Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

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Peggy Sue have always looked to the darkness as well as the light, often playing each side of the coin out in the same song. The album cover art, a photograph of a glass of orange juice by Joana Polonia, taps into that fundamental equivocation, which is such a big part of Vices”. “It’s so bright and full of energy and light,” says Young, of the photograph. “That’s the simple energy we wanted for this album. But we also loved the ambiguity of it as something that could equally be a vice or a remedy.”

“Vices” was a working title initially, but it soon came to feel as if it suited the record in its entirety. “Lots of songs on the record are sort of messed-up love songs for things that feel good, but aren’t necessarily good for you – like getting staying out too late, or taking too much comfort from certain people,” Young explains. “That kind of interplay between the positive and the negative has always been in Peggy Sue songs, but it’s particularly true of this album. It’s about the things you do to lift you up when you’re down, or distract you when you’re sad, that can end up circling back.”

After four years, Peggy Sue have found themselves again. “I know, from looking at your mouth, how you’re going to sing something” says Slade, addressing her bandmate; “I know what harmony to add. We’ve been singing in Deep Throat Choir, and it’s beautiful to be among those voices, but your voice is the voice that I know the best.”

“We’ve never had an album that bookmarks such an incredible period of time,” says Slade. “It’s a really powerful thing. It has seen us through very difficult times personally, and as a band.” That Vices has ended up sounding so positive and so celebratory is a testament to the power of the songs that emerged from those living rooms.

Band Members:
Rosa Bowler Slade,
Katy Beth Young,
Benjamin Gregory,
Dan Blackett

“Validate Me” from Vices out February 21st.

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When Americana pioneers Uncle Tupelo released their major-label debut, “Anodyne” on October 5th, 1993, it should have been the beginning of something big. They were following up their left-turn acoustic record, March 16-20, 1992, recorded with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, with their best record yet

Recorded live in the studio amid mounting tension between singer / songwriters Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy, “Anodyne” proved to be Uncle Tupelo’s last and finest album. These final sessions find Farrar and Tweedy crafting a seamless mesh of country, folk and rock that both encompasses and exceeds the range of previous albums.

Anodyne smoothed the jarring, start-stop rhythms of the band’s first two records, No Depression and Still Feel Gone, into a straight-ahead steamroll behind new drummer Ken Coomer. Farrar’s barbed guitar riffs sear on “Chickamauga,” where he compares a crumbling relationship to a Civil War bloodbath. Quieter moments such as the title track flex the strength of new multi-instrumentalist Max Johnston, who played dobro, banjo and fiddle, and former guitar tech John Stirratt, who held down bass when Tweedy switched to guitar.

With the straight-up country of Acuff-rose (a tribute to the famed songwriting duo), and the folky New Madrid, Tupelo displays the traditional leanings found on March 16-20, 1992, while both the bass-heavy The Long Cut and the barnstorming Chickamauga broaden the punk-tinged sound of No Depression and Still Feel Gone. While Anodyne also features a raucous collaboration with the late Doug Sahm on Give Back the Key to My Heart, its most transcendent moments are the world-weary Slate and the sublime title track, one of the most beautifully bittersweet songs penned since Neil Young’s Helpless. Although anodyne proved to be the end of the line for Uncle Tupelo, it opened up more expansive roads for Farrar and Tweedy,

Eventually, the friction between lifelong friends Farrar and Tweedy brought down the band at their biggest moment. Tweedy rushed the remaining members of Uncle Tupelo into the studio to record Wilco’s 1995 debut A.M., while Farrar took the long cut and found success with the hit single “Drown” on Son Volt’s Trace a year later.

