Posts Tagged ‘Leah Wellbaum’

Slothrust and Sons of an Illustrious Father have teamed up to cover each other’s songs, and they’ll be donating the proceeds of the project to the Trevor Project. Have a listen to Slothrust’s cover of “U.S. Gay” and the Sons’ cover of “Horseshoe Crab,” and read thoughts on the project from both bands,

I wrote “Horseshoe Crab” at a time when I was struggling with dissociative depressive episodes while living in Brooklyn. The song itself is a reflection of the duality that exists inside of all of us, and the maladaptive complexities that come with being human. In short, it’s an exploration of feeling disconnected from your true self.

This experience is one familiar to many gay people, especially those who struggle with mental health issues. I have spent a lot of time hiding my mind and my body from the world, and even from myself. For many of us, it takes a lot of work to be at ease in a world where we do not fulfill the expectations society has educated us to believe are desirable. It wasn’t easy to gain the confidence to do this internal work, but I am happy to say it has been worth it.

Part of that work, is noticing and surrounding yourself with the type of people who make you feel seen and who encourage you to be yourself. Sons of An Illustrious Father have embodied this love since the moment we met at our first show together in Boise. Each member is so unique and their show is no less individual. There is a raw creativity and earnestness about their show that evokes a timeless performance experience. The three of them are not afraid to be weird, loud, theatrical, or vulnerable and these qualities inspire me to take more risks in my own work.

While the Slothrust version of this song feels like it holds a lot of fire and frustration, the Sons version swims in cool and unfamiliar water. It is almost as if they are the seahorse and we are the horseshoe crab. One is soft and rarely seen, swimming freely in the ocean, leaving gender norms to surface dwellers. The other washes ashore on many coasts, its thick brown leathery shell hiding the surprisingly opaque blue blood within.

Knowing that the lyrics of this song were inspired by feelings of alienation and solitude, it’s a beautiful choice that Josh, Lilah, and Ezra all sing this song together as opposed to one of them taking the lead. As the songwriter in our band, it can feeling isolating and exposing at times to come in with songs like this one. Having three totally unique voices reinterpret it brings about the feeling of unity and sameness that I hoped to convey in the lyric “I don’t have anything in common with myself, except that I came from the sea like everyone else did.” It is as though three people are having parallel experiences at the same time, and it’s a humbling moment to have the song become a source of healing reflected back at me.

Leah Wellbaum, Slothrust

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Listening to Slothrust’s cover of “U.S. Gay” makes me feel sick, the way that falling in love does that dull, heavy stomachache. I feel so overwhelmed with love and gratitude for Leah, Will, and Kyle for showing me what this song that I started could become. In writing “U.S. Gay” I attempted perhaps for the first time to write something genuinely pop-y.

The Pulse night club shooting filled me, like many others, with abject horror and grief; it felt to me that in order to make anything from that experience that might help myself and others process, it had to be somehow palatably packaged ,we needed some sort of spoon full of sugar to be able to even attempt to get it all down. For the most part, I think we succeeded in creating something that is fun to listen to despite its decidedly un-fun content. But as a band, we’ve always been fairly helpless vehicles in our expression, melding the message as best we can while largely flailing in surrender. This, I think, is part of our charm and I wouldn’t change it, but it means that our “pop” song is still a bit ragged and off-kilter. Leah, on the other hand, is a veritable pop fucking genius fronting the greatest rock band alive, so hearing the Slothrust version of “U.S. Gay” is like hearing the song in its ultimate form. I truly feel like our version was a first draft. This is the smooth, skillful rendering of my dreams. A spoon full of sugar dripped right in your ear, the even more devastating weight that Slothrust lends even more appealingly applied.

The song was never meant to be the proprietary property of any band — it was our offering to the community in a time of tragedy. For it to be sung by another queer person makes me feel like it’s being further absorbed into that broader community, where it was always meant to live. It’s made me realize that I yearn to hear the song sung by so many more people. But I’m fairly certain that no one will ever outdo the Slothrust version.

Lilah Larson, Sons of an Illustrious Father

You can buy the tracks digitally vinyl 7-inch will be released on August 9th.

thanks to http://www.talkhouse.com

On their fourth LP, The PactSlothrust released what very may well be their best record. Led by human force of nature, vocalist and guitarist Leah Wellbaum, and an incomparable rhythm section of bassist Kyle Bann and drummer Will Gorin, Slothrust created their most diverse album to date.

