Archive for the ‘MUSIC’ Category

Wand moved further away from the garage-psych beginnings on 2019’s great Laughing Matter, and now frontman Cory Hanson takes his songcraft in subtle, but no less awe-filled directions on his second solo album. Inspired by country music and the classics (Neil Young, Bob Dylan, David Berman), “Pale Horse Rider” is an absolutely gorgeous record that is heavy with sadness while still floating off into space. Things get only a little twangy, but pedal steel plays a huge part in the album’s sound, creating an otherworldly, angelic yearning that is felt even without paying attention to the lyrics. An atmospheric swirl surrounds Hanson’s simple but affecting folk/country melodies, and it’s big, lonely and beautiful.

Made just before the pandemic, at a desert home studio surrounded by six-foot tall sculptural psychotropic cacti, “Pale Horse Rider” is an impressionist look at the state of our nation. Hanson is using water colours, not a fine-point pen, letting its intent seep in via osmosis, but it’s not that obtuse either. On the elegiac chorus of the album’s best song, “Angeles,” Hanson sings about his hometown — “I’ve been driving through darkness / Through the smoke and fire / On the ground / Risin’ like a phoenix or a bird of paradise” — as the harmonies and pedal steel rise like that phoenix.

Pale Horse Rider is full of sublime musical moments like that: the ethereal chorus of voices on “Limited Hangout”; the ragged solo that rips up the pretty “Another Story From The Center of The Earth”; and that weepy pedal steel that tugs at your heartstrings on “Vegas Knights” as Cory mixes gambling metaphors with thoughts of loss. “Can I turn back the turnstile? And parachute us back to the paradise we left.” Hanson dedicates the album to David Berman and, while Cory’s style is nothing like Silver Jews‘, you can feel his ghost all over the record. On “Birds of Paradise,” another album highlight, he sings, “I’ll find you in the end alive in the mirror / Your eyes painted on with dots / Yet hold me in your heart,’ as his delicate guitar arpeggiations intertwine with the pedal steel into the cosmos. The words are moving but it’s that musical lift that really gets you.

Wand frontman Cory Hanson releases a new album Pale Horse Rider, via Drag City Records. Myths and truths of a country on the way down, viewed through a deep-focus lens trained on the city from the deserts on the east; a terminus of unoccupied residential parks and streets fading into craggy footpaths to nowhere, where our passage is seen as diligent, ephemeral and grotesque by turns, forgiven and made beautiful again by the sound.

“Pale Horse Rider,” to be released on LP/Cassette/CD/Streaming on March 12th, 2021, from Drag City Records.

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Cold Moon the jangly indie rock band with members of pop punk bands The Story So Far and Set Your Goals — have shared another song off their upcoming Jack Shirley-recorded debut LP “What’s The Rush?” (due 5/7 via Pure Noise). It’s closer to Real Estate or Turnover than to the members’ more famous bands, and they do this kind of thing very well.

By mid-2018, the Northern California-based quartet—vocalist/guitarist Jack Sullivan, bassist Will Levy, guitarist Kevin Ambrose and drummer Mike Ambrose—were deep into the writing of their debut EP, “Rising”: a collection of instrumental indie-rock songs that culled influences from legendary emo acts including American Football and icons like Wilco, as well as more analytical post-rock impulses.

Musically, the songs Cold Moon wrote were miles removed from where the band came from (Levy plays guitar in pop-punk stalwarts The Story So Far, while Mike Ambrose was a long time member of the hardcore-tinged Set Your Goals), but they still carried the same intrinsic urgency and emotional resonance that coloured their other projects.

After demoing Rising and preparing to hit the studio to track the final versions, the childhood friends soon stumbled upon the power of Sullivan’s voice, as well as the influence singing could have on their song writing. It immediately changed everything for the band, who began using vocal parts not to define their music, but rather drive it—adding yet more melodic textures to their songs

“I don’t know if it was the right approach to song writing,” Sullivan says with a laugh, “but it felt good. It was like a nice coat of finish on a completed piece of art.”

