Posts Tagged ‘California’

Elettrodomestico

“I feel like this record kind of saved me,” says Jane Wiedlin, of her duo Elettrodomestico’s lush psych-pop debut  “If You’re A Boy or a Girl”. “I was in such a dark place, and now I’ve finally come out of it. That’s the power of music, whether you’re writing or listening to it.”

David Bowie’s death in January of 2016 had plunged Wiedlin into a deep depression. “He was my lifelong idol,” she explains. “I wasn’t even a teenager when I discovered his music and just became obsessed with him. I don’t claim that my music sounds like him, because he’s a genius and I’m just regular, but he was just so good. It’s kind of a cliche, but he was otherworldly, he was so good. I think in the future, people are going to look back on him as really standing out as a 20th century musician. So when he died, I sank into this insane depression, and just started writing like a maniac, because I didn’t know how to handle my feelings.” She’d met fellow musician Pietro Straccia recently while he was recording a solo album with Travis Kasperbauer, who’d also go on to produce the Elettrodomestico album, at Wiedlin’s home studio. Something about their approaches to songwriting and arranging had just automatically clicked; she’d contributed some harmonic backing vocals to his album, and they’d sensed in one another kindred spirits.

Living in Hawaii and immersing herself in Bowie’s discography, as well as going down to her local tavern to check out the acts playing there, finding inspiration in the musicality of native Hawaiian musicians in particular, Wiedlin started writing lyrics and sending them to Straccia. Long-distance musical collaboration can be difficult for some, but the duo’s bond was stronger than even they knew, manifesting, well, psychically. “It was such a weird thing,” Straccia says. “The moment she sent me the lyrics, before I even received them, there was a music that came to my mind. The intention behind it was already [complete]. This happened again with another song, where she’d written [her lyrics] down on a piece of paper. I didn’t look at them, I just folded it and I put it in my pocket. In that moment. just by reading the title, I knew that the song was done. That was ‘Mail Order Bride.’

If You’re A Boy or a Girl thrums with emotion, immediacy, and personality. It plays smartly with gender and sexuality, with both musicians taking on “male” and “female” parts in a way that feels fluid and refreshing. It’s meticulously crafted, right down to the last textural detail, but it lacks the sense of distance that big-time pop can have. Wiedlin, of course, is perhaps best known for her time in The Go-Gos, though she’s also done plenty of work as a solo musician, co-written with huge artists like Keith Urban, has a vibrant acting and voice acting career, and is a lifelong animal rights activist. And perhaps a little bit of Elettrodomestico’s urgent feel is due to her original punk spirit. “My style of playing [guitar] is really rudimentary more than anything,” she laughs. “It’s punk. I just play rhythm guitar, and I like a distorted sound, and I like to play kind of jagged things, so it was fun—when I got to play guitar it added a little something to the mix.” Her favorite punk band is the Buzzcocks, and one can definitely hear a Shelley/Devoto-esque melodicism and sass in Elettrodomestico’s sound.

There’s more than the Buzzcocks and Bowie in there, though. Wiedlin’s love of the Beatles is well-documented, and she certainly believes that her early childhood fascination with the Fab Four has played out in her career-long interest in harmonics, which comes into sharp focus here. Both she and Straccia loved Nirvana dearly, and one can hear a bit of that group’s dark heart and desire to approach alienation from a place as personal as it is universal. And Straccia’s found inspiration for their psychic musical connection in a classic, beloved Italian pop duo—Mogol-Battisti. “Lucio Battisti, an Italian singer that passed away now, he’s the equivalent of the Beatles in Italy, basically,” he explains. “His melodies, he’s an Italian hero. He teamed up with this poet [Mogol] very early on. I always admired [their partnership] in a way. [Battisti] would go and present the song to [Mogol], and [Battisti] would just kind of sing gibberish, and then [Mogol] would be able to extract from the melody these beautiful words. They sit so beautifully. There were already the lyrics in the melody in a sort of way. He just needed to extract them, make that emotion verbal. I think something very similar happened with this. The lyrics inspired the melody, and vice versa. It’s such a cool thing.”

