Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

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The Brooklyn rising star, Pearla, has released the second offering from her forthcoming debut EP,“Quilting & Other Activities”. A whimsical five-and-a-half minutes of pure folk-pop, “Quilting” is a beautiful tune, well worth your time.

This is another spectacular showcase of Pearla’s poignant songwriting, with the 22-year-old having this to say about the compelling track:

‘Quilting’ is about attachment and the addictive nature of comfort. It’s about coming out of a fog and facing yourself for the first time after spending too long wrapped up in others. For me, those first moments alone after the end of a relationship were unbearable, and I found myself reaching out arbitrarily just for the sake of having something to hold or something to do. The song is about me having this belief that I should be enough for myself, but not being able to fully realise it.

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Quilting & Other Activities is set for release on September 6th.

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The BUOYS – ” Inside Outside “

Posted: September 6, 2019 in MUSIC
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The Buoys are a band who know how to play their instruments but who also do not suck. A tricky balance, but they achieve it brilliantly. With the release of their debut EP ‘Soft Boy’ and a sophomore EP not too far off, all female Sydney 4-piece The Buoys have a lot to send to your ear holes by way of unrelenting fuzzy guitar tones.

Their bright power-pop songs are catchy, their energy on stage is fun and vibrant and, as mentioned, the musicality is first-class. No one is left disappointed.

Band Members
Hilary – Lead Guitar
Courtney – Bass
Tess – Drums
Zoe – Vocals/Guitar

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It’s probably too late now to assign a Song of the Summer 2019, but “Bummer” makes for the perfect anthem to a long-anticipated crack-up in the waning days of August. Weezer-y guitars quickly make way for a desperate, shouted chorus, screeching guitars, and a breakdown I have literally considered writing home about if my parents had any idea what in Henry Rollins’ name slam dancing is.

“Bummer” by Save Face from the Save Face / Graduating Life Split, available 12th September.

Squid

Squid have fast become one of Britain’s most exciting new bands .Open the tabloids and it’s all avocado toast and selfie sticks, but there’s far more to millennial life than the papers would have you believe. Just ask Squid – the Brighton band whose breakout single ‘Houseplants’ has made them the unassuming spokespeople of young frustration.

A frantic, punky ode to the indecision and anger that drives the lives of British youth, ‘Houseplants’ has deservedly racked up radio play and near-universal praise. Atop an incessant, stomping beat, the five-piece’s drummer-vocalist Ollie Judge barks his way through oh-so-relatable topics with a rolling-eyed delivery: “We speak about our days, yeah, we speak about a raise / Everybody’s bored, we’re just too afraid to say,” he snarks, before turning his attention to the rise in houseplant ownership amongst the younger generations – often pinned as a replacement for children, pets, or other such responsibilities: “Houseplants, houseplants / We squeeze it at night, oh, we squeeze it so tight.”

Maybe one of the most hyped bands and deservedly so, in the country right now, partly due to their breakout single ‘Houseplants’, but mainly because of their unbelievably tight live show. It’s an exhilarating and breathtaking onslaught of funky basslines, intense vocals and zippy guitars. Miss them at your peril.

“It’s been really surprising, and we’ve felt so warm towards the people who’ve played it, or shown it to people, or heard it once and then come to shows,” says Ollie. “I was living in London without and money,” he says of its creation, “Getting paid pretty well, but then having to put over half my earnings into just having a house, and having to live on like £200 a month. I was very pissed off with the state of things,” he shrugs.

“It could be perceived to be quite a chaotic, shouty, fun song,” says percussionist and keyboardist Arthur Leadbetter, “but the subject matter is far from fun. And also, the music is hysterical.It’s what we’re all feeling.” Guitarist Louis Borlase agrees: “We were all working full-time, and we’d only have two, maybe three hours to get in a rehearsal space and write something. That urgency probably shaped the way it feels.”

