Week in Pop: The Fatty Acids, Free Music, HSY

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Ballroom Cancer, Dionysian Mysteries, Salem Wolves, Zenith Myth, guest selections by Junglepussy.

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Sjimon Gompers | August 14, 2015

HSY is back, featuring (from left) Anna Mayberry, Jude, Kat Thodorelos, & Brandon Lim, with word of a brand new album, a video premiere, and more scuzzed out surprises; photograph by Cayden Mowbray.

Keeping your summer soirees in motion, Impose’s Week in Pop brings you the latest breaking media from some of our favorite rising stars. But kicking off first with all the big news direct from the endless buzz streams, FKA twigs dropped her new EP, M3LL155X and a 16 minute video; Alex G announced his seventh album (and first for Domino) Beach Music available October 9, shares “Bug“; Lil B talked to CNN’s Brooke Baldwin about the Black Lives Matter movement, supporting Bernie Sanders, and expressing implicitly that “Hillary Clinton is not cursed…;” Lana Del Rey dropped her video for “High By the Beach”; Kendrick Lamar interviewed N.W.A., while elsewhere Dr. Dre discussed histories of alleged abuse, misogyny, scrapping Detox, & more; Nicki Minaj fueled the rumor/buzz fire with pregnancy hints, and Meek Mill alleged as the “baby father”; Joanna shares new video “Sapokanikan” off upcoming new Drag City album Divers available October 23; Tyler, the Creator cancelled upcoming Australian tour apparently on account of a Collective Shout feminist campaign; Björk shared more information regarding her tour cancellation; GWAR bassist Michael “Blothar” Bishop gave a Ted Talk on the regional identity of Richmond, Virginia; Aphex Twin dropped a few new tracks under his AFX nom de plume; Patty Smith’s memoir about her bond with Robert Mapplethorpe Just Kids to become a Showtime series; Azealia Banks and Vampy Weekend’s Ezra Koenig reviewed new buzzy singles; the Deadmau5 versus Skrillex beef is alive and well via the Twitter-sphere; Lemmy from Motörhead has exchanged whiskey for vodka for the good of his health; and we mourn the passing of Heltah Skeltah duo’s Sean Price.

But as the world continues to turn toward the direction of a new tomorrow, we are honored and privileged to bring you top exclusives, interviews, and more from The Fatty Acids, Free Music, HSY, Salem Wolves, Ballroom Cancer, Dionysian Mysteries, Zenith Myth, El Mar, Février, Hidden Mountains, Hawker M. James, Homeshake, Nicky Venus, Rough Year, sarob., featuring guest selections by Junglepussy and more—in no particular order.

HSY

The cult of HSY; photograph by Cayden Mowbray.

The cult of HSY; photograph by Cayden Mowbray.

The day before Toronto’s HSY released their debut self-titled EP, they made us an entertaining “Wake and Bake” Selector mix, later brought us on a privy picture tour adventure of Canada’s eastern coast in their Shot by the Band feature, and now are readying their first full length album Bask for September 11 from Buzz Records. Premiering the Chris Chami directed and edited video for “Scratch” off their forthcoming album, stock footage of cult fright flick b-movie mash-up footage becomes the visual format to compliment the surface noise slicing distortion melodic clamor from Jude, Kat Theodorelos, Brandon Lim, Anami’s Anna Mayberry. From sessions that traded their previous beginnings in Chinatown, Toronto’s Buzz Garage [RIP] for what we are told was an “empty small town church” space; HSY brings a hustle, and a sound shrapnel-gospel of barbed wire kisses and thundering expressions that fire the VU indicator needles deep into the red, off the radar, and off the charts while somehow still retaining all the charm.

“Scratch” as a song depicts the gritty, scratched up, Brillo pad to surface sound of youth in revolt that echoes from underground Toronto, and everywhere angst and injustices are present. Jude understands full well the importance of the two minute music model, where an older song written during his teenage years gets brought to full fledged form with Anna, Brandon, and Kat’s contributions that keep the clang and clamor of motor-like metallic reverberations literally ringing out of every instrumental item and aspect of the HSY sound spectrum. The ominous and ornery tornado of feelings that spin a helluva storm around the “hey, hey, hey, hey, hey , hey, girl” chorus is heard like a band of race car drivers doing figure eights and donuts around a choir of barks, flaunted big attitudes, and the gnashing of teeth.

Chris Chami’s video for HSY’s “Scratch” utilizes the vintage 60s television camera spin transition that twirls the view in time to the loop chords, and riffs that sound like the chokes of an engine starting up it’s spin. The tilt-a-whirl effect takes us to the mix of vintage television and horror camp from footage of square dances, views of an early remote control, and a series of frightened (and frightening) faces that play up the emotion and intensity of “Scratch”. Cartoon skull images make for cool cut transitions like the old “Batman” television show, as the scenes of hysteria, scenes of bliss, dance parties, biker brawls, and big-wheel commercials steal the show. The archival moving image edit adds layers of lost nostalgia, further layers of strangeness, exemplifying the hormonal and off the handle effect of HSY’s crystal glass shattering sound. From tense moments of classic Hollywood captured passions, frantic fun with flame engulfed rooms, and other cinematic treats; the video “Scratch” appropriately ends with the view of a coaster cart flying off it’s designated track and into the ocean. After the following video debut, read our interview Jude from HSY after the jump.

Take us back to the formidable days of playing in Toronto’s Chinatown at what was the Buzz Garage, to the expansion of HSY to become a full band.

Well HSY (Hussy at that point) started out as a two piece (guitar + drums) with an ex-girlfriend of mine, and that dissolved pretty promptly. So I employed one of my best friends Alex Low to take over on drums, and from there we we’re joined by another friend of mine Candice on bass, but she had to bail, so Lex and I got our friend Link to hop on bass, and that was when the band really started to come together. By this point I think the Buzz Garage (which was in my backyard and HSY’s practice space) was getting turned into an apartment by my landlord, so that pretty much ceased to exist.

I decided to add Anna Mayberry (ANAMAI) on guitar and vocals which again brought the band to another level, then Alex left the band on drums and was quickly replaced by long time Buzz Garage regular Kat T, and that has been the line-up since then. We’ve been touring and playing together for the last three years now, so naturally we’re a family, we bicker and whatnot, but there’s a pretty strong bond between the four of us.

How do you feel having a full band has impacted the overall sound, and HSY vision?

It’s definitely louder and more filled out. The way I look at it is like it’s someone training to be a boxer. You come into it weak and inexperienced, unaware of how much you have to put in. You get your ass kicked a few times, but you learn and grow till your ready and willing to do what it takes to fight and win. Having the full band has just helped really push the project forward, having such a talented band really allows me to open up and really flush out ideas that I obviously couldn’t do on my own. Every show is battle and we all wanna win the battle.

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From releasing a beloved EP, and singles; what was the jump like in recording your first proper album Bask?

When we went into recording Bask we knew that all these songs would be a part of it. Some old, some new—they all fit together to make the album what it is.

What was it like working with Josh Korody at Candle Recording, and how do you feel his contributions affected the album?

Working with Josh was amazing, the guy is super professional and accommodating. Having him behind the controls for recording really helped us open up creatively. Candle Studios is such an beautiful space as well so I think that helped too, loads and loads of gear to fuck around with, and where the studio is in Toronto really helped us focus on the task at hand.

Give us the story on what inspired the fuzzed-out and blown-up single “Scratch” and how the Chris Chami video full of bikers, big-wheels, brawlers, and more vintage footage came to provide the entertaining visual component for “Scratch”?

“Scratch” was the first song I ever wrote for HSY, and I think I was like 15 or 16 years old, so I always consider the song to be an immature love letter to myself. Talking about how easy it is to pick up girls—it was never easy for me to pick up girls when I was 15/16—having a massive ego—non-existent—and how little children annoy me—that’s become less of a thing over the years.

