Posts Tagged ‘Band Of Horses’

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.

BNQT is made up of members of Midlake, Band of Horses, Travis, Grandaddy and Franz Ferdinand.

In December 2015, we profiled Banquet, a Denton-based band made up of four members of Midlake along with members from Band of Horses, Travis, Grandaddy and Franz Ferdinand. This week their first single, “Restart,” dropped and their full debut album is set to be released on April 28th.

The release, titled Volume 1, marks the first time we’ve heard from the members of Midlake in a while; their last LP came out in 2013. Midlake vocalist and guitarist Eric Pulido was inspired to start BNQT — the spelling has been changed to distinguish them from another band with a similar name

BNQT is the new indie super-group conceived and led by Eric Pulido of Midlake and featuring Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses, Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Fran Healy of Travis, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy with backing from other Midlake members McKenzie Smith (drums), Joey McClellan (guitar) and Jesse Chandler (keys).

Pulido was about to become a first-time father, and it seemed like the right time to embark on a new chapter in music as well. He envisioned a group that would channel The Band, for which multiple singers came together to create a new sound. Since Midlake had recorded and performed with artists such as Beth Orton and Jason Lytle before, he thought it would be a natural progression. His Midlake bandmates Joey McClellan, Jesse Chandler and McKenzie Smith agreed and joined up. But don’t mistake BNQT for Midlake 2.

The addition of other famous singers has built anticipation for Volume 1. Pulido wrote and sang on two songs, and the rest of the 10-song album features two songs each from Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Fran Healy of Travis, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy and Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses. The tracks were recorded at Denton’s Redwood Studio, which is owned by McClellan and Smith.

When Pulido reached out Lytle, Healy, Bridwell and Kapranos about the possibility of collaborating, he was careful not to express too many expectations for the project or how it would be made.

“I kind of gave them a blank slate of, ‘We can be as little or as much for you. We can write with you, we can just be your backing band, we’ll help produce things. You can come to Denton. You can do it remotely,’” Pulido says. “I wanted to leave it open to make it as easy and accommodating as possible.” In the end they used a combination of in-person meetings and email to trade rough demos.

“It was a myriad of responses and opinions about what we were doing,” Pulido says. “The guys who came to [Rosewood Studio], Jason and Fran, it was really nice to at least get a great start on the songs with their involvement and production help.”

Everything BNQT recorded made it onto Volume 1, but Pulido is already excited at the thought of making a second record.

“We’ll see,” he says. “We definitely look at it as an organic thing where if these guys wanted to do more, if other people want to join in and do stuff, it could be a bigger album or a whole new set of singers. We’re figuring it out as we go. … It was really out of a labor of love and joy of creating music with people we respect and love.”

In the meantime, BNQT are focusing on promoting their first album. This will likely include live shows at some point, but Pulido says it will take time to coordinate everyone’s schedules.

“They have their own respective bands, respective families and all that. Whatever we do, it will be special and we want all the guys involved.”

BNQT’s Volume 1 will be released April 28th on Dualtone in America and Bella Union in Europe.


Oh, Bands Of Horses, how I missed you ,  It feels so right to have Ben Bridwell’s timbres back ringing through our ears. If you saw them at Green man Festival a few years back they were just incredible playing a superb set in the perfect setting on the Mountain Stage, their new album is possibily their best yet so leading track “Casual Party,” from their latest album Why Are You OK, is exactly that – a party. A warm, upbeat blast of anthemic indie rock, it comes accompanied by a hellah fun video that sees a tethered-albeit-complacent Band Of Horses performing for a bunch of furry monsters.

About two minutes into “Dull Times/The Moon,” the slow-burning epic that opens Band of Horses’ fifth album Why Are You OK, a speaking voice emerges. Buried under washes of shimmering electric guitar is a recording of auteur director Robert Altman, who is being interviewed about the cyclical nature of Hollywood. Following the disastrous reception to 1980’s Popeye, which crashed critically and commercially despite the star power of Robin Williams, the music of Harry Nilsson, and the guiding hand of Altman, the director is in a reflective mood.