As such, Rising (released May 10th via Pure Noise Records) is the sound of band painstakingly placing every instrument and note, both played and sung, alongside one another to build intricate, at-times dense and mathy soundscapes. This attention to detail gives Rising’s six songs—from the hypnotic, ominous riffs of “Stevie” to the acoustic-based pitter-patter of “Green Eyes” and cascading guitar movements on the set-closing “Lessons” a cinematic quality, while the tracked-to-tape nature of the EP imbues the songs with breaths of authenticity and humanity a digital process would have sorely lacked.

Throughout its songs, Rising tackles themes of change and vulnerability, looking out into the vast expanse of the unknown and mustering up the courage to face it head-on. In many ways, it mirrors the approach the band took while writing it: Life’s big moments—and, perhaps more often, the small ones, too—disrupt our comfortable state of equilibrium and force us to examine who we are and what we really want

Ultimately, it’s only by fearlessly following them that we’re able to arrive at our final form. Chasing that inspiration is what brought Cold Moon together, and it’s what changed the band’s direction forever during the making of Rising. It’s steeled them both personally and professionally, and they’ll carry this forward-thinking mindset with them throughout the course of their career.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen when we got in a room together, but it was a real safe, comfortable space,” Sullivan says. “It was a positive atmosphere for all of us, where we weren’t worried about making mistakes. We just let the music happen.” 

Come on a journey of kaleidoscopic and sinister whimsy with the new album from Australia’s Dom & The Wizards. Catchily titled The Australian Cyclone Intensity Scale, we have album opener Cellophane Aeroplane for your listening pleasure. Following from the frantic slur of the Ana’s Little City 7″ and the paranoid mysticism of the vinyl-only release ‘The Ongoing Adventures’ LP, comes Dom & the Wizards’ latest inter dimensional translation – The Australian Cyclone Intensity Scale. Band leader Dom Trimboli, of renowned Adelaide / Kaurna Country based group Wireheads, takes the listener on a staggered journey through tales of sinister whimsy, as though playing to an audience of sedated accountants, standing hand in hand humming nonchalantly as the world burns around them. The Wizards retreat from the world of increased chaos and the mathematicians that attempt to bring it to order, to unearth the simple pleasures of colourful, irreverent narrative. Trimboli takes us back to a world of fanciful tales, mystical heroes and kaleidoscopic exaggerations.

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On The Australian Cyclone Intensity Scale, the Wizards’ playbook takes iconic form, becoming a clearer patchwork quilt of myth, literature, theology and anecdote, resembling a psychedelic late-night Wikipedia hole. Yearning for the times of the high renaissance, the molasses like glue of the album urges its listener to park their cars and write love letters to their neighbours they have never spoken to. Recorded in the grape vine dressed Adelaide Hills on Peramangk country at Milestone Studios by engineer Tom Spall.

“Cellophane Aeroplane” from Dom & The Wizards · Domenic Trimboli “The Australian Cyclone Intensity Scale”  Tenth Court Records

Released April 2nd, 2021

As amazing as Low’s last album — 2018’s more electronic-oriented Double Negative — is, quarantine-induced dreariness has had me in the mood for the more bare bones sound Low had in the ’90s, which sent me back to this ACTV session from 1996. That’s the year they released their EP with their inventive cover of Joy Division’s “Transmission,” and they played that here, alongside a nice selection of originals from the era. Even with Low as established as they are now, it’s incredible to see how emotionally devastating they sound with such a small, stripped-back setup.

The sheer amount of talent needed to make music like this is insane. This is the epitome of “less is more”. Low are subtle on a level that other bands can only dream of.

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Lord Huron have shared the title track (and third single) off their upcoming album “Long Lost”, and this one finds them combining their trademark indie folk with sweeping, string-laden, vintage balladry. Lord Huron announced the new album, Long Lost, and so far, the group has shared a pair of songs from it: the driving single “Not Dead Yet” and the breezy “Mine Forever.” Now they’re back with another preview of the album (which is set for release on May 21st), the title track.

