Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut’

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Charly Bliss released a new album this year, “Young Enough”, via Barsuk . Many of its standout tracks were already released as pre-release singles (and all had made our must listen Songs of the Week ), but there are also some worthy album tracks too. We considered the late album ballad “Hurt Me” (“You need me like a parachute” is a good line), but album opener “Blown to Bits” caught our ears the most. In the sequencing it provides a nice built up to album highlight (and first single) “Capacity.” “I don’t know what’s coming for me after 24,” frontwoman Eva Hendricks sings. If her band keeps putting out albums as good as Young Enough then lots more great things should be coming for her in the future. Touring their sophomore album, Young Enough, that has proven they’re a true force to be reckoned with

Previously Charly Bliss shared a video for Young Enough’s first single, “Capacity,” which was directed by Michelle Zauner aka Japanese Breakfast . The they shared another new song from the album, “Chatroom,” also via a video for it. Maegan Houang directed the twisted clip, which starred Hendricks as the member of a cult. “Chatroom”. Then they shared another new song from the album, “Hard to Believe,” via a video for it .

On Guppy, Eva poked fun at herself lyrically, but on Young Enough she resists the urge to swerve sincerity. “I was trying to be completely honest, and not always go with my first instinct, which is to be sarcastic or to deflect,” she admits. Eva’s still singing about cute things like bathing suits and kissing boys, but now there’s more sex and nakedness (“I’m fucking joy and I hemorrhage light,” she belts on “Bleach”), more confessions of fear and pain.

Inspired in turn by Lorde’s Melodrama, Superorganism, and recent tours with Bleachers, Wolf Parade, and Death Cab For Cutie, the foursome is especially pleased with the way Young Enough sounds dynamic, forthright, and full of feeling. “It’s still explosive,” still has that frenetic Guppy spirit, Spencer notes, “but it’s more emotional.” They strove for diversity of sound, allowing the songs to have “more space,” to not always be “in-your-face” and “at 110 percent,” an approach that led to roomier, more languid tracks like “Young Enough” and “Hurt Me.”.

Eva, is now twenty-five, is talking specifically about the title track of the forthcoming Young Enough. Lyrically, she says, the track reflects on the anger she expressed on Guppy. “We’re young enough / to believe it should hurt this much,” she sings, her tireless voice mellower than usual; “I had to outgrow it to know or destroy you.” She calls this potent slow-burn the album’s centerpiece, because it’s about “what it means to come out the other end of a really terrible situation” as a softer person, about looking back at yourself with kindness and acceptance, about recognizing you’ve evolved. “You gotta go through it,” she says, addressing her younger self, “but it’s not who you are forever.”

While Guppy took years to complete—they recorded it twice, and some of those songs were almost five years old by the time they came out—Young Enough is the product of complete concentration. After Guppy, each member of the band quit their steady barista and bartender jobs in order to become completely engrossed in the songwriting process. Not always trusting their initial impulses is something the band can all agree on, as evidenced by the re-recording of Guppy, and their penchant for what they call the “Frankensong.” Guppy’s standout, the firecracker breakup track “Glitter,” was one of those; it went through rounds of editing and rearranging until all that remained of the demo was the pre-chorus.

It’s hard to put into words how excited we are to share our second album Young Enough, released May 10th, with all of you. This album was a joy to make. We worked harder and were more focused than ever before, and our confidence and trust in one another and ourselves grew with every song we wrote. This album is a celebration of personal growth, meant to be danced and cried to in equal measure. We can’t wait to share more songs and more information with you in the comings months, but for now, we hope you enjoy our first single, “Capacity” and the beautiful video directed by Michelle Zauner and shot by Adam Kolodny. Also, Also, a huge thank you to Ebru Yildiz for our beautiful album cover and press photos.

After eight years as a band, Charly Bliss’ unfuckwithable chemistry has only gotten stronger. “It just gets better,” says Sam, who’s lanky, earnest, and excitable, and has recently been sporting a platinum coif,

After exploding out of the gates in 2017 with arguably the best rock record of the year in Guppy, Charly Bliss were always going to have to put in the hard yards to outrun the shadow cast by their debut.

Not only were they able to achieve that with Young Enough, they were able to do so entirely on their terms. Yes, this is an album that embraces the band’s love of pop music. It’s not a dirty word where these four come from — and nor should it be.

