Week in Pop: Not the 1s, Ryan Sambol, Thurst

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Basking in the comfort and warmth of the July sun, Impose’s Week in Pop keeps your summer hit parade in perpetual motion. But first we bring you a few of the week’s top stories as Pictureplane has signed to Anticon with announcements of a new album and is currently touring with Heems; Kanye West to premiere Steve McQueen-directed video tomorrow July 25 in LA for “All Day/I Feel Like That”; James Franco penned a book on Lana Del Rey titled Flip-Side: Real And Imaginary Conversations With Lana Del Rey; James Blake’s upcoming album Radio Silence to feature collaborations with both Kanye West and Justin Vernon; watch the video for Prince’s “Baltimore” featuring Eryn Allen Kane, and his 3rdEyeGirl band announced the upcoming The Hit & Run Album; Mac Demacro is inviting super-fans to his home in Far Rockaway, New York to have coffee and listen to his new ‘mini-LP’ Another One; Dave Grohl’s own orthopedic Dr. Lew C. Schon covered “Seven Nation Army” with Foo Fighters at Fenway Park; Lil B collaborated with Chance The Rapper for a “based freestyle album;” Alice Glass dropped the ultra-heavy new post-Crystal Castles single “Stillbirth“; to promote the August 14-slated biopic, Straight Outta Compton; an N.W.A. reunion tour with Eminem is evidently in the works; Ghostface Killah versus Action Bronson after a SportsNation appearance followed by an Action apology & subsequent Ghostface response of nonacceptance; Mastodon canceled their August 7 through September 3 tour dates; Peaches and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner dropped the collaborative single “Bodyline“; Flavor Flav charged with a DUI and more from his May arrest for speeding; Hulk Hogan allegedly fired by WWE over “racial tirade”; Sinead O’Connor canceled her remaining summer gigs on account of “exhaustion”; with news of an upcoming Harmonia box-set from Grönland Records, we mourn the loss of Dieter Moebius.

Switching gears forward, we are proud to present today’s starting lineup of stars with Not the 1s, Ryan Sambol, Thurst, The Last Hurrah!!, Manatree, Rose Sélavy, Ruane Maurice x We Are Temporary, Templo X, Möthersky, Bec Sandridge, Frugal Father, Jimmy Turturici, SiR, featuring guest selections from Prince SAMO, and more—in no particular order.

Ryan Sambol

Photographer Madeline Harvey catches Austin strange boy Ryan Sambol making an errand run.
Photographer Madeline Harvey catches Austin strange boy Ryan Sambol making an errand run.

The ballad of Ryan Sambol is an Americana portrait of an artist that has been criminally under-sung. Turning the clock back for a moment to the spring of 2009, Sambol’s band The Strange Boys had just released their first album The Strange Boys and Girls Club courtesy of the generous Larry Hardy and his label In the Red Records that introduced us to Ryan’s caterwaul, Guthry-esque delivery and aberrated Austin sound that is part rock canon classic mixed with a destitute edge of the modern day drifting dilettante.

The music world class of 2009 was a year that bedroom and garage artists broke lo-fi ground (all the while showing promise for future big releases yet to arrive), as artist vanguards and groups became their own institutions. Fresh & Onlys, Vivian Girls and Woods were granted DIY-deity status, Coachwhips frontman John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees set the standard, Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin’s careers took off, The Black Lips were at the peak of their powers, as Bay Area and Southern California forces began collaborating with Austin liaisons, confidants, and cohorts. Former Nerve Agents artist Tim Presley had busied himself making now iconic home recordings in the downtime between working with his current band Darker My Love that would later become the influential and generative White Fence solo project turned band. Also working part time doing guitar work for Mark E. Smith and The Fall, Tim began working with Ryan’s The Strange Boys in helping create their 2010 album Be Brave that would bridge the wild world of Texas’s lost boys with the west coast swagger of the day.

Be Brave was born into a rapidly changing music landscape, seeing Mika Miko broke up in late 2009 (with drummer Seth Densham joining The Strange Boys with Jenna Thornhill-DeWitt also providing saxophone contributions), Jay Reatard’s untimely passing in January 2010, obnoxious and abused micro-genre tags like ‘chill wave’ and worse, and an industry evolving and changing more rapidly than the rate of technology’s own advancement. Yet through the chaos and confusion of the independent state of music caught at the corporate precipice of buy-outs, sellouts, and such; Ryan and the gang kept it weird and strange while savoring sounds played to them by the Presley brothers (Tim and Sean Paul—of NODZZZ, & White Fence) that charted the canon from the Grateful Dead, Dion solo, Mamas and the Papas solo records, Tom Petty, cult band Tronics, R. Stevie Moore, Culture, Donnie and Joe Emerson, and a plethora of CD-Rs that would contain some of the greatest music of the future. The follow-up album Live Music in 2011 saw Ryan and The Strange Boys take their sound back to country-blues rock basics, seen later touring with White Fence, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall, before radio silence.

Wondering when we would next hear from Ryan Sambol and company, today marks a momentous occasion as Sambol has launched his imprint Forever Wet Paint in conjunction with Dan Rudmann of Punctum Records, releasing today his solo album Now Ritual along with Peace Mob from his Living Grateful collective that we proudly present streaming in it’s entirety. While Ryan Sambol’s solo album Now Ritual showcases the more introverted fringe folk glances inward, Living Grateful’s Peace Mob brings an electric-gospel barage of good times Americana that draws from the more rustic, rarely heard corners. Helping us chronicle the recent spate of current events that have lead to today’s release of these two albums and the FWP imprint; Ryan Sambol helped us in describing the following path of histories:

Ryan Sambol and his guitar; photographed by Sam E.
Ryan Sambol and his guitar; photographed by Sam E.

August 2014:
Dan Rudmann and I meet while Studium (book/record store / label offices / show space) is being constructed.

Dan asks, what have I been up to?

I tell him I haven’t played music in about a year, but I’ve been thinking of playing again.

I tell Dan about the unreleased albums and songs from the last few years.
He asks if he can hear them.

October 31, 2014 :
I leave Austin, move out of my shack of 5 years, put my stuff in storage and head west with no plans other than to see the Grand Canyon.

Turn 28 sleeping in my car between Sedona and Cottonwood, Arizona.

December 2014:
I return to Texas with new songs and a solo act, start playing shows under my name.
Move in to a double wide in Cedar Creek just outside of Austin with my friend Andrew Costigan.

Dan Rudmann and I find we have much in common.
Dan thinks the albums should be released, need to be heard, siting many examples from my lyrics as proof.

I agree but quickly bring up that Larry Hardy, of In The Red Records, paid for Peace Mob and postponed the release two years ago because I asked him to, and due to the fact that he’s an understanding badass, he did.

So… maybe we can release now ritual ourselves and will ask Larry if he can release peace mob at the same time.

I call Larry Hardy.
Larry runs a very busy and successful independent record label.
He had of course moved on as scheduled over the last two years with his label’s releases, so at the time I called he had this years release schedule all booked up with great releases including Fuzz’s new album.

So … I tell Larry about FWP. And tell him of our plans to release Now Ritual and a song I recorded in Morocco.
I ask, since he can’t release it, would he allow us to release Peace Mob, with him recouping his costs from two years ago as the album sells. We both knowing that an album can’t recoup if it’s never released, he agrees, but only because he sees it as the best thing for me to do artistically,
which is amazingly hard to find in any artistic business, and just goes to prove why Larry is so loved by the musicians he works with.

January 2015:
Got an offer to help a friend drive to NYC.
Stay in NYC writing and recording new songs and performing under my name.

Dan Rudmann and Andrew Stevens back in Austin, set the FWP releases in motion through the contacts and services of Punctum Records.

