Week in Pop: Kirsten Izer, Overlake, Pink Mexico, Snuff Redux

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Cave Curse, Intertwine, O Emperor, Van Exel, Washa, ft. guest selections by Potty Mouth.

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Sjimon Gompers | November 6, 2015

Jersey gal Kirsten Izer making waves & beach-side summer pop sensations for winter.

With winter upon us and Adele buzz sweeping across our news-feeds, Impose’s Week in Pop takes you beyond the headlines along with some of the week’s biggest hype. First up, Lil B versus The Weeknd continues on the Based God’s new track/video “4 Tha Record” from the forthcoming Thugged Out Pissed mixtape; Young Thug dropped his new Slime Season 2 mixtape; Grimes dropped “laughing and not being normal”; Danny Brown performing in Detroit for the second year of his Bruiser Brigade Thanksgiving show on November 25 along with leading a poetry workshop as part of the InsideOut Detroit City Wide Poets Project; Hunx aka Seth Bogart is releasing his new album in 2016 via Burger, shares “Eating Makeup” that features Kathleen Hanna; Santigold announced her new album 99¢, shares “Can’t Get Enough of Myself”; Doseone, Tunde Adebimpe, & Mike Patton announced self-titled album available January 29 via Ipecac/Lex, & shared “Tough Towns”; Slowdive shared insights on their Creation Records self-titled EP debut on its 25 year anniversary, along with a listen to a 2014 live recording of “Avalyn” (Could a live album be on the way?); Matmos’ new album Ultimate Care II available February 19 from Thrill Jockey to feature washing machine sounds, shares an excerpt; check out Drake’s billboard in Toronto; Björk calls upon global action to preserve Iceland’s highlands from the government’s proposed development of power lines, power plants, and dams; RiFF RAFF is allegedly releasing a poetry book called NEON ViBES November 13; hear a home demo of Nirvana’s “Been a Son”; Gaspar Noé claims that Kanye West and Hype Williams copied the opening sequence from his film Enter the Void; Sleigh Bells accused Demi Lovato of sampling them without clearance; 350 items of rock and roll history up for auction at Julien’s Live; Big Boi said that OutKast turned down an opportunity to play the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show; Belle and Sebastian cancelled their European November tour on account of Stuart Murdoch’s health; fatal fire that claimed 32 lives in Bucharest for Goodbye to Gravity’s album release show causes Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta to resign; send your “thoughts and prayers,” “positive vibes and PMA” to Bad Brains’ Gary “Dr. Know” Miller; and Morrissey described criticisms of his novel debut List of the Lost” as an “attack” on him “as a human being.”

But today we are proud and privileged to bring you the following breaking exclusives, interviews, insights, and new media from Kirsten Izer, Overlake, Pink Mexico, Snuff Redux, Washa, Cave Curse, Damn the Witch Siren, Intertwine, The Lonely Biscuits, O Emperor, Van Exel, featuring guest selections by Potty Mouth, and more—in no particular order.

Kirsten Izer

Kirsten Izer, à la Debbie Harry.

Kirsten Izer, à la Debbie Harry.

New Jersey’s rising star Kirsten Izer recently released her debut EP What if This Is It?, and today we have the world premiere of her summer dreaming video for “Wave”. Songs of the sand, and siren calls from the ebb and tide of the sea roll in like oceanic swells that kiss the shore in Kirsten’s toast to the cycles of the majestic sea as seen and understood from land. From penning ballads that deal with inner honest musings, to the natural wonders and character of natural phenomenon; Kirsten songs cherish the transitions and phases of human nature, growing up, trials, errors, to the enchanted allure of everything between the connections shared between earth and vast expanses of oceanic behaviors.

Joined by her friends for an early morning sunrise spent on the beach, “Wave” watches and ponders the ways of water body motions with limitless wonder. Kirsten Izer invokes an attitude of infinite and endless summer, where coastal gatherings typically reserved for sunny seasons carry on into the colder solstices for a survey into the secret lives of tides. Personified poetics connect the demeanor of the seas to loyal human-like qualities like “I’ll still be here when you wake up,” to the “I’ll come back again” reassurances that further solidifies Kirsten’s sun kissed summer pop for all seasons reaffirmed in the chorus. “Baby I’m a wave, I keep coming back even on the coldest days, I’m here to stay, baby I’m a wave, even in the winter I still kiss the shore in December.” Kirsten Izer makes the case for a holiday break that never ends like the interpersonal interactions between bodies of water and land that continue their courting in a synergy known only by the intricacies inherent to the laws of physical sciences at play. Immediately after the following video debut, read our interview with Kirsten Izer to further explore the notions behind the song and visuals for “Wave” and more.

What brought you to begin writing, and recording your own songs?

My dad taught me a few chords on guitar, so I used those to start covering songs. Those covers evolved into original songs. I took it a step further and recorded those songs in Garageband because it was already on my computer. Once I learned production basics, I began using different programs. There was never a point where I decided I want to make music, I always did it because it was second nature to me. One thing led to another and all of a sudden I was fully immersed in it.

What is the story behind the sea swayed personification behind the ultra catchy “Wave”?

“Wave” is actually a very literal song. I went to the beach one day in the winter and thought, ‘Wow, the waves keep coming in even though no one is here to see it.’ I’m hesitant to explain it because it sounds stupid, but it’s how I felt. So I took that idea and used it to symbolize a bond between two people and how they’ll always be there for each other.

Kirsten & company on the beach, & by the waves.

Kirsten & company on the beach, & by the waves.

Give us your favorite anecdotes from the beach shoot for the “Wave” video with your best friends, Aleks, Angela and Jessica.

This was the most fun video I’ve ever worked on because I had my friends there with me. So many funny things happened! We got to the beach at 6:00 AM to shoot so we were all still a bit sleepy. One of the funniest things happened when we were about to leave. The lifeguards arrived on the beach, ready to start their shift. My friend Jessica thought it would be cool to have them in the video, so I walked over to this group of adorable shirtless men and asked them if they were interested in participating, and they were! But then I was really awkward and didn’t give them any direction so they walked away. There’s actually a short clip of that happening in the video.

How are you taking to the autumn/winter transitions with summer remaining such a part of your sound?

I’m definitely a warm weather person but I still love autumn and winter. I find inspiration in every season because each one is so beautiful in its own way.

Kirsten Izer & pal.

Kirsten Izer & pal.

Tell us everything about everything else you’re recording and writing right now.

I have so many songs right now, I could technically release three full-length albums tomorrow. I’ve been writing a lot from the point of view of other people lately, whereas my last EP contained a lot of ‘inner self’ feelings. I’m really working on the production and taking a different direction in my sound. So the next stuff I put out is going to be very different. I’m really excited!

2016 master plan for Kirsten Izer?

Play shows. Collaborate with other musicians. Take the time to record and release my debut album properly. Make more videos—I love videos. Get myself out there. Most importantly, create something I’m truly proud of.

Kirsten Izer’s EP What if This Is It? is available now via Soundcloud.

Snuff Redux

Sitting around and about with Seattle's Snuff Redux; photographed by Efraín Mojica.

Sitting around and about with Seattle’s Snuff Redux; photographed by Efraín Mojica.

