Week in Pop: Amy Reid, Nicholas Fisher, The Veldt

Sjimon Gompers

Jet-setting with multidisciplinary wonder Nicholas Fisher; press photo courtesy of the artist

Week in Pop

Monterey Peninsula’s premiere DIY pop stars—Burnt Palms; press photo courtesy of the band.

With news of Burnt Palms’ split—the Seaside, California band unveiled their final album titled 02​/​18​/​17 that serves as the date of their last show together as a group. The 831 representing crew of Christina Riley, Clara Nieto, Brian Dela Cruz & Joshua Vazquez present us their one final hurrah which is a rough final record of wonders that point to all that could have been. A band that was arguably ahead of the curve brings some of the best pop heard lately from the Monterey Peninsula with the immediately catchy “Touch the Sun”, the itching & anxious “Z.P.”, the punk-skunk of “Can’t Stop Me”, to the group’s own valiant & velvet undergrounds of “Back on My Wall”, or the scuzz demolition of “Destroy”, as the scruffed-up aesthetic serves the group brilliant through the walls of dissonances as heard on “Mired”. The celestial sense that that group is able to engage in so often in their aesthetic is heard on the gorgeous ballad “So Heavenly”, complete with an alternate & raw emotive recording of “Back on My Wall”, as well as an alternate rendering of more stripped-down & ragged percussive version of “Destroy”, rounded off with an alternate version of “Touch the Sun” that points to all the potential in the making that this group still has and has always had. Burnt Palms’ label We Were Never Being Boring released the following statement about the album 02/18/17 & the band’s split:

Bands split. It’s getting harder to find someone who can fix your turntable, and it’s almost impossible to play a tape on a new car. Bands split and sometimes it’s hard to understand if it was really worth to get to that end…And for a while you feel lost and it’s difficult to put everything in its right place. Sometimes bands split because they said all they had to say. When we are lucky we are left with a story sewn on ourselves; a story made of records, and pictures, and smoke drenched t-shirts. It’s almost never a perfect story, but it’s important nonetheless. A story made of words and music which is as well what we’re made of. Christina Riley grew up listening to Hole, The Breeders and Built to Spill; or at least that’s the feeling you get from the first stroke on her guitar or when she starts singing. When she met drummer Clara Nieto it felt like everything fell into place, and together with bassist Brian Dela Cruz and guitarist Joshua Vazquez (who joined the band in 2015) they released four albums and a bunch of split tapes, 7″, and singles; Californian indie-rock able to show a captivating and bitter-sweet indie-pop sensibility. 02/18/17 is the date of the band’s last show in Santa Ana, CA. They were planning to record the new album shortly after that date but things changed and the band broke up. Some of those new songs are captured into this tape. That date marks the end of Burnt Palms as a band. But their story, with these restless, rough and melancholic songs, will stay with us.

From the mystic-futurist styles of Moon Glyph, Tara King th. takes us toward those outer dimensional sectors with the fantastical Stellar Fantasies. Lead by Ray Borneo, experiments in electronic instrumentation seek to senses of shape & style as means for creative expression.

The interstellar awakening begins with “Orbital Awakening”, as the road of stars becomes unveiled to you on “Stellar Journey”, to exploring new space voyaging ship-craft as heard on “Aboard the Asterion”, along with the inner flight zones of “Landing on Neuron”, the brave new singularity of “Lady Robot”, orbiting about the constellations of “Aïa”, all the while pondering the love-lives of automatons & more on “Robotic Romance”. Sailing toward the stars of serenity with “Cosmic Nap”, as the trip becomes more fantastic & surreal with “Barren Hallucinations”, as cosmic reverberations can be heard caught on “Celestial Echoes”, embracing absolute weightlessness with “Zero Gravity”, to new worlds of illuminations & discovery on “Cosmoscillations”, the ambient void of “Between Space and Time”, to the closing number “Where Eternity Starts” that seeks to electronically emulate the point of where infinity commences a perpetual construct.

