Week in Pop: James Linck, The Jet Age, Lade, Lady Bones

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The Bilinda Butchers, Blindness, The Glazzies, Jónó Mí Ló,  Starbenders, guest selections by Shamir.

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Sjimon Gompers | June 12, 2015

Meet Detroit's James Linck, photographed by Andrew Miller.

As the summer blockbusters surround and demand our undivided attention, Impose’s Week in Pop gets you caught up on all the week’s party crashers and breakthrough upstarts. As all festival hype news surrounds Bonnaroo happening all weekend in Manchester, Tennessee; this week saw Apple Music unveiled with Drake and The Weeknd presentations; Chance the Rapper is curating Teens in the Park, a free Chicago festival; Summer Jam descended into chaos; SBTRKT versus Disclosure; also Lorde is allegedly collaborating with Disclosure; The Melvins’ Buzz Osborne versus Montage of Heck; Ice Cube to reunite N.W.A. with MC Ren and DJ Yella on June 27 in conjunction with the BET Experience in LA; MC Ren is also not down with being left out of the Straight Outta Compton trailers for the August 14 slated biopic; Kendrick Lamar talked about meeting Dr. Dre for the fist time; Kim Gordon x J Mascis collaborationSlow Boy“; Paul Westerberg announced that the Primavera Porto performance is the last for The Replacements; after Antemasque canceled their forthcoming European tour, Cedric Bixler-Zavala denied any upcoming Mars Volta reunion; while Paul Weller too is adamant about not reforming The Jam; GFOTY’s Field Day Festival kerkufle; a Virgin Money line of credit cards will sport the moniker logo and corresponding album art for the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind The Bollocks…; Morrissey in a recent interview claims to have “died for nine minutes” after a 2013 food poisoning related hospitalization in Peru; and we mourn the losses of Christopher Lee, Dusty Rhodes, Ornette Coleman, and Pumpkinhead.

But as the world turns to brand new day, it is our pleasure and privilege to present the following exclusives and insights from James Linck, The Jet Age, Lade, Lady Bones, The Bilinda Butchers, Blindness, The Glazzies, Jet Trash, Jónó Mí Ló, Quelle Chris, Sextile, Sir Lord Von Raven, Soul Low, Starbenders, featuring guest selections by Shamir, and more — in no particular order.

James Linck

Getting to know James Linck, photographed by Andrew Miller.

Getting to know James Linck, photographed by Andrew Miller.

Detroit’s James Linck initially appeared on radars with his Fortress Of Solitude, rocking a falsetto over production that goes everywhere and enraptures the senses. Linck keeps his take on new nostalgia pushing ahead with the premiere of “Broken Vessel”, puffing a new kind of old high that continues to synthesize smoky r&b pop arts with electro manufactured airs of ambiance. Taken off his upcoming release Small World, James exhibits confessions of incomplete inclinations, lists of misgivings that humbly opens up his heart to the listener with lyrics set to a rich production that further stakes a claim of ownership to the universal doubts experienced by many—but rarely discussed.

“Broken Vessel’ finds James Linck wrapping up the chorus loop around the auto-tuned touched line of, “if I see you today, I wanna have something to say.” The sustain of keys keep the feeling of overactive thoughts running through the sung bars and verses that describe the many manic moods of trying to find a well-adjusted comfort zone. From watching Psycho with the lights on to the refrain of “I’ll my favorite t.v. shows are about men with trust issues” depicts the diversions, and connective calm provided by the coping processes of finding a peaceful center. The track’s atmospheric center reverberates like a meditative core that James utilizes a canvas to convey fractured feelings. Join us following the debut of “Broken Vessel” for our interview with James Linck.

How did you first discover your inner musician?

I first discovered my inner musician when I went to Cedar Point (an amusement park in Sandusky, OH) when I was in sixth grade…they had this place called superstar studios where u could go into a recording booth and they’d essentially make a recording of you doing karaoke. I chose to do the Boyz II Men track “End of the Road”… I thought I killed it but when i was listening to the cassette they gave me on our ride back to Michigan, I wasn’t very impressed with my performance and I couldn’t wait to make another recording. So yeah.. it wasn’t until after high school that is started messing with multi-track recorders but i think the obsession began there.

The latest from the Detroit scenes? And how have the environments and influences of the D impacted your sound and creative sensibilities?

Detroit’s a pretty eclectic scene…there’s tons of people doing every style of music you can think of and I think there’s a lot of cross pollination between the genres but I’ve always had pretty eclectic taste when it comes to music. I think more so the low cost of living allows people to spend more time on creative endeavors and that’s probably the most influential factor. Obviously we have a rich musical history here but I mean we’re all on the internet constantly…everywhere is everywhere.

Taking a smoke break with James Linck, captured by Andrew Miller.

Taking a smoke break with James Linck, captured by Andrew Miller.

What sorts of earth shattering, and world breaking moments informed your single, “Broken Vessel”?

“Broken Vessel” was written last summer…I was going thru a really weird dramatic breakup. I turned thirty and i was having some serious writer’s block. I didn’t have a steady job and i was just holed up in my tiny flat binge drinking and trying fight off the despair… after I was able to get this song out in the open the rest of the record started to flow out pretty naturally.

Other like-minded artists you want to give a shout out to?

Jamaican Queens just released a really beautiful album called Downers. Those dudes are an inspiration…two of my fav Detroit rappers, Doc Waffles and Goldzilla, formed a group called Barter Boys and their record should be dropping this summer…I’ve heard some of it…I’m pretty excited for that one. Tunde Olaniran has a new record on deck that’s gonna drop in August I think…I’ve heard a bunch of it cause the same dude who mixed my album, Jon Zott, did his as well…so shouts to him…Jon also just dropped a really great track called “Make Plans” on his Soundcloud…so def check that. I could go on and on…

Listen to more from James Linck via Bandcamp.

Lade

Sipping coffee with Lade, aka Ethan Edenburg, photo by Julia Sherman.

Sipping coffee with Lade, aka Ethan Edenburg, photo by Julia Sherman.

