Posts Tagged ‘California’

Corey Cunningham has studied his forebears—The Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Pale Saints—so well that he could ghostwrite for them. The Magic Bullets and Terry Malts alum returns to his newest solo moniker, Business of Dreams, to pen a collection of could’ve-been singles primed for Britain’s ‘80s synth-pop boom. Ripe for Anarchy amplifies the era’s perennial pop sigh into full-blown existentialism, resulting in songs like “My Old Town” and “N.R.E.A.M,” which spiral outward beautifully under the sheen of glittering synth hooks and breezy acoustic guitar.

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With his new album “Ripe For Anarchy,” Cunningham has honed the songwriting with an eye towards regret, existence, and perseverance. “When I’m gone you won’t cry for me, focus on the moment, be free,” he sings on “Chasing That Feeling.” And that’s the mantra here: it’s time to let go. “The album is about living in the moment, shedding neurosis, and the desire to discard the general societal malaise we’ve been roped into.”

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Five artists cover Meg Duffy’s “placeholder” song, with all proceeds going toward the Amazon Conservation Association. Meg Duffy aka Hand Habits has announced the “Wldfire Covers” EP, which sees five artists cover Duffy’s placeholder song “wildfire.” The EP, which is led by Hand Habits’ original, features covers by Angel Olsen, Lomelda, Kacey Johansing, Tara Jane O’Neil and John Andrews & The Yawns.

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releases December 25th, 2019

Meg Duffy wrote “wildfire” during the California wildfires in 2017. In a statement, they said:

Being a touring musician eight months out of the year, you are exposed to a lot of varying degrees of climate change effects in a short period of time. From the gasoline that’s used to fuel touring vehicles, to the massive amount of plastic waste at the end of every show, to the carbon emissions released into the air by all the travel, it’s often not the most environmentally conscious career. I wanted to contribute, even if in a small way, to the efforts at work by the people at the Amazon Conservation Association for being dedicated to preserving such a vast and heartbreakingly crucial part of our ecosystem that has been threatened by wildfires, deforestation, and the effects of climate change. I believe that writing and performing music can be a healing force, used for good, and not always for capitalizing on emotions and commodifying a personality or lifestyle. People need to be able to relate to each other, in times of joy, and especially in times of sorrow or struggle. The Wildfire Compilation, in partnership with Bandcamp and Saddle Creek, will be donating all of its funds raised to the ACA in hopes to lend a helping hand to those on the front lines of fighting climate change in places that may seem inaccessible to those of us unable to travel at length. I chose five artists, Tara Jane O’Neil, Lomelda, John Andrews, Angel Olsen, and Kacey Johansing to interpret and cover my song “wildfire” that I wrote during the California Wildfires in 2017. All of these artists are dear friends and have all taught me a lot about the complexity of emotions in music.

With music occupying a triangle between jangly indie pop, British 80s classics (like The Smiths and The Wedding Present) and 90s college rock, the collective are ready to unleash the track ‘Crying All The Time’. This brilliant offering delightfully foreshadows their new ‘Brilliant Failures’ album, which is slated for release in late January. This music is impeccable, it’s uplifting feeling and clever lyrics recalling so much great music from decades past while feeling fresh and actual today.

‘Crying All the Time’ addresses the cathartic and empathic consolations of crying. The accompanying video was filmed and directed by renowned American director Steve Hanft (The Stone Roses, Beck, Mercury Rev, L7) and stars beautiful actress Katlyn Rodriguez. The theme of this video is inspired by My Bloody Valentine ‘Soon’.

the first single from Brilliant Failures LP on Germany’s legendary A Turntable Friend Records. coming January 2020.

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For the better part of a decade, Baths‘ elegiac dance floor anthems have embodied F. Scott Fitzgerald’s adage about how first rate minds are those that can hold two opposing ideas in their head at the same time. His latest “Wistful (Fata Morgana)” masters this propulsive duality, balancing strobe light-ready BPMS with emotional pathos. It’s the sort of song a celestial deity would want play at the club after a crushing breakup. The mysterious nexus between loneliness and euphoria.

