Posts Tagged ‘Asheville’

Angel Olsen Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories

Angel Olsen has announced a new box set called “Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories”. The release—out May 7th via Jagjaguwar recordings the release includes her last two albums, All Mirrors and Whole New Mess, as well as a bonus LP with bonus tracks, alternate takes, remixes, a cover of Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” and more. The box set will also come with a 40-page book. “It feels like part of my writing has come back from the past, and another part of it was waiting to exist,” Olsen said of the box set in a statement.

Among the tracks on the Far Memory bonus LP are Johnny Jewel’s remix of “All Mirrors” and Mark Ronson’s remix of “New Love Cassette.” There’s also an alternate version of “Whole New Mess” called “It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess),” which you can hear below.

Olsen’s flight is both upward and inward. On her vulnerable, Big Mood new album, All Mirrors, we can see her taking an introspective deep dive towards internal destinations and revelations. In the process of making this album, she found a new sound and voice, a blast of fury mixed with hard won self-acceptance.

To herald a forthcoming trifecta collection Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories—May 7th via JagjaguwarAngel Olsen shares a triumphant new track, “It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess).” The indie-artist who—unbeknownst to her— garnered a cult-like following since her 2012 debut, Half Way Home. Winding through a dark path from early orphaning, dealing with the implications of mental health and addiction, the once-Chicago-based folk-rock icon has begun to see the light from her new home in the mountains of North Carolina.

Olsen’s new box set includes her last two duelling-albums, her orchestral 2019 record, All Mirrors, and the stripped-back version in 2020 titled Whole New Mess. The album pair balances the artistic extremes of Olsen’s musicianship. Between full-bodied renderings backed by lushly layered instrumentation and the stark solo performances, complete with echoes and airy openness, exists a neo-folk pioneer who is unsure of how much space to take up in the world.

“It feels like part of my writing has come back from the past, and another part of it was waiting to exist.” What better way to articulate timelessness. If Whole New Mess holds the truths of Olsen’s enduring self, andAll Mirrors documents her ascent toward a new future, Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories exists out of time, capturing the whole artist beyond this one sound, or that one recording, or any one idea. It is a definitive collection, not just of these songs, but of their revelations and their writer, from their simplest origins to their mightiest realizations.

Additionally, Olsen layered a new LP, Far Memory into the set. The third component contains bonus tracks like Roxy Music’s “More Than This,” Johnny Jewel’s remix of “All Mirrors,” and Mark Ronson’s remix of “New Love Cassette.”

The new single, “It’s Every Season (Whole New Mess),” is actually an alternate version of the second album’s title track, “Whole New Mess.” It was recorded during the All Mirrors sessions with John Congleton.  The visualizer outlines the patchwork project, pulling threads from several chapters and interactions of the artist’s most recent chapter of her ever-evolving artistry. Included with Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories box set is a 40-page book complete with intimate souvenirs from her endeavors: stunning photographs, handwritten lyrics, a favourite necklace, a beaded chandelier.

“It’s really weird going back to the past and seeing what your intentions were and how everything turned out,” she says in her video announcement. “It’s an honour to finally be able to present something so special and intimate to me for the first time in my career.”

releases May 7th, 2021

Angel Olsen Song of the Lark and Other Far Memories

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It’s been four years since the last Elvis Depressedly full-length, 2015’s New Alhambra, but there’s been no lack of new music from Mat Cothran. He’s released two solo albums in that time, 2017’s Judas Hung Himself In America and last year’s My First Love Mends My Final Days, and he’s wrapped up his Coma Cinema project with Lost Memory. But now the North Carolina-based musician is returning to his Elvis Depressedly moniker this year with a new album called Depressedelica.

“I wanted to experiment and try new things and do weird shit and fail,” Cothran said in a press release. “Everybody’s so scared to fail these days because everybody’s trying to keep up with everybody else on social media, but I just reached this point where I realized that none of it mattered. I’m not trying to pretend I’m too cool to care — I genuinely hope people love the music I’m making — but ultimately all that I wanted to do was make something that I loved, and there was real freedom in that.”