The new song is a cowboy-style ballad, complete with a spaghetti Western rhythm and prominent string arrangements. There’s also some ’50s-style piano playing to liven up the verses for good measure. The aesthetic of the album so far has been particularly cowboy-indebted, so this stylistic direction is a pleasant non-surprise.

On the track, Ben Schneider seems content to be “long lost” in the expanses of nature, singing on the chorus, “Send me to the mountains / Let me go free forever / I’ll be running through the forest / Dancing in the fields like this.” He later adds that if he’s going to die anywhere, he’d prefer if it was away from an urban centre, “Leave me where the moonbeams carve through the leaves like blades / Lay me in the tall-grown grass in a shallow grave / Let it have me.”

‘Long Lost,’ the new album from Lord Huron via Whispering Pine Studios Inc./Republic Records.

Los Angeles’s La Luz have released a new Numero Group 7″ single where they cover “Tale of My Lost Love” which was originally written and performed in 1966 by Female Species. The flip side features the original song and it’s out to promote the new Female Species compilation the label just released.

Our Los Angeles friends La Luz just cut this cover of “Tale Of My Lost Love,” originally written and performed in 1966 by Female Species. The surf and undertow-inspired La Luz are one of the best in the business right now—check their three albums on Hardly Art if you don’t know. Their compelling version of “Tale” is the first fresh take on a Female Species original in many a moon. We suspect it will not be the last.

Behold the Female Species! A once-in-a-decade discovery of two sisters, married to music for life, always charging forward, indefatigable, indomitable, at last seen and heard. From their origins as the archetypal mid-’60s southern California girl group to their destiny as top-flight songwriters in the ’80s and ’90s Nashville country-industrial complex, Vicki and Ronni Gossett have never been much further than 20 feet from stardom. Fifty-five years into their remarkable story,Tale Of My Lost Love was the Gossetts‘ debut album – an ode to what could have been, and still might be.

Tale Of My Lost Love (Cover) · La Luz released through Numero Group on: 2021-04-16

Beach Bunny Lili Trifilio Tegan And Sara

Tegan and Sara join Beach Bunny for a new version of the track “Cloud 9” from their 2020 debut “Honeymoon”. “We’re massive fans of Beach Bunny, and when we heard ‘Cloud 9’ for the first time fell in love with the brilliant lyrics and addictive melody,” the say. “We love that Lili was up to let us experiment with changing the pronoun in the chorus to she. The efforts made to make the song relatable to everyone, isn’t just about inclusivity, we think it’s a great indication of the flexibility and creative spirit of the band at its core!”. The new version of ‘Cloud 9’ not only features Tegan And Sara but has also been updated to include gender-neutral and feminine pronouns in its lyrics. 

The original version of the track was released on Beach Bunny’s debut album ‘Honeymoon’ last year.

Cloud 9 (feat. Tegan and Sara) ℗ 2021 Mom+Pop Records Released on: 2021-04-16 

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“Life in this industry can be incredibly isolating and difficult,” Alanis writes. “Backline provides a safe, private, and immediate place to go for help. Available for free to artists, managers, agents, crew, producers, labels, and their families, Backline programs offer case management, support groups, and wellness programs to meet the needs of this unique community.” Her new ballad “I Miss The Band” benefits the organization, which provides mental health and wellness resources for the music industry. 

Alanis Morissette is aching to play live music again. But, of course, she can’t do anything about it for now given the hellish pandemic. For the meantime, the Grammy-winning artist released a new single titled “I Miss The Band.” There’s a wistful quality to the piano-decked new song from the “Ironic” singer.

In it, Alanis romanticizes being on the road and travelling around the world with a band and playing music. She croons, “We’re on a plane, we’re in Japan / in baggage claim I ask, what city we just landed in / the paper slips under the hotel door / I’m shaking all hands as the hum-of-the-road keeps me happy.”

