As Fourth of July festivities are happening from sea to shining sea, Impose’s Week in Pop is proud to present a free range and gluten free presentation of indie pop’s future. But before we bring you our parade of personalities, we give you our obligatory take on Nat Geo jumping in the Tupac murder mystery game, some jerk defaced the Kurt Vile mural, Coldplay’s Chris Martin told the BBC that he is no-longer vegetarian, and Death Grips broke up, Reznor and the world responded, and we are even helping you do the math as you tally up your own losses over this matter.
But stay with us for your Fourth of July weekend, as we bring you exclusives and in-depth conversations with Deqn Sue, Blanche Has Friends, Liz Hogg, Jolly Drones, Elizabeth le Fey, The Yuseddit Brothers, Lance Neptune, and Young Yeller with special co-curation by Sun Angels, and more—in no particular order.
LA’s Deqn Sue premieres her video, “Magenta”, based on her bright hued concept and vision that comes to life through with the cinematographic eyes of Elizabeth Hagale, Jay Burleson, and Ryan Sims. Bottling up thoughts and observations in the spirit of the current time and era on her upcoming album, Zeitgeist; Sue has been recording her project of passion with the infamous Kelvin Wooten, who checks artist alums such as Kelis, TLC, and Mary J Blige to name a few. On the song and a statement of “Magenta”, Deqn asks her listeners to hear and see not just her—but people, life, and everything beyond the basic palettes. Discrepancies and rejection of the inaccurate approximations of “yellow, pink, and blue” to allude to autonomy finds a mighty fortress in the castle-chrome of “Magenta”. The constrictive, and restrictive views from others based on semiotics turns those judgements around to show consciousnesses in need of an expanded chromatic vocabulary. Careless reduction is reversed in the redefinition, and affirmation of the self with a powerful spin of the CMYK color model wheel.
Beginning with a gust of hallowed ambient air to introduce Deqn Sue, the vocal pop maiden stands dressed in an entanglement of lights, and royal purple wrapped garb. The alliterative refrain, “I am a color” is delivered with a vexed vindication, as Deqn implores her audience to entertain a deeper meaning and understanding of identity and all associated adjectives. Sue’s dramatic light show illuminates opposite cuts of a gold sequined couple, enjoying a colorful life out on the farm. In between the classic technicolor life of her styling old-time counterparts enjoying the rich hues of retro living, Deqn goes through the colors that do or do not describe her feelings, moods, thoughts, self-image, and so forth. Deqn Sue shatters the prisms of monochrome contrasts and polarities, to indicate the endless expanse of expressions that define herself, the rich complexities that compose her surrounding world, through a visual natural bounty of vintage meets modern decorum. The chant of “I’m so many different shades” takes the conversation beyond the boring and simplistic reduction of richness, claiming “Magenta” as a central representation of regal tone at the deep end of the violet-red/purplish spectrum.
Deqn Sue joined us for a chat following the video debut of “Magenta”.
What has been some of the greatest and most inspirational things happening in the LA underground lately?
Well, of course it’s summer time and there are so many events going on here in LA. Pool parties, mass outdoor movie screenings, late night art installations, people everywhere, bouncing around. Its great energy which makes for incredible inspiration.
How had your work with the honorary Kelvin Wooten helped to boast your projected vision to that level?
We have this weird sort of kinetic energy when it comes to music. We both bring different components or different pieces that make for an awesome finished puzzle. There’s something ethereal about creating something from nothing. It’s a blessing that we’re given and I’m honored and happy to have created this body of work with Kelvin.
How did the hue of “Magenta” become the motif of this song, that would later be illuminated by the light bulb concept in the video?
The song “Magenta” comes from a state of stagnation, not knowing how and what to feel, so in turn, one feels everything and nothing at the same time. My hope is that no matter how young, how old one might be, we all sometimes at some point feel “Magenta” and it should be embraced.
What was it like working with Elizabeth Hagale, Jay Burleson, and Ryan Sims in the video treatment for “Magenta”?
They’re all amazing. I kind of came to them with what I envisioned the video to be and they met me halfway with a lot of curiosity and fervor to make it come to life and I think the final product is a great depiction.
What sort of time breaking nexus informed the creation of your upcoming album, Zeitgeist?
The word “zeitgeist” is a German word meaning, ‘spirit of the time’ and with this album, the content ended up being a lot of how I feel about what’s going on in society presently.
What other artists do you feel need to be represented better in the press?
Artists that have good to say and good to do by the universe and its occupants.
Artists, songs, singles, albums, you’re listening to on heavy repetitions?
I stick with the oldies… old school Motown will always have my heart. Right now I’m actually listening to “Pack’d my Bags” by Chaka Khan (I could listen to this song all day). As for more “present” music, right now I dig DCUP, C2C and some Bon Iver.
Deqn Sue’s album, Zeitgeist will be available later this summer.