March 2015:
I do my first solo tour, choosing to do it in Europe, encouraged by Afonso Simões, who has booked every show I’ve ever played on the European continent for the last seven years.
Tour goes well.

April 2015:
I stay in Berlin, Germany.
Writing and recording songs.

Summer 2015:
I return to Texas.
All albums arrive.
Shows are being played,
more being scheduled.
Ideas and plans are being realized, actualized, and of course, changed.

With the original plan/mission being:

By using appropriately the humble revenues made from these first three releases, the Forever Wet Paint company will then have the capability to internally finance the release of any artist expression we think necessary to make adaptably[sic] available to any and all people.

Punctum Record boss, and one half of Ryan’s Forever Wet Paint imprint Dan Rudmann weighed in on how the two struck up a friendship and label partnership that began when Sambol visited Punctum’s shop/space/venue, Studium:

Ryan came into Studium, our shop, nearly as year ago – just as we were completing the construction of the space. We became fast friends and I was able to assist in the development of Forever Wet Paint Co. through my experiences with Punctum Records. Working together has been quite seamless and intuitive, as we share a similar approach to the business.

Ryan performed his first show at Studium in December, helping to define the type of performances that we’ve come to be known for in Austin, and has played there a handful of times over the past few months. Most appropriately, will be holding the record release party for all three projects at Studium on the night of the 24 [tonight!].

Raising a hat, with Ryan Sambol; photographed by Sam E.
Raising a hat, with Ryan Sambol; photographed by Sam E.

On Living Grateful’s Peace Mob, Ryan sets the tone of self-acceptance with an all inclusive invitation to join the party that has only just begun. Iconography and word play rattle the windows and shake the wooden floor of an old saloon or dive on the classic party rocking “James Not”, with “Birthright” pounding out piano touched testimonials that basks in the revelry of being true to your heart, self and talents. The sound of Sambol’s friends and contemporaries shines on the muddy collaborative collection of riffs and riled up deliveries and execution on “Diamond Young”.

Storytelling time stays strange on the fractured narratives that cross the peculiar lyrical paths on “Sleepwell”, blurring the lines between biographies and autobiographical meta-fiction that rock through Living Grateful’s careful balance of guitar-piano relations that completely throw off the receptors and anachronistic gauges. Origins and inceptions slowly trudge through the mud of “Born Begun”, right before “Brownstone Gals” picks the spirits up with a dedicated ode to the radio where Ryan sings “stereo speaker you justify my life.” The length of the road and time traversed is recalled on boot-scooting boogie of “How Far Is Far”, with further trails and trains of thought that celebrate the present on “Most Recent Moment”, to “Assumption Fair” that brings more Ryan Sambol gospel ballads in his signature warble and wail delivery that seeks a kind of deliverance centered around the core of creative expression. The curtain closing cue is brought about on “Rue End” where the Living Grateful gang applies light orchestral touches that gives Peace Mob a kind of theatrical off-Broadway factor that further establishes and solidifies Ryan’s place in the contemporary canon of American songwriters and tune-smiths of our time that hold great proliferation, significance and importance for today’s and the future’s aspiring troubadours.

Living Grateful’s Peace Mob and Ryan Sambol’s Now Ritual are both available now through Forever Wet Paint Co. / Punctum Records.

Not the 1s

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The Bay Area’s Not The 1s premiere their new track “I Can’t Live With You” produced by Yalls that features fresh new verses from Eric Steuer and Mawnstr. Taken from their forthcoming album Everybody’s Rappin available TBD from Gold Robot Records that also features productions from Edison Victrola, Monster Rally, Waes One, Jules Chaz, and Debmaster with guest appearances from Kool Keith, Riff Raff, Prego w/ Zest, and Wz1; the Bay duo ring in the event of their second album with a full cast of characters and fanfare that includes a picture disc in the works.

On the debut of Not the 1s’ “I Can’t Live With You” feat. Prego w/Zest, tales of the worst roommates and housemates ever are spilled over Yalls’ old school brass inflected beat. Samples from stand-up set the stage for stories about odd couple configurations that cause a bunch of nonsense and irritations of imbalance that throw off the dynamic of day to day living. Scenarios on what to do when a roomie pays you rent in the middle of September for August play out with the logic of changing the locks and boxing up the belongings of dead beat busters that don’t contribute their ends for agreed upon terms. Beyond the monetary issues that bring about the urge for dropping an eviction notice, the crew describes the attributes and characteristics of slippery folks found in shared spaces setups that everyone can relate to in one way or another. Beyond leaving you high and dry for their portion of the rent, the classic horns shine some light on the unwanted guest (who may or may not be on the lease)that pukes on your couch, leaves the common spaces in disarray, raids the stash, puts throwback posters from high school up on the walls, flirts with your girlfriend, and acts like an all out immature menace of tenant. Discussing the new track, upcoming album, and more; we talked to Not the 1s’ Eric Steuer, Gold Robot Records founder Hunter Mack and producer Yalls aka Dan Casey in a roundtable interview featured after the following debut listen to “I Can’t Live With You”.

How did Not the 1s come together, and how did the three of you get involved in this project?

Dan: Hunter introduced me to Eric about 3 or 4 years ago when I started working with Gold Robot Records. This track has actually been in the works for a minute!

Hunter: I’ve been working with Eric since 2007 when his other project (Meanest Man Contest) was the 3rd release on Gold Robot. It was pretty amazing of him (and Noah) to do so, considering the label was an infant at best. Eric approached me in 2011 about a new project he was doing (which ended up being Not the 1s) and I loved the concept—super fun, throwback-esque raps with a variety of different producers. It’s quite different from what is being released in that genre, so I found it massively refreshing.

Eric: Not the 1s is made up of me and my man Mawnstr AKA Yung Bigg Lex. We’ve known each other for a bunch of years now. Like, seriously, a bunch of years. We’re old as fuck! In the late 90s, we were younguns who both lived in Isla Vista—the little garbage town/seaside hamlet attached to UC Santa Barbara—and we’d often find ourselves at the same parties, drunk and freestyling over in the corner. You know how that goes. And that turned into the two of us getting in the studio with some other friends and putting in some work, making some little bangers. But then of course you become an adult and it’s time to move along, and so…

Years later, Mawnstr and I both ended up in the Bay Area and we decided to start Not the 1s as a way to dive right back in to the music that we used to do back in those days as young drunks. Not to be on some corny throwback shit or anything but just to pick up right where we left off. Because rap is fun.

How did the Bay Area environment provide a creative and inspiration backdrop for you all?

Eric: I always wanted to live here because so much of the music I grew up with came from the Bay Area, and it always seemed like you could try new and weird things out and not take yourself too seriously. In terms of hip-hop, the artists from here that meant a lot to me were the ones that totally did their own thing, both musically and from a business perspective: E-40, Too $hort, Hiero, and probably more than any other group, Digital Underground.

What sorts of domicile drift and fallouts informed “I Can’t Live With You”?

Eric: This track is a good example of Alex and me picking up where we left off years ago. Way back when the two of us were still in roommate situations, we had the idea to do a song about shitty roomies. We even found a beat for it, but then we abandoned the idea. When we connected again for Not the 1s, we went back and thought of all the ridiculous people we’d lived with over the years. The dude who cashed my phone bill checks for six months but never actually paid the phone bill. The guy that almost burned Alex’s crib down trying to make Top Ramen.

And what’s next in the pipeline for Not The 1s?

Eric: Our album is gonna drop on Gold Robot Records as a picture disc later this year. And then we’re holing up in a Las Vegas hotel room for a few days with our dudes Waes One and Halfway D to start recording our next EP.

Not the 1s’ upcoming album Everybody’s Rappin will be available soon from Gold Robot Records.

Check out Not The 1s Kickstarter to create a Everybody’s Rappin 12″ picture disc courtesy of Matt Gondek where you have the chance to be an illustrated character in the LP art.