The VIP tracks this time are “Capacity” and “Chatroom,” also the Frankensongs. “Capacity”— is a sparkling, characteristically feisty, anthem-sized song whose tempo, Sam says, was designed specifically for strutting down the street—was tabled before the band “reopened the case” many months later, during pre-production with producer Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, The White Stripes).

With that being said, you won’t find any other pop song on the radio right now that strikes upon the human condition the same way standout tracks like ‘Capacity’ and ‘Chatroom’ do. Emotively striking and visceral in its honesty, they’re delivered so subtly and in such glossy packaging that you might not even fully understand the weight of that verse you’ve been singing along to this whole time.

From the charging ‘I Fought the Law’ pastiche of ‘Blown to Bits’ through to the quietly-devastating title track, Young Enough is a stellar achievement for a band that doesn’t show any signs of slowing momentum. “I’m always nervous,” Eva concludes. “But it feels good to have songs that are still changing every time you play them, because you’re reviewing what’s working and what’s not working. And to be really nervous—it feels really good.”

The band:

Eva and Sam Hendricks, Dan Shure, and Spencer Fox

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“Hot Off The Press” is a unique and unknown LP featuring super tight performances, lovely four-part harmonies, and songs that won’t take long to get comfortably lodged in your head. …These guys had a distinct knack for good hooks and lots of unexpected compositional flourishes. …The bulk of it is terrific 1960s west coast-flavored folk rock with a dreamy psych vibe and good vocal harmonies. …If songs like “Loser” and “Misty Day” had gotten attention from record execs, you’d be listening to News on classic-rock radio. “Loser,” with it’s stunning steel guitar solo, and the long album-closer “New York City,” but this is consistent enough that any given listener could feel equally strong about any two others. …There is something timeless about this record, something difficult to put your finger on, yet it grows with repeat listens. …Here’s a unique and outstanding 70s pop album.

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The lead instrument is a pedal steel guitar, played with more imagination than almost anywhere. …it can turn a run-of-the-mill country-rock song into a shit-kicking anthem…with soaring, jazzy licks. …This reissue, that boasts two additional tracks, shows off News’ honey-tinged harmonies and West Coast easiness, making it one of those great gems that roll out of the seemingly endless vaults. …Here’s a unique and outstanding 70s pop album. A delight. …Don’t miss this excellent reissue. 

The News 
Gary Friend: Fender Bass and Vocals
Mark London: Pedal Steel Guitar and Vocals
Vic Machcinski: Guitars, Vibes and Vocals
Bob Prechter: Drums, Percussion and Vocals

Since cropping up on the East Coast DIY circuit in 2009, amassing the sort of fervent cult fanbase that gets tattoos in their honor, Ovlov have had to break up a number of times in order to keep it together. Their most recent disintegration, in March 2015, seemed to suggest a greater degree of finality, however, with Hartlett expressing his uneasiness with demanding a full-time-band commitment from the revolving roster of friends and family members that have helped him realize his creative vision. But after redirecting his energies to his solo project Stove, he returned to Ovlov’s Facebook page in early 2016 to sheepishly announce an intention to reunite the band, “sometimes but not all the time.” Ironically, that commitment to be non-committal has since yielded two years of steady touring, a vinyl compilation of their early EPs, and now, Ovlov’s first proper album in half a decade.

The division between Ovlov and Stove was always blurry—the former may lean on Dinosaur Jr. overdrive while the latter wobbles on a rickety Guided by Voices foundation, but both ultimately forge a symbiotic relationship between Hartlett’s crestfallen melodies and his fuzz-pedal abuse. While Stove began as a wholly solo endeavor, it quickly formalized into a proper band in its own right—one whose bassist, Michael “Boner” Hammond Jr., is part of this current Ovlov line-up. But with Tru, Hartlett soundly reasserts Ovlov’s signature strength: the band’s ability to fortify tender songs with muscular squall in a way that doesn’t obscure their emotional intent, but amplifies it. Harlett’s songs tend to deal in themes of loneliness, estrangement, and the inability to communicate, and the onslaught of noise ultimately serves to make that desire for connection feel all the more cruelly out of reach.

