Posts Tagged ‘Joyful Noise Recordings’

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Lillie West knows that sometimes you have to look back to move forward. West, who records as Lala Lala on SubPop imprint Hardly Art, has, in her music, confronted the kind of trauma that can inspire self-destruction or, hopefully, self-reflection: a home invasion and subsequent paranoia; toxic relationships; battles with addiction; and the deaths of several close friends, to name a few.

On “Siren 042,” the Chicago-based singer-songwriter collaborates with WHY? founder Yoni Wolf to examine the guilt that trickles in after ignoring your better judgment — the particular sensation of seeing problems or hazards on the horizon but proceeding anyway. “There was a siren ringing in my head,” sings West on the chorus. “But I wasn’t listening, so I did what I did.”

“Siren 042” is written by Yoni Wolf of WHY? and Lillie West of Lala Lala.

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Hailing from Cincinnati in the heart of the mid-west, The Ophelias are a collision of musical backgrounds, incorporating everything from garage-rock to opera. What brought them together was a desire to not be the token girl in, “dude-bands”. The resultant album, Almost, is a celebration of not being sidelined, of embracing the limelight and revelling in a freedom from censorship.

Ahead of dates with WHY? and the brilliant Lala Lala, The Ophelia’s have this week shared a brand new video to one of their album’s finest moments, Moon Like Sour Candy. The track is one of the more laid back offerings on the record; muted guitar strums give-way to pulsing synth bass, rich violins and twinkling electronics, all added to the melancholy vocal delivery. There’s a touch of the bedroom pop of Frankie Cosmos or early Waxahatchee. Proof, were it needed, that you don’t need to make a racket to have a huge impact, Moon Like Sour Candy is an understated triumph.

Almost is out now via Joyful Noise Recordings.

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This Cincinnati quartet refer to themselves as “all-girl moth music” and whatever it is, we’ll take it and then some. Following up their stellar first effort, Creature Nature, comes The OpheliasJoyful Noise Recordings debut, Almost, filled with Spencer Peppet’s quaint and comforting vocals and Andrea Gutmann Fuentes amazing violin. Every track is brimming with youthful nostalgia and the presence of Fuentes’ strings — written into just about every track — really sets The Ophelias apart as one of our most delightful recent discoveries

The Ophelias – “Fog” off the album ‘Almost’ on Joyful Noise Recordings.

The Ophelias – “General Electric” off ‘Almost’ out July 13th, 2018 on Joyful Noise Recordings.

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The Ophelia’s formed back in their teenage years, when they grew tired of being the, “token-girl”, in various“dude-bands” in Cincinnati. They decided to see what happens if they took tokenism out of the picture; the result was an intriguing collision of styles, from Opera to Surf-Pop, and the birth of a band free from, “the expected censorship of being a sideperson.”

The Ophelia’s debut record, Almost, is out next month on Joyful Noise, and the quartet have this week shared new single, General Electric. The band’s lyrical content is an intriguing juxtaposition of ideas; part poised, assured confidence, part introspection and insecurity, a dissection of growing-up from songwriters right in the middle of the process. Musically, it’s equally intriguing, you can hear the sheer variety of the influences on show. Starting with a gentle buzz of keys and a warm meandering guitar, the propulsive double-time drums enter, before a melancholy, wistful vocal-line flutters into life, “I want to be just like the girls you like, I want to be what you fantasise.”  As with acts like Adwaith or Neighbour Lady, the influences are familiar, yet hard to pin down, sounds you know and love reinvented into something entirely new and quietly wonderful.

Almost is out July 13th via Joyful Noise. Click HERE for more information on The Ophelias.

No Joy / Sonic Boom (painting by Richard Phillips) pink vinyl

You will know Jasamine from her eight-years (and counting) stint as a founding member and principal songwriter of Canadian shoegaze/noise-pop band No Joy. And Pete Kember is Sonic Boom, of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, and E.A.R.

While neither can accurately recollect how they met, the pair first touched on the idea of working together in an exchange of emails during the fall of 2015. No Joy had just finished touring on the back of LP More Faithful (their third full-length on the Mexican Summer imprint, and their heaviest to date), and Jasamine was eager to walk a new path. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” she says. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

What started as a sonic exploration between two friends—passing songs back and forth intercontinentally, with Jasamine writing and producing songs in Montreal and Pete writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal—soon grew into a project of substance, the result being four glistening tracks that dance along the lines of electronica, trip-hop and experimental noise.

“I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

The EP begins with the 11+ minute epic “Obsession,” a disco-y dream trance jam that ebbs and flows, before “Slorb” slinks in, casting its seductive spell. “Triangle Probably” rings triumphant, an industrial beat thumping below, the track interwoven with Jasamine’s silvery vocals. “Teenage Panic” begins in celebration, brimming with hope and excitement, and then—a full stop—before striking back in the form of a droning loop that gathers more and more layers as it spins out into the infinite void.