BLANCHE HAS FRIENDS
Almost a year ago we brought you the title track, “Waking Up To The Fire” from Drop Electric, and today we introduce you to the new project from vocalist-visionary Kristina Reznikov called Blanche Has Friends. On “Tiny, Biting, Festering, Nervous Tic”, Kristina goes for a nature-witch VHS style video directed by Christopher Michael Beer with production courtesy of Tina Henry, Jeremiah, LaRoche, and Benjamin Wilson. Taken from EP1, song was initially an unused by Drop Electric remain close to Reznikov’s heart, told in sonic whispers like intimate affections reserved for afternoon congregations and crypto-gatherings. Illustrated in the occultic visual art house suspense thriller told through video tape, “Tiny, Biting, Festering, Nervous Tic” adds an undercurrent of pagan rituals of the strange, sordid, surreal, and yet glamorous. Christopher Beer described the video as the following:
There’s a creepiness hidden below the sweet melody of “Tiny, Biting, Festering, Nervous Tic”, and so here we have a realization of such: a found VHS of three girls who lead their friend into the woods, only to slowly let their dark intentions bubble to the surface. Girls will be girls.
To bring out the haunted mists that already exist in the audio code of “Tiny, Biting, Festering, Nervous Tic”, director Christopher Michael Beer is able to extract an aura of pagan practice from the song’s own hypnotic bewilderment. And like the greatest faux-home movies made in the DIY vein, a sorority straight out of The Craft turns an afternoon in the woods into the Blair Witch Project as if David Lynch sat in the director’s seat. The VCR-voyeur-vibe goes from Laura Palmer, Donna Hayward and James Hurley’s picnic video to human sacrifice, a whole lot of static, and a surprising ending twist to leave you sleepless for hours into the night. The striking music video/short film adds another alluring layer to Blanche Has Friends cult of video and sound that hints at some bigger things in the works. EP1 exudes the elongated atmospheres from Drop Electric that BHF guards from the new-age CinemaScope on, “Tiny, Biting”, the ignition switch minimalist pop balladry of “PILOT”, the ghost grain composite, “Would Not Leave, So He Ran Out of Air”, to the accompanying electric solace granted by, “You’re Lonely As”. Stay with after this exclusive, as we catch up with Kristina Reznikov to find out all about Blanche Has Friends.
Where did the inspiration for the name Blanche Has Friends come from?
I’ve always been obsessed with the name Blanche, for nothing is fancier. When I was in school it was always ‘Blanche S., Blanche C. quit your yapping!’ and now there are even a few bands with Blanches in them, including the alt-country band “Blanche” out of Detroit. This would make me impossible to find on the internet, as Blanche. My darling girlfriend (real name Trudy, pen name “Genessey”) thought up the “Has Friends” part. She is a genius, and I expect to make her join me in some future projects. Anyway, I do believe Blanche Has Friends. I also believe entertaining one’s friends is necessary.
How has your experience from Drop Electric amplified and informed BHF, and subsequent recordings, and approach to song-craft?
We’ve all had songs or parts of songs that we’ve written that have been cut from DE releases (by band delegation). BHF is my side project made for releasing some of my old tracks. Some of my tracks with BHF collection EP 1 might be a bit raw as they originally came from my draft library; but I think that makes Blanche Has Friends kind of personal. Like, ‘I’m breathing in your ear” kind of personal.
What was the process like making the video for “Tiny, Biting, Festering, Nervous Tic”, with Christopher Michael Beer?
Christopher Michael Beer is an evil and beautiful genius. I met him in NYC over a year ago, and he then directed the “Blue Dream” and “Lucille” videos for Drop Electric. Christopher has been really supportive of me in general, and of Drop Electric. He messaged me about creating a video for “Nervous Tic” and I was really excited. We are friends and I knew he’d make something great for me. He did all of the work over there in NYC. We both wanted it to be about witches. He wrote the plot, hired the four wonderful actresses, and developed all the VHS tape effects that give the video that Blair Witch type of feel. I told him I actually relate to the plot because I’ve been burned by witches. That would never happen to Blanche or Trudy, though. They don’t play dangerous games.
What releases do you have brewing in process?
I have a BHF release coming out with The Vinyl District near the end of July, and I don’t have the very final details, but it’s something I’m really excited about. I’ll be putting some other tracks up slowly throughout the summer, and another video or two. I just hope people have fun and enjoy the music if they hear it.
What other artists are you enjoying lately?
Right now I’m been listening to Technicians (DC), Canine Teeth (DC), old school Chemical Brothers, and Grandpa Was a Lion. And a lot of “My Name is Not Susan” by Whitney Houston because it’s timeless. My name is not Susan, it’s Blanche!
Summer plans for Blanche Has Friends and friends?
Blanche Has Friends will be working hard this summer on video releases, new track releases, press, and gaining a following. This will involve a first show.
Her friends will be drinking a box of fine wine, singing around a dazzling white piano, dancing in country fields and looking for asteroid showers while eating cookie dough ice cream from mini tea cups.
