Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Boston’s Palehound, lead by fierce vocalist and prolific creative force Ellen Kempner, has announced the sophomore album “A Place I’ll Always Go”, released in June on Polyvinyl Record Co. The collection is a frank look at love and loss, cushioned by indelible hooks and gently propulsive, fuzzed-out rock. As Kempner explains, “A lot of it is about loss and learning how to let yourself evolve past the pain and the weird guilt that comes along with grief.” 

This year has really probably been the best year of my life, especially as a musician. I can honestly say that almost every show was great. At the end of 2016, right after recording A Place I’ll Always Go, I was feeling super anxious and unsure about touring a lot. Playing shows and travelling used to make me feel super vulnerable and paranoid. I can truly say that this year has turned my relationship to touring around and I feel the opposite about it, I am so excited to tour more. A lot of this is because ya’ll were so amazing and supportive and made us feel really special at shows. Thank you so much for that. Cannot wait to tour with Weaves in February, I love that band a lot and have a really good feeling about that tour.

Also wanna say that this wraps up our first year with Larz touring with us. Jesse and I have been touring together for 3 years and the addition of Larz to our band has been hugely awesome for us. I love Jesse and Larz so much and can’t wait to keep working with them on touring and new material.

Happy holidays, hope everyone has a pleasant end to their year. Sending extra love to all the beautiful people reading this who may have a hard time with the holidays and going home to family.
Love, Ellen

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By now, we’re pretty well aware of what genres blend together well. Mixing stoner metal with prog-rock’s sprawl with hints of psych isn’t totally new ground, but few do it as well as Elder, and Reflections On A Floating World is easily their best record yet. Elder is a three-piece heavy psych band hailing from Boston, USA. Their lengthy songs are told as stories, unfolding and undulating across genre boundaries and into new kosmische territory.

Reflections of a Floating World is Elder’s fourth full length album and second LP released via Stickman Records (EU) and Armageddon Label (US). Long, undulating and dense tracks float between psychedelic passages and progressive rock without missing a beat; adventurous and unpredictable songs are punctuated by hypnotic jams, all colored by the tendency toward melody and dynamism that has become the band’s hallmark. In keeping with their motto of expanding and expanding upon their repertoire, guest musicians Mike Risberg and Michael Samos joined the core three in the studio to add extra guitar, keys and pedal steel, adding vibrancy and lushness to the album. In all regards, Reflections shows a band with a clear vision honing their skills with every year.

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Nicholas DiSalvo – Guitar, keys, vocals
Jack Donovan – Bass
Matt Couto – Drums
Michael Risberg – Guitar
Michael Samos – Pedal steel

Pile is a rock band, but it plays its songs even the most beautiful, heartbreaking ones as if they were horror films, packed with jump-scares and cliffhangers. Songs swell, building to all-consuming washes, or running right up to the edge of a cliff to dangle there precariously. That type of uneasy adventurousness has always been part of Pile’s makeup, but A Hairshirt Of Purpose streamlines it, offering the most nuanced record of the band’s career while still working in moments of explosive, fiery rage. Tracks like “Fingers” or “Rope’s Length” may be built on simple chord progressions, but they’re manipulated in ways that feel excitingly alien, subverting post-hardcore’s standard loud-to-quiet tonal shifts. Hairshirt is both lovely and ugly, even when—especially when—it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

“Texas” by Pile from the “A Hairshirt of Purpose” LP, out now on Exploding in Sound. Directed by Adric Giles.

Pile is still killing it with songs that can be both blisteringly intense and beautifully melodic. The lyrics continue to confound and amaze me. There’s something I can’t quite place about this album that keeps me coming back to it. It took several listens to the album to make me see past the obvious beauty of ‘Leaning on a Wheel’ and ‘Rope’s Length’, but consider me engrossed.

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If you’re hoping to score some life tips from Camp Cope’s sophomore LP How To Socialise & Make Friends, you might want to look elsewhere.

