Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

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Called out by the Irish Times as “Ireland’s best new rock band” and named as an one of nme’s “100 essential new artists for 2019,” when i have fears is the debut album from Dublin, Ireland’s the Murder Capital.

Produced by Flood (pj harvey, new order, foals) the album features both singles from the band so far, “Feeling Fades” and “Green & Blue”, as well as the first studio recording of breakthrough track “More is Less”. an exercise in both darkness and light, “When I Have Fears” only serves to highlight the early ambition in the band’s sound. from the post-rock build and breakdowns of the two-part “Slowdance”, to the tender, bruised confessional of “On Twisted Ground” and industrial pulse of closer “Love, Love, Love”, there’s a consistent intensity throughout that marks out the Murder Capital as a band arriving fully formed on their debut album. “surging like waves and creating the same nervous, edge-of-your-seat atmosphere that their live shows have been so well spoken of for…

beautiful chaos.” – neu pick of the day, diy “a brooding beat and a menacing bassline, the Murder Capital have delivered the goods.” – gigwise “not just a band primed to rip your head off, but to make you throw shapes.” – dork hype 2019 “furious, bellowing Irish punks who would beat you in a staring contest.”

Our debut album ‘When I Have Fears’ is out August 16th.

From the beginning of making this record together, the poem ‘When I Have Fears’ served not only as a structural pillar, but quickly became a set of ideals for us to live by.

Pre-order the album on Limited Edition Marbled Rust 12” Vinyl

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On their third full-length ​”Remembering The Rockets” ​(out 26th July via Tiny Engines)​, Strange Ranger continue to excel at translating the way intimacy can feel so overwhelmingly gigantic. With a dozen releases across their 10 years as a band, the Philly-via-Portland-via-Montana group, currently featuring Isaac Eiger (guitars, vocals), Fred Nixon (bass, piano, vocals), Nathan Tucker (drums), and Fiona Woodman (vocals), have traversed genres, moods, and textures while maintaining one important throughline: an exploration of closeness.

“Trying to close the distance between yourself and another person and wondering how much can really be done about that gap,” Eiger says. “​Sometimes you don’t want to be close with others but you feel guilty, and sometimes you do but you can’t.”

Eiger, who writes the bulk of Strange Ranger’s lyrics, is a modern master of conveying the anxiety and uncertainty of growing older through a mixture of childhood nostalgia and interpersonal tidbits. There’s plenty of that on ​Remembering The Rockets​, but after all of these years of singing about his own coming-of-age story, the album approaches the quandary of whether he’ll ever be able to impart that process—through which he’s reaped so much artistic joy and curiosity—onto someone else.

“​So much suffering and horror is coming if we don’t seriously restructure our entire society, and I just really hope we get it together. I want to be a dad more than basically anything, and it’s unclear if that’d be an OK decision to make,” he says.

For a topic as severe as ecological collapse affecting his own parental aspirations—as well as other melancholy ruminations on loneliness, the passing of time, and the complications of emotional intimacy—Strange Ranger still ended up making the lushest, smoothest, and most pleasingly hypnotic album of their careers.

“​After making ​Daymoon,​ I think Isaac and myself were both feeling pretty creatively exhausted with the rock band format,” Nixon says. “We wanted the feel of the next record to put you in a trance.”

Opener “Leona” is a celestial pop song with a springy bassline and a shimmering, magical synth effect that dusts over its punchy outro groove. “Nothing Else To Think About” is a bobbing sunset soundtrack with a drum sample that puffs and clacks behind its ASMR-inducing bassline. For “Beneath The Lights,” Eiger pulls out the drawly, prickly croon of a ​Daymoon ​ballad like “Most Perfect Gold of the Century” and then contorts it with warbling, Justin Vernon-esque auto-tune. Ambient interludes like “athens, ga” and “‘02” are void of vocals and “traditional” rock elements altogether.

“It was definitely a learning curve figuring out how to do some of the weirder stuff,” Eiger says. “We’ve been using keyboards for a while now, but before we made this record we got this old Japanese synthesizer [Korg M1] which has like a trillion sounds. So that was a totally different experience.”

“We really didn’t know what we were doing and probably stumbled our way into a bunch of sounds we wouldn’t be able to recreate if we tried,” Nixon adds.

Portland, OR producer Dylan M. Howe was an essential contributor in this regard. Most of the samples and electronic beats were designed with Howe’s assistance, and he helped the band navigate the archaic software of the Korg M1—which was used for nearly every synth sound on the album. For many of the songs, such as “Message To You”, which Fiona Woodman sings the entirety of, the only component the band had going into their home studio was the drum loop. From there, they experimented with different arrangements and benefitted from Nathan Tucker’s versatile drumming abilities to build that song, and many others, outward.

“​I think we’ve always been attracted to music that you can nod your head to, and this time around I think we really tried to emphasize that,” Eiger says.

Tracks like “Pete’s Hill,” “Planes in Front of the Sun” and “Leona” lock into a pleasing breed of entrancing, rhythmic bliss. And they hit with maximum impact every time because they’re tastefully offset by a cheeky alt-country burner like “Ranch Style Home,” or a Lemonheads- esque cruiser like “Sunday.” But like all Strange Ranger albums, the band saved the most emotionally devastating songs for its finale.