Ruan Maruice x We Are Temporary

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Taking the last track “Peaked” from Ruane Maurice’s self-titled debut, Stars & Letters boss Mark Roberts remixes the cut under his solo handle We Are Temporary with the following debut of the track and video. The sparse nature of the original where echoes, vague thumping percussion, and squirrely ghost samples emerge like steam from metal grates and plates on a busy NYC street; the We Are Temporary remix keeps the original atmosphere encased (and almost isolated) as new percussive elements and thematic synths are brought into the audio frame. Ru’s verse begins earlier, where keys and paranormal like samples point toward new ethereal directions and perspectives.

“Peaked” is treated to the We Are Temporary trademark sound that respects and relays the fragile nature of life through the breath of synths, keys, and effects that stir a series of indescribable feelings. The key progressions found on various WAT tracks is brought to the Ruane Maurice table where Ru continues his verses and ventilation as the weather around him changes in an a rapid escalation ascension of atmospheres. Staying true to the title of “Peaked”, Mark applies a dance peak song trope that carefully rises to the tension, and increased speed of Ru’s delivery. The visual treatment finds Roberts drawing chromatic effects, and filters on entertaining break-dancing footage compiled and edited from Between 14th & Bedford: NY Subway Dancers directed by Molly Mills, and The Get Together – House Of Marley directed by Jenna Gabriel.


From Mark (We Are Temporary):

Being able to remix Ruane Maurice was a very special thing for me. Not only am I a huge fan of theirs (which is why I also signed them to my Stars & Letters label), but it was the first time in over 20 years of writing music that I got to work with a rap vocal. At first I was really intimidated by the idea, because I wasn’t sure my production aesthetic is a natural fit for hip hop, but as soon as I got started laying down tracks for the remix, I realized I felt totally free and liberated by a vocal that carries no melody.

Most of the time, especially in popular music, a vocal melody’s central status sets significant boundaries on what you can and cannot do—i.e. key of the song, song structure, arrangement, etc.—but working with a rap vocal was a creative dream. I felt free to develop the song almost as an instrumental, with Ru’s gorgeous vocal timbre just floating over the production.

It’s an odd thing to say for a musician, but I feel genuinely proud of the work I did on this remix—it’s a big departure from the original song, as well as from the music I ordinarily release, and I think there’s something really special and compelling about mixing our two distinct music voices into a new song.

At the end of the day, the flow and pulse of the vocals and music just take me to a really good place. There’s something about the result which sounds hopeful to me, like the world isn’t just full of disaffection, irony, aggression, and cynicism. And more than anything, that’s the quality I wanted to also bring out in the video: I wanted to show joy—the joy of friendship and camaraderie, the joy of movement and expression, the joy of connecting with strangers and making the world an ever-so-slightly smaller and more intimate place for a few stops on a subway ride.

From Ru (Ruane Maurice / vocalist)

We Are Temporary’s remix is genuinely unbelievable! It gives the track a completely different vibe. I haven’t had a track make me feel like this in a while, and the fact it’s a remix of us has me beaming from ear to ear!

Ruane Maurice’s self-titled is available now from Stars & Letters.


Catching up with SiR, and discussing his new solo album; photographed by Dana Washington.
Catching up with SiR, and discussing his new solo album; photographed by Dana Washington.

You may already know SiR’s songwriting repertoire without even consciously knowing it. The LA artist who has penned cuts for Anita Baker, Bilal & Tweet, Tyrese & Marsha Ambrosius, Melanie Fiona, Jill Scott, and countless others is readying his own solo album Seven Sundays for release July 31 from Fresh Selects that delivers with his own meditations and words produced by talents like Knxwledge, J. LBs, Alvin Isaacs II, Chris Dave, Tiffany, a cameo from Anderson .Paak, and more. The heaviest hitters bring some big contributions to get your summer sailing on a smooth tip like every day and moment was like one continuous serene Sunday.

That A/C gets cranked up to the chillest max with Knxwledge’s clever ice steam production treatment heard on the stratosphere rising “In The Sky”, showcasing J. LBs confessional stage light sound heard on the intimate moment that offers exchanges of truths and pain on “Right By You”, with the the time splitting sense-twirler “Love You” that should place Knxwledge at least in Grammy consideration territory as if his work on Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly wasn’t already staggering testimony alone. But this here is SiR’s time to shine, in the role of a lover’s rock romeo who takes you through the throes of the romantic highs, lows, and woes through a classic nightclub lit voice lantern that shines lover’s tale narratives. We had an opportunity to catch up with SiR in our interview featured after the jump.

Tell us a bit about the experience of stepping out from the behind the scenes and into the spot light here on our album debut, Seven Sundays.

I have to say I’m enjoying this more than I thought I would. I’ve been writing for other artists for years, but I’ve always wanted an opportunity to find my own voice. Seven Sundays is definitely giving me a chance to put my personal twist on LA r&b. I still write for other people, and I am very excited about my future as both a songwriter and an Artist.

How has your experience as a songwriter for so many artists impacted your own solo compositions?

My experience as a songwriter is one of the main reasons I became an artist. The hardest part was figuring out what I wanted to say for myself.

What was the experience like working with producers like Knxwledge, DK The Punisher, J Lbs, Chris Dave, Iman Omari and Tiffany Gouche in sharing, and having an impact on your vision of a dreamy album of this kind of internal reckoning?

Man it was easy. All those cats are the homies. They are my sound. With J LBS and DK, the writing process is extremely enjoyable for me. They helped me find the concepts to a lot of songs on the album. Knxwledge and I have never actually worked in the studio together, but when he sends me shit, I know it’s fire. It made it so much more fun because I’m a fan of all the producers I work closely with.

How do you describe and/or define the dynamic between the producer, the singer, or emcee, and the song/story/track?

To me, they all play a specific role, and they all need each other to work. Dope melodies don’t work with Wack lyrics. And dope songs don’t work on Wack beats. You don’t have to be EXTRA amazing one way or the other, but you can create something amazing if each part is being played properly.

Who else are you collaborating with, and writing for right now?

I’m currently working closely with Melanie Fiona on her next project, which is set to release this year. I also had the chance to write some records for Chris Dave & The Drumhedz. And of course I’m working with my hittas Tiffany Gouche and Fat Ron on their upcoming projects.

What else can we expect from your solo output in the future?

I’m working on two more projects this year. 1 will be released in the next couple months, the other closer to my birthday in November. We will also be releasing visuals for Seven Sundays as well. I’m excited to let people hear was I’ve been cooking!

Inglewood, LA shout-outs to rising stars?

So many dope artists out there..too many to list. Shout out to all of my LA peers. They know who they are.

SiR’s solo album debut Seven Sundays will be available July 31 from Fresh Selects.


Say hello to Thurst, who joins the Unsatisfied Records family.
Say hello to Thurst, who joins the Unsatisfied Records family.

Introducing LA’s Thurst, who present the premiere listen to their debut album YSFC (aka You’re So Fucking Cool) that delivers one of the summer’s big must hear slacker-scuzz pop cycles that includes a little something for all disaffected, but warm hearted listeners. Comprised of siblings Kory Seal ( on guitars, drums, vocals), Jessie Seal (on drums, vocals) with bassist Mark C to round things up; a YSFC is the DIY beast that was created in their Inglewood, CA rehearsal space that apes your favorite alt amenities through the current day approach to econo-budget audio alchemy.

