Week in Pop: Bad Cop, Cheerleader, Février, Nicholas Fisher

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With Concord America, Dead Dawn, Deperuse, Heal Craves, Leisure, Megan Vice, co-curated by Michael Durek.

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Sjimon Gompers | November 28, 2014

Introducing Lathrop/Stockton's rising secret weapon—Nicholas Fisher.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, everywhere, as Impose’s Week in Pop partakes in the season of giving, by sharing with you what tomorrow has in store. We survived a seriously hectic holiday week [where to begin, right?]; we looked to Killer Mike’s pre-show speech in St. Louis for words of power, dissent, and pure motivation; noticed that Prince deleted his Facebook and Twitter; Sky Ferreira is said to be working with Charli XCX and Primal Scream, performs Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love collaboration cover of “Asking For It” with bf Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV; we caught Lil B’s freestyle & lecture at MIT; heard about an authorized Kurt Cobain documentary is in the works; or Morrissey’s recent abrupt show endings in both east and west Europe on account of over-zealous fans; but send your prayers to Creed’s Scott Stapp who has fallen on hard times, while Kim Dotcom too is evidently broke; and Billy Corgan continues his Anderson Cooper beef via these t-shirts seen on the merch table at Chicago’s Thalia Hall.

But today, we’re going all out. Introducing the grand debut of Nicholas Fisher, world exclusives from Cheerleader, Bad Cop, Février, Heal Craves, Leisure, Megan Vice, Dead Dawn, Cleveland’s Quality Time Records, Concord America, Deperuse, co-curated by Michael Durek, and more. In no particular order…

Nicholas Fisher

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Nicholas Fisher, otherwise known as Nicholas Coleman is Lathrop’s rising artist formally tied to the who’s who of the Stockton power clique living next door. A multitalented instrumentalist with a gift of gab and mic management, his creative works are closely connected to the tight ensemble of Craft Spells’ Justin Paul Vallesteros, MLTD’s Logan Wells, Satan Wriders/Baseball Gregg’s Sam Regan, John Steiner, Eli Wrengin, Surf Club’s Frankie Soto, photographer Young Wes, and Kenny Yates, among numerous others. Lately the Nicholas Fisher project has been picking up steam with the recent slate of singles appearing on his Bandcamp page, but we’ll return to that in a moment.

The 2014 summer provided a creative window where Nicholas was juggling work in local projects and on a slate of recordings with Justin Vallesteros in the downtime between the eventful tours promoting the Nausea album. Among productions posted on the JPV collective Soundcloud accounts Glass Mural and Dreamworks Logo; recent production sessions yielded the sun-blazed spring meets summer-porch conversations of, “Jank Spring”. Repping that Soft Touch signature style, it was here where Nick’s select collections of dialogues were put on display in a stream of under-slept states of mind that correlate like aphorisms picked up from left off topics that marinate in the downtempo dreamscapes supplied by Justin and friends. Summers and springs past get re-evaluated with a matter-of-factness where Fisher talks a variety of topics that covers past liaisons to prospects of maintaining game with a mixture of humor, humility, and boasts with the skills to back it up.

But the real introduction to the world of Nicholas Fisher came in the form of the fresh video for “Thank You”, otherwise noted as “~$$NCThankU$$~”. Once again, that Soft Touch signature on the bell-reverberating cloud zaps bring Nick’s self-described “new world order” with visuals that pay homage to a posse that include cameos from Frankie, Justin, Kenny, Logan, and more in an exclusive view into that #YUNG STKTN lifestyle. Nick takes you everywhere from the local sports pub, crafting bedroom recordings with Justin and Kenny, rolling aimlessly around grocery stores, ogling at festival stage twerkers, pulling pranks on each other, trashing each other’s records, while still rolling deeper than ever. VHS porno cuts are brought into the mix, with Animal Crossing RPG defacements, featuring Logan and Nick shotgunning cans of highlife, among aimless drives along the late-night suburban streets. The production crashes together in a post-genre effect of post-post-modern melanges of sounds that create feelings of boosted confidence and esteem of creative peers and roughshod team of self-appointed leaders.

Found on Nick’s Bandcamp, check out the Monte Carlo riding bossiness of “Plaxico”. In bars like colloquial quips, Fisher dishes out collar-popped boasts that wrap in pop cultural references from Keanu Reaves, Michael Jordan, to wordplay of wrestling icons and ethics in lines like; “I am the Iron Sheik, if you talk that shit I’ll probably turn the other cheek because I’m a pacifist.” Yet the song itself finds Nicholas imagining himself in the role of troubled wide receiver Plaxico Burress, providing a creative fan-fic ode that describes the inner monologues and ego of the football star. After the jump, be sure to check out our following interview with Nicholas Fisher himself.

As a multi-talented musician on guitar and drums, when did you first realize your inner voice, as either a singer or emcee?

I think I was a freshmen or sophomore in high school. I stole my brothers Wu-Tang Forever CD, it was a double album but for some reason he only had the first disc. I believe the first song was “Triumph”, arguably the best WU song ever. I remember it being one of the first times I took Adderall. I listened that song over and over, for hours. After a handful of listens I started writing to the small pieces of instrumentals. I’m sure whatever I wrote was wack.

Your style is incredibly unique as it weaves between the conversational, the colloquial, and the unexpected poetics. What do you feel are some of the common threads between these different approaches and more that go into your own delivery?

I’m sure just comes from me being embarrassed of all the silly shit I say. So I mumble, and shy away from saying those things audibly. I don’t feel like a real rapper, probably because I still play other shit. It’s difficult to claim one thing over the other. It’s nice having options.

Are you more of a fan of the pre-written/pre-meditated verses or do you prefer to just go off the brain, freestyle?

I feel like any fan or appreciator of rap can write a few bars. Freestyle-ing is something that shows true proficiency. I think of it as being on par with the improv skill of a jazz musician. Like any decent player knows a handful of standards, but only truly talented people can improv and do it with style and rhythm, as if they’ve been playing those phrases for a lifetime.

Between your home stomping grounds of Lathrop and Stockton, describe the best day imaginable, begin from sunrise to sunset.

It’s hard to say, because I often get in moods to where I all I want to do is sit at home. When I’m not in that head space, making music for no real purpose. That’s when I have the most fun.

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The Stockton area gets such a bad rep, but can you share some of the finer qualities Stockon/Lathrop that folks don’t understand or know about outside of town?

Stockton is a place that has really aesthetically pleasing areas and areas that are completely fucked. I’ve lived in both. One year my house got broken into the day before Thanksgiving then my car got stolen that Christmas. So fucked, but that being said, Stockton can make you create your own entertainment. There’s nothing to do here… I think we’re creating out of pure boredom.

Tell us a bit about the creative process between Justin Vallesteros’ production and your own books of lyrical verse that you both bring to the table.

Justin brings a total honest point of view to the project. We’ve done so much music together now that I think about it. It’s hard to completely explain the musical connection. The strange thing is that we have such different taste in most things, but it works somehow. The dude makes cool shit, that’s it. I trust him and Gas Prices.

