Posts Tagged ‘Kiss Yr Frenemies’

When it comes to volume, Sarah Tudzin likes to keep listeners on their toes. “Kiss Yr Frenemies”, was her debut album as Illuminati Hotties, playfully leaps between a variety of decibel-dictated sonic moods from the indie-pop canon. Hushed acoustic reveries give way to knife-sharp stabs of guitar; contemplative, finger-picked tranquility crescendos to giant slabs of post-rock feedback and trumpet fanfare. “You only like me when I’m sad,” she sweetly sings during a quiet interlude on “Pressed 2 Death,” an otherwise boisterous rambler that’s dotted with kiss-offs.

Tudzin—who is technically Illuminati Hotties’ sole permanent member, although she records with a full band—is a veteran studio rat, and it shows in the album’s dynamic sounds. In addition to working as a production and engineering assistant to big-time indie producer Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio), she’s logged studio time with acts ranging from Porches to Macklemore and worked on the sound design for the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton.

Her expertise gives her own tracks a funhouse-like quality, with an eruption of noise, six-stringed squeal, or purposely lo-fi effect around every corner. Even without knowing that additional vocals on the album are credited to “Everyone at Jesse’s Party,” you get the sense that she had fun making this record. Tudzin describes the sound of Illuminati Hotties as “tenderpunk,” and that feels right. Every emotional abrasion and pang of longing on Kiss Yr Frenemies is conveyed with just the right mix of sadness and acerbity. On the single “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” she confesses, “All the baddest words I knew came pouring out/When I heard you feel better/Better than ever.” Along with stylistic forebears Los Campesinos!,

Tudzin’s sound sometimes recalls indie-pop lifer Rose Melberg’s many projects, as well as 1990s Vancouver punks Cub—all acts that have regularly challenged the common notion that indie pop is all cloying sentiments and bookishly restrained instrumentation.

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Released May 11th, 2018

 

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Veteran producer and engineer Sarah Tudzin has worked on albums for major players like Slowdive, Amen Dunes and Macklemore (oh, and the Hamilton soundtrack, ). This year, however, she has made an excellent album of her own, with some help from “a rotating selection of her bffs,” per the Illuminati Hotties Facebook page. The band’s debut, Kiss Yr Frenemies, is a really fun and smart indie-rock album among one of the year’s best, for that matter. Tudzin is bone dry in delivering her lyrics, which pair the everyday with the profound in a startling, hilarious fashion. On “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” something as mundane as a pair of socks triggers a nugget of wisdom: “All my favorite socks are getting holes in them / All my favorite people got a load on them.” In other words, handle the things (and people) you love with care. The world is rough on them

Illuminati Hotties(You’re Better) Than Ever Recorded Live – Daytrotter Studios

illuminati hotties will perform at SXSW 2019.

Sarah Tudzin has dubbed her band’s sound “tenderpunk,” which captures a fair bit of her modus operandi: Vibrant and aggressive, illuminati hotties‘ songs storm agreeably without obscuring the bleeding heart at their center. But that tenderpunk portmanteau still doesn’t quite convey the poppy, sunlit sound of Kiss Yr Frenemies and songs like “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” in which Tudzin craftily conveys a flood of mixed emotions: “Texted you a picture where you looked pretty,” she sings, adding, “and wondered if you saved the ones you had of me.”

On their Facebook page, Illuminati Hotties’ genre description reads “post-naptime burrito-core.” Jokes aside, the L.A. band’s jubilant rock would probably pair well with Mexican foods of all varieties, but not so much a midday nap. The group, whose only permanent member is longtime studio musician Sarah Tudzin, released Kiss Yr Frenemies, Tudzin’s first long player record under the moniker, in May. Tudzin, along with her band, stopped by Daytrotter to play a few songs from the record including ”(You’re Better) Than Ever,” “Shape Of My Hands,” “Cuff” and “Paying Off the Happiness.”

