Week in Pop: Lilly Wolf, Lisa Alma, Minden, Solai, Youryoungbody

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Computer Magic, Land Lines, Pete RG, SCRNS, Two Cheers, with guest selections by Pony Time.

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Sjimon Gompers | August 21, 2015

Youryoungbody's Duh Cripe & Killian Brom; photographed by Úna.

Youryoungbody's Duh Cripe & Killian Brom; photographed by Úna.

With summer in its sunset stages, Impose’s Week in Pop keeps that sunny season vibe burning strong with some of today’s and tomorrow’s brightest stars. Before we bring you some of the week’s biggest inspirations, here’s some of the latest buzz: First, the news that Frank Ocean canceled his August 22 headline performance at FYF Fest and has been replaced by Kanye West; Lana Del Rey confirms Honeymoon release date set for September 18, dropped the new song “Terrence Loves You”; Basilica SoundScape unveiled the set times for their Hudson, New York event September 11-13; mad hype for The Libertine’s September 11-slated album Anthems For Doomed Youth; Michel’le & Dee Barnes detailed incidents of abuse omitted from the Straight Outta Compton biopic; meanwhile Dr. Dre on his Beats 1 radio program “The Pharmacy” said that he’s never considered himself to be a rapper; Panda Bear released the digital stream of his forthcoming Domino EP Crosswords; Drake dropped a statement on the fatal OVO Festival afterparty in Toronto; more mad hype over Banksy’s “bemusement park” Dismaland launching August 28; A$AP Rocky fan suing over an attempted crowd surfing incident; Captured Tracks darlings Mac DeMarco and Alex Calder re-released their old band Makeout Videotape album Ying Yang via the Thursday Friday imprint; Diplo recording with Skrillex, and Arcade Fire members; meanwhile the Skrillex versus Deadmau5 beef drama continues; Action Bronson sued over sampling El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico; Skull Snaps’ Sam Culley alleges that Tame Impala sampled “It’s a New Day” on the Aussie group’s new cut “Eventually”; formerly Interpol bro Carlos D is apparently now an actor; New Order’s new video, “Restless“; Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck solo album rumor mill buzz is in full swing; Morrissey sat down for a chat with Larry King; we said goodbye to Korallreven; Erase Errata are going to call it quits after two October shows in Texas later this year; and we mourn the loss of legendary producer Bob Johnston.

And as the solstice cycles turn, we are pleased to bring you the following breaking exclusives and interviews from Lilly Wolf, Lisa Alma, Minden, Solai, Youryoungbody, Breeze Embalm, Computer Magic, Collin Thibodeauxx, Land Lines, Pete RG, SCRNS, Teresana, Track and Field Records, Two Cheers, featuring guest selections and a brand new song exclusive from Pony Time and more—in no particular order.

Youryoungbody

The latest from Youryoungbody's Duh Cripe & Killian Brom; photographed by Úna.

The latest from Youryoungbody’s Duh Cripe & Killian Brom; photographed by Úna.

Seattle duo Youryoungbody have brought you alternate sounds and sensory from the tenbrous undergrounds of the northwest now since the dawn of 2012. Duh Cripe’s voice and Killian Brom sensurround style approach to all-engulfing atmospheric production broke out in the beginning with USER, freaking the surface level sycophants out further with their “Mask” demo, the Tokyo technocracy of Kurokabi, to 2014’s hash oil vision Hashira have all encompassed the ominous allure of every latent unsettled feeling and fear that gingerly rests in the almost dormant sleeper cells of our collective unconsciousness. Presenting the world premiere of their brand new EP Betrayer; Youryoungbody have made their most beautiful and brightest nightmare narrative to date. Dismal apocalyptic audio essences and the disintegration of trusts and bonds never before sounded like this.

For those outside of the clustered Seattle circuits of scenes, privy basement shows, raucous house parties, and the like—Brom and Cripe provide a closer listen to their sound in the sharpest definition, and most piercing of pointed ambient aural projections. “January” turns the calendar back to the zero month and starts from a canvas made up of undulating synth rolls with Duh’s searching vocals being the brightest luster in the mix. The cold winter feels feed forward into “Smuther” that turns some of the more institutionalized EDM tricks and tropes (not to mention breaks, drops, build-ups, bridges, etc) on it’s head as the biggest mix beat breakers are themselves broken by smolders of decay and digital embers caused by Killian’s keen sense of effects, arrangement, and rhythm. Betrayer is like an epic novella of heroics and tragedy that feels like a furious flight through a thick deciduous forest, where “The Garden” provides a kind of clearing where Cripe takes center stage and Brom lets the synthesizers and sequenced rhythm sets dance forestall rings to create a sense of place, and circular clearing around her vocals. Youryoungbody dabble in the codes of micro-genres and production styles from the club cuffed set, the smeared eyeliner seekers of the night, and synth pop connoisseurs by twisting and deconstructing the overused dark wave designs to make an even darker cannonball splash of their own. After the following debut listen to Betrayer, read our interview with Youryoungbody’s Duh and Killian for further insights.

Brom, with your background in metal groups and video game audio design and Cripe with your earth atmosphere haunting vocals-how did the two of you first discover each other, and your creative synergy connection?

Brom: I saw some videos of Duh playing folk songs she wrote on a video on Facebook, and one night I had too much whiskey and asked her if she wanted to make music. She said ‘yes’ for some reason.

Cripe: The first time we met was in an alleyway, besides online. We instantly had a really great bond, we always joke about being siblings. I guess we owe Facebook a big ‘thank you.’

How then did Youryoungbody form, and why a moniker with no spaces in between words, and why do you feel that such spacing in unnecessary and/or irrelevant?

Brom: I was watching way too many episodes of “To Catch a Predator”, and bullshitting around with my friend on how unsettling the AIM usernames on that show are. We kept sending each other made up ones until we came up with youryoungbody1999, which we later shortened to youryoungbody.

Give us the stories on causing mischief at basement parties, house shows, dropping three EPs, and how did all these experiences and more inform your new EP Betrayer?

Brom: I think our root was always to take electronic music from bloated multi-million dollar festivals and bring it back to sweaty dark basement shows where it is the most pure and fun. We would be put on bills with punk bands and the only house systems were sometimes just the smallest, worst PA speakers you could imagine. After blowing out a bunch of speakers and having to leave quickly, we’re pretty happy to be bringing the same basement feelings to larger venues where you can hear us decently.

Cripe: Every once in awhile we get asked to book a show and they think we are DJ’s or something. Which usually gives us a chuckle. With this release, I think we definitely wanted to present ourselves as dynamic musicians who don’t just press play—we wanted to remind people we’re a band.

Emerging from the forest with Youryoungbody's Duh Cripe & Killian Brom; photographed by Úna.

Emerging from the forest with Youryoungbody’s Duh Cripe & Killian Brom; photographed by Úna.

How has the metropolitan environments of Seattle impacted the moonlight tan glow cadence of your electronically imbued audio art pieces?

Cripe: When Killian and I started, we were constantly pigeon holed into some sort of genre we weren’t even sure if we identified with. I think that has caused us to really challenge ourselves and hold our music up to a standard.

Brom: A lot of Seattle venues didn’t know what to do with us. Seattle loves its guitar music. Luckily a few great spots have opened up and more really sick bands have come out recently to help that change.

Cripe: Yeah, I don’t think I’ve met one electronic band with a stinky attitude here either. That definitely helps us to feel more comfortable and supported both on stage and in the studio.

From the cold creep of “January” through the electronic full-meltdown mode of “Scabbed Over”; what sort of inspirational motifs kept you two driven throughout the drafting and recording processes?

Cripe: Lyrically “Betrayer” has probably been the most therapeutic. I talk a lot about my personal insecurities. January was a way for me to lay a lot of those feelings to rest. I was having really bad night terrors when we wrote Garden. Moss Pillows, a book in the series Voyage to the Bunny Planet would always seem to cheer me up as a kid, and was an inspiration for the song. I just kept pulling from my past and confronting uncomfortable feelings. Performing and putting these songs out means a lot.