Maybe it was all the news about Vashti Bunyan planning to put out her big last album, but it appears that the new generation of alt-culture minstrels are discovering/rediscovering the Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and the jangle jams of the modernist trad rockers. Meet Olympia, Washington’s Jolly Drones, the brainchild from the self-taught musician Nathan Gibson, joined by Jenna Fitton, Joel Davenport, and friends. As they prepare to release their album debut, Crush!, August 21 for Gazelle Recordings, Gibson debuts the psychedelic spirit spiral and twirl of, “Sequoim”, featuring vocals from labelmate Elizabeth le Fey, aka Globelamp (and one time touring member of Foxygen).
Tomorrow becomes an alternate form of yesterday as “Sequoim” finds Nathan and Elizabeth sharing a duet surrounded by trees and ethereal, earthy splendor. Camping trips stored in the warmest corners of memory become lit like projectors brought to show movies, or the incandescent bulb that burns the flicker of slides that carousel before the mind’s eyes. And like that tilt-a-whirl sensation sends back the feelings of being light headed on fair rides, that feeling of exhilaration mixed with vertigo is spun like a top from the turning, circular drawn chords. The worlds of Nathan Gibson and Globelamp collide further in the interview feature following the forestall stroll that is the debut of “Sequoim”.
Nathan, tell us the story about what provoked you to create a musical vehicle with Jolly Drones.
Half a year ago I was interning at K Records. A friend of mine now, Masahiro Takahashi came from Japan, after quitting his job to play music in Vancouver. He visited K in Olympia during our Christmas potluck and we talked and exchanged info. A few weeks later we set up a show because we loved each other’s music. I wanted to play music I had been recording with a band, so we set that up and had a great time. It has been kind of crazy since then and it’s almost all new people since our first show, in a great way though. Joel and I work really well together and we love a lot of the same records. Jenna and River too. I’m glad that it’s becoming less of a singular vision.
Why the name Jolly Drones? When we think of drones we think of remote control operated tech machines fighting bad guys. Is the ‘Jolly’ part like reserved for types of drones that might serve you a beer or deliver a mail parcel?
I kind of think about this totally Orwellian world where soldiers are detached from the chaos. Drones could be this terrible vehicle of war or pipeline monitoring or it could be a soothing tone. I first read the words ‘Jolly Rogues’ in a Gore Vidal book. It comes from an old English folk song, “Three Jolly Rogues”, from the “good old colonial days” of King Arthur. It’s about three peasants who could not sing and were eventually killed for their thievery. I felt a little off about it because I’m Scottish.
How did the worlds of Elizabeth le Fey’s Globelamp and Jolly Drones collide?
Nathan: We had mutual friends. I guess I had a Globelamp voice in the back of my head when writing “Sequoim” so I emailed Elizabeth and we recording it the day we met, right before playing a show together. It was a blast.
Elizabeth: Our mutual friend Sarah Cass who works at Sub Pop introduced us. Nathan and I were both interns at K Records at different times, where Sarah Cass used to work.
How did the creative chemistry turn into the woods wandering wonder that is “Sequiom”?
Nathan: Like I said, I was kind of imitating her vocal cadences and didn’t feel it was up to par, so I asked Lizzie if she was into it and she was.
Elizabeth: I’m not really sure. Nathan wrote the whole song with my vocals in mind. I went over to his house and he had the lyrics written out and told me to sing it how ever I liked. I felt very comfortable with him because I liked how he said I could sing how I wanted, it felt like he trusted my voice or skills as a musicians. I’ve recorded with lots of other people who would constantly tell me to “sing this note”, “do that”, or “do this.” I liked that Nathan allowed me my creative freedom even though it was his song.
Hence the name, are you both big sequoia tree enthusiasts? Because Sequoia National forest is very beautiful, and they have some cabins, but I think you gotta watch out for bears.
Nathan: That would be bad, cause I always travel with honey. I’d be eaten quick. I’d like to go though and see the big trees, maybe a bear or two.
Elizabeth: I definitely love sequoias. My old tumblr name was ‘sequoiam‘ and the moment I changed it someone else snagged the name and they still have my name, Elizabeth le Fey on there. weird.
Elizabeth: Well Globelamp was around before I joined Foxygen. I joined because Sam France was a fan of my music. A lot of people think I started Globelamp after I wasn’t in Foxygen, but that isn’t true. After touring with them I have a clearer vision of what I do and do not want in a band. I started conceptualizing albums instead of just writing songs. I also gained a lot of confidence as a performer playing on larger stages and opening for bands I admire like Of Montreal.
Like your name, is your mission to illuminate the entire world with sound? What other recordings and releases are you excited about?