Steve Hartlett sang, played guitar, bass & synth on the best of you
Theo Hartlett played drums, sang on stick, guitar soloed on grab it from the garden
Morgan Luzzi played guitar
Michael Hammond Jr. played bass, guitar on best of you
Erin McGrath sang on baby alligator
Michael John Thomas III played a guitar solo on grab it from the garden
Released July 20th, 2018

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The sophomore album from Connecticut fuzz-rockers Stove “s’ Favorite Friend” , finds them seeking refuge in art: The album was written and recorded after songwriter Steve Hartlett and drummer/vocalist Jordyn Blakeley had both recently lost loved ones, and the resulting songs reckon with “grief and the sometimes harsh realities of time passing,” per a press release. That search for catharsis plays out in “Stiff Bones,” on which Hartlett’s rueful yowls, Blakeley’s powerful drums and an onslaught of washed-out guitars push through upheaval to find peace. “When you try to play it off / as if your heart is truly soft / You gave away / and slave away / Alone is how you want to be / so lonely’s what you’ll feel with me / and everyone / not anyone,” Hartlett and Blakeley sing as one.

Band Members
Steve Hartlett, Mike Hammond, Jordyn Blakely, Alex Molini

“Stiff Bones” by Stove from their upcoming LP, ‘s Favorite Friend, out October 31, 2018 on Exploding in Sound Records

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The sophomore album from Connecticut fuzz-rockers Stove, ’s Favorite Friend (not a typo!), finds them seeking refuge in art: The album was written and recorded after songwriter Steve Hartlett and drummer/vocalist Jordyn Blakeley had both recently lost loved ones, and the resulting songs reckon with “grief and the sometimes harsh realities of time passing,” per a press release. That search for catharsis plays out in “Stiff Bones” on which Hartlett’s rueful yowls, Blakeley’s powerful drums and an onslaught of washed-out guitars push through upheaval to find peace. “When you try to play it off / as if your heart is truly soft / You gave away / and slave away / Alone is how you want to be / so lonely’s what you’ll feel with me / and everyone / not anyone,” Hartlett and Blakeley sing as one.

“Stiff Bones” by Stove from their upcoming LP, ‘s Favorite Friend, out October 31, 2018 on Exploding in Sound Records.

It Kindly Stopped for Me artwork

Sorority Noise’s 2015 album “Joy, Departed” culminated in an awakening. On “Using,” songwriter Cameron Boucher saves the album’s biggest, grungiest riff for an explosive declaration: “I stopped wishing I was dead!” The sentiment is played mostly for celebration, and Boucher shouts it with palpable joy. But it’s also a correction, an indictment of emo’s long history of glorifying depressive thinking, and an implied apology for his complicity in that. In interviews, Boucher explained “Using” was the first song he’d ever written with a positive takeaway. Despite his struggles with mental illness, he’d decided to make the best of things. “I started loving again,” he sang.

How cruel it is, then, that just as Boucher was learning to appreciate his own life, so many of the people close to him were giving up on theirs. Since recording Joy, Departed, Boucher lost some friends to suicide , Loss on that scale would upend anybody, but it’s especially derailing for an artist who’s had reason to fear he could meet the same fate. In all likelihood he’ll be working through his grief for albums to come, and that long process begins on the home-recorded It Kindly Stopped For Me EP, a four-song cycle narrated from the perspectives of both the departed and those left behind.

Boucher doesn’t just sound bereaved; he sounds downright shell-shocked. Singing like all the color has been drained from his face, he recites most of the EP in a sickly, half-inaudible mumble. If there are listeners who haven’t checked in on Sorority Noise since their debut LP Forgettable, released only two years ago, they won’t even recognize the band. Boucher’s purged every trace of pop-punk whimsy from his songs, trading crunchy riffs and shout-along tantrums for hushed pianos and closed-mic’ed drums tapped so lightly it’s as if they’re being gently blown on.

It Kindly Stopped is as intensely somber as its subject matter demands—maybe even more so, if that’s possible—and Boucher often seems to be processing these tragedies in real time. He captured the EP’s most disquieting track, the spoken-word interlude “Fource,” while he was literally wandering through the wilderness. “I think it might be okay, I’ll be okay,” Boucher mutters unconvincingly into his recorder while trying to catch his breath. “Today was an off day; I’ve had a few.” If he wasn’t actually drunk when he recorded it, he’s a mighty convincing actor. And while the rest of the EP is more deliberate than that field recording, it’s nearly as lonesome.