In our continuing coverage of Lade, we bring you the video premiere for the ocean lording title track, “The Flood”, from the recently released EP of the same name. Directed by Andrew Gerety, and edited by Louie Jones; Lade frontman Ethan Edenburg takes his washed away feelings to the waters, watching the tide crash on rocks, as the ever present background and foreground layers of electronic components are joined by frames of multi-flourescent neon light.

The song’s dream state notion of drifted places, flooded abodes, people migrating their personal spaces to new waters, islands, and new habitats are brought to visual form from Ethan surrounded by rocky shores, to otherwise dark rooms illuminated by beams of light. Shining forth from the undertow of darkness with special lighting effects — views of the open waters collide together in tune to the somber fuzzy organ, and the drum machine’s decaying beat punches like shoreline erosion. Motives, words, and motions, are lyrically contemplated in a wash of reflection cradled by the soft keys. These collective thoughts and sentiments are brought to the physical earth sciences that examine the ever-changing points where land and sea both meet, and depart with the ebb of lunar persuasion. And as the keys and strings become layered on the title track, the vertical polychromatic bars begin a brief pattern of boxy, and angular designs that evoke ancient etched primitive shapes found in the caves by the water’s side. Following the music video debut for “The Flood”, Lade’s Ethan Edenburg joins us for another round of discussion.

With “The Flood” being the pivotal title track of your EP, made with Mark Hadley, David Pramik and Sean Tracy, what were the early pre-production stages like working with Andrew Gerety for the video? Did you have your concepts drafted out or anything?

Andrew and I are always looking to try something we have never done before in order to challenge ourselves and because that is how an artist grows, but mostly because it’s the most fun. Our original concept was to have me in a small room with a moving light. So we went to home depot and bought all kinds of stuff we didn’t know how to use, built this strange/dangerous rig in his apartment and shot some test footage. The footage looked great and we began combining it with time-lapse clips of the night sky. We got really amped about the potential of the project and realized we needed more cool lights. Back to home depot for more gear! This seems like an ad for Home Depot. Anyways we aimed to make some cool different colored bar lights and in the process we may have slightly electrocuted his girlfriend Celina. But hey, we built the damn things and they worked great! Anyways we figured the plan would unfold as we went along and somehow it did.

After capturing screen tests of yourself, oceanic vistas, effects, and the like; what were some of the templates and schematics at work in post production with editor, Louie Jones?

Louie and everyone at SlaQr is simply the best. Working with them was so wonderful and easy. Once Louie started putting the pieces together we realized more footage was needed. That’s when Andrew and I went out to shoot the beach shots. Andrew is a maniac who really wants to capture something special and so at 5am this huge Thor-looking guy was running around the beach trying to capture everything he could get before the sunrise. Unfortunately that resulted in his camera taking a wave to the face. We encouraged Louie to be creative and help us come up with the artsy mash-up shots to string the whole video together. He delivered in spades and I hope we get to work with him again soon!

I like how the bars of neon flickering light illuminate the water, along with your visage throughout the video. The effects, and lighting respond softly to the understated electronic elements at work on “The Flood”, and I was wondering what is the challenge in blending the mediums and elements of sound, visuals, illumination effects, and nature all together in a song about new beginnings, rebirths, literal fall-outs by being washed out, and more?

It was a challenge to combine those elements in a logical way but I think the more we considered the song, the easier it became. Trying to match the instrumentation was crucial. We knew we were going to be adjusting the opacity so it only made sense to use real shots interlaced with those neon lights.

Lade's Ethan Edenburg, photographed by Julia Sherman.

Lade’s Ethan Edenburg, photographed by Julia Sherman.

Have you considered translating certain aspects from the video for the Lade live show program?

It is possible… But I can not release those secrets as of yet…

You have told us how the collaborative process of working with others made making the EP a thrill to bring from conceptual seed to song. How has this approach affected, or impacted your latest recordings, and upcoming planned releases?

Huge impact. Like that movie, Deep Impact. The folks that are producing these new tracks with me deserve all the credit in the world and I’ve been having the time of my life working with them. It’s a beautiful process.

As someone who makes personal music that stays and plays about the consciousness, what three songs continue to stay in your nearly constant thoughts, and memories?

That’s a tough one. I’d say “Unravel” by Bjork, “Undiscovered First” by Feist, and “A Case of You” — the James Blake version gets me a little teary every time.

Lade’s the flood EP is available now via Bandcamp.

Lady Bones

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Introducing Sean, Jeremy, and Egon who are Allston by Boston trio, Lady Bones, who present the world premiere of their sweet sludge pop single “Stay”, off their upcoming album Dying, available June 30 from Midnight Werewolf Records. Chums since high school, inspired by locals like Pile and more; Lady Bones build exoskeletons out of a creative array of unique bridges, key changes, sections, and movements that keep their sound in a state of constant. The three let their songs breathe, keeping the core intent always honest, and intact, running streams of revolving lyrical ruminations according to the band’s own planned happenstance.

Creating the stylistic definition of “ugly pop” as a quick way to describe their sound, Lady Bones’ music illustrates a kind of intuitive cohesion out of an arrangement of instrumental parts that thrive outside the margins of convention. Throughout the album Dying the band entertains the solace in places like “Nest”, observing the endless energy of others on “24 Hour Party Girl” to the mortality musings of “Amen Dead Friends” and “Dead Dogs” all the while making the least expected arrangements of musical parts that comprise the band’s creative make-up. “Stay” brings all the pining and longings that emerge from the most codependent cubbies of the unconsciousness, that makes a plea and appeal through an adventurous range of audio sections. The distances between people, and the distances folks place for themselves in compartmentalized fashions examined in brutal honesty like torn excerpt from journal entries (where the ink remains smeared by tears), angry voice mails, and reacting to insecure doubts that causes folks to act out (and/or also make great, constructive songs about these experiences). “Stay” takes the listener frame for frame of a breakup observed through the many phases of coping, and heart shattered reactions from the gradual communicative disconnection. Lady Bones’ gift is the ability to convey experiences to a self made form that finds some new ways to bring the listener to those shared familiar places of that populate the motifs and themes in the amusement park called life.