Earlier this year we introduced to Seattle fourpiece Snuff Redux with their Toy Kingdom EP and today we present the world premiere listen to their just released EP Besides You. Catching up with the Northwest team of Alex, Daniel, Dylan, and Skyler we get a unique look at Seattle DIY scenes and the struggles faced by independent communities in the face of changing climates, cold disconnections, and the pursuit for warmth, and real genuine connections in the face of all adversity. Snuff Redux eschew the pretensions, forego the fakeness, the feigned boredom, and the stigmas that keep would-be inclusive gatherings and groups apart by making music for dives, living rooms, basements, makeshift spaces, what dwindling all ages spaces still exist in Seattle, and all around energetic array of audio to be enjoyed anywhere at the loudest available volumes.

Besides You begins with “Stop The Judge”, a ballad that brings emotive and affectionate chords that dwells on the matters of discernment and reckoning that exists beyond the blindness of judgements. The balances and tipped scales of quantified cast weights and measures are set aside as Snuff Redux relishes and pushes for an embrace of the qualitative as they plead their cases in accordance to a catchy collection of chords. Discontent of surroundings, the bummer of being let down by others, and other irking matters play out on the acerbic shout and shred scuzz-o-rama of “Anyway” that sharpens barbs against the detached and disaffected folks. Following it up with refrains of “I believe in you” and daydreams dalliances; “How Could It Be” provides an ode to the dear folks that make a difference and a lasting impression for the better in the lives of the band. The closing cut “I’m Losing” finds Snuff Redux flying their underachiever (and proud of it) banner high with power chord christened ballad of “feeling alright”. The memorable moment that stay with you after the song’s three minute duration is the chorus chant of “I’m running on caffeine, nicotine, tell me where you wanna be…” that signals signs of sounds to keep you excited about Seattle’s lesser sung heroes and to tide you over until Snuff Redux release their debut full-length. Join us after the debut listen to Besides You for our candid conversation with the band’s own Alex, Daniel, Dylan, and Skyler.

What’s new in the world of Snuff Redux?

Not that much has changed in Snuff world. Still frying amps and losing cords every time we turn around. But we have been drinking our Gatorade, cooling off, getting heated, dreaming and forgetting, suppose it’s all that ever happens. We are halfway done writing a full length that we hope to record and release sometime in the new year. We are slow moving creatures, its true, but we are making time to getting work done every time we link up.

How is all in the Seattle scenes? Favorite things happening right now?

Skyler: The Seattle scene, to be completely real, is fickle for me, because I, as well as many other artists in the city, have seen varying incarnations of an ideal scene that is fully embraced, where the air around you tastes better because you are engulfed by a like-mindedness that makes the walls sweat, when you go to a show you know you can’t forget. Sometimes, though, I don’t feel that magic. I don’t know if its just me, but the climate has changed. I believe that it always should change, but more often than not, an artists success, say locally, can be situated where people know who they know and they hold them up like Simba, whether or not they’re the Lion King or Queen. Many of us outside the pack know this. Maybe they know that, maybe they don’t. There are many young cubs growing in this city and they all deserve shine, but I think within bands around here, there is a purposeful but unintentional way of not acknowledging each other as respectful, respected musicians. It’s frustrating to not communicate appreciation.

Dylan: I tend to focus on the bands that we regularly interact with. The scene is massive and there are so many circles within it. If we were to talk about the sheer number of scenes and players in each it’s easy to get lost. But our own Seattle scene has shown us great support. Tons of great Seattle bands all practice in the same spots and end up sipping tall boys and chatting together frequently. There are friends, fans, and other bands we can count on to be at every show and throw their bodies around recklessly. And it ends up that a lot of these bands, like us, have been around for a relatively short time, so we have a great crew of people that share this experience of crafting our own scene and incorporating ourselves into the old ones as well. youryoungbody, Versing, Great Grandpa, to name a few, are our homies both to chill with and share the stage. So while these scenes might be at odds with one another at one time or another we still individually make places for ourselves.

Kicking it with the Snuff Redux quartet; photographed by Efraín Mojica.

Kicking it with the Snuff Redux quartet; photographed by Efraín Mojica.

Tell us about what the making of Besides You was like, and what sorts impassioned sentiments and events informed this EP.

Skyler: We knocked the four songs out in a short amount of time in June. Only four or five sessions. Killian Brom of youryoungbody recorded us again. He grew as an engineer, and we grew as well, so the process was sweet and simple. As far as sentiments go, this collection of songs was essentially the back half of our first thought (Toy Kingdom EP), but refined. Room for growth in our sloth rock heads, coming to terms with mistakes made…knowing a little bit more but understanding things a little bit less, its all that ever happens.

Daniel: It would be a bit of a misnomer, though, to call it a true b-sides album, regardless of the title. The songs are of a different flavor than our first cuts. Whereas Toy Kingdom was a right-out-of-the-gates deal, Besides You had a whole tour’s worth of time to mature before we went in to record it. Many of the riffs were written in the same sort of manic first rush, but the details were hashed out methodically. It was particularly interesting having our two new members help write while simultaneously learning our old material. Instead of having ‘indoctrinated’ them, just having them follow our lead, I feel like it gave Dylan and Alex a lot of room to influence our direction.

cover by Alex Paulino.

cover by Alex Paulino.

Skyler: After Adam Way of Way and Co. left the band I revisited this riff that he and I made together way back in the day. Things were sorta scrambled at that time in our lives so maybe I finished it as a sad nod, but a good one. He is killing it with what he’s doing and we are all really proud of him. Daniel wrote “I’m Losing” and I’m sure he would tell you that he most likely wrote it on a couch.

Daniel: I actually wrote it in bed. Seems to be my jam.

What is the story of the inception of “Stop the Judge”?

Skyler: “Stop The Judge” might just be a metaphor for the scene in a way…I guess I can’t remember what my mindset was overall, but I knew i was questioning the possible existence of the Seattle chill—that buzz worthy idea…but maybe that’s me just getting older. I feel like I remember a time when bands were really there for each other, whether in booking and people putting together versatile shows with a consistent-ish support group…I guess I miss Healthy Times Fun Club. If Healthy Times Fun Club were here maybe I would feel better. Now there are close to no all-ages spaces. And while everyone wants to play at all ages places, the all ages mindset is gone. It seems that now with one glance from person to person, it could be said that people make their mind up without hearing or knowing who someone is or what they talk about. They might not care and that’s fine, but its a weird thing when you put yourself out there, you see them doing the same, but you might not even wave to them from across the street even though you’ve seen them play five times. It’s something I’m trying to work on, and hopefully change in some way down the line.

photographed by Efraín Mojica.

photographed by Efraín Mojica.

What are you all listening to on repeat right now?

Skyler: Taylor Swift, new Kurt Vile and Pavement.

Daniel: Connan Mockasin, Viet Cong, Speedy Ortiz.

Dylan: St. Vincent’s self-titled album, Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,
and the demo version of “Hey” by Pixies (seriously check that shit out).

Alex: Abe Vigoda, Animal Collective, Capn Jazz.

Snuff Redux’s new EP Besides You is available now via Bandcamp.

Pink Mexico

Lounging about with Pink Mexico's Robert Preston; photographed by Arvelisse Ruby, aka Lola Pistola.

Lounging about with Pink Mexico’s Robert Preston; photographed by Arvelisse Ruby, aka Lola Pistola.

