Posts Tagged ‘Elektra Records’

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After signing to Elektra Records and sharing a pair of new singles over the summer, Louisville, Ky., rockers White Reaper released their new album, “You Deserve Love”, the follow-up to the band’s 2017 breakthrough The World’s Best American Band (one of our top albums of that year). The single “1F” finds the band preserving their garage-rock edge while introducing more pop-oriented elements: Tony Esposito’s vocals still spike and crackle like a live wire over big, brash guitars, but it’s the insistent, simplistic organ lick, old-school backing harmonies and tidy production that sound like something new.

White Reaper’s official video for their new track ‘1F’ – from the album, You Deserve Love, available now.

White Reaper’s official video for their new track ‘Might Be Right’ – from the album, You Deserve Love, available now.

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With whammied electric guitars, arena-ready vocals and an organ-led bridge, “Real Long Time” sounds so familiar, you’ll be singing along by the end of your first listen. That’s not a knock—the track is immediately catchy, with every member of the five-piece given a chance to soar above the rest in the groove-locked cut.

As White Reaper roll forward, they’re slowly abandoning their garage roots as they become preoccupied with the idea of playing arena rock. The group’s Saturday night SXSW set at the Clive Bar was pitched between these two extremes, with the group playing AOR with the coiled energy of punk. Occasionally, this combo is absurd, and it’s not always clear if it’s intentionally so: The blend of gilded synths and anonymous chugging riffs exists on the precipice of parody, but White Reaper plays with sincerity. Even if there’s an element of archness to the band – it’s hard not to feel that way when the guitars riff with bawdiness of Joe Walsh yet sound as sleek as Loverboy – it’s also difficult to deny that they generate the kind of kinetic good times ideal for the waning hours of SXSW. 

Band Members:

Tony – Guitar / Voice. Nick – Drums. Sam – Bass. Ryan – Keys. Hunter – Guitar.

White Reaper’s official video for their new track ‘Real Long Time’ – available now on Elektra Records.

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Rainbow Kitten Surprise and all five of its members hail from the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. With chilling harmonies, dynamic instrumentation, and introspective lyrics, their genre-defying sound takes influence from artists like Modest Mouse and Kings of Leon as much as Frank Ocean and Schoolboy Q. Independently, they have over 75 million streams across digital platforms, and notched over 45 sold out shows on their first U.S. headline tour. Their engaging and distinct live performances have led to stand out sets at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Firefly, Shaky Knees, Hangout, Sasquatch, and Austin City Limits among others. The band worked with GRAMMY award-winning producer Jay Joyce (Cage The Elephant, Sleeper Agent) on their Elektra debut, How to: Friend, Love, Freefall, available everywhere now.

Available now are two old songs we hold near and dear to us. You may have heard us play many different versions of Heart and No Vacancy through the years at our live shows. Written before many of the songs you now know by RKS, these tracks never made it on our original EPs “Mary” or “Seven” for various reasons, but today is the day. May we present: Mary (B-Sides).

Band Members:
Sam Melo – Lead Vocals
Ethan Goodpaster – Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Darrick “Bozzy” Keller – Rhythm Guitar and Backing Vocals
Charlie Holt – Bass and Backing Vocals
Jess Haney – Drums

from the Mary (b-sides) out now:

On May 7th, Elektra Records signed pop-rock group The Band Camino. Co-frontmen Jeffery Jordan and Spencer Stewart and guitarist Graham Rowell formed the band in Memphis in 2015 — later recruiting drummer Garrison Burgess and have built a loyal fan base with their independently released EPs, 2016’s My Thoughts On You and 2017’s Heaven.

Elektra’s senior director of A&R Johnny Minardi was one of those early fans, thanks to his friends who had introduced him to the band’s song “What I Want.” Minardi, who was at Equal Vision Records at the time and joined Elektra in 2017, says he was drawn to the song because it didn’t sound like everything else from rock bands today. “They have such great melody, and hooks that live with you. You can listen to the band and walk away for two weeks and be like, ‘Why is this still in my head?'”

As the band continued releasing music independently, Minardi kept in touch with their manager, Jameson Roper. And once they released the roaring electric guitar-heavy jam “Daphne Blue” in August 2018, Minardi wanted to act fast: “That’s when I truly head over heels fell in love.” So earlier this year, when The Band Camino was looking to sign a record deal, Minardi got to work and sent several coworkers to the band’s New York show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in February. After Elektra’s A&R reps Caterina Nasr and Danny Rakow saw them perform, Minardi remembers, “They called me freaking out.”