Lady Bones’ Sean Gilston gave us the following preface to their album Dying, and further defining their own self-described style of, “ugly pop:”

To be honest I came up with the album title Dying by flipping through the lyrics I had written for the album and just picking a random word. Kinda anti climactic but I’ve never really put too much thought into naming stuff, I jump around a lot with themes in our songs so it’s always been hard to pick a word or phrase to represent them.

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I came up with ‘ugly pop’ because I got sick of answering the question ‘what type of music do you play?’ With ‘uhh rock and roll I guess,’ but I think it’s a pretty accurate description, we write songs that are structured like pop songs but try to fill them with dissonant and challenging material. We’re always trying to avoid writing songs that sound cheesy, if we write a really catchy part we have to balance it out by adding something that sounds fucked up or weird.

Lady Bones’ album Dying will be available June 30 from Midnight Werewolf Records.

The Jet Age

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DC’s The Jet Age return, readying their new album Destroy.Rebuild release for August 28, premiering the forward facing rhythm rider, “Don’t Make A Sound”. The three piece of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Eric Tischler, percussionist Pete Nuwayser, and bassist Greg Bennett began composing their new song cycle between the recent midterm elections, and Eric Garner’s death in Ferguson that ponders dream of sustainable systematic redevelopment, and abolishing the failed states and institution of abusive authoritative force. And though the anchors and weights here are at times heavy, pensive, and bleak; pangs and sparks of hope are still scattered everywhere.

“Don’t Make A Sound” looks to new possibilities, new blue skies, and changes that benefit all. The Jet Age create a song like a door to another dimension, providing an escapist like portal to flee today’s dystopian realities that ring closer to home than the imagined fictions of post-apocalyptic cyberpunk novels. The rhythm guitar matches the pace, and timing of urgent footsteps taking flight through woods, field, and over streams to safe-haven of sanctuary (somewhere). The chord progressions too allude toward a kind of yin and yang war, where the angular hoppity strums are met with a louder, distortion peddled addled minotaur of sound. After the following debut of “Don’t Make A sound”, read our interview with Eric from The Jet Age.

What were the circumstances, and surrounding events that brought you three together as The Jet Age?

Bass player Greg and I were in a band called the hurricane lamps—we toured, made records, maybe you heard of us? Anyhoo, when that band broke up, Greg moved to Norway for a while, and a fan of the lamps by the name of Dave offered to help me get a new band together. He brought drummer Pete to the mix, and when Dave moved to Denver Greg wound up coming back to DC from Norway, so it was weirdly circular.

With a title made in response to the tumultuous rise in injustices, and abuse of power here at home (not to mention foreign fracases); what sorts of wisdom and visions were helping guide the three of you during the writing and recording of Destroy. Rebuild?

Ugh. I wish I could say it was wisdom that drove the writing, but it was more like terror and desperation. I do think there’s a real vision of loss and fear driving this record, but that’s offset by another vision of the power of love, and the strength it can provide when it feels like you’re living just a few miles from the end of the world.

We’re enjoying the working class heart and populous passion on “Don’t Make a Sound”, can you all elaborate on the story behind this song?

Yeah, this is a sort of ‘us against the world’ kind of song. It’s not as apocalyptic as some of the other songs, but the line ‘I wanna ride with you to the other side, while the world’s still wide and the sky’s still blue’ is an allusion to the feeling that the world is crumbling — or perhaps more accurately, melting — but the song itself is essentially saying that we can make it together, and I genuinely feel that way…usually.

Strategies to rebuild the world in the wake of its own self-destruction/implosion?

If I can crib from another songwriter, “All you need is love.” Of course, it’s not that simple, is it? Broadly, I think that when it feels like, all around us, life is being devalued — either through the disparity in wealth or through the unjustified and unpunished murders of our friends, loved ones and neighbors — there’s a subconscious impulse to want to start throwing other people into the machine in the hopes it’ll slow down long enough to make an escape. I think this explains why a lot of people who don’t control 1% of the nation’s wealth still vote Republican — it’s like Stockholm Syndrome: you start to identify with your tormentors in an effort to keep yourself safe.

So, if we can level the playing field by recognizing the value of every person, the mentality, hopefully, is no longer ‘every man for himself’ and we, en masse, can start making decisions that benefit everyone. I address the negative impulse pretty openly on “I Can’t Breathe,” and then prescribe the solution on the final song, “Epilogue”: “It’s not enough just to wish, but we can start with a kiss.” Can you tell I’m a big softie who likes very reductive statements so as not to overwhelm his songs with mood-killing polemics?

Head lifting hopes for our communities and leaders?

I think Bernie Sanders’ recent traction is really heartening, and the more pyscho, racist, hypocrites the GOP fields the better, as it forces to them to expose and address those impulses, so I think I’m cautiously optimistic.

Top three most excited things you all have heard, seen, or read lately?

Musically, I’ve really been enjoying the new Thee Oh Sees and Joanna Gruesome, but it’s hard to imagine anything more exciting than the amazing record Swervedriver released this year, and I’m not just saying that because Adam guested on our last record.

Film-wise, Mad Max was pretty damn “exciting,” and I was excited to see my buddy Scott Crawford leap from magazine publisher to critically acclaimed documentarian with his documentary, Salad Days.

It was published 21 years ago, but my cousin-in-law loaned me Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which was both an entertaining piece of sci-fi (a genre I don’t typically enjoy reading) and a thought-provoking look at language and religion. I’m also excited to finally read George Pelecanos’ recent collection of short stories, Martini Shot.

The Jet Age’s Destory.Rebuild album will be available August 28 via Bandcamp.

Jónó Mí Ló

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Multimedia artist and Afternoons Modeling imprint founder Jónó Mí Ló recently released End Of Light from Hoko Sounds the soundtrack for an FPS computer game described as a “Useless gun in paradise” co-designed with Cassie McQuater. The soundtrack provides an ambient melange of post-vapor wave micro-genre compressions that trap through a series of atmospheres that gurgle like a stew of melted together soundcards from 90s gaming computers that sport the latest in Super-VGA resolutions, featuring rhythmic elements that borrows from the dance hall discotheque schools, spaced out sound collages, and everything that ignites chemical reactions from the mind and body fields of sensory.

Screenshot from 'End of Light' game, courtesy of Cassie McQuater &  Jónó Mí Ló.