“Fact Is Friction” is from the opening a gates an instant favorite and classic that grabs all the glittering prizes of attitudes and arts borrowed from previous independent heroes and arguably improved upon. The nowhere I can go desperation takes on real earnest hearted strummed deliveries in original and idiosyncratic electric melodies on “Complacency”, while Jessie and Kory on the title track “YSFC” take the piss out of retro obsess snobby hip-fronting charlatans where Jessie sneers, “I’m in a rock and roll band, that’s more than you could understand, conceived in 1993 but you’re stuck in the ’60s, you’re so fucking cool, you’re so fucking cool…” Conversations and more cross wires and paths on the happy go lucky oddity of “Movies” where Kory sings on the chorus, “people always seem to always make me talk about themselves, themselves; I’m pretty sure my heart it could use some stem cells, stem cells.” Empathy rules supreme through the summer doldrums chords of melted cares found on “Mark Looks Parched”, to the quick packed frenetic poetics of “Stress Breath” , talking in tune before bringing the real buzzy-wave-crashing coolness of “Haze For Days”, to the genius panic-attack-inducing Adderall angles of “Past Pussy Potential”, to the anger management course “Shooting Spree”, that closes up the entire album with the ‘OMG’ sentiments that drift off to the distance with a linger love for the boredom that can inspire the most proactive of artistic visions. After the following listen to YSFC, check out our interview with the band:

Tell us the story on how Thurst became to be an unquenchable, inexhaustible LA art garage phenomenon?

Man! Say that 10x fast. Haha As brother and sister we’ve always wanted to have a music project. We rented a rehearsal space back in 2013, and it just started happening. Even in the beginning we took pride in playing music that spoke to us more than our listeners, knowing that those who listened would truly understand & appreciate what we were doing.

Were you inspired by the Patricia Arquette refrain from True Romance for the title of your debut album, YSFC (You’re So Fucking Cool)?

Alabama! What a babe. One of our favorite movies! Unfortunately no, but loving the reference. The song “YSFC” started with the slamming out of drums & power cords & all of us screaming “YOU’RE SO FUCKIN COOL!” We knew in the end we wanted the song to be an angsty slay on the LA scene, the government..ideally no stone would be left unturned, but the song would have never ended. Haha It only seemed suitable to name the album after one of our earliest & most heart felt tunes.

What was it like for you all writing and sketching out the garage grinders on YSFC?

Most of the material on the album came about very spontaneously when we were all in the same room together getting weird, which comes pretty naturally to us. It’s difficult to really know how our songs will turn out until we all jam on them. Kory has always written music from a place of passion, and although the melody is a significant part of the song, it can be drastically shifted by the drum beat & bass line. This is the part of writing that’s really exciting and inspiring for all of us.

I feel like the album sort of takes the ennui, bored side of LA and celebrates it like a ‘we’re all in our own world and it’s awesome’ vibe which is actually really exciting to listen to. What is the secret to creating a scuzzy, DIY world where you make everyone feel included?

By living in a scuzzy DIY world. It comes pretty naturally to preach what you practice. We didn’t grow up with much, and in turn learned to really appreciate the will and hard work that goes into not having shit handed to you. We also prefer the ‘bored’ life. Chill times listening to system of a down, head banging, and drinking brews. We are family after all & the more the merrier!

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Give us the story on the titles too that are a crack up like “Past Pussy Potential”, “Stress Breath”, “Mark Looks Parched”, “Fact Is Friction”, etc. Can you tell us a little bit about the song title selecting process for you all?

That’s all Kory! We can hardly keep up with half the things coming out of his mouth. He’s amazing at freestyling too—definitely put him on the spot. Through researching stress causing symptoms—chronic bad breath was on the list…thus resulting in stress breath, and Mark is typically a very hydrated man.

Latest and greatest things you all are digging happening in LA right now?

LA has lots to dig. Thankfully the bored side of LA has people reverting back to simpler ways of living – from the food we consume, to the way we listen to and play music, which is necessary for the overall evolution & survival of us as a species. We can always dig the amount of live music in LA. Supporting local artists and businesses is the main happening for us, and we can always count on something rad & authentic happening in LA. It also doesn’t hurt being surrounded by beautiful canyons to escape to. Gives the city a great balance.

What sort of prospects and projects are next for Thurst?

We’ll be recording some new tracks soon, and are super excited to share them! YSFC was definitely an outcome of our earlier tunes, and we are chomping at the bit to dish out what’s next! We’re super excited to now be a part of such a rad up and coming label, Unsatisfied Records, and we can’t wait for what’s next to come. Creating has always been an act of love & enjoyment for us, so as long as it stays that way the projects and prospects will continue churning!


Standing out from the crowd—Richmond, VA's Manatree.
Standing out from the crowd—Richmond, VA’s Manatree.

From Richmond, VA; meet the clever quartet Manatree who deliver us a debut first listen to the the neat and succinct sound of their first album. On the following advance heard ahead of the July 31 release date from EggHunt Records, secondary school chums Jack Mayock, Tristan Fisher, Noma Illmensee, and Alex Elder run through the cycle of sharpening their shared musical bonds that bring songs for seasons past while sorting out tomorrow’s sonic systems of science. These talents are further steered by local band Avers’ Adrian Olsen on production that delivers crisp tones from a band that is breaking in their own sense of sound and statements of self, and sung thoughts.

The artful aspects of arithmetic applied rock has been thrown around when describing Manatree, as the band sticks to strict and quick cues and rhythm chord call and response progressions that are heard in full bloom on the opening “Fat Jackson”. The equations and algorithms are depicted in longhand form on the scuzz encrusted “Something”, playing feedback like brass instruments that drops you into the catchy mental states of being and mind composites on “Beeswax”, that take you to the tropical calculations of cascading chord hooks and endearing expression that burst on the lauded single “Animal Quietlies”.

Nostalgic notions shift to childhood reflections of youthful episodes that moves like a series of flashbacks on “Children”, right before taking a power chord guitar pause of “Moments”, followed by the imaginative and inspired high rising hopes on “Invisible Egg”, to the progressions and harmonies that softly soak up the summer sun beams like sunscreen on “Cruisin'”. Longtime forged friendships hold tight like a group huddle through the sound of solidarity heard on “All Our Old Friends”, sailing through the infectious righteous rhythm roll stack folds of “Static” that unfurl with a passion, to the local lines of thoughts, observations, anecdotes, and recalled moments of cherished sublime meanings on the closing song, “City Park”. After the premiere early listen to Manatree’s self-titled, read our interview with the band that is as candid, and personal as their music.

What’s good these days in Richmond, Virginia?

Richmond is growing a lot, so it’s really fun to be in the arts scene right now. Everyone collaborates all the time, and there’s this closeness between musicians and artists of drastically different styles which might not be found in larger cities. There are certain genre based cliques, like the math rock crew Subterranea Collective, the funk/soul label Jellowstone records, all of the noise artists, and the punk and metal scenes, but there’s still a theme of interconnectedness between many of these artists.

There are tons of festivals all the time too, like the Richmond Folk Festival, the local radio station WRIR’s Commonwealth of Notions and Party For the Rest Of Us, and weekly summer concert series Friday Cheers. Restaurants, cafes, and bars pop up all the time too, and the craft beer scene is quickly growing thanks in part to breweries like Legend and Hardywood Park, (which is a great venue as well). Plus there’s always the James River.

Give us the story on the name…I have always wondered whether or not it was inspired by the Square/Enix game (then just Square) Secret of Mana from the 90s heyday of SNES, or is it something deeper here?

After a fifteen minute discussion about what sort of story we would tell you about the history of our band name, or what wild series of events lead us to pick “Manatree,” we decided to tell you the truth. “Manatree” is just a made up word that we thought sounded good as a band name. Plus its easy to type.

For your debut LP, there is a feel of both summer, earnest sentimentality, and all that; looking back how did you all approach the process of making your first proper full-length record?