Unusually for a song with quite so much radio love, ‘Houseplants’ is also undeniably weird. Completed by Laurie Nankivell on bass and brass, and second guitarist Anton Pearson, Squid’s breakout hit is a sprawling, hulking mass of gloopy sounds, dissonant guitar-work and Ollie’s throat-shredding yell, all capped off with a Pandora’s Box of odd percussion and electronic addition – as such, it’s the perfect introduction to the oddball band. Bonding over left-field bands like Neu! and This Heat, Squid’s love of the avant-garde was cemented from day dot. It’s their lyrical relatability which sets them apart from those groups, though. “I’ve definitely always liked bands which might be quite out-there instrumentally, but keep it all in one spot lyrically,” says Laurie. “I think keeping it accessible, but still weird, is definitely the goal,” says Ollie.

With those inspirational oddities in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that, their go-to producer Dan Carey (Black Midi, Kate Tempest) and the band opted not to cover the usual Live Lounge fodder. Instead, they took on experimental composer Steve Reich’s ‘Clapping Music’ – a poly-rhythmic piece designed, as the title suggests, to be performed anywhere, simply by whacking your hands together. Squid being Squid, though, have adapted it for their full-band set-up, horns and all. Oh, and they added lyrics, which are taken from an interview Reich did on the piece, years ago.

“I’ve always been aware of the piece, and always wanted to perform it with somebody – and then I saw the app,” grins Arthur, referencing an app designed specifically to help budding clappers nail ‘Clapping Music’’s odd rhythm.  “It changed my… life, really,” ha adds, to a tableful of laughter. That app helped them through – or possibly contributed to – the madness of the band’s SXSW schedule in March, which saw them performing six shows in just five days, all across Austin, Texas. In between those shows, they’d collectively sit on the porch of their Air BnB, clapping away. “I think it contributed to the madness, definitely,” laughs Ollie.

Madness is where Squid thrive, in fairness. Their two singles to date, ‘Houseplants’ and last year’s ‘The Dial’, were recorded and released by Speedy Wunderground – the label-meets-studio-space of Dan Carey. Not content with the typical route of recording a new guitar band, Dan goes full bonkers with the recording process, insisting the bands play everything live, in a single day, in complete darkness, and filling the room with smoke and lasers. Your typical bedroom studio, this is not.

The combination of Carey and Squid seems like a match made in heaven. It all kicked off from a doting email from Ollie to the South London wunderkind producer (“I think I said, ‘Our recordings are shit, can you make them better?’” says Ollie, “We didn’t even email anyone else”), and has now culminated in Squid’s new EP to be the first non-single release on Speedy Wunderground.

Recording the EP over four days, rather than one, allowed for the bells, whistles and odd instrumentation that make Squid shine to really come into their own – particularly on a day in the studio they dubbed ‘Arthur Day’. “There were about 16 layers of cello,” Arthur laughs. “I actually really wanted a cigarette all day, but every time I’d finish tracking something, there’s another part that relied on me.”

“I always call percussion the ‘fish sauce’ of music,” says Arthur. “If you take the percussion out of a song, it’s never gonna sound the same. But the untrained palette won’t know what’s missing. I love Brazilian percussion instruments – my favourite percussion instruments are the ones that aren’t just percussion, but are also a rhythm,” he adds, citing the cuica, the berimbau and the güiro as particular favourites in his box of oddities.

“It’s quite experimental,” says Dan Carey of the record. “It’s all contained within accessible frameworks, but there’s a lot going on. Having a bit more time enabled us to go a bit deeper. And the fact we’re doing it for our label means we can do literally whatever we want.”

There’s some “real tender moments” on the record too, they tease. “Are the Yorkshire post-punks gonna like it?!” quips Ollie, to another table-wide laugh.

It’s a record that, with the band’s reputation for bolshy bangers like ‘Houseplants’ and ‘The Dial’ now firmly established, is sure to turn some heads. Squid are confident in their ability to push boundaries though.

