition that is staple across the pop terrain (especially true with soundtracks, a la Ennio Morricone & more). Jess Williamson’s work continues on her own path that is steeped in this tradition where the landscape can be recalled in the way the chords & percussion echo against in the confrontational & real lyrical framework found on “Say It”. Found off the follow up to 2014’s Native State, Williamson’s forthcoming album Heart Song will see arrival November 4 from Brutal Honest that continues a sound that exceeds all the flowery tags & lore of soundscape discourse alone…hear it to believe it for yourself.
The wild collaboration “Feel Me” was created from Singapore’s premiere rising artist et aliae in conjunction with Japanese nu-pop mastermind Cuushe. With collaborative roots that began this past spring when Cuushe was supporting et aliae & her Rose debut; the fusion points to the greatest realization of dance crazes that have nearly no beginning, no curfew, and no dawn to answer for.
Chicago by Tucon, AZ’s Lando Chill just released his debut album For Mark, Your Son available today from Mello Music Group. We introduced you to the rising emcee earlier this year who brings about a fresh album that feels like the rising of a new day, that is sure to open your eyes & mind to new states of mind & attitude. An album dedicated to the artist’s deceased father, Lando gives toasts to all the parentals out there with a lyrical journey that serves as an introduction to one of the most exciting new mic handlers out there right now. Striving to make his father “Proud”, to toasting the rising sun (“I’m Awake”, “Early in The Morning”); Chill alternates between singing & speaking styles throughout the album delivering his own kind of real gospel that closes with the previously lauded single “Coroner” that keeps us awaiting on what Lando will deliver next.
Here to help take the edge off whatever kinda day you’re having; peep the Aaron Brown video for Holiday Mountain’s bathtub-chilling video for “Coffee & Weed” that follows up “Cómo Te Llamas?” with a more hazy & mellow buzz.
DONCAT (oka Duncan Nielsen) just released his new song “Western” that gallops with a hazy-day California pop mode of freedom found off his upcoming album Easy Cowboy available September 9 from Creature. It’s like a west coast tour with a view glancing at the coast from the van as you cruise gently along the stop & go patience testing might & majesty of Highway 1.
JEFF The Brotherhood released their new album Zone today via Dine Alone and they shared the super scuzz steaming single “Roachin” that features Alicia Bognanno from Bully. Alice along with Jake & Jamin stir up a cyclone storm of thunderous sounds that twist & shout in the
The Persian Leaps are readying the release of their EP Your City, Underwater available September 16 from Land Ski Records & we have their unassuming & infectious rocking & rolling power pop anthem,“See Me Unaware”. It’s that ode for being delightfully caught off guard where the surprise of chance encounters embraces a sort of happenstance that is hard to always express.
XL Middleton & Eddy Funkster just released their self-titled album on MoFunk Records featuring appearances from Diamond Ortiz, Moniquea, LBC legend Domino, Brian Ellis and Zackey Force Fun & more, & we bring you the following g-funk/p-funk fusion on a future r & b level. The zaps & slaps roll out the gate with “MoFunk Anthem” ft. Monique & Diamond Ortiz, as XL & Eddy demand some R-E-S-P-E-CT on “Show Some Respect”, with the LA sassy styling from Lady Deuce & Megan Doherty from Social Lovers on “Solicitation”. Monique take the dance party through the way-back machine on the supersonic throwback off “Trading Places”, cooling off with Brian Ellis, Zackey & Diamond on the vocoder-enriched “The Boys Are Back”, soaring high on that Cali life on “California Fly” ft. Domino & Moniquea, right before the rhythm & keys take the entire album to the future frontiers of new fascinations (with a retro sense of knowledge), via the curtain closing “On Our Way to Funkmosphere”.
LEAGUES presents the big emotive pop beams of light & new opportunities found on “New Money” taken from their album Alone Together available September. “New Money” rocks like a festival taking place on the steps of the Wall Street institutions to freak out the suits.
Chrome Sparks’ Jeremy Malvin and Minia’s Charlie Brand are Promises LTD who dropped the twinkling feelings found on “American Eyes”, from their forthcoming debut EP. The experience of gazing into the eyes of another is amplified & exemplified in sound in ways that illustrate the feelings that surround these most sublime events.
Chelan’s forthcoming album Vultures will be available August 26 and we present a listen to the testament to durability & toughness with the hyper-elecric balladry of “Won’t Break”.
Here to provide some comfort as we watch the sun down of summer are Alexis Marceaux & Sam Craft who make up Alexis & the Samurai, sharing some fireflies in a bottle-like sentiments with “Swamp Fire” taken from their album Move Into View. The rural quality & subtle wistfulness resonates the way an endearing campfire’s own hickory wind aroma lasts like a cologne or perfume that sticks around after the embers have long since been extinguished.
Sex Stains are readying their debut self-titled album for release September 2 via Don Giovanni Records along with a northeast tour with Downtown Boys, Alice Bag, Weirdoes, etc; shake a hip to their fun new single “La La Land”. The groups fun & bouncing sound immediately gets a shoulder-shuffling party started that even the perimeter parked wallflowers can get down with.