“I think I just keep doing the same thing,” Altman says of his work. “And occasionally what I do crosses with the general attitude of the public, and it becomes very successful. And then I am a failure and a has-been, and then I cross back again. But I am going straight—to me, I am going in a straight line.”

The sample fades, and eventually so do the crystalline chords and the steady drum click, before a riff appears, gangly and thick with distortion. From there, the Pink Floyd vibes feather off, and Band of Horses engage in some unabashed rock moves, all crashing cymbals and pounding drums, like Crazy Horse playing post-rock. It’s no coincidence this grandiose, dreamy song begins the group’s first record in four years.

The Altman quote lingers. Over the last decade, Band of Horses have enjoyed consistent popularity, but they’ve also earned their share of critical scorn. With the quote, songwriter Ben Bridwell draws a straight line from the band’s debut, 2006’s Everything All the Time, back to the present, where everything’s changed for Bridwell, except for all the things that haven’t.

Bridwell used to have a sort of method for making records, which included packing up and heading to a beach house or a cabin somewhere far away from everyone, where he’d listen to records and read and claw into the solitude for inspiration. But around the time he was writing the material that would end up on 2012’s Mirage Rock, he recognized the formula wasn’t working like it used to.

“I remember leaving the damn cabin early on the last record, being like, ‘I’m not doing shit out here,’” Bridwell says, his voice draped in South Carolinian twang. “I was just kind of pacing around, listening to anything but my own music—or reading a book, not even to relax, just looking for some kind of spark. I wasn’t getting a whole lot of action from that. That’s pretty depressing, man, when you’ve left your home, you’re putting stress on your family, and you’re not getting good work from it.”

The songs on Why Are You OK, which were recorded in California and Upstate New York, weren’t written in seclusion. Instead, Bridwell wrote them at home in Charleston, in the company of his four children and wife Elizabeth. He jokes that he was “scared” to ask Elizabeth to leave town to write anyway. “Some of that is a direct result of having a small village here at the house now,” he laughs.

Bridwell jokes a lot, and he’s exceedingly easy to talk to. He gripes sympathetically about his frustrations with the local government of his native state, and he peppers his sentences with unnecessary “damn”s, calling me “friend” as he explains, with near constant self-deprecation, how the songs bloomed slowly for the album. While the writing didn’t come any easier than it had before, the four years between this record and the last provided him something he hasn’t always had when making records: time to reflect.

“I didn’t think of it like that when I started the process for this [one]. I just knew I didn’t want to have that conversation anymore of, ‘Hey, can I go to some damn cabin and be held unaccountable for whatever I do to myself?’” Bridwell says. “I’ll just adapt. There’s a common theme of that in my life now, I guess.”

“I’ll just adapt. There’s a common theme of that in my life now, I guess.”

Bridwell’s ease into domesticity isn’t all that uncommon for a thirty-eight-year-old guy, but when Band of Horses broke back in 2006, the narrative surrounding his music didn’t suggest a settled future. He left South Carolina in his teens, moving to Tucson, Arizona, where he founded indie rock outfit Carissa’s Wierd with Matt Brooke and Jenn Ghetto. The band relocated to Olympia, Washington, and from there Bridwell moved on to Seattle, where he was briefly homeless. Somewhere along the line, he heard the music of Grandaddy , led by songwriter Jason Lytle.

“I must have been nineteen or twenty when I first heard ‘Ghost of 1672’ and I was smitten from the get,” Bridwell says. “From then on, I was a lifelong fan.”

Bridwell eventually met Lytle in 2008 after the songwriter attended a Band of Horses gig in Montana, where Lytle had moved after the initial dissolution of Grandaddy. They kept in touch, collaborating off and on. “We did a Townes Van Zandt cover [together] because I was in an Italian hotel room and I couldn’t get a damn football game so I said, ‘I’m just going to cover this,’” Bridwell says. He recorded his half and sent it to Lytle, who finished it up.

“We definitely share some common ground as far as our mode of operation,” Bridwell says. That led to finally asking him, “Will you please help me with this damn record?”