With the video I kinda just let Chami take the reigns on the whole thing, I told him what the song was about and gave him some old footage I had and told him to go wild. I think he did a good job capturing the whole teenage vibe of erratic thoughts and feelings.

What sorts of things, media, events, and more have been inspiring the HSY sound?

I think for the last little while the events that have been inspiring HSY’s sound have been a lot of the stuff going on in Baltimore, Ferguson, and basically all over the United States and North America right now which is the police going outside of their boundaries as police and taking advantage of their power and influence in society today. I came from a small country town outside of the city, where racism and homophobia is common, so when I started to become aware of these issues in my small town I started to really despise the place and people I grew up with. I got out and came to the city because I thought that I would be rid of it, but I quickly realized that that was not the case, and that pissed me off.

When HSY started, lyrics and song meanings weren’t as important as they are now to us. Before it was words that sounded good together and were kinda funny. Now all new lyrics, all new songs have a solid meaning, and it pretty much comes back to saying ‘fuck the police,’ ‘fuck the state, and ‘fuck ‘apathy.’ I think now that if there’s anything I want people to take away from a HSY show or HSY record its that people shouldn’t be afraid to speak their minds, live the way they wanna live, and to question what they’ve been told by politicians, police, parents, teachers whoever. People should be allowed to stand up for what’s right and not be held down by the powers that be.

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What are you digging the most right now about Toronto?

Nothing really. I’ve lived here for a while now, and in all honesty the city feels like its in a rut or something. I mean there’s still lots of great shows, and events, but I really feel like this city has lost a crucial part of its artistic community which is a wealth of DIY spaces and I feel like that was the part of the city I was digging for a long time. As big as this city is, sometimes it feels pretty small.

And while everyone seems to love Toronto for the art, the people, the music, the scenes; what do you like least about Toronto?

Loaded Question. Ask me after I’ve had a few whiskeys and I’ll get real with you, until then, no comment.

What words of warning can you impart about the Bask?

No warnings… just jump in.

Parting words of HSY wisdom?

Not to sound too cliche, but—treat people the way you wanna be treated.

HSY’s album Bask will be available September 11 from Buzz Records.

Free Music

Willy of Free Music; photographed by Andrew Swanson.

Willy of Free Music; photographed by Andrew Swanson.

From the intersecting network of Seattle connected friends like Matt Bachmann, Mega Bog, iji, Neighbors, and more; we introduce you to William Statler’s latest labor of love Free Music with the debut of his Renaissance 2 EP. Sharing DIY inspirations from his barrage of creative friends, and talented formal acquaintances; Statler has been involved with numerous projects like Punishment, Bun P., Digital Boys Choir, Kool Toad, Memphis Cram DJs, Pilliam, David Corellis, and a few others we’re missing that you should also hear. Picking up where the first Renaissance EP cycle left off, Free Music relishes in the home-recorded ethics of nu-Americana primitive styles that continues the cave painting tradition by means of analog recording devices and utensils. With Free Music’s new EP available August 18 from Night People, we give you an advance debut listen to the extended player that combines the everything and the kitchen sink approach to home recordings that keeps all aspects of honesty (no matter how embarrassing or personal) intact all along.

“I’ve never been so good at wasting my own time,” William sings through treated vocal effects on “Bar” on the opening of Renaissance 2, “I’ve never tried to fit so many things into my mind, and I don’t mean to be rude but what are you talking about, I don’t want to leave but I must get out…” The weirdness of feeling alright in one’s own skin gets weirder through the experimental process of fuzzying up the fidelity as heard on the ‘in the red’ loudness distortion and decay on “U9 (Res Mix)” that brings a host of cheery pop tunes that sing about what is not the way to live as audio static feedback shreds out of the speaker grates like ground round. “Cone 2” keeps the strange sensations coming that plays with what sounds like a recorder trapped beneath an ice layer of electronics and instrumental mechanics. But before you even begin to label Statler’s Free Music vehicle as a shambling act, “Slower Version” turns up the electro pop that bursts at the seams with a sense of over-awareness that even references his rough recording methods coupled with thoughts from the interior monologue with lyrics like; “It’s a harsh toke when you find out the whole song’s in the red, and it’s no joke when you come to regret everything that you have said, and it’s a bad dream come true when you can’t remember what it meant…”

The style of Free Music strangeness becomes solidified in fully realized audio regalia on “2 Princes // Present From J” where William can be heard demonstrating the different components, effects, oddities, and elements, and certain tracking items being brought into the mix, and then taken out as soon as they arrived. Ending with what sounds like a warped live Simon & Garfunkle performance, the Free Music experience provides you with the tape dub abrupt click that leaves you with the crackling surface noise static of “In Progress” that delivers the essence of dead air ennui that reminds us of all the down time and in-between the magic moments that make-up and comprise the behind-the-scenes reality of how your favorite music is made. After the following listen to Renaissance 2, be sure to read our interview session with William Statler.

Before we get to Renaissance 2, first tell us a bit about how Free Music came about, and some of your other Northwest projects.

Ahh yes…Free Music is the latest alias in a long line of nicknames-in-play I’ve been using for any solo tunes that have slipped out over the past several years. Bun P., Digital Boys Choir, Kool Toad, Memphis Cram DJs, Pilliam, David Corellis, and Punishment might be a few of the others. I always found dreaming up a band name (or a track title) to be one of the more invigorating parts of the whole process…getting to imagine a context in which the recording might (have) exist(ed)…it’s not exactly fantasy…but it certainly does something in the way of deepening a(n alternate) world…

What for you inspired you to lay down the ground work for Renaissance 2, and how do you feel that the first Renaissance release informed the sequel?

both of the “Renaissance” playlists in question come from the same forthcoming release: “Renaissance 2″…so I can’t speak to their genesis in sequential terms. the last release to make it to the ‘physical realm,’ however, was “Great Music” by Kool Toad back in 2013 (being re-issued this week by the good dude, Shawn, at Night People). as “Great Music” was imagined as a compilation of sorts, i would suppose it provoked me to try and do the opposite with “Renaissance 2”: try and imagine a context (“band name”) in which a whole record could be made …

Beyond any forethought, however, the real inspiration for the tunes on “Renaissance 2” came from the life source found in a pure attempt to play daily and improvise … rolling with first takes and rabbit-holes as they appeared … and screening or censoring as little as possible. what often started as a pretty mindless (but … open) jam consistently surprised me as a ‘complete’ song by the eighth overdub. i just tried to stay positive and embrace the process…

Renaissance 2 feels like it has more of an experimental impetus and operation of momentum, where you are constantly flipping the dials and switches on everyone’s expectations, all the way to the closing cut “In Progress” of just airy dead air space that almost trolls the listener. Were you necessarily going for a more experimental, of the grid of normalcy approach consciously?

I love pop music very much (I was listening to Warren Zevon on the way home)…but I feel like I owe a ton to a handful of level-peeling experiences with close-listen records like “Another Thought” by (true doctor) Arthur Russell…records that maybe let a certain cubist approach to exploring layers of motion or dimensions of change within the context of a ‘pop song’ kind of, for me, permanently ‘out of the bag.’ I suppose some part of me really enjoys trying to identify as many different degrees of listenership as possible, and then trying to find as many ways to make the drive on any of those wavelengths within the song as engaging as I can…without punking anyone hard enough to lose the groove…

As for “In Progress,” it became apparent to me that almost every track on the record was gently earmarked by a particular sound caused by an aging microphone cable. It seemed like a fitting nod, then, to one of the record’s big inspirations—the idea of process—to feature that sound even more prominently…and, again, try and play with levels of listenership…

Surrounded by so many cool folks in the Washington scenes; how do you feel you are inspired by acts like Mega Bog, iji, FF, the Couple Skate family, Help Yourself Records, Beating a Dead Horse Records rosters, etc?

