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The Breeders are an alternative rock band based in Dayton, Ohio, consisting of members Kim Deal (rhythm guitar, lead vocals), her twin sister Kelley Deal (lead guitar, vocals), Josephine Wiggs (bass guitar, vocals) and Jim Macpherson (drums). The Breeders’ history began when Kim Deal, not fulfilled in her subordinate role as bassist of the Pixies, began writing new material while the Pixies were touring “Surfer Rosa” in Europe with Throwing Muses. As neither band had plans in the immediate future, Deal discussed possible side projects with Throwing Muses guitarist Tanya Donelly. They recruited Carrie Bradley, violinist and vocalist in Boston band Ed’s Redeeming Qualities, and recorded a short demo tape. Tracks on the demo tape included early versions of “Lime House”, “Doe”, and “Only in 3’s”.

To record their debut album, 1990’s “Pod”, Deal and Donelly recruited bassist Josephine Wiggs of The Perfect Disaster and drummer Britt Walford of Slint. Kim’s sister Kelley was brought into the band as a third guitarist (though at the time, Kelley famously had never played guitar before joining the band) in 1992 to record the “Safari” EP, and shortly thereafter Tanya Donelly left to concentrate full-time on her own new band, Belly, leaving Kelley Deal as the sole lead guitarist, while Britt Walford left as well around the same time. While the band’s first record wasn’t initially a commercial success, the band had developed a following among indie rock fans and praises from people such as Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who cited Pod as one of his all-time favourite albums, the band prepared to record their next album.

In 1993, the Pixies broke up, leaving Deal to concentrate on her band The Breeders as her full-time band. Kim recruited local Dayton, Ohio musician Jim Macpherson (previously a member of Dayton indie rock band The Raging Mantras) to replace the recently departed Walford on drums, cementing the Breeders‘ best-known line-up. Deal originally described the band as “the Bangles from Hell”

All of The Breeders’ previous albums –”Pod”, “Last Splash”, “Title TK”, and “Mountain Battles” were all re-issued on vinyl on this last summer.  This is the first time “Pod” and “Last Splash” on vinyl will be released by 4AD Records in North America.

The Breeders toured their latest album “All Nerve” 

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Pod

“Pod” the 1990 debut featuring the line-up of Pixie’s Kim Deal, Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donelly, the Perfect Disaster’s Josephine Wiggs and Slint’s Britt Walford, was recorded with Steve Albini. A week of rehearsal took place at Wiggs’s house in Bedfordshire, and “Pod” was recorded in just ten days.  They used the remaining time to record a Peel Session and a video for “Hellbound”. Returning to London, they played two shows, the only time that this line-up ever appeared onstage together.

“Pod” although not commercially successful, received positive reviews from alternative and mainstream critics alike; The New York Times’ wrote: “The angular melodies, shattered tempos, and screeching dynamics recall elements of each of the women’s full-time bands, but “Pod” has a smart, innovative edge all its own, clever arrangements, “Pod” is a fresher and more successful work than the Pixies’ “Bossanova” and the Throwing Muses’ “Hunkpapa“, their main projects’ releases from around that time. The song “Doe” which according to Deal, is about a young couple making out and then wanting to burn down their town after taking the drug Thorazine.

Though the album doesn’t feature as many of Donelly’s contributions as was originally planned which was part of the reason she formed Belly a few years later — songs like “Iris” and “Lime House” blend the best of the Pixies’ elliptical punk and the Muses‘ more angular pop.

A bizarre entry in the band’s catalogue that shows the mark that Donnelly made on the band during her shorty tenure with them, as it was written by her and Kim originally for the group’s first demo. The track is a slow, dirgy and sad sounding number featuring a violin performance by Carrie Bradley.

Pod” reaffirms what a distinctive songwriter Deal is, and how much the Pixies missed out on by not including more of her material on their albums. With their unusual subjects — “Hellbound” is about a living abortion and quirky-but-direct sound, songs like “Opened” and “When I Was a Painter” could have easily fit on Doolittle or Bossanova. But the spare, sensual “Doe,” “Fortunately Gone,” and “Only in Threes” are more ligh thearted and good-natured than the work of Deal’s other band, pointing the way to the sexy, clever alternative pop she’d craft on “Last Splash”. A vibrantly creative debut, “Pod” remains the Breeders‘ most genuine moment.

Kurt Cobain listed the record as one of his top three favourite albums saying, “the way they structure [the songs] is totally unique.”  Critically acclaimed when it came out, “Pod’s” legacy lives on – Pitchfork called it a “blissful mindfuck of a record,” and ranked among their Best Albums of the 90s.

The Breeders - Safari

Safari EP

The members of The Breeders had returned to their original bands. The Pixies released “Bossanova” in 1990 and “Trompe le Monde” in 1991, but by the end of 1991 were becoming less active. Deal, again with time off from the Pixies, visited Wiggs in Brighton, and they went into a London studio with Spacemen 3/Spiritualized drummer Jon Mattock to record a new song called “Safari.”

Here the title track from the band’s debut EP released in 1992. Kelly was now established as a guitarist by this point and this is the only release to feature both her and Tanya Donnelly. It is another of the band’s more trippy tracks, with the latter half of it being largely instrumental and ideal for listening to on a safari trip! (In a weird kind of way.)

The other three tracks on what became the “Safari” EP were recorded in New York with Walford and Donelly, who was by then planning to form her own band BellyDeal then asked her sister Kelley to take over on guitar, even though apparently, Kelley did not know how to play guitar. The Pixies had became inactive in mid-1992, at which time drummer Jim Macpherson was recruited and The Breeders became a full-time band

The Breeders - Last Splash

Last Splash

The band’s most commercially successful album, “Last Splash“, was released in 1993 in the midst of the early 1990s alternative rock boom. The album went on to be certified platinum by the RIAA, and is best known for its hit single “Cannonball”.

“Last Splash” was recorded in 1993 by what is now regarded as the ‘classic’ Breeders line-up of Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson.  Including the twisted pop singles ‘Cannonball’ and ‘Divine Hammer’,

The Breeders’ second album, “Last Splash”, turned them into the alternative rock stars joined by Deal’s twin sister Kelley the group expanded on the driving, polished sound of the “Safari” EP, surrounding its (plentiful) moments of brilliance with nearly as many unfinished ideas. When Last Splash is good, it’s great: “Cannonball’s” instantly catchy collage of bouncy bass, rhythmic stops and starts, and singsong vocals became one of the definitive alt-pop singles of the ’90s. Likewise, the sweetly sexy “Divine Hammer” that was released as a single. Like much of the album’s lyrical content, the lyrics are sexual in nature with the title reportedly referring to a certain male sexual organ. Musically, it is one of their more melodic and accessible, giving of a dreamy pop vibe, which makes the adult nature of the lyrics even more hard to understand at face value.

