Posts Tagged ‘Cascine Records’

Saints and Sebastian Stories

Upon relocating to Oslo for college, two longtime friends from Norway’s northern fringe discovered a powerful musical chemistry. As Konradsen, Jenny Marie Sabel and Eirik Vildgren deliver an artful new spin on tender coffeehouse indie, infusing it with flashes of folk and post-rock and avant-R&B without wavering from their distinct voice. Their debut “Saints And Sebastian Stories” is spellbinding, like encountering an old friend in a dream and discovering they have superpowers.

Konradsen, the duo of vocalist and pianist Jenny Marie Sabel and multi-instrumentalist Eirik Vildgren, trace their roots to the far north of Norway, where the black night of winter is backlit by the neon glow of the Northern Lights. It’s a fitting metaphor for the music the pair crafts, where tradition meets innovation, and the natural world expresses its astral filament.

Inspired by the traditional songs and hymns Sabel sang with her family as a child, the duo’s debut album ‘Saints and Sebastian Stories’ weaves Sabel’s soulful and transportive vocals with field recordings and samples of ambient sounds, filtered through a modern pop filter. Voices of past and present dance over minimalist piano, atmospheric electronics, programmed beats and organic horns, forming a delicate sonic narrative centered on family and community that reflects the arc of their musical journey.

Taken from their debut LP ‘Saints and Sebastian Stories” – out October 25th, 2019, Cascine Records

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Singer/songwriter Matt Kivel shared a new single, “Radiance,” taken from his forthcoming album, Last Night In America, out on May 10th via Cascine Records. Kivel has been releasing music under his own name since 2012. He’s put out four solo albums over the years—Double Exposure in 2013 on Olde English Spelling Bee, Days of Being Wildin 2014 on Woodsist, and Janus and Fires on the Plain, both released in 2016 on Driftless Records. With a minimalist foundation of hushed vocals, a gentle drum machine and gusty synths, “Radiance” pairs ambient folk-pop with the good-natured acceptance of life’s inevitable yet resplendent gear-turning.

“Radiance” comes from ‘Last Night in America’ by Matt Kivel, out on Cascine Records

After hearing EP II back in 2015, it was a pretty unanimous feeling that there was just something extra amazing about the band Yumi Zouma. Their blend of 80s-leaning synth designs, easy breezy vocal treatments from Christie Simpson and cross-continental songwriting technique (Charlie Ryder in London, Josh Burgess in New York, and Christie Simpson & Olivia Campion in Christchurch) stood out among their peers in the dream pop landscape.  After three fantastic full-lengths including a sensational Oasis cover album, Yumi Zouma is ready to continue the EP series.

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First single In Camera starts off right where the last one ended over 3 years ago, thick with atmospheric dance pop straight out of a John Hughes film.  Just try and not love this f-ing song.  Once you get your heart back into your chest, smash that ‘buy’ button and get yourself a 10″ slab on blue and white split vinyl.  All preorders will include a hand-numbered autographed print from the band, while supplies last.

Cascine Records webstore pre-orders are pressed on limited edition white vinyl, and will also include an exclusive 10″ print, hand-numbered and signed by Yumi Zouma.

Yumi Zouma returns with EP III, completing the trilogy they started with EPs I and II. This new collection finds the international act stronger than ever, sculpting effortless atmospheres, winsome hooks and stadium-ready finishes. EP III is out digitally on September 28th, and will be released as 10″ vinyl on November 16th.

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Yumi Zouma now returns with their anticipated third EP, bookending their era of intimate and restrained short-form releases. The new tracks are just as effortless and engaging as expected, but they also tell the story of a band evolving. Lush, electronic productions buoy key tracks and the vocal deliveries are increasingly sophisticated

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being spread across the globe doesn’t seem to hinder Yumi Zouma; if anything, the quartet thrives off of displacement.  our reigning best new artists turned in their much-anticipated ep mere months after receiving the accolade, one that showcases a more intricate understanding of how to intertwine soaring hooks and intimate textures.  “alena” and “catastrophe” are both baleric anthems, indulging in their respective melodies to craft compositions that feel like extroverted extensions of the subdued persona

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Please Check out this band, I would love to see them Live.

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Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio Half Waif released their Cascine Records debut album Lavender in April. It’s about love, legacy and the inevitable decline of human existence. The album’s closer “Ocean Scope” ties up loose ends after 11 songs filled with talk of endings.