Brom: I think we tried to make most of the songs something that you could strip down and play on a guitar or a piano. More focus on the songwriting itself.

Other underground artists from Seattle on the come up that we need to hear?

KA – Intense doomgaze stuff.

Pleather – A new amazing electronic project with former members of FF and M. Women.

DoNormaal – Extremely talented and unique rapper we’ve been working with.

Youryoungbody’s EP Betrayer is available now via Bandcamip.

Solai

LA's rising star; Solai, aka Chris Pope.

LA’s rising star; Solai, aka Chris Pope.

Solai presents the world premiere of the Erik Derman directed viceo for his track “LES” taken off his debut self-titled EP. Featuring a day in the life of downtown LA zombie skater Danny Dicola, a sunny day of boarding about the great southern California metropolis is met with the most unusual of events. Having previously dropped the paranormal video for “Ghost“, Solai, aka Chris Pope continues to entertain the sounds, feelings, visuals, and narratives that speak from the heart and extra sensory levels and depths of perception, sounds, and visions.

Keeping with the fantastical motif of supernatural happenings in urban street scenes, Solai’s “LES” focuses on the adventures and misadventures of a ghost skating Danny Dicola who takes on the streets, sidewalks and steps of LA by board. From executing jumps, people dodging maneuvers, freaking out the business-suited squares, and getting all the looks from the locals; a Tecate run at a liquor store finds our antihero crushing cans, and sporting wild man eyes while continuing about his merry way. The reverberating refrain of Chris Pope’s “it’ll all be okay” continue as Danny meets an enchanted maiden who provides him with some mystical flower petals that put him into a daydream trance where the waking world, and land of dreams (and dream like characters) collide together in Derman’s video that keeps true to the Solai sentiment of sound, and subtle but sonic arrangement. Following the video debut of “LES”, be sure to read our interview with Solai’s Chris Pope.

Give us the story on the making of your first EP, what sort of dream drafts and patterns inspired it, and the like.

This EP was really fun to make, and it was written and recorded in 5 days. I had just got back from New York, and I set up some recording stuff in this little shed in my back yard. Silver Lake was super sunny and it was pretty hot without any AC. At the time I was really inspired by pictures of the 1960’s recording studios in Jamaica, and I kinda pretended my shed was a studio there. So with a New York energy, California dreamy-ness, and Jamaican heat on my mind, I just busted ’em out. It was a really cool moment to be in.

Give us the tale on what informed the song “LES”, to the Erik Derman hypnotic video featuring zombie skater Danny Dicola busting boards around downtown LA.

“LES” is about a friend of mine that was completely consumed by drugs, and operated on such an odd frequency that you either didn’t pay any attention to him, or you’d be like wow this guy is like an alien. I wandered around New York with him and it was magical. It put humanity in an interesting perspective for me.

When I was home, and after the song was written, I had a dream about this zombie skater, and I hit up Erik to see if he would be into doing a video for it. Erik is amazing at telling a story through the lens, and it’s always a pleasure working with him. This was the first video he and I did together, and he knew this guy, Danny Dicola, that would be perfect for the part. Danny was super cool to work with and really went for it which was awesome. I took film photos while we were shooting the video, and grabbed some gems.

How do you feel that LA has impacted your approaches to music, and creative processes?

I am very impacted by my surroundings, and LA constantly inspires me. I love being a storyteller and grab stories from everywhere I go, but the musical setting that I drop them in, is all because of Los Angeles, and more specifically at this moment, Silver Lake. I just kind of wander around, soak up the surroundings, then hide away in my little studio and write songs. Its super simple and rad!

Tell us about how you go about writing, and drafting your own compositions…and how those figures come to a dreamy life.

I really wanted to push my songwriting to a new limit and I got into this goal of a completed song a day. That’s written and recorded with vocals, lyrics, everything. It took a while to get there, and when I did, it was really fun. I always have the story, or the person, or the idea the song is going to be about before I start, and then the music and melodies start setting up after. I gotta know where I’m going before I start, then I run from one instrument to the next and its all pretty exciting and like…oh it would be perfect to have this sound right here kind of thing.

Favorite underground, under-sung artists in LA right now?

Well I never know who’s underground or huge anymore…cause its always like I’m telling someone, I saw this little band and they were pretty cool, and they’re like those guys are huge! So with that, I’m liking…StaG, Gap Dream, The Bulls, Derde Verde, and Wildcat Wildcat. Its all kinda random.

Solai’s self-titled EP is available now.

Lisa Alma

Denmark's Lisa Alma; photographed by Johanne Fick.

Denmark’s Lisa Alma; photographed by Johanne Fick.

Denmark’s Lisa Alma premieres a live candid video session of her song “Fine” filmed by Klaus Elmer that features the artist performing an acoustic rendering of the affectionate song. Found off her album Sweater available from Swedish imprint Dumont Dumont, Alma’s unplugged rendition features just herself and the piano keys that allows the endearing nature of the song to take form between her breathy, almost whisper like delivery and the evocative resonance of the keys. The stripped down and back to basics approach allows for a universal expressive love letter to emerge that might have been somewhat lost by the enhancements of electronic treatments (of which Lisa is also fond of incorporating into her music) where truths shared between lovers is heard like a sung valentine that makes everything feel like it’s February 14 no matter what calendar day it is.

Klaus Elmer’s video captures Lisa Alma in her element, depicting her performance of “Fine” from various angles, from outside glass windows, in front of the piano, close-ups, and tricks that provide prismatic reflection effects. The visuals apply a focus frame that keeps all eyes and ears fixated on Lisa’s song, as her heart sprung vocals and resonance of the keys can be seen and felt moving about the room. The “you’re so fine” title chorus is conveyed with a passion reserved for the most legendary and earnest of lovers, where the feeling is punctuated by the notes that further tell a timeless tale of adoration and affection that feels almost unreal and unheard of. Elmer’s visuals assist the dreamy quality of the song, where broken hearted and parted lovers might even find a certain solace at work in Lisa’s unbound display of genuine adoration and attraction. Those that connect on even deeper levels to “Fine” might find the song as a cue to let bottled up tears flow in a cry for a love long gone, or by discovering and identifying with something at the core of Lisa’s music that cuts to a core that some of have abandoned in their own heart of hearts. Immediately following the video debut “Fine”, read our discussion with Lisa Alma.

Where did you discover your own approaches sound between your voice and the piano chords?

Up until now I have been writing and producing at the same time—maybe that creates a certain dynamic and connection between my voice and the piano chords.

Lisa Alma in NYC, before her Rockwood Music Hall performance.

Lisa Alma in NYC, before her Rockwood Music Hall performance.

Describe the process of weaving together the audio yarns to make your Sweater album.

I bought and old pianette which is the ongoing acoustic instrument on the album. Just the sound it helped me write a lot of the tracks and create the vibe that’s specific on this album. This time around my ambition was to create a more organic vibe combined with the electro beat/bass soundscape.

Describe the sentimental thoughts, and feelings behind the beautiful song, “Fine”.

Thank you. I think it’s one of the more positive songs I’ve ever written but I guess my thoughts were bittersweet during the writing. I was in love with someone that I knew I couldn’t get.

Between the vocals, chords, and keys with Lisa Alma.

Between the vocals, chords, and keys with Lisa Alma.

How has Denmark and elsewhere in the world informed your approaches to sound?

I’ve had more luck audience wise internationally than back in DK.

What are you listening to a lot of right now on the road, and at home?

I just re-discovered PJ Harvey’s Is this Desire?.

lisa alma week in pop 3

I have some showcases in Germany in September. And some new video work coming out very soon. I feel the urge to write again soon and I have a very clear idea for my next album. Then I started some new collaborations with different artists. Right now I’m in New York working together with a singer called Ava Raiin (backing vocalist for Blood Orange and previous bv’s for Solange). Don’t know how this will end up but we have some new songs in the cooking.