Brooklyn by Los Angeles’s Pink Mexico has been hard at work making the jump between the two coast while creating the forthcoming album fool, premiering the thundering buzz and scuzz of “Buzz Kill”. This is the song made to keep the buzz going no matter what libation, inhibitor, or intoxicant you are enjoying where frontman Robert Preston makes a mad time of losing one’s mind sound like the best outing ever. For a song enraptured by it’s own debaucherous fuzzy progressions and more; listen as the pitch takes on unorthodox timings and tempos like the unpredictable choppy surf of stormy waters. From the Pacific to the Atlantic, Pink Mexico brings about the menace of a cyclone that can barely contained within it’s own two and a half minutes of playtime.

Robert begins the “Buzz Kill” party with slowed down electric drum machine and keyboard demos that soon is swept into the feedback swell of an electrically charged scorching of earth, sky, and sea. Pink Mexico pedals to the metal like a battle of rogue rebel motorcycle gangs brawling for superiority like an old fashioned riot-showdown. Here hells angels and heaven’s demons duke it out like a celestial rhythm guitar shootout between opposing forces like two sides of the mind divided against the other half. “Buzz Kill” is governed by pure chaos while the mix remains extremely well timed and tight (not to mention all vocal deliveries remain in harmonic good form), as Robert remains non-plussed about the whole ‘out of mind’ experinence in the chorus shrug of, “somewhere I’ve gone and lost my mind, and it’s okay…” In the artist’s own words on the new track and album:

“Buzz Kill” is a track off my new album titled fool As far as the making of “Buzz Kill”, I’ve been pretty hammered since I moved back from Los Angeles so I don’t really remember what it felt like to make the track, although I know I can definitely be a ‘buzz kill.’.

Pink Mexico’s album fool will be available soon TBD.

Catch the band playing a Pop Gun Presents showcase at Shea Stadium with The Sueves on November 14.

Overlake

Presenting Jersey City, New Jersey's Overlake; photographed by Stacy Swane.

Presenting Jersey City, New Jersey’s Overlake; photographed by Stacy Swane.

Jersey City, New Jersey’s Overlake followed up their debut 2014 album Sighs with their the Travelogue 7″ from Killing Horse Records and today we are proud to present the video for their new single from Joe Centeno and the band that follows the misadventures of a feline headed creature making it’s way about a confusing world. Comprised of Tom Barrett, Lysa Opfer, with percussionist Nick D’Amore; Overlake continue the dream-drawn diagrams and designs championed by the sneaker-staring stars of yesterday to discover new aural projections of beauty and bliss. The single “Travelogue” itself is the song that you keep close at hand on a playlist made for long travels by train, plane, and bus where the harmonies from Tom and Lysa dovetail in seamless ways with their oceanic roar of strings and Nick’s wave-machine drum mechanics. The song chronicles the distances traveled, makes notes of the places been, ruminates on what is left to show from those experiences, pondering what it all means when “seasons change and nothing stays,” all the while embracing the changes of the unknown from the road, tracks, and skies ahead without looking back for a chance of return.

The video for Overlake’s “Travelogue” sees Tom, Lysa, and Nick playing out in the park as the cat-head on a human’s body protagonist takes the center stage of the narrative. Overlake’s song about growing apart and moving apart serenades the wanderlust of the cat creature who makes it’s way about town, looking for validation from strangers, on the sidewalks, the escalators, and through moments of being transfixed by the retail shelf displays of copious amounts of canned wet food stocked on metro racks. The emotive element of “Travelogue” plays out in situations experienced by our hero with a large cat head as it suffers rejection from a pub that does not allow their kind of species, to the long walks beside the water, lonely moments on a bench, attempts to make friends witha dog, sedentary solace on a swing, before befriending local kids who offer a glass of milk, and a stringy ball of yarn to play with. After becoming entangled in the yarn, the cat finally is able to find contentment among new companions who exhibit care and camaraderie for the odd-sized creature.

With the band currently a tour of the Midwest and the South; we sent Overlake our most pressing questions of which Lysa Opfer did the asking, and Tom Barrett provided responses featured in the following transcription:

What travels contributed to the dream-cast single “Travelogue”?

No travels really contributed to it, quite honestly. I had the vocal melody and for some strange reason the word “Travelogue” came out of my mouth— the rest of the lyrics were kind of crafted around that. I’m still not entirely sure they make a whole lot of sense, but to me they encapsulate the wide-screen feeling of the music, and with that a sprawling sense of wanderlust and longing.

Tell us about adapting it video wise.

The story presented itself through the main theme of the song: essentially, trying to find a place where you belong. And since we are a “cat” band, we thought it would be fun to have a video where the main character was a cat. We really just wanted to have some fun with it.

Sky-gazing with Overlake; photographed by Stacy Swane.

Sky-gazing with Overlake; photographed by Stacy Swane.

Give us insights into the album you all got cooking for 2016.

Well, most of it is written, and we’ve already been testing out some of the material on the road. Overall the album will feel more streamlined, as this will be more of a “band” record. Our last album, “Sighs,” featured songs we worked on together and other songs I brought in from ideas I had before we started the band. This one will feel more like us, which is something we feel like we can finally do with Nick. He just has to learn how to play to a click.

What are you all listening to on the road right now?

The new Beach House record (which is excellent), Dead Stars, Beat Happening, the Waze lady…and right now I’m listening to Lysa asking me these questions…

With all the shoegazers reuniting, what favorite dream pop act would you all like to see reunite?

I feel like all the ones we really loved have already done so, or have announced plans. So, I don’t know if they count—but I’d really like to see Oasis reunite—as long as they stick to the first two albums.

Catch Overlake on the following tour dates:

November
06 Memphis, TN at Murphy’s w/ Jack Alberson, Matthew Trisler
07 Kansas City, MO at Record Bar w/ Birth Defects, Wet Ones
08 Lincoln, NE at Duffy’s w/ Powers, Gordon
09 Des Moines, IA at Lefty’s w/ Men in Lead Masks & Special Guest
11 Columbus, OH at King Avenue 5 w/ Tethers
12 Philadelphia, PA at The Fire w/ Teeel
13 Asbury Park, NJ at Asbury Park Yacht Club w/ Dead Stars, Seaside Caves

Overlake’s Travelogue 7″ is available now from Killing Horse Records.

Cave Curse

Cave Curse's creative man, Bobby Hussy of The Hussy; photographed by Melissa Reiss.

Cave Curse’s creative man, Bobby Hussy of The Hussy; photographed by Melissa Reiss.

With The Hussy’s new album Galore still fresh in our worlds from our summer listening and discussion feature, Bobby Hussy introduces the world to his synth-pop offshoot Cave Curse with the video for “Stoned & Dethroned”. From the Volar Records 7″ b/w “Out of Time”; the video for “Stoned” is chocked full of footage compiled by both Bobby and Heather of The Hussy’s European tour where images of Bordeaux, Spain, and Copenhagen are seen here on display with plenty of home made computer effects for good measure. The minimalist brilliance heard here on the single replete with the visual counterparts (also with word of Jabberjosh’s Will Gunnerson joining the Cave Curse party) all are plenty of reasons that we all should be excited for Bobby’s foray into the pop realms and electric realities that manifest themselves from synthesized instrumentation.