This record is a culmination of songs we wrote throughout high school, featuring the ones we liked the best and kept playing and improving on. These songs aren’t really connected through any particular musical or lyrical theme, but that they were written by us when we were still discovering what music was and figuring out how to write it. We think of this album as a preservation of the songs we made throughout high school, which was important to us since we were trying so many things for the first time.

What does a regular, or irregular song-storming creative sesh like for you all? Any preferred methodologies that any of you subscribe to for song craft over another?

There’s no primary method to the way we approach songwriting, and especially on the record, every song is written differently. We feel like that’s what has allowed the songs to be pretty different from each other. We’ve always written songs together, rather than having one main songwriter teach everyone else the parts. Whether it’s a riff that we’ve played around with for a few hours until new ideas spring up, or a rough structure that is brought to practice, flushed out together, and then finished by a different person, the songs are all written collectively. Its a very long, slow process of revisiting and revising songs, even if we think they’re complete. Suddenly an old riff from two years ago will make perfect sense as a bridge or something. That’s why it’s taken so long for us to put out this record.

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Some local artists or elsewhere that you believe need more credit for doing amazing, and wondrous things for the world, and their communities?

Richmond has had a profound impact on our lives growing up, and has been super inspirational. The scene is really expansive beyond just a few indie bands, which is echoed in the variety of the festivals we have, pretty much year round. From the Richmond Folk Festival to the local radio station WRIR’s Commonwealth of Notions, and the weekly summer concert series Friday Cheers, there are festivals all the time. We were recently part of a really great sort of off-the-internet weekly acoustic concert series in a public park, which was really unique and helped us a lot with figuring out how to acoustically arrange our songs as well, and do more with less.

There are a ton of great Richmond bands though that have shaped us more than pretty much any other more famous band. The Trillions power-pop shred fest of energy and fervor has been probably the biggest inspiration as far as contemporary indie rock goes, and you should definitely check out their latest record, Superposition.

We’re also big fans of Orangutang and Kickball from the west coast, who are really fun and that not many people know about. Local bands like Spooky Cool, Sports Bar, My Darling Fury, and a ton of others have shown us how much fun playing and writing music can be, and are all super unique, but work well together. Gallery 5, run by the guys in Night Idea and Dumb Waiter, is a really cool gallery that hosts shows and various community events like the First Fridays art walk. We played with Ava Luna there and they’ve totally impacted our new songs and creative process.

We’re really lucky to be on EggHunt Records too. They’re proving to be a really great record label for Richmond, as well as Raleigh (Daddy Issues), Virginia Beach (Feral Conservatives) and Denver (Oko Tygra). Some of our favorite bands in Richmond are on or will soon be joining us on the label (Clair Morgan, White Laces, Diamond Center) and we’re excited to see how far all of us can take it. Adam and Greg, who run Egghunt, are super collaborative and are great at working with everyone on the label to push it as a community based organization, rather than just a single person’s vision dominating the creative process.

What else can we expect next from Manatree?

We’ll probably just stop playing music.

Actually though, we’re all working on increasing our technical ability as individual musicians so that we can communicate more fluidly and effectively when new ideas are brought to the table. We’re deeply inspired by certain jazz musicians as well as music from other genres that rely heavily on improvisation, and we’ve been trying more and more to bring a spontaneous, improvisational spirit to these rigid pop songs we’ve written, mostly to keep things fresh and enjoyable after playing them a lot. Audiences can feel it when there’s genuine inspiration being experienced on stage, and it definitely makes the entire performance better. Our hope is to write songs that are strong enough at their core, that we can bring in new people whenever we want and approach them with new arrangements and sounds, the way a group of jazz musicians might approach old standards. A lot of our new songs are also inspired by the arrangements and dynamics of electronic music, be it the textured, atmospheric works of Aphex Twin and Actress, or the sparse compositions of contemporary R&B artists such as Frank Ocean, Chet Faker, and Usher. Its interesting to attempt to bring aspects of the electronic music we like to the music we play, while also keeping our traditional guitars, bass, and drums set up live.

Manatree’s self-titled will be available July 31 from EggHunt Records.

Catch their local Richmond, VA record release gig at The Broadberry tomorrow July 25 with Clair Morgan and Lucy Dacus.

Rose Sélavy / Templo X

Rose Sélavy; photographed by Austin Landon.
Rose Sélavy; photographed by Austin Landon.

Get a sneak debut listen to the Rose Sélavy / Templo X split 7″ from Austin Town Hall Records featuring members formerly of Literature and Mirror Travel. Available August 21, the Austin, TX artists continue to turn the pages of the grand power pop canon that provides the warmest of hearts, and shared visions a vignette to behold the sincere songs that strum from the most endearing places.

Rose Sélavy begins the split 7″ like rising out of a celestial dream with Robert Baldwin’s sincere “hold my hand” requests on “Hold”. The dream pop synths and arrangements blend bright jangle chords to illuminate the “your hand, my heart” that resonates with the most dear, and sometimes guarded parts of every listener’s heart who has ever felt a strong attachment to another person. Templo X follows up the daydream haze with “She” that keeps the romantic motif moving along with pep that presents the carnival like games of chase that are found in sports of amour. The DIY pop punch takes cues from punky nuggets past and mod attitudes of put-downs, awkward situations, and a free-wheeling sense of infatuation and puppy love like crushes inspired by the events in a late nineteenth century novel.

Robert Baldwin of Rose Sélavy described the single “Hold” to us with the following:

“Hold” is about escaping the world of anxiety through companionship. Tuning out all the nonsense with love and catchy guitar hooks.

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Paul Brinkley of Templo X described “She” for us:

She is a book written by H. Rider Haggard, first published in 1886. Templo X condenses this sprawling and surreal adventure novel into a three minute song.

The Rose Sélavy and Templo X split 7″ will be available August 21 from Austin Town Hall Records.


Meet Chuck, aka Charles Griffin Gibson.
Meet Chuck, aka Charles Griffin Gibson.

Meet Chuck, who dropped the b/w beach side vibes of “Oceans” that delivers a slice of a summer to remember. From the artist’s upcoming split with a split EP with his friend Lou arriving next week; “Oceans” encapsulates the feel of travel to amusement parks, train rides, boardwalk bound feelings, the feel of sand between your toes, seasonal loves, and books read to chase away any inkling of boredom. Charles Griffin Gibson of Chuck lent a few words on the making of the video, thoughts behind the song “Oceans”, and further reflections on the upcoming split with Lou:

This video is for “Oceans” which is coming out on a split EP I’ve been making with my friend Lou. We met working on a reality show a few years ago and have the same sense of humor, but sort of different musical styles. I think it’s an interesting pairing. We recorded 3 songs he wrote and 3 songs I wrote and I’m engineering the whole thing myself.

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“Oceans” is about missing my girlfriend who is living in Norway for the summer. She’s from there. I wrote it on a Saturday night at like 2am. I was planning on going to the beach the next day and I was thinking about how it would be more fun if she was coming with me. I visualized the video while trying to go to sleep that night and shot it the next day on a GoPro. The record it’s on will be available on Bandcamp on Monday July 27. I’m flying out to visit my girlfriend for three weeks the day after. P.S. Bonus points if you can spot the two books that make guest appearances.

Chuck’s new EP will be available July 27 via Bandcamp.

Jimmy Turturici

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Watch Jimmy Turturici’s “Aurora” video created by TheVoid found off the Alien Garden EP available now on 7″ transparent vinyl via Natural Satellite. The cascading electro waves of norther light shown borealis crashes down in slow motion that reflect wonders that shine like a new moon light shining above the Monterey Peninsula oceans. Featuring Ben Herod on tenor sax, the synths, and lullaby vocal mode point to a land of nod that exists ata point where the breakers meet the pebble strewn grounds that create the blend of mosaics and splashed oils in an aesthetic real to life the gradual motion waves of time.

The Last Hurrah!!