Depressedelica first single is “Jane, Don’t You Know Me?,” which wraps guitars around pitch-shifted vocals, a drum machine, and a persistent barking. There’s a sense of well-worn history, of disappointment and regret and a heavy weight. “I am tangled up in our past/ I am falling off the wagon,” Cothran sings. “On and off the wagon, crazy for you.”


released April 10th, 2020

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If Winona Ryder’s Beetlejuice character Lydia Deetz formed a band, that band would be Secret Shame. The North Carolina-based group’s sophomore LP Dark Syntheticsdraws on ’80s goth and post-punk, but brings it into faster and brighter territory. Singer Lena Machina’s dramatically melancholy vocals roar over layers of reverb and swirling, slashing guitar riffs, creating a sonic vortex that swallows everything in its path.

“There’s a rage trembling under the group’s chiming post-punk, which winds itself around an ultimatum about self-preservation…” – The New York Times

Secret Shame channel both the tragic beauty and spooky ambience of a graveyard.” – Paste Magazine

Secret Shame’s new album Dark Synthetics is a seven-song tempest of guitar-driven dark post-punk in the vein of Skeletal Family, Rubella Ballet, and Look Back in Anger.” –

“The band thunder around Lena like a horde of bats…” –

“I can’t get over the vocals – they soar high above many out there right now. Not only am I transfixed by the vocal tone, but also the driving and intense music that the whole band creates.” – CVLT Nation

Secret Shame make gloomy, melodic rock steeped in ’80s goth and post-punk.” – BrooklynVegan

Originally released September 6th, 2019

Lena – vocals, lyrics, synth
Matthew – bass, synth
Nathan – drums
Billie – guitar, synth
Ryynikki – guitar

“All Mirrors” is the type of record Patsy Cline would have made if she had access to synthesizers. It’s a dazzling tour de force, a record that centers on Olsen’s alternately pleading and commanding voice, surrounding it with lush, rococo swells of strings and electronics. That Olsen was always a great singer was not the question, but never has her prowess shone as brightly as it does in these stately, turbulent songs.

Angel Olsen’s second release, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, was a collection of her early work, where the production was dark-folk sparse. But for “All Mirrors”, she returned to the lush tapestry audiences first experienced on 2016’s My Woman, and the resulting recording is a taut, mesmerizing forty-nine minutes of sonic poetry. While there’s a bevy of modern elements at play—Stereolab-style space grooves on “Too Easy,” warm analog synth lines on “New Love Cassette,” a bouncy electronic twang on “What It Is”—the music here shimmers with a timeless patina. These songs are portraits of heartbreak, triumph, and love that could have been penned fifty years ago, yesterday, or a century from now. So despite its electronic flourishes, All Mirrors feels simultaneously of the moment and firmly embedded in the American songbook.

Olsen is a virtuoso vocalist, and across eleven tracks, she whispers as much as she wails, the oscillation of her instrument intoxicating. Opening track “Lark” sets the tone and finds her in the midst of a romantic detonation, offering up lines like, “This  city’s changed, it’s not what it was / Back  when you loved me.” By the wash of the strings on “Tonight,” where Olsen’s voice is husky, tired, and confessing that while her love remains, she’s better off alone, listeners are firmly in her grip. With its Spaghetti-Western guitar strum, “Summer” is another poignant peak, where Olsen radiates the kind of strength you only get from going through hell and coming out the other side. The closer, “Chance,” balances her extraordinary voice along with her silence against a sentiment that every lover knows but hates to hear: “Hard to say forever, love.” It’s a perfect punctuation for the album’s emotional odyssey, and it’ll make you want to experience it all over again.

On the title track she compares a lover’s smile to being “buried alive,” and on the bleak, ghostly “Impasse,” she icily sings, “Go on, on ahead / tell your friends I was wrong / Take it all out on me.” All of the album’s potential energy exploded in the live setting, where it became something else entirely—grand, gothy, doomy, and spectacular. All Mirrors is a tornado in an antique teacup: elegant craftsmanship and detailing, containing a powerful storm.