“Stoned & Dethroned” illustrates Bobby’s adventures into the alternate-other-realms of synth-pop humming with analog tones with notes that breathe hooks. The video captures Cave Curse in their element generating a pure pour of nothing but infectious keyboard candy coated that encases you in it’s all-consuming quicksand. With the Cave Curse campy blood dripping Chanel-style logo beginning the video’s collection of altered and abstract edited moving images; the sequence of sumptuous synths takes over all the senses in the kind of elation where every note Bobby projects makes you feel as if you were hearing and understanding the pure splendor of what synth-based pop could be —for the first time ever. So soake up the sounds and electrified visual sensations, and read our recent conversation with the great Bobby Hussy right after the following video.

We enjoyed a cozy catch-up interview session with the esteemed and venerable Bobby Hussy about the dawning of Cave Curse and more.

Describe again the beginnings of your synth pop baby, Cave Curse.

Really this band formed out of the collaborative band TIT I have with Shawn Foree. That band is based in Omaha, Nebraska which is about 7 and a half hours from Madison where I live. We’ve spent some time together recording in the past and released a 12″ EP….Volar Records and FDH Records co-released it last year. TIT can’t really get together on a super regular basis to jam or record or really even play shows too often. So yeah I started the Cave Curse project as a way to better learn the ins and outs of synthesizers and recording them on my own time in an apartment (as opposed to a practice space or studio where we would record Hussy or Fire Retarded material). It’s a whole different game than recording a punk record. Shawn and I definitely have plans to make a full proper LP with our friend Noah doing live drums. We just haven’t scheduled the time yet. Hoping for that to happen this Winter.

How did Jabberjosh’s Will Gunnerson become a part of the CC family?

Will is from Kansas but moved to Wisconsin semi recently, over a year ago now. We had a couple of mutual friends from Kansas and we quickly became friends. I’d never seen Will drum but had heard great things from a couple of those mutual friends so we decided to try out jamming and see what came of it. It’s going pretty great so far. It’s a different feel than the debut Cave Curse 7″ but that’s because that was all me at home with drum machines and synths. Now it feels more like a ‘band’ or something. Will’s a great dude and a great drummer with a unique style. I’m excited to see where his addition takes the project!

Cursing caves with Cave Curse's Bobby Hussy; photographed by Heather Sawyer.

Cursing caves with Cave Curse’s Bobby Hussy; photographed by Heather Sawyer.

Give us real stories and anecdotes of intrigue behind the making of your recent Volar 7″.

Well the best story is the name of the band, “Cave Curse”. At the time I was living in a basement apartment with my buds from Fire Retarded and Proud Parents. This is the type of apartment where you have NO clue what time it is at any point in the day since there’s no window and absolutely no natural light in most of the apartment. I had a series of unfortunate housing situations fall through prior to me living there, and basically I was in dire need of a couch to sleep on. So I moved my belongings to a few places where I could store them for the spring and summer while I waited for a lease to come up on a place in August. I was gonna be on tour anyways for most of the summer so what did it matter I was sleeping on a futon in a hallway? And that whole spring and summer the dudes at the apartment just could <i<not get a break from a shit storm. Just anything bad that could happen, happened when we lived there. It’s all in the past and it’s good now but it definitely was a dark time in our lives. But yeah I conceived of the project there and recorded the 7″ on the futon in the hallway that I was living on. I had no name for the project at the time. First I was calling it Nodons, but it just didn’t stick. Then we started saying Cave Curse because we called the apartment “The Cave”. There was no goal at the time. I was just trying to record something new and see where it went. I had been talking to Craig at Volar about doing a Hussy 7″ or maybe a synth 7″. It just sorta worked out that Craig was interested and he was happy with the a-side track “Stoned & Dethroned” right away. It was the first synth song I wrote or recorded for the project. I never expected it to get picked up. I had another song or two in mind for the b-side and Craig had a hand in helping me decide to take another stab and ultimately I made “Out Of Time”. And then Craig decided why not do a Hussy 7″ at the same time and the Hussy Volar EP came out then too! I’m happy with the results of both! I trust Craig’s ear and am happy we have worked together on multiple projects now.

Tell us about the making of “Stoned & Dethroned”, the regal baked single, and the fun corresponding video.

I’ve become sort of obsessed with buying up keyboards that I deem ‘needed.’ Right before I got going on the project I picked up a Novation Bass Station II. It was a huge step up from the barely working and beat up Microkorg I had bought from Dead Luke (where it was used for the first two Zola Jesus records). Then I got the Moog Sub Phatty which really expanded my lead capabilities as well as the obvious use for incredible synth bass. After that I set my eyes on a Nord Lead 3 because I never thought I would be able to afford a Dave Smith Prophet…which ultimately got added to the family recently when one came up on the Madison Craigslist for way too cheap to pass up. I mostly used the Moog and the Novation for the single with a few added flourishes from the Nord which I got right at the end of production of the 7″.

The video came out of necessity. I had my sights on Emily Massey doing the video. She’s this incredibly talented musician and film kid in Madison. She’s a great director and made The Hussy’s last video for “Take You Up“. I had talked to her a bit about doing the Cave Curse video and we both just got busy and really the only direction I had given her was literally ‘I want it to be sunny. And rainbow-y.’ Not much to go on and she was busy with school and her bands and work. So finally I worked on the video out of footage from touring Europe with The Hussy. Heather took some of the footage, mostly the swing-set shot of me and our Euro booking agent Steffan in a park in Copenhagen. There some footage from Spain and Bordeaux France in there as well. And then some live footage my buddy Matt took of TIT in Omaha since it’s the only time I’ve played a keyboard live and definitely the only video of that out there. And then any other additional footage I did at home with my keyboards and then manipulated the video on my computer to look sorta dredged up.

Cave Curse's Bobby Hussy; photographed by Heather Sawyer.

Cave Curse’s Bobby Hussy; photographed by Heather Sawyer.

What was it like creating the entire thing by yourself, the recording, the mixing, the mastering, and the video?

It was refreshing and horrifying at the same time. I definitely think the way to go is have more hands in the jar. As long as they’re the right hands it works wonders to have a second, third or fourth set of ears on something. I mean where do you end with the nitpicking if it’s just you on your own with no time frame? I’ve usually always been good about saying, ‘okay this song is finished,’ but with this project I nitpicked until the day I sent the final tracks to Craig.

What else are you recording now with Cave Curse, The Hussy, etc?

The Hussy has a handful of songs we wanna arrange and really perfect before we record them. And we wanna write some more tunes before we go into the studio again. The last five years we’ve spent recording records as fast as we can immediately off of touring for the record before it. This time I think we wanna take our time and change things up.

Fire Retarded is currently working on recording our second LP. I’ll be recording it on my Tascam 388. Right now we’re making sure we know all the songs perfectly and have some live response from them before we go into the studio with them. It’s been going well. It’s a more challenging thing than I’m used to….getting four people on the same page versus when Heather and I just have to get the two of our heads around a song. Right now we’re in the middle of releasing a series of live tapes from Hussy shows of the past. Maybe make a box set of five tapes. From 2009-2012 I had a tendency to record almost any hometown show on a shitty cassette tape recorder. I recently unearthed all the tapes and am going through them to find the best sets. They sound surprisingly good! A lot of these are important shows to me like the Weed Seizure record release show or Turkeyfests of the past. When they’re released on cassette it’s going to be in extremely limited runs of 25 or 30 tapes on the local Madison label Rare Plant. The label is pretty new but they’re already doing great things and it’s run by Heather and I’s close friends Erick Fruehling of Fire Retarded, Dumb Vision and New Years Gang and Claire Nelson-Lifson of Proud Parents, Disembodied Monks, New Years Gang and the Madison Zine Toothtaker.