The swaggering “Saints” are among the Breeders’ finest moments.

“I Just Wanna Get Along” is a very short minute-and-a-half cut from “Last Splash” is reportedly about Kim and her bitterness towards Pixies front man Frank Black after the band’s breakup. In what is perhaps a clever attempt to disguise this fact, it is actually Kelly who performs the vocals on it. Whatever the case, it is a great track and Kim was certainly moving on from her previous band, even if the Pixies are still the band she is most associated with.

Similarly, the charming twang of “Drivin’ on 9,” The spiky punk-pop, and the bittersweet “Invisible Man” added depth that recalled the eclectic turns the band took on “Pod” while maintaining the slick allure of “Last Splash’s” hits. However, underdeveloped snippets such as “Roi” and “No Aloha” drag the album’s momentum, and when the band tries to stretch its range on the rambling, cryptic “Mad Lucas” and “Hag,” it tends to fall flat. The addition of playful but slight instrumentals such as “S.O.S” and “Flipside” and a version of “Do You Love Me Now?” as the title would suggest is a loved-themed song, but definitely not a schmaltzy one! Co-written by both of the Deal sisters, this song has a beautiful southern rock-tinged guitar sound which makes it a very relaxing track to listen to. Also, rather than being about madly in love, it is about a previous involvement with a man that Deal feels she can resume, although it would seem that that is probably not really the case. Still, its best moments and the Deal sisters’ megawatt charm make it one of the alternative rock era’s defining albums of the 90s.  

In 1993, they toured supporting Nirvana on their “In Utero” tour, In 1996, Kim reclaimed The Breeders moniker, but with essentially The Amps’ line-up plus violinist Carrie Bradley, and played a few California dates. They made an unsuccessful attempt at recording a third studio album in 1997. Kelley Deal re-joined the band the following year and wrote and recorded songs with her sister, although the only material released during this period was a cover of The Three Degrees‘ take on James Gang’s “Collage”, recorded for The Mod Squad soundtrack in 1999.

Head To Toe EP

This track is actually a cover, with the original being by Sebadoh which was originally released on 1994’s “Head to Toe” EP and later re-released along with the rest of its tracks as part of the bonus material on the album’s twentieth anniversary reissue.

It is a very good version of the song that the band have put their own spin on and made it sound like their own.

The Breeders - Title Tk

Title TK

2002’s “Title TK” saw the band work with Steve Albini once more, with the Guardian saying it was “a welcome return to punky pop that knows how to flex some melodic muscle.”  The album has been out of print on vinyl since its release. By the end of the decade, hearing new material from Kim Deal and company seemed about as likely as a new My Bloody Valentine album, so the fact that “Title TK”, their long-awaited return, exists at all seems more than a little miraculous. In a weird way, the long, long wait for them to resurface works in their favour at this point, it was a welcome to hear anything from them. After a nine-year (!) wait, a new Breeders album is just a nice addition to what’s going on in indie rock instead of its salvation. From its very name, “Title TK” (journalistic shorthand for “title to come”) reflects this: it’s a surprisingly low-key, self-effacing return that doesn’t feel like an attempt at reclaiming “Last Splash’s” glory. Instead, it blends the stripped-down sounds of Pod and the Amps’ “Pacer” into a collection of strangely intimate, feminine garage rock.

Revved-up guitar rushes like “Little Fury” and “Huffer” have a little vulnerability lurking around the edges, and on the sweet “Too Alive,” it sounds like you’re in the garage with the band. There’s a fascinating duality to “Title TK”, from the way that nearly every song mixes and blends Kim’s and Kelley’s not-quite-identical vocals to the way it switches between sweet, playfully spiky songs like “Son of Three” This track has two versions- the original which was composed and sung by Kim was recorded in Hollywood, and then the re-recording of it which was done for it to be released as the album’s third European single. The re-recording, which is better because it is shorter, faster and has more of a live feel. When it was released it reached number seventy-two on the UK Singles chart.

“Forced to Drive” and dark, mysterious tracks. With its brooding, druggy allure, “The She” recalls Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” and “Put On a Side” and the aptly named “Sinister Foxx” have a sexy menace that the Breeders haven’t explored since, “Off You,” Title TK’s first single, is about as far from “Cannonball” as the band can get, a dreamy, breathy ballad that sounds intimate but masks its feelings in beautifully cryptic imagery.

The Breeders - Mountain Battles

Mountain Battles

“Mountain Battles” was released in April 2008 again on 4AD records. It features Kim and Kelley, Jose Medeles, and Mando Lopez. They went to Refraze Recording Studio in Dayton, Ohio to record and mix the majority of the tracks , Their fourth album release “Mountain Battles”, a perfectly formed album of 13 miniatures in 36 minutes engineered by Steve Albini, was originally released in 2008.  Like “Title TK” before it, “Mountain Battles” has been out of print since its release.

It only took the Breeders a little under six years to deliver the follow-up to “Title TK”, which is progress, considering that it was nearly a decade between that album and “Last Splash”, and especially since Kim Deal was occupied with the Pixies reunion for a couple of those years. “Mountain Battles” sounds like progress, too: while all Breeders albums have, in varying proportions, a mix of whip-smart pop songs, droning rockers, and experimental tangents, the blend of these sounds hasn’t sounded this satisfying since the “Pod” days. Deal and her crew aren’t making a big pop push à la “Last Splash”, and they don’t sound as defiant as they did on “Title TK” — but, as on that album, “Mountain Battles” feels like the band are doing exactly what they want and not worrying too much about what anyone else thinks about it. “It’s the Love,” the song most like the Breeders‘ quintessential sweet-but-tart punk-pop, is actually a cover of fellow Dayton band the Tasties, and Kim’s delivery is so cheeky that it almost feels like she’s affectionately sending up that sound. “It’s the Love” is placed next to the album’s oddest song, which happens to be the title track and finale: full of murky keyboards and a melody that plays hide-and-seek, “Mountain Battles” sounds unfinished and unsettling.

Yet there are a lot of other sounds between those extremes, including “Bang On’s” distorted drums and witty guitars, which prove that Deal is still as skilled at pop collages as she was during “Cannonball’s” heyday; “German Studies” and “Walk it Off” should also please “Last Splash” fans craving more of Deal’s sassy pop.