If the best pop music (and art) contains contradictions, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born Will Wiesenfeld has mastered the art of combining profound sadness with sweaty catharsis. With his seraphic voice, he meditates on “cloudy harbor vapor,” a breeze forlornly running fingers through your hair, and the melancholy of having empty conversations with the wind. His loved one is “still out on a boat somewhere,” inevitably fated to never return. The only solace is the melody, the beat, and the song itself that allows you to drift off into the infinite distance.

released November 13th, 2019

Written, produced, & performed by Will Wiesenfeld

“First Songs” is the sound of someone discovering their talent in real time—a peak into the collage of a wonderful mind that is absorbing their new surroundings and using new tools to put them into the room. Listening to this collection you can feel the sun coming in through the window—St. Louis on the foot of the bed with a guitar on her knee, finding her voice.

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Despite her last name, Anna St. Louis was born and raised in Kansas City. She grew up a painter and singing in punk bands, eventually leaving her hometown to attend art school in Philadelphia. After graduating she made the move to Los Angeles where she began teaching herself guitar, writing songs and recording them on her own in her bedroom. “First Songs” is the sound of someone discovering their talent in real time – a peak into the collage of a wonderful mind that is absorbing their new surroundings and using new tools to put them into the room. Listening to this collection you can feel the sun coming in through the window – Anna on the foot of the bed with a guitar on her knee, finding her voice. St. Louis wears her influences well – think Patsy Cline singing over John Fahey – but has a style all her own. And while you can take the artist out of the midwest, you can’t take the midwest out of the artist – so let this be known; this is Midwestern music ran through a California filter. I believe Anna will have many more releases in her lifetime, but let it all begin here – First Songs.
released November 3rd, 2017

Conceived and recorded as a form of therapy to help cope with adjusting to life post-college, an ensuing break-up and geographic isolation, Mikal Cronin steps away from the rhythm section of Orange County surf-punk bashers The Moonhearts with his eponymous debut solo LP. Fans can take heart, this isn’t a “vanity project” or half-baked endeavor – Mikal’s 2011 solo debut is fully realized, cohesive and beautiful, with themes that are as personal as they are universal; questioning your future, accepting your past and living in the moment.
Taking influences such as late sixties Del Shannon and The Everly Brothers and filtering them through his own mutant California fuzz, Mikal deftly explores his singer/songwriter side that at moments feels like a punk Harry Nilsson or Curt Boettcher that balances sweet melodies & chords with chunky, psychedelic guitar freak-outs. Don’t let the opening Beach Boys-ian harmonies of “Is It Alright?” fool you into thinking this record can be easily pinned down… with long-time friend & collaborator Ty Segall producing, Eric Bauer running the tape machine and guests like John Dwyer of The Oh-Sees, you can be positive you’re in for something special. Once those guitars kick in, and you hit that first transcendent chorus, you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting what comes next.
with special guests:
Ty Segall: drums on 2, 3, 7, 10
Charles Moothart: drums on 4, solo on 3
John Dwyer: flute on 1

“… an album of wistful, psychedelic pop that pits lush and layered arrangements against needle-pinning power chords.” ~Pitchfork

released October 18th, 2019

“Carnage Bargain” would earn its stripes for being a million times better than a garage record has any right to be in 2019, but hooray for The Paranoyds for putting brains in front of bubblegum. The L.A. band are here to please with their house show-ready mix of glossy new wave and DIY garage punk, all delivered with the cheeky raised eyebrow of pre-Lilith fair alternative girl rock, every beautifully produced track going down like cold diet soda. But the band also consistently delight with how much thought they’ve put into their songs, and the chops they bring to their playing.

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The Paranoyds offer up both glittery sunny California vibes and serious anti-consumerist messaging without putting their finger on the scale either way, and they do it without resorting to internet-speak or instantly dated cultural reference points. We’re all trying to be good citizens but sometimes you want to hide (“Bear”) and sometimes you’re just trying to do laundry in 103 degree heat, man (“Laundry.”) “Girlfriend Degree” lightly wheedles women who rely entirely on men—some people probably won’t think it’s funny or cool, but whatever—however the band nails it on “Courtney,” a rainbow-hued art pop ode to female economic freedom that sparkles as brightly as its protagonist.