Angel Olsen  “All Mirrors”, her fourth and quite possibly most anticipated release to date. Described by Angel as a record about, “owning up to your darkest side, finding the capacity for new love and trusting change”,

“Lark” Clocking in at over six minutes, and featuring an 11-piece string section, could easily be mistaken for Angel at her most bombastic and impersonal, yet there’s another side to Lark hiding beneath the dense arrangements. “Hiding out inside my head, it’s me again, it’s no surprise, I’m on my own now”for all the grandeur, this is Angel at her most personal and insular. It’s a track that almost feels like being trapped in your own head, there’s a claustrophobia to the strings and the repetitive pounding drums, yet at the centre of it all is a singular voice, whether accompanied by John Barry-like strings or a meditative Velvet Underground-like pulse, it’s always that voice, above all else, that demands your attention. It may lack the instant sugary thrills of Shut Up Kiss Me or the raw angsty charms of Hi-Five, yet as Lark slowly worms into your brain, it already feels like Angel’s finest work to date.

From her very earliest recordings, Angel Olsen has mined drama from her relationships with physically present but psychologically absent partners. Across her often-brilliant catalog, the Asheville singer/songwriter has sung candidly about staying with these partners despite recognizing their awful qualities.

“All Mirrors” is out October 4th via Jagjaguwar Records.

“Lark” by Angel Olsen from ‘All Mirrors’ out October 4th on Jagjaguwar Records.

Based out of Asheville in CarolinaAlexa Rose, is an Americana songwriter in the truest sense, combining elements of folk and country music from across the entire landscape of the USA. Teaming up with the Big Legal Mess label, Alexa is set to release her debut album, “Medicine For Living”, next month, which looks set to see her follow Esther and Caitlin, as the latest excellent country-songwriter to have the surname Rose.

Ahead of that release, Alexa has this week shared the latest single from the record, The Last Wildflower, a song about the passing of the seasons that is equally indebted to, “Appalachian folk and Memphis country”. The track was inspired by noting how as the summer faded, the landscape took on a sort of rugged beauty, every bit as enticing as its full-blooming peak, with, “just a few defiant yellow blooms contrasting against grey skies and high country cold fronts”. For Alexa the passing of the seasons didn’t conjure feelings of sadness, instead serving as a reminder that life is full of cycles. Musically, the track is a delightfully subtle affair, as the prominent strums of an acoustic guitar are cut through with waves of gorgeous slide guitar and Alexa’s crystal clear vocal lines. Like the the last wildflowers that are just around the corner, there’s an awful lot to love in the music of Alexa Rose.

The debut album “Medicine For Living” is out everywhere on October 4th, 2019 via Big Legal Mess Records.

Tyler Ramsey will perform at SXSW 2019.

Tyler Ramsey has reached his widest audience during the years he spent as a guitarist and songwriter in Band of Horses, though he’s also enjoyed a creatively fruitful solo career dating back to 2005. Sometimes, that solo work has sounded like the beardily searching, Fleet Foxes-style ballad “1000 Blackbirds,” but on his new single “A Dream of Home,” the singer and multi-instrumentalist finds a sweet spot that brings to mind the lush folk-rock rambles of Damien Jurado.

Tyler Ramsey lives near Asheville, NC and likes to reflect the sweetness of his life, member of the band Band of Horses, in his music. This lush folk rock track is everything that’s right about music production in 2019.

It’s easy to come up with comparisons like Neil Young, but honestly it’s the way that Ramsey’s “complete package” comes together that has us excited. It’s what we love about others in this space like Noah Gundersen and David Ramirez. This single’s got us looking forward to the rest of the music this chill folk rocker has coming soon.

Tyler Ramsey – “A Dream Of Home” – the first single off his new solo record, For The Morning, out April 5th on Fantasy Records.

In creating this album, we somewhat recreated ourselves, settling into a fresh method of collaboration in which each of us contributed equally and openly to the creative process. The result is a newly synergetic vision we’re proud and excited to share.

When I heard the burbling synth at the top of River Whyless‘ new album, Kindness, A Rebel, I knew I was in for something different from this Asheville-birthed quartet. Their 2016 folky world-beat album We All The Light was a favorite of mine, but this album has more drive, it’s more cohesive and lyrically more thematic; the album’s title is a hintDrummer Alex McWalters, one of four songwriters in the band, says, “We’ve reached a point where we just understand that the songs are more important than the egos.”