Lisa Alma’s album Sweater is available now from Dumont Dumont and will be playing NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall August 24.

Lilly Wolf

Seeing double with Lilly Wolf, photographed by Eric Mooney.

Seeing double with Lilly Wolf, photographed by Eric Mooney.

Lilly Wolf won us over with the mighty “Pop Dream” last year, and it’s our pleasure to premiere “Violence” that dissects the self-described “quiet kind of violent” in contrast to the physical sort. Lilly’s work with fellow Stanford graduate Alex “Dr. Nu” Neuhausen couples Lilly’s love of track running paced lyrics, public policy surveys and Alex’s electrical engineering accolades and know-how for tricked out radio pop fantasias with an inquisitive and thoughtful heart. An honesty about others, the self plays out in a electric universe where feelings, conversations, exchanges, and a beating pulse thrives against the odds and moods that can drag you down. From the nervousness of “Nerves”, the creative quest of “Pop Dream”, to facing down the anger of “Violence”; these and more provide hints at things to come on Lilly’s forthcoming album Deleted Scenes available this fall that provide candid views into omitted memories, and moments gone missing in the the maze of our scattered and labyrinthine minds.

“Violence” opens with the panning guitar growl that sets the stage for a conversation with an acquaintance on the L train one night who talks about the wall-punching kind of anger. Examining the anger that causes harm to others and the self begins Lilly Wolf’s odyssey of inner observations that seeks the root of violent urges by means of physical force and the sharp sided string of the untamed tongue. “Violence” is depicted here as a physiological internal reaction where the adrenaline of fight or flight, yell or whisper, shout or sing becomes something of an abstract concept of sentimental anarchy without bounds or control. Here Lilly and Alex attempt to catch and confines essences of theses feelings and their source root to convey a constructive manner in coping and dealing with the natural responses that can be double edged swords if not wielded properly with the deserving care. Lilly joins after the debut of “Violence” for our conversation that takes us behind the scenes of the new song, new album, her current August residency at Pianos, and more.

Tell us about all the latest things happening in the Lilly Wolf camp since we last talked circa the “Pop Dream” single premiere.

It’s been a busy year! We played CMJ and SXSW, toured from NYC to Austin and back, put out three more singles, wrote an LP, and played maybe 40 shows. “Violence” is the last advance single premiere before we drop the rest of the album next month. We hope to do it all again in the coming year, but at larger venues and with more touring.

From the sound of your new single “Violence”, it sounds like both you and Alex “Dr. Nu” Neuhausen have been working on sound fidelity that strikes a deeper resolution definition. Have you both been upgrading hardware, software components and the like?

It’s actually all the same hardware and software as we used on “Pop Dream”. We use a home-built vocal booth in Alex’s apartment with a vocal chain consisting of an AKG-C414 into a Shadow Hills Mono Gama mic pre, into a mono Optograph compressor, and then into a Apogee Duet A/D converter. We use Ableton live and a bunch of VST plugins for sounds. The synths include popular tools like Omnisphere, Nexus, Sylenth and Massive. I think we’ve both gotten a bit better at mixing and tracking, which makes for an overall more polished sound, but “Pop Dream” was also supposed to be a bit lo-fi.

“Violence” also addresses this kind of universal connection and identity to aggressive incidents and episode and how these intense feelings actually feel on the inside, providing a closer view than the outer expressions of anger. How did you translate this “quiet kind of violent” to stanza, verse, and Lilly Wolf’s signature restrained sparse but pointed production values?

I met someone that night, on the L train, who had punched a wall. An acquaintance of mine, total chance encounter. The opening verse lyric is pretty obviously about that, and the song started there, in my head. When I got home I shut myself into the vocal booth (it’s basically a small, dark, rectangular box) and wrote all the major parts of Violence in about two hours. Basic instrumental, verse, chorus melodies, most of the lyrics. I don’t actually have much insight into the process of converting those unvarnished feelings into music, there are just times when I know it’s going to work and all I have to do is get myself in front of a computer with production software.

How have all of your engineering studies at Stanford impacted the styles and sounds of Lilly Wolf?

Actually, Alex studied electrical engineering while I majored in music and public policy. The classical training helps with writing harmonies and thinking about how chords should move under a lead melody, although the inspiration still has to come from somewhere, usually by something bizarre or emotional happening in my life. Alex’s engineering background and general personality make him great at handling technical details and also working really long hours, which are pretty crucial if you’re recording and mixing your own material.

lilly wolf week in pop 11

What releases have the two of you been working on?

We have a new 10-song LP called Deleted Scenes coming out in about a month! We’re really excited about it.

Any potential collaborations and remixes on the horizon? Always feels like your sounds can be shifted re-shaped so many ways, and in so many directions.

Our friend “Justified Noise” made an awesome trap remix to “Burn With You” at the beginning of this year. We’d love to do more, and we’ll look into it once the album’s out and we get some feedback from the producers and musicians we know.

Summer closing plans for Lilly Wolf, thoughts/hopes for fall and winter?

We’re in the middle of a month-long residency at Pianos, so you can catch us there every Saturday night at 9 pm for the month of August. We’re going to be headlining the Brooklyn Wildlife Summer Festival on the first Saturday of September. And in October we’re going to be playing CMJ again and also Indie Week Canada, which is a festival in Toronto.

Lilly Wolf’s Deleted Scenes will be available later this fall.

Minden

Portland Minden; photographed by Todd Wahlberg.

Portland Minden; photographed by Todd Wahlberg.

From Kansas City, Missouri by Porltand, Oregon band Minden, we present the premiere of fallen angles and fun times in their video for “Saint” from director Benjamin Ross Lyerly. Featuring clever camera work from Riley Keeton, coloring by Martin Melnick, and edited by Maria Bianchi; watch as Casey Burge and the gang of Lia Gist, James Taylor, Evan Houston, Papi Fimbres, Sam Adams and Ryan Johnson get involved in all kinds of hedonistic and pagan rituals that revolve around the shaky but honest philosophy of “I’ve never been a saint…” A group known for their good time antics, BBQ outings, and making the sound of a thousand enthralling afternoons spent relaxing with friends; “Saint” finds the Minden gang depicting the moral weight of checks and balances of what happens when “you messed it up bad” where the act of blowing it and living life any way you want to becomes an art unto itself.

To accompany their sunkissed west coast wandering pop of “Saint”, Casey and the gang of Lia, James, Evan, Papi, Sam, and Ryan get themselves into an alternate states and worlds of weirdness and trouble. Everything begins with Casey handing off a wad of bills to Lisa that finds the group getting caught up in a vision quest with a strange shaman, to taking flask swigs around a parked yacht, getting involved with occultic figures in dark chapels, and more class a level hedonism. The song itself revels in the honesty of messing up bad, while following a sainthood that cuts against conventional wisdom and the status quo, seeking an enlightenment served by the underworlds and undergrounds. Dalliances with danger and folks on the fringe of society where dope deals are done through a cast of odd characters and encounters, as the presence of vices become fixtures juxtaposed with the rituals of medicine women and medicine men to the eerie induction ceremonies performed by pagan-ish priests. We had the chance to catch up with Minden’s Casey in our interview featured right after the following video debut for “Saint”.

Walk us through the evolutions and changes that Minden has experienced in the move from Kansas City, MO to Portland, Oregon, and about how the band has grown and expanded together.

Minden’s move to Portland was an archetypal leap of faith. Most of the group had lived in Kansas City all their lives. When Ryjo (drummer) and I left town in the U-Haul we still weren’t 100% sure everyone would show up on the West Coast. As soon as everyone trickled in we all moved in together and the brilliant Lia Gist (vocalist) joined up and we released our first record Exotic Cakes. We intentionally came onto the scene with momentum. The past three years here have been a bit of a blur. We gained our percussionist/hype-specialist/nasty-flipper Papi Fimbres, played tons of shows with all of our favorite PDX acts, hosted our Portland friends and family for weekly Monday night BBQs (rain or shine), recorded and released an EP (What’s More Than Appropriate?) and double-single (Saint), filmed two music videos and recorded a full-length album (unreleased). We love this city. Minden showed up here shouldering a mountain of ambition. It was exciting and messy, a shotgun approach that may have wasted energy but has been fun as fuck. We’re more strategic these days.