Illuminati Hotties – Paying Off The Happiness Recorded Live – Daytrotter Studios – Davenport, IA

As its title suggests, Kiss Yr Frenemies is an album about forgiveness. Sarah Tudzin’s debut full-length as Illuminati Hotties sees each stage of the grieving and coping that leads to radical acceptance — digging into the grey areas of flings and relationships, growing up and feeling the same. Her disposition shifts from lighthearted smirking to choking on her words. Mood swings are well-met with Tudzin’s diverse palette of influences and genres. She grits her teeth to synth and static booms, bobs her head to jangly guitars, whispers to echoey acoustics, and makes fart noises to a relentless riff. Moving forward is rarely a straight shot. It’s messy. There are distractions, setbacks, and diversions. Tudzin takes the winding road and brings us along for the ride.

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Rarely is there an album that I can listen to and enjoy every song, but this album has certainly been able to get me to listen to it on repeat. Love this album already and looking forward to what else Illuminati Hotties has to offer.

Released May 11th, 2018

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Illuminati Hotties, aka L.A.’s Sarah Tudzin, seems plagued by the past on “Cuff.” But over a chorus of explosive guitars, backed by simple, steady drum programming, she settles on a solution: “I cuff my T-shirt sleeve / and grit my teeth / How else can I tell myself I can do most anything?”

In a new video for the track, featuring animation from Sam Lane, the protagonist is a humble fish that has fantasies of flight. As the chorus explodes, dreamy visions of possibilities flash, the colors shifting. For the film’s fish protagonist, despite the cost, hope remains. And for Tudzin, the final chorus offers relief in letting another in.

“After watching an animated short film that Sam created for part of her coursework at CalArts, I knew I wanted to collaborate with her on something,” Tudzin says. “The animation and storytelling she does is so sensitive, emotionally aware, and poignantly relatable – it sneaks right into your guts and twists them up in the most winsome way.”

The same can be said of Tudzin’s debut, a record that balances humor and heart, illuminating the ways in which we cope with coming into our own, no matter our age.

Kiss Yr Frenemies is out now via Tiny Engines.

L.A. musician Sarah Tudzin makes fizzy, self-deprecating power pop under the moniker Illuminati Hotties. “Paying Off The Happiness,” like a few other unlikely rallying cries before it, plays off the very real, very troubling issue of financial insolvency among the millennial set with with a joyful sigh and shrug.

Despite the pluralized nom de guerre, illuminati hotties is the creative outlet of Sarah Tudzin – a producer and engineer hailing from the sprawl of Los Angeles. illuminati hotties has been lighting up stages across SoCal since Fall 2016 with playfully interweaving guitar lines, relentless rhythmic momentum, and strikingly self-aware vocals.  At first listen, illuminati hotties is a sun-drenched, irreverent volley with the onset of adulthood, but as the listener dives deeper, they will find an earnest consideration of musical phrasing and deliberately crafted wordplay regarding the complexity of love, loss, and skateboarding. Lauded as local “tenderpunk pioneers,” illuminati hotties has perfected the blend of sweetness and ferocity, of celebration and despondency, in their debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies.

With its chorus that swells before spilling over, “Patience” is a plea and an appreciation that demonstrates the dichotomy of virtue. It also highlights the duality of Illuminati Hotties, a playful project that balances heart-on-sleeve sentiments with levity and wit.

Sarah Tudzin is the project’s mastermind…She has a malleable writing style that feels ripe with potential, and she seems comfortable doing just about anything. The album’s lead single, “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” is a surf-pop shredder by way of Courtney Barnett, but its follow-up “Cuff” is a masterful blend of heavy-soft dynamics that shows off the many sides to this project. Tudzin’s songs vacillate between humorous and cutting with ferocity.

illuminati hotties “Kiss Yr Frenemies” out May 11, 2018 on Tiny Engines Records

With soft gorgeous pop sensibilities that know how to turn up the overdrive. these tracks are meticulous–the textures, the way the songs build, just gorgeous. fourth track had me impulse buying, second to last track had my jaw physically dropping