The band has released a lavender-tinted music video for the song with a dawn-to-dusk transformation of lead singer Nandi Rose Plunkett. “The video starts and ends on a salt marsh, where the land meets the ocean,” Plunkett said of the video in a statement. “What happens in the night in between is a spiritual reverie, a walk through the ego and revisiting of past selves.”

To match this transformation, we see Plunkett wade into the water before transitioning to a run through the forest with war paint-like makeup. The purples hues intensify as the video soldiers on until Plunkett has a startling awakening back on the marsh in the pastel hue of the early morning.

Half Waif, Lavender

Brooklyn songwriter Nandi Rose Plunkett leads the exquisite folk-pop trio Half Waif, whose new album, Lavender, arrives April 27th. Watch them perform the lovely album opener “Lavender Burning,”

Nandi Rose Plunkett is a seeker. As frontwoman of synth-pop outfit Half Waif, Plunkett writes songs that travel profoundly inward over beds of electronic instrumentation that expand and recede like ocean tides. But there is a darkness that cuts through Half Waif’s songs, hinting at a searching that is often born of loss and struggle. Lavender, the group’s latest album, centers on questions of loneliness and isolation, of the consequences of hard-fought wisdom and self-knowledge.

Half Waif has spent months on the road leading up to the album’s recording, and it shows; many of Lavender’s songs have a narrator who feels adrift, reaching towards an unattainable sense of home. “You used to say / ‘When are you coming back?’ / Then came the day / When you no longer asked,” Plunkett mourns on “Torches.” In an essay about her single “Back In Brooklyn,” a stunning piano ballad from the album, Plunkett describes how returning from tour left her feeling isolated and aching: “I was unmoored and questioning everything — not least of all my decision to forgo the stability and community I had cultivated in New York for something more ephemeral … There is a loneliness about this life that is hard to describe.”

“Back In Brooklyn” is the most unadorned of Lavender’s songs: just Plunkett’s voice and the piano (and a brief sample of a New York subway horn). It’s perhaps the only place on the record where Plunkett’s voice breaks from its classically-trained veneer: For all the impressive clarity and range she demonstrates across the record, there is something nearly heart-stopping about the way her voice cracks as she begs her listener to “listen for me now.” Her formal training shines through, too, in the careful stacks of electronic arrangements in these songs and her layers of vocal harmonies. Bandmates Adan Carlo (bass and guitar) and Zack Levine (live drums) add touches that ground and structure the songs, providing a stable base for Plunkett’s waves of synths and keyboards.

Lavender is, in many ways, an album about isolation, but its inverse threads its way into many songs; themes of connection — specifically, matrilineal connection — appear across the album. The album is named in honor of Plunkett’s grandmother, who had a habit of picking lavender from her garden to boil on the stove — a ritual of beauty, but also one of purification, Plunkett believes. On “Salt Candy,” Plunkett addresses her beloved maternal figures directly: “I was once a thousand other things now I’m not / I don’t understand why / Mother do you recognize your daughter? / Little head so full of big ideas.” There’s an ache to the song, which — like many on the album — pulls gently on the tangled threads of growth, dependency, the self and family, earnestly seeking an answer yet fearful of triggering a total unraveling. But across its 12 tracks, Lavender shows Plunkett coming to terms with the reality that pain is often an important intermediary to wisdom, that a little unraveling can help let the light in.

Half Waif – “Lavender Burning” Recorded Live: 4/16/2018 – Paste Studios – New York, NY

Lavender comes out April 27th through Cascine Records.

Lavender (Pre-Order)

‘Back In Brooklyn’ is the third single from Lavender, the new album from Half Waif, out on Cascine Records. Following 2017’s form/a EP and reissue of her 2016 album Probable Depths, Half Waif returns with a new record, Lavender. The album is Half Waif’s most fully realized work to date: a stunning collection of innovative and evocative electronic pop. Limited edition LPs include a special photobook, featuring exclusive photographs and tear-out prints.

Nandi Rose Plunkett writes, records and performs under the name Half Waif. Nandi was the daughter of an Indian refugee mother and an American father of Irish/Swiss descent. Growing up she listened to everything from Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos, to Celtic songstress Loreena McKennitt and traditional Indian bhajans. Her output as Half Waif reflects these varying influences, resulting in a richly layered collage of blinking electronic soundscapes, echoes of Celtic melodies and the elegiac chord changes of 19th-century art music. This year, Half Waif has released her latest record Lavender, so named for Nandi’s grandmother Asha – a nod to the lavender she would pluck from her garden and boil in a pot on the stove.

Half Waif, the Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio made up of Nandi Rose Plunkett, Adan Carlo and Zack Levine, will release their Cascine Records debut on April 27th. The album is called Lavender and another track  “Torches,” is an evocative and elemental balancing act between freedom and comfort.