“Living Free” and “Cold Hands Warm Heart” play like they’re in conversation with one another. The former is a synth-soaked reckoning with age (“all the years as blurry cars and trees / screaming right past me”) and purpose (“awkward angels in the snow / what if I just want a family?”). The latter is a sparse, two-and-a-half-minute piano ballad where Eiger acknowledges tepid hope as the only way forward. “Flickers of a world to come / here but lovelier than this one / see it rippling in the river,” he sings with a shaky intonation.

“​The image of a rocket in the sky just feels very beautiful to me and full of possibility,” Eiger says. “If you’re someone who wants to have kids and you decide not to, that kinda feels like folding and just saying, “yeah everything is fucked, there is no future.” And why even live at that point? It sucks that ‘hope’ has—for good reason—become this cheesy, lame idea. But if you’ve got no hope, you’re completely fucked in a situation like this one.”

Strange Ranger “Remembering The Rockets” Out July 26th on Tiny Engines

Various 'Sad About The Times' 2xLP

Have you ever felt sad about the times you are living in? You may not always be able to work it out, but you can sprinkle a little sugar on your sadness with songs like these. A follow up collaboration between Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Suppression Ring) and Keith Abrahamsson (Head of A&R at Anthology Recordings) to their 2017 compilation “Follow The Sun, Sad About the Times”, at its core, is a set of North American 70s jammers.

With a hint (at times) of West Coast jangle, these tracks traverse the border between the power pop of the times and a late-night coke jam. You can also hear echoes of folk rock, soft rock, and even detect some psychedelic flashbacks. But despite the genre jumping, the atmosphere of Sad About The Times is always dominated by a haunted human voice.

These songs come in the wake of the psychedelic sixties; after the high-flying idealism had run its course and singer songwriters were ascendant. After the party, reality kicks in. They all could have been hits. Each with a different flavour, all subtly conveying universal emotions that are hard to describe but easy to feel. It features Jode, Hoover, Jim Spencer, Antonia Lamb, Hollins Ferry, Willow and more.

 

The Dublin band Inhaler has been getting a lot of buzz lately. Fronted by Bono’s son Eli Hewson, the band has just released a slobberknocker of a new single called “My Honest Face”. Noel Gallagher has described the band as a mix between Echo And The Bunnymen with old U2, which seems appropriate given their lineage.

Formed in 2016, Inhaler is a four piece Rock and Roll Band from Dublin, Ryan McMahon, Robert Keating, Josh Jenkinson and Elijah Hewson.

Currently touring through the United Kingdom with Fuzzy Sun and will join ranks with Blossoms and Courteeners for their festival warm-up dates.

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Swedish singer-songwriter Daniel Norgren has been releasing albums full of romantically-rendered Southern folk interpretations for European audiences. Wooh Dang, his sparse eighth album, sounds like you are slowly scrolling a radio dial across several AM stations, each broadcasting a field recording. Some are strange. Some are gorgeous. Some ache and some comfort. Some sound muffled and others are so intimately captured, it feels like Norgren is singing from inside your ear canal. Over ten songs, Norgren offers a survey course of sorts in 20th century American roots music: “Dandelion Time” is a Southern blues indebted to Howlin Wolf; “The Power” draws from Smokey Robinson’s pop balladry; “Let Love Run the Game,” the album’s shining centerpiece, is a finely-tuned classic soul pastiche by way of Muscle Shoals. There’s an innocence and intensity to Norgren’s reimagination of the American South, All of them, though, showcase the sound of an ambitious singer/songwriter at the height of his powers, plus the creaky feel of the 19th century farmhouse where Norgren and his friends recorded the album live to tape on analog gear.

Throughout Wooh Dang, Norgren proves himself unafraid of a sparse arrangement. Songs like “The Flow” and “The Day That’s Just Begun” revolve around his voice, with minimal accompaniment by piano, guitar feedback, yawning harmonica or the low hiss of the room.

And yet it’s “When I Hold You In My Arms”—a lush little ditty that floats like angels’ wings across a distinctly Latin rhythm—that might be the most instantly likeable moment on the album. It’s that stylistic diversity—and Norgren’s obvious skill and feel for most anything he tries—that really gives Wooh Dang that AM radio feel. With every turn of that invisible dial, another delight awaits you here.

Daniel Norgren’The Flow’ from the album “Wooh Dang” out April 19th on Superpuma Records

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The perpetually underrated indie-rock mainstay Ezra Furman has shared the lead single from his latest album release“Twelve Nudes”, due out August. 30th. It’s accompanied by a colorfully macabre music video that visualizes the song’s panic attack-driven narrative, as Furman dances, falls and smokes through the anxiety.

As is typically the case with Furman’s songwriting, “Calm Down” (aka “I Should Not Be Alone”) just shreds. Furman has always been able to bridge this gap between pop-rock and garage meltdowns with a particular punk-rock sensibility; the immediately laid-back and groovy bass line that kicks the song off paves the way for an absolute ripper of a bridge that finds Furman yelling at the listener to calm down.