Elizabeth: Yeah kinda, and to remind people that we are on this planet floating in the darkness of space; we can light it up together. Also the mergence of technology with nature. The globe plugged into an electrical outlet. I am excited for Tele Novella’s album that just came out on Lolipop Records and for the next Rose Windows album. I listen to a lot of my friends’ music and sometimes don’t even know what “big indie albums” are coming out. I really love them and listen to The Sun Dogs a lot. I am excited for Joel Jerome’s album that will be coming out soon. And the single he is releasing of mine. I am also excited about the next Globelamp album that Nathan and I are working on right now.
Nathan, what was the experience of writing and recording, Crush!, as a self-trained/taught musician?
Nathan: It was fast and slow at the same time. Kind of like how Brian Eno would go into the studio and make some crazy thing up, I like to ride my intuition. Some musicians who start making music later in life or who were not trained have less restrictions and like to work on the sound. When I started playing and recording, which was pretty much in the same day, it was pretty bad, but it has gotten a little better. The recordings were done in different houses in Olympia, with lots of different people. I was learning the drums then sometimes my friends who play better would record with me. I played all the instruments on “Sequoim” though.
The report on the state of Olympia?
Nathan: Olympia is kind of always in flux. For a such a small area, there is a ton of talented musicians and bands. It’s a great bubble between Portland and Seattle that at any given time has three or four bands really hitting hard. Olympia has a long history of house shows, which are always changing as well. Right now there is only one all ages venue with solid equipment and I think that needs to change. At least for the sake of touring bands. That being said, it has been the perfect place to be creative and work with people. Earlier this year I was able to set up some shows in the PNW for Beijing’s Carsick Cars and White+ as they toured with Flavor Crystals from Minneapolis. Amazing. We weren’t a band then, but we are going to be playing in August with Beijing’s Alpine Decline as they tour with Italy’s Japanese Gum. We are really excited about it, I’ve been a fan of all that stuff for a while now. Kind of a dream come true.
Jolly Drones’ album Crush! will be available August 21 on cassette and digital from Gazelle Recordings.
Brooklyn’s rising star of guitar, Liz Hogg, recently debuted her video for “Drifters” from her band Beach Arabs and dropped her quick-picking solo song “Ridge”, recorded partially at home and at a Converse Rubber Tracks session. Liz utilizes the leverage of the studio and the home made touches to provide a catapult attack of guitars that strum out a litany of notes, springing from channel to channel, section to section, and station to station. The edge that “Ridge” walks takes the soft sung inner thoughts of “I want to shave my head” make-over fantasy (o.g. Britney Spears stylee) into a self-conducted take on roping together as many different styles, speeds, and tones into a two minute odyssey. As a denizen of NYC’s DIY community, and cultural contributor, Liz provides a listen to what she described to us as a variety of directions that might appear on an upcoming solo album. So with a tour happening this month, more tape pressings of Beach Arabs’ Wild Movement; Liz took the time to share an in-depth conversation on her sound, snubbing irony in the name of genuine sincerity, and more—following this listen to “Ridge”.
How has Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music affected your own solo music and contributions to Beach Arabs?
Discovering and analyzing a lot of different classical pieces in school has definitely increased my sensitivity to the form, organization, and structure, as well as texture, layering and details of my own music—overall expanding and making more flexible my ideas on how any song I write should be organized. The whole is the most important thing, and there is never ever a formulaic way to go about achieving that ideal whole; no matter how many traditional structures abound to be used as building blocks, it tends to be the biggest deviations from said systems that people react most strongly to. Coming across and getting to know the multiple ways people have organized pieces of all sorts over hundreds of years was liberating in the way I perceived my own way of going about writing. In short, school has “expanded my horizons.” Beach Arabs’ second album, Wild Movement, was written scattered from age 14-18 before I was really immersed in school, but I think the better tracks were written later, perhaps non-coincidentally, as a college freshman.
Also, I say with some embarrassment I never practiced guitar before college. I played of course by taking lessons from age 9-13 and forming Beach Arabs—being in a few bands afterwards—but I never straight up practiced on my own. Self-enforcing a strict practice routine at 18 nudged me into believing I really should start doing the same with writing. I haven’t got to a true routine there yet, but hope to soon. I like working hard, so working hard at music school has inevitably encouraged me to work harder at my own music.
Lastly, the biggest thing going to ACSM did for me was re-enforce a self-discipline I think all musicians have to inherently have. It’s a natural motivator to just work harder at the thing you’ve always cared about anyway. It’s kind of strange how the things that give you the most pleasure are ones you’re so reluctant to do, maybe because they take it out of you or maybe that’s just me. Thus, music school gave me a much-needed schedule to ebb said reluctance and get stuff done.
What was the experience of recording “Ridge” for Converse Rubber Tracks and then adding on to the recording at home?
Getting a sudden invitation to record at Converse Rubber Tracks studio for free was great because it forced me to finish “Ridge”, which I only had the intro riff and overall mood goal in mind. I wrote all the sections besides the intro guitar riff and verse in the studio. It also gave me an opportunity to receive a brief tutorial of ProTools, even though I ended up using Logic on my own later. I also got to toy with a drum machine I really liked, Native Instruments’ Maschine MK2 model, and play with various nice guitars at the studio. I recall I ended up using my own Gibson SG and one of the studio’s Fender Strats, the pairing responsible for the different tone/attack between the first and second verses. Plus, I got a free pair of Converse boots, which I used like crazy over the winter. I really needed a new pair of boots.