The record couldn’t have been made without the guidance and positivity of good dude David Hrivnak (who helped engineer, mix, and master the record. As David’s not quite online, here’s a great product of the SEO era). He’s a true wizard whose technical expertise and, more importantly, soulful open-mindedness kept the ship afloat and, really, made making the record a very special time. While we pulled many all-nighters that could’ve been tedious, David’s presence turned them into deep memories. the same must be said for true homies Nick Shively and Patrick Sexton, with whom I embarked on a coupla minor odysseys within the bedrooms of their “Shithaus” to complete the record’s artwork.

Concerning those you mentioned, Erin in mega bog opened my eyes to more than I can say (including but hardly limited to my first tour, George, and a legitimate lust for life) and Ian at Couple Skate made for an angelic presence at the tail-end of Renaissance 2’s gestation. Seattle’s scene at large brought me into contact with a certain mode of speaking directly while performing for which I am also grateful. Legit ups to QFC. And Jose Diaz of Neighbors for lending me his van so many evenings.

Other local artists that you feel the entire world should be listening to right now?

Being from Minneapolis, I would love to include the music of a prismatic friend of mine who’s provided constant inspiration over many years in the terrestrial form of one Joe Berns. In Seattle, Pitschouse, Thank You, and So Bad/Sinbad are all doing something I would consider to be deeply essential and enjoyable. Also this.

Would you care to leave us with some of your own notes on recording processes, and encouraging thoughts for other aspiring home recording enthusiasts?

Notes on recording …having been in a solo groove for the past several years, one of my main objectives has been trying to find ways to introduce (or mimic) the surprise and spontaneity of playing with other people. I dunno if it can ever truly be duplicated … but i manage to have a good amount o fun (… most nights). I find that playing with the pitch of recorded tracks or punching in // overdubbing before listening to the rest of the mix are two great ways to keep myself on my toes while I’m playing. it creates the impression that I’m playing along with someone/thing other than myself as it kind of transforms the tune into something i hadn’t heard before.

Beyond this, the closest thing to advice I could give … hmm … find the most non-discriminating head space you can…one in which anything goes…and then try and see things through to the end instead of getting critical and stifling them early on. I think giving yourself full permission to make potentially ‘the worst’ piece of music you’ve recorded to this point seems to open the sun-roof wide enough to let a few of your best ideas slip in (possibly undetected), too. Free reign to explore the entirety of your being …high school NME influences and all…just keep jamming…you can do it everyday without it feeling like work if you re-arrange your standards for success.

Kool Toad’s Great Music is available now on CS via Night People Records.

Free Music’s Renaissance 2 will be available August 18 from Night People Records with a US tour happening in October. Catch Free Music playing September 21 at Total Fest in Missoula, MT.

Keep up with all of William Statler’s projecs via his website.

The Fatty Acids

The Fatty Acids here seen captured & caught in the double exposure spectrum; photographed by Lucian McAfee.

The Fatty Acids here seen captured & caught in the double exposure spectrum; photographed by Lucian McAfee.

Found off their :0) EP from Pink Lizard Music; Milwaukee, Wisconsicn’s The Fatty Acids proudly present the world premiere of their ultra vivid and wild WC Tank video for “I Try Not to Freak Out About It”. Set up as the “American Eggball League’s Excellentbowl Hormel Chili and Records Halftime Extravaganza featuring The Fatty Acids”,—you better believe that the ‘Acids are going to pack a visual punch as awesome, exciting, and unusual as the song itself. Josh Evert and friends operate on a different set of musical creative hardware, launching their own Kribber Krown label, previous releases on Uninhabitable Mansions, gained something of a cult following the UK, and now pay homage to the sport of DIY while playing the game by their own self-styled mind-warp pop rule books.

Inviting their friends Andy, Ben, Jolena and Treccy to all take part in all the fanatic fun, The Fatty Acids and their party-goers form their own league of life loving revelers. Utilizing full scale professional grade video equipment (courtesy of their appointed Fatty Acid Social Media Coordinator/guru Beans), the “I Try Not to Freak Out About It” main event kicks off in full montage effect. The song already provides the antidote to the k-hole pratfalls of a bad trip with a searing driving keyboard rhythm center, bleary vocals, and plenty of progression hooks—now gets tricked out in a visual sequence of escapades to match the group’s own musical mayhem.

Using a pastiche series of cuts from Michael Jackson’s infamous Superbowl half-time performance from January 31, 1993 in Pasadena, California; The Fatty Acids are able to borrow some of that enthralling momentum for their own unprecedented sports-time spectacular. Giving shout outs to Hormel Chili and their label Pink Lizard Music’s reptilian mascot; The Fatty Acids and their entourage take the center stage on the field. From here guitar shredding sessions, extreme close-ups, assemblages of effects, drum-offs, dance-offs, and referee signals become the biggest show in the stadium. Emotional moments abound like a weeping bassist eating pizza while the image of a spinning homemade pesto pie spins in the background. But fear not, as the big display of fireworks, and collaged assembly of all involved characters clutter the view for the grand finale that makes for one of the most energetic, entertaining, and exciting half-time events to have never happened until now. Stay tuned for the blooper reel at the end, and read our interview with the band’s Josh Evert following the video debut of “I Try Not to Freak Out About It”.

Give us the latest notes and anecdotes from the touring road.

Well last night in Cincinnati really stood out as a highlight. We got a last-minute hookup at a DIY spot called Cincinnative and played with our all-time bros Surgeons in Heat, also from Milwaukee. The local support was from this amazing Cinci group called Coconut Milk. Their musicianship really blew us away. Then we went out for some 100% dank-ass tacos at Tacocracy and hit another bar to play some pool and do two [stet] rounds of Jaeger bombs the glasses of which got subsequently and unfortunately smashed in a freak pool cue accident. Our new Cinci friends are some of the nicest people we’ve met on the road. I got a 100% tite-ass new eagle shirt that makes me look like a soccer goalie.

Playing in Sioux Falls, SD at Total Drag record store was also a definite highlight (as it was last year). We played with Rupert Angeleyes (Minneapolis) who are our buds and a fantastic band. The store was packed and we made bank. The only Fatty Acids Superfan in the known universe, Matt, was there. He owns three Fatty Acids t-shirts. Unbelievable.

Describe for us the making of your :0) EP for Pink Lizard Music. What wisdom did you all take away that can be imparted to your listeners and fans?

Well we signed to Pink Lizard Music last year, and this was our first release for it. It was a lot of planning, trying to figure out which songs would appeal to a new audience, getting all the press materials ready, getting Beans to do an interview with us, etc.

One thing that our guy at PLM, Tris, is trying to teach us is to not pull the trigger on any projects until we have all our materials gathered and everything planned. It’s been cool; we’ve gotten some radio play in the UK and stuff. We have a few other releases this fall planned through PLM, so hopefully the momentum will keep building.

Give us the story on the Wes Tank sporting event mash-up video treatment for “I Try Not To Freak Out About It”. What was it like, and were there any humorous moments worth noting/sharing?

Wes “WC” Tank is a true Milwaukee legend. He’s one of our favorite artists. He’s incredibly prolific and working on a million projects all at once. He raps, does visual art, film, poetry, and a ton of other shit. He came up with the idea for the freeze frames and we tested it and just geeked out.

He works at this medical instruction video company, and we shot at their studio which is pro as hell. So we could see everything that was happening in real time. This predictably evolved into our guitarist, Matt, getting into some weatherman improvisation (to be released on a later date).

Standing around with The Fatty Acids; photographed Lucian McAfee.

Standing around with The Fatty Acids; photographed Lucian McAfee.

What sorts of things these days do The Fatty Acids try to not freak out about?