Favorite recording stories?

The first time I ever recorded was in ’07 or ’08 with JPV and our boy Ryan Larson. Ryan and I started a duo called The Elitist that didn’t really do much, but it was a really good experience. We did two songs with Justin engineering. He’s always been good at the whole production thing.

Favorite brainstorming session?

I hate brainstorming. I hate the word brainstorm. I can’t pinpoint why, but anytime I sit down and say, “Hey Nick, it’s time to come up with the best shit ever,” I can’t come up with shit. Something about feeling forced or pressured. I shut down.

Favorite song, album, book, movie, of the moment that you have found to be the most inspiring to you lately?

The Flying Lotus record is perfect. I’ve been listening to that a lot lately while I’m at work. Also the Freddie Gibbs and Madlib album Piñata is insane.

Nick busting out his Ian MacKaye impression.

Nick busting out his Ian MacKaye impression.

Stockton maintains a special tight clique of longtime friends, childhood friends, best friends for life, and a special support system that feels very different and unique from other communities. Why do you feel that is, and what is it about all these collaborative endeavors that contribute to the collective as a unified whole?

The squad is tight but a bit unorganized. I feel like everyone thinks they’re a chief, no one wants to be an Indian, and rightfully so, I guess. It’s strange how many truly talented individuals there are in Stockton. I feel like the right person could lead Stockton into being recognized and respected musically as much Seattle, San Francisco or Los Angeles. I think we all could benefit from a personality like that.

Other recordings in the works?

I’m mostly waiting on beats and writing right now. I’ll probably start recording in December.

Words of wisdom, insights for the future?

Buy a lot of canned foods and ammo. Dig a hole big enough to fit you and your family in, and always hope for the best.

Keep up with all Nicholas Fisher releases via Bandcamp.

Bad Cop

Sticking it to the man, it's Nashville's one and only, Bad Cop.

Sticking it to the man, it’s Nashville’s one and only, Bad Cop.

We had ourselves a real good time with Bad Cop’s album release of Wish You Well… And Goodbye, keeping up with Nashville’s real-life dukes of hazard, we now proudly present the premiere of the Tim Nackashi video for the titular and tubular cut, “Wish You Well”. Following the antics, evolution, and anecdotes of main-man Adam Christopher Moult and the Jeffrey Drag Records imprint, we got a video of Sasquatch-sized proportions with further words from Mr. Moult about the bright future that awaits in 2015.

The world premiere of Tim Nackashi’s video for Bad Cop’s “Wish You Well” interprets the herky-jerky thrash single as the soundtrack for a short piece about a Sasquatch-like mountain man who goes about his life in the wilderness as a spectacle for the outside world to ogle at. The Converse Rubber Tracks-recorded cut of well wishes becomes a theme of sorts for the video’s great unwashed protagonist. While the video indulges in the humor of the idea of “what if Bigfoot was a bro,” it establishes the complexities of emotions felt by the mud-bathed character. Beginning the morning by gargling his own urine from a mason jar, he spends his day chasing off nosy poachers, rocking out with some primitive headphones, and banging around pots and pans. The softer side of the rough, rugged, rural, and misunderstood mountain man is also addressed: A flashback shows the hairy beast presenting a birthday gift to a former girlfriend that is not up to expectation, and the lingering gaze on a television anchor who discovers a connection with the bush dwelling man-beast. After she too is christened in mud, the heartbreak finale is tied into the limitless gaze of our gruff protagonist as he watches their words drift apart as she departs in our sporty convertible.

What first inspired to make a video about a rural, mountain dwelling, Bigfoot kind of character?

Well the song, lyrically, is about feeling like an alien almost, like someone who wants to cut up their credit cards, and burn the bills, and just say “F*ck it” and go live off the world. It implies a feeling of “I am trying, but I just can’t do this” in referral to the 9-to-5 world.

We were lucky enough to have the opportunity for Converse to hire Tim Nackashi to make us this video. He came up with the concept. He did a good job of capturing the idea behind the lyrics and translating it into a funny visual. But yes, essentially this is how the video for “W-Y-W” came together. A big thank you to Jess Oldham at Converse and Tim Nackashi for helping this come to light.

I like how much character development there is from the flashbacks of Bigfoot’s break-up, to making a romantic connection with the television anchor, while trying to freak out the locals all the while. What was pre-production and filming this like?

Once again, we were not on set. In the words of Noel Gallagher, “Video’s can be a real boring mess, mate.” So I was all about letting them handle the filming aspect of the band. I love to write idea’s for the visual (videos), but am not big on acting in them, nor rubbing mud all over myself, so I liked this process. I am sure their pre-production was loaded with fun though as there is a lot of hilarious moments in this video.

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Do you believe in these Bigfoot types of creatures?

I don’t really know… I guess I do in a way? Ha ha. I believe things exist out there that we don’t know about, but as far as big foot, I don’t know. Maybe aliens.

Best advice for what one should do if they should find themselves face to face with the missing link?

I guess if I were to help someone who was standing in their own way, I would tell them to separate themselves from life for a moment. Sometimes in this 247, 7 days a week culture you can loose yourself. Especially with social media, and people crafting their image via FB and such, people just get lost in plain reality. I think it is crucial to take a step back, and just live for a moment. Usually in times of solidarity, problems are fixed without nearly as much effort as when you were actively trying to fix everything around you.

Emerging out of the shadows, it's Bad Cop, photographed by Andrew Pearson.

Emerging out of the shadows, it’s Bad Cop, photographed by Andrew Pearson.

Nashville holiday plan for Bad Cop and friends?

Sleeping and recording. I made myself a promise that this year I would make a solo LP, so a full eight songs, over Christmas time. So that’s my schedule.

Trying to race the clock of life! Haha. And obviously spending some time with the family. I got a little brother who is in his first year of college, and it’s beautiful seeing him grow up and be so happy. So spending some quality time with him will be awesome!

2015 preview of what’s in store for Bad Cop, Jeffrey Drag Records, and such?

The 2015 preview of JDR and BC holds a good bit in store! We will be launching a couple more “Drag Series Singles”, even one coming up from Manchester, UK’s The Slovaks, as well as Penicillin Baby’s debut album, some more rolling papers from Twin Peaks (my favorite “current” band that is out right now) and some mixtapes/LP from the new Nashville hip hop sensation BZRK. I am excited to introduce Pbaby and BZRK to the world as I feel both of these bands will make their mark in the musical world for good. They are both sooo talented.

Adam, you’re a hero!

That is a flattering compliment! I hope I am a good example for you *smiley emoji thing* , ha ha.

Bad Cop’s Wish You Well…And Goodbye is available now from Jeffrey Drag Records.

Cheerleader

Cheerleader celebrates the harvest season in a pumpkin patch, taken by a librarian at a pumpkin patch near Lake Michigan.

Cheerleader celebrates the harvest season in a pumpkin patch, taken by a librarian at a pumpkin patch near Lake Michigan.