You might expect something akin to goofy surf rock from an LA-based project called Illuminati Hotties. And while Sarah Tudzin can certainly play to that note, it’s far from the only one she’s well-versed in. On her debut LP Kiss Yr Frenemies, Tudzin draws from a wide ranging palette — encompassing acoustic balladry, bouncy surf rock, and simmering noise pop — from which she doodles detailed scenes and stories of young adulthood. Also in her toolbox: keen self-awareness, vulnerability, poignant wit, nuanced social observations, and a sense of optimism that recognizes the beauty that can grow out of growing pains. Tudzin is both personal and personable; her anecdotes are relatable without sufficing the intimate specificity of her experience. Lighthearted odes to past flings with lame dudes carry the same weight as heart-wrenching letters that begin with sleeping in her car on her 24th birthday. Kiss Yr Frenemies is the fruitful aftermath of emotional labor and hindsight.

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Released May 11th, 2018

L.A. musician Sarah Tudzin makes fizzy, self-deprecating power pop under the moniker Illuminati Hotties. “Paying Off The Happiness,” like a few other unlikely rallying cries before it, plays off the very real, very troubling issue of financial insolvency among the millennial set with with a joyful sigh and shrug, The hook, sung breezily over some chintzy dissonance, might be the catchiest outpouring of debt-fueled anxiety since Alvvays sang about student loans in 2014.  Illuminati Hotties were The Best Band That Almost No One Saw at SXSWSarah Tudzin is the project’s mastermind…She has a malleable writing style that feels ripe with potential, and she seems comfortable doing just about anything. The album’s lead single, “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” is a surf-pop shredder by way of Courtney Barnett, but its follow-up “Cuff” is a masterful blend of heavy-soft dynamics that shows off the many sides to this project. Tudzin’s songs vacillate between humorous and cutting with ferocity.

Despite the pluralized nom de guerre, illuminati hotties is the creative outlet of Sarah Tudzin – a producer and engineer hailing from the sprawl of Los Angeles. illuminati hotties has been lighting up stages across SoCal since Fall 2016 with playfully interweaving guitar lines, relentless rhythmic momentum, and strikingly self-aware vocals.

With its chorus that swells before spilling over, “Patience” is a plea and an appreciation that demonstrates the dichotomy of virtue. It also highlights the duality of Illuminati Hotties, a playful project that balances heart-on-sleeve sentiments

At first listen, illuminati hotties is a sun-drenched, irreverent volley with the onset of adulthood, but as the listener dives deeper, they will find an earnest consideration of musical phrasing and deliberately crafted wordplay regarding the complexity of love, loss, and skateboarding. Lauded as local “tenderpunk pioneers,” illuminati hotties has perfected the blend of sweetness and ferocity, of celebration and despondency, in their debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies.

Taken from their debut album, which will be released later Tiny Engines, new track “Cuff” is indicative of that warped journeying, the track slowly introducing itself with a hazy, foggy opening minute or so, the subtle production and half-buried vocals conjuring a sense of embedded melancholy, a drifting sadness that is soon wiped out, to some degree, as the whole thing bursts in to a bristling, raucous life you never saw coming.

Cuff” is a musical reminder that we can truly never have a band figured out. Last summer we were introduced to illuminati hotties and their sunny single “You’re Better Than Ever.” Since then the band has signed to Tiny Engines and will release Kiss Yr Frenemies on 5/11. While their first single offering was bright and a total blast, “Cuff” is more subdued; a quiet single of introspection and stunning beauty.

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Despite the pluralized nom de guerre, illuminati hotties is the creative outlet of Sarah Tudzin – a producer and engineer hailing from the sprawl of Los Angeles. illuminati hotties has been lighting up stages across SoCal since Fall 2016 with playfully interweaving guitar lines, relentless rhythmic momentum, and strikingly self-aware vocals.  At first listen, illuminati hotties is a sun-drenched, irreverent volley with the onset of adulthood, but as the listener dives deeper, they will find an earnest consideration of musical phrasing and deliberately crafted wordplay regarding the complexity of love, loss, and skateboarding. Lauded as local “tenderpunk pioneers,” illuminati hotties has perfected the blend of sweetness and ferocity, of celebration and despondency, in their debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies.