Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

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Angelo De Augustine writes and records music in Thousand Oaks, California — a suburb north of Los Angeles, where he grew up. His self-released debut album, “Spirals of Silence”, and 3-song EP follow-up, “How Past Begins”, earned praise from The FADER, Stereogum, Vogue, My Old Kentucky Blog, and more. His next project “Swim Inside The Moon” Written in the aftermath of a devastating breakup, Angelo De Augustine’s hushed journal of the stream-of-consciousness thoughts that fill the silence when a gaping hole opens up, revealing that there never really was anything else. De Augustine whispers intimately.

 

“Swim Inside the Moon” out now

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Few artists can quieten a room quite like Angelo De Augustine. You cannot help but admire the intimacy of this LA-based singer-songwriter, from his hushed whisper-vocals to the gorgeous finger-picked acoustic guitar, he can make a music venue feel like a living room, demanding the audience’s full attention by simply refusing to raise his voice. When the news of Augustine’s new record, “Tomb”, hit, it was announced that he was working with Thomas Bartlett aka Doveman, a renowned musician and producer who helmed recent records by St. Vincent, Rhye, Glen Hansard and Stevens.

If a lot of why earlier album Swim Inside the Moon was so heartbreakingly striking stemmed from its rough and lo-fi recording, how would a studio-produced release even remotely capture this same closeness? By and large, Bartlett’s cleaner mix works wonders for De Augustine. With cleaner vocals and an emphasis on a variety of instrumentation, Tomb is more direct than anything De Augustine’s has released prior.

By adding cleaner production, synth and string flourishes alongside poppier and catchier refrains, De Augustine largely hits the mark on Tomb. With a few curveballs thrown throughout, the warm and comforting lull of Swim Inside the Moon is long gone, replaced by a fascinating record that updates his prior work without losing any of its intimacy.

I’m gonna put this out there: ever since I found out about collaboration with Sufjan Stevens’ strong affiliation with church, I pretty much banned him from my earlobes. Anyway, this one slipped through the cracks because Angelo De Augustine is singing it instead

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The music Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad release as Girlpool occupies a transient space. Their constant evolution makes it perfectly impossible to articulate exactly where their project falls within the contemporary musical canon; this is one of the many reasons Girlpool’s music is so captivating.
Never before has a group’s maturation been so transparently attached to the maturation of its members. This is due in large part to the fact that Girlpool came into existence exactly when Girlpool was supposed to come into existence: at the most prolific stage of the digital revolution. Both online and in the flesh, Tividad and Tucker practice radical openness to the point where it may even engender discomfort; this is exactly the point where it becomes clear why theirs’ is such a special project: they accept the possibility of discomfort—Chaos—and show you how to figure out why you might feel it. This is achieved through their ability to empathize as best friends and partners in creation, with the intention of making music that provokes.

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Our new album ‘What Chaos is Imaginary’ will be released 2.1.2019 on Anti Records

Release date:8th January 2019

 

Jessica Pratt has announced her third studio album, Quiet Signs, due out on February. 8th, 2019, via Mexican Summer. “On some level I considered an audience while making the last record,” said Pratt in a statement. “But my creative world was still very private then and I analyzed the process less. This was the first time I approached writing with the idea of a cohesive record in mind.” The album was produced by both Pratt and Al Carson, who, along with Matt McDermott, also performs on the record.

Jessica Pratt is not a loud performer. She does not have to be. In a club of a few hundred, even the bar staff are known to go quiet while she’s on stage. Her third album, Quiet Signs, feels like a distillation of this power. The album leads off with “Opening Night,” a nod to Gena Rowlands’ harrowing, brilliant performance in the John Cassavetes film of the same name. It’s also an emblem of where this spare, mysterious collection of songs falls in the course of Pratt’s career.

“On some level I considered an audience while making the last record (2015’s On Your Own Love Again),” she writes, “But my creative world was still very private then and I analyzed the process less. This was the first time I approached writing with the idea of a cohesive record in mind.”

After a collection of demos and early studio recordings (Jessica Pratt, Birth Records, 2012) earned her a small, dedicated audience, Pratt moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and recorded her first intentional album in her bedroom in a matter of months. That album, On Your Own Love Again (Drag City, 2015), would bring her around the world many times, leading many to fall under the spell of Jessica Pratt the performer, the songwriter, the singer with the heavy-lidded voice that feels alien and familiar at the same time.

Her first album fully recorded in a professional studio setting, Quiet Signs finds Pratt’s songwriting and accompanying guitar work refined — more distinct and direct. Songs like “Fare Thee Well” and “Poly Blue” retain glimmers of OYOLA‘s hazy day afternoon spells, yet delicate flute, strings sustained by organ arrangements, and rehearsal room piano now gesture towards the lush chamber pop and longing of The Left Banke. On the album’s first single, “This Time Around,” Pratt hits on a profound, late-night clarity over just a couple of deep chords, evoking Caetano Veloso‘s casual seaside brilliance. And before the curtain drops on Quiet Signs, Pratt provides a show-stopping closer, “Aeroplane.”