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HP Gundersen (known as the mentor of Sondre Lerche) has collaborated with vocalist Maesa Pullman to create The Last Hurrah!! who recently released the video for “The Weight Of The Moon” off their upcoming album, Mudflowers available August 21 from the Norwegian imprint Rune Grammofon. The crossroads of desert cacti, old fire trails, and desolate lands find the pair describing the weight between shared planetary systems, solar systems, and the gravity between two parties.

Presenting the debut of The Last Hurrah!!’s “Is It Me” that features Maesa Pullman taking conversational questions and applying the time to the tapestries of song. The western pop twang finds a baroque outlet that marries the Americana touches with a lush Norwegian decorum. Maesa paints the portraits of histories past and the meaning of the present the point to the potential of a future that is decked out in the type of sweeping orchestrals that allude to the happiest of movie endings and a romanticism that makes the coldest hearts of cynics weep.

HP Gundersen gave us a few thoughts on making the album Mudflowers:

It was a fantastic experience to do the Mudflowers record. With a lifelong, long distant love for all kinds of American music, from be-bop to country and everything between, to have a chance to create my own American dream music, with genuine Americana singer Maesa Pullman, and on two tracks Rosa Pullman, was huge for me. And also that bridge between my Bergen scene and those great Americana musicians I got to work with in LA, created something very original and beautiful.

Maesa provided her reflections on recording Mudflowers with the great HP:

Working on the Mudflowers album was luxurious; to get to get to sink my teeth into this beautiful feast of songs, build a world around this character, not me, connecting with the notes that rung true within my own life…in the end I felt I could deliver the songs from a real true place. The style is rooted in aesthetics I was raised up on but from a different angle. And I love the drama in the songs. Not to mention, to get to experience the wild, wizard-like, genius world of HP Gundersen will forever influence the way that I approach music making. I’m grateful to say I feel I’ve found another musical home in Norway.

The Last Hurrah!!’s Mudflowers available August 21 from Rune Grammofon.


Introducing Brooklyn's Möthersky.
Introducing Brooklyn’s Möthersky.

NYC’s Möthersky continues to expand as instrumentalist Richard Vergez has brought South African vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Xander Hing into the picture with a listen to the post-modern synth nu-punk maudlin core “Let Go”. Readying their self-appointed art rock for the noir post-digital age; the individual items from synths, strings, and looping match-scratch samples kick into the hallowed-haunted atmosphere that sulk to Xander’s vocals like a sad night experienced beneath the auspices of a sullen moon. Their album Our Secrets will be available TBD, and both Richard and Xander shared a few thoughts with us on the collaborative process:

Our Secrets grew out of an organic process of studio improvisation and a need to release stress pent up from working as full time creatives. We would meet every weekend in a Union Square basement studio and just bang away, it was mostly noise but out of that also came the collection of five songs which make up side A of Our Secrets.

Frugal Father

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We first learned of Oakland artist/producer/singer Mac Welch, aka Frugal Father from fellow Stereocure collective-mate Elliott Baker (aka Crystal Ghost) and today we have the electro xylophone sparse electro zapper, “Dirty Kids”. Taken off the Welch’s upcoming Held available August 4 from Stereocure, the soundsystems of the LCD variety bounce and boggle mind with digital lasers that illuminate a neon lit humbled delivery. The former StaG member, and Holy Underground affiliate brings a realness to the binary produced arts that gives a sense of warmth, and human spirit to the devices and applications that both can create and deliver playback ROMs of our current favorite new audio/video media. Read our exclusive interview with Mac of Frugal Father right after the jump.

Give us the story on how you first began Frugal Father, and the story behind the name.

I think the name Frugal Father came from me recognizing the contradiction between my social reputation as a paternal bummer and my desire to be liked by everyone—and I wanted to give my dad a hard time. I also like alliteration.

We loved the “Red Headed Hipster” demo and are grooving to the Held EP. Tell us about what the jump from the previous demo to making this album taught you about your own talents.

It has been a super fun time since “Red Headed Hipster” came out! On the day that RHH was released, I flew to Coachella and started working for Youth Lagoon as a roadie and driver on the Wondrous Bughouse tour. About a year later, I began tour managing Slow Magic in the U.S. and Canada. I owe a lot of my progress as a performer (and as a human) to the humble and sincere examples set by the musicians on those tours. I would say that I have learned to embrace my fears and my shame in hopes of making a fun connection with my audience.

What’s the latest from everyone in the Stereocure collective? Our mutual friend Elliott Baker of Crystal Ghost has been promoting your music, and singing your praises often.

Elliot is a true gem. Everyone at Stereocure is the same as him: totally unique. I am constantly inspired by what comes out of the camp they have created. The contributors rank amongst the most knowledgeable and friendly artists I have had the luck of meeting. I could name the ones I love, but I would name them all, so be sure to explore the roster!

Give us some insights into your own preferred recording, and sound sketching methods if you could, as it seems you operate outside the lines of conventional approaches from what I’m hearing.

Thanks! I produce a majority of my sounds on Propellorhead’s Reason 4.0, I got it in 8th grade—before that I used Adobe Premiere Pro to track audio; it was hectic. I write most of my songs on the guitar and ukulele but in the past year I have started to make a point of writing on new instruments before learning their tuning. I can’t say I have an approach to instrumentation otherwise. When it comes to texture and timbre I think my most common goal is playing with the strangeness of familiarity. I most commonly picture an empty space when I think of making sounds: it is a space—I created it; it has a purpose—yet my goal is to explore its boundaries. I often find that I only come away with a fraction of what I hear in my head; it feels like a small piece of treasure I barely got back home with. Lyrically I am prone to saying words long before I can appreciate their gravity, and I try very hard to distill my experiences into lyrics but it often results in a subconscious, emotional exposure snowballing into the narrative. I strongly believe in context. I admire lyricists like Rakim and Defari for their flexibility in syllable structure. I think Hip Hop has had a large influence on the delivery of my lyrics; I try to make the emotion behind my words tangible, usually with inflection or texture/harmonies. I like all the little chaotic details in the voice—if I can make myself choke up, I want you hear to it.

What else have you been working on music wise, and otherwise?

I have been making tons of music. The next release is starting to look like a full band LP and it is an exciting experience—I feel like a fluid sound is starting to form behind it. I’m looking forward to playing a lot more this fall.

Other awesome things in Oakland that are exciting you right now?

Oakland is great. Nash Quest out of SF has been blowing me away around town with his live performances. Native Eloquence from the Stereocure camp lives a few blocks from me and has been exposing me to the rad improve scene here and around Mills College. I am inspired most places I go.

Frugal Father’s Held will be available August 4 from Stereocure.

Bec Sandridge

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Meet Bec Sandridge who unleashed her first single “In The Fog, In The Flame” that brings elements and sincere sentiments that flow naturally in her rhythmic brew of heart penned pop. With an EP in the works and an Australian and UK tour also in the making; keep an ear out for more big shiny produced genuine gems from the Aussie artist soon to follow.