“It’s not like an instructional album. Like I don’t know how to socialise or make friends,” frontwoman Georgia Maq admits . The Melbourne trio are about to follow their acclaimed, self-titled debut with a record that’s even more raw than the first, if that’s even possible.

“In the last one we had like a couple a harmonies and like a gang vocal and this one is just like fully stripped back, there’s nothing,” Georgia says. “Everything was done just really quickly, how we like it, and I think I don’t care as much for this album. I don’t care what people think.

“I care less because I’m happy with what we’ve done and so anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.”

When she says “really quickly”, she means it. The album was written in a couple of months, and recorded in just two days (though half a day longer than the first). In fact, drummer Sarah ‘Thommo’ Thompson says she booked the tour for this album before a single word was written.

“[We] went ‘Uh oh, now we have to record it’ and we just went to the same place we did last time, just booked two days with nothing written knowing that if we didn’t have dates to aim for we wouldn’t do it,” Thomo says.

The album is totally done now, though we’ll have to wait until March to hear it.

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Camp Cope the band:

gmaq – vocals/guitar
kelly- lead bass
thomo – drums

Pre Oreders for ‘HOW TO SOCIALISE & MAKE FRIENDS now if you’re in australia, hit up www.poisoncityestore.com to check out the different colour options, along with this lovely tee designed by Celeste Potter, & the first ever camp cope stickers. friends throughout the rest of the world! run for cover have a different range of colours for you to choose from over at http://www.runforcoverrecords.com available to order now. thanks so much to everyone who’s helped make this possible, we are stoked for you to hear it

Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, former MMOSS guitarist/singer, designer/builder of Mid-Fi Electronics guitar effects. Massachusetts singer songwriter Doug Tuttle returns with his third solo album,
‘Peace Potato’, once again on Chicago label Trouble In Mind Records.
His 2013 solo debut (after fronting his longtime psychedelic band, MMOSS) was an insular and foggy psychedelic masterpiece punctuated by Tuttle’s stinging guitar leads, accented by flashes of bedroom Fairport /Crazy Horse brilliance, towing the line nimbly between elegance and ragged assurance. We last saw Tuttle on “It Calls On Me”, his 2015 sophomore album, which pushed his songwriting towards further clarity and melody; ‘Peace Potato’ shakes it all down with Tuttle’s strongest batch of songs yet.
‘Peace Potato’ introduces itself with the horn-laden, honeydripper,“Bait The Sun”, a classic Tuttle tune; downer pop melodies coloring a hypnagogic landscape. It is indeed that state of lucid dreaming, somewhere between the onset of sleep is where Tuttle firmly plants the seeds of “Peace Potato”. Songs like the addictive Harrison-esque acoustic strummer “Can It Be” and majestic “Only In A Dream” kick in and fade out like the lurching of the mind’s dream state, with the listener’s only guide being Tuttle’s fragmented sensory narrative. (see the undulating, utterly-effected “Life Boat” floating near the end of the first side. Songs stutter to life and grind to a halt, to calculated effect, stitched together into a patchwork of full tunes, song fragments and waves of melodic euphoria.
Throughout all, Tuttle’s guitar picking and soloing echoes the greats of decades prior, Harrison, Thompson, Clarence White, with a conscious eye to the unsung bedroom and basement weird pop genius of sung and unsung artists like Harumi, Sixth Station, The Bachs and Jim Sullivan.

Tuttle played every instrument and recorded the entirety of ‘Peace Potato’ in his Somerville bedroom studio; a ubiquitous location in these modern times, but the ease at which Tuttle’s songs fold and unfold, suggests something more than your usual home recorded musings, “Peace Potato” feels natural and comfortable in it’s skin.