With Lytle on board as producer, Bridwell and the band—drummer Creighton Barrett, bassist Bill Reynolds, guitarist Tyler Ramsey, and keyboardist Ryan Monroe—began experimenting. The result is Why Are You Okay, their first album for Rick Rubin’s American Recordings via Interscope. It’s also the most varied Band of Horses release. There are familiar vibes, like the charging “Solemn Oath” and the widescreen whopper “Hag,” which feels cut from the same cloth as Everything All the Time’s “The Great Salt Lake,” but there are weird, augmented touches on even the most straightforward of jams—a buzzing synth or echoing vocal, breaking up the staid pattern that made Infinite Arms and Mirage Rock feel less engaging than what the band is capable of.

“There are a lot of textual things and peculiarities in the arrangements that were absolutely [from Lytle’s] psyche; his stamp’s all over the damn thing,” Bridwell says. “I guess we match up well like that: we both get excited for those weird little asides in songs.

“He makes our shit seem a lot more sophisticated than we are,” he adds, laughing.

Recorded over several sessions, the record came slow and steady, and there was room for detours: the band cut a live record, Acoustic at the Ryman; Bridwell toured solo; and he teamed up with his old buddy Sam Beam of  Iron and Wine for a collection of covers. “I wanted to have the benefit of digestion,” Bridwell says. “I wanted to be able to take breaks in between the sessions and have time to know I was comfortable with what we’re going to put out there. The last one was a bit of a shotgun wedding—I wanted that benefit of time to make sure it represented where we were in our lives.”

“There is a common link between all the Band of Horses songs,” Bridwell explains with a chuckle. “Which is usually me complaining about something.”

He’s talking about “Casual Party,” a song that feels “definitely close to the bone.” It’s about a dinner party—one that really happened—where Bridwell felt stifled by the conversation about television and hobbies. The band recently performed it on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, packing three guitars while surrounded by weirdo Muppet-looking creatures. “Awful conversation at the casual party,” Bridwell sang, chewing up the words. “It never stops.”

But the record goes deeper than just an uncomfortable guy chafing against conventions. Gone are the political slogans of Mirage Rock’s “Dumpster World,” replaced by songs in which Bridwell incisively questions the institutions around him. On “Hag,” he expresses hesitant devotion, but also shares his deep fears: “Are we really in love, completely in love?” The question comes up again, on “In a Drawer,” with the singer Sera Cahoone adding in falsetto, “Do you love me, baby?”

“There is that balance between this music-life thing that we do [and] being a dad and a husband, [and] that balance is a bit fragile at times,” Bridwell says. “It feels like we’re always making up for lost time.”

The record offers no easy answers. “Even Still” closes things with a foreboding line: “I could just leave.” But conversation with Bridwell often circles back to family, both the one he has at his happy home and the one he’s found in his bandmates. And there is some ambiguity, he admits, left in the songs for the listener to decide exactly how the story turns out.

“I also don’t want to put all my cards on the table and be like, ‘This is about me, here’s what happened in my day.’ Like, fuck off, dude,” Bridwell says. “That can be boring as well. You want to give the listener a chance to make it their own.”

Very Limited copies come with a A3 Band Of Horses print. Everyone’s favourite American indie export, Band of Horses, are finally Back and bigger and better than ever! Releasing their fifth studio album on the 10th year anniversary of the incredible ‘Everything All The Time’ is fitting as it hearkens back to the vulnerability present on the first album but this time is shaped by the experience of writing at home in between caring for his four daughters. Band of Horses‘ fifth studio album, Why Are You OK, is a record informed by experience and at the same time retaining the vulnerability that birthed their greatest songs. Creating capsule worlds populated by the strange but true cast of characters from Bridwell’s hometown Charleston, South Carolina, Why Are You OK’s songs combine universal sentiments with Bridwell’s patented knack for storytelling—all wrapped in the lush melodic textures that have long been the bedrock of Band of Horses’ signature sound.


The album was produced by Jason Lytle from alt-rock icons Grandaddy and spurred on by Rick Rubin. ‘Why Are You Ok’ combines universal sentiments with expertly crafted storytelling wrapped in lush melodic textures that have long been the bedrock of Band of Horses‘ sound.