Across long distance cables, Bec shared some words about the heart and inspirations that informed “In The Fog, In the Flame”, with some hints at what to expect on her forthcoming EP debut:

This EP is definitely a thousand times more boogie-able than my other work. For quite some time—even though I love acoustic guitar and singer-songwriter type songs—I’ve been itching to create something that was fun but also emotive. I’ve often battled with creating upbeat songs. But I think this record is definitely a lot more there. It’s a very tongue-in-cheek EP…Sonically I was influenced by people like Kate Bush, Cyndi Lauper and The War On Drugs. I liked the idea of having big yet somewhat mechanical drums and drum machine type sounds. I’ve always liked sound effects and playing with annoying or comical sounds….I guess I like seeing if I can make them sound interesting or appealing or even somewhat normal if they’re layered with more organic instruments like a piano or guitar. When considering writing for this EP, I wanted to explore my voice more and i wanted to play with theatrics. I’ve never really considered myself to be a singer, so I wanted to push myself to explore vowel sounds/phonetics, to prove to myself that my voice is a legitimate and real instrument and one that is potentially now my main instrument. I’ve always felt pretty uncomfortable with singing in front of others (especially as I’ve only been doing it for the past four years) so it feels nice to push myself even though I was very out of my comfort zone…

Usually when writing, I come up with a melody whilst I’m driving or if I’m in a busy mall, so I usually (illegally) use my iPhone’s voice recording app below the steering wheel but this time for some reason I wrote “ITFITF” in a matter of an hour. I was walking around on my parents balcony (looking out to sea) with my acoustic guitar and the chorus quite literally just popped in my head. I thought I had already picked my four songs for the EP, but this song wouldn’t stop bothering me so I knew i needed to put it on the record. For months, someone overseas has been throwing me back and forth / in and out of their life and once this chorus came out I felt very at ease.

Once I had written all of the songs, I started thinking about instrumentation etc and I knew that I wanted space in the songs so that a very direct message or story came across. so I decided to write a lot of the songs on piano (even though I can’t play, at all). I found the process of writing on a piano really challenging as I can only play singular notes, and maybe two or three two-note chords, but this made me focus a lot more on the vocal melody, what I wanted to say and to who. I felt like I was forced to focus on the weight of words. But it’s also a lot easier to write riffs on a piano for me.

From East London’s own Alexander London, aka Alxndr London dropped his new track “DATE X” that spells out a night spent in the synth spectacular speckled rendering of the iconic town as if it was an entrance to the most deluxe VIP section imaginable.

Adam Snow got sentimental and dropped the mixtape The Story So Far that delivers memorial tracks tailored in homage of the artist’s brother, Robert “Matt” Hickerson. “This tape is for: my brother Matt, everyone back home, anyone who hated on me, anyone who believed in me,” Adam explained in a statement, “the garage kids, the guys at Jiberish, my family (not by blood), my mgmt, and all the kids like I was growing up looking for music that reminds them they aren’t alone.” From here the event rolls with evening feels with “2 AM Intro”, the celestial shine on “Meghan’s Theme”, the romantic synth sinker “Amelia’s Theme”, trading thematic odes for eternal-ethereal experiments on “Always And Forever”, pushing the beat to the evening slow-beat slap of “All Night”, the supernatural strange of “Goodbye, Old Friend”, to the final landing of “Safe And Sound” that leaves you with the warm embrace of an embrace to e echoed throug the ages. Adam Snow remains a produder to watch, download the new tape via Jibberish.

Fine Print’s self-titled EP will be available August on 28 B3SCI, and we have the follow-up to their recent single “About You” with the honesty-cool-crooning restrained electronic atmosphere moods of “Can’t Lie”. From here the chill lounge etiquette of grooves to get romantic or reminiscent to take hold as the inner expressions of feeling are worn plainly on the sleeve for all to hear.

Resurrected from the fateful year of 1997 future vibrations; The Children We Were from the debonair dance styles of House of 909. The trio heralding from the UK operated on a foresight that forecast the ensuing new acid jazz fads, lounge luxury deluxe micro-genres, and chill waving dance before it’s time as heard on the over abundant feeling expressions that spill over on “So Much Love For You” like a loving cup that runneth over.

Lade (aka Ethan Edenburg) with Andrew Gerety take you on a warm, haunting trip along the Pacific Highway 1 from Morro Bay to Bixby Bridge in Big Sur for the visual adaptation of “My Ghost”. See the California sites and landmarks like you have never seen them before, while the Lade soundtrack helps you to find that secret sharer that may exist somewhere along the coastline, or maybe somewhere inland, or in a whole other dimension or world altogether. Ethan described the making of the video with the following words:

In search of gorgeous scenery and breathtaking landscapes, we headed up the California coast to shoot a completely aerial video. This film was shot on a two day road trip, up the pacific coast highway, from Morro Bay to the Bixby Bridge. Mother earth provided us with incredible shooting locations and imagery to accompany “My Ghost”.

Ethan discussed the making of the video further with us during our correspondence:

I went absolutely crazy when Andrew purchased a drone. We immediately planned a two-day trip from LA to Big Sur for this music video… but mainly because we NEEDED TO DRONE. Our targets were the Bixby Creek Bridge, The Sun Portal, The Pacific Coast Highway, Morro Bay, and Pfeiffer Beach. It was the first time I had ever been camping and I was equal parts excited and terrified.

In the pitch black forest night, with a shaking flashlight in my hands, a pair of danger-seeking rebel skunks approached our campsite with their tails up and unprecedented courage. After about 30 minutes Andrew scared them away by stomping on the ground and speaking with a stern tone of voice. This was not the only heart pounding moment of our time together. You may recognize a certain dapper gentleman lying on a rock during a long falling shot in this video. What is not shown in this video is the end of that shot. The drone continued its decent until it was inches from my face. The sound of a thousand bees engulfed me as I prayed for Andrew to PULL UP and take the whipping fast blades away from my eyes. Luckily no one was harmed. On our way to the Bixby Bridge at 5:30am we were pulled over by the kindest police officer of all time, Rick. An amateur photographer himself, he insisted on showing us picture on his iPhone of sunsets. He was so depressed that our meeting came on the shoulders of a speeding ticket that he apologized several times for writing us up. No worries, Rick. We’ll speed on purpose next time in hopes of seeing you again.

Our drone is a super badass who hates waterfalls. Every time we attempted to fly near the waterfall at Pfeiffer, we would see the words “DISCONNECTED” on our screens. We have never seen this warning before and have not seen it since. The few times that this occurred we naturally begun to sprint towards the drone and attempt to hear where it was located. During one of our sprints down a trail, a 10 year old boy said to me “You guys lose a drone?”. NO WE’RE JUST HAVING TROUBLE FINDING IT RIGHT NOW! How do you even know about drones? You’re so small! I didn’t say any of that, but definitely thought those exact words.

Cities Aviv dropped a cut held over from the Your Discretion Is Trust sessions produced by RPLD GHSTS (aka Quinton Lee) titled “Here” that summons spirits of the very moment that collapses the linear graph points of past/present/future for something that is entirely baked in the confidence cues of the now. As frontman Gavin Mays told Yours Truly:

There was a stint during the making of Your Discretion Is Trust when Quinton and I would meet with our friend Matt at various locations around Memphis to set up and hash out any track ideas we had at the moment. Matt Qualls has been a friend for years and recorded all of my first material. During the several week period when this track was recorded, the three of us would jump between an empty mansion or a garage to record. “Here” always stood out because it was one of the last songs I tracked from those sessions and kinda summed up that vagrant era.

Follow all of our Cities Aviv coverage here, and enjoy the following atmosphere flipping outtake.

Blindness releases their new album Wrapped in Plastic today from Saint Marie Records, and we bring you the track “Serves Me Right” that features some relentless screeches and squalls of metallic scuzz that dishes out the causes of consequence and unleashed karma. The power of Beth Rettig’s unforgiving power delivery that contributes to the veils of noise supplied by Emma Quick and Debbie Smith that burns like a digital bonfire of burning e-waste, and electric artifices strewn among the site of melting appliances.

We bring you the disco-diligence and trippy-divergence found on “How Did You Sleep Lady Kite”, the second single taken off Jesse R. Berlin’s anticipated album Glitter Lung available August 14. The dance floor suddenly feels a little weirder.

From Haiku Salut, hear the all encompassing adventure trad-epic loop journey adventure in audio inspiring “Bleak And Beautiful (All Things)”, the first single to be released from Haiku Salut’s new album, Etch And Etch Deep available July 31 from How Does It Feel.

