Posts Tagged ‘Echo Park’

Starcrawler - Devour You

Los Angeles punk outfit  Starcrawler’s remarkable sophomore albumDevour You” is a record that dynamically captures the essence and aggression of their gloriously unhinged live shows. Produced by Nick Launay (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, L7) at Sunset StudiosDevour You takes the feral intensity of their 2018 self-titled debut and twists it into something grander and more gracefully composed.

‘Bet My Brains’ is the lead single from Starcrawler’s forthcoming album Devour You, released on Oct 11th on Rough Trade Records. Blood, sweat and bruises, indeed—when Starcrawler first stepped out of Echo Park obscurity in 2017, the band quickly gained notoriety for their batshit and dynamic stage presence, which often involved frontwoman Arrow de Wilde spitting blood and snot-rocketing into the audience.

The band’s bizarro magnetism is carried over to the album’s newly debuted first single “Bet My Brains,” an anthemic cut with scuzzy, stadium-rock guitars, deadpan vocals and a riff reminiscent of a college football fight song.

“That song came from thinking about the tunnel people in New York and Vegas and the Catacombs in France, and the underground village of people who live in the sewers of the L.A. River,” frontwoman de Wilde said in a statement. “I was fascinated with the fact that there is a whole other world happening right under our feet.”

With its more elaborate and nuanced yet harder-hitting sonic palette, the result is a selection of songs radiating both raw sensitivity and untamable power, and a record that the band’s Arrow de Wilde says, “encapsulates all the blood, sweat, bruised knees, and broken fingers of a Starcrawler show.”

Release Date: 11th October 2019

‘She Gets Around’ is the latest single from Starcrawler, out now on Rough Trade Records.

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Los Angeles-via-Portland singer-songwriter Sharaya Summers is hyperaware of the suffering going on around her, and feels it all to the core. In her newest single “Easy Life,” Summers sings about being handed a good life, but being so burdened by the pain of others. This is a song of empathy, even tinged with a bit of guilt. With influence pouring out from Laurel Canyon songwriting, along with dreamy guitars and reverb-drenched vocals, “Easy Life” is an unmistakably easy listen. But underneath these layers, there is a subtext of desperation and disillusionment. Summers sings, “Tell me to believe that there’s meaning/ That it all works out in the end.” As she makes this plea, Sharaya Summers still manages to deliver a glimpse of hope. Be on the lookout for her EP set to be released later this year.

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Sharaya Summers, tells a story of disillusionment, dysfunction and discovery. As her debut single ‘Light of the Moon’ rapidly gained over half a million streams on Spotify, she prepares to release her full EP in mid 2018.

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Starcrawler's Arrow de Wilde

Having made a name for themselves with squalling riffs, thundering beats and their incendiary live shows oozing Arrow de Wilde’s otherworldly magnetism, Starcrawler are truly captivating. Recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio, the 10-song album proves that yes, this foursome are making rock and roll exciting again!

Formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Cash has played guitar since his hands were big enough. Today, he could rival his idol Jack White. He’s often so lost in adrenaline he doesn’t know his fingers are bleeding. At the Echo last year, he broke his nose onstage and didn’t realize it until he saw his disfigured face at a photo shoot the next day.

Shortly thereafter they were joined by the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). Smith, the eldest, carries the air of a Venice skater but grew up in Hollywood. His rhythmic partner, Franco, is the quiet one. “I thought Tim looked like a prick [at first],” Cash says. “But he’s the nicest guy.” If ever there were an attack on Starcrawler, de Wilde assures that the rhythm section would defend them. “They’ve got the guns,” she says.

Ryan Adams has been tweeting up a storm about them saying things like “This Starcrawler record is gonna peel the paint off your brain!” and “Starcrawler are so fucking insanely good. Soon they will rule this galaxy.” After signing to Rough Trade Records earlier this year, they quickly released their debut single Ants, which caught the ear of Elton John who played the track on his Beats 1 radio show. Soon after, they were on the cover of LA Weekly – their hometown paper. The headline was “With Fake Blood and Frenetic Songs, Starcrawler make rock feel dangerous again”. In the article, Arrow describes that “bands are boring nowadays” and that “there’s no mystery”. That helps explain a little bit of why their shows have become the stuff of legend.