Currently on the Boy Who Cried Wolf tour, wifisfuneral delivered the new single “Gotenks” ft. Dooney Montana & production by Cris Dinero, Nuez & Majin. The South Florida emcee joins forces with Dooney Montana with a Dragonball Z sense of grandeur where their respective lanes are elevated with the shine of Dinero, Nuez & Majin’s own hypnotic production loops.

UK trio winners of the 2014 Mercury Prize Young Fathers announced their new album from Ninja Tune available in 2018 with a look at the powerful video for “Lord” directed by Rianne White. Alloysious Massaquoi’s lyric of if wishes were horses features the artist emerging from hard rains with a galloping steed set to take on the world. Graham ‘G’ Hastings reflected on the song’s equine connection with, “Kayus brought a rocking horse into the studio one day. God knows why. After we wrote the song, Ally sat on it, took his top off and started riding majestic. Then we thought, Why not?” Young Fathers’ own Alloysious Massaquoi shared the following thoughts on the visualization of their single “Lord”:

For me, the video stemmed from… Like how do you describe an emotion, clearly and precisely when you’re completely immersed in it all? An act of internal withdrawal from the outside world, when all you need from the outside world is for someone, anyone, to show they care.

Sweden pop star Yung Lean released Stranger and offers a throwback western visual for “Metallic Intuition” directed by France’s own Suzie & Leo. Lean presents a self-described story of a fugitive, traumatized, facing guilt where high stakes & fallouts send our protagonist literally down the well mulling over the thoughts of everything that could of/would of or should have been in the after the fact, aftermath.

Introduce yourself to the new releases from Earthly, courtesy of Noumenal Loom. Brint & Edaan bridge the abstract aspects of audio design with revolutionary new approaches where economic approaches to audio design embody unique ways of experience organic & digital sound sources & post-structural considerations. The fun begins with the harmonic scales of “RGB”, beat-experimentation on “Ice Cream”, to the sheen of “Glaze”, which inverts dance music’s format & functions beyond all conventional recognition. The helices of the atmospheric & electronic in nature run both parallel & perpendicular lines as we witness on “Honison Climber”, to tripping up consciousnesses on “Games”, organic percussion candy-flips on “Babby Bobby”, to the somersault audio jumbles of “Backflip”, the strange & surreal explorations that abound on “Secret Squirrel”, angling ambiance on “Pure in Between”, taking it further through the in-between with “Daemon”, to the seashell disco of “Shell Spell”, the wiling out wonder of “Wink” that then treats the listener to a Holly Waxwing reworking of the opening track with “RGB (tiny holly mix)”.

But Brint Hansen & Edaan Brook are just getting started, as the prolific duo keeps the party going with a listen to their other recently released tape from Noumenal Loom—Heart. Expanding the realms of musical alchemy & magic not unlike their contemporary Giant Claw/Keith Rankin; Earthly experiments in aspects that further seeks to find a percussive & pointed purpose for all involved elements in their works. “Shrug” sends the album off the sound of assembling sourced audio items congregating at the table, cranking up the exercises on “Wind Up”, experimenting with amorous expressions on “Mook Love”, to meditative melodies for rainy days in North Carolina (where the album was partially recorded, as well as NYC), illuminations & electronically lit lusters on “Brighter”. Earthly always demonstrate how to liberate the beat as witnessed on “Thank You”, spinning the wash cycles of “True”, resurrecting feeling & entities on “New Life”, to the secret lives of VCRs on “Blue’s Video”, to the lo-fi faint reverberations on “Seth Speaks”, the memory sparking “Holiday”, illustrating items of endless emotion via “Hand”, to the piny grove of “Tall Tree” that accentuates the secret lives of arboreal plant life forms & more. For those just discovering Earthly, there is no better time to embrace one of pop music’s most futuristic duos.

SF artist Hazel Rose is readying news of a forthcoming EP & mixtape presenting the single “Sweetie” produced by Mikos Da Gawd. Rose’s own melodic rhyme progressions roll direct from the heart while Mikos’s own minimalist rhythm scheme frames the percussive progression of Hazel’s own lyrical narrative.