That opening song is called “All of My Friends,” and it’s a good example of how River Whyless is changing. Singer and violinist Halli Anderson wrote the song and quite liked it, but the album’s producer Paul Butler didn’t. And since this album was to be a group effort instead of relying on the individual strengths of these four songwriters, she initially let the song go. But a few days later, that burbling sound resonated from the synthesizer and the song was reborn. Singer and guitarist Ryan O’Keeffe said, “It was the first time I felt like we captured a song in the moment of creation. Lyrics were changing in the moment. Melodies were changing in the moment. Singers were changing. It was really difficult and emotionally intense but so gratifying when we were done.”


Released June 8th, 2018

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The Dead Tongues is the moniker of Asheville’s Rya Gustafson and he’s part of that North Carolina collective. He’s played with and opened for Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cool. And like the music from both of those artists, The Dead Tongues’ music has an inherent, yet subtle, spirituality about it.

Gustafson is a bit of a nomad and free spirit. He’s very comfortable on the road, observing the daily travails of like going around him. “When I’m traveling, it’s like walking into these different windows. I’m a witness, with my mouth shut,” Gustafson says. “The people you meet, the way the landscape speaks to you, how a desert is different than a mountain: It has the potential to bring out something you didn’t know was there.”

The ten tracks that encompass Unsung Passage are a wonderful blend of folky twang. Almost every tune feels like the lyrics could be an old fella spinning a yarn at the end of a bar or sitting on a porch talking to no one in particular. The music backing these tales is a wonderful tapestry of guitars, strings, banjos, etc. Its as if someone blended TBT, Horse Feathers and Ryan Bingham and out poured The Dead Tongues. While the album never veers from Americana, the variety within that genre that Gustafson uses to get his tales across is quite lovely.

This album is a grower. Play it multiple times. Put it away for a couple of weeks. Come back again. That’s what I did and I find myself enjoying it more and more with each listen.

The ten tracks that encompass Unsung Passage are a wonderful blend of folky twang. Almost every tune feels like the lyrics could be an old fella spinning a yarn at the end of a bar or sitting on a porch talking to no one in particular. The music backing these tales is a wonderful tapestry of guitars, strings, banjos, etc. Its as if someone blended TBT, Horse Feathers and Ryan Bingham and out poured The Dead Tongues. While the album never veers from Americana, the variety within that genre that Gustafson uses to get his tales across is quite lovely.

This album is a grower. Play it multiple times. Put it away for a couple of weeks. Come back again. That’s what I did and I find myself enjoying it more and more with each listen.

Live from Arbor Ridge Studios in Chapel Hill, NC.

“Won’t Be Long” is from The Dead Tongues’ new LP, “Unsung Passage” Out May 18, via Psychic Hotline.

River Whyless have released a beautiful new track titled “Motel 6”, taken from their forthcoming new album Kindness, A Rebel. Penned by the band’s Ryan O’Keefe, “Motel 6” was inspired by their experience of being a band on the road over the last decade and a sudden moment of realization.

“We were driving home from a tough supporting tour, we were broke, which wasn’t uncommon. Halli had just moved to Oregon and we’d dropped her at a Motel 6 to spend the night before her morning flight. Watching her check into the motel as we pulled away felt like an ending. It was as if I removed a pair of tunnel vision goggles and could see the world and my life for the first time since we started this band. I felt incredibly small, fragile, irresponsible, foolish, at a loss for what to do next and very alone. The reality of what we had been trying to do for a decade came crashing down in an almost laughable way. We didn’t talk about it and I don’t know if anyone felt the same way but, at that moment, I changed. The funny thing is that a month later we had the most successful tour we’ve ever had.” — Ryan O’Keefe, River Whyless

Kindness, A Rebel will be available everywhere on June 8th Available as opaque white LP, CD, and digital download. All physical orders include an exclusive KAR flag enamel pin, as well as an immediate download of all three singles released so far.