Week in Pop: Crater, Mourning Coup, Neighbors, Swim Team

{

Alpenglow, Angel Parade, Curtain Rod Character, Gosh Pith, Sin Kitty, guest selections by Liphemra.

}

Sjimon Gompers | February 26, 2016

Like a barbecue party on the patio next door—the nurturing necessity & need for Neighbors; photographed by Stacy Peck.

Moving past and above the Oscars & political pit of polemics, Impose’s Week in Pop casts a ballot for some of today’s artists that continue to inspire and influence our world. But first we bring you some of the week’s biggest news buzz: The leftover Grammys runnoff; all the excessive BRIT Awards 2016 hype; Rihanna & Drake dropped their video for “Work”; Grimes signed to Rough Customer (Sony/ATV) founded by Jack Antonoff (Bleachers, fun.); Azealia Banks dropped “The Big Big Beat” produced by An Expresso; sister & brother duo Madeline Follin from Cults & Richie James Follin from Guards and Willowz formed Follin, dropped a listen to upcoming Father/Daughter single “Roxy”; Santigold’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Myself” interactive video; Kesha’s fight continues & appears to be far from over; DIIV covered Elliott Smith’s “Ballad of Big Nothing”; Mannie Fresh cut, “Hate”, features Lil Wayne and Birdman together again, along with Juvenile; Titus Andronicus and Craig Finn of the Hold Steady covered one another; Charli XCX starts her own label Vroom Vroom Recordings, shares SOPHIE-produced track “Trophy”; Kanye’s twitter game reaches new beguiling dimensions, announces new album arriving this summer, also took on the Grammys, allegedly dropped new track “Closest Thing to Einstein” ft. Sampha at Yo Gotti’s album release party; Modern Baseball announced Holy Ghost available May 13 from Run for Cover; Beach House announced upcoming “installations”; Alrealon Musique Presents: Night of the Broken Hard Beats happening March 5 at Out to See Festival at Southstreet Seaport; iLoveMakonnen announced Drink More Water 6 available March 18, sharing “Don’t Do Too Much” ft. Tunji Ige; Michael Gira talked about the final Swans album, Larkin Grimm then accused Gira of rape and poet Thomas Sayers Ellis of sexual harassment, Michael and wife Jennifer respond; plus further insights into the inner-corruption and predatorial industry sleaze; Weird Al Yankovic announced “Mandatory World Tour”; Goner to release the complete works of Jay Reatard and Alix Brown’s band Angry Angles May 20, hear “Things Are Moving”; Animal Collective’s Reddit AMA revelations; and Drake’s bat mitzvah performance in NYC.

As we move ahead, it is our pleasure and privilege to present the following exclusives, insights, interviews, and more from Alpenglow, Angel Parade, Curtain Rod Character, Mourning Coup, Neighbors, Swim Team, Winterpills, Crater, Gosh Pith, Prophet Omega, Quelle Chris, Sin Kitty, featuring guest selections by Liphemra, and more—in no particular order.

Neighbors

Neighbors forever; photograph courtesy of the band.

Neighbors forever; photograph courtesy of the band.

Over the years we have chronicled the events and adventures of José Díaz Rohena and the band Neighbors spanning the coasts from Philly to their current home-base in Seattle. Through the tests, trials, and struggles from life and it’s host of side effects; Neighbors are looking to follow-up 2014’s Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? with the forthcoming album Very Rare Expensive Jewelry available March 4 on vinyl from Malaka Records & cassette via Help Yourself Records, and we give you the world premiere of “Angel O”. From the various past releases on imprints Lost Sound Tapes, Beating A Dead Horse, lineup change-ups, therapy sessions, cathartic life coping mechanisms, and so on; José, Claire, Nathan, & Evan continue on their good-neighborly journey with one foot tapping a toe to the streets with the other placed firmly on a magic new age yoga mat.

But don’t expect any kind of transcendental meditation or allegorical/spiritual mantras; “Angel O” is Neighbors firing on all pistons. Even though José & the gang have gone through the wringer and rollercoasters that ambitious DIY acts often experience (tour issues, breakups, squabbles, general iritation, annoyances, etc), Neighbors emerge with humor intact and a fuller, richer, & more intricate sound. Perceptions, observational questions, and dialogues exhibited by José’s frenetic delivery maintains all the awkwardness, the mixed emotions, and apprehensiveness of what sounds like one side of an argument heard over the most mighty arrangement from Neighbors by far. As Rohena keeps the frustration infused with balance of the funny and the absurd, Neighbors execute audio illustrations of various scales, wild rhythms, and tempo movement adjustments that all ends abruptly with José’s audibly heard weeping. Right after the debut of “Angel O”, catch up with Neighbors and read all about what’s new with the Northwest crew in our following candid interview session with José Díaz Rohena.

Give us details on what Neighbors have been up to from Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? to Very Rare Expensive Jewelry.

We toured the US. Our bassist, Jacob, left the band. Our bassist, Claire, joined the band. I got sober and tried to save the relationship I sang about in Will You Please. This did not work; does it ever? I started going to therapy and taking actual medicine for my depression, as opposed to alcohol. Claire and I started dating. We tried to keep it a secret. This did not work; does it ever?

After Will You Please came out, we went all over to see the sad white boy rock bands of America. Kidding! Kind of. We did another U.S. tour. We played the Kenyon Deb Ball with Sports. The blouse I wore (Claire found it at Goodwill) is the cover of the new record. We played a show in Claire’s parents backyard and almost slept in the common area of a Bard dorm. We dumped the cursed hacky sack that Nathan had been holding on to. He was attached to it because we had it during our first big tour,which was kind of a bust, but he let us chuck it out the window after Claire and I realized that we had left our pillows in that vom smelling motel room in Saugerties, NY. I rolled my ankle playing “2 Bounce” in Knoxville so I got out of load in/out for a while. We all got annoyed at each other in different ways at different times. We suffered through an opening band’s hour plus set in Oakland. We had our SF show ruined by the World Series and my shitty attitude.

We came back and kind of disappeared to develop and record the material for VREJ. We were all a little burned out after tour. Nathan, our drummer, got married so we had to get a covers set together for the reception. Claire, our bassist, started film school and filmed a game show in front of a live studio audience in our living room. Evan graduated college but no one believes that he did.

House parties, waking up the Neighbors; photo courtesy of the band.

House parties, waking up the Neighbors; photo courtesy of the band.

Describe what making the new album Very Rare Expensive Jewelry was like for you and the band.

Making this one was special because we went up to the Unknown in Anacortes to record with Nich Wilbur. We spent a week tracking everything to 2″ tape, which is something that I’ve always wanted to do. Of course, we recorded far more than we needed to, 20-ish songs; we kept eight, and by day three I was having stress headaches from trying to get it all done. Nich, however did a great job of maintaining the vibe.

What sorts of expensive and rare jewels and gems informed this album?

We are not at liberty to say.

What was it like working on the recent Posse and Chastity Belt records?

Mixing Posse’s record was the first time I thought, damn, I’m good at this. I mixed “Shut Up” alone on Thanksgiving after making stuffing and crying to This American Life. I had just gotten dumped so I think I was in a great mental space to work on that track.

We went up to the Unknown to track the Chastity Belt record. It was dreamy. The control room had a view of the trees in the park across the street. I remember gazing out at the trees with the sun setting, hearing the band run down “On The Floor”.

What are some of your favorite new Seattle sounds as of late?

Dozer, Heavy Petting, Great Spiders.

What’s next in the works for Neighbors?

We have this tour, which we are treating as Nathan’s bachelor party. We’re going to SxSW and Treefort, so that’s exciting. Then, who knows? We plan on recording again in early August and maybe doing another U.S. run in late October.

Neighbors’ new album Very Rare Expensive Jewelry will be available March 4 on vinyl via Malaka Records & cassette via Help Yourself Records.

Catch Neighbors playing the following March dates:

March
11 Portland
12 Oakland @ Yellow Room
13 Los Angeles @ Pehrspace
14 Phoenix
15 Tucson @ ThinkTank
16
17 Austin
18 Austin @ She Shreds Showcase // Seattle X Southwest Showcase
19 Austin
20
21 Flagstaff
22 Pomona @ dA center for the arts
23 SF
24 Reno
25 Arcata
26 Boise
27 Boise @ The Watercooler (Treefort!)

Mourning Coup

Striking a pose with Mourning Coup's Chandra Melting Tallow; photographed by Merkadie Barnard.

Striking a pose with Mourning Coup’s Chandra Melting Tallow; photographed by Merkadie Barnard.

Vancouver artist Chandra Melting Tallow creates wild sounds that takes over rock & roll’s patriarchal conventions to re-appropriate them according to her own ear and visions. Providing us with a full sensory experience, Mourning Coup presents the video debut for “Master” from Jordan Minkoff that takes the viewers & listeners on a dark trip down the vintage rock iconographic avenue. On her debut album Baby Blue, Chandra commands a kind of sonic terrain that sits at home with the more abstract and adventurous side of U.S. Girls’ output, to the netherworld abyss of anguish & ambiguity heard from Bestial Mouths. Tallow creates her own world, where heroes are exalted in immortal ways while the sound eschews most of the entire twentieth century for new industrious advancements in today’s DIY audio achievements.

Taken off the Mourning Coup album Baby Blue, Jordan brings Chandra’s conceptualizations to visual form the audio and conceptual framework. Minkoff’s video for “Master” begins with as the lens opens up to reveal the rippling b/w view of foliage being reflected in the water, while the synths flutter overhead. From here images of planets, waterfalls, and samples of nature initiate CGI sequences of red carpeted regal stairs with images of Elvis displayed on the animated walls. From here classic film images of 70s era The King are seen as Tallow is presented as the new matriarchal ruler. Bubbling images of land, and silk backdrops present Chandra as a Roy Orbison impersonator crafted in a way that surely Trey Parker & Matt Stone might appreciate. From here the idol worship of heroes past are seen like resurrected images from yesterday returning to modern times as Mourning Coup triumphs as the new reigning master in her own right. We had an opportunity to talk with both Chandra Melting Tallow & Jordan Minkoff in an interview session that follows the debut of Mourning Coup’s video for “Master”.

Jordan, would you care to share some insights on the making of the “Master” video?

I think about two years ago I first heard Chandra making the song and I got really excited about doing a video for it. But it was so hard! The song is so intense and dark and I wasn’t sure I could make a good enough video. I was scared to ruin the vibe. Anyways, it took forever, we tried a bunch of different ideas but nothing really worked. So we waited in hopes that an idea would come. 13 weeks later, on a particularly terrifying night, the concept arrived. I bought some pants at Value Village and in the pocket there was a photo of Elvis. Later I was riding a bus in a lightning storm to meet Chandra to talk about the video and show her the picture but when I pulled it out his face had turned blue. Chandra then told me how she wanted to be a Roy Orbison impersonator. She told me she didn’t want a scary video but there was nothing we could do cause it was edited on a pirated version of Premiere and so the program has the final say. I don’t know what the song is about, I’ve never asked because I’m scared to know and Chandra is too scared to ask what the video is about and I have been trying to forget.

Chandra, describe the making of the Mourning Coup album, Baby Blue.

Legend has it this album took me five years. This is 100% true. I recorded it in lots of different places. In my mom’s house when I had to move back in because I had problems, the basement of a cold house in Calgary, Jeff’s house in Victoria where our friend the director Jordan Minkoff used to live. I recorded in a cabin on Salt Spring Island where I was living alone. I had to look up YouTube videos on how to chop wood because it was heated by a stove and I had never chopped wood before. The night was awful because the wind made it sound like ghosts were walking on the roof. I watched the Color of Pomegranates everyday while I ate breakfast and that’s where I recorded “Color of Pomegranates“, which I guess could be considered fan fiction in the form of a song. I also recorded in a toothpaste dungeon and in my most recent apartment in Vancouver. Most of it was done on a laptop but there are a few that I recorded on a four track after my laptop was stolen. I have a new laptop now, I’m typing on it.

Talking with Mourning Coup's Chandra Melting Tallow; photographed by Jeff Ellom.

Talking with Mourning Coup’s Chandra Melting Tallow; photographed by Jeff Ellom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us about how Mourning Coup first began, and you feel it has grown musically, and more.

Mourning Coup was initially a series of performance art pieces set to sound collages. Because I had no musical background I started to be more focused on the sound aspect of Mourning Coup because it was more challenging. I started learning how to structure songs and that was exciting because I love to sing. You could say I felt like I had a karaoke all of my own. The music I make has changed a lot because so have I. I can play the guitar and bass now, not very well, but it changes things.

Tell us about the making of your wild new video for “Master”.

Jordan filmed me singing under a street lamp and then we did a bunch of green screen stuff. Then he moved to Montreal and waited for the idea. I like it a lot, the first time I saw it I watched it twice in a row. I used to want to be a Roy Orbison impersonator but dressed in my own clothes so I’m glad Roy is in there.

The cool world of Mourning Coup; photographed by Katrice Dustin.

The cool world of Mourning Coup; photographed by Katrice Dustin.

What’s new and good in Vancouver right now?

I moved into a new house and I have a bigger room. Tough Customer is a new and good band. I made a new friend Juli Majer and we hang out all the time now.

What’s next for Mourning Coup?

I’m making some music with Gretchen Snakes for Brody Mcknights’ tape label. I’m collaborating on a film and animation set to music with my new and good friend Juli Majer. I’m going to collaborate with Zeesy Powers on a performance and I’m working on my next album. I also want to put together a band for live shows because performing alone is kind of scary. I performed in a Pylon cover band for Halloween and I never realized playing shows could be fun, so now I only want to have fun. I’m going on tour in March with my new best friends Underpass. Alex Miranda is in that band, he’s the one that put out my album on No Sun Records. Looking forward to all the different kinds of food I’ll get to eat!

Catch Mourning Coup playing the following March dates with Underpass:

March
22 San Diego, CA @ The Hideout
23 Riverside, CA
24 KICK IT
25 Los Angeles, CA
26 San Luis Obisbo, CA
27 Santa Cruz, CA
28 San Jose, CA
29 Oakland, CA
30 KICK IT
31 Seattle, WA

The Mourning Coup album Baby Blue is available now via Bandcamp.

Swim Team

Introducing Cincinnati, Ohio's Swim Team; photographed here by Jesse Fox.

Introducing Cincinnati, Ohio’s Swim Team; photographed here by Jesse Fox.

Cincinnati’s resident thrashers Swim Team are readying their self-titled cassette for Casey Weissbuch’s curated Infinity Cat Cassette Series available March 4 (in batches limited to 350 lime green tapes), and we are proud to present the premiere following listen. Lead by the energetic, enthusiastic, & sometimes angry Lillian Currens; get ready for a nonstop thrill ride that clocks in under the 30 minute mark and features all the real, visceral raw audio aggression that we need more of 2016. Lillian takes a no-holds-barred/no-prisoners approach that doesn’t mind breaking the fourth wall to castigate or chastise those deserving of being taken down a few pegs from their pathetic and/or petty pedestals. This is the cassette for anyone & everyone who has ever felt like it’s them against all the bastards of the world.

But Swim Team will not be pigeon holed on account of their rage, & righteous rowdiness alone. “Dirty Work” turns the tables on tyrants with some of the most infectious riffs you could ever desire, while “I’m Fine” turns up the abrasive amplification off the charts with chants of “you’re quiet, I’m fine”, while “Crash Life” is one of the most beautiful scuzzy garage pop numbers deserving to be played on college stations, podcasts, and radio stations everywhere. “Chlorine Dream” provides a lo-fi interlude of swimming pool splashed drum machine electrics, while “Goldmine” takes you back to Swim Team’s regularly scheduled cyclone spinning sound. The band’s massive sound takes on even greater forms and heights on the romantic “I want to kiss you all” affections that play out on “Cherri Girls”, to the sparse lo-fi minimalism of “Everything Went Wrong” that meditates on things that fall apart, and the discontinuities that can occur within a day’s time. The mood and growls return on the freak show descriptions on “Reanimator”, followed by the vaudevillian tape recorded vignette “I’m Going To Hell”, as “TV” kicks out the jams & angst with the television on, to the sad song of things thrown out and discarded on “Closest Thing”, closing it out with the minimalist demo-like hymn of adolescent angst and cognition on “Teenage Mind”. After the following listen to Swim Team’s self-titled cassette, read our roundtable interview with Lillian, Ben, BJ, & John.

Tell us what’s great these days in the Cincinnati, Ohio scenes, and how you all find that scene impacts the Swim Team sound.

Lillian: Everyone except me played in some of my favorite bands in Cincinnati before Swim Team even started. There’s a lot going on right now and a lot of bands I like.

Fleshmother and Birdie Hearse are probably my favorites. In regards to sound I’m never
really sure because none of us ever sat down and were like “we want to sound like this”
which is probably the coolest part about playing in this band.

BJ: The music’s good. We all enjoy good music.

John: I really, really enjoy taking my kids to go see The Modulators during “Party at
the Park” in Alt Park. There’s food, wine, dancing…just an overall really great time! I
MODULATE! (I have that bumper sticker)

Ben: There’s a new Charlie Kaufman movie set in Cincinnati where the out-of-towner’s taxi driver just keeps talking about our great zoo and the chili. And then the passenger looks up and sees a zoo billboard. It’s all leading up to an existential crisis and does a good job representing the overall scene here. But, inside that there’s a bubble of great bands with a lot of promise. Mostly based in Northside. Mostly punk or garage rock. A lot of bands play too many local shows in my opinion, but that’s just how it is. One of our best venues has for years been luring bands to play for nothing more than a free burrito. We do it for love.

Basement hangouts with Swim Team; press photo courtesy of the band.

Basement hangouts with Swim Team; press photo courtesy of the band.

What sort of song writing/drafting techniques do you all employ together?

Lillian: It’s typically a group thing like someone will be fucking around with something and we’ll end up forming a song around that.

BJ: We get together with some beers and just start playing.

John: If something sounds cool to us all, we just roll with it until we find ourselves at
the end of a song. We also just assume whatever liberty we want, which helps to making
the writing process quick.

Ben: Our guitarist John (who also records us) prompts all of our productivity. Writing,
practicing, booking, recording. He’s a saint. We all create our own parts—most of our
songs are not premeditated or singular in perspective. We party harder than we practice. It’s better that way. Mango-ritas. If it’s Mean Girls, Lil is in Rachel McAdams’ Plastics crew but not her, John is a soccer star and BJ and I are unnamed hacky-sack hippies who are stoked.

Through the scuzz & distorted lenses with Swim Team; press photo courtesy of the band.

Through the scuzz & distorted lenses with Swim Team; press photo courtesy of the band.

The Infinity Cat cassette contains so much energy, so much remarkable attitude, so many cool riffs, and still more; what did everyone appreciate the most in drafting and recording this release?

Lillian: Hangin with cool dudes. Good timin’ it.

BJ: The whole things just been a damn good time.

Ben: We did in our own time in a way that felt low key and natural. There are 12 songs but they’re all demos that John and Jerri (from Vacation) recorded. I think at least one was recorded on a cell phone. Shout out to Rob for letting us use his studio and backyard pool, though.

John: I think what I appreciated the most about the recordings, is that they’re mostly
demos that were recorded immediately after the song was finished being written.

Swim Team live at The Comet; photographed by Scott Besseler.

Swim Team live at The Comet; photographed by Scott Besseler.

What should we know about what might be in store down the road in the Swim Team schedule and vision cast?

Lillian: We have a tour scheduled in April which I’m very excited about. Also beginning to write the next album. Tryna do vinyl. Want to continue to hold the high score on penthouse photo hunt.

Ben: We’ve got some tour dates coming up before more recording. I want to do a Primitives cover and maybe also “God Gave Rock and Roll to You”…because she did.

John: We’re doing an April tour, and working on the LP. I’m also personally excited for the Switzerlands’ reunion coming to Cincinnati.

BJ: More rock n roll.

Swim Team’s self-titled will be available March 4 via Infinity Cat Cassette Series in batches limited to 350 lime green cassettes.

Alpenglow

Through the blue light with Alpenglow; press photo courtesy of the band.

Through the blue light with Alpenglow; press photo courtesy of the band.

Today Vermont by Brooklyn’s Alpenglow releases this album Callisto on Chizu Records, presenting the world premiere of the blue light bathed video for “Following the Scene”. Directed and choreographed by guitarist/vocalist Peter Coccoma, with editing and light effects by the band’s Elori Kramer, & cinematography from Hunter Nolan; Pete along with Graeme Daubert, Kenneth Root, & Elori present the audio-visual spectrum of where there sound has evolved to since their rustic days of recording cosmic folk vignettes in Vermont. Basking in the projected azul stage lights, Alpenglow are joined by an audience of fans and friends making synchronized gestures and interpretive dance motions that salute & set the scene.

The visuals for “Following The Scene” begins with the blue light shine designed by Elori, under the auspices of Nolan’s camera work, and Peter’s vision. Joined by the troupe Urgent Squeeze Dance Crew featuring Doug LeCours, Roberto Ellis, Carson Moody, Rachel Nuñez, Kate McCreary, & Ben Blackshear; moving silhouettes and lowly lit figures are seen dancing in unison in front of the aqua hued incandescent rays. The song itself sings to Alpenglow’s own restlessness of seeking out all the sectors of action and influential aesthetics that follows the group making their way from a mountain town (population 588) to the overwhelming excitement and allure of the big city. These great artistic pursuits and chases of scene and style watching/hunting/stalking/seeking/etc is summed up by Peter by the song’s conclusion where interstate trails are traveled in the name of unknown desires or pleasures, “hoping for some more feeling.” Alpenglow’s Peter Coccoma took the time to chat with us in an interview featured right after the following video debut for “Following The Scene”.

Describe the making of Callisto versus the rustic Vermont mountain town stone chapel recorded Chapel.

For starters, Chapel was recorded over many months with a lot of overdubbing. For Callisto, we recorded 95% of it live over five days, including all the lead vocal takes. Our sound evolved a lot from those early EPs, which I think had to do with playing more and more live shows, and our decision to move down to Brooklyn together. We wrote most of the songs on Callisto while still in Vermont, but we decided to re-arrange all the songs. We just felt like we had moved way past the head-space and physical space of those reverent folk recordings, and wanted To make a record that really represented where we were at personally and collectively.

Describe what it was like bringing your single “Following The Scene” to life in the video you made with Elori Kramer, & Hunter Nolan.

This video was a community effort in so many ways. I wanted to direct a dance video for FTS because it is such a dark groover. I had the idea to build the set like a dark void by hanging black curtains in our studio—sort of like a David Lynchian Tonight Show or something. I also wanted to feature the light projections that Elori had come up with for our live show to give people an idea of what it’s like to see us live these days. It was my first time directing a video, and I really couldn’t done it without having Elori in the band who has done so much great film work on her own. She helped a lot in putting the pieces together. Hunter is an amazing DP and donated all his time on this shoot. He’s such a pleasure to work with, and I can’t thank him enough for doing this. Lastly, I can’t thank the dancers enough for their time as well. We shot the whole thing in one long day without any rehearsal before and they were such champs, especially when I asked them to dunk their heads in buckets of water in an unheated garage in December! I think I’m most thankful for all the donated time, gear, and energy that we could make this video with friends and have it only cost $100 for snacks on set. That’s a real product of the collective whole.

Alpenglow in a world of blue; photo courtesy of the band.

Alpenglow in a world of blue; photo courtesy of the band.

What do you all dig about Brooklyn right now?

I think it’s been said many times and said better than I could that beingan artist of any type is tough in a city where the cost of living is so, so high and space is at such a premium. We struggle with this a lot, both as a band and personally, especially when it comes to having space to make things on your own time. We lucked out this past year to find a garage/warehouse space (via Fort Briscoe) with some other great musicians where we can rehearse, shoot videos, have shows, etc. The whole thing feels so tenuous where you feel as though tomorrow you could get the news that the rent has gone up more than you can afford. We all know this has been going on for decades in New York—music venues, artist studios closing down—and it makes you really think about what longevity you can have here. It’s really inspiring to see so many little pockets of creative enclaves across all the outer boroughs now, but I wonder how much cohesion will be left in 10 years? Will it be a multitude of distinct scenes at the far reaches of Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten island, or will artists pack up and leave? I don’t know, but right now I’m thankful for all the people making stuff in this city because it does have a very distinct energy.

Best things you all have heard as of recent?

A big plus of living in a city is I have the chance to see shows anytime of the week. Two local Brooklyn bands I’ve gone to see a few times recently are Zula and Uni Ika Ai. They’re actually both playing at our record release at National Sawdust on April 1, and I couldn’t be more excited to play with them. Another band is Tigue, a percussion trio who we share a studio with. They are such amazing musicians to watch in all the projects they play in. As far as records, there’s so much great stuff out there, and honestly I don’t spend that much time searching for new stuff, mostly because there is so much good stuff and its hard to weed through it all. Each year friends turn me on to new stuff and I add a few more records to my heavy rotation and sort of listen to those on repeat.

What’s next for Alpenglow?

We’re putting out this record, some more videos, playing some shows around the east coast, then getting ready to record the next album. We’ve been writing and recording on our own a lot since recording Callisto and we’re getting pretty eager to put the next record together.

Alpenglow’s album Callisto is available now from Chizu Records.

Sin Kitty

Jackson Scott launches Erradic Records, presses Sin Kitty LP on wax, & more....

Jackson Scott launches Erradic Records, presses Sin Kitty LP on wax, & more….

Continuing to push the bar up further of what is possible through those trademark mesmerizing pop signatures-Jackson Scott returns with a vinyl pressing from his old band Sin Kitty, with news of a new label launch with his imprint Erradic Records. A full-length that was recorded 2011-2013 in Scott & friends dorm rooms and at the notorious Asheville, abode/estate—Melbourne—the Sin Kitty LP Softer showcases Scott’s home-woven analog experiments that prove to create some of the most pointed and pencil-sharpened pop ever heard. Conjuring up feelings & worlds of an entrancing design, this Sin Kitty release provides something of an alternate listen to the artist’s solo work, and the Calypso collective.

Sin Kitty sets the table with the instrumental title track intro “Softer” that stirs and circles in atmospheres and the vaguely sounded ring of chimes. From here the single “Vanity Daze” emerges like you would imagine an alt icon rising in the late morning from their beauty slumber. Though this is Jackson & friends from half a decade back, it shows off the ground breaking sense for shaping some of the most effective hooks and ear worms around. “Don’t Be Crazy” is reminiscent of those obscure psych records lauded by older sisters and brothers that you were never allowed to spin on the platter, where freak beat melodic-ism goes spelunking into the dark cavernous terrain of scorched middle earth reminiscent of lost vintage dad discs like that Gandalf album from 1969. “Shatter” moves that emotion even further, while “Pillow Fight” errs on the experimental sound collage side where voices & far away sirens are caught in the echo-stream right before you get to behold the perfect nu-psych brilliance & shimmer of “Not Today Again”. The feeling of groundhog day and déjà vu are brought to new types of levels here, where everything from grunge to Mersey beat is exalted in a manner of worship that has to be heard to be believed. Having just raised the bar, Sin Kitty keeps the transgressive cat motif party meowing with the claws out on absolutely mesmerizing “All the Kidss” that somehow takes your favorite sacred band’s back catalog and hit book, flings it into the mouth of a roaring fireplace, laughs, and makes their entire shtick sound easy to duplicate. “Wondering” keeps with the experimental pop sentiment, complete with spoken word as “Chase” creates that lost in the mountains and hillsides of the Appalachians feels. The entire Softer ride comes to a complete full circle with the samples of waves and controlled instrumental dissonance that brings it all back to the album’s opening track title beginning, begging for another hundred or so listens, naturally. Jackson Scott joins us after the following LP listen to discuss the release of Sin Kitty’s big album, coinciding with the launch of Erradic Records.

Give us details about the return of Sin Kitty, and some insights into making the Softer LP.

Sin Kitty is a band I was in with some friends of mine from college—Annie, Dillon, and Chase. We recorded Softer over the course of a year in our dorm rooms and at the Melbourne house. The band broke up around 2013 and the album’s been done for about 3 years now, but I always knew it would be released in some fashion. We’re all really stoked to finally put it out.

Styling & profiling with Jackson Scott; photo courtesy of the artist.

Styling & profiling with Jackson Scott; photo courtesy of the artist.

Tell us about the launch of your new imprint, Erradic, and everything we need to know about it, and what artists to watch for from Erradic.

Erradic is a collaboration between me and Jay Rubin. We initially started it with the idea of releasing our friends music and really anything that we think is interesting. Jay works on some very crazy visual production and editing as well so there’s a multimedia element to it as well. As of right now, the next release is going to be Egodeath, an South Carolina-based band started by Jack Bruhnke.

Sin Kitty's Annie (on the right) & friend Aaron (left); photo courtesy of the band.

Sin Kitty’s Annie (on the right) & friend Aaron (left); photo courtesy of the band.

What other sorts of erratic creative/collaborative endeavors have been consuming your time and worlds lately? Feels like you always got something cooking….

I’ve been messing with this new project of mine called Votaries. Almost finished with the first album. Also been jamming with this girl Luci who is an insane singer and rapper. Other than that, I’m always interested in recording different bands and music that I like.

Sitting with Chase from Sin Kitty; press photo courtesy of the band.

Sitting with Chase from Sin Kitty; press photo courtesy of the band.

From your solo work, your other collective Calypso, to Sin Kitty, and more; describe the things that have been informing and impacting your psychic like sense for sound, and post-structural/nu-structures in arrangements and more.

All kinds of things. It’s hard to pinpoint. Some songs could be made with the intention of crafting the perfect shoegaze pop structure. Others could be like a complete ambient mess. It all depends on how you’re feeling at the time.

Many have remarked about the experimental and psych aspects of your music, but what’s amazing is how from these rough scuzzy & scuffed up places you come up with really catchy, hook-laden jams like “Vanity Daze”, “Not Today Again”, “All The Kidss”, & countless others on Softer & many other releases. How do you feel you are able to sort of reconcile the quixotic with something that is almost pristine in it’s audio form?

I like a nice mixture of chaos and beauty. Also, if you start with something simple then sometimes you have a lot more room to bring lots of other dimensions into it.

Sin Kitty’s album Softer is available now from Erradic & Bandcamp.

Crater

Seattle's Crater; photographed by Cecilia Corsano Leopizzi

Seattle’s Crater; photographed by Cecilia Corsano Leopizzi

Seattle’s Crater just released their album Talk To Me So I Can Fall Asleep today on Help Yourself Records, and we are here to help the duo celebrate further with our exclusive interview with Ceci Gomez and Kessiah Gordon. On their awaited big album debut, the two engage in the internet age ennui that utilizes items and aspects of the electronic intricacies of systems for means of expressing the human spirit singing through the machines and modules.

“Crater Head” invites all into the duo’ head-space, as “Sick Sad World” laments the discontinuities of the contemporary age in catchy key tones that make the world feel somewhat a little less sick (despite the sorry & sordid state of current day world issues). The big pop caliber canons are ushered in on the pop perfection of “Ain’t Right”, to the lazy weekend idle inflections of blessed boredom on “Habits Die Slow”, delivering sun season sentimentality with the tan & scan of “Summer Skin”. Dark digital rouge smears are heard on “Gross Relations”, turning the beat a little moodier as they travel through tenebrous territories of “Hardly at All”, “Lucky Lucy”, to the synth garden of “Badlands”. Crater continues onward on a search for truth and a clearer reality and sacred sort of sanctuary, whereas the soft bubbling track “Brew” ferments and cultures slowly as you can hear the various glitches and distorted elements of the two’s sound that resembles a home spun server farm and collection of CPU towers from the 90s, oughts, and today. Following the listen, read our insightful interview roundtable with Crater’s Ceci & Kessiah:

Give us the story on beginnings of Crater, how you two met, and what sorts of meteoric events established you two as duo act.

Kessiah: Ceci and I met in 2008. We attended the same music program at NYU but it wasn’t until we graduated that we decided to collaborate together musically. Everything sort of just fell into place…we were both unhappy and essentially found comfort in this mutual struggle as post collegiate millennials with zero dollars. So just imagine two good friends both experiencing a 1/4 life crisis…artistic stasis..light bulb…hey let’s quit our jobs and make music sort of thing. Add some LSD in there. An epic cross country road trip. Equals Crater.

Take us on the road recording Talk To Me so I Can Fall Asleep, and how random collected GIFs & samples would help create the debut Crater album.

Kessiah: Ceci’s computer is a physical manifestation of what goes on in that beautiful mind of hers. She has a desktop folder called “Black Hole”…and inside this said folder is a chaotic amalgam of digital artifacts. I don’t really care to enter that space again…I’ve done it a few times and as a borderline OCD person it’s just too much.

Perhaps some further insights into the Crater recording methods and processes?

Ceci: In the past our songs have started with a vocal or drum loop, a sample from the street, or synth line. From there we begin to build off that loop in Ableton and hash it out to form the outline of a pop tune (though our songs tend to fall in and out of that structure but are always short and sweet). We recorded Talk to Me so I Can Fall Asleep when we were living together in our house with the help of our dear friend Ben Roth who graced us with his guitar licks every now and again. Recently I’ve been into reading poetry before bed and have been trying to write songs around the poems I’ve written.

How did you two create this kind of hazy electronic veneer of digital fog and ambience that permeates the record?

VST Plug-ins, tinctures, and samples of washing machines.

Who are you two listening to a lot of right now?

Ceci: I’ve been loving Ramzi from Vancouver and am a little behind on this one but just got really into listening to Jessica Pratt whilst taking my nightly bubble baths!
[Kessiah] : I’m trying to break the habit of listening to pop oriented music. There are a lot of rad female DJ collectives from around the world, so I’ve been pulling musical recommendations from those forums and curated techno mixes. Check out Courtesy…she’s a member of Apeiron Crew from Copenhagen.

Favorite things about the Seattle scenes?

Kessiah: I’m really down with how much intentional cross pollination is happening exclusively between female and non-binary artists. More then ever are women in Seattle (and the world for that matter) pulling together to organize immersive and inclusive experiences across a wide range of artistic mediums. Ceci and I are adamant about involving ourselves in this sort of movement.

Next big moves for Crater?

Fingers crossed for national and international tours—we wanna go to Asia and Australia! We have also started to demo our next record which we are very excited about!

Crater’s debut album Talk To Me So I Can Fall Asleep is available now from Help Yourself Records.

Angel Parade

Introducing Athens, Georgia's Angel Parade; press photo courtesy of the band.

Introducing Athens, Georgia’s Angel Parade; press photo courtesy of the band.

Angel Parade from Athens, Georgia emerged on radars around the end of 2015 with the single “Sometime In April“, delivering atmospheric expressions of farewells, and spring greetings to new solstices. This was then followed by the single “Take a Drive” that saw the synths and percussion becoming a little bigger and brighter, conjuring up the feeling of a morning car ride. Today Sam Herring, Richard Schepmoes, Dillon McCallister, & Zane Battistini return with the world premiere of their fullest and most realized composition to date—”To Be Pure”—that shines some of the most purest, and angelic light forth that resembles the sound of the group’s own moniker.

“To Be Pure” ponders the questions of feelings, and the nature of their purity. Richard and Zane get the instrumental backdrop reeling, as Sam sings “you said you wanted it to be pure, are you so sure? Can’t tell if it’s love or if I just want you so badly…” From here Angel Parade kicks off their processional that sees the keyboard tones and guitar riffs seesawing and rocking back and in forth in complimentary ways like waves rolling and rushing their way upon the sandy seashore. The pure at heart questions are mulled over lyrically over and over while the arrangement alludes toward a heavenly fall of notes and progressions that beautifully frame the addictive and amorous chorus, “tonight, shines like diamonds in your eyes tonight,” that makes for a valentine to last all year long. Read our interview with the band that immediately follows the debut of “To Be Pure”.

Tell us about the celestial/angelic beginnings of Angel Parade.

Richard Schepmoes and Zane Battistini began writing and self recording instrumental demos under the name in late 2014/ early 2015. After hearing the demos online, Sam Herring contacted them to see if he could get involved vocally. That summer the three began writing and recording even more demos while an old friend Dillon McCallister had come back in to town and began writing percussion for the demos using his MPC. Angel Parade started playing their first shows November 2015 and went to The Glow Studio where Jesse Mangum recorded two singles in January 2016.

What is the latest happenings in Athens, Georgia these days?

It’s kind of difficult to keep up especially when you’re focused on your own stuff. There are always venues and great bands to play with. And it’s reputation always brings touring bands in, which are always fun bills to hop on. Slingshot Festival is happening in late March with Crystal Castles as one of the headliners so we’re all pretty excited about that.

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

We’ve all been on a Japanese Shoegaze binge lately. Specifically Broken Little Sister’s release Memories, Violet & Demons. All these little bands from there that you can find online are just owning the genre. The Bladerunner soundtrack has been a resent favorite when it comes to ambiance inspiration. Pop wise we have all really taken to Janet Jackson’s new record. Also we patiently await Drake’s new release. His production has always intrigued us. As for watching we could only stay away from Making a Murderer for so long without eventually caving and yelling at the television. Also the X-Files have kept us entertained recently.

Can you tell us about how the four of you approach the synth-beat craft?

The entire idea really just stems from our love for 1980’s pop/new wave. Artists like Kate Bush and New Order. When it comes time to actually do it ourselves we often start with a synthesized guitar sample for over all ambiance and tone for the song. Then we begin to build a groove or beat. And after that we just add as many synth melodies on top as we can.

What can you tell us about forthcoming sounds and releases from Angel Parade?

We would like to release an EP over the summer. Whether these two singles will be on it our not, we will have to wait and see. We have been continuing to write and we may just decide we like the new stuff more. We’ve been tinkering around with vocal samples/layers which has always been an interest for us.

Listen to more from Angel Parade via Bandcamp & Soundcloud.

Curtain Rod Character

Introducing Curtain Rod Character, aka Brad Walker; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Introducing Curtain Rod Character, aka Brad Walker; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Get to know Balitmore’s Brad Walker, aka Curtain Rod Character, delivering the premiere listen to the half-spoken/half-sung “List of Weeping Trees” from his forthcoming album Mosquito Coast available March 11. The nearly half-awake arrangements of percussive acoustic rhythms provide the back beat for mortal concerns and constraints about locales to host his own final resting place. Sometimes serious, sometimes solemn, often tongue in cheek; Walker dabbles in the absurd, the bizarre, and the outright humorous that presents a personified connection to life and nature.

“List of Weeping Trees” reads like an alliterative litany of “I wanna be buried” statements that examines the different locations, areas, and surrounding physical geographical locations of proffered postmortem internment. The sparse arrangement allows for all attention to focus on the humorous musings of human mortality, illustrating post-life request that could make for one of the weirdest last will and testaments ever written or recorded. Examinations of various burial locations make for both a silly and strange sort of cemetery shopping experience heard in the recitations of, “I wanna be be buried beneath the weeping elm, after there’s no one at the helm,” “I wanna be buried beneath the weeping confer until I get a better offer,” “I wanna be buried beneath the weeping fig unless there’s a better place to dig,” and so forth. A man of various pseudonyms, styles, talents, and tastes; we invite you to read our recent conversation with Brad right after the following debut listen to “List of Weeping Trees”.

Every Baltimore based artist has their own personal connection to the city, and I wonder what Baltimore means to you, and in what ways does the city, it’s environments, and artists impact and inform your own creative processes?

Baltimore has a great energy to it that feels vivid and exciting. I’m drawn to the neighborhood aspect of cities, my particular area is picturesque and inspiring to me.

Describe how you, Brad Walker, created the latest in a series of monikers and alter egos, particularly Curtain Rod Character.

The moniker Curtain Rod Character is a bit of impressionistic wordplay. The sound of the words and cadence just seemed to make sense and feel right. I used to go by the name Some Monastery, but switched at certain point because the project felt like it needed some separation. I tend to avoid going by my given name, partly because what I do is not as singer-songwriter-ish as that might imply.

Tell us about the minimalist spoken poetic prosody inclinations that gave rise to your song, “List of Weeping Trees”.

I was inspired by a recent trip to the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. Standing under a huge Weeping Beech was the catalyst, it was strikingly beautiful standing there, not in a macabre way. Lines like “I want to be buried ‘neath the weeping fig unless there’s a better place to dig” attempt to bring some levity to the morbid subject matter.

Describe further the Curtain Rod Character album Mosquito Coast, and what about the Nicaraguan and Honduras eastern coasts (or the Harrison Ford film from the 80s) inspired the title and ultimately album?

The name refers more to a feeling and mood than geographical location. If it’s related to the movie, it’s subconscious on my part; I do remember seeing that film. For this album I was inspired by a recent switch from steel-string guitar to classical guitar and a particular open-tuning. The drums are a mix of live drumming on my girlfriend’s kit and sampled beats from the same kit. A group of friends are currently re-interpreting these songs for a live setting, there may be a show at some point down the road.

Other great local Bmore artists we need to know about?

A band that I have ties to called the Fevers is always doing great things:

New God!

Pergola’s new album came out too:

Next nom de plumes and more to follow from Brad Walker?

There will definitely be more to follow, I’m not sure when exactly but it’s always on the horizon.

Keep up with Curtain Rod Character via Brad’s site.

Gosh Pith

Gosh Pith's Josh Freed & Josh Smith, photographed by Kristen Adamczyk & Shane Ford.

Gosh Pith’s Josh Freed & Josh Smith, photographed by Kristen Adamczyk & Shane Ford.

Detroit’s duo of Joshes Freed, & Smith return today with the follow up to their Window EP with the B3SCI release of their Gold Chain EP. The electronic and r & b aspects are smoothed out to the slickest sounds heard from the duo yet, with the title track of gold digging daliances, to the glamorous late evening ebb & flow of “K9”, pushing forward and steadily ahead into new consciousness and broken heart contemplation on “New Balance” ft. Martez vocal additions, dishing out the “Scoop” of Friday and Saturday nights past, present, and future. Gosh Pith’s Josh & Josh joined up with us a few days ago for the following conversation.

From the jump from Window to Gold Chain, tell us about making a more ambient and atmospheric sound.

We’re definitely approaching our writing and production process with a bit more of a honed-in sound palette these days – but the process still starts with a focus on capturing and evoking a specific feeling or mood or sensation.

What is the key in creating restrained and understated sounds that create super effective vibes?

The vibes come first – the sounds follow. We’re always trying to push our songs in new directions and follow wherever the vibes lead. Sometimes the sounds might seem unexpected, but they come from that initial feeling, transferred through our musical likes and dislikes, influences, daily lives, etc.

Tell us about working with Martez on “New Balance”.

Martez came over to our house one day while we were working on the beginnings of New Balance last summer. He has a great ear for top line melodies and right when he walked in he started singing some ideas which turned into the background vocals. He’s a big part of Detroit’s underground scene – as a singer and performer, but also as a curator of really cool events/parties. He’s been collaborating with Teklife homies and Bruiser Brigade homies lately, we’re excited to see what he puts out next.

gosh pith week in pop 1

What’s good & super inspirational right now in the D?

Our friend Joey 2Lanes also helped us on a bit of the production on this album—we really dig and are inspired by the tracks he continues to put out. Lately we’ve been working out of a music space called Assemble Sound in a very old abandoned church near downtown. It’s a dope space where a bunch of different Detroit musicians work, collaborate, share ideas. So a lot of our current inspirations come from the others passing through—Flint Eastwood, Black Noi$e, etc.

And lastly what can you tell us about an upcoming Gosh Pith album?

Now that this record is out, we’re working on making more tunes and taking our live show to the next level. Definitely expect more music, more collaboration, more visuals from us very soon.

Gosh Pith’s Gold Chain is available today from the LA imprint B3SCI.

Stream it via Spotify.

Winterpills

Thawing out the winter cold with Winterpills; photo courtesy of Chattman Photography.

Thawing out the winter cold with Winterpills; photo courtesy of Chattman Photography.

Northampton, Massachusetts’ Winterpills continue their decade plus campaign of creating music that sings and speaks to the mind and heart with their forthcoming Love Songs available March 18 from Signature Sounds, presenting the premiere of the powerful “Freeze Your Light”. A song inspired by the creative hobbies from the band’s Philip Price, “My dad was an amateur photographer. Not bad, but not great,” the songwriter explained, “in my mom’s attic there are boxes and boxes of his photos. Also boxes and boxes of his writing, which was his career, but somehow I was drawn more to the aspect of his creative activity that was unofficial. The song sat in me for years after he died and found a melody eventually.” Price along with bandmates Flora Reed, Dennis Crommett, Dave Hower, Max Germer, & other friends together find harmonies and melodies that pay tribute to the art of capturing glimmers of light frozen in the aperture blink of time.

“Freeze Your Light” basks in that sun beam cast space of nostalgia, love, and feelings that culminate in the song’s sincere tribute to a passed paternal figure. Featuring co-production from Justin Pizzoferrato, Winterpills choruses and arranged instrumentation together provides some of the most moving movements heard since Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue. Philip’s lyrics are sung by all that recount the miscellany of lenses, cameras, and Roman candles found amid the shoeboxes of photography gear. With grace and reverence, the building harmonies from Winterpills are raised all the way up to the rafters to pay homage to a writer, a sometimes photographer, and a father. The choruses swell up like a collection of helium filled balloons that are lifted from the mortal hallows of earth and upward toward a celestial space in the great somewhere above. Right after the following debut of “Freeze Your Light”, read our insightful interview session with Winterpills’ Philip Price.

Describe the strange portals and unused back roads that gave illumination and life to Love Songs.

It may be that the secret we all carry is that we’re all truly, deeply, crushingly in love not only with the people and families and work and ambition that fill our days but also with our own taunting demons, dead end thought processes, migraines, unbearable sadnesses, fading memories, nostalgias [sic] and regrets that define us as they drag us further down. Judging by the current state of humankind, probably even more so. Does the heart swell and quicken at the sight of the rusty bars of the prison of your own making? We venture yes to that question, and all these strange portals.

Thoughts on how producer Justin Pizzoferrato impacted the record for you all?

Justin brought a lot of sonic experience with heavier, huger sounds to the project and we encouraged him to pull out his favorite tricks; we didn’t want him to take our already fragile sound and make it more so. We wanted to follow the songs somewhere else altogether. He’s a very fluid thinker and melds analog and digital techniques with lightening quick fingers, so much that we hardly even knew where we were half the time.

Winterpills; photographed by Joanna Chattman.

Winterpills; photographed by Joanna Chattman.

Top five things you are all excited about for 2016?

We have a strong suspicion there will be five decent meals ahead of us this year, and we look forward to every single one of them with great relish. Also, releasing Love Songs into the world and touring.

The best thing(s) happening right now in Western Massachusetts?

Maple sugaring, and our six chickens are finally starting to lay eggs after taking most of the winter off. It won’t be too long until the asparagus comes in, and with it, all the blessings of the harvest.

Winterpills’ Love Songs will be available March 18 from Signature Sounds Recordings.

Quelle Chris

Detroit's producer extraordinaire—Quelle Chris; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Detroit’s producer extraordinaire—Quelle Chris; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Quelle Chris releases his anticipated new album Lullabies for the Broken Brain today from Mello Music Group, and we bring you a following listen to the Detroit producer instrumental project. Featuring mastering by Paul “Bae Bro” Wilson, Lullabies presents a modern day panacea to better understand and cope with our surroundings and world with a collection of selections that pull from obscure source material, and fidelities that range from hi to lo to off the chart & chain. Quelle introduces his new effort with the following introductory words:

For some, lullabies come to mind when fondling the planets while being lost in space. Formed in different dreams, daydreams, and hallucinations, set low in the earth or hanging high at the Alamo, lullabies seem to stir up a sort of distress that we all need at times. This project is a amalgamation of beats put together to do something. Whether to reflect on a certain animal within, or to accompany heavy drugs, Lullabies puts forth farts to provoke blah blah.

The following is the ultimate soundtrack for your weekend/work week to provide all the accompaniment you need for your day or evening activities.

Prophet Omega

Desert & beach bound visions from Prophet Omega, oka Joe Magistro; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Desert & beach bound visions from Prophet Omega, oka Joe Magistro; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Joe Magistro, aka Prophet Omega, has been working on his album Going Out To Slab City, sharing the debut of “On The Beach”, a cover of Neil Young’s classic coast-side single. Taking on the Topanga Canyon style of cosmic LA, to the heights of the Catskills, Mountains of New York (where he resides); Young’s original becomes opened up in new electric ways with Rhodes key inclusions and expanses that encompasses the essences of the coast-to-coast seas and all the rolling hills, and valleys in-between.

“The world is turning,” Joe sings, “I hope it don’t turn away,” reciting the book-ending lyrics penned by the Canadian-American modern pop music master. Magistro allows almost each and every involved individual instrumental note to breathe, and slowly provide all the resonance it can muster. Between the chords and the organ notes, the everyday world can heard as if in the background while an afternoon to sunset day spent at the beach mentally blocks out the crowds-if but for the duration of the song. Prophet Omega’s musical work sounds like a series of dialogues held between respective instruments, where the artist steps back and lets the music speak and sing for itself like autonomous audio entities. Joe Magistro shared the following insights on the cover with the following words:

Neil Young’s “On The Beach” has to be one of my all time favorite albums.

We started playing On The Beach on our 2014 tour opening for Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes. One of my songs, “The Day The Radio Died”, ends on the same chord that starts On The Beach. During rehearsals I couldn’t help but go right into it.

For that whole summer those songs back to back as a 12 minute odyssey became a fan favorite.

We tracked this version mostly live with an overdub or two in our living room.

We Are Temporary remixed Kesha’s “Die Young” now with 100% zero contributions from Dr. Luke. Mark Roberts here further adapts the subtle dimensions of his style in slight sorts of manners that allows Kesha’s treated vocals a chance to breath in an atmospheric-electronic stew.

Our PDX friends Summer Cannibals announced this past week that their third album Full Of It will be available May 27 from their new home via Kill Rock Stars. Their new single “Go Home” finds Jessica Boudreaux delivering an even tougher attitude and sound that flings off all niceties with snarling lyrical shrug of whatever that tells the haters to get the hell away.

Como, Mississippi’s The Walker Family has a history that runs deep. The elder Robert Walker sang with Fred McDowell, Sam Cooke, and more in the 60s and on May 18 their debut album Panola County Spirit will see release via Daptone Records where timeless, family heirloom spirituals sing out chants, calls, and responses that prove that all river channels point to the Mississippi Delta & surrounding communities. “Jesus Gave Me Water” that booms with the power of a modern day walking with Jesus church baptismal that could be conducted in a lake by a chapel, or a bathtub, a pool, a hot tub, or just a hole in the ground made in the hopes and faith for some kind of renewal.

In sadder Help Yourself Records news, say goodbye to Ubu Roi who mutually are breaking-up but were sweet enough to present us with the parting gift of their new album Slave to the Riff. As you have come to expect from the Seattle quartet, the title track, rippers like “Baby King”, “The Prophecy”, “Ride the Cosmos”, and more showcase how much more fight and talent these dudes posses. Regardless of the various circumstances of going, leaving, moving on; let’s hope Ubu Roi reunites for the sake of fans like us that will only continue to love them in absentia.

Oregon’s Danny McGrath dropped some “California”-dreaming with the west coast state of mind single. The young artist utilizes the mythic state to represent something out of a decadent movie or prime time television show, as understated electronic impulses bubble throughout the mix.

Meet Sweden by Berlin’s new pop madam Adiam, readying her forthcoming EP2 produced by Dave Sitek of TV on The Radio, available March 25. On the single “Quiet Desperation”, Adiam depicts the inner silent frantic and panic experienced deep inside and kept like a secret. The game of concealing vulnerability and any hints of weakness is spelled out with the most illustrious synths that sparkle and dazzle in restrained tones and pensive keys.

Migrant Kids’ upcoming album Primordial Soup will be available May 13 via Pure Joy and we bring you the home-cam-recorded video from Sledge TV filmed in Laredo, TX for the anxious fabrics that comprise “Thread”, edited by Rudy Murillo. Experience the fuzzy throwback visuals combined with the peppy rhythm guitar licks and delivery of emotive longing.

Los Rakas returns to their alma mater in a performance of “Pegaito” live at Ex’pression College’s SSL9000J studio space (as part of the college’s Artist in Residence series) featuring Stylo and Dame Drummer. Los Rakas deliver their signature future forward Latin inflected styles that holds tight to their Bay Area roots.

Peep the POP ETC video for “Please, Don’t Forget Me” featuring home video captured memories of memories and more to compliment the big electric pop sound off their recently released album Souvenir. The song & video together is a forget me not for the best of friends and lovers alike to hold close to their respective hearts like a pendant or locket.

LA three-piece Tennis System return with the first listen from their forthcoming third album available this summer with the journey-seeking sound and dream-dazed sort of serenity on “Here We Go”. The “here we go again” feelings, thoughts, and situations are told in honest manners while familiar towering vision chords ring outward from the hearts, through the XLR cables, pre-amps, mixing boards, through more cables, and then straight into your ear & unconscious.

Behold Zach Meyer’s video for “That Life” from Photoreal, that takes you through all the awkward prom motions as if this was an after-school movie or television drama. The transfixed and nervous exchanges are underscored by Photoreal’s synth and guitar rhythms that depict how these moment resonate down the line.

Check out the track “Predictions” courtesy of Stockholm rockers Pinemen available now via Punk Slime Recordings. The riffs got the raucous tight punch with a delivery of freewheeling great times with a harmony to melody structure that makes this one instantly one for the jukebox ages.

Listen to the tranquil and subdued sounds from Nearly Oratorio’s (oka Simon Lam from Kllo and the late I’lls) organic mind-meditating single “Tin”, taken from the artist’s upcoming EP available April 11 from Solitaire Recordings. Listen as those early morning motions & rituals of making coffee & breakfast are provided with an apropos soundtrack that conjures in audio those day break acts and arts.

Playing tour dates with Frightened Rabbit from March 16 through July 17, hear Caveman’s no turning back steadfast reckoning on the single “Never Going Back” of forward walking ways and vibes from their upcoming third album Otero War, available this summer via Cinematic.

YAWN’s Adam Gil returns under his solo moniker Dam Gila with the forthcoming album EP Face the Sun available April 1 via Joyful Noise, delivering the fiery pop single “What a Fire”. Adam offers up some festival ready sounds that we look forward to enjoying beneath a spring or summer’s sky.

Gláss from Athens, Georgia will be touring from March 24 through April 3, and we bring you a listen to their recent Post-Echo album, Accent. Listen to songs of alienation, to songs grappling with feelings of isolation, identity, and attachments from Aaron Burke, Ary Davani, & Sam Goldsmith.

Hear Bantug’s new single “Circles” that seeks to break the cycles, featuring mixing work from Les Priest of LANY that furthers the emotive aspects of the song in fuller sonic form. Listen as the track rises larger and stronger out of the face of all fears and obstacles.

Lily & Madeleine’s album Keep It Together is available today via New West Records, and we deliver a listen to the lush sentiments and melodies hemmed from the Jurkiewicz sisters’ hearts.

From Princess Century’s DJ alter ego; Maya Postepski presents her latest mix “Softer 4.0 // Full Moon // Warm Breeze” that Maya introduced with the following, “for your full moon experience”:

And more from Maya as she presents her freshest Princess Century single “Robber”, that purloins some of the choicest big simmering synths around taken from her forthcoming Rendezvous EP available March 25 from Paper Bag Records. This is that super sick big electro beat for those electronic lovers of discerning taste.

Holland’s Wantigga launches the EP Pillow Talk via French-label Roche Musique, sharing the ultra chill tripping track for your weekend endeavors “Stonecold”. Featuring vocals from New Zealander Sacha Vee, ice cold conflicts of interest play out in a wave of feelings, and electro-infused expressions aplenty.

Helsinki’s Feels drop their debut EP March 1 and we bring you an advance listen to the electro pop group’s bouquets of bliss & natural seasonal shimmer of beauty with Butterflies. Frontwoman Sofi Meronen sings out pop tapestries further elaborated on by Mikael Myrskog’s keys, and Jooel Jons’ production through five songs to tide you over during the unruly cycles of winter. The great Feels synth pop show commences with “Paperhouse”, the spring desires of “I Wished For Butterflies”, to the evening allusions of “If You’d Meet Me Tonight”, continuing down the keyboard rows on “Smoke Signals”, to the future chamber pop channels found on the closer “Next Time”. Feels keep you entertained, enthralled, and enticed into their wonderland of wow awaiting word of a full-length.

Starchild & the New Romantic, fronted by Brnndon Cook dropped the hazy rhythm, blues, & beats on “Woman’s Dress” off the upcoming Crucial EP available March 18 from Ghostly. Romantic songs of affection and sensual interludes are cast like a spring breeze and that earthy aroma from the foliage that signals hints at the forthcoming summer season.

Gold Panda’s new album Good Luck and Do Your Best will be available May 27 from City Slang, delivering the Ronni Shendar visuals for the single “Time Eater”. Metropolitan images of city life shopkeepers to subway sectors provide visual environments for GP’s organic and understated electronic pulsing audio scores that soundtrack & mirror our day and night realities.

Check out the single “Body” that advocates to listen to somatic impulses implied by the cool-cruising-crooning from Bassh, comprised of Jimmy Brown and Matrimony’s CJ Hardee. The synths and sentiment lingers onward and forward with that contemporary production style.

Get electrified with Maszer as they deliver an offering from their upcoming debut EP DREAMSZ (available March 18) with “Pandora’s Box”. The song’s slacker-psych merits walk with a stoned early Oasis swagger, with the righteousness and radical swagger of Lush to Nashville contemporaries Nudity / Pangs. Let Maszer help you open up your third eye proper.

South Of France pay an homage to the films of Wes Anderson in the background settings & costumes in the video for their euphoric single “Washed Up”.

Ali Beletic brings some rumbling and roaring road tribal thunders with the single “Stone Fox” found off the upcoming album Legends of These Lands Left To Live available June 17 from Lightning Records. Listen as music lifted from the dusty trail follows the crooked, winding paths pursuing life, liberty, happiness, and a special someone waiting down there at the end of the line, or the horizon’s vanishing point.

Mara Simpson’s upcoming debut album available this May inspired by the city and people of Berlin, namely a 77 year old woman who discovered a certain sort of freedom in 1961 after climbing out of a window. On the show of energy and spirit on “Keep Holding On”, Mara is joined by guest vocalist Ben Ottewell, percussionist Chris Boot, Jamie Patterson on bass duties, with Tim Bidwell on various miscellaneous instruments. The result becomes a collaborative revival that seeks a kind of supernatural event that extends and exists somewhere, some place beyond the snake oil pitching pulpit preachers.

For those looking for some symphonic choral pieces to share the sights and sounds of your environment, then we recommend the Champ Ensminger video for Zach Cooper’s “Us” that features dark evening odysseys to play throughout the song’s suites, and passages of movement. From the upcoming album The Sentence available March 18 from Styles Upon Styles, Cooper presents various solo compositions, vintage demos, work with the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble, and more.

Iceland’s Samaris will release their album Black Lights June 10 via One Little Indian, and we give you their first single sung in English with “Wanted 2 Say”, where expressions are cast forth from the keyboard synth glow. The follow up to the group’s 2014 album Silkidrangar; let Jófríður guide you through their drum & bass jungle gyms of rythms and reflections.

White Lung’s new album Paradise is available May 6 from Domino, and we got video for”Hungry” directed by Justin Gradin, written by Mish Barber-Way, starring Amber Tamblyn, along with members of Deafheaven and Deap Valley. Condensed milk mayhem, poolside antics, and haunted visions all collide into a glamorous world of wanton weirdness.

Sau Poler presents a listen off his upcoming Atomnation EP Memorabilia available 29 and we bring the latest from the Catalan based producer marries keys created from his Fender Rhodes, Arp Odyssey, to an array of arpeggiating beats as heard on “Jaffe House”. The soundtrack for a film or elaborate video game is created before your very ears and mind as the synths collect together like particles creating an even larger and more gigantic entity of sound.

Bay Area’s King Woman, aka Kristina Esfandiari presents the latest from her other labor of love, Miserable that provides some of the artist’s most powerful work yet heard on the single “Oven” from the upcoming album Uncontrollable available April 29 from The Native Sound. The states of confusion, matters of emotion and urgencies that spiral out of the securities that control offers are placed upon a saddened stage adorned by restrained reverberations of weeping, wailing, moaning, & murmuring guitars.

Also available from The Native Sound on April 22; hear Plastic Flowers’ ultra-jangle-pop single “Diver” off the upcoming album Heavenly that makes 2016 feel like the DIY corners of 1986.

Continue to ride your heart out with Bleached with the big epic ultra-glamor garage pop of “Wednesday Night Melody”, taken from their forthcoming album Welcome The Worms available April 1 from Dead Oceans. Promises of spring and summer sensations simmer with super-charged 70s style anthem attitudes with the most catchy chorus heard in a minute that goes; “come on boy dry your eyes, it’s good to feel just a little alive, drag a needle on the groove today and waste away, just waste away…”

The (Hypothetical) Prophets‘ delivered some contemporary nouvelle vague visuals and sax-brass snazz with “Wallenberg”, off the forthcoming Around The World With album available March 4 via InFiné. Perfect for those fancy sophisticated weekend dinner parties with your arty friends.

In case you missed it, don’t miss the b-side of G-Eazy’s “The Otherside” ft. Liphemra that showcases the rising LA vocalist/artist/arranger/drummer/visionary turning every track she’s featured into gold. Stay tuned for Liphemra’s forthcoming single available in April.

Liphemra’s Week in Pop

"Even after the tears..." The world of Liphemra; photographed by Arvida Bystrom.

“Even after the tears…” The world of Liphemra; photographed by Arvida Bystrom.

LA’s rising icon Liphemra, aka Liv Marsico, made her name as one of the most sought after percussionists around to quickly becoming an artist of multiple disciplines. From directing videos, guesting on various tracks, arranging, writing, singing, to making zines, and more, Liphemra is readying a new single to arrive in April, but first presents her following Week in Pop guest selections:

A bit older but I love spooky black…especially this track which is the intro to his album. He works with a lot of great producers too.

Liphemra; photographed by Arvida Bystrom.

Liphemra; photographed by Arvida Bystrom.

I really like DIIV! 🙂

liphemra week in pop 11

A great road song…

The first listen to Liphemra's upcoming mixtape, photographed by Pretty Puke.
Liphemra; photographed by Pretty Puke.

Last but not least!

Follow Liphemra via Twitter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
Impose Main