Describe how you all workout, and flesh-out your songs, in between BBQ seshes, parties, and the like.

Minden songs start as a drum and bass groove, typically built over a funk drum break. The chords and melody show up during a lengthy jam or demoing session. When things are feeling nice lyrics replace syllables then may get reworked. Our songs live in the classic pop format, comfortably. They’re kept short and require a strong bridge that deviates significantly from it’s surroundings. The crisp, refreshing bridge is somewhat a lost art these days, I think. Most all of my favorite songs have one and some are replayed just to hear that sweet middle eight again. Minden songs come in bursts of four or five.

minden week in pop 2

Tell us about the making of the new songs “Saint” and Don’t Want a Laugh” with The Domestics’ Michael Finn.

“Saint” and “Don’t Want a Laugh” were written, worked out and recorded over a two weeks this past spring. Sam Adams (keys) really improvised much of what is heard on those tracks, in the studio day-of. We showed up to Flora, set up, got nice sounds and then performed the songs live sans vocals. Michael Finn is a dear friend of ours and one the best engineers in the city. He’s worked with many well-known artists and is as easy going and supportive as they come. It helped, him knowing our style, preferences and personality defects. It happened fast. The scenario I just described, that’s the best. Quick, fun and (mostly) painless.

With tales of “messing up bad” and more, give us the story on the occultic, oddball, cult-ish flirtations of danger, exuberance, and hedonism that encompasses the epic video from Benjamin Ross Lyerly.

The “Saint” video was conceptualized by me with Ben Lyerly in mind. It depicts the fleeting drug-fix nature of belief systems. A young woman searches for an authentic mystical experience, wading through translucent New Age posturing, urban gatekeeping and occult ritual initiation. The entire video was filmed in a day and an evening. It features the band. Much of what we do is tinged with humor. This was an attempt at something different for us. The song itself called for something more dramatic, visually.

Give us stories on what the filming process was like, running about various Portland locales.

Filming had us up at 5am at Kelley Point Park where the Willamette river meets the Columbia. Lia, Papi, Shana and I were mostly silent as we patiently waited for the golden hour. Even though it was planned last minute Papi brought the major jazz and didn’t even slip on a trip! James’ character’s boat-home was discovered hours later while passing. Disco Fever. By the time Lia G was face to face with her powdered High Priest we were all exhausted and sure it was worth it. Ryjo designed his character’s elaborate initiation ritual and performed it in complete silence aside from the swinging ringing of his intricate brass bell (not shown on film). Evan whipped himself much much more than is shown (he liked it).

Favorite things, artist, bands, and more from the PDX scenes?

The Portland arts scene is wide-ranging and awash with talent. People come here from every corner of the US and the world to work hard at their craft. It seems to be an incubator for these types. It’s very lush, green and beautiful most of the year. Mountains, rainforest, rivers and the ocean are a drive away. Our favorite artists and bands include And And And, Máscaras, Boone Howard/The We Shared Milk, Sama Dams, Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, Grandparents (and bunches more but that’s a good taste (there’s a-fucking-lot)). A local songsmith/charmer called Joel Magid put together a unique PDX compilation album. It’s unique in that it features an original song from 12 of the most savory local acts, each written and recorded in a day at the same studio. It’s called Mt. Portland and it’s wholly local, from the art to the vinyl press. This is the kind of thing that goes on here. Perhaps not completely unheard of but somewhat exotic to midwesterners like us.

Hints on the next big things from Minden and friends?

We have a few big reveal/reliefs on the horizon. Our second full-length LP is finished and destined for vinyl. A European tour in early spring. Our friends will continue to age and worry that they’ll never accomplish those grand tasks they somehow positively know they’re fated for.

Minden’s Saint single is available now via Bandcamp.

Breeze Embalm

breeze embalm week in pop 1

Breeze Embalm has released his album Embalming Fluid via Bandcamp, and we bring you a listen to the Bronx, emcee’s new records with first a few words from the good man:

As a youngin I managed to live a life that was almost completely void of hip hop. High School changed that shit with the quickness. Hip Hop was the fabric of this place and even my teacher was a rapper… and he was dope as fuck too!

Hip hop, I want in.

In 2012 I Released my first solo EP The Ceremony of Nadir. The song “My People” off that project won the John Lennon Song Writing Award. I thought I was the shit. The project didn’t gain me much attention but it didn’t matter. I was able to sell equipment that I won and put that money towards my next project. My first full length. It was gonna be lit lit lit, lit like Bic.

I thought everything would be easy. I got this little bit of money, I can do work with this I thought. Bifff, the next three years were filled with soap opera levels of drama. It wasn’t just things not going my way but I was met with levels of disrespect Ive never thought I would have to deal with in my life, let alone in the making of an album.
But a nigga like me an optimist and don’t really give a fuck about all that. Imma keep pushing forward. I am very proud of what I have made. All the battles were worth it. This project has a soul, one that has to be shared with the world. I present to you:

Embalming Fluid

Embalming Fluid kicks off with the Keaze produced “Los MuertoS” featuring Amanda Maxine that is full of life and death continuum contemplations, followed by “Not So BaD” featuring piano touched production from Rajiv Leroy and some vocal bgars from Dessy Hinds, later joined by Blu & Eliki on the cool and class spitting “Bread WhinnerS” produced by CS. Rise and fall of empires push ahead on the Prolyfic produced “Coin A Phrase For ChangE”, keeping the hype and vibe humble on the Keaze cut “Humble AbodE” that features support and verses from Eponymous, to the self-produced cut and fun of “Coco TittieS”, to the chronological constraints of the CS produced “TiminG”, the smooth track “Love DoG”, right before BE closes out the fun with the Prolyfic produced cuts “Have To SaY”, and the finally curtain closer of “VicE” that delivers one last dose of real life stories and real life tales of struggles and transcendence.

Track and Field Records

track and field records summer vol 2 week in pop 2

Here to save our season of sun, your friends and ours at Track and Field Records have released their Summer Compilation Vol. 2 that features Appendixes, Azul Toga, Cemeteries, Dear Tracks, Good Try, Lost Tapes, Strange Bodies, Somerville Jack, and Jimmy Pop (aka James from Jade TV), and more DIY pop stars.

This party of tomorrow and today’s cool cats is kicked off with Theme Witch’s “Hey Whitney”, the intimacy of Strange Bodies’ “Alibi”, the bedroom synth pop earnestness of “Try (reprise)” from Lost Film, and ever floating eternal ether found on Somerville Jack’s “Left To Know”. From Jade TV, Jimmy Pop’s “K-Wave” is what you have spent this entire sun saturated season waiting patiently for in the form of an instrumental that feels as if it was actually breathed of an angelic entity. Appendixes’ “Moonwalking (boat session)” sets sail for voyage in a shamble pop rendering of outerspace casted dreams, to the lo-fi cassette reeled brilliance found on Azul Toga’s “Meet Me There”, the desire driven from Haste on “I Want You”, right before Orchid Mantis brings down the house withe the C86 jangle-experimentation of “It Was Gone”.

track and field records summer vol 2 week in pop

Welcome back our buddies Good Try with the road trip permission slipped sign ticket of “Field Trip” (hear our premiere of “Get Me” here), right before Dear Tracks sends down a beam of pure celestial light that creates the momentous “Moment of Clarity”, right before the curtains are cut, and the lights are brought down by “Daphne” from Cemeteries. What is not just one of the best label compilation releases of the summer; Track and Field Records’ Summer Compilation Vol. 2 is instantly a candidate for one of the year’s best cassette compilations. Not to be missed.