Peaer’s self-titled will be available September 30 from Tiny Engines, and you can hear the single “Pink Spit” where Purchase, NY’s Peter Katz & friends take a spit take at the world & hierarchies around them. Like the color of expectorated saliva observed after chewing a wad of gum, the defiance is real while the hue of hope is retained through the vindicated sound.
Thrillers returned with the new single “NMT” produced by Twin Shadow & released through Master & Dynamic that rolls with the operative volition found from the summer’s brightest & most brilliant pop cadences. “NMT” rides the rollercoaster called life through the peaks & hills to the dips that take you through the valleys heard on the catchy hook of “you go up, you go down…” in pursuit of romantic impulses & potential promises that sway ahead in the grasp of a northern breeze.
Shut-ins rejoice as Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Josh Evert presents the oddball freak show fun of Uncle Sam’s Club for the Agoraphobic (work from 2016 Residency at ACRE). The creative side is entertained like the electric-tinted “Imagination Bone”, the wild weirdness of “Not Everything is Not Right”, wistful memories on “Youthful Bliss”, the boisterous “The Sound of Machines”, to the WTF utterance inducing opening title track. All fans of outside artistry of the absurd & art for art’s sake must hear.
Luna Aura returns to the pop frame in anticipation of her upcoming Madhouse EP available September 30, sharing a listen to the title track. Listen as the electro-pop artist continues to craft ultra-pop visions that fire with the pyrotechnic flare of the world’s favorite FM pop chart toppers.
TVRQUOISE’s Faye Wellman & Matt Hogan just dropped their new single “Paralyzed Legs” that provides electric illustrations of handicaps & rehabilitated frames of the human spirit. Taken of TVRQUOISE”s forthcoming self-titled EP available August 26, the LA duo channels their feelings & creative notions down the deltas that feed into the mouths of the oceanic great wide open.
Raleigh’s No One Mind invites you to ride the “Tiger” with the following growling & gurgling cut from the upcoming self-titled available September 9 from Third Uncle Records. The collaborations between Missy Thanks (from The Love Language & Birds of Avalon) with Ellis Anderson & Noah Dehmer deliver something of a revenge album for a previously dissolved endeavor. No One Mind gives you a ride like trespassing through a zoo during the after-hours and the weirdness that ensues.
Y La Bamba brought the life & joyous rhythms with “Libre” that springs forth from their forthcoming album Ojos Del Sol available September 2 from Tender Loving Empire. The songs & dances that stir up the movements that we define as life are displayed in flavors that marry Cumbia rhythms with a chorus variety of South American & Soweto styles. Leader Luzelena Mendoza brings together a global array of energy & momentum through deliveries en español and exuberantly entrancing arrangements that elaborate upon the Latin pop tropes that take on even more international cues. Worthy of multiple listens.
Keeping up with RAINE as she readies her upcoming EP, we bring you the reflective-electro emerald, “Age of Innocense”. Inquisitive synths seek those sorts of nostalgic thoughts that are shared with an old friend while catching up on the phone after a long spell of absence from one another’s respective lives. Read our recent RAINE feature here.
And just in case you missed it here’s that much talked about Jai Wolf selected Diplo & Friends Mix the net has been buzzing about.
Weyes Blood recently declared that her forthcoming album Seven Words From Fr Row Seat To Earth will be available October 21 from Mexican Summer, sharing the beachside events of mystic & fairy tale proportions with the Charlotte Linden Ercoli Coe video for “Seven Words”. Natalie Mering (also formerly of Jackie-O-Motherfucker) continues to reshape everything you think already know about folk music past/present & future.
Modern Inventors dropped a heavy hitter recently with warm slow dance embrace of “Closer” ft. Daru Jones (known for working with Jack White) and bass work courtesy of The Roots’ Owen Biddle. The track shines & shimmers like a diamond jewel that channels a slick 70s 12″ epic groove mix that can spin all morning & all night long.
Porter Robinson & Madeon just announced a massive co-headling North American tour & we present from the good friends’ collaborative single “Shelter”. Together the emotive synths & vocal edits push for those places of sanctuary and shared spots of sublime refuge.
Virginia’s Nicole Wray, aka Lady Wray graced the world with the Jeanette “Coneja” Pacheco video for “Do It Again” that revels in the joy & hope of repeated experiences of bliss. Lady’s upcoming album Queen Alone will be available September 23 from Big Crown Records.
Kicking their east coast tour off today that runs through August 20, Plush present their emotive video of pure empowerment with “Sheer Power” from Dani Ransom & Robbie Julian. Found off their Father / Daughter Records Please EP, Plush continues to deal with mind altering sonic-designs and vocal harmonies from Karli Helm & Eva Treadway that continue to echo throughout the acoustics of consciousness (even after the songs commence).