In the world of Quiet Signs, the black of night usually represents fear, despair, resignation; finally at home descending towards the illuminated city, she sings over black leather drone and tambourine shuffle with a newfound resolve. Quiet Signs is the journey of an artist emerging from the darkened wings, growing comfortable as a solitary figure on a sprawling stage.

The album was written in Los Angeles and recorded at Gary’s Electric in Brooklyn, NY over 2017 and 2018. It was co-produced by Al Carlson. He plays flute, organ and piano on some songs. Matt McDermott also played piano and string synthesizer.

It will be released on Mexican Summer on February 8th, 2019.

On their self-titled debut album, Moaning captured the frenetic energy and uncertainty of 2018 across its 10 tracks. It was a big year for the Los Angeles post-punk trio as they released their first LP on Sub Pop and played live with The Breeders, Ought, Preoccupations, Mothers, Lala Lala and others. The album opens with the punchy “Don’t Go,” which captures the fragility of a relationship and the fear of depending on something that you know won’t last forever (“This might work out somehow / Might as well see / Cause it’s right, right now / Even if it’s temporary”). They master the coupling of rumbling, feverish guitars with starkly-delivered deadpan vocals, mercurial synths and tumultuous drums—sounding composed one second and effectively disheveled the next. Their volatile guitars mirror the distressed, anxious tone of their lyrics—“Tired” and “Useless” follow the end of a relationship with the latter laced with hints of regret and the rehashing of memories to find out why it soured (“There’s nothing we can do / You had to go / If I loved you / I guess you’ll never know”). Frontman Sean Solomon is at his best on “Artificial”—with an imitation of someone rather pompous (“Pardon me / Everything’s so easy”) and a vigorously delivered, reality check of a chorus.

Moaning dive into their self-titled debut LP headfirst with dissonant lo-fi guitar stabs on “Don’t Go.” It’s a prophetic and noisy shit-kicker of an opening single that foreshadows the LA trio’s furious brand of thrashy post-punk. Singer Sean Solomon’s deep, melancholic voice anchors this sharply-felt album in all its emotional phases – from angry and abrasive, to knotty and experimental, to fiery and passionate. “Tired” represents the band at their most sweetly melodic, with sleek new wave synths matching pensive lyrics in which Solomon expresses feelings of emptiness and exhaustion: “It’s all gone/ It caught fire/ It’s all wrong/ And I’m so tired.”

Dark, numbing bass lines and stormy shoegaze aesthetics contribute to a sense of mounting panic and frustration on tracks like “Artificial” and “The Same.” Meanwhile, “For Now” shows off Moaning’s knack for arpeggio-soaked riffs and rich, towering choruses. The band proudly wears its Joy Division influences on its sleeve while also expanding on that well-worn sound with thrilling layers of reverb and gut-punching moments of angst and self-reflection. Moaning is a striking debut balancing ice-cold moods and cavernous sonics, and it positions the band alongside other modern greats of the post-punk genre.

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Valley Queen“My Man” It’s a band of distinguishable characters, and that is no exception when it comes to their main vocalist, Natalie Meadors. She seems to be the glue that holds the manic energy together, even though she is jumping on speakers and dancing around too. Her sultry vocals weave in and out of the pounding guitar lines, with an onstage confidence that is incredibly enrapturing. You can’t help but watch as the frantic chaos on the verge of total collapse manages to hold on, and you feel the catharsis of just letting go and getting swept away..Valley Queen invites you into their overwhelmingly sensory environment, where to dance and move will cure any temporal blues

Veteran and established artists dominated the music scene this year. Look at all the “Best Of” or “Favorites” lists, and newcomers barely occupy them. One band, however, was able to crack through this nearly impenetrable wall. It sure helps that Valley Queen‘s debut album, Supergiant, is a contemporary indie-rock classic.

The record is highlighted by a holy trinity that would rival any one-two-three combination in history. “Supergiant”is indie-rock perfection. It is anthemic yet gritty, rocking yet euphoric with front woman Natalie Carol’s siren-like vocals cutting through the blazing melody. Like Big Thief’s and Angel Olsen’s grandest anthems, “Chasing the Muse” commences delicately before slowly growing into a face-melting, titanic rocker. The emotional roller coaster “Ride” completes the trio, filling every space with searing guitar riffs and Carol’s bone-chilling delivery.

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Beyond these three are other stellar tracks. Autumn-like touches a la Fleetwood Mac filter through “Bedroom”while a calm, summertime atmosphere percolates on “Carolina”. Jubilation erupts on the short but blazing “Boiling Water”. On the other side of the spectrum, the tender and stripped-back “Gems and Rubies” is stunning at its floor and incredibly engrossing at its ceiling. This is also another way to describe Supergiant, which is flawless. It is a transcendent piece of emotional indie rock that reminds us music can be anthemic, beautiful, moving, and powerful.