Farrar has continued to wrestle with obscure, early country and folk music and his textured guitar wranglings over eight solid albums. Wilco has evolved from a Tupelo-twin to an engine of reinvention, from the deconstructionist country-rock of 1996’s Being There to the shimmering heartbreak of 1999’s Summerteeth and 2001’s experimental Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Ask a dozen people to define the term “indie rock” and you’ll probably get a dozen different answers that include word combinations like “Archers of Loaf” and “Foster the People” and “indie rock is dead” . Artist: Kiwi Jr. Album: Football MoneyFootball Money is a 10-track album that has been five years in the making. The album opens with the track “Murder In The Cathedral.” Right off , I knew this was going to be a different kind of album:

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As the term has evolved over the past few decades—from its origins denoting music released by an independent record label to a vague descriptor of a certain kind of sound—it’s no wonder the words have lost much of their meaning. Make no mistake, however: Kiwi Jr. is an indie rock band. You can hear evidence of that all over their fine debut album “Football Money”, which has been released worldwide by Mint Records. (It came out only in Canada last year.) Someday, other band names will disappear from Kiwi Jr.’s reviews as the quartet further develops its sound.

Football Money is evidence they’ve clearly got the ability and the point of view to do exactly that. Until then, they’re working from a world-class playbook.

Band Members:

Brohan Moore: Drums, Backing Vocals
Brian Murphy: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Jeremy Gaudet: Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Mike Walker: Bass, Backing Vocals, Keys

Aaron Goldstein: Pedal Steel
Alec O’hanley: Backing Vocals, Keys
Hunk and Junk: Backing Vocals
Peter Rankin: Keys

Kiwi Jr. – Salary Man From the LP “Football Money” available on Mint Records (Canada) Available everywhere Friday 1/17/20 via Persona Non Grata

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Three chords and boredom are a powerful concoction. Just ask Australian “shed rock” trio The Chats, just back off a sell-out UK tour on the back of a full-length debut. The sheer explosion of teenage joy at each live date proves they are more than viral-video sensations (yeah, you love “Smoko” – we all do!) but they are the garage-punk heroes we need right now. Revelling in the mundanity of modern teenage life, The Chats write tongue-in-cheek odes to smoke-breaks, masturbation, online issues and not being told what to do. There is complexity in their simplicity with solid, driven rhythms propelling the garage rock riffs. It’s perfect punk party music.

Sometimes just living life, how you want to live, is a revolutionary act. The Chats live that, and even if they don’t, they don’t care! They are readying a punk classic for 2020.

Band Members
Josh Price, Eamon Sandwith, Matt Boggis
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By the time they had released “Spend The Night”, the members of The Donnas had been playing together since their days at Palo Alto High School, which may explain why the 2002 collection sounds so tight. The quartet’s fifth studio album (and first for a major label, Atlantic Records) delivers the punchy Ramones-meets-Runaways attack of previous releases while adding sharper production and more accomplished performances.

Party anthems and tales of teen romance and rivalry abound on these 13 originals, which include “Take Me to the Backseat,” “Who Invited You” and “Take It Off,” a single whose success helped put the album on the Billboard chart – a first for the group. Hard rock fans looking for a good time should Spend The Night with The Donnas.

Guitar: Allison Robertson Bass Guitar: Maya Ford, Drums, Percussion: Torry Castellano

Provided to YouTube by Atlantic Records

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This summer, Torres (aka Mackenzie Scott) announced that she was readying an album with her new label, Merge Records, after being dropped by 4AD in 2018 for “not being commercially successful enough.

The return of Torres, the project of New York-based musician Mackenzie Scott, might just be one of the most exciting events of the musical year. While never quite hitting that break through moment, Torres is a songwriter we’ve always loved, and with each new single she shares, her upcoming album, “Silver Tongue”, just seems to get all the more exciting. Possibly the best to date came this week in the shape of the sublime, Dressing America.

“Dressing America” is a track that seems to gently unfurl itself, as the initial strum of muted guitar gradually blossoms, into a Bowie-like slice of hypnotic New Wave glamour, resplendent with motorik rhythms and Mackenzie’s strikingly commanding vocal delivery. Lyrically, it seems to set Mackenzie as a wannabe romantic-hero, a macho cowboy, who might not understand the subtleties of the human heart, yet is ready and waiting to go rescue a damsel in distress, “you’re always telling’ me I don’t know who you are, come on, woman, I tend to sleep with my boots on should I need to gallop over dark waters to you on short notice”.