The cult of Bobby Hussy; photographed by Heather Sawyer.

The cult of Bobby Hussy; photographed by Heather Sawyer.

I’m assuming Will and I will start recording Cave Curse probably this Winter at some point, and maybe TIT will work on writing a few more songs so we have a full set for an LP.

Other than that it sounds like my buddy Scott Yoder (Ex The Pharmacy) is gonna be coming out from Seattle to have me help out recording some of his tunes.

What else should we all be listening to obsessively right now?

Damaged Bug of course. Old Gary Numan. Old Adam Ant. The Replacements. La Luz. Chastity Belt. Proud Parents. Zebras. Dumb Vision. Country Teasers. Obnox. Digital Leather. Do I need to keep going? Xetas. Nervous Ticks. Numb Bats. Nanami Ozone. Pretty much anything on 12 XU. ETC. The Hussy Galore, duh.

The debut Cave Curse 7″ is available now from Volar Records 7″.

Washa

Washa, photographed by Andrew Piccone.

Washa, photographed by Andrew Piccone.

Dwight Pendleton, aka Washa just released the second portion of album The Bright that rises from the clutches of depression and into an electronic array of inspiration and the infinite quests for understanding. Having spent recent years in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and currently residing in Brooklyn; The Bright Part II is Pendleton’s culmination of fascinations from director Terrence Malick, the cognitive coming-of-age passages, various affections for mixed visual art media, and other experiential items of great impressions and impact.

The Bright, Part II begins with heavy weights like “Veins” that breaks against the rut found in the mortal coil of existence with an arsenal of electronic instrumental devices that thrash via synthesized systems of transcendence. The growing pains come full circle on the sobering realities of life’s passing fads and phases on “I Am Growing”, where the tears pour through therapeutic pastoral plugged-in/switched on poetry. The world continues to turn between the polarities of “Night / Day” where intimate sentiments are cast by both the glow from the sun and the moon. Dwight arranges every aspect of synth, rhythm, vocal, and uttered item of noise to move like an expressive symphony to convey multitudes of meaning and narrative heard on the romantic discontinuity of “Bury Our Love”. The Washa way of conveyed feeling deals in an honesty that doesn’t hold back like on the paternal streams of thought and reflection of past/future on “Father Figure”, right before finally laying down all burdens on the keyboard closing pop hymn “I Have Nothing Left To Carry”. Washa lays all the personal detail out on the line, sharing the boulders of burden in the name of continuing onward to the next narrative. Dwight and I had some time to explore the making of his album in two parts The Bright in an insightful interview featured after the following listen.

Tell us about the whole process of splitting The Bright into Parts I & II.

The original idea behind splitting the album in half was a promotional decision. The concept of a listener sitting down to four songs un-introduced to an artist in this day and age is pushing it, let alone 8-10 right off the bat. The first release would draw fans in to digest each track as it’s released; instead of skimming for one that sticks out. That way each could be appreciated as its own entity. In retrospect I’m glad I did it-if I had recorded all eight original tracks it simply wouldn’t be the finished work it is today. I’m happy with how it turned out as a whole.

The narrative shift is all over the place, “Veins” goes in all directions, “I Am Growing” sounds birthed out some kind cinematic framed sound setup, the cycles of “Night / Day”, the emotions of “Bury Our Love”, the further paternal electro points on “Father Figure”, to the overburdened confessional closer, “I Have Nothing Else To Carry”. What was this song arrangement and creation process like?

Some of these songs were a long time coming. “Veins”, for instance, was written in the spring of 2013 when I was dealing with suicidal thoughts. The concept is that while struggling with manic depression I felt that my personality split into two selves-one that was consumed by the depression, and the other who I was meant to be. The chorus writes how through the depression I felt that I had somehow lost both (“Where did we go? I got lost, I got cold”). I felt like any hope of either self existing was drowning in the blackness. The explanation to how I was able to overcome that time in my life can be found in “Child” which is on the first half of the album. Each song was birthed from an idea in my mind and is a personal story of growth through the burdens I’ve dealt with….depression, anxiety, love. From February to late July I spent most of my time creating the sounds that are the instrumentals behind the lyrics. In Part I, I would simply create and whatever came out as the finished product is how it would be. For the second half of the album I was extremely intentional with every sound, lyric and beat to be exactly how I envisioned it to be. After finishing each measure I would sit back and ask myself, ‘Is this something I would listen to?’ I wanted to not only create something I liked, but something that I would listen to.

Exploring the wonderful world of Washa; photographed by Andrew Piccone.

Exploring the wonderful world of Washa; photographed by Andrew Piccone.

How do you go from being inspired to make a song, and to then actually making the song an audible reality?

Sometimes I would be up all night because of a color or image I’d seen in a video or while running that day outside in my neighborhood. I would try to recreate the emotions I felt during that experience into chord and sound. That is how most of the progressions on this album came about. I wanted everything to sound full of life and sharp and layered. For songs like “I Am Growing” and “Night/Day” I could hear the finished track in its entirety in my head before I had recorded or written anything. It’s like they were already complete in reality and it was up to me to speak them into existence.

Hanging out with Washa; photo courtesy of Andrew Piccone.

Hanging out with Washa; photo courtesy of Andrew Piccone.

What can you tell us about what the next ensuing Washa musical chapter will be like?

I really want to get into visual art. I’ve been obsessed with it for the past two years but have never gotten a chance to properly delve into it because of the album and focusing music. So whatever I do next expect I would hope it be more intense, and accompanied with visuals. I haven’t even started to fully think about the next project but to be honest the ideas have already begun to creep onto the corners of my mind.

End of summer/fall/winter plans for Washa?

I just moved to Brooklyn so I’ll be playing around the area in promotion of the album, taking each opportunity as it comes.

Washa’s The Bright Parts I & II are available now via Bandcamp.

O Emperor

O Emperor quintet, captured by Chloe Brenan.

O Emperor quintet, captured by Chloe Brenan.

Ireland five-piece O Emperor just released the Lizard EP on Trout Records and bring you the following listen to the anticipated work from these schoolyard friends. The aim of chums Paul Savage, Philip Christie, Richie Walsh, Alan Comerford, and Brendan Fennessy is to make some of the most epic reigning sounds ever and succeeding at nearly every turn.

Opening with “The Sky Is Your Oyster” is one of the boldest yet most restrained things heard in the contemporary global pop canons in a minute, while “Bogue” explores the lower fidelity frequencies while retaining a high production standard ethic. “Switchblade” keeps the Emperors playing in the key of strange, right before bedazzling you like nothing you have heard at all here in the fourth quarter of 2015 on the jaw-dropping smooth bliss pop of “Trash Club”.

The O Emperor quintet was kind enough to grace us with the following introduction preface to Lizard that recounts their formidable schooldays beginnings to now:

It’s a little bit scary when I begin to think about it, but the five of us have been writing and recording music together for over ten years now. Before that, we had all spent a few years hanging around Waterford where we grew up, listening to old records and using them to try and figure out how to play our instruments. So I guess we’ve spent nearly half of our lives thus far hanging out together and playing music. I suspect we’ve all probably developed deep-seated psychological issues from spending far too much time together but it has been a bit of a laugh.