Man, all sorts of things. Social media makes me freak out a lot. But you have to keep doing it or you’re not relevant. And it has to be fresh/funny/provoking. And I think artists should take a stance on issues. But there’s this nagging in the back of my head that if you say something stupid or even slightly controversial it’s out there permanently for an infinite amount of people to see. So it’s very worrisome to me.

Parts of the lyrics formed while I was watching a Packers game (‘I am staring at a screen and I am screaming for a team. We laugh it off but truthfully I am afraid of what it means’). Football freaks me out because people get so fucking passionate about it. Like way more passionate than they get about anything else. Actually there are correlations with domestic violence and Packers losses in Wisconsin. Men are dumb.

But I’m part of it. I hate watching the Packers lose. And feeling that way about something as inconsequential as a sports game freaks me out.

An aspect of the video that I wanted to include was how fake arena shows are. I’m sure everyone knows this intrinsically, but I met a former sound guy for Linkin Park once, and he said they had upwards of 80 backing tracks. They sound checked for the show without Linkin Park being there. Linkin Park goes from their tour bus to the stage and plays.

I mean, at that point you’re just lip syncing. It’s very funny to me. People freaked out about Milli Vanilli, but now it’s just commonplace and accepted. The same sound guy told me that every artist in the Superbowl halftime show has to agree to basically lip sync, because their corporate sponsors can’t risk a fuck up. Except Bruce Springsteen! He said he wouldn’t do it unless he could actually play it live!

But yeah, when WC Tank and I were going through footage of Michael Jackson’s Superbowl footage his headset keeps falling off and his voice doesn’t fluctuate at all. So we tried to convey that in the video.

Future plans for The Fatty Acids?

We’re working on a new album! I think and hope it will be good!

Why do you all feel that fatty acids and omega-3s are such an important nutritious part of our collective diets?

Dude I don’t know; it’s crazy. It ended up being an *okay* band name because people in the health world are so into Fatty Acids right now. But what if some new info is discovered and people decide that they are now unhealthy?? We’d be fucked.

Getting fuzzy with The Fatty Acids, photographed by Josh Evert.

Getting fuzzy with The Fatty Acids, photographed by Josh Evert.

What are you all listening to in the tour van?

William Onyeabor is great driving music and we’ve been rocking that a lot. Also this Milwaukee band called Peeper & Le Play makes some very freaky and cool stuff that we’ve been digging. The best way to kill time on the longer drives has been podcasts: Snap Judgement, Dinner Party Download, 99% Invisible, Radiolab, Song Exploder, The Trap Set, Science Vs., etc.

What else you all excited about for your upcoming tour dates?

Fort Wayne Indiana at the Brass Rail! We played there last year and it was amazing.

Other artists and bands that you feel the rest of the world is missing out on right now?

So many in Milwaukee. Mortgage Freeman, Sat. Nite Duets, New Age Narcissism, Surgeons in Heat, Dogs in Ecstasy, Soul Low…

The Fatty Acids’ :0) is available now from Pink Lizard Music. Catch them playing tonight August 14 in Detorit, MI at PJ’s Lager House, tomorrow August 15 in Fort Wayne, IN at Brass Rail.

Dionysian Mysteries

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Keeping up with Cleveland’s Quality Time Records roster, we bring you the debut of “Hurt So Good”/”Motor Inn” from Dionysian Mysteries. Founded by Carter who played with QT label operator Ricky Hamilton in Nashville with Blackbear + The Surf Bums continues to keep the rock and roll punked up, sneering, and sleazy. Keeping up the attitude heard on last year’s “Swinging Freely from the Moon” single, with word of an upcoming full-length coming this fall; Dionysian Mysteries keep hedonism rolling like the path of gender neutral glam derelict drifters jumping from one town to the next.

Introduced as part of the “West Hot singles”, “Hurt So Good” channels the proto-punk spirit of the NY by London bands that stood in between the glam rock fade out of the mid 70s that introduced the post-modern fall-out anti-pop anarchic construct that is now utilized for commercialized branding by department stores to appeal to their counter-culture demographics. Turning the dial from the Max’s Kansas City fare, “Motor Inn” creates a scenario of down-and out desperadoes holed up in a dirty inn while waiting on a miracle that never occurs. 50s and 60s rock riffs play into a modern blues noir story line that keeps the riffs acting bad, and the lost cause without a cause feeling rolling with the cold, soul hardened feel shared between strangers after three am in the morning. After the following debut listen to “Hurt So Good” and “Motor Inn”; check out our conversation with Carter from Dionysian Mysteries.

Dionysian Mysteries is brainchild of Nashville, TN based musician/visual artist Carter Luckfield (guitarist of Blackbear + the surf bums). With, “Hurt So Good,” and “Motor Inn,” he combines the shimmering guitar sounds and theatre bizarre lyrical content of his signature art rock sound with more mature pop stylings nodding towards, “Something/Anything?” The direction of his newest singles will be taking the form of a full length album via Quality Time Records this fall!

Tell us what’s good in Nashville right now, latest from the scenes, artists that you’re into, etc.

Nashville is growing rapidly, but the scene seems to be scattered with many of the better bands touring and using Nashville as home base to write and record. Sparqplug and Gunther Doug are a couple of our favorites in town. Across the country Quality Time Records and Saucepan Records, both out of Cleveland, have some of the strongest rosters. Our band’s influences are mostly British Glam Rock and American Protopunk so we usually stick to the classics. Recently, we’ve been listening to lots of Nerves and Shangri-Las.

Tell us about the making of the derelict-desperado singles of “Hurt So Good’ and “Motor Inn’, and what kinda of aberrated situations, stories, and tales inspire these guitar howling cuts?

They’re both tales of love and loss, sexual frustration, rejection…”Hurt So Good” is more of a light-hearted look at destructive relationships, the good, the bad, the ugly. Whereas “Motor Inn” touches on heavier subject matter: it’s a horror story of date rape, something people prefer not to talk about, but nonetheless these things happen.

Give us insights on what making your upcoming album for Quality Time Records has been like thus far.

Following up our cassette, working with Quality Time Records has been awesome. Ricky is always stoked to hear our latest and talk influences. Everyone on the label is real tight knit and we help each other push things further. As for the band, we’ve recently moved into a house together on the East side and its really put us into full gear. We’ve recorded nearly two albums worth of material, and now are honing in on the conceptual premise for our fall release: street glam, gutter pop with a theatrical presentation.

Fall plan and preview for Dionysian Mysteries?

With this new album we’re pushing the boundaries of art rock and bringing our creations to life as our live act continually evolves. While expanding conceptually, we’re also tightening our songwriting and sense of melody to combine our unique ascetic with top quality tunes. We plan to tour as our full length release comes full circle, venturing around the states, and joining our killer fellow QTR bands whenever possible.

Salem Wolves

Boston's Salem Wolves, photographed by Madeline Barr.

Boston’s Salem Wolves, photographed by Madeline Barr.

The Salem family of Gray, Harrison, and Woodrow ride again with the premiere of their new single “Teenage Wonder” that features a frenzy that follows up their Black Books EP. The Boston by Innsmouth band recorded their latest with Shaun Curran at Hanging Horse Studio that lets lose a tribute to every local high-school god hero that had it all and some how “fucked it all up.” Presenting a swinging ode to the ones whose peak was early on, and then suffered subsequent burnout; “Wonder” is the portrait of the one you always wish you could have been growing up, the big shot on campus that you idolized, always wanted to be friends with, who later would fall off the face of the earth in a hail storm of dubious life choices conveyed through ripped denim chords.