Philadelphia’s Cheerleader released their On Your Side EP on Bright Antenna Records, and now debut the J£zus Million remix of their big stadium anthem single, “On Your Side”. The song of coupling and camaraderie is given the new additions of emotive charged synths that reel off the recorded celluloid textured tape spools along a sequence of sparse, but precise electronic percussion. Cheerleader’s squad team of Joe Haller, Chris Duran, Josh Pannepacker, Carl Bahner and Paul Impellizeri’s title track of tight embraces and unbreakable bonds are painted by J£zus Million’s emotional air of unmatched affections.

Keyboards curate the exasperated Earth that “On Your Side” becomes, where the ground that Cheerleader have broken are brought into the anticipatory arena of sustained choral keys. The recited words of a kindred lover are echoed in the repeated-reaffirmations that surface about J£zus Million’s remix of bold, but restrained rushes of hushed electro oceans. “I’m on your side, wrong or right, I’ve been on your side, all this time…” The Philly group’s ultimate maximalist love note is met with alternate undercurrents that send out samples of connective conations that match together the greatest alliances of all time. The meeting of Cheerleader with the Boston bombast of J£zus Million brings the wide-eyed and open heart optimism of the Philly gang with the new-tectonic electrics found on Million’s Error EP from The Full Hundred. We had an opportunity to talk with Cheerleader about the new remix, the EP, and what’s next in the new year—all after the following premiere.

How do you all feel that “On Your Side” was effected through the synth-tripping cinematic turn-up from the J£zus Million remix?

It’s definitely a different take on the song. We’re psyched that someone felt like they wanted to remix one of our songs. That song for us is very much an anthemic pop/rock song, so it was interesting to hear it done in a different, downtempo electronic kinda way.

Tell us what sorts of feelings, thoughts, and the like went into recording the original version of “On Your Side” from the On Your Side EP for Bright Antenna.

Joe wrote a bulk of the song structure/chords and lyrics on his own, and then he and Chris worked together to flesh out the rest of the arrangement for an early demo. Then we reworked it again to play it live with the rest of dudes, and finally a fourth time when we recorded it with Mark Needham in Los Angeles. So it’s definitely gone through a lot of changes since the original concept. The song about that person who is always there for you, for better or worse, so we tried to convey that sentiment while recording each step of the way.

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Can you describe what the making of the On Your Side EP was like, and how the group has shifted from it’s original version into a larger incarnation?

These songs were written over the course of probably four or five years, so a lot went into it even before we stepped into the studio in LA. It was a somewhat jarring transition at first, to be working with a new group of people. There is certainly a dynamic shift going from working with two people to working with five. And it took us long time to even find the right people—we wanted not only good players and creative minded individuals, but people that we hoped we could count as friends. We couldn’t be happier with the way things are progressing. Josh, Paul and Carl (the newest members of the group) are a huge asset, and have become our closest friends. At this point we couldn’t imagine a Cheerleader without them. We are looking forward to all growing together, and making cheerleader the best band that it can be.

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Can you all give us some notes from the Philadelphia patchwork of scenes? Always awesome, and wonderful things happening around there.

Yeah, I mean there are so many cool bands in Philly right now, and we’re just happy to be able to be a part of the flourishing music scene. Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Modern Baseball are some obvious ones. The punk scene seems to be blossoming here as well, but we’re unfortunately not really playing any of those basement shows. We just moved to Fishtown too, which is a super cool neighborhood here in Philly. There’s definitely an awesome sense of community in general around here, and we’re just glad to be a part of it.

Notes and anecdotes from the current tour? 2015 prospects?

The current tour wrapped about a month ago. We did two legs, one in the Midwest and one on the East Coast. We had a great time for sure, aside from our brilliant idea to drive straight from Omaha to Philadelphia. But yeah it was super fun, we met some awesome people, and Knox Hamilton and Colony House are just pros on stage and so we learned a lot from them as well. I think 2015 will involve a lot of time on the road, playing as many shows as we can for as many people as we can. We’ve just started to write some new songs, develop some new material, which is nice after having taken a little creative break to recharge our juices. So we’ll just be working on putting some new songs together, and hopefully making a trip out west to play some shows for the golden coast. We’re really honored and humbled by the response we’ve gotten so far, and we just hope to get our music out to as many ears as possible.

Cheerleader’s On Your Side EP is available now from Bright Antenna Records.

Février

Boulder, Colorado's Connor Etges, aka Février.

Boulder, Colorado’s Connor Etges, aka Février.

Boulder, Colorado’s Connor Etges has been creating some of the most gorgeous and intriguing textures of audio under the name Février for the past seven years now. Counting the beguiling flow of the new-ambient pop of White Hills EP, the lauded album The Lover, the conceptual framework of The Trembling Giant, among a wealth of releases.

Finishing his latest album, Honey; we are privileged to present the first listen to the beautiful percolating single, “Philomela”. Taking it’s name from the tragic Greek mythological daughter of King of Athens, Pandion I; the violent myth of the nightingale becomes softly sung songs of lamentation and allusions to ethereal realms. The electronic ebb of soft edits is met with field sounds rustling tree branches and loops of running creek water, painting a river to serenely float the songcraft of “Philomela” into the strongest production vessels heard yet from Février. From the extensive self-recorded/self-released output from Etges, the concepts and methods of production become more codified like bodies and voices that materialize, and become flesh from the unseen invisibility of formations made out of the air, and out of the deep blue Colorado skies. Immediately following the debut of the ethereal majesty of “Philomela”, we share a few words with Connor Etges.

Give us the story on how you would want the Février movie biopic to be directed.

Oh gosh, I feel like it’d be a boring film, like there’s not a whole lot of exciting behind-the-scenes action, unless you consider sitting in front of a computer and listening to the same two bars of music over and over again exciting. Most of the creative process takes place when I’m alone and pensive, so it’d probably be a journey into the mind sort of thing, with a whole lot of bad CGI. I’d probably want Adrien Brody to play me though, not because I look anything like him, but because he’s a dreamboat.

How did Février first begin?

Back in high school I was in a little musical act with a friend of mine called 34, and we made the exact kind of music that you’d expect from a couple of angst-y nerdy teenagers. Most of it was just weird and dark for the sake of being weird and dark, and we kept using the amen break when it was absolutely not appropriate. I think we both wanted to stray away from that sound by the end of high school, but we had different ideas of what we wanted to do, like he wanted to lean more toward hip-hop, and I was looking to write tunes that were more upbeat and natural feeling. The first couple releases I put out under the moniker are a little tough to listen to, but I’m glad they happened for the sake of getting where I am now.

When you hear your earlier track “Held” next to your new work like “Philomela”, what kind of growth and creative evolution do you note?

There’s definitely growth as a producer between the two songs and their respective albums, like I find myself wanting to remaster and re-release The Lover every time I listen back to it. I feel like my style’s gotten a little more concise and detailed over time, and that’s probably because life’s a lot simpler now than it was then. The Lover was written during and just after my first year of college, and more notably around the time I was falling in love with my current partner, so there was definitely a ton of fresh experiences in my life to pull inspiration from. I just graduated this past spring, so I’ve just been taking life one day at a time, and writing songs about simpler pleasures, personal emotions, other-wordly stuff, whatever comes to mind.