No Joy / Sonic Boom is an experiment in testing boundaries and stepping out of comfort zones gone cosmically right.

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Tracklist:

  1. Obsession (11:09)
  2. Slorb (2:57)
  3. Triangle Probably (3:32)
  4. Teenage Panic (6:20)

 

No Joy / Sonic Boom (painting by Richard Phillips)

No Joy / Sonic Boom is Jasamine White-Gluz and Pete Kember.

You know Jasamine from her eight-years (and counting) stint as a founding member and principal songwriter of Canadian shoegaze/noise-pop band No Joy. And Pete Kember is Sonic Boom, of Spacemen 3, Spectrum, and E.A.R.

While neither can accurately recollect how they met, the pair first touched on the idea of working together in an exchange of emails during the fall of 2015. No Joy had just finished touring on the back of LP More Faithful (their third full-length on the Mexican Summer imprint, and their heaviest to date), and Jasamine was eager to walk a new path. “No Joy functioned as a four-piece ‘rock band’ for so long,” she says. “I wanted to pursue something solo where I collaborated with someone else who could help me approach my songs from a completely different angle. Pete is a legend and someone I’ve admired for a long time. Being able to work with him on this was incredible.”

What started as a sonic exploration between two friends—passing songs back and forth intercontinentally, with Jasamine writing and producing songs in Montreal and Pete writing, arranging, and producing in Portugal—soon grew into a project of substance, the result being four glistening tracks that dance along the lines of electronica, trip-hop and experimental noise.

“I wrote some songs that were intended for a full band and handed them off to Pete, who helped transform them. I barely knew how to use MIDI so I was just throwing him these experiments I was working on and he fine-tuned my ideas. There are barely any guitars on this album, because I was focused on trying to find new ways to create sounds.”

The EP begins with the 11+ minute epic “Obsession,” a disco-y dream trance jam that ebbs and flows, before “Slorb” slinks in, casting its seductive spell. “Triangle Probably” rings triumphant, an industrial beat thumping below, the track interwoven with Jasamine’s silvery vocals. “Teenage Panic” begins in celebration, brimming with hope and excitement, and then—a full stop—before striking back in the form of a droning loop that gathers more and more layers as it spins out into the infinite void.

No Joy / Sonic Boom is an experiment in testing boundaries and stepping out of comfort zones gone cosmically right.

Official music video for “Obsession (Radio Edit)” new song from No Joy / Sonic Boom EP. Out on Joyful Noise Recordings 30th march 2018.

Limited to 300 hand-numbered copies pressed on baby pink inside bottle green vinyl. Instant download of “Obsession” with purchase,

I can’t think of another album that sounds quite like The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The SeaNot in title, not in sound. there are the familiar song structures and vocal harmonies.  We first heard this ensemble from nearby Providence Rhode Island  signed to Nonesuch Records with a brilliant album about environmental decay called Oh My God, Charlie Darwin. That record was followed by Smart Flesh, after which they huddled back home to build a recording studio inside an old vaudevillian theater, birthing both an iconic art space and the album Eyeland.

In late June 2016, while on the road to play a show in Washington D.C., founding member Ben Knox Miller remembers the moment when everything changed for The Low Anthem. After a horrific auto crash “I remember looking at the burning van wrapped around a steel pole and knowing it was the end of Eyeland,” he wrote in an email. “I wasn’t hurt so I rented a box truck and packed up all our broken instruments and drove them from D.C. to Providence. That night I was reading Kay Larsen’s biography of John Cage, Where the Heart Beats, and came across the Salt Doll fable. I have found several versions of the Salt Doll story, but all basically tell the story of a doll that wants to know the ocean. The ocean says ‘come in.’ It puts its toe in, and knows something, but loses its toe. Puts its foot in, knows more, but loses its foot… and so on. I began to imagine its journey, and 16 days later the first version of [our new] album was written and recorded. (I had to wait for Jeff [Prystowsky] to recover, and together we rendered the final version.)”

 

The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea is a stark journey, made even starker by the odd percussion that haunted me during my initial listens. The spare percussion wasn’t drums, but it felt oddly familiar, like something I heard a lot as kid and as a teen. Ben Knox Miller solved the mystery for me.

“I don’t know what kind of headspace I was in for those 16 days,” he wrote. “I was alone. All of my regular instruments were destroyed (along with my bandmates). I had a parlor acoustic [guitar], a 64-key piano and a ’90s era DA-88 digital 8-track tape machine in my bedroom. I had been using it to record abstract instrumental tracks, produced by processing beats physically cut into the center loops of vinyl records. My turntable was running 24 hours a day and I set up a signal chain with crossovers and guitars pedals and electronic and physical filters, and the room was filled with continuous hypnotic sound.”