Late Late Show music guest Band of Horses performs “Whatever, Wherever.” 

For their second nighttime TV gig behind the upcoming album Why Are You OK, the Seattle indie rockers simply let the music speak for itself.

And recent soaring single “Whatever, Wherever” undoubtedly spoke volumes to host James Corden and his Late Late Show audience Monday evening. Frontman Ben Bridwell led the rallying charge, his voice a captivating instrument all its own.

Couple With Records

As Colvin & Earle, longtime friends and admirers Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle have united to record their self-titled debut, a true standout in careers already filled with pinnacles and masterpieces. Produced by the masterful Buddy Miller and recorded in his living room studio, Colvin & Earle contains six co-written originals plus some truly inspired covers, including The Beatles’ “Baby’s In Black,” the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” and Emmylou Harris’ “Raise the Dead.” Few things can touch the magic of artists so in tune that they seem to be able to read each other’s minds, and Colvin & Earle is a prime showcase for the duo’s inimitable vocals and mesmerizing guitar playing – a flawless example of the creative process gelling into a gorgeous, cohesive whole. For this pair, both considered to be among America’s greatest living songwriters, Colvin & Earle showcase one of the finest records of these hardcore troubadours’ storied careers.


Very Limited copies come with a A3 Band Of Horses print. Everyone’s favourite American indie export, Band of Horses, are finally Back and bigger and better than ever! Releasing their fifth studio album on the 10th year anniversary of the incredible ‘Everything All The Time’ is fitting as it hearkens back to the vulnerability present on the first album but this time is shaped by the experience of writing at home in between caring for his four daughters. The album was produced by Jason Lytle from alt-rock icons Grandaddy and spurred on by Rick Rubin. ‘Why Are You Ok’ combines universal sentiments with expertly crafted storytelling wrapped in lush melodic textures that have long been the bedrock of Band of Horses‘ sound.
LP – Heavyweight vinyl with download code.


Shelflife Records is proud to bring you the Limited Blue vinyl 10″ ‘Black and Blue EP’, the first release by London and Brighton-based group The Fireworks since their debut LP, 2015’s ‘Switch Me On’. Following a handful of fantastic 7″ singles and a self-titled EP, the quartet exceeded already high expectations on their debut album. ‘Switch Me On’s 13 tracks soar by in a blur of warm, fuzzed-out feedback, infectious hooks and pure unadulterated energy.  Fans old and new of The Fireworks will not be let down by their new ‘Black and Blue EP’. The release may only be four tracks long, but you’ll be needing to take a breather after it’s done. These songs mark the most rocking we’ve heard The Fireworks thus far, while still keeping the catchy melodies and pop sensibility we’ve come to expect from them. The driving opener ‘All the Time’ is an instant favourite, and the dynamic track tells listeners right off the bat that this is no mellow, passive listen. ‘The Ghost Of You’ features jangly guitar work and fantastic dual vocals from Matthew Rimell and Emma Hall, making the track a shimmering pop gem. Of course, the distortion that smattered ‘Switch Me On’ is still present, and tracks like ‘Bury Me’ will have you jumping around in a fit of uncontrollable vigor (perhaps why they chose to name this the ‘Black and Blue EP’). The band touches down on all bases on this new release, making it an essential listen whether or not you’ve been a fan in the past. For fans of: Razorcuts, Buzzcocks, Girls At Our Best!, Revolving Paint Dream, The Shop Assistants, Meat Whiplash, Bubblegum Splash. Vinyl with Download.

vImage of Spring King - Tell Me If You Like To

Whipping up a frenetic, fun-filled brew of surf pop and garage rock, this Manchester quartet have been creating quite a stir with a handful of great 7″ singles and high octane live shows over the last few months.