What has changed for you now about your creative approach?

For just about every one of my older songs, 34 or Février, I can tell you the song or style I was trying to emulate. I was always looking outward for inspiration, and it’s been recently that I’ve started to actually look inward and write songs exploring myself. It’s been pretty therapeutic (scary) and the tunes feel a lot more genuinely personal nowadays. At the same time, and this might sound contradictory, I’ve been learning how to perform my music live over the past year, so the newer songs have a lot more movement to them for the sake of having more to work with when I’m mixing; but I’m hesitant to call the songs dance-able.

How do you set about composing cycles of sound pieces, and how do you feel your meditative and fog commanding tracks interact with other? Like do you consciously set out to create a narrative arc of expression, or create to stir a target feeling?

Songs always start with something like a texture, sample, hook, whatever gets me excited, because things like that have a voice, and if I’m excited to hear it then I love expanding upon it where I can. The process feels like stream of consciousness, where the song grows from a single sample in a direction that keeps me excited. As the song gains structure, I ask myself: What am I trying to say with this tune? What else can I add to keep it all exciting without clashing? If I can’t answer either then it gets set aside until I can. I probably have hundreds of little textural experiments strewn around my computer.

How do you feel that Boulder, Colorado has impacted your own musical perception?

It’s definitely a place where creativity and creative people can thrive. With the college in town, it’s a relief to have things like the college radio station and the on-campus venue. I saw Deakin from AniCo a couple years back, phenomenal show. I’ve met a lot of folks who have great music to share, and musicians who have incredible ideas (my coworker is a member of the Flinching Eye Collective). There’s also a small underground scene loosely dispersed throughout town, and while the network of people is small, there’s a nice sense of belonging to it. Otherwise, Boulder feels normal because I grew up here, but it’s a relaxing place to live and work.

Favorite latest Boulder/Denver acts that you have been enjoying?

Shoeboxx Recordings from Denver just released their second volume in a series of compilations and it’s ambrosia on the ears, for real. I’m particularly fond of their signee Muta; his production is stellar and he’s blown me away both times I’ve seen him live. He’s a humble magician.

2015 plans for Connor Etges, and Février?

Now that Honey is all wrapped up, I’d like to make use of all those aforementioned unused textural experiments by stringing them together into some kind of continuous mix, in which there are no discernible tracks, just separate elements flowing in and out of each other. I’ve been trying to stray away from this silent pressure to make structured songs, and more just a stream of various ideas and fun sounds. I’m pretty excited to see where it goes (you can listen to a demo here). It’s probably going to be called “Sapphire Chamber” but I’ve been told that sounds kind of dorky. Outside of those projects, I’d love to keep inching my way into Denver’s alternative electronic music scene and play some shows!

Listen to more from Février via Bandcamp, and watch out for Honey coming soon.

Heal Craves

Introducing Heal Craves from Mexico City.

Introducing Heal Craves from Mexico City.

From Mexico City, meet Carine Renaud, aka Heal Craves on the premiere of her new single, “Time”. In an economy of electric guitar chords, rhythm section progression structures and over-dubbed atmospheres—Carine’s voice emerges from the mix of shadowy echoes and towers like a presence that transcends the conventions of clocks, breaking the monetized increments of moments that idly tick away. Renaud can be heard like an empress who has surpassed the vases, vessels, and instruments that count the seconds, minutes, hours, days, and years for a measurement technique that emanates from her vast reaching visions.

“Time” dips the alarm clocks into the hourglass of sand that accumulate the metaphors and metrics that govern work weeks, schedules of sleep, sources of memories, and the sorcery of abstract instances that turn into a new kind of goth-pop reign of gold. The production blur blends the collected elements into an ever changing capsule that catapults yesterday’s moments into the metaphysical superhighways of all the new technological advancements yet to arrive that combine spirituality into a singularity system of the soul’s experiences and expression that are decoded from the unconscious ether of our wildest dreams. We are honored and privileged to present our interview with Carine Renaud, following our premiere of, “Time”.

When did you first begin recording your own music, and how did you come about the working title of Heal Craves?

I started recording my own music 6 years ago in garage band. In a very primitive way I must add. I used to make my beats out of stuff I got in the kitchen and play different rhythms with the wood sticks. I would record the spark igniter switch in the gas stove making patterns to later resample as snares, actually very interesting songs came out at the time from all that experimentation. I’m looking forward to eventually release them at some point or another. That is after dusting them out of my hard drive and adding a nice extra shine to them.

Heal Craves is kind of a self-reminder to me. We tend to avoid going in too deep into ourselves in order to determine what is that we lack that precisely fuels our most inner cravings. In my opinion, the process of making music or any expression of art has the power to heal those craves, our twisted obsessions, our darkest needs, and even our most trivial concerns. You very much get to know yourself better in the process, you spend time with your ideas. I think every great artist is always finding new ways to make sense out of themselves, even if they aren’t aware of it.

Give us the story on the clock-stopping hypnotic drift of “Time”. How did you make this echoing, experience that transcends space and time itself?

It was actually a song lost in time; I started the track a couple of years ago and had completely forgot about it since. Literally, I needed to go through very specific feelings and experiences in my life before I could scoop the correct lyrics for the song.
So “time” was a key factor in the song and the lyrics actually embrace the title and it’s true meaning, matching the vibe I was aiming from in the beginning. It was all about time with this one.

In the end, this single is very much about the nostalgia created by the paradigms of time and how sometimes you wish things and people could come back.

What is your approach to home and/or studio recording? There is a real lo-fi glo with a entrancing heart happening here.

Till now it’s been full on home studio recording, I really like the lo-fi sound, I listen to a lot of bands with this kind of sound, It’s like being naked in a way, it sounds so human, you can sense the raw emotions. But I can’t help being attracted to hi-fi productions as well. The palette or spectrum of such productions is also so interesting to listen and analyze. In a way I see it as really carving the diamond out of the rock in order to obtain that sound you’re looking for. So, I guess I’m always trying to find new ways of getting both intentions into the mix as far as my technical possibilities go.

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Can you share words on upcoming recordings?

I’ll be releasing some songs in 2015, they are a little more garage-punk-alternative pop oriented, there’s way more gasoline in the vocals.

The latest haps in Mexico City?

Mexico`s situation is very sad and frustrating. There seems to be a lot of problems to be solved here. Our government doesn’t work for us, neither with us It’s very saddening to face the fact that you can’t look up to your authority figures with respect here. The police are a joke, a very bad one, security is an illusion, we’re all plagued with horror stories everyday and we’re really sick of how’s everything going here in Gotham city. There have been lots of protests lately in the name of freedom and justice. There’s an air of revolution lately.

Its become such a hassle with all these revolts, its kinda chaotic in the streets, more than the usual dose we are accustomed with. But this is necessary because our government will do whatever they want in the end, (For starters, the fact that our votes and words are useless, hence we have a self-elected president (muppet) that is running a t.v. show country in his head.)