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Sonics aside, what truly distinguishes this recent iteration of Sorority Noise is Boucher’s newfound sense of responsibility. In concert, he prefaces “Using” with a heartfelt introduction about mental illness and the value of life. He includes a similar plea in It Kindly Stopped For Me’s liner notes. “If you do have the opportunity to listen to this record please know that suicide is not the answer,” he writes. “Please know how important you are and how much your life matters to your family, friends, and most importantly yourself.” Yet despite his convictions, he never admonishes the dead in these songs. He sympathizes with them too much for that. On “Either Way,” he casts life as a coin toss, drawing a parallel between a friend who saw “a chance to leave a life you couldn’t lead” and his own chance “to rid myself of my toxic ways,” a chance he could have just as easily missed. That’s the lone consolation on an otherwise disheartening EP, and it’s not an insignificant one: Many of his friends are gone, but Boucher is still here and he’s still thankful for that.

We had a blast working on a tribute to one of our favorite flicks of all time – the 1984 cult classic “Repo Man” written & directed by Alex Cox and featuring Harry Dean Stanton and Emilio Estevez. The original soundtrack celebrated the southern California punk movement of the late 70’s/early 80’s with bands Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, The Plugz, and Iggy Pop. It’s no surprise that an oddball film by an oddball director would demand a pretty oddball soundtrack. So instead of opting for full-on cod-punk, you have hardcore from Suicidal Tendencies and Black Flag’s mock-jock anthem ‘TV Party’ interspersed with the spanish-style mambo of ‘Hombre Secreto’ and the bluesy semi-instrumentals of ‘Bad Man’ and ‘When the Shit Hits the Fan’. Throw in a cover version of the Modern Lovers‘ ode to ‘Pablo Picasso’ and the sublime instrumental ‘Reel Ten’ and you have the perfect accompaniment to a late night drive. Just remember to keep the doors locked and do not leave your car unattended.

We’ve recruited an outstanding group of artists to cover these now-classic punk tracks, including; Those Darlins, Matthew Sweet, Amanda Palmer, Mike Watt, The Tellers, Black Francis, Weekend, Polar Bear Club, Moses Coltrane, New York Rivals, and The Suicide Dolls. The 6-panel CD Eco-Wallet features original illustrations by revered rock-poster designer Lonny Unitus (Melvins, Decemberists, Willie Nelson), includes full production/player credits, and some great elements inspired from the original film.

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American Laundromat Records is an independent record label based in Mystic, CT. Founded in 2004, the label is known for its critically-acclaimed tribute and themed compilations, award-winning charity albums, and an impressive roster of original artists

CD Track List:

  1. Panic – Kitten
  2. Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before – The Rest
  3. What Difference Does It Make? – Joy Zipper
  4. Shoplifters of the World Unite – Tanya Donelly w/ Dylan in the Movies
  5. Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want – William Fitzsimmons
  6. I Won’t Share You – Sixpence None the Richer
  7. Well I Wonder – Sara Lov
  8. Half a Person – Greg Laswell
  9. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me – Dala
  10. Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others – Chikita Violenta
  11. Sheila Take A Bow – Telekinesis
  12. Is It Really So Strange? – Solvents
  13. Hand In Glove – The Wedding Present
  14. How Soon Is Now? – Mike Viola and The Section Quartet
  15. There Is a Light That Never Goes Out – Trespassers William
  16. Rubber Ring – Girl in a Coma
  17. I Know It’s Over – Elk City
  18. What She Said – Katy Goodman (La Sera, Vivian Girls)
  19. London – Cinerama
  20. Reel Around the Fountain – Doug Martsch (Built To Spill)

On vinyl for the first time ever!!! Remastered Collectors Edition. Exclusive one-time run on Powder Blue Vinyl. Double-LP, Dual Gatefold Jacket, Download Card. Only 500 are being pressed.