I’ve wanted to get really good at recording myself for years. So that’s definitely my goal for what I’m guessing to be forever. Recording with anyone else is always a collaboration no matter what, which can be extremely effective if your original intent is to marry your ideas with the ones of a producer/engineer you already like. Any ambiguity about the extent of that marriage between the musician and the producer is amplified tenfold when they’re recording your music and it’ll be audible. So, recording with someone else is best if you 100 percent know how your song wants to be, leaving little to no room for someone to potentially negatively tamper with it, or B. most of A, but you want the stamp of that recorder/engineer/producer or whoever on it. For solo music especially, which is the future, I think the best thing is to not relinquish any control whatsoever. “Ridge” is the first song I’ve ever recorded by myself and I found it to be way easier than I imagined (after the first several hours, that is).
What other solo recordings and or releases do you have in store?
I have many other solo songs I hope to finish and record soon. I’m not sure if I’ll release any individual songs, or just hold out for a whole album at once. I have fingers crossed for another run of Beach Arabs’ Wild Movement tapes in time for July’s tour dates.
We were enjoying the premiere of the Beach Arabs video for “Drifters“, and were wondering what the word on a follow-up to Wild Movement might be?
A follow-up to Wild Movement will most likely be my debut solo album. If that ends up taking way too long, perhaps I’ll release a couple more individual tracks to keep up the pace.
Thoughts on the state of NYC DIY?
Working hard is the most effective thing you can do for yourself and therefore any scene. Anything interesting and cohesive that people end up labeling as part of a ‘scene’ or movement is only great because it was made by people who weren’t paying attention to what they perceived a scene wanted. No one can ever imitate as well as they can be themselves, so I like sincerity and don’t really like ironic art.
Beach Arabs’ Wild Movement is available now from Bandcamp. Look for Liz Hogg’s solo album coming soon.
THE YUSEDDIT BROTHERS
Observing the illustrious revolution alive in Toronto, meet The Yuseddit Brothers, the musical vehicle of Shane Campbell. A play off the phrase “you said it, brothers,” Campbell creates a brotherly sound that goes with his mystique as an electric one-man-band troubadour. A newcomer to the Canadian indie rock landscape, the fuzz and howl of his sound takes the form of a man that may have spent his whole life rolling along, jumping freight cars and ducking from the conductors, while following his own trail and scoring the soundtrack to his own adventures.
On “Metronome”, Shane keeps the time with the back and forth pendulum that sets the foundation for The Yuseddit Brothers legacy. Soaked oak saloon percussion marks the rumbling guitar that gurgles with the mean streak of an empty and moody stomach hit with a splash of whiskey. As the progression moves likes an outlaw stumbling out of the pub and into a win-lose-or-draw/point and shoot standoff. The kennel of guitars squeal to the chorus to the furnace churning rhythm chords that screech in time with the effect of sporadic spikes of delirium. While this music was made in Toronto, Campbell keeps the style of rock rugged like wild west fables and Bret Harte stories that might trail blaze a new millennial trend called “pioneer rock”. Throw a hashtag in front of it, and turn #pioneerrock into a grass roots trend, as we await to hear more from The Yuseddit Brothers. Shane joins us for an interview following the debut of “Metronome”.
First up, give us the Toronto scene(s) report, according to Shane Campbell.
I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy… who knows a girl.
What is the story behind your choice of name, The Yuseddit Brothers? I’m guessing it’s one of those phonetic renderings of, ‘you said it brother!’ When you type Yuseddit on Google, it comes back with one of the corrective snark; “Did You Mean: Yousendit?”
[Laughs] Yeah. Google can be a jerk like that. A friend of mine and I were coming up with mock band names based on phrases like, ‘the get outta towns,’ and the ‘the prove its,’ and I guess “the you said it brothers” stuck as a sort of a user-friendly outlet of expression.
Why is it rad to be a band that has either ‘brothers’ in the title, or a group that is a proverbial, ‘band of brothers,’ so to speak?
It sounds better than The Yuseddit Peeps.
What is your recording method to get that real poignant skronk, but howling guitar sound?
I like to blend old and new, like using old pawnshop guitars and running them DI through digital plug-ins. Aside from that I don’t know. Mixing your own music is like messing around with a dead horse and trying to bring it back to life. You have to really love the horse.
What other recordings do you have in the works?
Working on an EP right now… Reviving dead horses as we speak.
What other Toronto artists are you kicking it with, and/or whose music you really dig?
I’ve really been into the Sun Stone Revolvers, Drugs in Japan, Dan Miller’s project called Valerie Dour. I’m excited for his EP to come out. Dan and I play in another band called Meeko Cheech. I’m the drummer in that band and we’re working on our third EP.