Hopefully these words and actions in the streets will contribute to further awake the collective consciousness of people in order for us to evolve together. To be more aware of the kind of citizens we are and we should be. Cause it’s not about only changing our government, but about changing ourselves too, cause the root of all this problematic resides in our own culture and its lack of proper education. We’ve lost our values, which have since spawned such an apathetic perception of our reality and surroundings. Our points of view and moral rejection towards everything is necessary in order to survive. We sway mundanely through fucked up situations, violence and fear. All these means of imposing authority with retarded and primitive ways are hard to digest on a daily basis. So there are so many right reasons why these manifestations are taking place today, and I’ve truly observed a general awakening concerning Mexico’s population, and that’s already a first step in the process.

Other Mexico City artists that need more attention?

Jack and the Ripper and Los Headaches are my favorite Mexican bands, without a doubt.

2015 plans for Heal Craves?

Some new releases and putting up a live show!

Heal Craves’ single “Time” is available now for download via iTunes, courtesy of Manimal Music Group.

Leisure

leisure week in pop gone again cover

We helped introduce you to Jon Jurow’s band Leisure a few weeks back with the video for “Mutual Lies”, as we chronicled the artist’s migration from Portland to Brooklyn. With the release of the Gone Again EP from new indie imprint, Track and Field; we are honored to debut the amped-up chord connectors of, “Through the Wires”, while exploring the electric expanses of the fresh extended player. “Wires” collects the secret lives and experiences that the connective metals could sing about performance, and recording sessions fed through their curled, coils. And as the world of Leisure breaks the chronological conceits of time, the tinny, flanging qualities of the treble to distortion ratios create a disoriented feel of warm signals flowing freely through the narrow corridors of XLR cables, and all the wires that are wrapped up in the way that we make, listen, and enjoy music.

You can also catch the premiere of Leisure’s”Through the Wires” is also available via YouTube:

On our review of the Gone Again EP; The great and wonderful world of Leisure opens up like a hole in the sky on the air surfing guitar wails of, “Soft Focus”. The much loved single “Mutual Lies” officially gets the Gone Again whirlwind spinning, showboated by the rich mastering from Timothy Stollenwerk and Justin Frye. The Northwest big dreaming scheme sound that Jurow masters is met with the NYC street hassle groove on “Street Walk”, before upping the ante, heightening the sonic stakes, and beating the odd ratios on the perception eye-opener, “10:1”. The EU indie pop catalogs and almanacs get ripped wide open on the incredible title track, “Gone Again”, easily worthy of 30+ listens in a row until the sound Leisure-trademarked chugging guitars and wind-tunnel vocals become permanently fixated in the grey matter between the frontal lobes and the cerebellum. “Waiting Room” provides an instrumental loop that lulls you into the bright, Roman baths of captured existence that flow freely through the bright, copper engineering cables on “Through the Cables”. The finale succinct closer “Intent” leaves a whirling authorial stamp of approval and adulation that motions with an instrumental smile of Leisure releases yet to arrive. Jon here as established a defined sound, leaving inklings of interest on what new luxury-lo-fi/ new-fi / fog-fi experiments might be in the cards for 2015, 2016, and so on. Jon described Gone Again to us in the following brief aphorism:

I have no formal understanding of reading or writing music, at first this was only a visual representation of what I see, this was purely escapism from a world I can’t relate to.

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I wanted to share love, though during this process I was overwhelmed with the desire for it all to end and for us to be in a better place, I wanted to make something like the pop records that comforted me in these times.

Hear an exclusive stream of Leisure’s Gone Again EP:


Leisure’s Gone Again EP cassette is available now from Track and Field Records.

Megan Vice

megan vice week in pop

Prepping her second EP for release in 2015, Megan Vice brings the dream haunting single of “Ghost” that breaks the spells, and tries to lift the curses of indelible specters of the past by combating them with future pop sounds. The rhythm and blues from ’80s and ’90s icons of the pop spectrums are summoned forth, as Megan chases out the “Ghost” of yesterday’s papers with her head and heart leaning forward to brighter tomorrows.

On “Ghost”, Megan Vice takes the listener on a tunnel-of-love boat ride that turns into a haunted house. The baggage brought about by others is sorted out, and flung to the waters amid the bouncy defiance of confident bass lines met by keyboard choices the border on cadences of the paranormal. As the keys clang like the pangs of painful and frustrating memories, the synths sweep away the malevolent traces and perdition trails of corrosive influences that over stay the welcome. In the aftermath of temporal trespasses, Vice rises to the occasion as the victor with a style and sound that pushes to the next level tier. Join us after the following listen for our interview with Megan Vice:

Thoughts on the all the latest and greatest movements happening right now?

I have been following the hip-hop movement evolving out of Seattle for a while, and it’s definitely something to watch out for. I was first introduced to the scene a couple of years ago when collaborating with my dude Sam Lachow on his first record “Brand New Bike”. It’s been really exciting to see everything that has grown out of there in just the past few years. Real, raw, art. I think Seattle is doing something big for hip-hop, and I’m excited to see where they take it next.

What is the story of paranormal sentiments and more that make up the electric pop of “Ghost”?

I went through a super shitty breakup last year, and my feelings of the aftermath are the root of this track. “Ghost” is about an unhealthy relationship that haunts you. Being so entranced by the other person that you try to force pieces together that don’t fit. I liked the idea of giving a spooked out vibe to the track because this guy was a real life nightmare for me. It just seemed fitting.

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How did you come about to find your inner voice as a singer?

I really looked up to vocalists like Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera growing up. I thought they were two of the most brilliant voices ever created (because they are!), and wanted to sound just like them. I used to sit in my room and listen to their music over and over and mimic their vocal inflections until I had them perfect. Doing so really solidified the immense love I have for this art form, and my appreciation for pop music.

Other artists on the rise you want to give a shout out to?

No newbies to the scene but, The Knocks! These guys are absolutely crushing it right now. If you aren’t familiar please check them out — but make sure you shine your dancing shoes first because you’ll definitely be needing them. Nu-Disco eargasms all night. Also, Kevin Garrett who co-wrote “Ghost” with me and has the voice of an angel. He just released a new single called “Coloring”, and it is some seriously beautiful stuff. Run a bubble bath, put it on, and prepare to melt. And last but not least, shout out to Gifted Gab! — Showing female rappers how it’s done. She rules.

Any parting hints at what’s next for you and your upcoming EP?

Keep an eye out for it mid 2015! In the meantime I’ll be releasing a couple more singles while playing shows around the NYC area and keeping the funk alive.

Keep up with Megan Vice via Soundcloud and Twitter.

Dead Dawn

China Morbosa and Abilene Fawn of Dead Dawn, photographed by  Shelby Duncan.

China Morbosa and Abilene Fawn of Dead Dawn, photographed by Shelby Duncan.

Dead Dawn recently released their new album for Loose Music / Manimal, seen in the recent LA-cool video for “No Easy Way Out of Hollywood” from Jen Harrington, and now have given us the locale lust of, “Live Near You”. Neighborhood locations are broken down by China Morbosa’s breathy delivery, bringing the “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us” attitude on “Live Near You”, which is enforced by the primal squall and chord grinding machine of Abilene Fawn’s guitar. Morbosa counts off the costs of living in limited, squalid confines in a anarchic anthem that sticks it to the scummy landlords of LA and everywhere. Join us after the listen for our interview with both China and Abilene after the following listen.

What was the inciting event/incident that gave rise to Dead Dawn?

China and Abilene: Dead Dawn started in a dirty, drunken, loud jam in an old loft in Downtown LA with our good friend Amanda Jo Williams. Though we feel the rise of Dead Dawn came into fruition when we started playing with our current bass man, Gabriel Rebagliati and also found our wild man on drums, Dave Vega.

With the holidays among us, what do you both feel are the best campy b-films and the like that are fit for late October, that still go good in November /December to freak out the squares?

China: Pink Flamingo, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, The Decline of Western Civilization.

Abilene: Suburbia (the original), and mostly I’ve been watching serial killer documentaries.

What is the story behind the claw scratching slash, thrash, and trash of your single, “Live Near You”?

China: “Live Near You” is a social commentary song about the absurdity of having to pay to live in a box.

What other recordings are the two of you working on or concocting?

China and Abilene: We have been writing a ton of new material with Gabriel and Dave and are planning on laying down two new tracks in the next few months, “Superstition is gonna bring you down”, and “The Stranger”. Generally excited to record a full length LP because our sound is completely evolving.

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The best things about the LA scene right now?

Abilene: People are sick of the same old shit and are craving anything real or raw or different, which is always inspiring.

China: Tacos and beer!

The worst things about the LA scene right now?

China: Phonies and fakes, pay to plays, the death of the Sunset Strip.

Abilene: A lot of the same.

2015 plan of attack for Dead Dawn?

Record new material, buy a van, tour, keep fighting the good fight.

“When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children listening to people who fucking rocked! I don’t care if they died in pools of their own vomit! I want someone who plays from his fucking heart!” —Bill Hicks

Dead Dawn’s new album is available from Loose Music / Manimal.

Concord America

Concord America, photographed by Jess Williams.

Concord America, photographed by Jess Williams.

Keeping that holiday spirit running wild and free, check out Concord America’s “Put Your Money Down” single, the latest follow-up recording from their Post-Echo release Suns Out Guns Out EP. The riffs and energy keep on raining and raging in a constant stream of amplified aggression and chord-coordinated displays of angst. Putting their money where their mouth is, brothers John and Vinny Restivo and buddy Ben Presley kick up a storm that encourages and inspires anyone and everyone to lay it all down on the line. Get the exclusive scoop from the band, following this listen to their new single:

What’s the latest happenings in the ATL?

The Happy Donut is still open 24 hours a day. Air Force Ones are making a comeback. The Caesar dog is in full swing. Still making $2.13 an hour + tips.

Tell us about what making your Suns Out Guns Out EP was like, and how new recordings like “Put Your Money Down” have been different from previous session?

Recording Suns Out was fun. Vinny drank pickle juice. Drunk fun dudes in the woods. “Put Your Money Down” was different because we worked with an outsider this time, Jesse Mangum, and he killed it. We’re definitely going for a rawer sound, so that was kind of a taste of what we’re going for.

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What are the projected new recordings and releases for 2015 going to be like? Should we expect more of the same attitude and adrenaline like “Put Your Money Down”?

Yes, expect more of that vein. We want the songs to be punchy and raw. Think Rocky III. We want to the songs to sound like they were training in a meat shed and were pulverized with human meat hammers.

How do you guys describe your own creative approaches to songwriting and recording?

Our approach is usually shouting over each other. The loudest person wins, then we move in that direction.

Best ATL artists and groups that haven’t gotten much coverage outside of the local scenes?

Leather Panther is definitely our favorite right now. Shampoo is also a fantastic band. We also love Places to Hide, Zoners, Shepherds, Del Venicci, and of course Chief Scout.

Concord America’s album Suns Out Guns Out is available now from Post-Echo. Stay tuned for more coming soon from the ATL trio.

Deperuse

deperuse week in pop 1

From Windsor Ontario, Canada, meet the floating psych realms of Kevin Echlin and friends who operate under the title of Deperuse, sharing their self-made video for, “Winter Banal Blues”. Here, the washes of snowfalls and blue sentiments are underscored by the icy breeze of crisp guitars that make unexpected chord and key changes right before your very ears and remind you of the cold winters observed from the window on the inside of a cabin where the fireplace is burning bright. We talked to Kevin about the musical project, immediately following the video:

Describe for us what the Windsor Ontario, Canada scene is like.

Windsor Ontario is a strange place. It is nowhere land, but it’s between everywhere. The scene here is really great for such a weird place. It’s a rust belt city. It’s hard to find a job, there is little youth retention, but so much unseen potential.

I find this place the opposite of distracting. It is a place where you can work on things and be alone with the few friends you have. There was always a big punk scene here. Over the years it kind of molded into a punk/hardcore/metal/doom scene. There are some of us that make pop music but it’s not a scene. A really great band, of which some members Deperuse shares is Safe Word.

James O-L and The Villains, The Locusts Have No King, Wasi’Chu, and Worry are all great bands here.

The scene is very contained, a lot of our friends that go to our shows, go to every other show whatever genre it is, and even share members with people in hardcore/folk/pop bands. The community is so small, and you see a lot of folks genre hopping a bit. The amount of places to play shows can be counted on one hand, but it’s kind of a charming thing.

Other Windsor, Ontario artists that deserve more attention?

I was in another band that I created before this one, but I decided to have more control over the sound and quit. I ended up playing improv every Monday night at a bar called Milk. The two people that I met there ended up being in Deperuse. There was always a rotating cast of Windsor folks bringing up different instruments; anyone can join in. We even had a guy with a jaw harp hooked up to an amplifier. But these two guys were kind of the dudes always going to the improv night, always putting on the show. We ended up liking the exact same music, and I shared my album with them to much enjoyment. We even played shows together before Deperuse, in other bands, different acts on the same bill. Monday nights are great, and sometimes we are the only ones there besides the person at the bar.

How did you along with a rotating cast of musician friends first begin Deperuse?

I think I have a bit of musical ADD. I like pop, but I mostly try to create outside of the typical verse chorus song structure. There are some songs where I think its okay, but I get bored easily. Maybe it’s a good problem to have. Recently I’ve enjoyed making cyclical chord structures that resemble sunshine pop. Or introducing other phrases that take the song somewhere completely different. I like if there’s something to grab onto, but I think throwing a wrench in there is lots of fun. Grizzly Bear or Ariel Pink I find are very good at this.

What are you preferred composition methods?