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Track and Field label boss Kate Davis was so kind as to discuss with us the following reflections on the compilation, lending words on how it all came together, and more:

Our second summer compilation came together really well this year. In March, we began talking to the artists on the label and some who were involved last year that we knew would be interested in submitting again this year. We also made a facebook post around that time, opening the compilation and the printed zine to submissions.The first few tracks we received were from Theme Witch, Dear Tracks, Lost Tapes, and Jimmy Pop I think partly because a couple of those tracks were also involved in other label compilations that came out before ours. It was really great to have Kyle master and finalize the tracklist because I got so used to hearing those four tracks in a row for a month at least, that it had really grown on me.

But those songs are all so good that it made me excited and helped give me ideas for the artwork. They were both later additions, but I was so happy that both Chris (Somerville Jack) and Joel (Strange Bodies) from Permanent Vacation let us include new songs from their solo projects again this year. The Somerville Jack song was particularly cool for me because Kyle did bass and backing vocals on it and kind of became the theme song to my summer. We ended up having a lot more submissions for the tape than we could include, keeping it small and cohesive was important to me and I think we did a pretty good job of that this year. It’s a little late in the season, but I’m hoping people will give it a listen and share it with their friends as they enjoy their last month of summer.

SCRNS

Introducing SCRNS; photographed by Sinjun Strom.

Introducing SCRNS; photographed by Sinjun Strom.

Minneapolis producer Max Petrek is SCRNS, who just dropped the CSCN single “Lavender” full of rhythm and blue digitization where vocal edits are decorated with the beauty brought about by Lea Thomas’s vocal stems. From the beat and atmospheres layers of colors can be felt descending like a rain of feathers descending at the bring of the fall solstice. SCRNS Lavender maxi-single is available now from Cascine. Max Petrek—aka SCRNS—shared the following reflective preface on the Lavender single, and more:

On “Lavender”:

Last winter I was obsessed with digital textures. I was creating these glossy soundscapes and sprinkling them with tiny samples of synths stretched out and exploded into little fireworks of harmony. Plasticine stuffs. Rooms full of tiny rubber balls going crazy bouncing off of every surface. Blowtorch taken to plastic and splashing in the sludge that ensued.

It was beautiful but lacked a soul. So I injected romance and vulnerability into the music to give it life. Ripped chords from forgotten 80’s ballads. Cut lyrics of love and love lost into violently quick emotional snippets. Got these crazy little future pop sculptures that I’m really in love with: “Sticky”, Lavender, and “Peach”.

Pete RG

pete rg week in pop 1

Meet Pete RG who is readying his Reaching For The Moon EP on October 9, and we bring you a listen to the bright shining divinity of “Divine”. The warmth of a troubadour brought up on the traveling spirit songs of The Boss, and other canonical idols brings about a spark that rests in a kind of a warm subtle glow with a brightness to entrance the glass windows of a lantern.

“Divine” brings about the song that you imagine being brought on every road trip traveling state to state across the country’s interstate lines and passage ways. Pete RG takes on the years spent “reaching for the moon” through description of clear skies, sincere loves, and mountain top climbing triumphs and cheers that push with the heartbeat progression. A message of embracing the day and the now finds something of a genuine divinity in the state of modern times, that looks to the host of things that make life wonderful, and worthwhile. And though times are often far from ideal, and life presents a host of many struggles; “Divine” takes that moment of pause to really reflect on things that matter to us as a people, from the presence of loved ones, the kindness shared between people, marvels of nature, and a variety of things to feel thankful for even when it feels like the odds are stacked against your favor.

Pete described the divinity behind “Divine” ,and some words and insights into the making of the upcoming Reaching for the Moon album::

If you’ve ever had the experience of jumping in your car and arriving at your destination without remembering what happened in between, then you’ve got an idea of what the writing of Divine was like. I stumbled on the chorus melody and lyrics one evening while working on the song, “Our Escape”. It was one of those instances where, as a songwriter, you come across a new song while trying to find the missing piece to another. Anyway, I played the bit I had for Brina. She was really into it and pushed me to finish it up right away. Without hesitating, I grabbed my guitar and out poured the verse melody and some key lyrics within about 15 minutes. Boom, the song was there. We quickly recorded a reference for the band to learn and tweaked some ideas here and there over the following couple of weeks. But, for all intents and purposes, the song fell into my lap without much thought. In fact, before recording the vocal, I had to practice and learn the lyrics. It was almost as if someone else wrote them! Reflecting on the inspiration, I can see that the song came at a moment when life was on a high. In addition, the Lightning Strikes EP was just released. The press and feedback were really good. The supporting tour was about to begin. I was excited. That’s where the song came from. I must admit, I was a little reluctant to sing the ‘divine’ lyric. But, once I realized where it came from, I embraced it. I was cool with it.

Lightning Strikes was recorded over the course of the year, making the recording process less organic since we were in and out of the studio numerous times. When we began recording Reaching For The Moon, we were fresh off the road and restless to get into the studio. I was determined to work at a faster pace to maintain the band’s momentum.

Taken off Hand of God’s brand new Intl Shipping EP via Godmode, hear the latest cut from mastermind Jeremy Krinsley called “Jeremy’s Playhouse” that takes you on rhythmic percussive adventures in frequencies, vague-effected-val sensations. The groove cuts into underground house music fare where synths wrap their own industrial notes around the sequence of the drum selects.

Computer Magic

Computer Magic's Danielle "Danz" Johnson casts her biggest pop spell yet.

Computer Magic’s Danielle “Danz” Johnson casts her biggest pop spell yet.

Presenting the single “Be Fair” off Computer Magic’s upcoming anticipated album Davos available October 16 via frontwoman Danielle “Danz” Johnson’s own imprint Channel 9 Records, Kobalt Label Services/AWAL for digital, and on vinyl through Manimal. The Rock Hill by Brooklyn, NY artist continues her catalog of releases from Kitsuné, White Iris and works up all of her electronic leaning inclinations into the economies of making the most addictive and punchy pop that utilizes all the tricks of the trade that span the keyboard rhythm bouncing effects of novelty pop to the sophistication of hiding some real, and endearing feelings and expressions beneath a maelstrom of cleverly arranged pop.

We corresponded with Danz over the effects of fairness and unfairness that informed “Be Fair”, with words on the making of Davos, and how the abandoned ski area of Davos in Woodridge inspired the upcoming album of the same name:

“Be Fair” is about how all you really need is someone to treat you with respect and to be kind and it’s easy to get along with them, maybe even fall in love with them. It’s pretty simple I guess. “Be fair and I’ll tell you I love you.”

“Davos” took a little while to complete. I first wrote the songs a couple years ago, then headed into the studio with Claudius Mittendorfer to finish them and flesh them out with analog synths and real drums. It was the first time I worked with a producer on that level and the experience was awesome. I couldn’t have found a better person to work with for the sound that I wanted.

Exploring tall heights with Computer Magic's Danielle "Danz" Johnson photographed by Mo Goodman & Chad Kamenshine.

Exploring tall heights with Computer Magic’s Danielle “Danz” Johnson photographed by Mo Goodman & Chad Kamenshine.

I grew up in a small town called Woodridge in the Catskills. My dad was the caretaker of this ski hill called The Big Vanilla at Davos, he would turn on the snow machines and make sure the lifts were running, etc. They named the town Davos after the town in Switzerland. In the early 90s, it went out of business, as well as a bunch of other huge resorts in the Catskills did at that time. The Davos sign is still there, along with the ski lodge but it’s completely abandoned now. Whenever I visit my dad I see it. I wanted to name my first record after Davos because I wanted it to pertain to something personal. Also, it sounds like it could be the name of a planet or galaxy, and I’m all about space-esque things.

Davos tracklisting:

1. “Fuzz”
2. “When You See Me”
3. “Secret”
4. “Be Fair”
5. “Give Me Just A Minute”
6. “Hudson”
7. “Save Your Life”
8. “All Day”
9. “Bionic Man”
10. “Chances”
11. “Zuma”
12. “Spaces”

Land Lines

Land Lines' Martina Grbac, Ross Harada, & James Han; photographed by Glenn Ross.