Personally, I think the reason for this longevity is that we’re all pretty much addicted to music. As teenagers, music became a viable alternative way for us to spend our time acting the bollocks with our friends and make some money doing it. Interestingly, as we began to focus more on writing our own songs the money seemed to dry up, but by that stage we were already too far-gone.

Since we began writing together around 2005, we have probably written around 250 songs or so. We are all agreed that most of our early efforts were pretty shit, often hilariously so: once in a while when we’re bored in the van we try our best to remember melodies/lyrics to old songs and literally fall around laughing at how ridiculous they were. It sounds strange to say it but I think that our wanton self-criticism and cynicism has been helpful in maintaining a healthy restlessness when it comes to working. Once we have finished a project, we are usually eager to move on to something different and force ourselves to take a fresh approach.

That has very much been the case with the recording of Lizard. Our first commercial release (Hither Thither) was handled through a major label in Ireland after which we founded our own studio/label to record and release our second record Vitreous. So when it came to writing and recording Lizard, we felt quite confident working on the record independently in our own studio, a space we have become very familiar with. I think this comes across on the EP We got a kick out of the immediacy and lightness of the tunes. Where before we may have labored over certain details in the production, this time around we decided to work quickly, trusting our best (and worst) instincts would deliver something worthwhile.

Intertwine

Norwegian audio architect Intertwine, aka Tarjei Zakarias Ekelund.

Norwegian audio architect Intertwine, aka Tarjei Zakarias Ekelund.

Norway’s Tarjei Zakarias Ekelund is Intertwine who just released his debut album Goraikoo today on Brilliance Records. Inspired by his studies in Tokyo, to inspirations of the Norwegian landscapes of sound further realized by bandmates Aleksander Berg and Ruben Nesse recorded in Larvik near the beach in cozy cabin. The result brings together the eastern glow of neon at night to sounds imagined and informed by the northern lights borealis in the sky.

Goraikoo is synthesized to be suitable sounds for all lands and spaces. “My Anchor” finds grounding at any dock or port, as “Northern Light” finds an ever alluring glow beyond the ceiling of the atmosphere, to the healing patience of “Stitches”, the romantic inspirations of “Rise”, the meditations of the title track, the warm piano built glow of “Heartbeat”, to the expressive extents and reaches of “Requiem”. Worlds of earthbound and celestial lore abound throughout, heard further on the transcendent human ballad “We Are Fools For Singing This Song”, or the whispers of “My Only Lie is Silence”, to the collection of audio painted colors that resemble a sky either at sunrise or sunset on the finale “Chromosphere”. Together Tarjei and friends have created intuitive lullaby pop for future evening lulls or the slow emergence of early morning risings.

Tarjei shared the following insights at work behind the making of his album Goraikoo:

Goraikoo means “sunrise” in Japanese, and is 10 songs I wrote mainly while staying in Tokyo. To record and produce the album has been a long journey—musical, geographical and personal. The result is a low-key, dreamy matter that I am incredibly proud of, and that it feels good and right to let people hear.

Goraikoo is available now from Brilliance Records.

Van Exel

van exel week in pop

Having recently caught-up with Sky Council boss Tim H. White around the time of Constellation X; today we bring you a debut first listen to his new album Since You Left in full.

Synth pop orchestrations break the atmosphere with the light beam pop of “Searching For the Darkest Lights”, arriving to the electric bass tripping helium heights that lift on “Orange Skies High”. Tim’s love of epic penned electronic arrangements are in full form on “The Sun Forest”, spinning the canvas sun-bathed sails of swan sung summer sentiment on “Tale Of the Siren”. Romantic adventure heart beat sequences figure prominently on “Pale Heart Seas”, while “Shines Like Wire” shimmers like those super slo-mo shots of a movie stars protagonist and their surrounding entourage sporting fine threads and shiny accessories. In the Van Exel tradition concept albums, sounds, thematic pieces, and the art of prgramming motifs through electronic sound; “All Days Down” provides the sun downing solar fall that sets the stage for a new day and closes the journal recorded deeds of the day in one for the books.

The Lonely Biscuits

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Nashville’s The Lonely Biscuits release their Come Around EP today on Most Lonely Records/INgrooves and we lend a listen to the protective pop “Pacifica” about guarding siblings from the “big bad thunder”. The care is expressed with the kind of heart felt advice from a good family member or friend, here translated with guardian angel guitar deliveries. After the following listen, check out our interview with the band.

Everyone loves Nashville for something different, what do you three love the most about Nashville?

Our favorite part of Nashville would have to be the huge community of creative people. It’s really inspiring waking up knowing there are tons of people doing awesome stuff in the same town as you. It makes you want to stand out and work harder. And then just having the community of artists to help build each other is amazing. All of our friends are in bands that we genuinely dig.

What were some of the most memorable things you all learned at Belmont University?

The knowledge of the music business, as far as labels, contracts, management, etc. has helped us a ton. A couple of us majoring in Audio Engineering has really helped us as well. Being able to record in our own house and hash out demos whenever we want is a huge plus.

Tell us about what shaped the Come Around EP for you all, and what was learned from that experience.

We are entering a new chapter our lives, so we’ve been super inspired lately. We’re done with school and making music full-time, so we’re kind of living our dream. The Come Around EP was our first time writing as a three-piece, and it flowed extremely well. We kind of just sat down with our instruments and some ideas that we had floating around, and the songs came out. The lyrics and the ideas feel like very clear thoughts that are based on our experiences, but broad enough for people to relate to in all walks of life. We all had to step up in the writing process for this EP and we’re really happy with the songs and proud of how everything turned out.

What is lined up on The Lonely Biscuits holiday season schedule?

We will be writing and recording our debut album this holiday season! A handful of shows in December, too—Chicago, one of our favorite places, is one of those shows. Also, we’re playing a New Years Eve show in Nashville with Delta Saints at Marathon Music Works! We’re pumped. Should be an awesome show and an overall awesome holiday season.

Damn the Witch Siren

Bobbi & Z, aka Damn the Witch Siren.

Bobbi & Z, aka Damn the Witch Siren.

Bobbi Kitten and Z Wolf from Columbus, Ohio keep the Halloween vibe of eternal enchantment stirringwith a listen to their album Back To Dreaming that shuts out the mundane humdrum world of reality for a creative world of their own choosing and perpetual celebration. “Fantasy” appropriately begins the album with the duo taking on the electronic dance attitudes with their slef-appointed bubbly pop styles, that continue on “Don’t Go Away” that gets carried off on it’s own buzzing serotonin saturated energy, to the amorous exchanges of “Say You Love Me More”. Everything in the DTWS world plays out like their own unusual Wonderland of constant entertainment on wonky cuts like “Nasty”, to the cosplay/ren-faire-fare of “Faerie Garden”, “Escape To Nowhere” dance pop escapism, monogamous movements in the dark on “One Love”, evening embraces of ecstacy on “Wild Nights”, to the witching vampirical hodgepodge of “Let The Beast Out”. The decadence keeps on that won’t stop/can’t stop/don’t stop edge with “Let’s Get Drunk (Forever & Ever)”, with eyes wide open on the sleepless “Insomnia”, closing with the slow-lullaby like wonder of the title track. After the following listen to Back To Dreaming, read our exclusive interview with Bobbi.