“Tell Me If You Like To”, is their debut album and it’s choc full of garage-punk gems (including their three 7″ single tracks) as you’d expect – think The Ramones covering The Beach Boys, OD-ing on Haribo’s!
“the most promising band of 2016”

Image of Christine And The Queens - Chaleur Humaine - Clear Vinyl Edition

Christine And The Queens is Nantes-born Héloïse Letissier. Moving to London to study in 2010, Letissier instead found herself drawn to the art and theatre underworld of Soho, where she met the drag queens of Madame JoJo’s who inadvertently helped birth Christine And The Queens. The following year she released the first of a series of three EPs, each one building praise and demand for her utterly individual brand of pop. Chaleur Humaine, her French-language debut album produced by Ash Workman (Metronomy) with multi-instrumentalist brothers Michael Lovett and Gabriel Stebbing, arrived in 2014 and has already gone more than five-times platinum to propel Letissier – named Female Artist of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique earlier this year – to phenomenon status in her homeland.

Already coveted by those in the know, last year Christine And The Queens took a step further into the international spotlight with a number of high profile European shows and scene-stealing performances at SXSW, a major 16-date North American run with Marina and The Diamonds and a solo sold-out headline show at New York’s Webster Hall. She capped a stunning year by joining one of her all time heroes Madonna on stage in Paris last week. She released her debut, self-titled UK EP in November and now ‘Chaleur Humaine’ makes its long-awaited UK debut. The album features EP tracks ‘Jonathan’ (feat. Perfume Genius) and ‘No Harm Is Done’ (feat. TunjiIge), and has been completely reworked for its UK release, featuring all-new English versions of French runaway hits ‘Saint Claude’ and ‘Christine’, amongst others.

Image of Augustines - This Is Your Life

“This is Your Life”, the new album from anthemic rock trio, Augustines, is an urgent, resonant wakeup call, taking stock of where we are now and what the future holds… an open road ahead.

‘A Youthful Dream’ the debut album from Yung is a revelation. Angst makes space for wisdom, youthful exuberance begins channelling road-tested experience, and a blur of basement shows and self-produced bromides becomes something more. Where the previous releases such as ‘These Thoughts Are Like Mandatory Chores’ found Silkjær masterfully running through buzzsaw riffs, recalling The Replacements and Jay Reatard, ‘A Youthful Dream’ finds Silkjær reshaping his DIY vocabulary and experimenting with a larger sonic palette, in ways that may make fans do a double take. Richer melodies, pianos, and even trumpets made their way into the recording sessions at Sound Studio in Sweden, where Silkjær, Frederik Nybo Veile (drums) and Tobias Guldborg Tarp (bass) decamped with a handful of guest musicians. Consider the airy, self-referential ‘The Child,‘ a reverie or languid guitar lines punctuated by a horn line; the mid-tempo swagger of ‘Uncombed Hair,’ suddenly amping up without losing control; or the slow build of ‘The Hatch,’ its anthemic scope and chugging drums lines showing a new compositional mastery without losing the immediacy and energy of past efforts.
LP – Black Vinyl with Download.
LP+ – Limited Clear Coloured Vinyl with Download.

Remastered reissue of the original ‘It’s Too Late to Stop Now’. The three-month tour, which launched just months before Morrison released his 1973 LP ‘Hard Nose the Highway’, featured the singer backed by the 11-piece Caledonia Soul Orchestra, Morrison’s tight knit backing band. ‘It’s Too Late to Stop Now’ is a live album that was originally released in 1974. Frequently named as one of the best live albums ever recorded, ‘It’s Too Late to Stop Now’ was recorded during what has often been said to be Morrison’s greatest phase as a live performer. The double album is composed of performances that were recorded in concerts at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, California, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and at the Rainbow in London from a three-month tour with his eleven-piece band, the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, from May to July 1973.

Van Morrison’s 1973 tour that spawned the singer’s classic live album ‘It’s Too Late to Stop Now’ is the focus of an 3CD / 1DVD archival release. Titled ‘It’s Too Late to Stop Now… Volumes II, III, IV and DVD’, the collection boasts three previously unreleased concerts from Morrison’s trek – recorded at Los Angeles‘ the Troubadour, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and London’s Rainbow Theatre – along with a July 24th London gig that was filmed for a BBC Sight and Sound special but never commercially released.