Salem Wolves’ Gray, Harrison, and Woodrow pay tribute to your hometown varsity football champs, associated student body president, frontleaders of favorite local bands, and so forth on “Teenage Wonder”. Keeping the arrangement like a battle of the bands kinda song performed during a rally in the gymnasium, the Wolves bring to mind the ‘where are they now’ characters from the past that have fallen off the social media and social circle radars. The too much too soon cautionary tales of nostalgic screw-up favorites are given a ballad perfect for those summer trips that may or may not involve visits to meet up with your yearbook bestie blasts from the past. The wonders at work depicted the thrills of meteoric rises in social status to the long way down to the bottom of the human food chain ladders of relevance. Following the debut listen to “Teenage Wonder”, check out our interview session with Gray Salem.

Describe the beginnings of Salem Wolves, how you all came together, and what the making of the Black Books EP was like.

Salem Wolves came together in the winter of 2014 with myself (Gray) and Harrison. On one of those awful icy days I took a really nasty fall on a patch of ice near my house. My head hit the ground and there was this moment that burst all around me and I had the thought that, “This is where I’m going to die. They’ll find me frozen in my backyard.” Luckily, I was able to get my baring and get inside to safety, but it was one of those those cliche “life is short” moments. It sounds funny, but at the time all I could think was how, at any given moment, our lives can be changed by a freak accident. It made me want to start a project that had immediacy and the intimacy of a family or clan. Something that was dark and loud, but also sweet and hooky. Luckily, Harrison felt the same and we started the band pretty soon after that, assuming the “Salem” family name, and hitting the ground running. “I Saw Hell” was the first song Harrison and I ever wrote and is largely about the moment I hit the ice and thought it was lights out. Woodrow signed on on drums soon (replacing Mojo, who is forever a member of the extended Salem clan) and we’ve been playing like madmen up and down New England ever since.

Making Black Books was tough and quick (our usual M.O.). We recorded it with Shaun (who mixed the most recent tracks) at his studio Napoleon Complex and we knew that all tracking had to happen in two days. Shaun is a great sonic “fixer” and recording with him was a dream. The studio however was FREEZING. We were huddled next to space heater in between takes, playing fast so our fingers didn’t lock up. I always hear a certain coldness to the EP that I think matched the mood and content of the songs (not to mention the subject of “I Saw Hell”)

Tell us about the progression to making the new single “Teenage Wonder” at Hanging Horse Studios, and how Shaun Curran helped guide the new single.

“Teenage Wonder” (and its sibling single “More Weight!”) was about refining the formula. We wanted a song that fit with the coagulating vibe, but had a different energy from Black Books. Bb feels like a cold North Shore winter, with sludgy guitars and that sort blustering that you do just to keep yourself upright. “Teenage Wonder” was about summer and brings in our love of soul and doo-wop (of course, forced trough the rock & roll thresher). It also came at a time when we realized that (for merch/biz as well as aesthetic reasons) we wanted to be a singles band. It freed us up to explore different little bursts of inspiration as they come. It also helps with our short attention-spans.

Going with Hanging Horse was a jump, but again, we wanted a different environment as a challenge. A few of our band friends (Dirty Dishes, Dead Elect, Lee Preston) had recorded there, so we reached out. Another wham-bam-“thank you, ma’am” session, but we tried to really get to the core of these ones. Chaimes Parker engineered the session and is some kind of wunderkind freak when it comes to getting pure sounds. Seriously, terrifyingly talented.

We really threw everything at the wall there, which is where coming back to Shaun to mix came in handy. He understood the sound and helped us get everything in its right place, separating the wheat from the chaff, and just otherwise tolerating deranged 3AM emails.

Chilling on the dock of a bay with Salem Wolves; photographed by Madeline Barr.

Chilling on the dock of a bay with Salem Wolves; photographed by Madeline Barr.

How do you find Boston inspires you all, and who are some other underdogs that you all are into?

More than Boston, all of New England inspires us. The city gets its fair share of attention, but it’s also drowning in talent with overstimulated audiences, while one-by-one sanctioned venues get shut down (Radio, TTs, Johnny Ds, etc). It’s hard to zero in on the “Boston character” or “music scene” because there isn’t one: there’s just this bubbling caldron of really talented bands and artists all fighting to get the same people to skip Netflix for a night.

The real inspirations are the little towns up and down New England where these weirdo, vibrant, enthusiastic scenes germinate. Salem (duh) is near and dear to us and the people going out to shows there are the greatest. Worcester and Lowell have always been good to us, same with Providence RI. We like places that are a little askew, have some local character, and the downtown is dead on a Thursday night: that’s where people dance and sing without worrying about seeming cool.

A few of our favs: The Devils Twins, Dead Elect, Soft Pyramids, New Red Scare, Choke Up, Courters, TheColorOrange, Cuban Rebel Girls, Superjerk, Ravi Shavi, Dirty Dishes, the Wrong Chaneys, Rusty Shovels, Petty Morals, Gnards, Save Ends, Friends Like Family. This list could go on endlessly. Like I said, an embarrassment of talent.

Salem Wolves; photographed by Madeline Barr.

Salem Wolves; photographed by Madeline Barr.

What has summer been like for Salem Wolves?

Summer has been busy to say the least. Playing shows, fighting pay to play, and releasing singles have been the same of the game. We’re aiming for peak saturation by September.

What are your fall/winter plans?

We have a few things in the pipeline for fall/winter, some of which we can’t yet announce….

Listen to more from Salem Wolves via Bandcamp.

Ballroom Cancer

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Ballroom Cancer is Jake Sheppard (formerly known as Aminals) gives us the world premiere of the Elleree Fletcher and Aric Van Halenvideo for “Misinterest” off his debut EP Lightning, No?. Sheppard is a genomic scientist from Boulder, Colorado who makes music that explores the complex existential connective manners of the human condition in a similar fashion to the way his scientific work explores the intricacies of our own microbiological-physiological composites. These inner thoughts from Jake’s consciousness are given a visual episode to escape to that provides a late night mystery projected from the corners of the dreaming mind and into a series of strange streets, cartoon reruns, and uncertain (and quasi-unsettling) situations.

Follow up last year’s debut of Ballroom Cancer’s “Misinterest”; the visual component finds Jake watching old b/w Porky Pig cartoons, namely “Porky in Wackyland” that showcases the mixture of video projections and smoke effects that begin the allegories of obfuscated interests, and more. The slow motion smoke trails are displayed with interspersed visuals of Sheppard performing parking lot combat moves, before we follow our protagonist through the quiet Boulder streets. A Chinese Baptist church with flickering lights provides momentary sanctuary before Jake takes back to the roads, and highways that leave Ballroom Cancer’s frontman driving off to areas of new possible opportunities, occupations, and above all to find potentially shared interests.

Our friend Jake Sheppard of Ballroom Cancer gave us a few notes on the interests and/or lack their of that informed “Misinterest” and the Aric Van Halen and Elleree Fletcher video adaptation:

“Misinterest” is a collaboration of odd balls, a group with contradicting traits. A film enthusiast that doubles as a competitive runner, a painter who supports herself with an array of side jobs, and a scientist making his way as a musician. It is a product of driving around Boulder, CO and avoiding hippies; of finding a Chinese Baptist Church, and filming in the midnight parking lot. “Misinterest” is what you wish you saw on a Tuesday night cruise. It is a surreal projection of the thoughts that go into Jake Sheppard’s head, the man behind Ballroom Cancer.

Zenith Myth

Introducing—Zenith Myth.

Introducing—Zenith Myth.

Welcome to the atmospheric relam of Zenith Myth, the project of of Mike Edwards and producer Jordon Zadorozny (of Blinker The Star, work with Lindsay Buckingham) who present the premiere listen to their Eclipsed V album before it’s August 21 release. Together the two combine mood moving rhythm sections in combinations with chords that provide a soundtrack fit for both airplane and space shuttle flights. Synths, dramatic guitar overtones and loops keep the fantastic voyage traveling past the stretches of the familiar and move toward a cinematic sphere ready to be used in the next epic that involves the human obsession of soaring through the air, space, and past the limiting conventions of chronological/linear time.