However, the flirty, slow-dance cover of “Regalame Esta Noche,” which shows off the pure beauty of her voice; the percussive, call-and-response jam “Istanbul,” and “Here No More,” a country number so simple and effortless it feels like it could be a cover, make “Mountain Battles” eclectic and even a bit daring. Deal’s willingness to let the album’s songs take their own paths is even more daring; from “Overglazed” impressionistic rock, which opens “Mountain Battles” with stampeding drums and cascading vocals, to the wandering, surf-tinged ballad “Night of Joy,” many tracks feel open-ended and sometimes downright elusive. But, even if “Spark” remains little more than a moody sketch and “We’re Gonna Rise” moves as slowly as dust turning in a sunbeam, they add to “Mountain Battles” ebb and flow, with each song playing off the other naturally. And, though the album covers a lot of territory — 13 songs in 36 minutes! — it doesn’t feel scattered; scattered implies no purpose, but “Mountain Battles‘ songs land, eventually, exactly where they need to.

The Breeders’ third EP, “Fate to Fatal” was released on April 2009. It contains a Bob Marley cover (“Chances Are”) and a song with vocals by Screaming Tree’s Mark Lanegan. The title track was recorded at The Fortress Studios, London, by The Go! Team producer Gareth Parton. The music video featured the Arch Rival Roller Girls, a St. Louis roller derby league

The Breeders - All Nerve

All Nerve

“All Nerve”, the Breeders’ fifth studio album, saw the iconic line-up of Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson reunite for the first time since the release of the platinum-selling album “Last Splash”. Released in 2018, critics and fans welcomed them back with open arms and they scored their highest chart positions – including top 10 in the UK – in 25 years.

The Breeders have always moved to their own rhythms, starting, stopping, and surprising listeners along the way. New music from them only arrives when the time is right, and in All Nerve’s case, it was especially right: in 2013, Kim and Kelley Deal reunited with drummer Jim McPherson and bassist Josephine Wiggs to tour as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of their breakthrough album, Last Splash, and the dates went so well that the band went into the studio. At times, All Nerve does hark back to 1993. The way “Nervous Mary” slowly draws listeners into the album before kicking into high gear is a classic Breeders move. “Spacewoman,” with its sun-soaked imagery and loud-quiet-loud dynamic shifts, is a power ballad made for the mosh pit, while the tender to roaring “All Nerve” is the kind of plainspoken song about a big, big love that has always been one of Kim Deal’s specialties. Then there’s “Wait in the Car,” one of the band’s most irresistible singles. As Deal fails to find the right words and meows while the guitars strut and tumble, it’s as brashly charming as “Cannonball” — and proves the Breeders haven’t lost the ability to make their audience wish they could be best friends with them.

However, All Nerve isn’t so much a conscious attempt to re-create the past as it is the rekindling of a special chemistry. That chemistry is especially strong when the Breeders try new things. Wiggs gets her first lead vocal on an album track with “MetaGoth,” and her unflappable cool gives it a dark, restless post-punk beauty that isn’t like anything else in the Breeders’ songbook. Meanwhile, “Dawn: Making an Effort” is as vast and hopeful as a sunrise, with an openness that’s all the more heartwarming because it’s so unexpected. The band even finds creative ways of dealing with the feelings of mortality and history that accompany this kind of reunion on “Walking with a Killer,” a deceptively pretty tale of murder in the cornfields, and “Blues at the Acropolis,” which superimposes modern junkies and drunks with dead heroes of the past. The decade-long gap between All Nerve and Mountain Battles was the Breeders’ longest hiatus yet, but it was time well spent — this is one of the band’s finest blends of sugar and swagger, space and noise. All Nerve lives up to its name: the Breeders’ one-of-a-kind toughness and vulnerability are the heart of their music, and that it’s still beating strong is cause for celebration.

All Nerve reunites the band the line-up behind the iconic and platinum-selling record, “Last Splash”.  Recording took place at Candyland in Dayton, Kentucky, with Mike Montgomery; Electrical Audio, Chicago, with Steve Albini and Greg Norman. Artwork was conceived by Chris Bigg, who has worked with The Breeders since their first album, “Pod”.

The single, “Wait in the Car”, was released on October 2017, and is part of an upcoming seven-inch series to be issued by 4AD. The song will be available on three different seven-inch records, limited to only 1,500 copies. Rolling Stone described the song as “a classic Breeders bruiser, clocking it at two minutes, and packed with punchy drums, sugar-rush power chords, and lead riffs”. ‘Wait in the Car’ marks the welcome reunion the quartet returned to the stage in 2013 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their platinum-selling record “Last Splash” and have since been spending time together in the studio working on new material.  The two-minute ‘Wait In The Car’ offers an enticing preview to a band who are still as vital and relevant as ever.

Richard Ayoade, the BAFTA-nominated film director (Submarine, The Double), actor (IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace), TV presenter (Travel Man, The Crystal Maze) and comedian, has been a long-time fan of The Breeders. As a young teen in 1990, Ayoade recalls travelling from his Ipswich home to London to buy the band’s first album Pod.  Nearly 30 years after making that journey, he has teamed up with his favourite band to create an eerie short story for their latest single, ‘Space Woman’.

Described by The Breeders’ Kim Deal as “a sci-fi thriller with the soul of [deceased fiction writer] Harlan Ellison,” Ayoade’s visual treatment depicts Deal in a spacesuit navigating a woodland landscape.  Shot on 35mm film and in one seamless take, she encounters fellow Breeders members Jim Macpherson, Josephine Wiggs and Kelley Deal in various states of trauma.

“As vital as any of their previous four LPs…The Breeders have proved themselves more consistently thrilling than almost any other band in indie-rock.”  – Uncut 9/10
“From the off, “All Nerve” is both a joyous, unhinged blast from the past and a reminder of how fun and free rock can be.” – The Sunday Times – Album of the Week
“Music that is rich and deep and repays repeated listening.” – The Guardian – Album of the Week ****
“It’s an enormously pleasant surprise to have the band back.”  – NPR
“A twisted, swirling record of gorgeous harmony set against catapulting rhythms and just the right balance of body-horror lyricism that stands firmly on its own..”  – Under The Radar
“Heroic”  – MOJO **** 
“Startlingly fresh.” – Q **** 

The Breeders “All Nerve”, was the group’s first record in a decade. In March 2021, the band released their first new recording in over three years: A cover of His Name is Alive’s “The Dirt Eaters.” The cover was part of a 4AD Records covers compilation, entitled “Bills and Aches and Blues“.

For reasons that have never been explained, when Bruce Springsteen brought the “Wrecking Ball” caravan to France to open the second half of the 2012 European tour, he downsized from stadiums back to arena-scale for just one pair of shows that fell on the fourth and fifth of July. Those back-to-back performances, which featured an impressive 44 different songs, have long been lauded as some of the best of the tour. In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the gigs, it seemed only fitting to add both Paris 2012 shows to the Live Archive series.