The respect and care Wiedlin and Straccia have for one another lights up Elettrodomestico, and the joy they take in one another’s friendship is evident not just from the way they talk about one another, but in the music itself. And they love pop music as a whole as much as they love one another. “Music is one of the only things that really unites people and is universal, which I love,” Wiedlin says. “It makes me happy to be part of something like that, because it’s really positive. The last years in the Go-Gos, I started analyzing what I was doing, and I realized that what I get to do as my job is bring joy to people. How much more awesome does life get than that? ‘Cause the world’s fucking depressing.”

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As a parting shot, Wiedlin brings up naysayers who might think she’s too old to still be out there (a concern which certainly doesn’t plague discussions of male musicians the way it does those who aren’t). “This is what I do! And I think I’m going to have this be the first and last interview that I discuss [age] because it’s just dumb,” she says fiercely. “What do you care? If you like the music, what do you care? I know that’s this huge stumbling thing that we’re going to get past or not get past. But you know, with the Go-Gos, it was that we were chicks. People just couldn’t wrap their heads around it. Maybe I can be the new face of age or something.” Her laugh sparkles; it’s clear that she’s not done until she says she is. And we, as pop listeners and fans, are all the luckier for it.

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Madeline Tasquin was born and raised in Quesnel, BC, Canada, on a diet of Maria Callas, Joni Mitchell and river water. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2006, she can often be found galavanting about Montreal. It was in Montreal that she wrote, recorded and mastered her upcoming debut EP, Future Telephone, which is out now. Her varied musical influences include Bjork, Feist, Animal Collective, Chopin, Mr.Bungle, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, and her mother. Singing in both English and French, Canadian-Californian songcrafter Madeline Tasquin weaves nimbly from jazz folk to odd-meter soul, and from sassy pyschpop ballad to delicately dark fairy-tale, delivering it all with a stage presence that radiates. With influences ranging from Primus and Mr.Bungle to Rachmaninoff and Chopin, it’s no surprise that her songs takes unexpected harmonic and rhythmic twists and turns, though she manages to pull this off without leaving anyone in the room behind.

The track is a study of long distance relationships and modern (mis)communications. Explaining the track, Madeline suggests, “The lyrics of this tune are paraphrased from actual lines and emotions spoken and felt by myself and my (now ex-) sweetheart in a long period in different timezones, when our words and intentions got lost in pixelation thanks to these future telephones we were trying to communicate complex emotions through”. Musically, Future Telephones is a delight; Madeline’s dulcet vocal tones, accompanied by flourishes of piano, jazzy guitar and even at its denouement some delightfully, smoky saxophone. The entire EP exists as an attempt to communicate with people, an attempt Madeline admits may get lost in “the radio silence of modern living”, it will be a great shame if it does as Future Telephone is a message the world could do with hearing.

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All lyrics & music written by Madeline Tasquin
Vocals, guitar, piano: Madeline Tasquin
Synth, sax, vocals: Félix Petit
Bass: Jeremi Roy
Drums, percussion: William Côté

 

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Ty Segall’s been nothing short of prolific this year, dropping LPs, EPs, and singles with an almost feverish consistency. He’s back again, this time with the track  “My Lady’s On Fire”, a song that breaks from the thunderous, crackling fire of his usual output. As with recent singles like “Meaning” and “Alta”, the song patiently ambles out of the gate before finding its melody; what’s different, however, is that Segall’s electric guitar plays a supporting role here, content to mirror the vocal melody against steady acoustic strums and strains of fiery, upbeat saxophone and twinkling electric piano. Ty Segall’s new song, “My Lady’s On Fire” has been heard on the tour trail over the course of 2017, quickly becoming an audience favorite with its classic pop ballad style that offers provocation to the unrightous creators of chaos. Insane or not insane, you heard it here first.

It’s one of Ty Segall’s most laid back tracks, and apparently one he’s been honing on tour throughout the year. A press release describes it as a “provocation to the unrighteous creators of chaos.”

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Ryan Pollie is gearing up to release his second album as Los Angeles Police Department, also called Los Angeles Police Department (just like the first), and so far we’ve heard “Grown” and “The Plane 2” from it. Today, he’s shared another new song called “If I Lied,” and it’s a plaintively-strummed and twangy song that sees Pollie playing with different perspectives (he says it’s “the story of a train hopper in denial of how he’s mistreated the love of his life – unsure if he’s losing her or if he’s lost her already”), and it’s a sorta pathetic but desperately sweet plea to engage in a conversation: “There are still so many things to say that day/ And if I walk, then you might run away, no way,” Pollie sings with a backing drum that sounds like the rumble of the train tracks.