“We formed over that love of ambient music, and jazz music, and stuff like that,” says Laurie, “and I think this EP’s the perfect blend – the punky, but the more thoughtful experimental music, too. I think it’s a good way of being – not influenced by any one scene too much; just doing the weird shit.”

Squid’s new EP will be released via Speedy Wunderground.

Craft Recordings has announced a Monster of a celebration for the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.’s ninth album. November 1st will see the arrival of “Monster” in various physical and digital formats, all newly remastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.

Monster found the band branching out to explore new sonic avenues, with bolder, louder guitars, minimal overdubs, and spare arrangements supporting lyrics frequently sung from the POV of different characters. Bolstered by the success of the lead single “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?,” Monster entered the U.S. chart at No. 1, and the band promoted it with their first tour since 1989. “Bang and Blame” also became a U.S. top 20 chart entry, the band’s final such single to date.

After R.E.M.‘s departure from indie-adored IRS Records for the larger filed of Warner Brothers Records, the fear was that the band would be manipulated into producing more radio friendly hits. And while R.E.M. managed to do that, it was not at the cost of their fine lyrical and musical frontier. By the arrival of MonsterR.E.M. had further established themselves as a powerhouse of a band with multi-Platinum successes like Green (1988), Out of Time (1991), and the legendary Automatic for The People (1992).

Monster, released in 1994, delivered the hit single “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”, as well as other more minor hits. Monster would also become the album that started an alienation from the more casual fans. All R.E.M. albums after Monster (there would be six more) were much less popular (although I never understood why).

In his liner notes, Perpetua offers that Monster “had no precedent in the band’s catalogue,” adding that R.E.M had “never been this distorted and dirty, or this glam or this flirty.” Peter Buck adds, “We were trying to feel like a different band…We wanted to get away from who we were.” Perpetua observes that “there’s no question that the characters on Monster are all dealing with obsession in some form or another, whether it’s the infatuated narrator of ‘Crush with Eyeliner,’ the lovelorn protagonist of ‘Strange Currencies,’ or the cackling supervillain in ‘I Took Your Name.’” As dark as some of the subject matter is, though, R.E.M. still infuses the songs with a dash of absurdity, irony and a humorous wink.”

Despite the enormous success of the 4x platinum album, producer Scott Litt was never fully happy with his finished mix. He states in the press release, “I had told the band through the years that if there was ever a chance to take another shot at mixing the album, I wanted to do it.” This anniversary edition has given him that opportunity, and he’s incorporated entirely different vocal takes and instrumental parts either buried in the original mix or completely absent from it.

On November 1st 2019, Craft Recordings will celebrate the album’s 25th Anniversary with a definitive 5CD/1BD Box that provides not only a newly remastered version of Monster but also a new Scott Litt-remixed version that sonically brings Stipe’s vocals to the front. The box will also include a collection of 15 previously unreleased demos, and the full 25-song performance from their June 3rd, 1995 show at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago that was opened by Luscious Jackson, spread over 2CDs. The Scott Litt-remixed album will be on a CD of its own. The Blu-ray will supply a high resolution Stereo version mix as well as a 5.1 Surround mix. The Road Movie film is included as are six music videos (“What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”, “Crush With Eyeliner”, “Star 69”, “Strange Currencies”, “Tongue”, “Bang and Blame”). A stuffed book of notes, photos, interviews, and more is included.

For those interested in a less expansive option, an expanded edition of Monster offering the original album and the 2019 remix will also be available on two 180-gram vinyl LPs or two CDs, both featuring reimagined cover art by longtime R.E.M. designer Chris Bilheimer. The remastered album will also be available as a standalone 180-gram vinyl LP, with Bilheimer’s original Monster art.

Ashworth’s songwriting often presents itself as a lens through which the listener can see themselves, dissolving barriers between the artist and audience.