The charms of the expanded 2012 band bear fruit in a delightful, unhurried version of “The E Street Shuffle” performed as a sign request. The song was played more in 2012 than any other year since 1975, when it thrived in a completely different arrangement. The Wrecking Ball tour edition takes advantage of the horn section, Everett Bradley’s percussion, and the E Street Choir on background vocals for a fully realized rendition that follows the original album structure of prelude, main song, and a storming, extended coda. In Paris, the crowd keeps singing the melody after the whole thing ends, indicative of just how into the show they are, and it compels Bruce to start the “E Street Shuffle” back up again for a second coda.

Springsteen keeps the Asbury Park setting, linking “Shuffle” to “Sandy” in his transition: “And then, down from town, about five blocks in on the boardwalk… if you listen hard, you could hear…” He sings the accordion-led, Fourth of July special in a low voice at times, adding a bit of age and wisdom to the tale, which on this night includes the sometimes-omitted third verse about the “waitress who lost her desire for me.” The background singers bring lushness to the final chorus as the sun sets on the boardwalk via Paris.

When Bruce opened his Fourth of July playlist for this show, he clicked them all—which means “Darlington County.” Stevie Van Zandt veers the song towards the edge of the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” before Bruce sings his first line about that memorable drive he and Wayne took from New York City all those years ago. The Paris take is long, with an extended horn and sax section at the end.

With Patti back on stage for the first time on the Euro tour, “Easy Money” returns to the set in one of only 18 performances ever. Bruce’s untamed falsetto vocals start things out, and one has to credit the Paris crowd for their consistently high level of participation as they sing along strongly here. Patti’s vocal contributions are a key element to “Easy Money,” which is why the song wasn’t performed without her.

In the most special nod to the occasion, Bruce moves to the piano for a rare solo-piano performance of “Independence Day.” Bruce released a video of this version in 2012 on his official YouTube channel, and it is great to have the audio available through the Live Archive series. Having played the instrument every night of the Devils & Dust tour, Springsteen’s piano playing is more confident than ever. Listen to the fine solo he takes in lieu of Clarence’s memorable sax before the third verse. Like so many older songs performed in this era, the bit of age in Springsteen’s voice only adds gravitas.

No Fourth of July performance would be complete without “Born in the U.S.A.” in its still-awe-inspiring, full-band arrangement. Bruce has no trouble finding his 1984 vocal range “forty years down the road” in a crackling rendition that puts the electric guitars on a level playing field with the synthesizers. Max Weinberg is also up to the task: while the horns add heft to the outro, Max smashes his legendary fills as hard as ever.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, July 5th, 2012

If anyone needed a sign that the second show in Paris would be materially different from the first, look no further than the top of the set when Bruce and the band reel off six songs in a row not featured the previous night. Deviating from his own written setlist, the band starts what sounds for all the world like “We Take Care of Our Own” only to shift gears into a bright “The Ties That Bind,” led by Roy Bittan’s piano and rich with the voices of the background singers in the chorus and bridge. Jake Clemons takes a sharp solo, too. The stellar reading of “Ties” is followed in bang-bang succession by breath taking runs of “No Surrender,” “Two Hearts,” “Downbound Train,” “Candy’s Room,” and lastly a scintillating “Something in the Night.” Fans in attendance said the July 5th show was truly something special, and you can hear that imprinted in Jon Altschiler’s full-bodied mix. The six-song start of the second Paris set is as good as it gets in the post-Reunion era.

In all, Paris night two boasts 15 changes from the previous show, including three certified epics starting with “Incident on 57th Street.” As vocal as they have been all night, the Paris audience treats the “Wild & Innocent” masterpiece with fitting reverence. Bruce tells Nils to take the initial guitar lead, which rises above Charlie Giordano’s swirling organ.

“Working on the Highway” and “I’m Goin’ Down” add a dose of levity and self-deprecation to the evening. The horn section and background singers give “Working on the Highway” a big jolt of energy, while the audience does the same for “I’m Goin’ Down,” yielding reinvigorated versions of both songs.

After a solo “Independence Day” on July 4th, Bruce sits at the piano bench night two and delivers “For You.” This one is triumphant, reaching the heady heights of the song’s solo outings in 1975 (such as the extraordinary take on the Live Archive release of Greenvale, NY 12/12/75). Like “Indy” the night before, Springsteen plays the piano brilliantly, and he commits to every line of the lyrics to staggering effect. He also hits the last note resoundingly when he sings “When it was my turn to be the guy.” As the kids say, “Chills.”

From “For You” straight into evening’s epic denouement, “Racing in the Street”—another time-defying performance. It can be difficult to describe in the written word what it feels like when a performer is in the moment, not simply performing their music, but embodying it, living the words and melodies anew. But you can hear it. That goes for every member of the band, too—special credit to Bittan and Bradley, first among equals in this performance of “Racing.”

The sequence of “For You” to “Racing in the Street,” and the top of the July 5th show as well, all capture Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing in the moment. For years, they did so more consistently than any other band in concert. On this fantastic recording of Paris 2012, so many years down the road, they undeniably do so again.

MOMMA – ” Household Name “

Posted: July 1, 2022 in MUSIC

Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten are the leaders of Momma, a band whose musical touchstones are Generation X alternative rock records. “I went through a lot of changes as we were writing and demoing this record,” Weingarten said in a statement. “The biggest was that I was going through a really messy breakup, which was motivation to make this record the best it could be. I really felt like I had something to prove.” Produced by Kobayashi Ritch, Household Name is the band’s first release on Polyvinyl.

released July 1st, 2022

Think big, girl, like a king, think kingsize. Jenny Hval’s record opens with a quote from the Danish poet Mette Moestrup, and continues towards the abyss. “Apocalypse, girl” is a hallucinatory narrative that exists somewhere between fiction and reality, a post-op fever dream, a colourful time lapse of death and rebirth, close-ups of impossible bodies — all told through the language of transgressive pop music.

“Apocalypse, Girl” finds Jenny Hval pairing abstract sounds and pop sensibilities to great effect, songs that straddle a musical duality that inspires and intrigues. A fascinating and engaging album that is fully deserving of all of the accolades, recognition, and admiration that it has received…The music here is expertly crafted to make an impression – with such wit and irony. The production Intimately twisted and quite simply beautiful and haunting.

released June 9th, 2015

YOUNG PRISMS – ” Drifter “

Posted: July 1, 2022 in MUSIC

“Drifter” is a record that finds steadiness in the embrace of uncertainty. Young Prisms have always delivered stories that have remained mostly shrouded in a dreamlike state, the kind of dreams where you never quite get to where you’re aiming to go, and the ones which unravel in melancholy when you open your eyes and reality sets in. With their first new music in ten years, the band explores the tension and release that comes with bringing your head down from the clouds and making sense of the tangible entanglements that make up everyday existence. “You’ve spent your whole life wondering if you’ll ever live up to your own expectations, but one day realize that it’s ok to just be a normal, boring human. You’re used to running away from life because you hate yourself and now you are pleasantly surprised by a new feeling to let go and accept yourself,” explains lead vocalist Stefanie Hodapp.