Ignition is set from the very start of “Shadow Fortune” that finds the Zentith Myth in full opening takeoff mode. With seat-belts securely fastened, all luggage stowed in the overhead compartments, and trays lifted up into a locked position; the motorik fascinations reach a rise in altitude pressure on “Ghost Gesture” that streaks through the sky towards the thinking o-zone that sphere that breaks the vessel into the great cosmic arena of infinity. True to the Zenith Myth’s moniker, relics of ancient civilizations are found on other planets like the majestic “Temple Dome”, pitting pensive restrained percussive between the recalled bits of the the past and the ensuing future on “Shades Of Memory”. The rise in action, advances, and confrontation is met on “Psychotic Perfume”, reaching the new world sensations of emerald sparkling wonder on “Dryden”, or the electric guitar jamming opening of new earths on “Rift”, to the psychoactive turbine fuel and wax burning “Hash Legs”. The planetary cosmic shifts keep on coming on “Eclipsed” that could have been the soundtrack to a PBS astronomy special, with “Tape Trail” leaving the listener with a black box recorder remnant that provides a time capsule like record of the album’s perilous adventure into the unknown. Mike Edwards of Zenith Myth joined us for a chat featured right after the following debut listen to Eclipsed V.

Give us the story on how your Ottawa by LA journey has inspired your own musical progressions.

The connection between Ottawa and LA includes Montreal, as this was the place I originally met up with Jordon Zadoronzy (Blinker The Star) in the mid 90s. This working relationship and friendship would endure and evolve over the years, and it was just a matter of time before I called in Jordon’s talents as a producer to harness my sound on tape.

Over the next few years I flew into Pembroke from LA with a some ideas of what I wanted to do for Eclipsed V in my head, and the rest just kind of spontaneously occurred in the magical confines of Jordon’s Farmhouse Studio Skylark Park.

Tell us about the genesis of Zenith Myth, and what mythologies may or may not have impacted these instrumental sounds.

Zenith is the pinnacle or apex, the highest peak of the highest height you could say.
Myth raises the question of, is their an actual top? And if so, has anyone really made it there?

And how do you know you are there when you have arrived? The notion that everyone’s versions of the top or “making it” is different has always appealed to me.

For some, it’s lonely at the top. For others the only place to go from the top is down. Some people are on such a quest to reach this mythical top, by working all the time, that they don’t even stop to smell the roses and enjoy the journey of life along the way. The analogy that money can’t buy happiness comes to mind as well. Zenith Myth is open to many interpretations, and that’s what I like about it.

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Describe what the process about making Eclipsed V was like, and what gestures, spiritual relics, aromatics, tapes, trails, rifts, psychoses, strains, and John Dryden poems have inspired you?

The process is a collaboration between me and Jordon Zadorozny.
He is a quick study and because we are in synch with music reference points he can quickly
interpret the ideas that i am putting forth. And this is where the origins of this music comes from.

JZ is able to hone in the far reaching sounds in my head. I always say that without Jordon at the producers helm, Zenith Myth probably wouldn’t exist.

Further insights into your own recording methods?

As Jordon and I like to joke, I will reference a famous Jimmy Page quote from back in the day.

‘Drugs were a big part of it right from start,’ That said, between JZ ’s hash rolling assembly line, and my “California legal” cannabinoid vape pen, there is enough creative osmosis in the studio air for inspired song creation at all times that we are working together!

Homeshake

Hanging with Homeshake.

Hanging with Homeshake.

Get “Faded” with Homeshake’s new single off his second album Midnight Snack available September 18 from Sinderlyn. The production trips like wayward clouds caught in an MPC and/or 808 spitter console that provide the kind of lo-tek DIY sentimental soul sharing moment that could only be understood in full in the early hours that blends the evening and morning passages into states of ambiguity. On the new single, Peter of Homeshake said this:

You know how when you first finish something you’re proud of it feels really fantastic, but then two days later you hate it and think it’s awful? My sweetheart Salina feels that way about everything she makes almost immediately, even though her paintings and ceramics are so beautiful. You just can’t help but get sick of yourself I guess.

Hawker M. James

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Hawker M. James announced that his self-titled EP will be available October 17 as part of Cassette Store Day, and we have a listen to the Joel Ford produced “Pleasure Part” that dabbles in the synth-baroque elements of coastal electro-loving burnout pop that ignites the excitement of the imagination and sends electric signals to the senses. James described to us his upcoming new audio directions with the following:

This new collection of songs self-produced on the trusty 4-track I’ve owned since the late 90s. It’s really a rebirth of thought going back towards my lo-fi singer songwriter rooted pop (Pollard / Gough) and away from the ‘studio as an instrument’ pop (Eno obsessions / dense post-punk, which are expen$ive and take FOREVER). I’m coming down from a decade of pandering for Bowie-philia, post Brit-pop and post-Disco. It was fun, I propose (not unlike doing donuts in an empty parking lot), but I assert back to myself. Or rather: My two year old daughter has become the muse, she’s obsessively caught onto my Folkways Calypso compilation, Jimmy Cliff, Gershwin, and Tom Tom Club records; and has enabled me to remove my exasperated self from further obsoletion [sic].

Stay tuned fort this new tracks coming soon, and in the meantime marinate on the summer sensation of “Pleasure Part” now.

sarob.

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Today we are proud to give you the intro and outro to sarob.’s upcoming album the down, that the man Robert Tate described to us with the following:

.The album is primarily about my struggles with OCD, depression, and my experiences with racial issues. These tracks show a glimpse of what everyone will hear on the full project this fall.

The opening cut “annex.” showcases the meshing of desires, ongoing narratives of life that are put to a confessional mode that rides with a colloquial style of natural no gimmick delivery. The real life force of pressures that resonate autobiographical events and unraveling thoughts that pour from the interior spill into the spotlight on “taxes.” that recalls and recounts events of personal taxation, discrimination, and the countering statement of cause by representation of unapologetic identity.

Aaron Parnell Brown

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Philadelphia’s Aaron Parnell Brown gave us a debut listen to his new album The Tin Man that deals in some of the smoothest of summer breezes to soundtrack the greatest of flings and romances. Like a throwback ‘yacht rock’ cruise ship party for 2015——the album opens with real life stories of rising above life’s leeches on the testimonial (and somewhat of an invitation) “Bleed Me Dry”, that cruises to the smooth shared creed exchanges of “I Believe In You”, to the lover’s rock crooning ballad “Leave The Light On”. The magic moods keep on giving with guitar shredding blues on “Can’t Stop”, the super smooth sailboat divorce deluxe of “Just Leave”, more love matters on “We All Fall In Love Sometimes”, the silk and suave song of “Changes”, gospel confessionals like “Everlasting Light”, taking matters toward a junior Vandross mode of selling the softest, smoothest pop groove textures. Brown’s album The Tin Man is the ultimate recipe for slowing down your over-stressed schedule clock, and sharing with that special someone. Also check out the UK Soul Talk remix bonus cuts of “Just Leave” and “Somewhere Around” at the end.

Nicky Venus

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Nicky Venus recently released the synth popped out passions of his single “Little Runner”, the title track of his forthcoming album of the same name. The San Diego artist has been recording an album cycle inspired from eastern journeys from Manila to Tokyo that traverse electronic of memories that turned into east meets west nightclub bangers. And as Venus turns up the keyboards up to bold bouncing neon lit levels, the lovesick feeling keeps on keeping on. Check out our chat featured after the jump.

Tell us about the cosmic origins of Nicky Venus.