Supergiant is out on Roll Call Records,

Band Members
Natalie Carol – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Neil Wogensen – Bass/Vocals
Shawn Morones – Guitar/Vocals
Mike DeLuccia – Drums

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Los Angeles trio Supermercat shared thee new track “Johnny Rack,” their second song ever released, following debut single “Egg.” The band describe themselves as “friendly punk with a dash of Sheryl Crow,” a description that sounds just about perfect. “Johnny Rack” has the pulsing energy of a road song with the sharp edges of a glammed-out punk song, like if someone took a flamethrower to Crow’s “All I Wanna Do” and covered the charred remains in spikes and glitter. Singer Alexa Carrasco’s jumpy vocal delivery is just about the best thing about the song. “Back to Johnny Rack / a stack of papers on his back / he gets an NDA from / everyone he ever met,” she sings, jumping octaves and beats like a muscle car shifting gears while the guitars pump interminably ahead beneath her.

Vocals: Alexa Carrasco 
Guitar & Bass: Matty McNamara 
Drums: Cory Bernard 

Silver Lake Home. Shot by Megan McIsaac.

Check out Valley Queen from Los Angeles performing their song “Black Hole”. This live performance was filmed at The 5 Spot in East Nashville, The LA outfit has been around for fewer than five years, though listening to their music, you might think your vinyl-junkie friend picked one of their records out of a pile next to Fleetwood Mac and Hendrix. They have a classic Southern grit that makes you crave a sweet tea. They have defined their sound with a bluesy twang on guitar, driving thump on bass, and a soulful Southern vocal in singer Natalie Meadors.

Band Members
Natalie Carol – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Neil Wogensen – Bass/Vocals
Shawn Morones – Guitar/Vocals
Mike DeLuccia – Drums

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Julia Holter has described Aviary as “the cacophony of the mind in a melting world”, and it’s easy to feel that mania in its erratic structures and fleeting absurdity. But very often those segments bloom into long and sustained areas of beauty. The thing is, neither the harmony nor the ugliness is given more prominence – they are both valid states and one will always lead to the other.

Aviary is an epic journey through what Julia Holter describes as “the cacophony of the mind in a melting world.” Out on October 26th via Domino Recordings, it’s the Los Angeles composer’s most breathtakingly expansive album yet, full of startling turns and dazzling instrumental arrangements.

The follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2015 record, Have You in My Wilderness, it takes as its starting point a line from a 2009 short story by writer Etel Adnan: “I found myself in an aviary full of shrieking birds.” It’s a scenario that sounds straight out of a horror movie, but it’s also a pretty good metaphor for life in 2018, with its endless onslaught of political scandals, freakish natural disasters, and voices shouting their desires and resentments into the void

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Aviary, executive produced by Cole MGN and produced by Holter and Kenny Gilmore, combines Holter’s slyly theatrical vocals and Blade Runner-inspired synth work with an enveloping palette of strings and percussion that reveals itself, and the boundless scope of her vision, over the course of fifteen songs. Holter was joined by Corey Fogel (percussion), Devin Hoff (bass), Dina Maccabee (violin, viola, vocals), Sarah Belle Reid (trumpet), Andrew Tholl (violin), and Tashi Wada (synth, bagpipes).

Released October 26th, 2018

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After two albums of Mumfords-y folk rock, Lord Huron scored an unexpected hit with “The Night We Met” after it was used in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, and it landed the band their first major label deal. And instead of capitalizing on the sound that made them famous, Lord Huron took a daring left turn and made their most creative album yet. (They also did a superior re-recording of “The Night We Met” featuring Phoebe Bridgers.) Maybe the major label budget helped them achieve their most ambitious musical dreams, but luckily it didn’t affect their process.

Main member Ben Schneider produced the album himself, and he brought in Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann to mix it. The result is their most psychedelic and their most rockin’ album, and Schneider still came armed with an arsenal of sticky hooks. The album still has a couple folky ballads that recall their earlier work (“Wait by the River,” “Back from the Edge”), but for the most part this is an entirely new and improved Lord Huron. “Never Ever,” “Ancient Names (Part II),” “Secret of Life,” and the title track were some of the year’s best driving rock songs, while the droning, krautrock-ish “Ancient Names (Part I)” and the sleepy “When The Night Is Over” were some of the year’s best psychedelia. And even as the album genre hops, the artistically slick production keeps it sounding cohesive.

Schneider’s recognizable voice of course ties everything together too, but there weren’t many indie rock albums this year where the production style and the rhythm section were just as distinct as the singer. Vide Noir didn’t score Lord Huron another Hot 100 charting song like “The Night We Met,” but it’s packed to the gills with could-be hits. It’s one of those albums where, once you’re into it, your favorite song will probably change over and over again. “Ancient Names” and “Never Ever” are the early standouts, but once you outplay them, that nice little nugget of a closer (“Emerald Star”) starts getting really addictive.

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Oh little darling/don’t you look charming/here in the eye of a hurricane – well you know, with a good hat, soft lighting and the right amount of blusher, anything is possible. Upbeat, up-tempo, lots of gee-tar: my top twenty sort of needed this – and the album is an overlooked gem of 2015.

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, Vide Noir is available now released April 20th.