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Universal Care is cathartic. Kal Marks’ are finding a release… a crushing, beautiful, absorbing release, an exploration of spirit and emotion in the hardest of times. Their latest LP, Universal Care, due out February 23rd via Exploding In Sound Records, finds the Boston trio at their most dynamic, seeping with vivid colors and sonic experimentation. Its a new approach for the band, one that began on shaky ground, an uncertainty that lead the band to create an album both brilliant and challenging. Universal Care is restless, drawing on personal hardship and these tumultuous times, taking life as it comes. The trio of Carl Shane (guitar, vocals), Michael Geacone (bass) and Alex Audette (drums), have created a record full of sonic risks and rewards, thick textures, skin crawling sludge, and hazy pop. Through unexpected twists and turns, the band capture a range of honest emotions and struggles without boundaries. Crushing distortion, atmospheric drifts, shifting rhythms, and warm acoustics all swirl together in unison. There’s a freedom in their agitation. A welcoming catharsis.

Kal Marks’ new album “Universal Care” will be released in early 2018

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Formed as a solo project over a decade ago, the band has been evolving ever since, weathering the darkness with a sense of humor and one of Boston’s most explosive live shows. Having released two critically praised albums, Life Is Murder (2013) and Life Is Alright, Everybody Dies (2015), Universal Care is a step forward, a brilliant new record that finds the band darting between their most accessible and chaotic moments with natural grace and fury. They’ve spent the past six years playing throughout the country, decimating one audience at a time,

Vocals & Guitar: Carl Shane
Bass: Michael Geacone 
Drums: Alex Audette

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The Swirlies‘ first full-length album melds noisy guitars, samples, and sweet girl-boy vocals into a disheveled take on dream pop. Where so many dreamy bands polish their sound into pristine oblivion, the Swirlies create a hazy atmosphere that is evocative and unpretentious. Blonder Tongue Audio Baton — named after a vintage tube equalizer — combines the elements of the band’s early work with more complexity. Songs like “Bell” and “Vigilant Always” juxtapose gentle and brash moments for a spontaneous feel, while “His Life of Artistic Freedom” expands on the Swirlies’ noisy, experimental side. The group also shows off their accessible fuzz-pop on the album’s centerpiece, “Pancake.” The combination of Seana Carmody’s demure vocals, big guitars, and burbling Mellotrons makes for one of Boston’s most memorable pop moments since the Pixies’ “Gigantic.” The crunchy rhythms of “Tree Chopped Down” and “Wrong Tube” complement Damon Tuntunjian and Carmody’s limpid vocals beautifully, and the sweetly noisy “Wait Forever” sums up the Swirlies’ homemade noise pop aesthetic. A mainstay of early-’90s indie music, Blonder Tongue Audio Baton still sounds fresh today.

Ellen Kempner of Palehound.

Finding a songwriting voice takes time and then there’s also the process of pinpointing the best way to send that voice hurtling through speakers. Palehound’s Ellen Kempner has long had the words: scathing and evocative, And with every live show, she’s finding surer and surer footing as the central focus in a band that marries rock muscle with her bedroom folk’s wiry vulnerability.

At an NPR Music showcase recorded live at New York City’s (Le) Poisson Rouge in the fall of 2015, Kempner opened with a quick confession  “I’m really nervous” before channeling those nerves into her raw, powerful songs, accompanied by bassist Davood Khoshtinat and drummer Jesse Weiss. That rawness can take several forms, from the kiss-off brutality of “Molly” to the gnarled slow burn of “Seekonk” and “Dry Food,” the title track from Palehound’s excellent 2015 album.

SET LIST
  • “Healthier Folk”
  • “Molly”
  • “Psycho Speak”
  • “Dry Food”
  • “Cinnamon”
  • “Drooler”
  • “Cushioned Caging”
  • “Seekonk”
  • “Pet Carrot”

Ellen Kempner of Palehound.

Palehound is the songwriting project of Ellen Kempner, who began releasing solo material under the name in 2013. She formed a touring band in the fall of that year, and released a 7″ through Exploding in Sound Records a few months later. Kempner has been lauded for clever, introspective lyricism which sits at the forefront of the band’s official debut, “Dry Food.” Nearly every note on the release was played by Kempner herself, and her personal touch lives in all eight tracks. “Dry Food” is barely half an hour, which is not for lack of material, but is a reflection of Kempner’s skillful songwriting. She doesn’t waste a single measure, dishing out somber, poignant declarations with a simple clarity of thought.