“They’re a younger rock band — which is hard to say these days — that actually puts people in venues, but has a modernized pop appeal to it as well, compared to a lot of the bands [just] having success at pop radio,” Minardi says of the foursome, who are all in their early 20s. “They bring the full gambit of what a true pop-rock band is these days.”

After announcing their Elektra signing on May 14th, The Band Camino have re-released “Daphne Blue” and unveiled the heartbreak anthem “See Through.” They also announced their biggest headlining tour to date, hitting 1,000 to 2,000-person rooms around North America. The group has continued making music with frequent collaborator (and Nashville superproducer) Jordan Schmidt and Minardi assures there will be new music before they hit the road — also hinting that the new material will bring even more impactful energy to The Band Camino’s sets. “We all set out to be the biggest band in the genre ever,” he says. “That’s where we’re trying to go.”

White Reaper Sign to Elektra Records, Release New Single "Might Be Right"

White Reaper, the raucous garage-punk band from Louisville, Ky., are back with an equally vivacious new single, “Might Be Right.” The Kentucky rockers have also announced that they are now signed to Elektra Records.

Vocalist/guitarist Tony Esposito recalls in a statement, “I remember seeing the big Elektra ‘E’ on the back of so many of my favorite Cars, Doors, Queen and Metallica records. I still can’t believe it.” Drummer Nick Wilkerson adds, “It’s awesome to be a part of a label with such rich history.”

In White Reaper’s new track, Esposito’s amplified vocals coincide with Nick Wilkerson’s turbulent beats, Sam Wilkerson’s pounding bass lines, Ryan Hater’s lively keyboard chords and Hunter Thompson’s dynamic electric guitar shreds. Elements of nu-disco and pop intermingle with the band’s signature garage-punk sound.

The official music video depicts each member performing with their respective instrument, A neon sign glistens, showcasing the White Reaper logo as rotating spotlights swirl around the band. Primary-colored backdrops and various split screen visuals are utilized throughout the video’s almost four minutes.

White Reaper’s latest single is their first new music release in two years. The group’s last LP, 2017’s The World’s Best American Band, reached critical acclaim, and featured tracks like “Judy French,” “Daisies,” “Eagle Beach” and its title track. 2015’s White Reaper Does It Again spawned fan-favorites like “Make Me Wanna Die” and “Sheila,” as they crafted their now well-renowned sound

Wee Tam and the Big Huge was the fourth album by this Scottish psychedelic folk group, the Incredible String Band, It was released in Europe as both a double LP and separate single LPs in November 1968 by Elektra Records. In the US, however, the two discs were released separately as Wee Tam and The Big Huge

The album title imagined a friend of the band (Wee Tam) contemplating the vastness of the universe (the Big Huge) and the work was hallmarked by a vast array of stringed and other instruments from around the globe. The songs were written by Williamson or Heron, always individually. Both men had quite disparate styles. Heron largely embraced a warm, simplistic celebration of the natural world, while Williamson’s lyrics were full of mythical wonder, with imagery raided from paganism.

Heron’s tunes had immediacy. Williamson’s took more getting to know. Yet, their voices work so well together. Their instrumental playing is at times inspired, and the way they blend vocals and instrumentation allows two different souls to become one. As much as the playing shimmered with virtuosity, there was also a coy, amateurish side to the band,

originally released as two separate albums in 1968, Wee Tam& the Big Huge were audacious then and still monumental now. these were, in effect, the Incredible String Band’s fourth and fifth albums; their debut had appeared just two years prior. the band expanded their base with more stringed instruments from around the world, and increased the song length. more than half the songs are over five minutes in length to accommodate the band’s exploration of folkish moods and mysticism. Mike Heron’s “Log Cabin in the Sky” is a classic by any measure, and Robin Williamson’s “The Half-Remarkable Question” shows him in full command of a deeply anchored musical sensibility. the whole set feels like a continuous piece, with the songs rolling into one another with graceful ease.

Wee Tam is arguably the more accessible disc with notable highlights, The colorful and optimistic “You Get Brighter”, and the atmospheric “Air”. It’s a precursor for the brilliance of the Big Huge where Williamson’s creative touch dominates. The second disc starts with the wondrous epic “Maya”, which is sheer poetry and imagination set to vibrant music. The song ends with the sentiment that humanity creates a “troubled voyage in calm weather.” The overriding sense is that there is little wrong with the natural world and it is man who must find his place and learn to live in peace with the earth and his fellow occupiers.

Another peak is the mystic-poetic “The Iron Stone”, a slow-burn exploration, which suddenly morphs into the hippy equivalent of rap as “love paints the cart with suns for wheels” and ends in a wonderful instrumental melange with Heron’s sitar dueling with Williamson’s guitar. It’s sheer brilliance, and you feel exhausted and exhilarated afterward. Mind you, Heron manages to outdo his band mate with weirdness on this side of the album, with the impermeable “Douglas Traherne Harding”.

The real joy of Wee Tam and the Big Huge is that it takes you to places few albums have or will. It is nature’s roller coaster ride. It’s green before its time, haunting and plaintiff, spiritual and uplifting, funny and sad, baffling and informed, and it should be in everyone’s record collection, preferably on vinyl.

Originally a trio, the ISB were signed by legendary producer Jo Boyd. After seeing them at Clive’s Incredible Folk Club, a small venue in Glasgow’s famous Saucihall Street Boyd placed them on the Elektra label. The band released their seminal fourth album, Wee Tam and the Big Hugein 1968. A double album, no less, which was far out, as was the way the lyrics appeared unconventionally on the album covers, rather than inside. The typography and how initial letters of each song lyric were illustrated in a Book of Hours style. The inside spread was occupied by two pure flower-power portraits of Williamson and Heron together.

Willamson and Heron were the epitome of experimentation, free spirit, weirdness, beauty, and truth.

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Brandi Carlile, By The Way, I Forgive You

The songs on Brandi Carlile’s By The Way, I Forgive You have a lot of love in them. Carlile isn’t writing silly little love songs, though; these are songs with depth and empathy that unpack weighty topics like the current political climate, immigrant and refugee rights, the opioid epidemic, family dynamics and the idea that forgiveness is inherently radical. What is also radical is the singing, harmonies and emotional depth Carlile — and her longtime bandmates, Phil and Tim Hanseroth  achieve on these songs.

A tireless activist, Carlile cares deeply about addressing social injustices and the role art and music play in effecting change. But she’s never overbearing; instead, her songwriting allows you to enjoy the complexities of her narratives. It’s music with a message, and during messed-up, troubled times like these, music with meaning music that has something to say, that inspires, motivates, comforts and provides hope resonates so much more for me. That’s something we could all use more of along with, by the way, forgiveness.

Brandi Carlile  is back with her best album since The Story, and maybe her best yet. By the Way, I Forgive You features cover art by one of the Avett brothers, photography by Pete Souza , string arrangements by the late, legendary Paul Buckmaster, and production by Shooter Jennings and country producer du jour Dave Cobb. That Carlile remains the center of gravity in this star-studded universe is a testament to her considerable talents. Here she ably navigates a batch of songs that range from folk, country and blues to symphonic pop and rock pieces that would sound at home on a Broadway stage. No matter the backdrop, Carlile sounds completely in control.

From the album “By The Way, I Forgive You” available now:

What’s Shakin is a compilation album released by Elektra Records in June 1966. It features the earliest studio recordings by the Lovin’ Spoonful and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, as well as the only released recordings by the ad hoc studio super-group Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse, until they were reissued years later.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, Elektra was one of the best-known American folk music record labels. However, by 1964–1965, it decided to test the waters with unknown electric, rock-oriented artists. Among the first such groups signed were the Paul Butterfield Blues Band from Chicago and Arthur Lee’s Love from Los Angeles. Elektra wanted the Lovin’ Spoonful and recorded several songs by the group, however they were signed to Kama Sutra Records.

Elektra Records had released several successful “sampler” compilation albums, including The Blues Project in 1964 and Folksong ’65. Some suggest What’s Shakin started as The Electric Blues Project, a follow-up to the 1964 compilation;  however, Elektra founder Jac Holzman has stated “it was simply unreleased material that was available to us”.

Shortly after signing with Elektra, Paul Butterfield and band recorded an album’s worth of songs which producer Paul A. Rothchild felt did not live up to the band’s potential. Five of these tracks were chosen for What’s Shakin’ . Four songs, representing the earliest recordings by the Lovin’ Spoonful, as well as one song each by Al Kooper and Tom Rush, were also included.