DRINKS, the project between Cate Le Bon and White Fence’s Tim Presley shared more retro-vintage vibes from a near and uncertain psych future with “Laying Down Rock” from their forthcoming album Hermits on Holiday available August 21 from Birth Records / Heavenly Recordings. The catalogs of both Cate and Tim collide together in a collaboration to cater to all your lonely afternoon longings, and needs.

San Francisco’s heroes The Fresh & Onlys will release the compilation Early Years Anthology August 31 on Castle Face Records, along with a re-release of their self-titled LP; and we have all the retro-future fun of “I’m a Puppet” that rocks like the nugget that got away that is destined for all your late night party mixes yet.

Hether Fortune and her Wax Idols return with the upcoming album American Tragic available October 16 from Collect Records, and we have the track “Lonely You” that brings the glistening glamor and beauty grammar together in the kind of solace and isolation that some desire and others abhor.

With the tour for Apocalypse, girl beginning August 25, watch Jenny Hval’s video for “Sabbath” made by Jenny, Annie, Håvard, on a busted iPhone that presents an ode to intimate, personal, raw sabbatical feelings shot on a European tour.

From the new album Thank You For Stickin’ With Twig available August 7 from DFA Records, Slim Twig presents “Slippin’ Slidin'” from Lulu Hazel and Twig himself that showcases the surreal world of a dog’s life amid a green screen backdrop where all kinds of colors and images assemble to the lo-fi slogging glam styles.

From Micachu & the Shapes’ upcoming album Good Sad Happy Bad available September 11 from Rough Trade, feel the happiest melancholy uppity vibes from “Sad” that makes the depressed state feel a little more normal and okay on account of the upbeat minimalist electro rhythm core.

Noah Stitelman of Neighbors is in Brooklyn’s Total Makeover, and we have the new single “New England Highway” that takes all the charged aspects and items of memory and applied feeling along those channels of expressions that portray an immediate need of intimacy that yearns in a way that gradually builds, and rises to incredible heights of meaning.

Donovan Wolfington gives you a sip from the mythic red official chalice of the party “Solo Cup” from the upcoming album How to Treat the Ones You Love available August 21 from Topshelf Records. The ultimate song for your summer soirees has finally arrived full of the most epic chords and deliveries that is everything you have wanted to hear and feel all year long.

Hear one of your new favorite songs with “Undeniable” from Mild High Club whose album debut Timeline will be available September 18 from Stones Throw’s own alt imprint Circle Star Records. Here the most chill and mild sounds imaginable spring to life before your very ears like the AM escape you have been waiting for.

Check out Gun Outfit’s “Gotta Wanna” that features the more psych-kraut-hippie side of LA music crafts off their upcoming album Dream All Over available October 16 from Paradise of Bachelors.

Monika’s album Secret In The Dark will be available October 2 via Other Music Recording Co. recorded at Dunham Sound Studios with The Dap-Kings’ Homer Steinweiss, featuring the limb moving inspirations of “Shake Your Hands” that features Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt.

From their album Calling Out available now from Captured Tracks, EZTV delivers the Ian Perlman video for “Dust In The Sky” that showcases the trio’s jangle-town sounds that features the band performing at home, in a park, on the grass, in the garden, on a roof, and anywhere they darn well please.

Check out the Jay Gregory and Langston Sessom’s video edited by Waldo of 1st Impressions for “Knuckleheads” from Sketch McGuiney that brings together Cuban Link and K-Beta for some grimy coming of age verses that are tied together through the boisterous beat supplied by !llmind’s production. Check this off of Sketch’s Handlebars tape made in conjunction with DJ Alizay.

It’s happening, the Wavves riders are returning October 2 with V with their garage pop but on full excess blast as witnessed on the first single, “Way Too Much”.

Ali and Lukas G introduce ELiiiJAH to the Kingdom featured rolling hard on New Kingz regal assessment/assertion cut produced by L. David; “It’s Royal”. Like the Kingz explained through the interwebs, “This is a movement. This some Royal shit.”

From ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective, hear Greyhat’s single “Glider” that graces your imagination and senses like a UFO flying earthbound and preparing to land on the little blue dot planet that we all know and love.

We bring you Night Beds’ “Corner” that brings you feelings and thoughts that spring from the unconscious subterranean spheres to the surface taken off the upcoming album Ivywild available August 7 from Dead Oceans.

Arcade Fire and Iron & Wine sax player Antibalas member and TV on the Radio touring member Stuart Bogie has founded Superhuman Happiness sharing the horn inflected super boogie of “VHS” found off the forthcoming album Escape Velocity available September 18 from Royal Potato Family. Catch the band touring the east coast October 8-17.

Sydney musician Marco Vella and American artist Kyle Jorgensen’s collaborative album Shadow Mountain will be available August 14 from Average Negative and we give you the motorik indulgences of blended arts from onset of mind wandering ways found on the track “On Set”. The project brings together Vella’s own sensational synth songs with Jorgensen’s responsive visual contributions that brings out Marco’s audio to deeper and more tangible dimensions.

Hard Left will be hitting up the east coast August 8-15, and in case you haven’t heard their album We Hard Left we got it for you to experience below from the good folks who have given us Lunchbox, Boyracer and Black Tambourine.

Citizens! dropped the Julien+Adrien video for “My Kind Of Girl” full of action, attraction, and stunts off their European Soul album available from Kitsuné, with news of an fall tour in support of the new album.

Check out the Joshua Bullock video for Daymé Arocena’s “Don’t Unplug My Body”, from the Cuban artist’s new album Nueva Era available from Brownswood Recordings. Arocena delivers her own original delivery of rhythmic vocals on top of global jazz styles surrounded by banners of yellow, blue, and red amid a sparse surrounding that showcases Daymé as the front and center star of the Havana ball.

Last week we introduced you to Prince SAMO’s “Who Dat” produced by Black Noi$e, and now we have the Christopher Narine and Jevvon Brewster video that brings Prince’s indefatigable energy to Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago shot entirely on his iPhone that features a guest appearance from dance hall legend Beenie Man. Stay tuned for a Prince SAMO Week in Pop takeover after the jump.

Prince SAMO

Prince SAMO lends us some motivation with his following exclusive Week in Pop picks.
Prince SAMO lends us some motivation with his following exclusive Week in Pop picks.

I’ve been motivated by the same things for about three years with the exception of a few new things that I’ve kinda either been waiting for or have been in the same vein as what’s been motivating me since I can remember.

Tame Impala, “Eventually”

Petey Greene and his thoughts on watermelon.

Jay Z Grammy Family Freestyle is the greatest freestyle of all time and if I never rap this well, that’s okay to me.

I couldn’t find a youtube link to the movie Houseguest starring Sinbad anymore but it’s one of them too.

My niggas motivate me. We like brothers and at times I wanna fight them, but I love them to death.

World's Fair; photographed by Loren Wohl.
World’s Fair; photographed by Loren Wohl.

Three 6 Mafia “Smoked Out, Loced Out [Part 1] (Feat. Gangsta Blac, Project Pat & Skinny Pimp) because it is one of the Top 5 greatest rap songs of all time.

My favorite song of all time. Disco was short-lived and way before my time but this is what my mom grew up on and I really have a love for the music like I don’t [have for] many other genres. It was such a dark time in New York City and crime was through the roof. Drugs and AIDS were killing people by the boatload and in the midst of all this, disco was such a catalyst for the parties that pushed all of those things but it sounded so great. A song like this is so dark, and about such a real topic but just makes you want to dance and have a great time. Little do you know that it’s talking about racism and classicism, hate and love, good parenting gone wrong etc. It’s just a twisted song and i love it so much.

No one and nothing motivates me more than my son.

prince samo week in pop 2

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