Right from the first track, “Double Down”, anyone familiar with the band will notice something is different. It has some electronic drums and bass, and the additions of both take the song into another dimension. “Peach” has a sound reminiscent of the early Slothrust records. “Planetarium” is a frenetically paced track with Gorin and Bann proving once again why there is no more solid bassist-drummer duo in rock music. Everyone gets some time to shine, too. There are bass solos, drum solos, guitar solos, and even a nonsensical vocal solo that rules so hard.

After “Planetarium”, however, the album takes an abrupt change of direction with “Walk Away”. It is a flat out stunner of a track, and it’s heart wrenching. It’s the first of a few slower paced tracks that sound amazing, includng “The Haunting”“New Red Pants”“Some Kind of Cowgirl”, and “On My Mind”. Each of those songs are truly amazing. “On My Mind” has this layer of saxophone that takes it out of this world. “Some Kind of Cowgirl” has an ending that is breathtaking.

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With The Pact, Slothrust has shattered classification once again. They’re more than trio of gritty jazz students who happen to like grunge. They’ve become way more than that. Lots of different styles of rock on display here but somehow it’s cohesive… A great album. From start to finish.

The Pact is out now on Dangerbird Records.

The highly anticipated new album by Slothrust is finally here! The Pact is officially out today, The band just kicked off their fall North American tour with support from Summer Cannibals and Mannequin Pussy! They will also be crossing the pond to the UK & Europe in the new year!

Slothrust is principal songwriter, guitar player and unrepentant aesthete Leah Wellbaum, with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. On their fourth full-length album The Pact, Slothrust constructs a luscious, ethereal cosmos perforated with wormy portals and magic wardrobes, demonstrating more clearly than ever the band’s deft shaping of contrasting sonic elements to forge a muscular sound that’s uniquely their own. Bizarre and mundane, tender and confident.

The awkward duality of the forever outsider, rightly reclaimed as power. This is The Pact. Produced and engineered by Billy Bush in Los Angeles (the band’s new home base), Slothrust’s new album is a confident journey across 12 songs that oscillate between a quietly reflective tenderness and a slick, sleek confidence; balancing playful innocence with ballsy swagger.

ANMLPLNET by Charlotte Chanler 6.jpg

Slothrust band leader Leah Wellbaum and drummer/singer Mickey Vershbow met while both
immersed in the Boston music scene & then went on to pursue separate musical careers on opposite coasts. ANMLPLNET displays their magnetic musical bond, even while withstanding the physical distance andtheir hectic schedules. 

Nobody is more surprised about having created a full ANMLPLNET album than the group itself: Slothrust leader Leah Wellbaum along with drummer/singer Mickey Vershbow. The project and debut LP truly displays their magnetic musical bond, even while withstanding physical distance and hectic schedules. The band was formed originally on four disparate rules:

1. Always drink absinthe while rehearsing.
2. Write lyrics that are antonymic translations, meaning nouns,
adjectives and verbs were replaced with their antonyms.
3. Play songs straight through as one giant piece, no breaks.
4. Accept mostly unusual gigs, like their performances at a Dorchester
rave and in a wooden shack on the tiny Star Island off New Hampshire.

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Yeah, sure, so many bands have used these same precepts for vast success, so what? Even while seeking to create a dream-like soundscape, ANMLPLNET is surprisingly gimmick-free music being, both epochal in scope and surprisingly melodic. Their goal is to explore the space between songwriting and improvisation, and the result is an uncontrived melding of their personal styles and technical mastery of their instruments. Wellbaum and Vershbow basically plan, dig, then embark on a fresh road towards rock brilliance. Fall Asleep is their debut album and the first 500 copies are pressed on unique gold marble vinyl.

released April 20, 2018 on Ba Da Bing Records.

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Ever so pleased to inform you that we are dropping a new record on September 14th!!! It is called ‘The Pact’. It is the longest we have ever gotten to spend making a record and we are so excited to release it. Here is the first track we have to share with you . It is called “Peach”.