What is the summer/fall plan for The Yussedit Brothers?
To spread the word… that there’s a new beast in town… a gnarly beast.
[Jesse Brickel, aka Young Yeller, photographed by Landon Speers]
In keeping up with Young Yeller, and the creative projects of Jesse Brickel (formerly of Chrome Sparks), check out the Matt Porter video that takes us to an amusement park in Connecticut to relish in those first time jitters and dreams on “1st Love”. In the same way that every Young Yeller song feels like your first time riding roller coasters and running amok about theme parks, Matt’s video is the embodiment of that untamed spirit that Brickel taps into with his PMA-productions that transforms the world around him into something shiny and brand new. The Young Yeller self-titled EP is available now via Bandcamp, and you can catch YY performing at Brooklyn’s Glasslands July 9.
Young Yeller’s Jesse Brickel reflected on making the video with Matt Porter, hanging out in an off-season, closed Connecticut amusement park, secret recordings in the works, life post-Chrome Sparks, and the world according to Jesse Brickel.
Matt and I were roommates in college, and remain good friends. I’m a big fan of everything he touches, so I didn’t hesitate to approach him to direct the video for ‘1st love’ as well as the video for “I Walked”, which we released a few years ago.
The shoot itself was a blast—20 or so people on set, all passionate about the project, braving strong winds and freezing temperatures to make everything happen. The guys at Dreambear were amazing with the organizational aspects of the shoot, and Matt was a consummate pro on set.
Having an amusement park to ourselves was awesome—though we only had access to a few attractions, it was super special to be able to experience everything off-season. It was an amazing day, but I definitely didn’t get a whole lot of sleep before having to work early the next morning (we all commuted from Brooklyn).
As far as life post-Chrome Sparks—it’s been tough but fulfilling. I work long hours on a food truck in NYC, and do the best I can to balance my free time between partying and writing. I’ve written a new Young Yeller LP as well as some other secret stuff, and I’m excited to release everything in its own time. In the meantime, I’m playing shows around Brooklyn and grinding it out so I can afford to live here.
Young Yeller’s self-titled is available now via Bandcamp.
Lance Neptune blasts off into the galactic seas, on wave riding voyage entitled “Cosmic Oceans”. On the visual treatment of space exploration audio synthesis, Lance takes you into the density of black holes, red dwarfs, the surfaces of Mars, and into the melding of many psychotropic formations of galactic pertinence and oddities of discovery. The video presents the visualization you might imagine, where the loops rotate in an orbit of CGI splendors that points to the progressions where the advents and advancements of digital technology in music has taken us and evolved the overall experience.
Give us the Lance Neptune guide to new electronic frontiers of dance.
As an electronic producer, I’m always trying to exceed my boundaries by pushing myself to the next level and broadening my horizons of music.
How do you transfer that experience of celestial, space travel through sound like on the single and video for “Cosmic Oceans”?
I have a deep passion for astronomy, Which is portrayed through my music. I like to use a lot of water like textures in my songs, in addition to creating to that space like atmosphere. “Cosmic Oceans” was all so spontaneous, I was just experimenting with textures and atmospheres and I ended up creating a whole song. The video I felt was really necessary for me because I really wanted everyone to actually see what my sounds were about. I want my audience to feel if they’re traveling through space and on certain song I would like people to close their eyes and let the music control their imaginations.
What about the planet Neptune attracted you so much that you took on that surname?
In my previous years in high school I was in a producing duo called “OuterSpaceProductions”. The other producers name at the time was Mike Marz and I decided to make my name Lance Neptune. We both are heavily into Astronomy and things of that nature so I thought a name like that was very appropriate.
What else is happening in the Maryland experimental underground?
There are a few producers I really enjoy from Maryland: Darth Olympian, Immersia, Wheelchaircat, Sealab 2012, Jay Artifact, and Txnykill.
Other MD faves worth noting?
GoldLink is an artist from the area that I really think you guys should keep an eye on. He recently released his debut album The God Complex, it’s the best project I’ve heard all year!
I’m really excited about my LP Synthesis coming out in August. I put a lot of time into it and I think its a great way to show off my progression as an artist.
When do you think we will have the first DIY performances in space? Feel like we’re getting closer with this whole space-tourism enterprise thing, right?
I believe that within the next 25 to 50 years from now big named artist will be able to go to space and broadcast live shows on the air. [Laughs] Sounds weird thinking about that, but I’m truly excited for something like this to happen. When I make my first three million dollars I’m going to use that to buy my ticket to space. Actually we are pretty close to reaching goals in space. To prove that NASA states that humans will reach Mars in 2030, so I’m super excited about that!
Listen to more Lance Neptune via Soundcloud.
New York’s Purmamarca released the new track “No Battles” and Ryan Henry took the time to give us a closer look at his ever-expanding project. The new track basks in the glow of that classic singer-songwriter cadence, where every note hits like the morning precipitation during the commutes in the early winks of morning.