Kempner studied jazz and classical guitar at Sarah Lawrence and the influence finds its way into the core of Palehound’s style. Kempner’s guitar work is colorful, tactile, and frenetic. She noodles over hazy melodies, climbs scales, and bounces between expressive chord progressions with so much ease that it exists as an extension of herself. The way in which Kempner delivers powerful guitar work as a complement to her dark, flowering voice is where Palehound truly shines. At times she’s all-out shredding, showing her command over the fretboard while adding an uplifting edge to the track. She combines this with a booming rhythm section and creative song construction to create bedroom pop in its most refined form.

Watch the three-piece perform tracks from their debut on Audiotree Live.

Setlist:

Healthier Folk, Molly, Psycho Speak, Dry Food, Seekonk, Dixie,

Palehound perform on Audiotree Live, November 20, 2015.

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The sophomore album from Boston trio Palehound, A Place I’ll Always Go, is a frank look at love and loss, cushioned by indelible hooks and gently propulsive, fuzzed-out rock.

Ellen Kempner, Palehound’s vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter explains, “A lot of it is about loss and learning how to let yourself evolve past the pain and the weird guilt that comes along with grief.”

Kempner’s writing comes from upheavals she experienced in 2015 and 2016 that reframed her worldview. “I lost two people I was really close with,” she recalls. “I lost my friend Lily. I lost my grandmother too, but you expect that at 22. When you lose a friend—a young friend—nothing can prepare you for that. A lot of the record is about going on with your life, while knowing that person is missing what’s happening—they loved music and they’re missing these great records that come out, and they’re missing these shows that they would’ve wanted to go to. It just threw me for a loop to know that life is so fragile.”

Palehound’s first release for Polyvinyl is also about the light that gradually dawns after tragedy, with songs like the bass-heavy “Room” and the gentle dreamy album closer “At Night I’m Alright With You” feeling their way through blossoming love. “The album is also about learning how to find love, honestly, after loss,” says Kempner.

Since forming in 2014, Palehound Kempner, drummer Jesse Weiss (Spook The Herd), and new bassist Larz Brogan (a veteran of Boston DIY who, Kempner posits, “had 13 local bands last year”)—have taken their plainspoken, technique-heavy indie rock from the basements of Boston to festivals around the world. A Place I’ll Always Go was recorded in late 2016 at the Brooklyn complex Thump Studios with the assistance of Gabe Wax, who recorded Dry Food. “I would put my life in his hands,” Kempner asserts. “I trust him so much.”

Palehound in this episode of the Pickathon Slab Series.

A Place I’ll Always Go builds on the promise of Palehound’s critically acclaimed 2015 album Dry Food with songs that are slightly more reserved, but no less powerful. “Flowing Over” rides a sweetly hooky guitar line, with Kempner using the fuzzed-out upper register of her voice as a sort of anxious counterpoint to the riff’s infectious melody. “That song is about anxiety,” says Kempner, “and when you’re sad and you listen to sad music to feed it and feel yourself spinning all these ‘what if’s and ‘I’m terrible’s in your head.”

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“This record represents a period of time in my life way more than anything I’ve ever written before,” says Kempner, who notes that the swirling “If You Met Her” and the piano-tinged “At Night I’m Alright With You” could represent the opposing poles of the record. “One of them is about love, and the other one is about death—it was a really healthy experience for me to find my own dialogue within that,” she says. “There’s so much that you learn and read, and other people’s experiences that you internalize, that you try to then base your own on. It was helpful to carve my own path for that.”

Part of what makes A Place I’ll Always Go so striking is the way it channels feelings of anxiety — heart-racing moments both exhilarating and crushing — into songs that feel well-worn and comforting.

The hushed confessionalism of “Carnations” and the fugue state described in the stripped-down “Feeling Fruit” are snapshots of moments marked by big, confusing feelings, but they’re taken with compassion and honesty—two qualities that have defined Palehound’s music from the beginning.