Yes, the song is about her yearning to play live again.

I am deeply yearning to play live music again….the sweat, the rapture, the movement, the love…i miss seeing your faces & being with my bandmates soon…we’ll be back together.

A sample of the song’s lyrics goes: ‘Inside joke, well understood / the nudge nudge wink wink and finishing each other’s harmonies / the late night drive through Italian roads / trains pulling out and we’re all in on the secret.”

Alanis’ lyrics are straightforward, singing “I miss the band,” and later admits “I am imploding without you / and there’s not a day that goes by / where I don’t hear our music in my head / where I don’t miss traveling in your company.”

Alanis was supposed to play in Manila back in April 2020 for the 20th anniversary of “Jagged Little Pill.” But as Covid-19 loomed and became a full-blown world pandemic and lockdowns became the norm, her concert at the Mall of Asia, which supposed to have been her first time back in Manila after her album “Jagged Little Pill” became a worldwide phenomenon back in the late 90’s, was cancelled along with every other show and concert around the planet.

“I Miss The Band” and ‘Such Pretty Forks in the Road,’ out now

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This is the first single off Caged Animals’ upcoming “Underneath The Spell” album. Caged Animals is the recording project of Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based songwriter Vincent Cacchione. Cacchione emerged from his role fronting Soft Black (whose members included DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith) to form Caged Animals alongside his sister Talya, partner Magali Charron, and childhood friend Patrick Curry. Since 2011 they have released three LPs of their soulful and noir-tinged indie-pop.

Trading Soft Black’s live-to-tape psychedelia for a meticulous, bedroom-born style, Caged Animals make soulful, character-driven pop for an increasingly digital time. The live show is a family affair with a band comprised of Vin’s sister Talya, partner Magali Charron, and childhood friend Patrick Curry. On their upcoming fourth record, Underneath The Spell, Caged Animals have crafted their first “band album” during the least band-friendly moment.

Although the recordings began in 2019, the project took a long pause when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and Vin and his family unintentionally relocated to his wife’s Canadian hometown in Sackville, New Brunswick. What began as a pre-COVID family visit turned into a major lifestyle change when the virus and a closed international border conspired to keep Vin’s family within the safer confines of “The Atlantic Bubble.” Having left their Brooklyn apartment with just travel bags, the young family and musical couple had to get creative about life and art.

Through the kindness of Sackville’s creative community the Caged Animals crew landed on solid ground. Underneath The Spell got its finishing touches in late 2020 after Canadian musician Jon Mckiel helped Vin and his family find a place to live and work.

While the project’s sonic palette has expanded, the homemade spirit remains intact. It features the core Caged Animals lineup plus the spacey guitar of Dane Zarra, hypnotic alto-sax of Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers, Modern Nature), and psychedelic pedal steel of Jon “Catfish” DeLorme (Psychic Ills).

Underneath The Spell’s ten songs feel oddly tuned to the frequency of our shared, strange moment, building a cinematic world out of contemplative moods and isolated characters. From the foxhole spirituality of “The Ghost Of Jesus” to the mournful solitude of “The Coldest Place On Earth,” the album weaves its narrative on a thread of alienation and yearning; each character and melody pushing for renewal. It was born in a moment of slowing down, as Vin became a father and began to look back on the moments that shaped him.

On the title track, Vin’s character laments a life lived “in a circle, underneath the spell,” evoking our current Groundhog Day reality but hinting at the possibility of release each time Dane Zarra kicks at the fuzz pedal. For “My Friend Dave,” Cacchione delivers a drone-kissed elegy mourning the loss of a departed friend: singer-songwriter Dave Deporis. “The Coldest Place On Earth” is a plainspoken remembrance of his father, while “Mirage” delivers a pop duet lit by headlights, as Vin and Magali trade verses about a romance on the brink.