This song came about from the notion that Windsor is a very stretched out city. I grew up in the middle, but I currently live just outside the city. This city was not built for pedestrians to get around. It was built for cars. The song is kind of about the isolation I was feeling, initially because of the distance I felt to my friends and family. Some family had also moved very far away to Alberta. If there was a good example of bad design and urban sprawl in a small city then this place is it. I was feeling isolated because of the distance, but also because I realized that the house I lived at in a certain sub-division, no neighbours were really talking to each other. There was a house fire at some point, and that was the first time I ever saw the neighbours gathering/talking to each other. I thought it was sad, but it was just what I was seeing at the time.

I might add that I was also isolating myself, working full-time, making a record, and falling asleep after the drive home. I must also add that I love my hometown. The people here are what makes this place good.

The making of the song “Winter Banal Blues”, and what is next for for Deperuse?

We have seen some good reactions from some labels so far. There are some that are interested in seeing us play live, so we will invite them out to some shows in Toronto. There will be a mini-tour covering the Windsor to Montreal corridor whether or not someone picks us up right away. We just enjoy playing and creating! The immediate future holds shows and hopefully a proper physical release within some months. New songs are already being written and planned for album number two, but that I will take some time with.

Listen to more from Deperuse via Bandcamp.

Quality Time Records

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Last Monday, November 24; Cleveland based indie record label Quality Time Records released five debut cassettes. All artists and bands involved all share a love for Velvets/Stooges-inspired punk, and a mutual friend in producer, label owner and migrant musician Ricky Hamilton who walked us through the following slate of new releases:

I was extremely lucky to be able to travel the USA and meet so many cool people. I started ripping music for friends in high school illegally.. It’s nice to be able to do that legally and on a larger scale. I love these bands, I know where they are coming from. We’re all well studied musicians. We wear our influences on our sleeves and we know what we like. Real tough sexy music.

Dionysian Mystery

Dionysian Mystery is Carter Luckfield’s new band. I met him when we did Blackbear + The Surf Bums in Nashville. He is one of the most talented guitarists alive. He has an endless flow of smooth, intricate guitar stylings and his recent interest in producing and recording led him to his new alter ego Dionysian Mystery. Along with other musicians and producers in Nashville he crafted an unbelievable cassette. It has brilliant haunting textures, clear nods to influences such as Eno and Scott Walker, and all the fetishism that our label endorses. Listen to his cassette below in any cool setting.

Bad Vibes

Speaking of multi-talented people it’s important to mention that Tennent McCabe of Bad Vibes is the real deal. If you need some proof check out his cassette. His “Lick It” logo by Ben Tipton is legendary, his long blonde hair is gorgeous, and he may have put out the toughest album this year. “Out In The Street” is his post Maybe Baby (Windian Records) debut. It was recorded right before his time in Bare Wires (Castle Face) and subsequent move to Oakland. It was recorded on 4 track during a month layover in Austin, Texas with the help of Austin legend Orville Bateman Neely III and ultimately finished on 8-track by Personal (of Personal and The Pizzas) a classic SF rock n roll group. On the cassette he tips his hat to influences such as Milk “N” Cookies, The Real Kids, and even Rick Springfield and does it in perfect power pop form. Songs like “Trouble” “Dark Places” and “Out In The Street” are must listens although the whole cassette plays like a Ramones or Spits record with short fast songs you’ll find yourself singing along too. Once you hear one you wont want to change the cassette! My personal favorite is “If You Choose” because it’s perfect. Tennent’s songs are well formulated and thought out hits recorded primarily live for full effect. Listen loud and catch Tennent in SF or at SXSW nose deep in some of his own long hair playing some sick punk riffs!

Ma Holos

Ma Holos are one of three Cleveland releases on Quality Time. They are led by super dreamer of the year Robert Moses Joyce. Joyce weaves in and out of reverb soaked vocals and at their last show even drew blood from playing his guitar too hard. Marty Brass, lead guitarist and also a primary songwriter in the group sites The Mirrors, The Pagans, and The Stooges as major influences. From personal experience I can tell you he plays LOUD, like Asheton brothers loud… And he knows how to hone in the classic tones true fans of rock n roll enjoy. Pat Richie’s sub narcotic bass lines hold the sound together like gorilla glue and the drums are perfectly minimal and driving. They are such a great talent. Be on the lookout for a 7″ in 2015 and catch them around Cleveland undoubtedly doing their thing.

Andrew Pitrone

When it comes to doing your thing Andrew Pitrone is king. He’s lived in a cave, he worked on a boat in Japan and held down numerous residences all over the city if Cleveland. He’s like someone out of movie. If you asked him his influences he may be the only person on the label to site inanimate objects like antique lamps, root vegetables and hand made candles. Not that he isn’t well read or listened. He clearly nods to early Tyrannosaurus Rex, Blonde on Blonde Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Serge Gainsbourg. His cassette is whimsical. He meanders through people’s “Wild Imaginations” and takes us on “Pomps In The Park,” perhaps on a trip to find his “Gilder Goddess.” His art is something true aesthetes will enjoy and it’s his first definitive work. He is currently phone less in Oregon somewhere looking to get back to Cleveland for a cheap flight back over to Europe so he can in his words “really enjoy these holidays.” If you see him tell him to call me so I can get him his cassettes!

The Nico Missile

The Nico Missile is the new reincarnation of Ricky’s Heart. Our debut Cassette is entitled “Designed Youth.” Because of collaborations with Marty Brass of Ma Holos, Dionysian Mystery and other freaks around town I wanted a name that really empowered our sound. The Nico Missile felt right. Nico was a beautiful woman and singer, and a major influence for us. Missiles are phallic and every intelligent person knows that all this BS violence that defines this period of time is all to do with mans’ need to show off their genitals. We want to express our disinterest in all that nonsense so we do our best to avoid lame politics and wear pretty dresses and lipstick while screaming Bikini Kill lyrics at the top of our lungs. We’re extremely happy with the music we’re making together and we have a 7″ and another tape in the works. We’ll also be playing select shows around town this winter in Cleveland.

Other releases are slated for 2015 including books and a skate video. Stay on the lookout for all of Quality Time Records releases because with Quality Time you know you are getting something real.

All are available now via Bandcamp.

Check out psyched-sons Elephant Stone as they knock you off your high horse via the Benjamin Lussier video for ‘Knock You From Yr Mountain”, off the album The Three Poisons available from Hidden Pony Records. The band’s desert excursion finds their vehicle busted down, and the gang gazing at exotic mirages of metaphysical beings.

Check out the Alexander Safdie lyric video for the title track off Two Gallants’ upcoming album, We Are Undone, available February 3 on ATO Records. Find the SF duo on the road traveling through the State and EU February 5 through March 13.

From Le Rug’s forthcoming album, Swelling (My Own Worst Anime) available December 2 from Fleeting Youth Records, check out the head-nodding song, for “Dipshit”. It’s the headbanging road to redemption that jumps out of the self-destructive modes into the headlining harbors of harmonic pop distortion of new trusts.

Also off the upcoming Le Rug release, check out the rough and riot existential feelings of life, death, purpose, placement and more on “Birth Control”.