The LA-by-way-of-New York power trio is a juggernaut of cannonball riffs and lyrical intrigue. They’ve got a new album on the way and its lead single “Peach” features frontwoman Leah Wellbaum leading up to the big chorus with after-school mad libs like this: “Silly sandbox, stupid scarecrow; Jack-o-lantern, chupacabra; sick menorah, candelabra.”

“I’m a very playful person,” the vocalist-guitarist tells us this week. “Childhood really appeals to me, the way one’s inner child can look at the world with curiosity, as opposed to the hardness of adults.” Wellbaum challenged herself with stream-of-consciousness, automatic writing exercises in the making of “Peach,” all the while cranking up funhouse-mirror guitars toward an absolute wrecker of a chorus.

Elsewhere on The Pact  which istheir fourth LP since 2012 —  you’ll find bruising blues-rock, surrealistic balladry and clouds of spastic saxophone and keyboards floating among the lightning hooks. It’s a weird record, but it’s also very catchy, pop sensibility out in the open. Wellbaum points out the myriad Pixies and Nirvana comparisons the band has gotten in the past; for The Pact, Slothrust teamed with producer Billy Bush, who’s probably best known for his extensive studio work with Garbage, beginning with 1998’s Version 2.0. Comparisons to Shirley Manson and company are more apt for Slothrust 4.0, as well as PJ Harvey and Fiona Apple, whom Wellbaum names as particular convention-shaking inspirations. After all, Slothrust is following a 2017 EP in which it covered Marcy Playground, Black Sabbath, Louis Armstrong, Britney Spears, The Turtles, Al Green and Sam Cooke. No one said they had to start making sense.

Alongside bassist Kyle Bann and drummer Will Gorin, Guitarist Vocalist Wellbaum is on a hot streak.

Official lyric video for “Peach” from the Slothrust album THE PACT, out September 14th. Dangerbird Records.

Slothrust is Leah Wellbaum on guitar and vocals, Kyle Bann on bass, and Will Gorin on drums. About five years ago, they met in the music department at the college Sarah Lawrence, where they became friends and solidified their unique jazz post-punk sound. Since then, they’ve released two albums, 2012’s Feels Your Pain and 2014’s Of Course You Do. Later this year they’ll release their third album Everyone Else, which you’ll want to listen to multiple times, trust me.

Their video for “Horseshoe Crab,” a dark narrative about love, loss, growing up, depression, and existential anxiety. The video takes you on a journey that aptly mirrors the song material, starting with Wellbaum sitting in the sand, surrounded by childhood toys. From there we follow Wellbaum on her journey to destroying said childhood toys, and ends, well, somewhere refreshing.

“‘Horseshoe Crab’ deals with the disorientation that occurs throughout life as you change and age” Wellbaum says. “It also deals with this idea of internal dissociation and existing in various worlds simultaneously. I remember one day I was walking around Union Square in New York. I saw this woman, and I had one of those moments where my hearing almost cut out and I felt like I was underwater. Her face felt two-dimensional and painted, and I found myself afraid. The feeling faded but it did inspire some of these lyrics. It was a really particular feeling. A strange thing is that a year after writing the song I saw this woman again in Union Square. Magnetic!”

“We tried to capture these sentiments in the video by using familiar objects from the past and putting them in a less familiar context. I am a big fan of recontextualisation.”
Official music video for “Horseshoe Crab” from the upcoming Slothrust album “Everyone Else” (coming October 28th)

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It’s been a couple years since Slothrust’s debut, “Of Course You Do”. That grungy instant classic made them a band to follow an put in my must see lists, the band’s latest release is looking to repeat or better that offering. “Everyone Else” improves in almost every conceivable way .

Leah Wellbaum’s guitar sounds better, the lyrics are better, the overall sound of the album is more cohesive and accessible literally every part of Everyone Else seems to be prepared in order to launch the band into the mainstream. That’s a shame and a blessing for music fans. Most of what gets written and talked about amongst blogs, and the major publications, follows the trend ie sounds like etc etc, So if you’re down for something new Slothrust is going to be the band to check out.  It’s been a long wait for something new from the band, as Wellbaum kept busy with other pursuits. A couple singles have already been released to get you excited. None of them are my favorite from the record, but of the ones out there for you to hear now, I have to say “Like A Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone”

 

October 27th Everyone Else will be available for all to hear.