Sasami Ashworth’s debut solo offering is a sidestep away from her previous output with Cherry Glazerr and into the fog. It’s fuzzy and melancholic, with train-of-thought musings that feel both self-prescriptive and healing – a sonic processing of emotions with broader relevance and appeal. It poses singular questions of love and loss, finding solace in their universality: “Thought I was the only one/Turned out I was everyone.” Sasami – “Free (feat. Devendra Banhart)”, from the debut self-titled album, out now on Domino Records

SASAMI (Sasami Ashworth) has been making music in the Los Angeles area, in almost every way you can, for the last decade. From playing French horn in orchestras and studios and playing keys, bass, and guitar in local rock bands (Dirt Dress, Cherry Glazerr), to contributing vocals/string/horn arrangements to studio albums (Vagabon, Curtis Harding, Wild Nothing, Hand Habits, etc.) and producing on tracks for other respected artists (Soko), she has gained a reputation as an all-around musical badass.

She spent the previous two and a half years touring the world non-stop playing synths in the band Cherry Glazerr and is now taking a turn to focus on her own music.

The video for “Take Care” starts out pleasantly enough—Sasami wakes up in a rowboat floating across calm blue waters. As grainy shots of the artist lying in the boat flash by, the scene gives the impression of a vintage film memento. She sings the lines, “You don’t need my help anymore / I tried to show up at your door.” But soon enough, Sasami starts to let out some hostility, tagging a wall with black spray paint and then, well, beating the living hell out a car with a baseball bat. Finally, we see her lighting a shrine of personal effects on fire in the desert and screaming at the burning pyre.

“Take Care” features on a brand new digital 7” from SASAMI. SASAMI’s debut self-titled album is out now on Domino Recording Co.

“All We Want Anymore” has everything you’d want in a classic pop song—the dizzy, the dreamy and the grand. Stone brings bright vocal harmonies and everything but the kitchen sink—lush string arrangements, waves of rippled guitars, both happy-go-lucky and melancholy keyboards, distinctly vintage drums and horns that shout “hurrah” during the grand finale. It’s a must-hear for fans of the California pop songs of yesteryear and crushingly beautiful songs that play when the end credits roll.

Stone Irr is the product of a special kind of Midwestern religious folk. Just start with the name: what seems like anobvious pun was, in fact, an honest mistake, and as soon as Stone’s parents found out, they offered to take him to the Lafayette, Indiana courthouse and change it. He was already in middle school. True story. 

Stone’s growth as an artist, songwriter, and arranger since his 2017 debut album ‘Sinner’ is obvious on the standout track “All We Want Anymore.” The song features a bright, Beatles-like melodic structure and a cascading finale of strings and horns that pushes Stone’s voice deep into the mix.

That voice, often multi-tracked with layers of harmonies, is Stone Irr’s defining quality. It floats through the record, at times whispered and ethereal and at others gritty and broken. Album art by William Schaff (Okkervil River, Songs: Ohia).

releases September 20, 2019,
All songs written and performed by Stone Irr

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Cigarettes After Sex’s new song was “inspired by the overwhelming beauty I felt watching an endless sunset on a secluded beach in Latvia one summer night,” says frontman and guitarist Gonzalez, whose whispered vocals snake their way through syrupy synths, gleaming guitars, throbbing bass and gently tapped percussion. “This is where I want to be,” Gonzalez sings, “where it’s so sweet and heavenly.”

I’ve always avoided studios,” says Cigarettes After Sex frontman Greg Gonzalez. “There’s something special about recording out in the world, some kind of X-factor that comes from the character and atmosphere of wherever it is that you’re working that becomes essential to the feeling of the music.”

That marriage of sound and setting is the heart and soul of Cry, Cigarettes After Sex’s riveting sophomore album. Recorded in a stunning house on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the collection reflects the uneasy beauty, erotic longing, and stark minimalism of the space, all smooth lines and soft light. Energized by the fresh palette and setting, Gonzalez would write songs just minutes before recording them with the band—drummer Jacob Tomsky, bassist Randy Miller, and keyboardist Phillip Tubbs. He engineered and produced the sessions himself, with an emphasis on capturing live performances and exploring the material together in dialogue with the house and with each other.