Comprised of Hodapp (vocals, synthesizer), Matthew Allen (vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizer, drum programming), Giovanni Betteo (bass, guitar, synthesizer, drum programming) and Jordan Silbert (drums), Young Prisms have gone through an evolution of tough love and resilient perseverance.

Betteo and Allen first started playing music together in middle school, eventually leading to the first iteration of Young Prisms in 2009, and the release of a self-titled EP on esteemed indie tastemaker Mexican Summer followed by two full lengths (2011’s Friends For Now and 2012’s In Between) on Kanine Records. Coming of age during a time where the band’s blend of introspective shoegaze and gauze-laden guitar earned them tours with bands like the Radio Dept, Dum Dum Girls, A Place to Bury Strangers and Moon Duo, Young Prisms never quite reached the same heights of commercial success afforded to some of their peers. In between, life happened: Hodapp and Betteo experienced the highs and lows of a romantic relationship, complete with raising a child together, and Silbert moved across the country from San Francisco to New York, where he currently resides.

The band never officially broke up, but took some much-needed space that would make possible their eventual return that, when the timing was right, proved more essential than ever before.

Shoegaze itself has gone through its own sort of rebirth in the past decade, with a new generation finding inspiration through the heavy reverb and all-encompassing emotive textures that present a lens left-field of emo (which has seen a similar resurgence in recent years) that remains both engaging and poignantly affective. It became clear the music they made stretched further than the course they’d assumed their band had run and with this renewed outlook were able to reimagine the impact of their trajectory. From a wiser place the band reset those expectations with the romance of possibility, and entered the studio for the first time in nearly a decade.

Recorded from June 2020 through February 2021 and produced by Shaun Durkan (Weekend, Soft Kill), Drifter is the greater sum of its parts – a collaborative effort with all of the members contributing song writing credits. Inherently, it represents a reprise, a second chance to present a full-formed vision that results in the band’s purest pursuit yet.

From the ethereal noise pop of lead single “Honeydew” to the resounding incandescence of “Self Love” or “Outside Air”, the band moves forward past nostalgia towards a sound that resonates in its timeless expression of love at its most volatile and transcendent. One way to absorb the dimensions of Drifter is to look up at the sky. On one hand, tracks like “Violet” were inspired by the lovelorn quality of sunrise driving down the coast, and the heady romanticism of new beginnings. There’s also the haunting omnipresence of loss; written during some of the worst of the California wildfires, every expression of hope comes with the acceptance that darkness and death are just as unavoidable factors in human existence. In Young Prisms’ world, being on the precipice of destruction – whether it be a fractured relationship or lifestyle choices that never lived up to societal pressures and expectations – has a counterpoint in healing self-reflection, where they were finally able to carve out the path that was meant for them all along.

released March 25th, 2022

Band: Stefanie Hodapp, Gio Betteo, Matt Allen & Jordan Silbert

AEROSMITH – ” The Albums “

Posted: July 1, 2022 in MUSIC

Steven Tyler’s Aerosmith are currently taking a break from their 2022 “Deuces Are Wild” Las Vegas residency due to the vocalist voluntarily entering some treatment after relapsing due to foot surgery and the necessity of pain management. As such, the band is off the road until September. Here we look at the best 10 albums of Aerosmith. As one of America’s greatest rock bands, Aerosmith has released 15 studio albums, six live albums, 16 compilation albums, and two EPs. They’ve sold over 150 million albums, making them the biggest selling rock band in U.S. history. Their catalogue is loaded with hits and classics from “Walk This Way” “Train Kept A Rollin’, and “Back In The Saddle” to “Dream On” “Draw The Line” and “Seasons Of Wither”.

Formed in Boston in 1970, the band is made up of Steven Tyler (lead vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) Joey Kramer (drums), and Brad Whiteford (guitar.) While rooted in blues-based rock, they also incorporated elements of heavy metal, R&B, and pop. Aerosmith has been a favourite rock bands since their single “Dream On” from their 1973 self-titled debut release which became their first major hit.

The group’s next four albums, “Get Your Wings”, “Toys In The Attic”, “Rocks”, and “Draw The Line”, were as good a run as any band has ever had and made Aerosmith into a legend.

The band didn’t do quite as well in the 1980s because of personal issues but they rebooted with “Rock in a Hard Place” in 1982 and “Done with Mirrors” in 1985. Their real comeback came with their album “Permanent Vacation” and the single “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” in 1987. “Pump“, released in 1989, and “Get A Grip” in 1993, spawned hit singles and earned Grammy Awards. “Nine Lives” followed in 1997 and then came “Just Push Play” in 2001, “Honkin’ On Bobo” in 2003, and “Music From Another Dimension” in 2012.

These are just the Aerosmith albums we think you should have in your collection.

Aerosmith Toys in The Attic album cover

Toys In The Attic (1975)
This was my first introduction to blues-based rock that I discovered myself. No older sibling turned me onto it like Led Zeppelin or Jeff Beck. Released in 1975, the album features songs like “Sweet Emotion” “Walk This Way,” and the title track. Those tracks plus Tyler’s voice and Joe Perry’s guitar riffs grabbed me and I became a die-hard Aerosmith fan. This album drove me to their previous two albums. “Toys In The Attic” was the band’s most commercially successful studio LP, selling 9 million copies. It gained more traction when Run-DMC covered “Walk This Way” and helped propel the band into the 1980’s mainstream. 

Aerosmith finished ironing out the last wrinkles in their sonic template and unquestionably came into their signature sound with 1975’s ‘Toys in the Attic.’ “Walk This Way” and “Sweet Emotion” would never (or almost never) leave the band’s live sets thereafter, and sturdy album cuts included the rip-roaring title track, groove-driven “No More No More,” doom-laden “Round and Round” and underrated ballad “You See Me Crying.” Even Aerosmith’s cover of the 1950s jump-blues number, “Big Ten Inch Record,” was inspired and perfectly in keeping with the group’s lascivious good humour.

Aerosmith Rocks album cover

Rocks (1976)
The fourth studio album by Aerosmith was released in 1976 and influenced Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and Nirvana. With the band’s singles on the Billboard Hot 100, “Rocks” eventually went quadruple platinum. Critics didn’t love Aerosmith but I sure did and this album was our favourites.