Formed amidst the ashes of Leah Wellbaum’s solo project, entitled Slothbox, Slothrust was forged with drummer Will Gorin and bassist Kyle Bann. Thanks to their adept jazz & blues backbone, Slothrust plays deceivingly clever rock with a relentless, punk-as-fuck aesthetic. Though commonly compared to Sonic Youth and Nirvana, Slothrust plays a trickier game than its grunge-revivalist peers. From tender to thrashing and from dark to dorky, Slothrust is a band at constant play with its sonic dynamics and emotional spectrum, yet still manages to weave in ear-worming, cathartic hooks. The band’s second full-length release, Of Course You Do, was released in February 2014 on Ba Da Bing as a follow-up to their 2012 self-released album, Feels Your Pain.

With her deep, charismatic vocals, most reminiscent of Nico with the edge of Isaac Brock circa ‘97, Wellbaum sings about alienation, awkwardness and absurdity, and damn if she doesn’t make it all sound kind of fun. “Crockpot” is a dark, yet funny and irreverent take on the struggle for human connection in a society built to make us feel isolated: “Some men purchase real dolls / to fill the void / But she don’t finish dinner and her expression never changes / Don’t shake hands with the lonely kids ’cause I hear that shit’s contagious”. “Juice” is a paean to realizing the limits of self-improvement: “My name is Leah and I drink juice every morning when I wake up but it’s no use, I’m unwell”. She evokes feeling while sounding despondent, all the while with catchy melodies – pulling off Stephen Malkmus’ Pavement-era feats of writing and delivery. On top of the solid writing and rhythm section, her playing style ranges from simple eloquence to hard-edged, aggressive guitar solos.

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“Horseshoe Crab” from the upcoming Slothrust album “Everyone Else” (out October 28th on Dangerbird Records.

Slothrust exemplify how colorful, fun and insightful rock music can be over the course of one song. Need proof? Check out their new jam, “Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone.” The song starts with a great misdirect — singer Leah Wellbaum reflecting over a lilting little acoustic piece — and then drops the elbow. It’s an anthemic kind of thing: easy to roll with for a while, but just as the song revs up, it swiftly changes back to the melody. The twists never feel wrong or out of place; “Like a Child” goes with the flow of what feels right at the time, offering both undeniable rockiness and strange metaphor. The best kind of weird.

Check out “Like a Child Hiding Behind Your Tombstone” below, and pre-order their upcoming full-length record Everyone Else on Dangerbird Records

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“It’s Wellbaum’s husky vocals, in which she effectively sounds completely disenchanted between curses, it’s the heavy and raw chorus, and it’s the brooding—oh, the brooding. [Crockpot’’s] just flat-out addictive, and soon to be released on a great album. “Both fuzzy and funny, with huge riffs that leave plenty of room in their wakes for Wellbaum’s one-liners. “Wellbaum and the crew craft playful, tightly instrumented visions of psychic dysfunction, inflatable lovers, worm regurgitation, cat appreciation and Satan.

“Lead singer Leah Wellbaum has a made-for-mosh-pit-shout-along voice, and the lyrics provide nonstop ins for the socially awkward and alienated to commiserate… A perfect reminder of the power grunge music has to reach common ground glossier genres wouldn’t be caught dead in. “Slings pleasingly distorted guitars accompanied by thoughtful lyrics.

“Slothrust’s sound is intricate and woven into careful patterns like grandma’s favorite quilt. Leah’s aggressive and slightly Nico monotone vocals coupled with melodic guitar parts and funky bass lines offer a dazzling balance of rock and blues. Slothrust displays technical precision, dryly humorous lyrics, and “rock the plaid off your shirt” thrust power. Leah Wellbaum, the guitarist, lead singer, and songwriter of Slothrust, presents a confident tone of “I will stare into your soul with a careless brutality and explain what’s going on with me.

“The songs are reminiscent of early Nirvana, with the vibe enhanced by the lo-fi production wrapper. Female front person Leah Wellbaum provides the edge with her heavy guitar lines and her stark vocals. Slothrust pay their dues to punk and hardcore, while keeping a decidedly blues influenced grunge core to their music.