Screenshot from ‘End of Light’ game, courtesy of Cassie McQuater & Jónó Mí Ló.

For those that wish to experience the 3D first person experiential digital End of Light world, click here to begin your journey.

For those that prefer to watch, you catch check out the following game play experience of sound, visuals, and ultra-immersive environments of dazzling action.

The Bilinda Butchers

the bilinda butchers week in pop 1

When we last heard from The Bilinda Butchers, we explored their magnum opus Heaven from Orchid Tapes, caught them touring with Craft Spells, and now we welcome back Michael Palmer, Adam Honingfold, and Ryan Wansley with their cover of Number Girl’s “Sentimental Girls Violent Joke” that features the Tokyo based Smany on vocals. With an arrangement, and emotive atmosphere that sounds like the next logical progression from the expressive and involved world of Heaven—the single published by LA imprint Zoom Lens plays about with the familiar expressive sustain of keys that entertains a dance mode fit for late nights lost in Tokyo, romantic foggy evenings in San Francisco, or a discreet after party in Los Angeles. The Bilinda Butchers’ Number Girl cover continues the standards established by Heaven, and moves deeper into dancier terrains of rhythm sophistication. The atmospheres tread those paths of calm, and turbulent ethereal waters while Smany’s vocals provides an urban city pop mode that pushes along the feeling down the fancy footwork streets, gilded sidewalks, fancy boulevards, gold plated alleys, and never ending interstates of affection.

The Bilinda Butchers take on Number Girl’s original version of “Sentimental Girls Violent Joke” trades in the rock and rumble attitude for the sound of a celestial spa soundtrack where Smany’s vocals are center stage. Every keyboard note is cast into the after hours edges of the frame, as the synths make melody patterns that are emitted like the smoky steam of dry ice ice rising from the stage floor. As Smany recites the Japanese sung lyrics in the sleepiest, and serene of vocal deliveries, the rhythm takes over and invites overy more synthesizers, and guitar hooks to the party as the entire affair becomes an euphoric blend perfect for the earliest mornings—or the latest nights. Right after the following listen, read our most recent interview with Michael Palmer.

Where were you when you first heard “Sentimental Girls Violent Joke” from Number Girl, and what struck you about the original, and what inspired you to cover it?

I actually heard it for the first time pretty recently. We were looking for a track to cover and Adam sent it to me. It’s a weird B-side that isn’t very popular. We were looking for something that we could easily translate into a completely opposite vibe. Sentimental Girl’s Violent Joke is great because it feels like a track the Butchers would have done when we first started out.

How did you connect with Tokyo artist Smany for this collaboration?

She was recommended to me by my friend Mus.hiba.

It seems like your taking the eclectic elements from the sophistication of Heaven, and sharpening them to something even sweeter here on this cover. Can you tell us more about the latest developments behind the scenes in the BBs camp?

We’ve been wanting to do more dance inspired electronic music. When Ryan joined the band he brought in a lot of UK style dance influence, garage, house, drum and bass. So we’ve been leaning towards those elements more while preserving the original core values of cinematic, soundtrack based music.

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(The Bilinda Butchers, photographed at Mercury Lounge by Emily Cheng.)

Having finished your second recent tour with Craft Spells, what were the top 5 songs, albums, etc played in the vans?

1. Disclosure, “Lose my Mind” ft. London Grammar

2. Enigma, “Sadness”

3. Deavid Soul, “Miller Ball Breakers”

4. Fingers Inc., “Can You Feel It”

5. Steely Dan, “Babylon Sisters”

Care to comment on possible further collaborations with Justin P. Vallesteros and company on upcoming BBs material?

We’re talking about going out on the road again maybe, still not sure.

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(The Bilinda Butchers’ Michael Palmer, photographed at Mercury Lounge by Emily Cheng.)

If you guys could make your own manga, what would it be called, and/or about?

It would be called Sentimental Girl’s Violent Joke and it would be about kids wandering around Tokyo trying to sneak into clubs.

If Heaven could be adapted into a film, who would direct/animate?

Wong Kar Wai.

Current philosophies of The Bilinda Butchers musically, spiritually, metaphysically?

Things are always slowing down here. We are working on less and less music as time goes on. We are more interested in visual projects now.

The Bilinda Butchers’ single “Sentimental Girls Violent Joke” ft. Smany (Number Girl Cover) is available now from Zoom Lens.

Quelle Chris

Quelle Chris, photographed by Jeremy Deputat.

Quelle Chris, photographed by Jeremy Deputat.

Quelle Chris has given us notice that his upcoming third album will be entirely produced by Bay Area producer Chris Keys titled Innocent Country (continuing his 2Dirt4TV series), available July 10 from Mello Music Group. With guest cameos by Denmark Vessey, The Fiends, Fresh Daily, Cavalier and so on; we bring you the first listen with “I Asked God” that brings a metaphysical prayer in real time that sheds the pretensions of religious didactic that blends the good, bad, and questionable things of material attachment in piano touched track of thanks and praise.

Quelle Chris had this to say about his new track:

Often we turn to something or someone else. Asking, hoping and waiting for change. Be thankful for what’s around you, seen and unseen. Yet, never forget the power you hold within yourself.

Blindness

Blindness, photographed by Iona Dee — with (from left) Debbie Smith, Emma Quick and Beth Rettig.

Blindness, photographed by Iona Dee — with (from left) Debbie Smith, Emma Quick and Beth Rettig.

Off their July 24 album Wrapped in Plastic from Fort Worth’s international guardians of dream pop, Saint Marie Records, London’s Blindness drops the b/w Lasco Atkins, Milo Richard Downs and Alex Scotti video for their cool, confident, confessional video for “Confessions”. The trio of Beth Rettig, Emma Quick, and Debbie Smith (guitarist for Curve, Echobelly, and Snowpony) take the sideways-side-walking paths established by the UK’s leather & distortion clad indie upstarts deeper into the melting pot marshes of melted & boiled media fabrics that informs today’s rebels.