It’s almost impossible to calm down while listening to the song, though—this thing rocks. The video, animated by frequent Furman collaborator Beth Jeans Houghton, matches the breakneck pace of the track, using vibrant colors to underscore the cognitive dissonance between feeling pretty on the outside and like you’re on the verge of a meltdown on the inside. There’s dancing eyeballs, demon babies, fornicating dogs and all sorts of other psychedelic imagery. “Calm Down” is over way sooner that you’ll want it to be,

That catchy mentality seems to pervade the rest of Twelve Nudes, which Furman says will be among his punkiest, most political songwriting. Furman says of its lead single in a statement:

Desperate times make for desperate songs. I wrote this in the summer of 2018, a terrible time. It’s the sound of me struggling to admit that I’m not okay with the current state of human civilization, in which bad men crush us into submission. Once you admit how bad it feels to live in a broken society, you can start to resist it, and imagine a better one.

Twelve Nudes is inspired in equal parts by the legendary punk-rocker Jay Reatard and the poet/essayist Anne Carson, whose work inspired the album’s title. “Anne had these visions, or meditations, to deal with the intense pain in her life, which she calls ‘nudes,’” Furman says. “So, my album is called Twelve Nudes.”

The record is produced by John Congleton, whose recent work with Sharon Van Etten rather impressed. Furman will be backed by Sam Durkes, Jorgen Jorgensen and Ben Joseph on this record.

Official music video for ‘Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone’ by Ezra Furman. Taken from his forthcoming album ‘Twelve Nudes’ out 30th August via Bella Union Records.

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“IVRY” is a new song with lyrics written by Patti Smith and inspired by Antonin Artaud’s time in the mental hospital in Ivry ,The song is part of our new album with Patti Smith ‘The Peyote Dance’, to be released by Bella Union on May 31st.

Soundwalk Collective with Patti Smith THE PEYOTE DANCE ,The sound of walking in a Mexican canyon transforms into the distinct beat of the heart, distant chants, sticks, stones, and the whistle of blowing wind: Featuring Patti Smith, and produced in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum and Nicolas Becker a soundtrack of elements that invites us to explore a sacred space. The album takes as its starting point Antonin Artaud’s book ‘The Peyote Dance’, a work inspired by his revelatory experiences with the Rarámuri in 1936, 

Featuring original footage by Stephan Crasneanscki, Lelio Moehr and Sylvie Marchand. Courtesy, Association Temps Réel, Collectif Gigacircus, France (www.gigacircus.net/fr/) Lyrics by Patti Smith, copyright / © (2019) (Patti Smith) All music produced by Soundwalk Collective in Mexico City and NYC in collaboration with Leonardo Heiblum and Nicolas Becker with original instruments from the Rarámuri Indians of the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico Voice: Patti Smith Traditional Guitars: Joel Cruz Castellanos Traditional Drums, Chapareke Snare, Chihuahua Bells: Leonardo Heiblum Foley: Nicolas Becker Recorded at Audioflot Studios in Mexico City and Hobo Sound in New Jersey

alex lahey music

Australian singer/songwriter Alex Lahey is releasing a new album, The Best of Luck Club, on May 17th via Dead Oceans. This week she shared another song from the album, the ballad “Unspoken History,” which is the third  single release from the album.

Lahey had this to say about the song in a press release: “When I was in Nashville, I spent some time in a tiny writing room creating songs for this record. Towards the end of that time, I felt as though I was starting to exhaust my output and was starting to become complacent about what I had left to give. On one of my last days there, I was lent a guitar that was set up in a variation on open D tuning, which is something I never play in. In the process of nutting out chords and voicing in this tuning, the melody to the verses just came out. When I started putting words to it, it started off as being about one thing, but then morphed into something else, creating its own path very organically.”

Previously Lahey shared a video for The Best of Luck Club’s first single, “Don’t Be so Hard on Yourself” which features a prominent saxophone solo from Lahey Then she shared another song from the album, “Am I Doing It Right,” The album is the follow-up to her 2017-released debut album, I Love You Like a Brother , Lahey began writing The Best of Luck Clubin Nashville, sometimes locking herself in a room for 12-hour days. Then the album was recorded over the course of a month in her hometown of Melbourne at Sing Sing South. Lahey co-produced the album alongside Grammy-winning producer Catherine Marks (Local Natives, St. Vincent, Manchester Orchestra). Lahey plays nearly every instrument on the album, with the appearance of the saxophone a reference to her past studying jazz saxophone at university.

Lahey had this to say about the album in a previous press release: “In Nashville I was really inspired by the dive bar scene there and the idea that at these dive bars there’s no pretentious energy. Whether you’ve had the best day of your life or the worst day of your life, you can just sit up at the bar and turn to the person next to you – who has no idea who you are – and have a chat. And the response that you generally get at the end of the conversation is, ‘Best of luck,’ so The Best of Luck Club is that place.”

’The Best Of Luck Club’, the new album from Alex Lahey, out May 17th on Dead Oceans