Ryan wrote to us about the beautiful melancholia of piano tear notes of “No Battles”, thoughts on the development of his sound from the beginnings of See It Through, Joanna, Summer Air // Night to where Purmamarca is today, and where they are going.
“No Battles” started at Radio Bushwick actually. Teri, the kind and cool girl who runs the space, is a friend from the hood and she invited me to practice on the piano there any day before the bar opened. I went there once, stoked to have an acoustic piano to jam on — a rarity in Brooklyn — and fiddled around with some chords.
A few weeks later, I was trying to turn them into a song when I came across a poem one of my best friends from college, Elon, had written and posted on his blog. The words “No battles remain from the days of old” were a salvation for me in the moment. Earlier that day I had been feeling frustrated about being broke and then — letting go and beginning again. Brian, Gabi, and I laid down parts the next day, and everything else came together pretty quickly after that.
Purmamarca has evolved from a solo project with a rotating group of collaborators into its current incarnation of a trio when Brian Bishop and Hannah D’Amato joined the band a year ago. The more eclectic lineup of the early EPs involved strings and horns; now there’s more of a focused effort on the instruments we all play – guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, and vocals.
“No Battle” is available now from Bandcamp.
Ahead of Fink’s Hard Believer album available July 14 via R’COUP’D; we got some words from both Fin and cinematographers Wulf & Lamm about the song and video for “Looking Two Closely”. The stressing and messing of the microscopic details is relayed in an acoustic transcendence to uplift all burdens, in an effort to help one’s self and others. Fin described the song to us in the following words.
“With “Looking Too Closely” we’re thinking about what happens when you examine something harder than you should — a face, a picture, a piece of music. You can analyze every little thing or you can choose to ignore the blemishes. It can mean different things to different people — someone might decide it’s about forgetting the problems in a relationship just to have an easy life, another might think it’s about picking holes in a personality. Wolf & Lamm’s video takes the song literally: in effect, it shows that the little details don’t necessarily matter when you’re looking at the wider picture.”
Wulf & Lamm described the making of the video like this:
“We took a literal approach to “Looking Too Closely”;
The story starts with a microscopic view and emerges to an extreme long shot using a camera attached to a drone. Nothing is like it seems to be, unless you see the full picture. With this concept, we are connecting the technical course of action with regards to the content and a twist.
To begin with, we captured microscopic images of Fin, which will generate an unusual cinematic language. Starting with his beard, we show detailed shots of individual hairs. By using macro lenses, each hair appears grand and gigantic, reminding of a forest. Arm hairs lift up. Continued with his eyes, his iris will fill out the entire screen, mighty eyelashes flapping, a field of pores lies before us. Huge nostrils, followed by the corners of his mouth and pulsating veins. We go in between nature and body. Small elements of the naturalistic surroundings, captured through a microscopic view. Blades of grass, appearing enormous and the massive drop of dew on a leaf. A super close up of his guitar and a swinging string. In time, we distance ourselves more and more from the scene, revealing Fin and the band. At first, it appears as if they would be surrounded by an endless nature until we take a step back. The further away we go, more is revealed. Fin and the band standing on a small island of green surrounded by an urban world. Eventually the camera is leaving the scene behind and is flying away.”
Francesco Brunotti delivers us the latest Bestial Mouths video, with the hallway tribal dances of delight, and decay of, “Faceless”. Brunotti brings out the thrashing, keyboard quaking of their Bestial sound into the spaces of an abandoned, and possibly spiritually inhabited building to present the stomping steps of actress/dancer Valentina Jalali. Full of an unfathomable fear and those places where the fight or flight response are melted into pleasure; Bestial Mouths forever. Follow all of Impose’s coverage, debuts, and interviews with the band, here.
Elliott Baker, aka CC/NN, or his new producer name, Crystal Ghost, just dropped a loosie to celebrate the solstice, “Cherry Blossoms”. The synths rise like night and day as seen through the perspective of life in elapsed time. Everything streams by quickly, and swiftly, as Baker’s latest productions point to some exciting new intrinsic, sonic, and psychic directions.
Speaking of the Baker siblings, Marilyn Baker of CCECERULEAN is featured on the Real Cosby hand clap-vocal shaker, “Always”. Look for this and more sundown warm synth sentiments on Cosby’s Gold Braid EP available July 29 from Shoeboxx Recordings.
We first discovered the work of Sam Miller ourselves from his work in Smile Machine and shows with Kirk’s other band, Mayors of Liberty. On Miller’s album, You Need To Hear It, everything is poured out on the table in the mode of a singer-songwriter expressing his terms by way of DIY power ballads. Rhythm pianos and guitars show the way, from the galaxy eyed introduction of “Solar System”, the fist shaking furor of, “Disappointing Son”, to the drifting strum, hymn, and hum; “Don’t Take Names”. Keep an ear out for Sam strolling into a town near you.