‘Toys in the Attic’ broke Aerosmith into hard rock’s major leagues but it was the group’s fourth album, ‘Rocks,’ that now stands as their magnum opus, capturing the group at the very apex of their collective powers. The Tyler/Perry song writing partnership was never stronger than on “Back in the Saddle,” “Rats in the Cellar” and “Lick and a Promise,”

Tom Hamilton scored a winner of his own with Tyler’s help on “Sick as a Dog” and the eternally underrated Brad Whitford won long overdue respect for the funky “Last Child” and tortured “Nobody’s Fault.” Round this out with the ever-reliable Joey Kramer and producer Jack Douglas in da house and its no wonder ‘Rocks’ became Aerosmith’s definitive tour de force of a long player.

Listen to “Back In The Saddle”  A fan of B-side songs, “Get The Lead Out” is among our favorites. 

Aerosmith, Get Your Wings, album cover

Get Your Wings (1974)
Early Aerosmith rocks. “Get Your Wings” is the band’s second studio album and their first to be produced by Jack Douglas. It was certified triple platinum by the RIAA. Blues-infused and rocking, there’s still a Stones influence, but Tyler’s song writing was stronger than ever. “Seasons of Wither” is a brilliant song. Tyler nailed the vocals, and Joe Perry and Brad Whitford did the same on guitars. With its sinister feel, it was a bold move for a blues/rock band at that time. “Same Old Song and Dance” and The Yardbirds’ styled cover “Train Kept A Rollin’” maintained the band’s signature sound.

The antithesis of a sophomore slump, 1974’s ‘Get Your Wings‘ was at least twice as confident as Aerosmith’s hit-and-miss debut and but a hair away from matching the timeless albums just ahead. Sure, some of this accelerated maturity was achieved with the help of un-credited session musicians (most notably guitar slingers Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, on “Train Kept A-Rollin’ but “Same Old Song and Dance,” “Lord of the Thighs” (let’s give the drummer, Mr. Kramer, some!) and the haunting “Seasons of Wither” were prime Aerosmith.

Aerosmith, self-titled, album cover

Aerosmith (1973)
The album debut, self-titled studio album was originally released in 1973 and re-released in December of 1975. Even with spare production and only two guitars, bass, drums, harmonica and occasionally piano, it contained the classic song “Dream On,” a sure-fire hit and primordial power ballad. One song that never received much attention is “One Way Street.” By later albums, you can hear the growth and development of Tyler’s vocals. The band members all sound a bit stiff but you can’t erase a couple of truly great songs.

The boys of Aerosmith were still finding their feet on this eponymous debut, but precocious favourites like the glam slasher “Mama Kin,” bluesy “One Way Street,” and wily-beyond-their-years cover of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ the Dog” also saw them feeling their oats like rock stars who just knew they would be stars (see “Make It”). What’s more, Tyler’s dramatic “Dream On” gave heavy rock its second universal power ballad after Zep’s mold-establishing “Stairway to Heaven,” .

Aerosmith Draw The Line album cover

Draw The Line (1977)
Their fifth studio album, “Draw The Line” is one of Aerosmith’s best rock and roll records. It was released in 1977. Following “Toys in the Attic” and “Rocks”, fans weren’t happy with this record and the critics didn’t like it either. Since then, however, the reviews have become a lot more positive. The band’s excessive lifestyle combined with drugs and constant touring took its toll. Joe Perry said in Stephen Davis’ memoir of the band Walk This Way, “Draw The Line was untogether because we weren’t a cohesive unit anymore.” Even though Tyler and Perry were not as involved in the song writing and recording as they had been, it’s still a great record. The album went platinum in the first month of its release. 

Aerosmith’s ’70s winning streak finally fell prey to growing apathy and exhaustion on 1977’s ‘Draw the Line,’ which was recorded in an abandoned convent on what could aptly be described as “a wing and a prayer.” Get it? Miraculously (Ed: enough with the religious references, please!), the “killer” title track, “I Wanna Know Why” and “Kings and Queens” still outweighed the filler “Critical Mass,” “The Hand that Feeds,” but the members of Aerosmith were abut to get burned by the same fire they were playing with.

Aerosmith Pump album cover

Pump (1989)
The tenth studio album by Aerosmith features the hit singles “Janie’s Got A Gun” and “Love In An Elevator.” The band earned their first Grammy Award for “Janie’s Got A Gun” and the album was the fourth best-selling album of the year in 1990. The band was going for more rawness and inserted instrumental interludes between the songs. A small rock band named Pump sued Aerosmith’s management company for service mark infringement. Now sober, the band sounded amazing. Although regarded as 80s sleaze metal by some, it did reboot some of the early Aerosmith sound. 

1989’s ‘Pump,’ like its multiplatinum predecessor, ‘Permanent Vacation,’ unabashedly catered to ’80s big hair metal trends with glossy mega-productions like “Love in an Elevator” and the Grammy-winning “Janie’s Got a Gun,” but it also did a commendable job of reviving the vintage Aerosmith style on loads of amazing tunes.

These were headlined by the blistering “Young Lust,” infectious “The Other Side,” and career standout “What it Takes” leaving fans so pumped up they bought more than seven millions copies of the thing!.

Aerosmith Permanent Vacation album cover

Permanent Vacation (1987)
The ninth studio album by Aerosmith, “Permanent Vacation” reflects more of a pop-metal sound. It was their first time using outside song writers and is often considered the band’s true comeback. It was the first Aerosmith release to receive heavy music video airplay on MTV and has remained a popular album ever since. Selling over five million copies in the US, the album was released to mixed reviews, mostly positive, especially for the song writing. Considered overproduced in typical 80s fashion, it still featured some songs like “Rag Doll” and “Dude (Looks Like A Lady).” 

It may have necessitated an army of song doctors (Desmond Child, Jim Vallance, etc.) and its lavish ’80s production has definitely dated, but ‘Permanent Vacation’ still ranks among the greatest musical comebacks of all time! And for every pop metal excess committed on “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” there was a balancing reminder of Aerosmith’s classic rock integrity in the likes of “St. John” and “Hangman Jury,” plus intriguing experiments like “The Movie” and the whale-cry-intro of “Heart’s Done Time.”

Aerosmith Get a Grip album cover

Get A Grip (1993)
Get a Grip” featured guests including Don Henley and Lenny Kravitz and became their best-selling studio album worldwide with sales of over 30 million. It also reached number one in the US. Two songs, “Livin’ On The Edge” and “Crazy,” won Grammy Awards for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1993/1994. Although they were now forty-somethings catering to an audience half their age, Aerosmith managed to maintain their fingers on the pulse of modern trends with 1993’s ‘Get a Grip’ just about! Sure, it took a CD-busting 15 songs to compensate for several long forgotten clunkers (anybody remember “Flesh”?), but the monstrous single “Livin’ on the Edge” and no less than three custom-made ballads “Cryin’,” “Crazy,” “Amazing” made this the band’s global best-seller (20 million and counting), despite grunge’s threatening supremacy.