The only songs recorded specifically for the album were by a studio group dubbed Eric Clapton and the Powerhouse. Joe Boyd, who had been sent to London to open a field office for Elektra, was tasked with finding a suitable band for his first assignment.  Boyd approached Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones and suggested that they put one together. Jones, who played harmonica and sang harmony, brought Manfred Mann bandmate Jack Bruce on bass, Steve Winwood on vocals and Peter York on drums (both from the Spencer Davis Group), Eric Clapton on guitar (from John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers), and Ben Palmer, a blues pianist friend of Jones and Clapton. Ginger Baker was suggested as the drummer, but he declined or was unavailable. The recording sessions took place in March 1966. Bruce later commented, “There were no thoughts of making a band at that time, but it probably helped to make the Cream thing happen.”  By June, he, Baker, and Clapton began rehearsing and became Cream .

our songs were recorded by the Powerhouse. Jones chose “I Want to Know” (his own composition, although credited to his wife, Sheila MacLeod) and Winwood selected “Steppin’ Out”. According to Boyd, Clapton wanted to record Albert King’s “Crosscut Saw”, but Boyd suggested “Standing at the Crossroads” (a version of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues” recorded by Elmore James); Clapton then suggested Johnson’s “Traveling Riverside Blues”. Finally, a new arrangement of “Crossroads” was recorded using lyrics from both of the Johnson songs. A fourth song, described as a slow blues, was also recorded, but remains unreleased.

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Warren Zevon’s final album and fifth album for Elektra Records, “The Envoy”, delivered another dose of the edgy intelligence and sardonic humor that were the singer-songwriter’s trademarks. Recorded with such top session players as guitarist Waddy Wachtel and bassist Leland Sklar along with famed session drummer Jeff Porcaro, along with famous friends including Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley and Graham Nash, the performances are as sharp as the lyrics on these nine originals. Drug dealers (“Charlie’s Medicine”)  is a chilling requiem for a drug dealer who used to sell him dope, “Jesus Mentioned” is a spare but curiously moving meditation on the death of Elvis Presley  , who “went walking on the water with his pills,” and the ragged but right “Ain’t That Pretty at All” is an unlikely but powerful recovery anthem in which he howls “I’d rather feel bad than not feel anything at all.” , all are among the many fascinating characters featured in these songs- and perhaps stand-ins for personal demons – peopling the 1982 collection. “The Envoy” was released 35 years ago this month, and it’s an excellent reminder of how much Warren Zevon’s distinctive voice is missed these days.

The album was released on July 16th, 1982, by Asylum Records. The album’s lack of commercial success caused Zevon’s label to terminate his recording contract, a fact that Zevon discovered only after reading about it in Rolling Stone magazine.

Television, St.Marks Place NYC 1977 L to R: Billy Ficca, Tom Verlaine, Fred Smith, Richard Lloyd

Released on February 8th in 1977: New York CBGB’s-scene band Television released one of rock’s all-time most influential guitar albums, ‘Marquee Moon’, on Elektra Records; made up of tense garage rockers that spiral into heady intellectual territory, the band fused blues structures with avant-garde flourishes while stripping away any sense of swing or groove; led by the 10:40 title track, the dual guitar work of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd abandoned power chords in favor of almost jazz-like interplay, melodic lines & counter-melodies; it was crucial to the development of the post punk scene that followed; though critically-acclaimed at the time of release, it was not a commercial success – it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest & most influential statements in the history of alternative rock music…As founding fathers of the ’70s New York City underground rock scene, among the first bands who played CBGB, Television found themselves sticking out even among the out crowd.

Television delivered a tangled, serpentine guitar spar over Marquee Moon‘s eight sprawling songs, and in twice the length of your conventional punk album, the final running time coming in at 46 minutes (and more than 10 of those minutes are reserved for the title track alone).

While that all might sound like a formula for an esoteric mess, guitarist/frontman Tom Verlaine, his six-string foil Richard Lloyd, and the indomitable rhythm section of Fred Smith on bass and Billy Ficca on drums could just as easily write catchy songs. The album’s longest track, its title cut, comes across as a sort of sonic response to Verlaine’s old girlfriend Patti Smith and her 1975 solo debut masterpiece Horses in its patterns and rhythms.

The band chose acclaimed English engineer Andy Johns to produce the album on account of his work on such early-’70s classics as Mott The Hoople’s Brain Capers and the Stones “Goats Head Soup” . However a lifestyle clash with Johns and Television produced studio tension from the outset. Once they got on the same page, Johns and Television created a literal master’s class in the kind of crisp yet sharp production that enhanced the angularity of their rhythms without losing their sense of melody and pop appeal.

“We wanted to rent a rotating speaker to get the sound for [‘Elevation’],” Lloyd explained. “But the rental people wanted way too much. So Andy came up with an idea. He took a microphone, and while I did the guitar solo to ‘Elevation,’ he stood in front of me in the studio, swinging this microphone around his head like a lasso. He nearly took my fucking nose off. I was backing up while I was playing.”

The risks Johns and the band took in the studio paid off. Marquee Moon became an iconic record for its mythical, godlike status amongst both music critics and young musicians, a select few of whom would go on to form bands