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“An awesome cover-compilation!” –Paste

“An outstanding and highly varied assortment of Smiths covers” –Consequence of Sound

“A worthwhile tribute that reinvents the songs while retaining The Smiths glorious spirit.” –NME

“A wonderful 20-song, double-LP blockbuster!” –The Big Takeover

There are numerous quoted studies that have equated a sleepless night with being drunk, as you get the lowered inhibitions, impaired decision making, and depressed functionality, all without any of the buzz. And so Cameron Boucher’s first lyric on Sorority Noise’s third LP explains a lot of what’s to come: “This last week/I’ve slept eight hours total.” From that point forward, “You’re Not As _____ As You Think” tries to rouse itself from that despondency the best way Sorority Noise knows how: towering twin guitar leads, blinding bursts of distortion, instantly quotable lyrics where the vocals jump up an octave. It’s the kind of record that would be called “triumphant” if Boucher was in a position to enjoy any of it.

The title of Sorority Noise’s 2015 breakthrough “Joy Departed” now carries unfortunate foreshadowing. In its wake, Boucher’s friends took their own lives by way of heroin or suicide and they were memorialized on 2016’s “It Kindly Stopped for Me” EP. Sounding like he’d slept eight hours in the past six months, Boucher’s register rarely left a conversational baritone, with offhand lyrics and monologues laid over incidental guitar and piano, almost avant-garde in its unguarded immediacy. Later that year, Boucher’s pre-Sorority Noise outfit Old Gray reformed for the blood-chilling album “Slow Burn” its scalding, minute-long screamo outbursts were the polar opposite of It Kindly Stopped for Me, but it had the same white-knuckled edge to confronting death and addiction, too emotionally drained to be anything less than direct.

“You’re Not As” opener “No Halo” finds the exact midpoint between these two projects and points Sorority Noise in a bold new direction. Boucher has never been more in command of melody while in his lower register or while inhabiting his hardcore roots. But even as the band makes one last surge towards catharsis before collapsing in an exhausted heap, there’s no relief: An organ drone fades out and the next song begins with Boucher muttering, “I’ve been feeling suicidal.” Sorority Noise’s rise in stature has coincided with an increased candor about depression and mental health treatment .  The songs are in part Boucher’s attempt to eliminate the distance between himself and the listeners and show they’re all in this together.

Similar to Modern Baseball’s “Holy Ghost” , You’re Not As rushes headlong through the outside hype and internal strife, streamlining their sound rather than expanding upon it. Joy, Departed was rife with orchestral swells, florid poetry, and obtuse song titles—the sort of things that pop-punk bands typically adopt to tell fans and the world at large know they’re trying to be taken seriously. It was only in a live setting that Sorority Noise discovered their best selves: windmilling on Gibson Explorers, letting the crowd take over during the climactic lyrics of “Using,” creating something close to group therapy.

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The bulk of You’re Not As is designed for that exact purpose. Boucher nicks lyrics from his friends on “A Better Better Sun” and flatly states, “This is the part where I did cocaine to impress every one of my mouth-breathing friends.” And then comes a goddamn pick slide. Meanwhile, the midsection of “Disappeared,” “Car,” and “Where Are You?” eliminate any melody that wouldn’t qualify as a hook. They rush as quickly as possible to the part that might give someone a sense of comfort in tragedy, or at least the understanding of what it might feel like to start losing friends in your early 20s. Boucher repeatedly chooses urgency over artifice: “You say there’s a god/You say you’ve got proof/Well I’ve lost friends to heroin/So what’s your god trying to prove?” It’s a lyric he might’ve been tempted to obscure or reword on Joy, Departed, and while the blunt immediacy of You’re Not As can occasionally come off as awkward, the discomfort of honesty is easier to handle than forced poetry.

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You’re Not As might be something closer to emo’s “Tonights The Night” a matter-of-fact, insomniac wake for those who died too young by their own hand. “I’ve got friends who’ve died, but everything’s going to be be alright,” Boucher sings on “Where Are You?” and if he doesn’t actually believe it in the moment, the show must still go on. During another restless night in the van on “Car,” Boucher muses, “It’s not ideal, but I’ve never felt more alive” and the glimmer of hope in those words feels earned. Hearing these lyrics yelled back at him as a show of solidarity might finally allow him to rest easy.

Band Members
Cameron Boucher – guitar/vocals
Ryan McKenna – bass/vocals
Adam Ackerman – guitar/vocals
Charlie Singer- drums

It’s a busy spring for us. We’ll be coming back to Mainland Europe and the United Kingdom as well in May to play new music for the first time since our new album came out.