These songs were written in Japan. I had just broke up with a girl who would be the inspiration for Little runner and travel what I had to do right then. I wrote in train stations, shoebox sized hotel rooms and on bullet trains. It’s a pretty cool place to write electronic style music like this. When I came back to the states I played some demo’s for a good friend Brian Karscig (Louis XIV) and ended up recording them proper with him. The name Nicky Venus came about accidentally during those sessions. Venus just seemed fitting because all my songs were about love in some way. Love is such a fascinating topic to me and I doubt I’ll ever run low on questions about it.

What sort of Blade Runner future-forward perspectives informed “Little Runner”?

Well, first off that’s one of my favorite movies and coincidentally had watched that movie with actual “Little Runner”. Everyone has the story of the one that got away and this song is my story. A relationship that should have never started, but was too good to walk away from. Real love with this one just wasn’t meant to be. But it isn’t a heartbroken song, it’s just a look back on a time in my life. The sonic elements of this song I think were directly shaped by the neon lit streets of tokyo, places like the Roppongi district that look best when it’s night.

Tell us about the process of recording your upcoming EP, and what you have discovered about your approaches and craft along the way.

Everything I am doing on this is new to me. I played drums in bands before and hadn’t ever taken on songwriting alone before. Luckily I know a bunch of solid songwriters and they gave me some great advice along. I like the pop structure and find electronic sounds and synths to be so freeing. Any sound is possible and as long as it’s cool it makes for interesting music.

The latest and greatest from San Diego these days?

San Diego is doing pretty well for music right now. Although there isn’t any real music industry here there are a ton of good bands and artists. Other than that we have the best Mexican food in the world (outside of Mexico.

Rough Year

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From North Philadelphia, meet Rough Year, who balls up all the collective unease of the years, eras, months, and unyielding epics of electro-decayed angst on “Gland” from the debut EP Mongrel. “Gland” finds the trans Philly artist taking various aspects and tropes out of the collective melting pot of micro-genre pop components and exploding them in a collective meltdown that finds numerous style stems being melted down into a deep bass-basin cauldron that smelts the sounds of calamities into something dare we say—soothing.

The artist behind Rough Year gave us some reflections on the extreme compression of audio elements that comprise “Gland”, sharing a few thoughts on the melting pot meltdown that informed Mongrel, and more:

I used compression in “Gland” to underscore the dynamics between its more quiet and serene moments and its louder movements. I deliberately pushed sounds above the threshold to distort them and at times allowed them to clip. It’s pretty crude, but I like the blunt contrast between harsher and softer sounds. I think the song ended up being marked by almost opposite extremes of emotion because of this. I also quickly get bored with what I’m doing so I’ll just sort of destroy it to generate new ideas and move on.

It’s hard for me to talk about Mongrel without calling attention to the social issues it deals with because it’s mostly the result of a deep-seated pessimism about these issues. I tried to use spoken word samples to draw connections between what was happening in the 60s for example and what we’re seeing today. At a strictly musical level though it runs through most of my interests—ambient, glitch, noise, field recordings, sound design, hip hop and so on. I have a pretty flexible approach to song structure so I think more often than not the work tends toward ambience.

Hidden Mountains

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LA’s Chris Howard and Gabriel Arniella are Hidden Mountains who take us through the washes of wasted years, sad times, bad times and the “Darkest Summer” that they can remember. Taken from a full time scheduled for later this year, Chris and Gabriel bring up every summer bummer that you can imagine and control the pacing of their delivery where the emotional roller-coaster dips and valleys find the tearful deliveries displaying a versatility all their own. The requests of “kiss me” interspersed between expressions of the saddest thoughts trail toward disasterly thought streams of a lonely solitude and thoughts on morality. Chris Howard of Hidden Mountains gave us the this preface on “Darkest Summer”:

“Darkest Summer” was written the morning after coming back from vacation in Maui. I’m not sure if I was trying to create something that contrasted with that vacation, or if this song was just a way to deal with the realities of returning home from paradise. Perhaps that is how this track ended up being sort of a pop song that is filled with regret. Of course I am taking into consideration that the definition of a pop song is subjective.

El Mar

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Introducing NYC’s El Mar who just released the intimate and endearing Jillian Cantwell video for “Grow” that depicts the progressions between two people, two hearts, and the distances, separations, stitching, and mending that occurs between the two involved parties. Cantwell’s video lives out the lyrics that depicts the nine to fives, the strolling commutes, courtship, commitments, coupling, cuddling, and that breaks that bring lovers back together in a stronger built bond. Frontwoman and media guru Joey Primero talked to us about the phases and stages of growth that inspired the song and video for “Grow”, and some hints at what’s next for El Mar:

The seed for the EL MAR project was planted in 2014, but things really kicked off in January of this year. It’s me–my songs and vision—with a rotating collective of incredible NYC-based musicians. We like to think of it as mystical mermaid folk-rock! But open to interpretation.

“Grow” is about hitting rock bottom in a relationship, and seeing that the end could potentially be just around the corner, but realizing you’re not ready to just let the love die. The video director and I wanted to make a really interesting video—kind of like a short indie film – to juxtapose with this super intimate and simple love song.

Février

Boulder, Colorado's Connor Etges, aka Février.

Boulder, Colorado’s Connor Etges, aka Février.

Boulder by Denver, Colorado artist/producer Connor Etges, aka Février provided us with an ambient listen to “Anchor” and “Anvil” from his forthcoming project, Sapphire Chamber. “Anchor” finds electronic fireflies finding common ground, and the sanctuary of home on the solid rock of land, and green earth. The secret lives and codes of creatures known and unknown can be heard making glitch-y burrowing sounds on “Anvil” that dig toward new atmospheric places that swirl and swarm around the core of consciousness like spinning tops making an elaborate figure eights in slow motion. Connor described the making of his upcoming Saphhire Chamber piece with the following insights:

This project has been partially inspired by the supernatural dominant forces of nature as presented in Junji Ito’s works, as well as my own internal struggles regarding identity, self-acceptance, and love.

DJ Soko’s album Domino Effect will be available August 21 from his Left of Center label and we bring you a listen to the hi-energy of “Stand Up” that features Guilty Simpson & Hassaan Mackey and production by Apollo Brown. Simpson and Mackey deliver some bars to make you jump onto your feet as Soko spins and scratches it next to Brown own bulletproof bright as hell beats.

Available now from Cascine, you are dearly invited to witness the world of Katy Morley and and a listen to her mind-entrancing EP In Defense of My Muse. Operating under her surname Morly, the entire conventional proverbial tables are turned from the piano kissed onset of “You Came To Dis Sky” where everything arranges itself in patterns that cause the consciousness to do somersaults, while “Seraphese” finds Katy taking good care with decorating a sparse piano core with a dance pop concerto on “Seraphese”. The already beloved single “And Sooner Than We Know It…” brings about choral epiphany’s of newer and freer head-spaces of existence, leaving us with the title cut “Drone Poem (In Defense Of My Muse)” that saves the heartbeat stepping patterned beat suite thesis for last.

Also available now from Cascine, catch the vintage 1997 sounds in 2015 from House of 909’s re-issue of The Children We Were that brings sophisticated heart persuaded pop from London that lingers with an effect that this was surely something ahead of it’s time.

The breezy endless summer cool vibrations of Lemonade’s “Dancer On The Shore” featuring Dee Dee are made from the instinct of bringing human and the entire natural realm closer together in a mutually beneficial embrace. Beach-side romanticism abounds like the remnant traces that a wave leaves after crashing upon a cluster of rocks that leaves behind new colors, vegetation, and an array of items carried forward to earth from the vast expanses of the global seas.

Behold the vintage CGi animation renderings from Paul Roper that recall Sim/Half-Life style upgrades to “Money For Nothing” 80s-era electro sleaze on the visuals for Cold Showers’ “Plantlife” video of mayhem off their upcoming album Matter of Choice available August 28 from Dais.