If you were looking for some big sweeping theatrical concepts, then listen no further than Ívar Páll Jónsson’s epic dramatist suite, “Alone”, off the July 15 slated album (and contender for one of the most outrageous album names of 2014), Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter. A score for an off-Broadway production, Jónsson goes all out and enlists talent from Liam McCormick, and some of Iceland’s top brass like Stefán Örn Gunnlaugsson, Jónas Sigurðsson, Stefán Már Magnússon, and Ingi Björn Ingason.
Chicago’s Lightfoils have caught our ears, minds, and the core of our hearts, and we present you their Harrison Atkins video for “Diastolic”. Let their music and forest set settings ignite every facet of the senses. Lightfoils’ album, Hierarchy will be available July 8 from Saint Marie Records.
Keeping up with Austin’s Lonely Child, we bring you the sentimental number, “Thursday (These Eyes)”, Bryan Ray brings us the closing number from his Monday EP available now from Bandcamp. Restrained electronic percussion and chords keep the attention on the lyrics, while horns punctuate the expressions of earnest delivery on choice moments like, ” I got your letter, there was something between the lines, I thought I knew you better, but these eyes, they don’t lie, these eyes, they don’t lie.” As Ray refines his chops, he continues to bring sun beam-kissed restrained rhythm and blues to Austin’s musical, patchwork quilt of artistry, events, and avenues.
Originally off Some Ember’s self-titled for Dream Recordings; their big single “The Thrashing Whip” gets the Avalon Emerson “Cybernetic Edit” remix treatment. So that means a bunch of big drum kicks, and hi-hats that click against the big beats and wind-tunnel traveling vocals.
Peep the Zeesy Powers and Yulla Benivolski video of Emily Law’s interpretive-mechanical dance moves to Austra’s tribal-tronics, “Hulluu”, fresh of the newly release, Habitat EP. Dance to the pulse of the whispered hisses of, “I took your microphone, it’s in the river”. Find Austra on tour now through September 14, with October 24-28 dates with Broken Bells.
Katie Kate, otherwise known as Kate Finn whisks you away to a dance party to steal away the remaining hours and minutes in the day and evening on, “Sadie Hawkins”. This audio bottled feeling of spontaneity and whimsical bewilderment can be found on Finn’s upcoming album, Nation album, complete with a 60 page book available August 5.
Dropping on August 26, peep the Souls of Mischief video for, “There Is Only Now”, set up as a classic crime flick set up on 1994. The cast features folks like Living Legends’ Scarub, (aka Stoney), Busta Rhumes (aka Womack), Tribe’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Snoop Dogg, and a whole lot of drama involving Stoney and Womack battling for the affections of Miriam. Mark your calendars, as Monday, September 1 will be the third annual, ‘Hiero Day’, going down in Oakland.
While we’re on that Hiero train, Pep Love shared some verses like, “a pack of zigzags and a big of that,” helping us kick back and relax with “Evergreen”, off the forthcoming Dolla Daily EP, available August 19.
Dads gives us welcomed ifs, ands, and the new song, “But”, off their upcoming second album, I’ll Be the Tornado available October 2014 from 6131 Records. Angst, anguish, and cathartic spellings and spilling of anger abounds, as you can find these dudes on the road, with slated appearances for Riot Fest Chicago, Riot Fest Denver and The Fest 13 this fall.
Yeah. You know what it is. You know who this is. We’re talking about what we and everyone else have been talking about, and that’s Naomi Punk, their new rad “Firehose Face” single off the upcoming, Television Man, available August 5 from Captured Tracks. For our intents and purposes, you all can just consider the fifth of August as ‘Naomi Punk day’ at the global Impose offices.
(Ladies and gentlemen, Sun Angels have recently released S3TEP via CSCN, switching up the mindset of how we interpret the rules of dance floor and dance form etiquette. This week, the English meisters of the mix take over the reigns with a pop culture report that reads like one of the best dance parties ever.)
Our songs: Sun Angels, S3TEP
Our new EP for CSCN. Some good tracks on it.
Orion feat. Hedvig, “Love Like You’ve Never Been Hurt Before” (Sun Angels World Cup Remix)
Pirlo, Buffon, Grosso and Cannavaro 4-ever in our heart
Our Week in Pop:
Avenger, “Orca” (New World Remix)
The second best song of the decade after “Call Me Maybe”.
Laura Pausini & Lara Fabian, “La Solitudine” (Live)
Italy is where our heart belongs, and Laura’s old hit about high school love takes on another dimension on the Spanish steps
DJ Muscleboy, “Louder”
“sexy dancing on the dance floor with my buddies from the gym”; isn’t that what DJ Sprinkles is all about? real deep house
Really annoyed someone else did what we do but much better, but kudos.
Timoteij, “Du Gamla Du Fria”
We cry every time.
Team Rockit, “Stigma”
These guys have blossomed into the most interesting group of the decade. if you don’t know, now you know!
Follow us on twitter: @sunangelsmusic