Land Lines’ Martina Grbac, Ross Harada, & James Han; photographed by Glenn Ross.

Denver’s Land Lines have just released their album The Natural World today on Misra Records (Destoryer, Phosphorescent, Torres, etc), and we give you the following stream featuring a few thoughts from the band. Made up of Martina Grbac, Ross Harada, and James Han; Land Lines dial up the degrees of timeless and unstoppable biological forces that inhabit the worlds that we know through candid creations of musical vignettes for the soul.

The Natural World opens up with the connective artery network of “Rivers + Streams” that move and wade swiftly through the rhythm bathed waters that splash with an undercurrent of field recorded sound that takes the listener to composure questions of “Etiquette”, to the things that tear us apart on the cool and catchy “Limb from Limb”. The trio fuse together their thoughts on complex matters and things close to the heart heard on the reason and rationale expression of requited and unrequited bonds on “Logic”, keeping the confessions cool and constantly caught in a continuous groove on “Help”, laying out and conveying the best penned “Plans” of mice, men, women, and more. Barriers of the self and the world are depicted on the intimate “Division”, combining the notes, strings and thoughts on life events of “Matter”, leaving you with the sparse number on human will and concerns on “Will + Worry”. Land Lines’ The Natural World will warrant repeat listens to better understand the worlds of the trio, and to maybe even understand our own environments a little bit better in the process.

Land Lines’ Martina Grbac shared a few words with us reflecting on how various realms of various natures informed the textures and thought streams of The Natural World:

The Natural World is not a concept album. It’s not something we want to explain. It’s a breathing, emotional thing that we’d like our listeners to decipher & connect to individually.

The title reflects a thread of thought—that the natural world is home to both timeless & unstoppable forces of biology and the human will that continually rebels against them.

Land Lines’ The Natural World is available now from Misra Records.

Teresana

Introducing: Teresana.

Introducing: Teresana.

Introducing Teresana Barabba, or just Teresana if you please, who just dropped her first proper single with “Hour Glass” that creates pensive textures of evolving and morphing atmospheres with subtle percussive electronics and sand-slipping/time-ticking keys. Featuring production from EmojiBoi and Rhyse Cooper, Teresana’s vocal emotion and affections are transmitted from the ethereal digital realms produced by the duo, that the artist described to us with the following words:

Together, we created a darker, electonic-pop song that I hope will draw you in. Formally a jazz singer, this is something different for me and I hope you enjoy!

Two Cheers

Introducing Two Cheers.

Introducing Two Cheers.

Presenting you a debut listen to the single “City Fair”, along with a stream of their recent full-length Splendor from Detroit’s Two Cheers who have made an album with hearts and emotions stitched affectionately on their sleeves and in their sound. Made up of Bryan Akcasu, Mitchell Dill, Al Aguilar, and Bryan Panzeri; Splendor is an album that lives up to it’s title that was made in founding frontman Bryan’s apartment during 2014’s long cold fall and winter where the wonderful and wild beauty of the world is exalted in a way where ego is left by the wayside in the process.

“City Fair” finds Two Cheers taking you on an amusement trip that describes the separations of being separated from loved ones while caught in the carnival like festivities. The sound of long, bright, sun-filled afternoons are brought through Bryan and the band’s knack for descriptive sounds that swirl with the nature of an interior dialogue. The season of fairs and fun is described in terms of an ageless heart taking in the banners, flowers and festivities that holidays present and past provided in ways that stick out in the illuminated sections of consciousness.

Splendor sets off on a grounded note of foundation with sunny day stroll of “Anchor”, to the engine rhythmic ride of honest confessionals on “Brinka”, to the spirited and explosive sprite of liveliness of “The Explode Boys”, cruising down the summer street roads of “Strawberry” that stirs about with an idyllic attitude. Bryan and the gang pour themselves and their heartfelt expressions into everything on Splendor as heard on the sentimentally propelled “Heart Trip”, to the roadways that separate the differences in personal states between town and the arid valleys on “Desert Song”, and the gorgeous pop shine and shimmer of the addictive title track, “Splendor”. Reflections of times and events passed mulls about on the nostalgic moments that have mattered on “Let Me Remember”, the subterranean ode to the underdog of “Life Is Full Underground”, right before Two Cheers close out the Splendor show with the nocturnal dream guitar chord fest of decorum and fun pop designs on the finale of “Super Owls”.

Bryan was also kind enough to share his generous thoughts about the art of channeling the pure expression lyrically and musically about overcoming ego and conveying the splendor of the world through the lens that attempts to encompass all the minutiae of details that allows for the world’s beginning and ending cycles:

I almost threw “City Fair” away. I was sitting outside by the pepper tree in my yard reading some poems from Robert Lowell’s Life Studies. Something about the way he infuses every day things with rich, deep emotions really resonates with me. I like to think we are kindred spirits. I even had “Skunk Hour” memorized at one point. Kind of inspired by that, I wrote “City Fair” as a sentimental poem about leaving Los Angeles, vividly recalling fragments of images about this critical point in time when my concept of “home” became divorced from the place I was living. I thought it might work in a song but it didn’t think at the time that it really fit with the rest of the songs on our album Splendor.

So, one day I took this poem, along with a handful of other outcast lyrics, and made up a bunch of demos, because I like to set all lyrics I have to music even if I don’t intend to use them for anything. I sent five of them over to Mitchell and Al to have a laugh over, because I really thought these songs were just kind of oddities. But while they both wrote back indicating that most of it was indeed garbage, they both absolutely loved “City Fair” too. So, we got together and improvised over the basic skeleton of the song, with Mitchell adding a lot of intricate, hooky lead guitar work and Al adding attitude, funk, and melodic elements to the bass. We made the final recording on my last day in Los Angeles, so it was quite an emotional, bittersweet session for us all.

In one sense it’s part of the Splendor sessions, but I think it’s really a loner of a song, a true one-off. I like that though, because that’s the sentiment of the song: feeling a little lost, homeless, in transition, and coming to terms with growing up. I think it’s the perfect bookend for the songs on Splendor, because that album is all about having a change of consciousness, a loss of ego, facing death, reconciling mental illness with every day life, but it ends with “Strawberry”, which is a kind of euphoric song about living in a world of direct sensation, unencumbered by a sense of ego. So, if “City Fair” is a follow-up, then with it I’m saying that no matter how you think you have improved yourself, or changed your consciousness, or overcome these obstacles in your life, you’re still not above the humanity of it: you have to keep living as a person in this world, you can’t escape that no matter how enlightened you think you are. You can’t figure it out. Life will keep surprising you, keep evading you. On the other hand, this fact of life is ultimately humbling, and Splendor is largely about being humbled by the diaphanous, fleeting nature of life. So, maybe it’s fits after all…

I would like to say R.I.P. to Jay who I knew at Nightingale Studios in Burbank.

Catch the band in LA at Amplyfi tomorrow August 22.

Two Cheers’ Spendor is available now.

Collin Thibodeauxx

The latest from Collin Thibodeauxx; photographed by Dominic Hernandez.

The latest from Collin Thibodeauxx; photographed by Dominic Hernandez.

Presenting the fish-eyed wide angle lends video for Collin Thibodeauxx’s latest song “Work Friends”, that depicts the all too familiar connections and relationships that we have with our co-worders. Found off the upcoming mini EP GB Technician available around mid September; it is rumored to be heavily influenced by the Goosebumps book serial, vintage Nickelodeon programming, and other items that invoke the 90s aesthetic. Watch as Collin goes about on nature hikes, keeps the audio and video vibe lo-fi and lo-tek while maintaining a kind of psych-dipped sensibility that explores the inter-connective and interpersonal connections that Target employees share with another. Collin Thibodeauxx’s Nothing Buttrock is available now from Citrust City Records.