Having recently premiered “Close Your Eyes” and enjoying an interview with J Fernandez himself, we bring you his video for “Cosmic Was”, directed by Jason Ogawa from the Memorize Now EP available from Atelier Ciseaux. In a blend of overlaying visuals, up-close performance clips and the the liquid free play of imagery and subtly psyched symbols, the “Cosmic” nature of Fernandez’s home spun works manifest themselves in ethereal images to match the memory modes found on the new EP.

Michael Feuerstack’s upcoming album The Forgettable Truth is available February 17 from Forward Music Group, and we have the evocative ethereal nature of “Clackity Clack” to provide the mellow mood for your holiday weekend. Feurstack takes the Canadian songwriting experimentalism that picks up where his project Snailhouse trailed off where Michael “put some air into the sound / put some sound into the air” in a natural hymn to the surrounding elements of the ecology that we all enjoy, all over the world.

From King Pizza Records, check out the compilation Surfin’ On Pizza Lightning that features hits from the likes of folks like GYMSHORTS, The Fucktons, The Jeanies, The Dictations, Sun Voyager, and more garage heavies.

With Mourn’s self-titled debut available February 17 from Captured Tracks; check out the grunged out alt culture cool of, “Otitis”. Check out Mourn’s Week in Pop co-curation here.

Breakfast of Failures is available now from Goner Records, and this week we got a free listen to The Blind Shake’s action shaking cut, “Go Lie”. Bringing heaps of that “Goner sound,” this is the kind of “you-made-your-bed-so-go-lay-in-it” rock for the hopeless finding new hopes in the emeralds of life’s pool of disenchantment.

Youth Sounds released the single “Before It’s Too Late” off their upcoming Favors EP, featuring the instrumentation of Black Hearts Club’s Lucho, vocals from his sister Erika, with percussion from his brother Nicholas, and guitar work from their buddy Adrian. The track pushes for the now, surrounded by a sea of never where the buzz from the synthesizers and illuminated chord notes a future pop sound that imagines retro cars from the great tomorrow.

Keeping up with Alexander Spit, be sure to check out his loosies “Shirt Collar” and “This Party Is Dead Anyways” featuring a visual component that showcases Spit’s photography from the past few years. While the party might feel like it’s losing life and steam, your boy Alex keeps that new west coast school updating your brother’s old school boom-bap.

Chelan’s album Equal Under Pressure is available February 17 from Echo Phone, and we got the listen to the imagined eternal endeavors of “Pretend We Live Forever”. Lives of future and present are brought by the big hand-clap percussion progression that moves into limitless dimensions of infinite possibilities.

Celebrating the release of their Cascine album Second Comin’; Korallrevan bring an update to Axl and Slash’s GNR epic with a cover of, “November Rain”. The update of the now-classic monster ballad is brought into the new bright lit recording methods that thrive on synthesizing.

Spanish artist Pau Soler operates under the handle of Sau Poler, and is readying his Paradoxes Of Progress EP for digital release December 2, and on vinyl December 16 from Atomnation. Championed by the taste-making legions from Pete Tong to John Talabot, Soler’s music spins a sound like a global groove full of borrowed kinetic dance vibes that can be felt and understood all over the world. Check out what the phenomenon is all about with his Big Apple-toasting, dance-floor jam, “For NYC”.

Partaking in the Bryant Park Tree Lighting on December 2 and playing Webster Hall’s The Studio, check out Brooklyn gal Catey Shaw’s video—directed with Bryan Russel Smith—for “Night Go Slow”. The evenings that start off slow are brought to the early morning hours with moments that last in the sepia-toned banks of memory, underlined by modern girl group arrangements coupled by contemporary pop arrangements.

Southern Carolina’s Wasted Wine bring some of the big vaudeville baroque with the eclectic suite of “The Post Office” off their forthcoming album, Wasted Wine vs. the Hypnosis Center, available February 17 from Bear Kid Recordings. The duo of Robert Gowan and Adam Murphy have been continuously building upon their Greenville act, bringing about a timeless of prog-everything flair for the theatrical spectacles of sound.

Ryan Lawhon of Pacific Air’s new project Mating Ritual released the midnight moon-call of, “Moonlight”. The LA artist brings that big electro sound that bleeds out feeling and sounds through the big time production of moonbeam machines and synth mechanics.


Michael Durek’s Week In Pop

the use with drums week in pop 1

Curated by producer Michael Durek aka The Use.

For this week in Pop, I focused mostly on NYC bands that have a buzz, some with electronic elements, all with a little edge, just the way you like it.

Christy and Emily, “Japanese T-shirt”

Experimental folk­pop duo Christy & Emily is comprised of Christy Edwards, a self­ taught indie-­rocker and Emily Manzo, a classically trained pianist. Collaborating with DJ Rupture, Tom Brassue and many more. Get your Japanese T-shirt here.

Head Cheerleader, “Wedding Song”

Head Cheerleader is the electronic-acoustic musical collaboration of Henry Prol and Jay Van Dyke with producer Billy Perez. Influences include Classic Rock, Country, & Electronic. Previously playing together in the band Copesetic, and having played in projects such as The Lumineers, The One And Nines, The Micks, and Adam and the Plants, they are in the making of a new release – the most ambitious to date.

Rachel Mason, “My Heart Explodes”

New original song by Rachel Mason, a sculptor and a performer, lead frontwoman for Little Band of Sailors. Mason has toured and shared stages with Prince Rama, Light Asylum, Josephine Foster and many more. Track mixed by Jeff Hassey.

Shilpa Ray, “Noctural Emissions”

Shilpa Ray‘s forearms bulge with blood when she plays her harmonium. “I have strange musical injuries,” she explains, referring to the blisters on her fingers. “Nocturnal Emissions” is a track off of Shilpa Ray’s upcoming album Last Year’s Savage, to be release on Northern Spy in 2015.

Kills 2 Kisses, “Uh-Oh”

“Uh-Oh”: Praised as “Bjork-like” by the New York Times, kills to kisses (Lisa Maree Dowling) explores the relationship between 4 low strings, electro-acoustic story telling, DJ culture and electronics. Uh-Oh is from the K2K upcoming album, slotted for release this April with Gold Bolus Records.

Happy Lives, “Slacks and Slippers”

Neo Pop from Brooklyn, recently coming off this year’s CMF festival. The duo of Mike Lande and Julian Beel delivering smoky vocals, grungy guitars, and beats galore. You can see them in Brooklyn at Baby’s All Right on December 14.

Bern and the Brights, “Call it Off (cover)”

Bern & the Brights formed in 2008 and have since been sharing their brand of danceable, romantic nerd-rock. Continually paving new directions, this electronic pop cover song pays homage to original writers Tegan and Sara, a group to which the Brights have often been compared.

B. Grey, “Black and White”

Music group originally from Brazil, composed by Saulo Roston and Phil Batista. Two different artists who built a very deep music connection with each other, and by the looks of this video, have a blast in so doing.

Michael Durek photographed at Sonic Circuits Fest, day 2 from last October, courtesy of Intangible Arts.

Michael Durek photographed at Sonic Circuits Fest, day 2 from last October, courtesy of Intangible Arts.

Follow Michael Durek via Twitter.

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