The video for “Confessions” presents Beth, Debbie, and Emma performing about in a linen covered (or maybe it’s plastic?) space, where Blindness sheds some views into dealing with matters whilst feeling broke down. Without a sign of surrendering to fleeting feelings, and asserting themselves; Blindness takes on a slew of different expressive poses to show serious sides, the aches of being addled with anxiety, and more to make for dramatic shots to match the grueling grate of guitar gears. Beth, Debbie, and Emma were so cool as to write us a confessional paragraph that recalls the making of the Lynchian-Twin Peaks-esque titled album, Wrapped in Plastic, and more:

This album has been a long time in the making (as many will tell you). There have been a lot of ups and downs so it’s great to finally get these songs out as one album. Between recording and finishing the album, we lost a couple of members and gained one. As our old bass player and drummer’s parts are still on the album, we decided to call the album Wrapped In Plastic as this was the band’s first name (after the infamous line in Twin Peaks, obviously) while they were still part of it. It seemed like, somehow, ending a chapter so that we can start the next.

Wrapped in Plastic will be available July 24 from Saint Marie Records.

Starbenders

Starbender's one and only—Kimi Shelter.

Starbender’s one and only—Kimi Shelter.

Kimi Shelter and Starbenders are back, keeping the attitude raw, the reputation bad, and kicking out a listen to fizz fueled fury of “Diet Soda” off the new Institution Records digital 7″. But this ain’t no soda fountain dispensed soft drink, as Kimi delivers a series of intense and entertaining scenarios, incidents, and more fired out at a cool yet very caffeinated rate. The rock, roll, and rage mode is captured with full force, life, and effect with production courtesy of Nico Constantine and Jason Kingsland with teeth sharp enough to rival that of the ATL Biters crew (of whom Kimi and co are affiliated with).

Dealing in a voltage and amped up force more furious than the flipside “Powder”; Kimi takes Starbenders to the hilt that takes no prisoners, panders to no one, and takes you on a wild ride through an Atlanta, Southern gothic tale told in hyper time. The chords strike a series of instantly catchy hooks, while Kimi Shelter takes the action from a bored night of watching television, a police bust, an arrest, pumping weights in a prison yard, mulling over the chorus’s questions that mix identity inquiries of beauty and malice. And while the plot unravels before your ears, riffs that recall the realized rage of the proto-punk in-between eras of the 70s create constant rebelious candy for the ear. Read our interview with Starbenders’ Kimi Shelter immediately following “Diet Soda”.

Tell us about what the jump from the StarBenders self-titled EP to the new pointed, and pop barbed single has been like for you all?

We’re just super stoked that we’re able to continue putting music out into the world. I don’t know if we fancy it a new direction per-say, just a chance to give people more of an idea of who we are as a band.

What is the latest from the Atlanta Biters crew? Favorite mischief anecdotes that you can share?

They just had an awesome full length come out called Electric Blood, super happy for them!

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“Diet Soda” is the sound of things going chaotic, and then from bad, to worse. What real life tales, or fictitious inspirations informed this big-house bust-up pop jam?

Well, I was at this bar called The Righteous Room in Atlanta that’s known for having the sickest jukebox. I was with this guy I had been fooling around with and his friend. After a few vodka sodas I began to feel that I was being judged for some reason. Armed with a ten dollar bill, I went to the Jukebox and selected Moonage Daydream by David Bowie over and over again. I have no idea how many times it ended up repeating itself. I went into the bathroom and with a Mick Ronson solo playing in the background I began talking to myself in the mirror. ‘Am I still beautiful to you even with this blood on my hands?’ I posed as I thought of the guy and his friend probably talking about how strange they thought I was.

Was I possessed by a passing spirit? Or maybe the blood I was referring to was that of the jukebox? Only David Bowie knows.

What other directions, or nitty-gritty adventures should we be anticipating for the next Starbenders release?

More songs about being dead or about to be dead. Aliens, botanists, and mother figures alike. Trials and tribulations of a rampant teenage spirit being unleashed on driving eighths.

Starbenders’ 7″ is available now from Institution Records.

The Glazzies

The Glazzies' Peter Landi & Dave Horn, photographed by LaVon Rettig.

The Glazzies’ Peter Landi & Dave Horn, photographed by LaVon Rettig.

Sag Harbor, NY’s The Glazzies recently followed up their 2012 album Time Bomb Love with the Satin Stain EP from Old Flame Records that sees guitarist/vocalist Peter Landi, and drummer Dave Horn joined by Dinosaur Jr.’s Murph for additional percussion contributions. With their new album Kill Me Kindly pushed back to a TBA date, Satin finds the duo fusing powers with the alt. rock legend to muster up the sound of mega-rock group that would have conquered the college charts, and swept the underground-ish festivals of the 80s and 90s.

“So Strange” kicks out jams like a main stage bad-boy Brit pop relishing in the glory of the 90s, but keeping the matter heavy as “Nothing To Say” is quick to point out on account of it’s thrashing pop ode to ineffable states. And with the pop hook wistful ways of the infectious “Maybe Someday”, you can hear something of what I called the Old Flame Records sound (the DIY pop recipes you have known and loved for years, but somehow improved for a new era of interpretation, and enlightenment.), right before ripping into amped-out rendering of The Kinks’ classic, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”. The last song “Float” inspires crowd surfing situations, as every snotty and snarled delivery is met by equal parts head imploding guitar that is masterfully recorded by Justin Pizzoferrato.
Peter from the Glazzies shared a few words with us on the making of the EP, working with Murph, and the impact he had on Satin Stain:

Working with Murph was pretty surreal. I’ve been a fan of his drumming for years, so when the opportunity came up for him to play on the EP we couldn’t say no. We tracked all of his parts live in a couple of hours and when we started recording my guitar parts, he took my car to go pick some Chinese food that we had ordered. He’s an awesome dude to say the least.

Sextile

sextile week in pop 1

Meet LA’s Melissa Scaduto, Eddie Wuebben, Kenny Elkin, and Brady Keehn who are Sextile, blending guitars steeped in the dark arts with rumbling rhythm synth engines as heard on the featured single “Can’t Take It”. Found on the forthcoming A Thousand Hands album available August 21, hear the urgent utterances and exclamation of feeling belted up like Tremors from beneath the earth’s crust like an army up-reaching hands that can’t take the subterranean void anymore. Check out our interview with the band, immediately after the following listen.