From the singles delivered, Silver Tongue already feels like Torres’ most immediate release to date, a study of infatuation, lust and human connections, that might just end up being her break-out moment.

Along with the Silver Tongue album announcement, Scott released the lead single, LP opener “Good Scare.” Like the material on Three Futures, “Good Scare” melds oceanic guitar, percussion and synth, offering a lush and layered complement to Scott’s gravelly lows and tender falsetto. The new track takes up the stops and starts of a budding romance, when the prospect of love feels both terrifying and predestined.

Silver Tongue is out January 31st via Merge Records.

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If there’s some justice in this world, Strange Breed could be the next big thing in rock music. Comprised of four talented musicians from Vancouver, British Columbia, this all-female, all-queer band channel Veruca Salt, Hole, and Sleater-Kinney on their excellent debut album “Permanence”. They are confrontational, political, and raucous, but also capable of a wicked hook, as anthem-in-the-making “Closer” suggests. Led by the powerful voice of Nicolle Dupas, Strange Breed bring a refreshing sense of inclusivity and positivity to the overt – and tiresome – heteronormativity of modern rock music.

Strange Breed are a four piece garage rock band based out of Vancouver, BC. The official video for “Closer” was filmed at the legendary Hipposonic Studios in Vancouver, BC. It was produced, filmed and edited by Section 4 Films. This video was partially crowdfunded through a successful Indiegogo campaign, and we can’t thank our amazing supporters enough. “Closer” is a story about desire, but mostly it’s a jumble of emotions. The desire to find love and to love yourself. The desire to reach your dreams. The desire to embrace your queerness, or otherness. The desire to love yourself. This video was a collaboration and an artistic community project of some beautiful and talented individuals that we feel completely embody the future of our community, and of our core values as a band. We love you!

Band Members
Nicolle Dupas – Vocals/Guitar
Terra Chaplin – Guitar
Megan Bell – Drums
Jess Dubois – Bass

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The kings of country-rock and outspoken wisdom, Drive-By Truckers, are returning this year with their 12th studio album, following 2016’s American Band and the 2018 release of the long-lost Adam’s House Cat album Town Burned Down, which featured Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley before their Truckers days. “The Unraveling” arrives after a prolonged period of writer’s block for Hood and Cooley, easily one of the most impressive songwriting pairs in music’s recent history ). On The Unraveling, they pick up right where American Band left off, with searing political commentary and a sharp look at the harsh realities of modern American life.

“The past three-and-a-half years were among the most tumultuous our country has ever seen,” Hood said in a press statement, “and the duality between the generally positive state of affairs within our band while watching so many things we care about being decimated and destroyed all around us informed the writing of this album to the core.” And there you have it. It’s a new decade, but the Truckers remain dedicated to the same cause: relaying the truth—no matter how difficult it is to speak—by way of deep-rooted, multifaceted and, perhaps most importantly, southern rock ‘n’ roll.

From “The Unraveling” out January 31st, 2020

Band Members
Patterson Hood,
Mike Cooley,
Brad Morgan,
Jay Gonzalez,
Matt Patton,

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Canadian indie-folk musician Andy Shauf has already released a few charming singles from his forthcoming concept album “The Neon Skyline”, including “Things I Do.” Shauf’s captivating storytelling lays out a crumbling relationship on the single, one piece of the bigger tale told across the record. “Things I Do” opens with a laid-back groove highlighted by a soft chorus of saxophones that give way to Shauf’s anecdote. “Seems like I should have known better / Than to turn my head like it didn’t matter,” he sings at the beginning. In a similar fashion to Shauf’s 2016 record, The Party .

The Neon Skyline’s structure follows a storyline that takes place over the course of a night, according to a press release: “The interconnected songs on The Neon Skyline, all written, performed, arranged and produced by Shauf, follow a simple plot: The narrator goes to his neighborhood dive, finds out his ex is back in town, and she eventually shows up.

“Things I Do” by Andy Shauf from the album ‘The Neon Skyline,’ available January 24th, 2020