Tell us about the local Columbus, Ohio paths that saw Damn the Witch Siren form out of Z-Wolf’s previous act The Town Monster and Bobbi’s siren swan song visions of enchantment/visions of grandeur.

I was huge fan of The Town Monster even before I heard their music. I spotted Z Wolf on the cover of a local magazine with his band and just felt this magnetism towards him. The day we met I was already preparing to break up with my current band and I asked him to produce some of my solo work. Everything was instantaneous between us so we have been making music together as long as we have known each other. I was coming out to every Town Monster show I could and eventually I started singing parts in their recordings, starring in some of their music videos, dancing in a production of theirs, and collaborating with artists they were working with. I had become Z’s muse and as I started writing my own music as Damn the Witch Siren he had become my muse. Z has always had this darkness that follows him around so I always joke and pronounce that I am the light. We are both storytellers, both very spiritual individuals, and I have been painting faeries, doing theatre, and writing fantasy poetry since I was 12. I think the universe brought us together and Damn the Witch Siren is the cauldron in which we make our magic and feel free and constantly inspired by each other.

Tell us what’s good in Columbus right now throughout the scene circuits, art communities, music collectives, etc.

Brother’s Drake Meadery is a local crafter and my number one jam for mead. They have this Apple Pie mead that if you put a shot of bourbon in it—it’s the most divine thing that has ever touched your lips. Local breweries keep popping up around the city and I am always impressed- North High Brewing has one of my favorite chocolate stouts ever. All of our bars in the arts district carry local brews and it’s pretty stellar. One of my favorite local photographers- Kate Sweeney. Emotional, personal, and captivating. I feel like I’m reading someone’s dirty diary entries when I look at her photographs. The Wexner Center always has the most amazing art exhibits/film showings/fantastical events going on. The art scene is so collaborative. For example my friend, Jackie Mantey, is a fierce writer, check out her blog—Jackie Mantey Writes Like A Girl, but she also is a fabulous dancer who recently choreographed for us. We are also working with a local fashion designer Brianne Jeanette-Synthetic Rebellion for a current project who makes these wild avant-garde dresses out of hair but she’s also this total badass babe who models and does acting. It’s cool how supportive, talented, and passionate the local art community is.

The music scene here is predominantly indie rock. So we are like two sore thumbs and sometimes I don’t think people know how to react to it. There’s this weird stigma with electronics in the music community and even though we have guitars and synthesizers on stage—there’s still this traditional sensibility that Columbus holds on to. And that’s okay! There are a ton of awesome local bands. I just wish the scene was a bit more progressive and diverse.

There are some underground hip hop scenes happening and then there’s some rootsy folk alternative bands that bring out the sweets of Ohio. Some of our favorite artists are Angela Perley, Fine Animal, and Betsy Ross.

Back to Dreaming is a wild electro-pop tour de force. What are some of the favorite memories from making the record that you two share?

We would sneak into the graveyard and the local gardens at night and record snippets of the record just to get inspired, feel close to nature, and to freak ourselves out a bit. We live in a haunted house too and built a music studio in it and then recorded the whole album in different rooms of the house. I have a memory of recording every song because each one was a very visceral experience but the coolest thing is that 90% of the tracks that we recorded were scratch vocals from the first take while we were writing the songs. So most of the songs just came like a sharp knife through clouds. I always think that’s the most exciting experience an artist can have while creating—almost like an entity takes over your body and writes the songs for you.

What evolutions should we expect to spring forth from your self-described ‘witch pop’ style in the forthcoming DTWS offerings?

We really want to make a funk album! But it’s hard to tell. We decided not to put any limitations on ourselves which can make for quite a hodgepodge sometimes but, nevertheless, pretty interesting. All we know is that we are constantly trying to dig deeper into our creative spirits and write music that makes people feel stuff and have so much fun. So you can probably expect some Prince inspired dance music in the near future…

We recently turned you on to the weird yet wondrous world of Pre-Willy with the debut listen to his single “Call It Whatever”, and now we give you a listen to “Caroline” taken from his upcoming Gin & Coupons EP available November 13 from Sad Cactus Records. The latest listen from his Beacon, NY recorded release brings about a tale of romanticism that takes traditional ballroom balladry for a dizzying round about spin where synths sound like the epic carnival organ grinder pipes that propel the central axis of a psych splashed merry-go-round trip.

Asante Phenix released the Matt Seger and Dexter Brierley of Underhill Productions video for “Guns” that features the artist showing off some of his sidewalk-stepping dance moves opposite Carisma Glasper. From backdrops that move from day to night, Asante sings out about the loaded gun charm and charge of his muse that Phenix praises through similes and a dance designated ode expressed over a future electro beat backdrop. Follow all of our Asante Phenix coverage here.

Ayse Hassan of Savages and Kendra Frost create dual bass fusions as Kite Base, sharing their rumbling and radical single “Miracle Waves” that moves in the supernatural sorts of ways. Ayse and Kendra move toward higher levels while manifesting mean bass drawn portraits of earth rumbling attitudes. Frost and Hassan described their chosen moniker with the following words:

One of the main starting points found in origami, a Kite Base is an opening move made with simple folds to generate a firm and fertile foundation for creativity. It can become whatever you want it to be- simple or complex- based on the imagination of the creator, inspiration and chance.

To us, the ‘Kite’ also symbolizes the generation of ideas and setting them free to evolve organically, embracing change. The ‘Base’ is the final ordering of these thoughts once they have been allowed to settle. It is a symbiotic relationship. A duo. Our working methodology.

Little Simz dropped the Hit-Boy produced track “Don’t Forget” full of reminders to keep you from “being blinded by the bright lights” among other notable items to take notes of. In Simz’ own words:

This year has been really crazy so far. I released my debut album + I’m just about to fly to South Africa to perform for the first time and shoot my next video. And this wouldn’t have been possible without you guys. So before I jump on this plane I just wanted to share something new with you guys. Me and my boy Hit-Boy linked up in LA this summer and cooked up a little something. So here you go. Oh… And Drop 5 is coming

If your looking for some smooth and sleek pop fun, check out Solomon Ray’s reinvention of Beck’s “Guess I’m Doing Fine” that features some anthemic chorus moments and some spoken verse bars that close it all out.

Choir Of Young Believers announced that their new album Grasque will be available February 19 via Ghostly International, and we have the b/w motorcycle video diary “Jeg Ser Dig” from Frederik Sølberg, Sara Laub and Jannis Noya Makrigiannis that matches the tranquil travel transcendental sounds.

From their felte album Wuthering Drum, make a galactic jump for it on Public Memory’s (featuring ERAAS’ Robert Toher) moon-gazing electro-vibes of “Lunar” that swings slowly from the stars, to the moon, to a nearby satellite (or two), and then back again. This is music to get lost in space to.

Playing their record release gig tonight at Brooklyn’s Secret Project Robot, grab the following full stream listen to The Unspeakable Practices’ (Kid Millions & Rick Moody) album debut available today from Joyful Noise Recordings. Working with a collective arsenal from trumpeter Nate Wooley, Brad Truax & Richard Hoffman on bass duties, Shahin Motia on guitar, David Grubbs on organ, Michael Foster on sax and more; what once started as Zoom recorded rehearsal sessions are here presented as a cycle of song-fusion works that extend outside the drawn lines of genre conceits.