“I know somewhere to my left is an undying coast / I think of it in the night when I know I need it most,” Plunkett sings, taking solace in the distant presence of vast and calming waters while she traverses a world of fire and blood. “I see the way the landscape burns / Upturned by the violence / Are these torches meant to fill the unending silence?” she wonders, her delicate voice complemented by a skittering beat and pulsing synths.

Plunkett says of the song: “Torches” opens with the terror of a world that burns, tempered by the cool reminder of an undying coast somewhere nearby. It then imagines what happens when that lit darkness reaches you before you can reach the water’s edge—when you come to feed off it, called by the scream of the open, endless road. It’s probably not surprising that I wrote this song in the days immediately after Trump’s election, driving through Texas on a stretch of highway.

Lavender was unveiled a month ago today, along with lead single “Keep It Out,” the track is a “spectral and beautiful” exploration of “isolation and longing” with “an elegant and minimal beat.” In other words, Plunkett and company are two for two. Half Waif recently expanded their spring tour, adding co-headlining dates with Hovvdy and support dates with Mitski, both wonderful combos.

Listen to “Torches” and revisit “Keep It Out”

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Half Waif brims over with sounds: underwater echoes of Celtic melodies; mossy, blinking electronic soundscapes; the ultra- sad chord changes of 19th-century art music; and eternal, unending bhajans. A finely crafted glass menagerie of song.

On April 27, our new full-length album Lavender will be released via our fam at Cascine Records. Today, you can hear & watch the first single, “Keep It Out.” It was directed by Celina Carney and choreographed by 2nd Best Dance Company and features a whole lot of talented folks – a huge thanks to the brilliant cast & crew for bringing this song to life.

Songs written by Nandi Rose Plunkett
Produced & arranged by Nandi Rose Plunkett with Adan Carlo & Zack Levine

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They might be the latest exciting act emerging from New Zealand, but before they embarked on their new record, Willowbank, Yumi Zouma never really felt like a band from New Zealand. It was only during what band-member Josh Burgess describes as, “a brief pause in all of our lives”that the band settled on a plan to go home to Christchurch and record their first release put together entirely in their home country. The fruits of that homecoming will become evident with Willowbank’s release next month, but ahead of that, the band have shared a video to new single, Half Hour.

Half Hour is inspired by Josh’s grandfather’s death back when he was just seven, as he explains, “the first time I experienced death in any significant way was when I was seven. My granddad died, and I still remember this feeling knowing that now he was no longer on the planet, and no matter how hard I searched, he could not be found”. It is perhaps no surprise that the song mirrors that sense of confusion, loss and longing for the past. Musically, it’s sad certainly but also strong, as singer Christie’s vocal entwines with Josh’s atop a backing of complex rhythms and pulses of bassy synth. A rush of electronics and gorgeous pop-tinged melodies, Yumi Zouma have never sounded more ready for the success that looks set to come their way.

Filmed in Christchurch, New Zealand, by Julian Vares. Willowbank is out October 6th via Cascine. ‘Persephone’ is the third single from Yumi Zouma’s sophomore album, Willowbank. Listen to previously released singles ‘December’ and ‘Depths (Pt. I) here: http://bit.ly/yumi_dec_sc

 

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Yumi Zouma’s music – budget-plush, instantly poignant – sounds placeless. It could have come from anywhere, and yet it was made everywhere – or at least in countries as far-flung as France (Charlie Ryder), America (Josh Burgess) and New Zealand (Kim Pflaum), where the three members live. It’s a very modern way of operating, via Dropbox. They used to live together in a house in Christchurch, until it was destroyed in the city’s 2011 earthquake. They used that terrible event as the impetus to scatter, but their connection lingers in the songs they file-share into existence. It’s dreampop, only this time there is a good reason for them to be making hazy, drowsy music – it was often assembled in half-waking states after the demos arrived across conflicting time zones.

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You would never know that Ryder and Burgess (who works in NYC for Captured Tracks, specifically on the label’s Flying Nun catalogue) used to be in NZ disco-punks Bang! Bang! Eche! They’re all about softness, hardly sharing rock’s essential mistrust of the mellifluous, flaunting Pflaum’s cut(i)e vocals, which rarely reach beyond a whisper. If you measure a band’s worth, their ability to convey authentic emotion, by volume and technique, be warned that Pflaum is more Sarah Cracknell than Sarah Vaughan. Her voice works perfectly as part of Yumi Zouma’s music.