Collin lent us the following insights about the new single, and upcoming EP:

The subject and lyric matter of “Work Friends” draws from recent life experiences that aren’t really conveyed well through the goofy video. We basically just carried my old video camera around while we smoked weed in the woods until inspiration struck. As for the GB Ttechnician album artwork, I’ve been watching a lot of goosebumps. I don’t know.

collin thibodeauxx week in pop 5

Watch the self-made video for Curt Oren’s “I Miss My Dog”, that puts the jazz tempered sounds of rumbling horns to animated collages of drawing, old photos, videos, and more that illustrate the pangs and pains of longing, and missing your long lost, long gone best friend. As the horns flutter toward the rising sun of a new tomorrow, animated feels of flipping through the nostalgic picture feeds of a family favorite long gone and lonely car rides spent mulling over memories are sprung to life where cartoon drawn caricatures become met with real video captures of real life moments of being reunited with a four paw favorite. Find this and more off the LA artist’s release, Hi available now via Bandcamp.

With a debut cassette available soon from Lolipop Records, check out Friendly Males as they have done it again with their new single, “Done It Again”. The vibe is fuzzy, warm, and friendly as these dudes keep it scuzzy and sludge-y with plenty of electric wailing guitar and distortion treated vocals to keep you loving that DIY LA sound that keeps our attentions focused intently at the southern California scenes for inspiration and audio invigoration. Keep an eye out for their Nopalera cassette coming soon.

Onra from Paris recently released the Fundamentals album from All City Records, and we got the official music vidoe for “Anything” that feature NYC’s own beloved duo The Doppelgangaz. That dark cloak lifestyle off underground east coast living is met with O’s own Parisian flare for dressing up the slickest verses and spoken poems with the most time-flipping choices of consciousness lifting production sensibilities. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing the latest and greatest from the Doppel-duo.

Austin’s Spencer Stephenson, otherwise known as Botany is about to release his new album Dimming Awe, The Light is Raw on September 18 from Western Vinyl (featuring contributions from Leaving Records’ matthewdavid, along with folks from the Stones Throw, and Brainfeeder stables respectively). We got a listen to the cut “Jotu” that springs off the bars and boards of a hip hop backing track that jumps for the galactic heights, floating on some lo-fi synth-saturated atmospheres. Botany lent this wisdom for us all to marinate on as we listen:

Low-end might be associated with thunder, or the sound of a mother’s heartbeat as heard from inside the womb, or an approaching stampede, or earthquake. Low-end generally indicates something bigger and more powerful than you.

London’s Liskka released the single “Cold” that delivers some subdued organic percussion fusions to keep the mind and body warm this fall and winter; long after the seasonal sun has set for new solstice changes. “Cold” is like a pair descending into the densest fog of an electronic tinged snow storm, where the moments become engulfed by the brooding curtains and veils that block sight and the expanses of immediate vision. The sparse but atmospheric encircling of percussive elements highlight the poetic intimacy that describes the obstacles and testaments of tribulations with lines like, “bared teeth, hung heads we ran aground, fleeting and fraught so come back down, retreat from all the things that will lull us away.”

Watch the Elijah Lee Reeder video for Heat Thunder’s “Wearin’ Black” that sports dark cloak clad feelings and features the outcast-ed skate styles from Austin Leleu. Also featuring cinematography from Evan Cohen; statements of individuality respond from the song into the visual frame thanks to dancers that appear courtesy of Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, and a fashion collective called the Modern Misfits. Together all artists share in a communal bonding against conformity that celebrates themselves according to the their own autonomy.

Gothenburg’s Jolympix are readying their self-titled debut EP for release at the end of the year, with the core crew Johanna Nordström, Joel Wästberg and friends tapping into the similar terrains and ever-electric ambient worlds of sensory like their neighbors the Stampenfield dancers, Little Dragon, José Gonzáles, and more on the gorgeous ode to letting go of what you can’t control on “Let It Go”.

From Reykjavík, Iceland, check out My Cruel Goro’s self-titled EP available August 24 that features a plethora of dirty garage pop styles. “Clash” crashes on to the scene with a thrashing sense of existence, as “Crapford” finds the three piece engaging in some clever and swift power pop chord dynamics, while “Glue Buzz” gives you a head rush that updates the highs and euphoria of providing an update to The Ramones’ classic adhesive huffing ode “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue”. Be warned that some epic shredding spaced out guitar bits await on this five minute wonder.

Quiet Hollers from Louisville, KY release their upcoming self-titled album October 23 and this week dropped their single “Côte d’Azur” that combine a summer’s song full of road-learned tales of endless international highways that lead on to the worlds of forever. The tales of memories taken from foreign trips, the manifestations of existential loneliness and the empty epitomes of unfulfilled solaces are shown from the thoughts taken from the world weary roads, moments of pause between paradise and the reflections that remain after a tempestuous tour du jour.

Dirty Ghosts dropped their Derrick Beckles (of Hot Package) video full of bright, bouncing, bountiful amounts of fun for “Cataract” off their new album Let It Pretend available October 2 from Last Gang Records, and available now on limited cassette through Burger.

New Zealand’s Electric Wire Hustle drops their Aeons on August 28 through Bastard Jazz / Loop, and we got a listen to the pure silky goodness of Mara TK’s delivery full of passion, personal testimony, and meaning brought further into the warm glow by Taay Ninh percussive guidance.

Peep Henry Canyons video for the cut “C’est La Vie” from his Keor Metor produced Backwoodz Studioz album Canyonland, delivering the linguistic inquiry that delves into the life embracing semantic tongues. Read our recent interview feature with Henry Canyons here.

Naytronix (the solo project of tUnE-yArDs’ Nate Brenner for the uninitiated) dropped the title track video “Mister Divine” from his upcoming second album of the same name available October 16 from City Slang. The Sneal made video for “Divine” presents a kind of divinity where moving image overlays of streets, images of Nate, and collected collage pieces create a kind of out of body/out of mind experience that enhances the experience of vibing to Nate’s already ever elusive artifices of sound and tranquilly arranged instrumentation sequences.

Alex, Philipp, & Felix are Bombee who are are readying their upcoming album Golden Cage for future release, but first lend a listen to the spirit assuaging “Calm Down” single available August 28. For all who feel overcome with loneliness, anxiety and what have you; these three lads bring something to help lift those heavy gripping thoughts and feelings.

Hitting up the Reading and Leeds Festival circuits by the end of this month of August; introduce yourself to Glaswegian quintet WHITE who have been getting a host of buzz from the usual UK outlets over their danced-up pop that subversive Scots have established from their own pop history lineages. “Blush” is that track for getting ready to greet the evening’s beckoning call for Gatbsy-ian level decadence even if you’re at heart and in reality stuck on the dole; everyone here can be a star with the pomp and post-art-punk delights of “Blush”.

From their upcoming album For Use and Delight available October 2 from Paradise of Bachelors; check out Nashville’s Promised Land Sound strumming out some of that old school kind of Americana with all the supernatural sensations you could hope for on “Otherworldly Pleasures”.

Check out Olga Bell’s athletic-aesthetic video for “Goalie” directed by the artist with Christina Ladwig, featuring photography direction by Zoë White off of the forthcoming Incitation EP available October 16 from One Little Indian. In the midst of Bell’s own emotive and heart wrenching atmospheres, she puts herself in the line of fire, wrapping herself in the goal net, and serving as the goal keeper whilst taking multiple soccer ball blows to her head and body in a slo-motion presentation where masochistic behavior has never before looked so artful and full of grandeur and grace.

Hear what all the fuss is about, and don’t be the last on your block to get a listen to “It’s Too Late” from the forthcoming Gone by the Dawn from one of the greatest groups in the entire world; the Bay Area’s own wunderkinds Shannon and the Clams. Available September 11 from Hardly Art, those tardy tendencies of lives spent on the go and on the run roll through in the manner that eschews the confinement of time and era consideration and foundations. Shannon Shaw and company operate on whims that arrive from an enchanted land that we all get to share upon each listen (and we all should be thankful).