Take us to the corner where sensuality, carnality, attitude, identity, clothing, and style all converge to create the concept of Sextile.

The concept is primitive, dangerous and straightforward.

Dissonance, and clamor is something that is played with throughout your music. How do you reign in the balance of expressing the aesthetic of imbalance and more?

Honestly this just comes naturally. It’s just what sounds good to our ears. Its also a vibe we carry in ourselves.

What did you all learn together as a group after the undertaking of A Thousand Hands?

We figured out that we can just do this ourselves in terms of recording and mixing. It’s not easy to make a fucking record. I (Brady) had a physical headache by the time we were done with it. We also learned how to play the songs live after making the record.

Just as every track feels like turning a new corner into some post-post-modern gothic thriller, the track titles feel like chapter names of a novella, or mystery novel (i.e. “Smoke In The Eye”, “Truth And Perception”, “Shattered Youth”, “Into The Unknown”, etc). Was this consciously done on purpose, or with that kind of thinking and conceptualization in mind?

Well, there are a lot of shitty titles for songs out there, so A, I tried staying away from that as much as possible and B, the titles are based on themes and/or the underlying emotion the song was based on.

Other like-minded local LA artists that you all fancy lately?

We are fairly new to LA, except Kenny. But this is what we have been “fancying”:
Terminal A, High Functioning Flesh, Drab Majesty and Egrets on Ergot.

How will Sextile spend their 2015 summer season?

We are going to start it off with a tour on the West Coast (dates below), try to play as many shows as possible in LA and around, start writing the second record and top it of with the release of A Thousand Hands late August on felte.

Catch them on the following tour dates:

June
24 San Diego, CA – The Hideout *
26 Los Angeles, CA – Non Plus Ultra *

July
01 San Francisco, CA – Elbo Room *
03 Portland, OR – Beacon Sound *
05 Seattle, WA – Vera Project *
08 Fullerton, CA – The Continental Room

* w/ Au.Ra

Sir Lord Von Raven

sir lord von raven week in pop 1

Bay Area cult legend Sir Lord Von Raven unleashed the vintage-visual analog scuzz effects on the Saico Sangron video for “The Age of Machines”, railing against the machine in classic anarchic form. Find this kernel of Luddite loving/no-tech style, and so much more on that topic and other short stories from the double LP of the same name available from Guitars and Bongos Records. Director Saico Sangron described his contributions to the analog, ‘keeping it real’ vibe of SLVR’s title track with the fuzzy-reception visuals in the following bit:

The visual theme for the video was inspired by scanimate technology & scrambled porn

Jet Trash

San Francisco's Jet Trash (from left to right ): Robby Justesen, Marshall Fassino, Keith Shughrou, & Paul Kemp, photographed by Theodore Maider.

San Francisco’s Jet Trash (from left to right ): Robby Justesen, Marshall Fassino, Keith Shughrou, & Paul Kemp, photographed by Theodore Maider.

San Francisco’s Jet Trash just dropped some dive pub punky pop with powerful lead guitars that bring some beach getaway affections that remain dreaming forever of west coast, Ocean Beach escapism on “What They Want”, off their upcoming self-titled EP debut available July 14 from Burger Records‘ cassette imprint Wiener Records. Singer/guitarist Paul Kemp reflected on making their self-titled for us with the following:

Growing up in Southern California I spent a lot of time in the ocean. When I was a kid, my dad used to take me body surfing and I’d spend the day at the beach splashing around in the tide pools, building sand castles and things like that. I remember being really excited about surf music and ’60s rock & roll. I was that kid who would pretend that a tennis racket was a guitar and I’d jump on my sister’s bed pretending to play along to “Misirlou” by Dick Dale. So I think that beach-y vibe always stuck with me even when I grew up and got interested in writing and recording music.

When I write lyrics, though, it’s definitely not all palm trees and sunshine. I tend to draw more from random observations or obscure little things I find interesting. The song “Photography Is Over” was kind of about how the mystery of waiting for 35mm film to develop has been replaced by cellphone culture. “Tiger Room” comes from this short story I read in 7th grade about a prisoner who—as punishment for his misdeeds—is forced to choose between one of two doors. One of which contains a tiger who is gonna savagely tear him to ribbons. So I like to keep lyrics a little darker and more ambiguous. In some ways, it helps to temper the raw simplicity of the primitive garage sound.

In the studio, we wanted to stay true to the analog-tape sound, which is a crucial part of the lo-fi garage aesthetic. Our producer Andy Freeman used both vintage and modern recording equipment for the new EP. He really helped polish our sound and clean us up around the edges. In order to get the right drum sound, Andy had his assistant run out and get maxi-pads so he could tape them to the drum heads! Being at a professional studio like Coast Recorders that is steeped in so much San Francisco music history, with all this super nice gear and these nice microphones and everything, I was kind of like, “Ok, I know we’re just a little garage band but let’s not fuck this up. Let’s make a really good EP.


Milwaukee’s Soul Low dropped their Sweet Pea EP, rambling and shambling through four new tracks, plus four demos. “Always Watchin’ Out” kicks the party off, to the social disease and disorders of “OMG STD”, the erratic action of “Green Beams”, the part sung/part spoken “I Can Write A Poem ft Lorde Fredd33”, before the demo sessions start with “Ever Nite”, and the lo-fi fuzz about of “Still Friendz”. Opportunities and occupations beam bright on a budget with the demo of “I Found a Job”, that trails along into the stripped down garage transgressive rendering of “STD OMG”, to the fatalist pondering of mortality, carnality, and frustration ventilation session that is “I Want to Die”. Sam Gehrke provided us with the following thoughts on the inspirations, and making of Sweet Pea with the following:

Sweet Pea is comprised of nine songs: four full-band tracks and five demos. The first four songs started as recordings Jake made in his bedroom about a year ago. They sort of had this garage-pop feel to them that at the time of his showing em to us, didn’t quite mesh with our writing style. Flash forward to January 2015 while we were on tour. Jake played the songs for us in the car one day and I couldn’t get them out of my head. We then decided it’d be cool to book studio time and plan for a spring release. Kind of a ‘why the hell not’ moment. I think the songs forced us to think more about the integrity of Jake’s demos; we have a tendency to over complicate things so this was a great lesson in self-restraint.

