Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

L.A.-via-New York rockers Slothrust today announced that their fifth album, “Parallel Timeline,” will be out via Dangerbird Records.

Having teased the project with the release of “Cranium” last month, the band (core trio of singer-guitarist Leah Wellbaum, drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann) celebrated the announcement with the release of a new single and video.

“Strange Astrology” is a ballad, giving Wellbaum a chance to shine. And she does. “‘Strange Astrology’ is one of the only proper love songs I have ever written,” she says. “It’s an honest exploration of what it means to love someone who is intrinsically different than you. It’s about hoping that those juxtaposing qualities and instincts encourage meaningful growth instead of chaos, but knowing that inevitably it will always be a bit of both. That is part of the fun of being in love with someone whose way of being starkly contrasts yours. I have always been fascinated by those differences and all the adventures and new perspectives they offer.”

As for the video, colour it strange, too. For almost five minutes, Wellbaum interacts (to choose a neutral word) with all kinds of fruit.

“The music video for “Strange Astrology” explores an idea I’ve always been fascinated by, which is: where do I end and you begin?” Wellbaum says. “We chose fruit to explore this theme because, in the moments where I find myself caught in a loop of existential dread, fruit has been a surprisingly grounding force. In a world with so much perceived chaos, fruit anchors me in a reality where all is intentional and perfect as is. It offers truly wild colours and has shockingly well-organized insides. Fruit is an epic sensory experience and full of surprises. Sometimes when I think about fruit, the presence of the void falls away and all is exactly as it is meant to be. In many ways, love and intimacy are mirrors of that experience. Also, the world needs more gay anthems about astrological connection and I am happy to provide that.”

The official music video for “Strange Astrology” from the forthcoming new album ‘Parallel Timeline’

Driven by the force of nature, The Black Angels singer’s solo journey takes an hypnotic detour along the wild trails of his indigenous homestead with songs of love, hope, human connection whilst navigating perils of modern society and tentatively facing the darkness. 

The music of Alex Maas has always mesmerised. Now, on his soul-baring solo debut Luca, the Texan and The Black Angel’s singer journey is taking an equally hypnotic detour along the wild trails of his indigenous homestead. Driven by the force of nature, each phase of life is celebrated through songs of love, hope, human connection whilst navigating perils of modern society and tentatively facing the darkness.

It’s a record fuelled by memories of an upbringing in the strange, unique paradise of his father’s plant nursery in Seabrook, Texas by the waterfront of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Native American sounds that would drift through the garden’s hidden speakers, ricocheting off multi-coloured pottery mazes of curiosities from across the world.

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Casting shades of deeply personal wide-eyed innocence and the darker realms of paranoia, “Luca” has its sights set on the near and distant future. Subtle psychedelic flourishes and instrumentation come from a cast of expert players in Austin but this is a deeply personal endeavour.

Released December 4th, 2020

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There will be a new Birds of Maya record out June 25th on Drag City Records.
Much about this album, including the name and artwork is in honour of the beauty and wildness of the vacant lots where we used to play shows, garden, or build playgrounds for our kids before they were all dug out to build gigantic condos. It’s harder now to find the Earth around here. It’s not gone, just hiding, waiting to be let loose again.
This record is the first one we ever recorded in an actual studio, Black Dirt Studio.

A long era of dull ringing and nothing else in our ears is over. Once again, winds of warm guitar and humid thunderheads of bass and toms rumble all around. With Valdez, Birds of Maya are back in flight. And like the first song title explicitly states, this latest is a soaring blast of riffers, rife with punk rock abandon, sludge, treble, distortion, neck-throttling rock n roll solos, pummelling drums and bass and half-shouted/half-gargled vocals, all of it half on and half off the mic. For the good times as always, these Birds!.

That’s how they’ve done it: fast and heavy, hard, live and loose, amid accumulating piles of empties, in appropriately informal environments since 2004ish, with their three LPs (on Holy Mountain, Richie and Little Big Chief) ripping us up whenever they drop. With each release, our thirst has increased, but to our horror, we haven’t found any fresh feathers from their tree in the new release bins since 2013. Somewhere in Philadelphia, Jason Killinger, Ben Leaphart and Mike Polizze played on — preferably outside (the shows are always extra-good), but wherever, really.

Recorded in 2014 at Black Dirt Studios in New York. Yeah: Birds of Maya packed up their shit, drove out of North Philly to a recording studio hundreds of miles away and made an album. Kinda nuts. And then didn’t release it until…well, yeah — now! Time is a test that Birds of Maya recordings need to pass before they see the light of day. At the time this was recorded, Birds of Maya were standing on the other side of ten years kicking around town, suddenly far away from the primordial ooze they’d flopped forth from. The streets where all this had happened on were changing, with new money rolling in, but they were the same old Birds, content with their libations and ear-splitting variations on old favourite Stooges chords. The cover art of Valdez is a couple images from those days, glimpses at the old grass roots before they were ripped up by developers to build condos. But nothing ever really goes away, Valdez stands tall amongst the changing landscape.

“BFIOU” is from “Valdez” released on LP & Streaming on June 25th, 2021 by Drag City Records.

From the start, Son Lux has operated as something akin to a sonic test kitchen. The band strives to question deeply held assumptions about how music is made and re-construct it from a molecular level. What began as a solo project for founder Ryan Lott expanded in 2014, thanks to a kinship with Ian Chang and Rafiq Bhatia too strong to ignore.

Arriving at a time of considerable uncertainty in the world, Son Lux’s multi-album ‘Tomorrows’ is ambitious in scope and intent. Born of an active, intentional approach to shaping sound, the music reminds us of the necessity of questioning assumptions, and of sitting with the tension.