Released September 13th, 2019

Based on your current station in our technological age, Death Valley Girls’ fusion of feral proto-punk, ‘70s scuzz dirges, and third eye mysticism is either completely at odds with your worldview or utterly revelatory. Words like “retro” or “old school” convey a starry eyed nostalgia that do a disservice to the band’s harnessing of primal instrumentation and communal reverberations—if something in Death Valley Girls’ sound harkens to the past, it’s only in an attempt to dislodge us from the static of the present. That dedication to lifting the veil of modern illusions continues with their current single “Dream Cleaver”—a rousing anthem in praise of psychonaut and ethnobotonist Terrence McKenna, his research on “the spirit molecule” DMT, and the possibility of trans-dimensional travel. Lest one thinks that this is some blissed out cosmic ride on new age synth pads, be aware that “Dream Cleaver” is an unapologetic stone-cold rocker—an unabashed orgy of Farfisa organ hooks, Larry Schemels’ hypnotic and propulsive guitar chords, hallucinatory sax lines, and Bonnie Bloomgarden’s call-to-arms vocals. If you need to get elevated, take a three-minute dose of “Dream Cleaver”.
released August 9, 2019

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The eleven tracks on Never Not Never Not Never Not go deeper than just twee sincerity, though. “Lauren” is a funny and heartfelt ode to a former roommate who used to hear Tucker’s songs through the wall and sing them back. But it’s presented as a fleshed-out, rip-roaring rock song that’s such a far cry from the acoustic, bedroom origins the lyrics reference. It’s a subtle, and perhaps unintentional writing technique. But it creates a real sense of time and place that nudges the listener to wonder if Lauren ever did write those songs that “queer kids with cute haircuts wanna tell their moms about.”

If I were Wolfy I’d know how to deliver a disarmingly funny & deceptively heartfelt thank you in ten words or less. Given that I’m stuck being myself, bear with … thank you to Wolfy for being objectively good at art, to Jessica Reed for being one take wonderful, to Anna Arboles for being the Tegan to my Sara and the Brandi to my Carlile. Greg Katz, thank you for insisting that these songs are worth the work.  It’s all too good. Rosie Tucker is a clever, optimistic, rock-and-roll storyteller and each track has something to totally love

Rosie Tucker seems like someone who’d be really good at writing letters. The L.A. artist writes vivid, emotionally rich songs about the things they couldn’t say in person, but still feel the unquenchable desire to etch permanently into music. Sometimes, it’s the stinging regret of not flirting with their laundromat crush (“Spinster Cycle”), or feeling too silly to acknowledge the celestial beauty of their dance partner (“Gay Bar”). Other times, it’s the dull pain of wanting to apologize long after an interpersonal fallout, but holding back because of the perceived futility in trying to amend something that’s permanently broken. That latter song is called “Habit,” and the titular routine is in fact that tongue-holding instinct of theirs.

This album wouldn’t exist without Lauren Bruer, Sapphire Jewell, Talicat, Cecilia, Traci, Katherine and Chris’s Red Hook kitchen table, Oil Can Harry’s, Keith Armstrong, August, Daniel Oldham, Tyler, or the support of my wonderful family. This album wouldn’t have reason to exist without listeners like you. -Ro

Written and performed by Rosie Tucker
Produced by Wolfy
Guitars by Anna Arboles
Drums by Jessica Reed

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Mixing on “Spinster Cycle” and “Fault Lines” by Daniel Oldham
Additional production on “Fault Lines” by Deanna Romo

Recorded at PieTown Sounds in Burbank, CA with additional recording at Defend Music, Inc in Los Angeles, CA. “Never Not” was produced and recorded by Tyler McCarthy & Rosie Tucker in Sylmar, CA.

Cherry Glazerr’s most recent full-length, Stuffed & Ready, has continually impressed us since its release,  It’s rocking, confident, and intoxicating to say the least. The band made its late-night TV debut on The Late Late Show With James Corden, and today they’re back with “Call Me,” a new collaboration with Portugal. The Man.

The track was produced by Cherry Glazerr’s Clementine Creevy, Ariel Rechtshaid, and Tabor Allen. “Call Me” feels like a breath of fresh air, sauntering along with a funky groove guided by congas and art-grunge guitar. Bizarrely enough, there’s an air of James Bond or Austin Powers here as a spatial synth melody lurches along in this asymmetrical, yet dramatic way. The lyrics take the shape of a call and response between Creevy and Portugal. The Man vocalist John Gourley.

Also of note, today the two bands are launching a “Call Me” fashion pop-up installation at the flagship Fred Segal store on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. The installation will feature garments and accessories inspired by the new song,

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“Call Me” is out now on Secretly Canadian.