Clocking in at nine songs, Cry is a compact collection, but its brevity belies its depth. While the band’s sound may be most associated with the romantic pop music of the late 50’s and early 60’s, Gonzalez pushes into more unexpected sonic territory on Cry, reaching back to his childhood in El Paso, Texas, to draw subtle melodic influence from 90’s Tejano stars like Selena and mainstream pop country artists like Shania Twain. Gonzalez pushes himself lyrically on the album, too, tackling sex with the graphic frankness of Henry Miller or Leonard Cohen as he renders unabashed, sometimes explicitly erotic scenes with a casual candor. Writing with a filmmaker’s eye, he captures tiny moments with a rich, cinematic detail that manages to locate the profound within the mundane.

taken from the forthcoming album ‘Cry’

Available on DELUXE vinyl LP (180g black vinyl with gatefold jacket printed on metallic foil; comes with 24”X 24” fold-out poster + lyric booklet), Album out on October 25th, 2019.

Released just a few days ahead of her exceptional new album, the title-track “Energetic Mind” LP is presented for this session as something tender and fragile, the Australian-based, Irish-born singer utterly captivating as the camera gently winds around her for the songs four-minutes.

Bonniesongs debut album is released on Friday September 6th, via Small Ponds’ own label . Check out the new session below right now; here’s what Bonnie Stewart had to say about the track itself:

Energetic Mind is about dealing with anxiety. Sometimes we tend to stay at home and get worse when stressed or having a bad day, but if you can get yourself out and moving it usually helps. So for me I need walks, cycles, swims and especially the ocean to restore balance. I was experimenting with tuning and really liked the sound of this riff. I often like to loop and work around one simple guitar idea, and especially liked how this repeated riff reflected that back and forth feeling between calm and anxiety.”

Bonniesongs performs a stripped backed version of the song ‘Energetic Mind’ for Small Pond’s ‘Down Time’ series. her debut album ‘Energetic Mind’ is released friday 6th September.

Image result for neal casal

Neal Casal, a prolific guitarist who played with Ryan Adams and The Chris Robinson Band, has died, The prolific guitarist who was a member of Ryan Adams The Cardinals and played alongside Willie Nelson, Phil Lesh, and Chris Robinson throughout a busy solo career. He was 50 years old.

His friend and publicist Kevin Calabro confirmed his death to CNN.
Neal Casal’s passing is not only a huge loss for our music community, but for the world as a whole. He brought warmth and kindness with him wherever he went,” Calabro said in an email.
“He was a serious person with a deep intellect, humility and desire to connect in a meaningful way with the world around him. Traits often too rarely found in today’s social media culture. It was honor to represent him. I miss him dearly already.”
Ryan Adams, who led The Cardinals, remembered the artist on his own Instagram page, writing, “Oh man. My heart is broken. It’s too much. What an honor to have known you, true believer. I love you, always. Go easy, brother. Go easy.”

He performed with the Cardinals from 2005 until the group’s hiatus in 2009, on releases including Ryan Adams’ “Easy Tiger” .His various outfits also include the Skiffle Players, with Cass McCombs and Beechwood Sparks members. In 2010, he released a book of photography titled Ryan Adams & the Cardinals: A View of Other Windows, with a foreword by Adams and an afterword by Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, with whom he often performed.

Neal was also an in-demand session player), he formed the instrumental jam band Circles Around the Sunwith Adam MacDougall, Dan Horne and Mark Levy in 2015 and was a key player in GospelbeacH with Brent Rademaker, with whom Casal had played in Beachwood Sparks and the Tyde.His bandmate Chris Robinson said in a statement, “I can’t believe I’m having to say goodbye to my friend and my brother. It’s almost too painful. When I think about the songs we’ve written, the shows we’ve played and all the laughs and great times we shared it’s almost unbearable to know you’re gone.”

Neal Casal had played this past weekend at the Lockn’ music festival in Arrington, Virginia, when his band Circles Around the Sun, played a late-night set.The week before they were in the studio, recording a new album.