LA duo Kisses are back and you are cordially invited to release the reins of penned-up and suppressed inhibitions that hold you back on the dance-floor dalliances of “Control”, taken off their forthcoming album Rest in Paradise available October 9 from Hit City USA & Rallye Label.

Featuring some sweet production from Johnny Juliano, hear Biggs bring his Oxnard prosodic swagger from Oxnard with Hustle God lending some wisdom and family values on “State Jumpers”, a non album track from his upcoming full-length. The big time cruising back track from Juliano allows Biggs and Hustle to present life lessons, displaying the confidence of ballers without state borders.

San Francisco’s Hot Flash Heat Wave keep the summer-sun warm vibes pouring in with “Homecoming” that brings all the garage made feelings and inspirations back home to your front lawn, porch, and driveway.

Hong Kong by Macau brothers Turtle Giant dropped their new single “Georgie” off their upcoming Many Mansions available August 15. The power pop standards established by the fab four canons create that mid to late 60s style of feel good sentiment for those that can’t get enough of catchy licks, and weeping guitars. Follow all of our Turtle Giant coverage here.

Meet Brooklyn’s synth enthusiasts Teen Commandments with their track “Ruby” that describes the particulars and house party narratives as if your Friday night was transformed into the paperback tale of extravagance and the anxiety that allows arrives like shadows passing in the hallway.

Kid Cadaver, an LA three piece dropped the Casey Curry video for “New Friends” of competitions, sports, and all out water balloon brawls of team battles, and the importance of making new bonds taken off their Roam EP available August 21.

Off his upcoming album Personal Computer available August 28 from Weird World, answer Kody Neilson, aka Silicon’s call with the ringtone ready vibe of “Cellphone”. The signal ranges and emergency calls shout out into the phone call-fi resolution of audio amid silky vocals wrapping around synth-rhythm hooks and snare slaps.

From your friends at Mello Music, hear their latest thing titled Semi Hendrix who unleashed “#4081” that issues the ultimate “fuck ’em” to the industry that goes down the list, and histories lesser known, well-known, and all the insider things that connect and correspond in rhythmic smooth ride of room spinning spill of semantics about who in the game gets screwed, whose screwing whom, and so forth. Must hear.

Chicago duo Laughing Eye Weeping Eye are Rebecca Schoenecker and Patrick Holbrook who are readying their cassette Once Was You for release August 24 from Moon Glyph. Watch the duo’s self-made b/w video for “Earth” shot in rural Wisconsin that features the Three Fates portrayed by Rebecca Schoenecker, Kari Couture, and Sarah Thierman that add further to the video’s pagan mystery sect of endless ethereal essences that pour outward into the observer’s eyes, and ears.

From their upcoming debut EP available August 24 from Diet Pink Records, discover with The Bulls whether or not the sweet, lush rhythm guitar pop “Rumors” are true with their slick new single.

From director Rimar Villaseñor, and a Common Force Project; Cities Aviv’s flips your perspective with the b/w film negative vision inversion for “No GMO” off of Your Discretion is Trust from Collect Records. Bringing the real life mode of reality expressed in sparse but effective percussive based production and heart penned lyrics; the genetically modified mutations are eschewed for something natural that breaks through the synthetic substitutes, and digital wall illusions of comfort and safety controls.

Straight outta Glasgow’s East End are cousins Ali and billy Strange who are Acting Strange, bringing the “Rumble” with the vintage b/w shot video for their new single of the same name from their Night On The Tiles EP available September 8 from In Black Records. The independent spirit of idyllic and acrylic afternoons paint pastel blue sorts of sentiments over a “Waiting for the Man” rhythm guitar engine machine.

Meet Minnesota’s Skittish and their single “Shot in the Dark” that brings the big top pop theatrics to the people in some of the most epic pop you might hear all week. The games of chances, and the passionate plight of chancers is played out on a stage of high stakes, and the nervous pangs expressed on the chorus that admit the attempts to follow through without fucking it all up. Find this off Skittish’s Two Legs Bad available September 15.

Balthazar ‘s Thin Walls will be available September 25 from Play It Again Sam, following up 2012’s album Rats and we have the low-lit evening adventures that unfold in the video for “Nightclub”.

Helios dropped the title track “Yume” from the forthcoming LP of the same name available September 11 from Unseen Music that dabbles in the ambient, organic arts of channeling the acoustic elements and natural essences into the digital filters and soundwave fragrances that transform ethereal sound spaces into binary codes.Or to hear Helios’s Keith Kenniff describe his process:

I have a whole library of found sounds that I work with…I’ll bring them into the sampler and use them to play chords or melodies, chop them up and turn them into something completely different. It’s a very handmade, stitched-together sort of process.

Our friends Dirty Ghosts delivered their new single”Quicksand Castle” from their forthcoming Let It Pretend album available October 2 from Last Gang, that finds the Toronto by San Francisco group busting out their biggest bags of electric grilled guitar fever yet that promises more fun and attitude to follow their recent Cataract this fall.

Check out the synth-sentiment-sooted sound of New Zealand’s Introverted Dancefloor with their new single “Take it High” that takes that evening-disco ball globe spinning mode into the ever evolving events of a night’s revelry. Find this off the group’s self-titled album available September 25 via Carpark Records.

With In The Pink Of Condition album available now from Heavenly Recordings, check out H. Hawkline’s “It’s a Drag” taken off the September 18 compilation Heavenly 25 that features Huw Evans’ vintage steeped of power-pop psych-kissed sounds and a clip animated by art supplied by Huws himself.

Monika dropped the track “Secret In The Dark” off her forthcoming new album Secret In The Dark available October 2 from Other Music Recording Co. The new dance forward cut showcases Homer Steinweiss of the Dap-Kings moving Monika’s dance-discourse poetics toward a rhythmic shift and lift that makes for a timeless disco tune.

Yellow Shoots, aka Greg Matthews dropped some over the top effect-aided affections of soul pour smoothness over some sparse, woozy beats on his new single “Tame You”. The win and dining moon creates nothing but pure moods that pour slowly through an atmosphere that keeps all subtle percussion moving, and grinding in slow-dance/slow motion.

Watch The Benjees bring and ring their consolation prizes with the backdrop of Washington Square and NYC high rises in their video for “Ringer” taken off their album Alright, Alright, Alright.

Tom Csatari’s new double-album Outro Waltz is available now from Tiny Montgomery, and we give you “Legion” that will let some holistic sun shine in thorugh your window shade to brighten up your day, and put some pep into your step.

Junglepussy’s Week in Pop

Junglepussy4
Junglepussy live at Baby’s All Right; photographed throughout by Owen Rogers.
While awaiting Junglepussy’s follow up to her Satisfaction Guaranteed; we are proud to present her own following Week in Pop guest selections:

Ciara, “Thugstyle”

Ciara’s Goodies album holds a sacred home in my heart. This song in particular, because it’s about young black love—what’s more beautiful?

Janet Jackson, “No Sleeep”

This song is soo nice and sultry but makes me want to stay up and sip coffee with a cutie and I don’t even drink coffee. I love trying new things:)

Vinicius de Morae y Toquinho, “Tarde em Itapuã”

I love this song because I felt what it meant before I even translated it. It’s about a chill day in Itapua, Brazil that feels very good. Love, weed, and coconut water is in the air…so is a beautiful sea breeze and a man who wants to fall asleep in the arms of a black woman under the moon.

Junglepussy

Metric, “Rock Me Now”

I fell in love with Metric during highschool, this one is a gem because I’ll never stop believing that’s Kelis on the hook.

Cher, “Believe”

This record is the boost. Timeless lyrics and oh so familiar emotions. It’s medicine to move on. Cher basically said you better rise from the ashes like a damn phoenix.

Lil Wayne, “Walk It Off”

…because I am a good looking rapper….I aint tryna front.

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