Now a consistent presence on MTV, the band won a number of music video awards. The record received mixed reviews by critics but eventually the band became recognized for their individuality and style and not just as Stones clones.

Their early blues-infused albums didn’t sound like The Rolling Stones to me, but it’s all perspective, I guess. The cover art caused some controversy with animal rights groups but the band claimed that the cover was digitally altered and no animals were harmed. Aerosmith became the first major artist to release an exclusive digital download song “Head First.” 

Aerosmith, Night In The Ruts, album cover

Night In The Ruts (1979)
Joe Perry left the band in the middle of recording “Night In The Ruts“. The band was not in a good place at the time and Perry reportedly owed Aerosmith a lot of money. Originally produced by Jack Douglas, Gary Lyons was brought in by Columbia Records to replace him. Steven Tyler had a tough time finishing the lyrics and vocals. Rampant drug use plagued the band and they seemed at risk of falling apart. In-fighting between members led to missed performances on a tour they weren’t prepared for, as well. In 1979 at the World Series of Rock in Cleveland, OH, Perry left the band during the tour after an argument with Tyler.

Although Perry had completed guitar parts for several of the songs, the remaining guitars were recorded by Brad Whitford, Richie Supa, Neil Thompson, and Jimmy Crespo. Crespo replaced Perry from 1979-1984. a wildly inconsistent set, which did boast a few rare winners in “No Surprize” and “Three Mile Smile.” The album was panned by critics and dropped in the charts. Even so, the group’s cover of “Remember (Walking In The Sand)” was fun.

Aerosmith, Honkin' On Bobo, album cover

Honkin’ On Bobo (2004)
With Joe Perry back in the band, the album features one new song and 11 covers of blues and blues/rock songs from the 1950s and 1960s, before The Stones did the same thing. It pays tribute to the band’s earliest influences and is raw, more like their 1970s music.

Over a decade before the Rolling Stones had the bright idea to record a back-to-our-roots blues LP, Aerosmith did just that with 2004’s amusingly named ‘Honkin’ on Bobo.’ A stripped-down affair, it did much to help fans forgive and forget the sell-out sins perpetrated by the band’s previous few records with rambunctious covers of “Road Runner,” “I’m Ready,” and other blues staples.

Having said that, nothing here was exactly life altering, either, including the only original band composition, “The Grind.” Produced by Jack Douglas once again, the album sold over 160,000 copies in the first week and was certified Gold by the RIAA in 2004.

The band plays hard on this album and returns to the dirty blues sound we all love, including harmonica work by Steven Tyler. It includes songs by Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson, Aretha Franklin, Fred McDowell and more. 

With a career now spanning nearly a half-a-century, complete with its its fair share of victories, defeats, and improbable comebacks, Aerosmith have undoubtedly staked their claim as perhaps America’s greatest hard rock band.



ANDY BELL – ” Lifeline “

Posted: July 1, 2022 in MUSIC

Lifeline” is my new single out today and presents the folkier side of “Flicker“. Me and Nat at Sonic Cathedral thought that side C of the album is something people would like to go deeper on, inspired by brilliant 60s and 70s artists like Pentangle, Nick Drake, Davey Graham and Fairport Convention.

The b-side is a cover of Pentangle’s alt folk classic “Light Flight“. It’s something new(ish) to compliment “Lifeline” written and performed by Andy Bell (Kobalt)/ ‘Light Flight’ written by Jacqui McShee, Terry Cox, Danny Thompson, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn (Carlin Music)

Released July 1st, 2022

May be art

A freshly minted reissue of The Band’s debut album, released as celebration of that record’s 50th birthday, was an absolute guarantee even before it was announced a few months’ back. It’s one of the most venerated rock records of the Woodstock era, analyzed to the level of work by Bob Dylan, the artist that this Canadian-American group backed for his first electric tours. And hearing it even today, the love for “Music From Big Pink” feels entirely justified. The Band crystallized a sound that groups like The Byrds and the Grateful Dead had been wrestling with for years: a muscular production informed by blues, soul, folk and country (a.k.a. the roots of American rock) that stayed true to all of the above genres and felt sharply original.

This new collection blows up the sound of Big Pink to THX levels via a stereo remix by beloved engineer Bob Clearmountain. To drive the point home, they’ve split the original LP up over four sides of vinyl to be played at 45 RPM. Clearmountain’s touch is surprisingly tasteful at times, emphasizing the album’s copious bottom end driven by Rick Danko’s fluttering bass lines, Levon Helm’s kick drum and the swarming organ parts played by Garth Hudson, while adding a healthy gleam to the whole thing. But when his hand gets heavy, it injects a feeling of sterility to some of the most vibrant sounds to come out of the ‘60s. And not just the strange injection of some studio chatter between a few tracks. “The Weight,” inarguably the best known song from this disc, feels pulled apart like taffy, losing much of the spirited energy of the original mix. The same goes for the two Dylan tunes (“This Wheel’s On Fire” and “I Shall Be Released”) that wrap up the album. Hudson’s clavinet interjections lose their quaint charm and become almost obnoxious and The Band sounds less like a band and more like a bunch of studio players seeking a paycheck instead of musical enlightenment.

The year 1968 is often regarded as the most turbulent time in our history as a nation. Pop culture of that year tended to reflect the rage felt by America’s youth over the developments of the day. This was well represented in the music found on albums like Electric Ladyland, Beggars Banquet, and through ground breaking musicals like Hair. But an album considered among many to be the best of the year, “Music From Big Pink”, was somehow able to indirectly capture that spirit by leveraging themes and musical concepts that are inherently “American.” This was done in a manner that was clever, thoughtful, approachably complex, and remarkably calm and measured.

Fifty years later the music found on “Big Pink” remains fresh and equally riveting. So it was only fitting that to celebrate this milestone, band member Robbie Robertson would lead a charge to use modern technologies to “revisit” the record and some of its better known outtakes. Working with legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones) he is about to introduce a remix that lifts the sonic quality of the record without sacrificing any of its integrity. The result is a musical experience that feels contemporary and clean with an expanded sense of dimension.

It’s been a busy year for Robbie Robertson. Just last month he auctioned off the 1965 Fender Stratocaster that he and Bob Dylan famously shared and that Robbie used on the “Big Pink”. Robbie listened in wonder as he described as only he can, how “Music From Big Pink”was put to tape and why it continues to influence scores of musicians. 