From director and editor Shaun Libman, we are pleased to bring you the video for Craft Spells’ “Twirl” taken off their Captured Tracks album, Nausea. The video evokes the kind French new wave visions and sentimental evocations that are stirred to surfaced recollections that much of Justin Paul Vallesteros’s music inspires from sound. The emotional overdrive from “Twirl” gets torn like pictures, and notes, formerly plastered on bedroom walls and thrown off the bridge with the winds of the kind of despair that keeps moments constantly rekindling in the heart and mind. Craft Spells are preparing for a massive fall tour with Julian Casablancas + The Voidz via the following dates:

July
24 Seattle, WA – Westlake Park *

September
08 Pioneertown, CA – Pappy and Harriet’s
11 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
12 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
16 Seattle, WA – The Showbox
19 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre

October
07 Chicago, IL – Metro
13 Northampton, MA – Pearl Street Nightclub
14 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
21 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
22 Washington DC – 9:30 Club

* W/O Julian Casablancas +The Voidz

From the Bolivian Andes, meet Luzmilla Carpio and her exciting, life-affirming, feminist positive music to inspire all with ears and hearts like, “Warmikuna yupay-chaqapuni kasunchik” (translating to “Women, We Have To Be Respected”), from the upcoming double-LP, Yuyay Jap’ina Tapes, available via Squirrel Thing Recordings / Omnian Music Group. An advocate for Quecha literacy, improved living conditions from clean drinking water to healthcare; Luzmilla brings a sound like chorus of a thousand progressive minded larks.

Hear Mikey Young rework Melbourne act Black Cab’s “Victorious”, taken from an upcoming 12″ single white label pressing from Slightly Delic, available June 12 on digital, and later on with hand stamped copies limited to 150. Also featuring a remix from Crimes of the Future’s Scott Fraser & Timothy J. Fairplay, the Total Control / Lace Curtain, and everything man Mikey takes to the Cab’s “Victorious” to create a monster jam to inspire all night industrial rave-ons, or endless journeys to a nebulous (or nefarious) destination-finish line in the dead heat of a long, and determined summer’s night.

The wait for Main Attrakionz’ 808s & Dark Grapes III album will be over June 30 when it sees release via Vapor Records, and we have MondreMAN and Squadda’s latest listen with, “Dip” that throws it up with that Freak Nasty style with Friendzone keeping the mix glittering like a Mario Bros. bonus level. The world’s illest duo alive do their classic team joint duet thing that brings back everything that made the cloud movement head lifting, consciousness drifting, with pure Bay Area production that takes the post-hip-hop clubs further into the future.

Noah releases her debut album Sivutie June 22 from flau, and we have give you the lo-fi restrained futurism and chamber pop from the outer regions with, “Flexion”. The textures at work from her echo-enhanced minimalism could reverberate across the chasms of the cosmos for an eternity.


Boulevards' Jamil Rashad, photographed by Lauren Gesswein.

Boulevards’ Jamil Rashad, photographed by Lauren Gesswein.


JaMil Rashad, otherwise known as Boulevards dropped the video for “Got To Go” directed by Lauren Gesswein and Alexander Christenson, that takes the Rollergirl! produced cut out on an adventure to a theme park, bleachers, a vintage store, a records shop, a tricked out side show, and anywhere else that’s fresh. Rashad showcases the many different avenues that his project Boulevards can take on, proving that his danced-up nu-funk is kinetic music designated to be enjoyed anywhere, as soon as possible. You can also catch all of our Boulevards coverage here.

LA’s SiR debut album Seven Sundays will be available July 31 from Fresh Selects, and we have the heart beat bumping lead single “Love You” produced by Knxwledge (heard handling things behind the boards on Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly) that sets the mood for some modern lover’s rock regiments.

Catch a limited time listen to Michael Vidal’s album, Dream Center available from Couple Skate Records. The former Abe Vigoda guitarist initially released the album on cassette a few years back, now re-released as a proper album where visions pass before the senses on, “Dreams (Come Back To Me)”, to day dreams finding their proper place and time on “Correctional”, fiery emotions on “Burn”, transcendent times on “Mono No Aware”, sunny day floating freedom of “Appraisal”, sky-way highways of, “Sky Blue”, to the closing sonic hypnotism found on, “(Your Song)”.

Let Matrixxman hit yu up on his new cut, “HMU (Hit Me Up)” ft. Vin Sol, from his forthcoming Homesick available July 10 from Ghostly. The Bay Area’s own Charles Duff combines juke styles borrowed from Chicago tracks present and past, and combines it in a minimalist order of keys, and rhythms sequences that run about the mind, nerves, and other internal tributaries of the body’s own somatic systems.

Check out the Bob Sweeney video for Zilla Rocca & The Shadowboxers’ “Human Dominos” featuring Open Mike Eagle and Curly Castro that dishes out some real life stories, that makes a conscious plea for humanist understandings between everyone from all corners of life. Catch this and more off No Vacation For Murder Deluxe Version available now via Three Dollar Pistol.

Originally off their new Transfixiation album available now from Dead Oceans, A Place To Bury Strangers’ drop the menacing industrial underbelly version of “Fill The Void (Dave Harrington Remix)” to provide some industrial ambiance for your weekend.

Keeping up with free-soaring popsters at Sundara Karma, their new single “Flame” turns up the incandescent cadences of electricity in a big thundering roll of riffs and festival anthem aura. Available from Chess Club Records in July, “Flame” is a total summer jam designed to attempt to outshine the sun on it’s ear candy value alone.

Paul Chin’s Dancing Drums EP is available now from Bastard Jazz, and we give you Shigeto’s remix re-thinking and re-arrangement of “Deep Jupiter”, that finds an even deeper trail of conscious, quivering keyboards and other assortments of mesmerizing surprises along the way.

Øystein Monsen (of Soft as Snow) with Thomas Eggum are Norway’s Burning Motherfuckers who dropped a few new ferocious singles that follow their 2012 debut EP from Handmade Records. The fierce, dashing, and mood swinging pendulum begins the roar and mathematical measurements of “I’m Your Lion”, taking their post-punk barbs, and stripped down skeleton styles to the epithet, onslaught, energy meltdown/overload of “Bitch”. Warning; this sort of blood letting purgation is not for all audiences but features Norewegian extremity art sounds that depict the art of falling apart.