This will be the bands Second limited 7″ on Rough Trade. Starcrawler taken from their newly released Ryan Adams– produced debut album. Starcrawler hail from Los Angeles and were formed a year ago . Shortly thereafter, the streets of Hollywood brought them the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). Starcrawler are the future of the rock n’ roll legacy of bands like Kiss, X, Sonic Youth and The Stooges.

When the band launch into their song “Pussy Tower.” (“It’s about giving head, whatever,” shrugged Starcrawler’s frontperson Arrow de Wilde, Once the song gets underway, de Wilde disappears from view, then re-emerges and spews blood over the audience. Some scream, others laugh. It’s some party trick.

Starcrawler have been gigging around L.A. for a year, often with fellow glam-punk revivalists The Lemon Twigs. Chances are you’ll hear about their fluid-secreting rock & roll before you see it.

When it comes to the music, Starcrawler are so conscientious that, in a bid to “look pro,” they recorded their first single, “Ants,” and its B-side, “Used to Know,” before even playing a gig. “Ants” is a literal anthem about the summer ant infestation that plagues Cash’s house annually. It’s fast, furious and was written as quickly as it plays out. “Ants” was played on Beats 1 radio by Elton John. “It’s funny ’cause people were like, ‘Elton John’s playing your song,'” .

Starcrawler have found a kindred guide in singer-songwriter producer Ryan Adams, who recorded their forthcoming debut LP on analog tape at his Pax-Am Studio in Hollywood. Adams discovered the band while following de Wilde’s mom Autumn on Instagram; like many rock musicians, Adams has been photographed by the elder de Wilde. When mom passed the message along to Arrow, her response was like someone hearing of a long-lost uncle: “Ryan Adams? I hadn’t heard that name in years.”

Starcrawler are definately the future of the rock n’ roll legacy of bands like Kiss, X, Sonic Youth and The Stooges.

Taken from the band’s debut album ‘Starcrawler’, out now on Rough Trade Records:

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The R.E.M./Smiths-inspired band’s jangly pop returns today with the title track from their upcoming EP, Vicious Folly. The guitar break mid-way through the song sounds so much like “Dreams” by the Cranberries that I half-expected Dolores O’Riordan to have a feature.

Maybe next time. After arriving on the national scene in 2012, Line & Circleʼs “Roman Ruins” and “Mine Is Mine” singles, and eponymous EP,received wide acclaim, appearing on a range of year-end lists on both sides of the Atlantic. The band’s debut full length “Split Figure” arrived in 2015 . The Ohio-born, Los Angeles-based Line & Circle will follow up their acclaimed singles and debut LP with their new EP Vicious Folly, due December 1st via Grand Gallop Records.

At a moment when societal divisions seem increasingly tense and tribalistic, Vicious Folly explores a belief the Romans held centuries ago: homo homini lupus — man is a wolf to man. Whether the conflicts here are romantic (“Man Uncouth”), ideological (“Vicious Folly”), or familial (Who Runs Wild”), the songs contemplate the disquieting idea that man himself is his own greatest threat.

Vicious Folly brings the resulting emotional complexity to life by expanding on the band’s characteristically moody but vibrant color palette. Interweaving bass clarinet pulses and distorted tape loops move underneath minimalist patterns of chiming guitar and bass melody counterpoint. Singer/guitarist Brian J. Cohen‘s dramatic tenor pulls across the songs’ brisk rhythmic foundations, which are more unhinged here than in previous releases.

The bulk of the record was tracked live to tape in one day at Los Angeles’ Vox Studios with Michael Harris (Angel Olsen’s My Woman), with additional sessions in various warehouses, bedrooms, and backhouse studios around the band’s Echo Park neighbourhood.
The project was mixed with frequent collaborator Jonathan Low (The National, The War On Drugs) at Aaron Dessner of The National‘s Long Pond studio in Hudson Valley, New York.
Vicious Folly‘s cover features Peter Flötner‘s 16th century hand-painted playing cards from post-Reformation Germany. Flötner used his cards to depict and denounce the perceived greed, gluttony, and folly of his time. That the imagery strikes a chord today — as it surely did then is either deeply comforting, or incredibly disconcerting, depending on your information filter.