Sharkmuffin squad Tarra Thiessen, Natalie Kirch & Patty Schemel take over 32Karaoke in Midtown Manhattan in the Caroline Yoder video for fun, rowdy, raw, and real ultimate rock jam, “Tampons are for Sluts” off their debut album, Chartreuse.

With Dam-Funk’s tour taking off the day of his Stones Throw release September 4 running through September 19; check out his new ultra plush and deluxe new single “Glyde 2Nyte” from the Invite the Light Out. The opening cut features Leon Sylvers III & IV with new-new-jack roller-coaster holiday hauntings, leading you to the thriller chiller track “Haunting Me”, right before delivering the baby-making groove of “‘Fisticated” that the 80s never thought of. For all fans of all types of music, must hear.

While our buddies Buraka Som Sistema may have declared a hiatus, check out the group’s Branko as he keeps that beat unfolding and on the rise with the top ranking cut “On Top” taken off his forthcoming album ATLAS available September 4 via his Lisbon imprint Enchufada.

Wax Idols dropped the chariot dream/nightmare ascent/descent/dive of “Deborah” from the anticipated and ominous epic American Tragic, available October 16 from Collect Records.

Allison Weiss’s New Love will be available October 2 from power chord rock’s true saviors SideOneDummy, and we have Allison’s video for “Golden Coast” from Clay Tatum that takes you on a sunny drive down the west coast highways and freeway corridors that take you by beaches, trees, and endless lakes and seas. The retreat out west is documented by Allison and friends that features landmarks like the Chandelier Drive Thru Tree, Golden Gate, Big Sur, San Francisco hills, and more that will have anyone living anywhere instantly indulging in the great mythic Pacific dream.

Holly ‘Låpsley’ Fletcher drops haunted electro pop vibes of desire pangs and personal pains of attachment on her new singe “Hurt”, followed by the healing hearth glow of “Burn”.

Off of This Wilderness available August 28 from Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records; hear Midday Veil’s “Empire is No More” that takes all of your empirical conceits and dashes them for a new earth and enlightenment of understanding. The latest from David Golightly who has given us Queen of the Void, End of Time, and The Current continues on the experimental path that concerns itself with embarking on new grounds consciousness and feeling on a variety of cognitive levels of understanding.

Off Slanted’s debut album Forever from Jurassic Pop, listen to the songs of home-spun bedroom penned feelings about life observations, relationships and more on the addictive “Lucy and Jiovanni”.

Covering a P.F. Sloan’s “Eve of Destruction”, The Great Void (the new outfit for Josh Ascalon) dropped the video that alters footage of Barry McGuire’s own cover from “The Hullabaloo Show” in lip-synced fashioned strangeness supplied by the ample aural synth pulsing supplementation. The Great Void album Shift Age will be available Septmber 4 from OESB.

Lindsay Sanwald, aka Idgy Dean shared the thunder and big beat dances of her title track “Ominous Harminus” from the upcoming album of the same name available September 18. War chants and war dances take the harmonic path toward ominous undertones of the unknown and uncertain encounter and face down of opponents.

Behold Live at SpaceFest! from Pure Phase Ensemble 4 that features Ride’s Mark Gardener, and Ray Dickaty formerly of Spiritualized. Day dawning rituals are evoked on “Morning Rise”, transcending further into the reaches of space and noise on “Notatki”, riding into the nine minute oblivion of “Zostań na noc”, the mellow “Peter Song”, the hedonistic reflection of “Doing My Head In”, to the spirit lifting flight closer “Happy Dancing Woman”. The old sneaker gazing vanguards continue to endure here in the post-genre fields and battlegrounds of musical progressions.

Check out James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg’s instrumental cover of The Smiths’ “Reel Around the Fountain” that introduces an acoustic hop-along feel good kind of presence from their forthcoming album Ambsace available September 18 from Paradise of Bachelors.

Superhuman Happiness dropped their audio line sketching electro pop of “Drawing Lines” from their forthcoming Escape Velocity album available September 18 from Royal Potato Family. With an upcoming fall tour in the works, find them playing a release party at Brooklyn’s Knitting Factory on September 19.

The icon of fashion, film, soundtracks, and singer Françoise Hardy is about to embark upon a five album reissue cycle via Light in the Attic happening October 16 via CD with deluxe LP pressings available January 29 (sporting newer liner notes, interviews, and more). Let the Franco pop nouvelle vague nostalgia hit you hard as if it never even left with the fantastique French television performance of “Le Premier Bonheur du Jour”.

Nashville’s own Jake McMullen keeps the skyline strumming with heart on his new single “Always” that brings a song of heartache, yearning, and kindred connections that will find resonance with all who have ears to hear, and feelings to feel. The chords stream down the tributaries of solitude and into the more elaborately arranged amphitheater of expression and elements that makes for a full on evocative experience.

From Ex’pression College in Emeryville’s artist in residence Freddie Joachim featuring fellow San Diegan Gyrefunk brings the funk that toasts the honor and opportunity to bring some chill west coast sounds that spell out the last days of summer with the instrumental jam “Ex’pressed”.

Childbirth’s new album Women’s Rights will be available October 2 from the good folks at Suicide Squeeze, and one of our favorite bands/supergroups Childbirth drops the “lady’s right” of “Let’s Be Bad” that dumps the stereotypes out for an anything goes match & meeting of equals, and formidable opponents. The guitars and attitude from their previous album It’s a Girl! get even more pointed toward an indulgence that makes a statement and stand for fairness, autonomy, and an anarchy of their own choosing.

Pony Time

Pony Time's legendary Luke Beetham and Stacy Peck are back.

Pony Time’s legendary Luke Beetham and Stacy Peck are back.

It’s really, really true; Pony Time’s Rumours 2: The Rumours Are True will be available September 11 via self-release on Bandcamp, and we are honored to present the following first listen to the cordially fuzzy distortion scuzz of “Really Nice Guys”. Your Seattle heroes Stacy Peck and Luke Beetham keep the attitude and big brusing beat pushing on, where the duo has a bit of fun with the band and aritsts that they might not care for musically—but are actually beyond the stage and microphone a really nice bunch of guys and gals.

Stacy brings the rhythmic thunder as Luke keeps the guitar gritty and grinding along with a shulder shrugging and step-hopping dance inspiring progression. Pony Time keeps the noisy pointed spondaic amp blasts firing ahead like well timed canon fires as the two give a toast to all the good folks around that are wonderful, and kind as pie to hang out with but might not be in the best of bands.Luke from Pony Time had this to say about the song:

The song was originally about folks who aren’t that good or interesting as a band but are otherwise really nice guys. Rather than project my own insecurities on some deserving people, I decided to share them a bit instead. It’s really about another dating/breakup thing of mine. I don’t totally share emotions and stuff, but this is my attempt at sharing the delights and pitfalls of ambiguity.

Stay tuned now for a full Pony Time takeover.

Pony Time’s Week in Pop

pony time week in pop 1
The word is out; Seattle cult DIY legends are dropping their self-released album Rumours 2: The Rumours Are True September 11, and the duo of Stacy Peck and Luke Beetham were kind enough to share with us their following exclusive Week in Pop guest selections while on the touring road with Wimps:

Stacy’s Picks:

This is a failed television pilot preview that NEVER FAILS to entertain me.

This is my favorite music video of all time, “Rock Me Tonite” by Billy Squier. His passion for dance is simply breathtaking.

This is a song by our current tour pals Wimps from their new Kill Rock Stars cassette.

Here is a really cool song from another band Constant Lovers, the drum part is really really badass in my opinion.

Here is an amazing rare live performance of “The Ledge” by Fleetwood Mac.

And finally here is a compilation of every time someone says “dammit” on my favorite television program “24”.

Luke’s picks:

I’m really into old wrestling at the moment, and one of my faves is Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin. This is so rock and roll.

These kids were dancing all day for a chicken lunch and a can of Coke. The teenagers were eventually given a phone call home to their parents towards the end of the day.

Dr. Feelgood. I just like this rockin’ tune.

Why not wrap with a powerhouse of comedy doing a take on the Stones.

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