Dublin’s Bitch Falcon brought the ruckus with their new single “Of Heart” available now via Reckless Records that captures hearts & minds & souls with purpose. The group breaks through the pretenses of the industry & international scenes with a song that means it with leader Lizzie Fitzpatrick unleashing brilliantly expressed vocals that are only uplifted through blistering & blaring guitars gears of grandeur.

Art Feynman, aka Luke Temple from Here We Go Magic, sent word of the upcoming Near Negative EP available December 15 via Western Vinyl & got us moving to the grooves of “Monday Give Me Monday”. The Point Reyes, California based artist draws inspiration from the visceral vernacular of rhythmically applied scales of melody where Temple’s own harmonies are intertwined into a mix of mirth to make you smile.

Philadelphia, PA artist James Benjamin makes music under the moniker Sea Span and shared the gorgeous new awakenings of “New Year’s Day”. The perspectives of the past are cast with care in the background with the ensuing persistence of an unstoppable tomorrow that is expressed in a gorgeous & sophisticated sung & orchestrated sounds of earnest convictions. In James Benjamin’s own words on the new single:

This is a new Sea Span song, written last New Year’s Day in the cold sobering morning light of a new year, a gray winter day and the possibility of another day. There is strength in moving on.

Modern Howls’ single “2AM, Chinatown” got remixed by Work Drugs remix to accentuate the late night of being up & alive in the city right around the time when the pubs all close down. That feeling of being wide-eyed & about when the entirety of the town is wrapped up in the arms of sleep sails toward those breaking beams of light that indicate the dawning of a new day (even when you wish the night & associate feelings would carry on toward an incredible eternity).

Joan as Police presented the car riding late night visuals for “Warning Bell” featured off the upcoming album Damned Devotion available February 9 from Play It Again Sam. Roses held for a kindred heart are tossed out the window after much introspective reckoning over affections & attachments that are sometimes never meant to be.

Announcing winter tour dates spanning from November 30 to December 8, Dizzy presented us with the new single “Swim” available now via Canvasback/Royal Mountain. Oshawa, Ontario’s Katie Munshaw with siblings Charlie, Alex & Mackenzie Spencer break through the winter boredom with an electric ambient number that is the sound of early morning/late night laps in the neighbor’s pool where an impromptu water-side party takes form.

Cherry Red will reissue the first five Felt albums on February 23 as part of their A Decade in Music campaign that will also see Felt leader Lawrence release a new Go-Kart Mozart album the same day titled Go Kart’s Mini-Mart. Unveiling the first single & visual from Douglas Arrowsmith for FeltFilm with cinematography by Zack Langsdon & Alessi Heitman-Rice; Lawrence beats down the blahs with the minimalist electro enthusiasm of “When You’re Depressed”. The Go-Mozart/Felt/Denim frontman underscores the items, attitudes & weights of things that hold us down-exhibiting the experience in all of it’s feelings from the boredom of being couped in the bedroom to the bright city lights of the scene to languishing in a lounge chair out in the junkyard. The god of DIY pop has returned.

August Rosenbaum shared the world commanding single “Credo, Pt.II” featuring Coco O fervent driving center of the song’s spirit. The powers house of the two summons seasons of vast & sweeping sound manifested with principles of passion. August & Coco conduct creative audio patterns like navigating the atmospheric climates and micro-climates of the globe with an organic and mesmerizing orchestration of economic excellence in arrangement and execution. Moving in grandiose audio gestures of the dramatic and cinematic, hear more off Rosenbaum’s just-released album Vista.

Milwaukee’s GGOOLLDD presented their single “The Way I Feel” featured off their upcoming debut EP Teeth available December 1 via Roll Call Records. The group sinks their teeth into the matters they care about while discarding all other items of unimportance into the wind as they set their sights on conquering the pop world, amid their current winter tour.

With news of their debut album available in 2018, VHS Collection provided the electro-aesthetic signals of “Sign”. Indications of expressions in earnest are told in warm pop tropes that spell out signs & semblances of desire like wayfaring spirits searching for one another through the dimensions of the night’s fog of darkness.