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There are many echoes of rock’s greatest women in Miya Folick’s new Give It To Me EP. “Trouble Adjusting” is basically a Hole song. “Woodstock” is literally a Joni Mitchell song. Folick can smolder like Sharon Van Etten and wail with the startling fury of Corin Tucker. Yet once you’ve beheld the LA musician’s latest recordings you won’t mistake them for anyone else. The EP leaves a profound impression even before you read the fascinating tidbits in her bio (raised Buddhist, reluctant former basketball player, met her band on Tinder). An in-your-face intensity animates these songs — a sense of deeper passion and higher stakes. Folick has grown from an enjoyable singer-songwriter with adventurous tendencies into an artist whose every disparate creation seems to be summoning elemental forces. When she screams, “Give it to me!” you feel compelled to comply

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Bedouine is the moniker of Azniv Korkejian, a Hollywood music editor turned recording artist who released her self-titled debut this year. Bedouine was made with the help of Spacebomb session musicians, and though it’s primarily a folk album, this collection of songs shapeshifts and collects new influences along the way. These are plainspoken songs written for quiet moments alone and long walks home, and though the entanglements Korkejian sings about don’t lead to huge, mind-bending revelations, they do leave you feeling a bit more grounded.

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San Franciscan, dark-synth duo NRVS LVRS with their blend of 1980’s guitar-pop and brutal, minimalist electronica. The band recently released their excellent sophomore album, “Electric Dread”, and have this week shared the video to the track, Lost To The Max.

Lost To The Max brings Bethan Fernandez’s, effortless, soaring vocals to the fore, Beneath the stunning vocal exists a twitching palette of glitchy Fever Ray like beats and pulsatingly, gloomy synths. It’s not the soundtrack to Blade Runner 2049, but it really should be. The accompanying video is superb; working with director Lauren Tabak, the film taps into the songs feelings of the alienation and victimisation of women. As the chorus of female characters come together to sing en-masse, “I have always been a target”, the video builds to a justifiably vengeful finale. Stirring and inspiring.

The song is a haunting examination of such devastating and historic abuses suffered by women. The subject matter is heavy here but there aren’t many vocalists that can get such daunting subject matters out in beautiful dark pop as Fernandez. It’s possible this is her best performance. Which is an impressive feat considering the band’s stellar catalog

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It’s tough to keep up with garage rock’s wunderkind Ty Segall. Between his steady release schedule of LPs, raucous side projects like Fuzz and GØGGS, and collaborations with fellow songwriters Mikal Cronin and Tim Presley, it’s as if a season can’t pass without Segall dropping a new record. And that’s not even taking his cassettes, splits, and EPs into consideration. Fortunately, Segall’s bottomless well of creativity, production savvy, and boundless fascination with the various niches of the rock world makes every new release an occasion to celebrate. Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to offer the latest entry in Ty’s impressive canon with the Sentimental Goblin 7”. Side A features “Pan”, a fuzz-soaked proto-metal jam that links Beatles’ pioneering guitar dirge “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” to later lurch classics by Sir Lord Baltimore and Pentagram. In true Segall fashion, he switches gears on side B and conjures the erudite pop appeal of T. Rex and Bowie with the lush glam rocker “Black Magick”. Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release Sentimental Goblin to the world on March 17, 2017. The initial pressing consists of 1000 copies on half blue / half yellow vinyl and includes a download card. The third pressing consists of 1000 copies on half pink / half purple vinyl and includes a download card. In a testament to his restless creativity and tireless work ethic, Ty also provides the artwork for the record. 

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Ty Segall reaches deep down into his deep bag of rocks and pulls out an uptempo dance number, an armload of guitars and a hardcore jam, urging us ultimately to jailbreak from the self-imposed thought prison we’ve all been raised in. No, tonight’s not the night, do it now! Denee Segall’s lead vocals hammer home “Meaning” with unbridled strength: “I see fear in freedom…” Is this what’s holding us back? Ask yourself, man!
released October 18th, 2017

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Rock and roll for the black hole – reimagined rippers, for the misfits that 2017 couldn’t kill to blast under the shadow of the big boot and beyond the glow of the chemical horizon. This is driving music, and you’re the designated shotgun rider

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