The music encompassed on Tomorrows provides an appropriate parallel for the sustained cacophony of the present moment, advancing a friction that reveals the strange in the familiar and the familiar in the strange. While this carefully crafted inversion acclimatizes the ear to tension, the steadily hardening exterior fractures at unlikely moments, revealing a strikingly visceral, emotional core. The process of creating Tomorrows is iterative in nature, with the lyrical content and music continually adapting and responding to one another and the shifting landscape of the moment.

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Released April 16th, 2021

Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey have been in so many great bands over the last 40 years, most notably Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, but also Tender Trap, Marine Research and, since 2014, The Catenary Wires. The names and other band members change over the years but the general vibe does not — indie pop that veers towards, but not too far into, twee territory with heartfelt, bookish but unpretentious lyrics. Amelia and Rob are set to release “Birling Gap”, the third Catenary Wires album, on June 18th via Shelflife and Skep Wax Records.

Previous Catenary Wires albums have been very gently, just Amelia and Rob and some lightly strummed acoustic guitars, but they’re now a five-piece, and Birling Gap looks to be a much more fleshed-out record. We’ve already heard a taste of what’s to come with “Mirrorball,” an unabashedly romantic and danceable tribute to never giving up on love and ’80s discos. They’ve now released a second single, “The Overview Effect,” a tender, dreamy number about getting older and accepting it. “Can’t things stay the same?” Rob and Amelia sing to each other, stars in their eyes, already knowing the answer.

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Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, with Fay Hallam, Andy Lewis and Ian Button.

The Catenary Wires, aka indiepop icons Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey (Heavenly, Talulah Gosh), release new album ‘Birling Gap’ in June 21st

A co-release with Skep Wax Records

New Orleans’ Joystick have spent the last decade honing their craft and emerging as one of the best modern ska-punk bands around, and their fourth record “I Can’t Take It Anymore” is their most mature, refined record yet. “Everybody started getting married and having kids and kind of like settling down — we definitely became less of a party band,” lead vocalist Duck told us in a recent interview. Duck also got sober four years ago and he’s now working as a volunteer to help other alcoholics and addicts, and those experiences informed the personal, honest tone of his lyrics on this record.

The music sounds more “mature” too, but in Joystick’s case, growing up doesn’t mean slowing down. It’s still an urgent, fun, fast-paced record that toes the line between ska-punk and ska-core and sounds as hungry as Joystick did on their debut. It also has a subtle approach to musical diversity; it’s a straight-up, ’90s-style ska-punk record, but it also weaves in aspects of traditional ’60s ska, shouty ’80s hardcore, and plenty of the in-between.

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Joystick
Ska Punk from New Orleans Louisiana

Members:
Paul “duck” Tucker- Vocals
Clay
 Aleman- Bass
Mickey Retzlaff- Guitar
Josh Bourgeois- Trombone
Justin Mcdowell- Tenor Sax
Garrett Corripio- Trumpet
Andrew Heaton- Trombone
Kyle Bouque- Drums
 

released April 16th, 2021

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Spencer Krug has released an insane amount of music over the past two decades — with Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, his solo project Moonface, and more — but in all that time he’s never put out an album under his own name. Until now. “I’m just tired of the name [Moonface], and crave the excitement of a clean slate,” Spencer said in 2018 when he revealed that he’d be retiring his former moniker. “I’m in my 40s now, and ready to make music and tour under my own name – Spencer Krug; ready to get personally behind what I do in a more literal and meaningful way.”

In 2019, Spencer began releasing a song a month on his Patreon, and now he has completed his first album as Spencer Krug, featuring full-band versions of songs that were originally released as piano ballads via Patreon. It’s some of Spencer’s most earthy music — full of breezy acoustic guitars, piano, and a great deal of pedal steel — and it’s nice to hear him make such a relaxed, stripped-back album. And though the arrangements are a little more straightforward for his standards, the song writing is about as classic Spencer Krug as it gets.

Long time fans will find this comfortingly familiar, and if this album is the first you’re hearing from Spencer, this album would give you a good idea of what makes his song writing so special and timeless.

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Fences (aka Seattle musician Christopher Mansfield) is releasing a new EP, “Wide Eyed Elk Ensemble”, on April 30th via ENCI. He recently released lead single “Boot Height,” and we’re now premiering second single “Fake Snow.” Fences has made a few different types of music over the years, and these songs are both breezy, rustic, big-hearted indie folk songs that should appeal to fans of Lord Huron, Manchester Orchestra, and other stuff of that ilk.

Speaking about “Fake Snow,” Christopher said to us, “‘Father’ to me is such a large word. In the name of the father, the father the son and the Holy Ghost. It’s an almost non gender based energy that looms above and guides us.

When I say ‘you’ve killed me’ it’s me almost saying father took the guardian angels off pay roll. In this way perhaps the song is me cursing out this vague heavy energy I felt rejected by at times. All the same, I’m also apologizing because we can never truly hate our father because then we would hate ourselves. The cold river cannot hate the mountain it melted from. The video was difficult to consider because the concept to me remains vague. I just stood and lived and we made angelic art around me. Putting halos where they don’t belong. In a larger sense I think my job is putting halos where they don’t belong.

Speaking previously about “Boot Height” and the EP overall, he said, “Clearly animals are a great analogy for love and death and the middle part of human experience. The EP feels like this. It was made quickly and with no intention other than to fill the room with something beautiful. It was myself and Dru and Adam. I remember laughter after tracking certain parts. It was a joy, truly.

The EP is the middle part and the steam. The elk. ‘Boot Height’ however is the beginning before the beginning. The past life. A love so bold that it transfers. Like when your grandmother comes back as a hummingbird.”