When this came out, records were still coming out in mono and stereo. And so these very definitive decisions had to be made. There was something exciting about that. Coming back to it, Clearmountain wanted to be extremely loyal to these recordings. He wasn’t interested in getting cute and putting special effects on things. He just wanted to give it more dimension and open it up in a way where you could hear more things, more detail than you ever could before. He nailed that. It was exciting all over again for me to revisit it with him.

When we went in to record “Big Pink”, we wanted to work at A&R studios in New York. That was known as the best sounding studio around and John Simon, our producer, really wanted us to work there. It had been the old Columbia Studio where some many great things were done. Phil Ramone at that time had taken it over and turned it around. So we go in and the engineers tell us where to set up and we do what they say because we want this to sound as good as it possibly can. We go into the first song and all of a sudden I have to stop everything. I said, “I’m sorry this doesn’t work for us at all.” They were like, “What do you mean? What’s wrong?” I said, “We can’t play like this. We need to see one another.” There are baffles, and I’m in one corner and he’s over there and we’re operating through headphones when we usually communicate the eye signals, and gestures, and looks. It’s a big part of our musical communication.

The first song we recorded for “Big Pink” ended up being the first song on the record, “Tears of Rage.” When I think about it now, it was a very personal thing and it’s just coming back to me now that the record company was saying, “You really want to start your record with a long slow song?” And we said “I guess, yeah!” In the studio we started to run through it a little bit and were kinda getting use to the sound in the room and the next thing John Simon says is, “Wow, I’m really liking this.” So we ran it down, we recorded it a couple of times and then John said we should come in and listen to it to see if there were any adjustments we wanted to make. We went into the control room and that was the first time we heard the sound of The Band. That was our sound. It was us for the first time witnessing it. We had made lots of music with Bob Dylan and with The Hawks. But this was a whole different flavour. 

To do a song like “Key to the Highway” and it not be a shuffle was almost illegal. We took it and turned it inside out. It was something that I was feeling at the time. I said to Levon (Helm), “How does this feel to you?” And I played the rhythm in the way we did it for him. He said, “Man, let’s give it a shot!” But we were quite aware of some blues enthusiasts who thought that doing in that way with that boldness was almost a sacrilege and I like that!

That record, “Music From Big Pink”, was like rebelling against the rebellion, and the rebellion was this loud psychedelia, everything on 11. This was about going the opposite direction and trying to get just as much emotion out of the music as possible.

May be an image of 5 people and text

FLORIST – ” Florist “

Posted: July 1, 2022 in MUSIC

“Florist” is the follow up to 2019’s critically acclaimed “Emily Alone”, and is the strongest album of the band’s decade- long career; an immersive work that conveys the magic of the earth and of family, and the whole of the band’s heart. For all of June of 2019, amid a hot and rainy summer, Emily Sprague (guitar, synth, vocals), Jonnie Baker (guitar, synth, sampling, bass, saxophone, vocals), Rick Spataro (bass, piano, synth, vocals) and Felix Walworth (percussion, synth, guitar, vocals) convened in a rented house in the Hudson Valley, to live and work together.

It was the first time the quartet recorded that way, and for that long. “In the past we’d meet up for a couple of days, or one day here and there,” Sprague recalls. “Living together for a month is a really big part of why the arrangements are the way they are, and also why the instrumentals are such a huge part of the record.” The result is 19 tracks that feel like the culmination of a decade-long journey, their fourth full- length album, but the first deserving of a self- titled designation. “We called it Florist because this is not just my songs with a backing band,” Sprague explains. “It’s a practice. It’s a collaboration. It’s our one life. These are my best friends and the music is the way that it is because of that.

19 tracks that culminate the decade-long journey of friendship and collaboration.

releases July 29th, 2022

Emily Sprague – songs, vocals, guitars, synthesizers
Jonnie Baker – guitars, synthesizers, sampling, bowed guitars & bass, saxophone, vocals
Rick Spataro – bass, vocals, recording engineer, piano, synthesizers Felix Walworth – percussion, vocals, synthesizers, guitars

NAIMA BOCK – ” Giant Palm “

Posted: July 1, 2022 in MUSIC

The roots of Naima Bock’s music are far reaching. Born in Glastonbury to a Brazilian father and a Greek mother, Naima spent her early childhood in Brazil before eventually returning to England and various homes in South-East London. This heritage combines with more recent pursuits in Naima’s music; from the Brazilian standards that the family would listen to driving to the beach, to the European folk traditions she tapped into on her own, and the pursuits that interest her today – studies in archaeology, work as a gardener, and walking the world’s great trails – Naima’s music draws from family, the earth and the handing down of music through generations.

Naima Bock’s debut is a real gem — the kind of album that sneaks up on you, one that for some reason I can’t stop returning to. “Giant Palm” makes me feel like I’m floating on a cloud. It is preternaturally calm; it’s subtle and enveloping and moves in unhurried, erosive waves. It’s not the type of music that one would expect from a former member of Goat Girl — the anxious, political, idiosyncratic punk group that Bock spent six years in — but perhaps it’s the kind of music that one needs after saying everything that needs to be said. Bock started working on music of her own as a way to escape the sort of always-analytical music that being in a punk band entails.

Bock recorded Giant Palm with close collaborator Joel Burton in the studio of Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey. (Carey produced both of Goat Girl’s albums while Bock was in the band.) It’s funny to imagine such chill music being made in a space that has turned out some of the most frenetic, energetic music of the UK’s post-punk wave.

But Giant Palm‘s recording process turned into something of a community. Because so many were floating around due to pandemic lockdowns, upwards of 30 musicians played on the album. It benefits from having so many people in and around it — it makes these solitary songs sound communal. And while the album feels shaggy and loose, “Giant Palm” has been laid down elegantly and precisely; its most striking moments are also its most composed — movements of swelling harmonies and horn trills and lifting atmosphere where the full surge of what Bock is doing with all of these slowly moving parts take hold.

Written over the space of years, each of Naima’s songs represents a snapshot of a specific feeling, of brief moments in Naima’s life that make up a larger whole. “I never change lyrics” she says, “even if I don’t relate to them anymore, I related to them once which means someone else could, somewhere”. Whether that’s in the playful humour of ‘Campervan’, the peaceful exhale of ‘Giant Palm’ or in the darker moments like in the stark, self-critical honesty of ‘Every Morning’, whatever the form it’s always laid bare.
There’s also a feeling of clarity to the songs, which Naima largely credits to the fact that many of them were written while walking. She finds inspiration in the meditative and revealing nature of long walks with a fixed but far-off destination.

“There’s a stripping away that takes place”, she says, the slowing of thoughts by the rhythm of walking is often to thank for the sharp focus of her lyrics. Be that during a period of three years where she would return to Spanish pilgrimage network Camino de Santiago for weeks at a time, or simple hours spent in the English countryside. 

released July 1st, 2022

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