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Line & Circle:
Brian J. Cohen (voice, rhythm guitar)
Eric Neujahr (guitar)
Jon Engelhard (bass guitar)
Garrett Ray (drums)
Bass Clarinet: arranged by Lewis Pesacov, performed by Brian Walsh

Matt Kivel - Fires on the Plain (2xLP)

“Fires on the Plain” is the second album that Matt Kivel released in 2016. It is an 82 minute record featuring performances by Robin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Sophia Knapp, and about 20 other people who you may not know as well.

Matt Kivel has been doing this for a while. “This” being writing and recording albums. Some people have heard of him, but not many. The music he makes has always been sort of difficult to define, grounded in folk and rock ‘n’ roll, but always just a little bit more dissonant, or a little more subtle, or a little more confrontational. His shows have included nights of pristine performance and, equally, nights of audience-baiting, drunken violence, and anxiety-induced panic.

If there is a Matt Kivel “sound,” his falsetto and his delayed Gibson acoustic guitar. It’s calm and spacious and the lyrics are brutal, blunt, and vividly-rendered. In his native Echo Park, he is a hero to many of the younger musicians on the scene. He is generous with his time, of which he has precious little. His music has never paid the bills, so he works 40 hours a week as a speechwriter for the space industry and bartends at his local beer store. In addition, he boxes at Manny Pacquiao’s gym, edits his wife’s poetry, and with every other waking minute, writes songs. His songs are songs of experience. Songs of a life, lived.

So why don’t many people outside of his small neighborhood really know about his music? Musicians love him. He’s done many a show with artists like Steve Gunn, The Clientele, Angel Olsen, and Martin Courtney (Real Estate). He’s released albums with indie powerhouse labels like Woodsist and Olde English Spelling Bee.

He’s received outstanding reviews, including an 8.0 review of his debut album “Double Exposure” by Pitchfork. And his new record, “Fires on the Plain” features performances by Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Robin Pecknold, two of the most outstanding artists/songwriters of their respective generations.

“Fires on the Plain” is his best record. It’s a stone-cold classic of an album that is expansive and rich with detail. Horns blend with raindrops. Vocal howls give way to field recordings of rivers and backyards. The songs are sweet, dark, and always, brave. Matt will shower you mercilessly with distortion, soothe you with a quiet folk hymn, and launch into a motorik drum beat all within 5 minutes of music.

From the album “Fires on the Plain”
Forthcoming on Driftless Recordings, Released October 7th, 2016

NICOLE ANNE ROBBINS - Bleached

Sometime toward the end of last year, Bleached’s singer-songwriter Jennifer Clavin and her friends wandered around Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles — after eating psychedelic mushrooms. It was around 9 a.m., and the park in northeast L.A. was already bustling with activity.

Their senses heightened from the psilocybin, Clavin and her friends wandered the one-mile perimeter of the man-made lake, fascinated by the commotion and bizarre cast of characters.

“It’s really insane being on mushrooms at that time of day at that location,” Clavin said in a drawling, extended vocal fry.

The morning peaked when they stumbled upon a couple handing out free zines with cut-and-paste text and imagery about Jesus. As Clavin flipped through one, she noticed a page emblazoned with the phrase “Welcome The Worms.” And she laughed. Through her magic mushroom–fogged brain, she knew she had just found the title for her band’s upcoming album.

“I was like, ‘Holy fuck. That totally explains this album to me,’ ” she says. “It was so ridiculous, but I knew I had to use it.”

Welcome The Worms, Bleached’s upbeat second album of pop-rock, was released on April 1st. Though it is sprinkled with hints of punk and heaps of guitar, its instrumentals — created by bassist Micayla Grace and guitarist Jessica Clavin, Jennifer’s younger sister — belie the album’s dark origins.