Meet the duo High Tides, comprised of Warren Kroll and Steve Lutes who shared the rising lo-fi feelings of rising waters and surfaced sentimental nostalgia on the single “Coastal Crusie ’86” from their self-titled album debut available July 31 from Rad Cult (the label of Tom Fec of TOBACCO, and Black Moth Super Rainbow).

Watch Kyle Field, oka Little Wings in the “Light Brang” video made by his girlfriend Aya Muto, filmed on the Japanese island of Miyazaki that presents Field’s poetic word stream of conotative consiousness put to visuals of the artist playing with a grip of sparkling fireworks. Finds this off his new Woodsist album, Explains.

Off their Amethyst EP, check out Colour The Atlas’s Lukasz Pytlik b/w video for “Scared” that depicts the duet set to natural, and human made realms where the mysteries of life, relations, and more become further obfuscated and complicated by the overlay effects of computer code, and all the technological things that get between agreed upon realities.

Also catch Part Time’s Virgo’s Maze streaming in full that presents various home recordings and oddities recorded over the past five years in El Paso, LA, and SF when David Loca commanded the indie institution.

Midday Veil unveiled the electro excitement of “Babel” that runs key sequences and loops along mazes, and up ziggurats off the upcoming album This Wilderness available September 11 from Beyond Beyond is Beyond.

Catch the summer breeze and heat with the electro sun-rays of “Indian Summer” from Jai Wolf via ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective.

From their LP, Before The Glow; Fine Animal’s single “Old Dollar” takes a 1947 Parchman Farm folk song from Mississippi State Penitentiary, and turns it into a sonic, solemn piece of future gleaming song of solidarity for all peoples and groups during times of strife, and struggle.

Get yourself caught up, and swept up with White Magic’s new single, “Runaway”, full of piano inflected emotions from the upcoming I’m Hiding My Nightingale EP available July 10 from LEAVING Records.

Fine Points, the new side from SF’s Sleepy Sun dropped the track “Astral Season” that shares some shore-side breezes from the astral plane on their upcoming album Hover available July 17 from Dine Alone Records.

Widowspeak’s new album, All Yours will be available September 4 from Captured Tracks, and we have the grand sweeping single “Girls”, where Molly Hamilton’s voice takes you to those worlds of alt country western superstars, where Robert Earl Thomas’s keen guitar progressions show what happens with the haunted modern west meets the mind expanding mode of contemporary composition.

Coming July 3, we give you a sneak look and listen to Yellow Roses from the Ben Seretan Group. Available soon from Death Rehearsal; get set for some classic rocking, free jazz feeling, sludge dredging times.

Watch Dances’ “Holy Fool” video from Alec MacDonald and Bernardo Garcia that is all about doing all the antithetical wrong things in time to the spry single off the upcoming Keep Talking album, available September 4 from Black Bell Records/Gigawatts Records.

Cayucus delivered the nature doting and dwelling video from Nathan Ingalls and Nolan Wilson Goff for the energetic, earthy, neo-pastoral, “Moony Eyed Walrus” from their forthcoming Dancing At The Blue Lagoon album available June 23 from Secretly Canadian.

In more Secretly Canadian news, Gardens & Villa’s new album Music For Dogs will be available August 21, and you can get fixated to the organ rhythm chopping charm of, “Fixations”.

Work Drugs’ upcoming album Louisa will be available June 22 from Bobby Cahn Records., and you can get into the memories of people you used to know on “Minor Flaw” that mulls over those faded recollections of dubious former connections.

Check, out the Dean Chalkley b/w video for Prinzhorn Dance School’s “Reign” from their new album Home Economics available now from DFA Records.

The Cairo Gang wants you to be cool with who you are, how you were born, and don’t want you to go a-changing in the power-pop glimmering single, “Be What You Are”, off their forthcoming LP, Goes Missing available June 23 from God?.

Just starting out in the pop game, the Bay Area’s own A Yawn Worth Yelling begins their career with “Start Somewhere”, the sound of a group finding their footing with laidback crooner styles and an outright obsession with that FM radio sheen.

From the Melbourne quartet of buddies City Calm Down, run with the force of a new wave wind rolling with land-speeding gusts off the top of your back on “Rabbit Run”, the first from their In a Restless House album available September 11 from I OH YOU Records.

Stockholm duo TVÅ are the siblings Lara (on vocals) and Marcus (on production) of whom bring some home recorded pop that pleads for some semblance of permanence and near big-time pop perfection on, “Always Be”. The b-side continues that cushy- CSCN sound with pop styles that pushes the most prized of emotive response triggers on “Keep Me A Secret”. Sparse but pointed vocal effects are mastered in terms of timing, while production emulates a digitized depiction of winter in Sweden, 2014/2015 edition.

Heather Woods Broderick (who you might know already from playing with Sharon Van Etten) provides some sweet, serene, and maternally embraced warmth on the single “Mama Shelter,” from her upcoming album, Glider available July 10 from Western Vinyl.

Shamir

Shamir_Rough Trade NYC-5
(Shamir Bailey, photographed at Rough Trade NYC; photos by Edwina Hay)
After providing a plethora of anticipatory coverage, we are pleased to announce that Shamir’s Ratchet is out in the world via XL Recordings, and it is our honor and pleasure to present Shamir Bailey’s own Week in Pop guest selections:

Mia Z, “Child”

I’ve been obsessed with Mia and her voice and style since her voice audition! I feel the future is bright for her!

Ava Luna, “Coat of Shellac”

I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite Ava Luna song. So catchy and beautiful voice!

Shamir

Shamir

LACES, “Love Me Sober”

I will forever be obsessed with Jessica Poland’s voice!

Rich White Ladies, “No Bad Vibez”

This song is definitely one that’s gonna soundtrack my summer, the sample in this one is so good!

Shamir_Rough Trade NYC-3

Perez, “Le rôdeur”

I’ve recently been in France for a while and had the pleasure of playing with this awesome dude! Love this song so much and it has such a throw back vibe to me.

Follow Shamir via Twitter.

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