Bay Area duo Nine Pound Shadow just signed to Danger Mouse’s own 30th Century Records imprint with hints of an EP available later this fall, and they were ever so kind as to grace us with the moving song of connections (and re-connections) with “Bridges”. Berkeley’s Breandain Langlois & Christopher Langlois make music that works in almost ineffable ways where the candid information conveyed in the lyrics are brought out further by the depths discovered in the melodies. Like the way Dion’s cult Spector album Born to Be With You haunts on its own weird rehab-rock/space-rock accord; “Bridges” holds a similar power that seems to convey different meanings to the listener depending on what time of day/night the song is heard (we recommend in the early morning as day strives to break through the fog of night).
In case you missed it on your radar, we give you the re-worked/re-jetted/glimmering guitar-gloss Misfits cover of “Where Eagles Dare” from Katy Goodman (La Sera, fka Vivian Girls) & Greta Morgan’s (Springtime Carnivore, Gold Motel, The Hush Sound) collaborative album of covers Take It, It’s Yours available August 26 from Polyvinyl Records.
Sam Gellaitry took us all out on a nice posh “‘Odyssey” as we present a slight escapist taste fresh off the new album Escapism II available today from XL Recordings. This is where Homerian visions & adventures come out to play in a pop consortium of the dance maximalism.
Future Islands’ Week in Pop
Famous Class recently dropped the Death by Audio venue tribute Start Your Own Fucking Show Space that chronicles live recordings from 26 groups during the space’s final month & days. Featuring many of the artists & bands seen, heard & read about on the pages of Impose from over the years; one of our beloved favorites included on the compilation—Future Islands—presented us with their own following Week in Pop guest selections, courtesy of our heroes Samuel T. Herring, Garrit Welmers & William Cashion.
Samuel T. Herring playing their last show at Death By Audio; photographed by Georgia Hinaris.
Sach, “Over The Under”
A track from the legendary Sach, of The Nonce, Global Phlowtations, Name Science, etc. Sach has always been one of my favorite emcees. An impressionist in his style. I’ve been loving this record, just as I’ve loved everything he’s done really. Jazzy loops and soft-spoken poetics from a veteran writer.
Sam T. Herring bringing down the house in the last days of Death By Audio; photographed by Georgia Hinaris.
Captain Beefheart, “My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains”
I think people miss the softer side of Beefheart, or don’t know it exists. They remember the freakouts and the abstract wordplay. I do too, I love that stuff, but this is a rare gem. One of my favorite love songs ever written. Just this, “my arms are just two thing in the way, until I can wrap them around you.” For me that’s everything. And this song plays me low and slow and gives me that immense feeling of that strong figure showing all his cards.
Sam T. Herring delivering the passion & pain & brilliance at Death By Audio; photographed by Georgia Hinaris.
Oscar Pettiford, “Two Little Pearls”
Hanging with Mr. Pettiford. One of my all-time favorites bassists. A bandleader and player with much feeling. Pettiford, also known for being one of the first jazz musicians to implement cello into his works, has always hit a chord with me. Two Little Pearls is just a nice entry point into his world. One of his own compositions, poetic and cinematic. Late night whisperings.
The legendary Sam T. Herring live at the legendary Death By Audio; photographed by Georgia Hinaris.
Duke Edwards and the Young Ones, “Is It Too Late?”
An early collaborator with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Duke Edwards broke solo to make this record in 1968. It’s a fluid and soulful journey into the feeling of the times. And I think more importantly, the feeling of Black-Americans in the 60s. He apparently made three records for the Prestige imprint, but this record would be the only one that ever saw the light of day. Edwards has a beautiful and strong voice, but he acts more as a preacher and soothsayer than just a singer. Trance inducing and soul shaking.
A moment with Sam T. Herring at Death By Audio; photographed by Georgia Hinaris.
Future Islands’ Gerrit Welmers at Death By Audio; photographed by Georgia Hinaris.
Samantha Sang, “Emotion”
Australian one hit wonder. Song written by the Bee Gees and they sing on the chorus. Sounds like an apartment building’s elevator radio falling in love with a tenant and having to deal with it night after night.
Future Islands at Fun Fun Fun Fest; photographed by Erika Mugglin.
Yarbrough and Peoples, “Don’t Stop The Music”
Super sick synth bass groove!
Future Islands live at Fun Fun Fun Fest; photographed by Erika Mugglin.
Smokey Robinson, “Being With You”
Really like the melodies in this jam. Interesting to hear these early soul/r&b artists transitioning into the late 70s and 80s.
Future Islands’ William Cashion performing one last time at Brooklyn’s Death By Audio; photographed by Georgia Hinaris.
António Sanches, “Pinta Manta”
Discovered this song on a rad compilation called Space Echo put out by the Africa Analog label. I really dig the keyboard on this song.
Future Island’s William Cashion performing at Terminal 5; photographed by Dana Pacifico.
The Surftones, “Cecelia Ann”
I thought this was an old surf song from the 60s, but it turns out the original version of this song was only recorded in 1989 and the Pixies covered it to kick off their “Bossanova” album the following year. A timeless classic.
Future Island’s William Cashion live at Terminal 5; photographed by Dana Pacifico.
Love Tractor, “Fun To Be Happy”
I first heard this song during the intro scene of the “Inside/Out” Athens, GA documentary. It’s all about that guitar/piano call-and-response in the verses.
Follow Future Islands via Twitter.