Throughout the entirety of the writing and recording process, the Clavin sisters struggled with their own personal dramas. Evicted from her Los Angeles apartment, Jessica started living in her windowless practice space. Meanwhile, Jennifer, who had been in a long-term, emotionally abusive relationship, was struggling with depression and a crippling addiction to drugs and alcohol. She would stay up all night partying and taking drugs and then roll into the studio the next day high and exhausted. Said Jennifer: “Life got real.”

By the time the album was finished in mid-2015, both sisters had miraculously sorted their lives out. Jessica was no longer homeless, and Jennifer, realizing how far she’d plummeted, got clean with help from her friends and family.

Welcome The Worms is a reflection of this tumultuous period and is self-described as the band’s most personal and introspective work to date.

“It’s about embracing the dark side of life and realizing that without the bad, we wouldn’t know when things were good,” Jennifer said. “It’s about accepting that people you love will pass away, your pet will die, you’ll get a parking ticket, and you’ll have a pimple on the day of your first date. That’s just part of life and it’s all beautiful.”

Jennifer and Jessica grew up in Northridge, an L.A. neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley about 20 miles north of downtown. The sisters started playing bass and guitar at a young age and credit living in the suburbs with their early dedication to music.

“I feel like the isolation made Jen and I play music all day because we didn’t have cars and we didn’t have anywhere to go,” Jessica said. “So we’d just sit in our garage and play.”

In 2003, when they were 13 and 15 years old, they started a garage-punk band called Mika Miko that became so successful — landing them copious mentions in music publications, a cameo in a documentary, and tours in Europe and Japan — that Jessica dropped out of high school. (Jennifer had already graduated.) For seven years Mika Miko operated as a quintet until the other members of the band decided they wanted to do other things with their lives, like attend college.

It was then that the sisters realized they wanted to dedicate their lives to music.

“When I was younger, I was never like, ‘One day, I’m going to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band,’ ” Jennifer said. “But after Mika Miko broke up, I was like, ‘Wait, this is what I want to do: play music.’ ”

Looking back on Mika Miko, the Clavins are grateful that they had the chance to figure out their sound and try new things before starting BleachedJennifer: “We always say, ‘Everyone needs their first band.’ ”

Jessica: “Yeah, if we never broke up, I would feel like I was still dating my first boyfriend.”

In addition to Welcome The Worms and the band’s upcoming tour (their first in two years), 2016 has marked another milestone for Bleached:

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Los Angeles Band  Black English with Laura Burhenn of the Mynabirds covering “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen

For a six-piece they don’t make a huge sound on record (live they’re a different proposition), preferring a more considered approach that allows the emotion in the songs to pour out of the speakers and envelop the listener and the huge hooks in most of the tracks to pull you in. They manage that fine trick of sounding intimate, like they’re addressing you personally, whilst the songs could fill big arenas if you turn the guitars and drums up.

NO released their debut album “El Prado” in February. The album was originally released when the band was known as NO, but during the year they changed their name to Black English due to confusion with other bands using the same name.

mysticbraves

Like a cross between a post garage rock band,  that you would find on your favorite Nuggets collection of bands, Los Angeles outfit Mystic Braves makes fuzzy, dusty, and pleasantly chunky psych-rock with California vibes for days. Mystic Braves has accomplished so far a great deal, in terms of music and live gigging, in its five years of existence. The road-warrior five-piece has perfected its far out, low-key freak-out of a set through tireless touring , but that hasn’t kept them from dropping three increasingly gnarly and surprisingly enduring albums that sometimes call to mind a sand-surfing trance in the key of Creedence Clearwater Revival (only subtler, more dreamy, and less soulful).

For a little taste of what you can expect from the band’s groovy live performance, dig the video below. Next, get out your best paisley duds and over-sized sunglasses.

California Psychedelic Popsters MYSTIC BRAVES with sounds of reverb laden cool guitars and loads of Farfisa organ, mystic Braves are Julian Ducatenzeiler (guitar & vocals), Tony Malacara (bass & vocals), Shane Stotsenberg (guitar & vocals),  Cameron Gartung (drums), Ignacio Gonzalez (organ/tambourine)