Robert Earl Thomas from Widowspeak announced the upcoming solo album debut Another Age available February 16 via Captured Tracks & dropped a listen to the title track. “Another Age” takes the timeless entanglements of inspirations from across the ages & packages all the tones, tropes & feelings neatly into evocative set of expressive & intimate sound.

Richmond, Virginia’s Kenneka Cook delivered the percussive piano pronounced single “Don’t Ask Me” featured off the artist’s upcoming debut album Moonchild available February 23 from American Paradox. Cook & company illustrates the loss of words that we have when it comes to other people’s situations of life & love (that extend outside of our own fears & focuses that may or may not have to do with the other individual).

Feverbones provided a listen to the sensory-enrapturing single “It’s Hard to Look Away” featured off the upcoming album Dream Talk available February 28 via the venerable imprint Austin Town Hall Records. The trio of Chris Cox, Abram Shook & Matthew Shepherd combine a clever synergy where every chord is in rhythmic & melodic sync with one another while harmonies grace in & out of the illustrious aura the three create together.

Courtesy of CatBeach Music; venture off toward illustrious lands of visions beyond the bay of sleep with Moxi’s “Dreamland”. The land that Lil Nemo & company traversed is recalled in modern music methods that bring the awakened world to the frontiers that exist beyond the flicker & flashes of rapid eye moments.

From Jordan Galland’s new single produced by Charlie Klarsfield, the artist presented the video for “Manhattan” that features archival footage & home movies that were edited & accumulated over a half-year period. Jordan showcases everything from bustling NYC city street scenes to fun at home with friends & family & more; Jordan brings earnest audio & visuals that will warm your heart & mind with a wealth of sincere sentimentality.

Nilüfer Yanya provided the held-over summer vibe visuals for the single “Baby Luv”, courtesy of Molly Daniel & patrick Chamberlain’s direction, available via Blue Flowers/ATO Records. From holiday visuals of sea, rocks, sun, city & a sentimentality that blossoms in the form of song; Yanya illustrates affection in swells & builds of cool-chord strummed desires.

Take in the motor-racing Matt Sav video for Jack River’s “Fault Line” that takes romances & passions into the redline zone. From the track to the press conferences & sunrises; Jack River presents a cinematic music video short about life & love shifting madly in the fast lane.

Kat Cunning took audiences for a whimsical run through floral fields & pasture beds with “Wild Poppies”. From fields of weeds & reeds to clearing planes of dreams; Kat creates a musical mold that is inspired by the gorgeous & natural growth of leaves & pedals that point to inspirations for those who take the time to enjoy formations of flowers

Behold the snazzy & bright zapping visuals for Baby Raptors’ “LOSTBOI” that brings electro-feels to get lost to. From toying about to seashore meditations, Baby Raptors roll to their own vicious pop drum sequence.

New Fumes presented a look at the trip-fantastic visuals for “Tricked By Rainbows (Smallest Bird Vs. Raving Monster)” featured off the new album Teeming 2 available TBD via Rad Cult. Experimental audio/visuals connect together in a bodacious & audacious blend of the analog & visual elements all coalescing into one another in harmonic unison.

UK’s Healyum offered up some vibes for the holiday season with “Cheap Alcohol” that conveys libations through maximal electro pop gestures & expressions of desires that revolve around potent potables & the like.

Vacations delivered a listen to “Moving Out” featured off their upcoming debut album available later in April via Human Sounds Records/No Fi Records that stirs up a wealth of newfound feelings & aspects of realizations that arise with awakening epiphanies. “Moving Out” is the song for all moving onward & upward in the world that still holds tight to the very core of the spirit that propels us all to do great things.

Southeast London siblings Eastern Barbers showed off some of their instrumental knack with mellow mood sailing single “Blue Flakes”. James & Ross Fernandez tap into the inner Chris Cohen/Mac DeMarco affinities for harmonically hemmed hymns from soar direct from the heart.

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