That was it: the sound of the inner grooves of a record going round and round and round as percussion. It’s quite brilliant given what feels to me like the circular nature of the tale told. Ben Knox Miller confirmed my suspicion.

“I think of the music as made of circles,” he wrote. “There is a safe sense of time (a constant feeling of return), but some of the space that is opened up is so bare as to be nearly uncomfortable. Amongst ourselves we call the sound ‘subtle energy circularism.’ A lot of the sounds on Salt Doll comes from tiny sources, like a chopstick scraping the rim of a brown paper bag or a record needle bouncing in a divot.”

Like I said. This is truly an album like no other.

The Low Anthem performs “In The Pepsi Moon” for The Crypt Sessions.

The Salt Doll Went To Measure The Depth Of The Sea comes out February. 23rd via Joyful Noise Recordings.

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Chris Schlarb loves big records with bigger ideas, and doesn’t hesitate to ask big names to appear on his own, like Wilco’s Nels Cline, Minutemen’s Mike Watt, Cynic’s Paul Masvidal and Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood. Modeled somewhat on that Muscle Shoals approach, Schlarb is old-school when it comes to studio musician mojo, where players of various ages and experience can combine for a creative awakening. In the last couple years, he’s even opened his own studio, BIG EGO, in Long Beach, Calif.

Schlarb’s new record under his Psychic Temple moniker, IV, refines the unclassifiable, yet quintessentially Southern California vibe explored on last year’s III. The romantic “Turn Off The Lights” is one of three duets that Schlarb sings with Terry Reid, the English guitarist with a voice of a gritty angel (just listen to 1969’s “Superlungs My Supergirl” for proof). Reid has long lived in L.A., and here channels his now-worn, but still soulful voice into a dexterous workout of a classic California pop song.

In this studio video, you can see them backed by a roster of high-end jazz musicians like drummer Chad Taylor (Chicago Underground Duo), Dave Easley (Brian Blade Fellowship) working the pedal steel like a sitar, bassist Steuart Liebig, Hammond organist John Clement Wood and percussionists Danny Frankel and Tabor Allen. It sounds like something that might have come out of composer David Axelrod’s brain, directed and arranged for his dream band.

IV on  Joyful Noise Records.

From Psychic Temple – ‘IV’
on Joyful Noise Recordings

Covers

Surfer Blood are releasing a Covers EP as a one-time vinyl pressing, covering some wildly disparate artists like Outkast, Pavement, Cream, Mudhoney, Breeders, and even Hey Sandy by Polaris (aka, the theme-song from The Adventures of Pete & Pete).

Who doesn’t love cover songs? The aptly named ‘Covers’ album features Surfer Blood covering some wildly unusual tunes .

This one time pressing is limited to 1000 foil-numbered copies on amber vinyl with black splatter, and includes instant download of MP3 and WAV.

This release is not available via record stores. The only way to get your hands on this bad boy is to order from JNR, or catch the band on tour.

You can stream their take on Mudhoney’s “Good Enough” below. Unavailable in record stores, the nine track EP is limited to 1,000 foil-numbered copies on amber vinyl with black splatter.

Tracklist

  1. Box Elder (Pavement)
  2. Hey Ya (Outkast)
  3. Death and the Maiden (Verlaines)
  4. World of Pain (Cream)
  5. Little Fury (Breeders)
  6. I Melt With You (Modern English)
  7. Summer Song (Chad and Jeremy)
  8. Good Enough (Mudhoney)
  9. Hey Sandy (Polaris)

“Good Enough” Mudhoney Cover by Surfer Blood off ‘Covers’ out now on Joyful Noise Recordings.

A darkness pervades John Paul Pitts’ lyrics on “Snowdonia”, the first Surfer Blood album since the death, by cancer, of guitarist Thomas Fekete, but the overall tenor is joyful. It’s a rebooted version of the band, with Pitts and original drummer Tyler Schwarz joined by guitarist Michael McCleary and bassist Lindsey Mills—the latter two the source of the breezy harmony vocals that sweetened the arrangements.

This is a zippy power-pop record, full of crunchy riffs and ringing leads, even as Pitts sings of mortality, aging and sacrifice. Pitts stretches out with multi part song structure on the title track and shifts “Instant Doppelgangers” into high gear with some judiciously placed distortion that hearkens back to 2010’s Astro Coast. But most of Snowdonia is immediate and direct, as bright and sharply defined as the weather in the band’s native Florida. At times reminiscent of the Lilys’ Better Can’t Make Your Life Better, Snowdonia works within formulas, but it does so with aplomb.

We are very excited to announce our new album ‘Snowdonia’ will be released February 3rd on Joyful Noise Recordings!

The new album. Out 2/3/17