From St. Louis, MO’s The Brainstems; check out the super bubbly & bounce-y dive punk of “Redline” from their forthcoming album No Place Else available November 27 from Bad Diet. Reminiscent of Parquet Courts or various talents found on the Dull Tools roster, Brainstems tickle the places between the frontal lobes and the cerebellum that trigger the neurons that sense a good times and car rides when the tachometer needle isn’t even displayed on the dial.

J. Gardner is a food truck businessman, multi-instrumentalist artist who is behind I’m an Island, readying his debut full length Bored Days, Old Years for 2016 and shares the following listen to the A-side. Gardner gets the whole trip moving like a big swirling mandala of sound on “Rome”, following it up with the fishing trip munchies rock of “Boatsnack”, retaining the restrained moods and progressions on “SW1”, right before tripping swiftly yet lightly into the ever-inviting displays of oblivion on “SW2”. Stay tuned for side b.

Having just featured the debut of Caleb Groh’s “FCKNU” single we bring you the suave pop video for “Let It Groh” directed by Jordan Bellamy starring the artist with Jared Park, and Chris Cole. From here decadent nights, and life of Riley debauchery depicts what a good time you can have at home, grooving to the twirl of your own disco ball.

Edelweiss shared their new single “Species” that features a host of biological pop sciences that spring to vibrant life off their Philadelphia EP available November 13 from Mad Dragon Records. The friends, folks, and lovers that waste our time are here given an ode crafted through the dreamiest channels of recording and contemporary means of expression.

Dumbo Gets Mad return December 3 with their new album Thank You Neil on Ghost Records/Bad Panda Records, sharing the heroic pop balladry with “Andromedian Girl”. Building conceptual album pop framework cues from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s television documentary series “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”, the Italo duo re-tricks the norms you once associated with thematic pop that works in ways that are understood through a inter-galactic connection through the Stones Throw catalog, Slim Twig, Connan Mockasin, and other visionaries that build their own habitats of sound.

Courtesy of Orange Milk Records, get ready to hear Keith Rankin, aka Giant Claw’s new sound cycle that will have all the audio geeks talking deep into 2016 about with Deep Thoughts. Featuring tracks titled in numeric form from “001” to “010”; get ready to hear sounds that extend beyond the regions of quantitative mathematics and physics alone.

Groningen, Netherlands trio LGHTNNG just released their first EP Nights Change Days via NewRetroWave Records, and we give you a listen to their electric euro-pop beats bouquet. The ultra-electro action begins with “Sad Humming”, glittering in all regalia on “Desert King”, solitude sonic soliloquies on “Loneliness”, swimming with the pop savvy swiftness on “Sharks”, keeping the rhythm beyond the evening on “One Night Away”. This the candy-pop soundtrack to satiate those segments of time spent in the arms of solace.

Presenting their fourth video from a five video cycle, behold the Amy Harrity video for Yassou’s “the woods” that explores the open-ended highways that run from nightfall and into the endless freeways of memory and fragments of leftover feelings. Complications among lovers, friends, and more plays out in the most subtle and cryptic of mysteries and that surround the emotive evening worlds that surround the environments where hearts are both broken and sewn together.

Atlantic Thrills’ Vices album will be available in late November via Almost Ready Records and we got your listen to the title track. Following up “Bed Bugs” b/w “Going To The Beach” from their recent 7″, the underbelly essences of the gritty underground rises to the surface in a wailing shred-fest raucous racket that rails and rocks like one helluva heavy head rush.

For those seeking some vivid bright ultra-pop then we bring you TeamMate’s “Nothing’s Ever Over” available now from Rostrum Records. The LA duo of Scott and Dani deal in super plugged in electric feels cast in hyper-def.

Flowers lend an endearing listen to their brand new single “Ego Loss” that moves the ambiance and move toward the places of patience, and a pensive sort of beauty where pride subside into the empathetic arena of affections and their sometimes mysterious origins.

Déjà Vega just released their singles “Pentagrams” and “Skeletons in the Florist” today and we bring you the animated video for the latter that features the Mancunian trio of Jack Fearon, Tom Webster and Michael Newton brewing up a psych slice of the surreal with sweet rhythmic rumbles that rock throughout.

Check out all the smooth and sultry vibes on ACES’ video for “I’m Already Gone” that deals with departures by phone and by care in the most intimate of sublime expressions and sensations.

From Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow, aka MS MR, watch their bright lit styled, fashioned and furnished video for “Criminals,” found off their new album How Does It Feel. The duo take on neon-clad outlaw personas like a post-modern pop Bonnie & Clyde who exist in a technicolor world all of their own delight and design.

With a little low-key smooth crooning lovers rock for your romantic get away, we bring you Jesse Hale Moore’s single “Holding a Sign” that sees release today from Canvasclub.

Erica Glyn collaborated with Alexis McNab to create the drawing cut-ups present in the following video for her Echo and the Bunnymen cover of “Killing Moon”. Watch as this animated world turns both cosmic and primal. Glyn recently released her Dollars For Thieves EP, and also works closely with the organization Gender Amplified.

Here We Go Magic present their title track video from Sam Kuhn off their Be Small album available now from Secretly Canadian, that presents journeys of forestall camera caught images and other sights of natural wonders. Weird slow-pitch voice bits bookend the piece, further adding to the soft-pop psych mystique that “Be Small” operates on.

Let Lauren Kinsella’s voice move you to new oceans of tranquility and reasoning on Snowpoet’s piano dotted new single “Mermaid”. Found off their forthcoming Two Rivers Records debut album available January 15, listen as questions of the mundane and mythic exist here in parallel states of consciousness and being. Get your zen here.

From LA, meet Crescendo who present their single “Repulsor” off their upcoming new album Unless available February 19 from the darlings at We Were Never Being Boring. Like the elegance of the WWNBB collective’s roster and catalog, Crescendo keeps that DIY pop beauty pushing along with a sound, style, and series of sensations that are anything but repulsive.

Potty Mouth’s Week in Pop

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Exclusive guest selections from Potty Mouth; photographed by Jesse Riggins.
Northampton, Massachussetts’ Potty Mouth recently released their self-titled EP on their label Planet Whatever Records and we are proud to present Week in Pop guest selections personally cherry-picked by Abby Weems, Ally Einbinder, & Victoria Mandanas.

Abby’s picks:

Shura, “Just Once”

Carly Rae Jepsen, “E·MO·TION”

Potty Mouth-5
photographed by Edwina Hay.

TOPS, “Way To Be Loved”

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photographed by Edwina Hay.

Ally’s picks:

Mal Devisa, “Obituary”

Aye Nako, “Worms”

Stove, “Wet Food”

Potty Mouth-4
photographed by Edwina Hay.

Victoria’s picks:

Ursula, “Prom Song”

Potty Mouth; photographed by Jesse Riggins.

Potty Mouth; photographed by Jesse Riggins.

Julia Holter, “Feel You”

Follow Potty Mouth via Twitter and catch them playing tomorrow (November 7) in Providence, Rhode Island at the Columbus Theatre, and November 8 in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

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