On the serpentine “Dream World,” a lush, somnambulant landscape unravels over looping arpeggios, a sample of Vin’s daughter Alaska, and the album’s most hypnotic groove, pushing towards one of Spell’s most poignant conceits: “we’re living in a dream world but we’re running out of night.”

In addition to Caged Animals, Vin Cacchione is an esteemed collaborator in the contemporary fiction podcasting scene, working with John Cameron Mitchell on his ground breaking Anthem: Homunculus podcast, as well as shows by Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel, and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Caged Animals music has been used in popular podcasts like Conversations With People Who Hate Me and Welcome To Night Vale.

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Cacchione also produced the critically acclaimed debut album of author, Bob Dylan cohort, and John Cale collaborator, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, a record which gave him the chance to work with Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, and Yasmine Hamdan.

Vincent Cacchione – Voice, Guitar, Keys
Talya Cacchione – Bass
Magali Charron – Keys, Voice
Patrick Curry – Drums and Loops
Dane Zarra – Guitar

with
Jeff Tobias – Alto Saxophone
Jon “Catfish” DeLorme – Pedal Steel
Alaska Cacchione – Dream Recitation
Bertholet Charron – Lullaby

All songs by Vincent Cacchione, excluding “Au Clair De La Lune

“Like a hip-hop influenced Velvet Underground” – The New Yorker

“If Alan Vega was 40 years younger, he’d be doing this. Or if they remade Blue Velvet, this could work as the soundtrack.” – The Guardian

“Beneath the japing lies a searing emotional truth.” The Sunday Times

“The heart of Vincent Cacchione’s newest project continues to pump blood through the veins of poetic narratives and escapism.” The Line Of Best Fit 

releases June 25th, 2021

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The Murlocs have announced their fifth studio album, “Bittersweet Demons”, to be released June 25th, 2021! On the band’s most personal and boldly confident work yet, The Murlocs share a collection of songs reflecting on the people who leave a profound imprint on our lives, the saviours and hell-raisers and assorted other mystifying characters. 

New Murlocs We are thrilled to announce The Murlocs will be released on June 25th on ATO Records. Watch the official clip for the new single “Francesca”, out now,

“Francesca” was written as a celebration of the life of frontman Ambrose Kenny-Smith’s mom. With music written by Murlocs’ keyboard and guitarist Tim Karmouche, Ambrose says of the lyrics, “The song is about my mother and how she had been lost for love since the separation from my father when I was 10.

In the last year and a half or so, she’s found love again, with a very close family friend of ours, someone who has always been a godfather and mentor to me in many ways. This has changed her spirit immensely for the better. You can really see the pop in her step as this enormous weight has been lifted off her shoulders.” Citing some of his favourite songs as being odes to impressive women―like Van Morrison’s “Gloria”Ambrose explains, “Francesca is my mother’s middle name and I’ve always loved it so much.” Of turning his song writing lens to his mother, and celebrating her rediscovered joie de vivre, he adds, “It’s probably the most positive, feel-good song we’ve ever done. It’s also the closest we’ve ever come to having an 80s phase.”

Directed by Alex McLaren, the “Francesca” video was shot at the end of April 2020. The band’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia was coming out of one of its first COVID lockdown periods and restrictions had eased for a short period of time. The band and director quickly jumped on the opportunity to shoot while they had the chance.

Says Ambrose, “I remembered being at a festival and bumping into our longtime video-clip collaborator and friend, Alex Mclaren. I had brought him back to our campsite and he played the song “I Love LA” by Randy Newman which ultimately brought the tents down and got the party started.” Newman’s 1983 classic soft-top music video informed “Francesca”, with the car footage being shot along Ivanhoe Boulevard in Melbourne where Ambrose’s mom grew up.

“Bittersweet Edition”•Limited-edition of 500••Tangerine, black and white colored vinyl. A-side/B-side effect• Blue Eyed Runner Edition” White vinyl with baby blue splatter, Custom inner-sleeve and lyrics insert

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