Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

No photo description available.

I never knew how much I wanted to hear Dan Bejar front a shoegaze band until I heard Greet Death, whose recent signing to Deathwish is good news for metalcore fans who almost certainly wouldn’t have found out about the group otherwise. Pivoting from the somewhat straightforward slowcore of their debut, the Flint, Michigan trio are diving headfirst into the aesthetic attached to their new label for their forthcoming LP New Hell, with the standout single even toting a macabre and undoubtedly Converge-approved refrain of “All we seem to love is the darkness.” With all sorts of post-punk and grunge undertones mixed in , I guess you could convince me they don’t belong on a label alongside such heavy bands as Code Orange and Hesitation Wounds, as long as you could make a stronger argument for another already-existing scene they’d feel more at home in.

Band Members
Logan Gaval – Guitar, vocals
Sam Boyhtari – Bass guitar, vocals
Jimmy Versluis – Drums

From the album “New Hell” in stores November 8th

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

She/Her/Hers. The band — who just released a brand new EP through Don Giovanni Records — is more than ready to bid farewell to boy bands on “Kill the Boy Band,” and it’s about time. The delightfully catchy pop punk tune tackles the fucked up continuance of all-male bands, and roars back at their continued dominance of tour lineups and industry favor. And thanks to the inclusion of horns, some unruly guitar noodling, and both shouted and spoken annoyance with “boy bands,” the single might be just enough to help you get through the remainder of this day. At the very least, it’s one helluva tune to dance, and shout, along to.

She/Her/Hers is Emma grrrl and sometimes friends. Sad grrrl pop-punk.
Gender is Boring. Kill The Boy Band

http://

“Close the door to your mouth and get the fuck in the car!” It’s an order that Stef Chura half sings, half-speaks halfway through the chugging “Method Man,” a big fat rock song that embodies the rattle and swagger of the Detroit artist’s sophomore release “Midnight”, itself a big fat rock record that staggers and struts like a drunk trying to walk straight, its riffs as sticky as a dive bar’s beer-sloshed floor and Chura’s delightful yips and yodels bearing the slurry quality of just a few too many bottles of Bud. Though the record has its straightforward moments —“Lemme do a jumping jack over your heart,” implores Chura on giddy number “Jumping Jack”—this is not pop and the medicine isn’t going doing easy and rarely in less than 2 minutes. Like the old rock records of yore, Midnight rewards repeat listening, the better to savor the ways Chura and Will Toledo find to reshape her loosey-goosey song structures into songs with edges as sharp and polished as diamonds.

http://

Though Chura’s always been a creative, exciting guitarist, she’s equally as inventive with her vocals on Midnight.  On the chorus of tightly wound “Scream,” she sings, “If only you could hear me scream!” three times in a row, changing the inflection of the final word so it sounds like “scram” or “scree-yum,” playfully expounding upon the possibilities of language while her fingers explore the boundaries of the electric guitar. “My girl is 3-dimensional,” exclaims Chura joyfully on “3D girl,” and she is.

Listen to Stef Chura’s rowdy, rousing new single “Method Man”

It’s been two years since Michigan’s Stef Chura burst out with her contagious debut LP, Messes. That album was written way back in 2015, long before the Trump presidency and the universe as a whole gave the title an extra edge. So maybe it’s the impending sense of disaster and permacrisis of the past four years that’s led Chura to the freneticism of “Method Man,” the first single from her newly announced Saddle Creek Records debut, Midnight (out June 7th). A pared-down, scratchy, borderline chaotic single — closer to the Two Gallants end of the Saddle Creek roster than the Bright Eyes end, but more freewheeling than either — “Method Man” is a look back at a superior-feeling, over-caffeinated, nicotine-addled man from Chura’s past, by way of Wu-Tang Clan. The song sounds as much like the man’s psyche as it sounds like Chura’s anxiety in his presence.

In a press release accompanying the single, Chura remembered that frustration:

A long time ago I was pondering the literal words “Method Man” while listening to Wu-Tang. There was a person in my life that I had a confusing array of emotions for, sometimes I was in love with him, I admired and looked up to him, I thought of him as superior to me. He was older than me and I was a teenager. At that age I experienced a titanic amount of anxiety that usually expressed itself as silence.

This song was born out of a total frustration regarding a man who seemed “methodical” to me. He was literate. He waxed poetic. Almost someone…how do I say this…that you wanted to be condescending to you? As long as they were talking to you. He drank a lot of energy drinks and had this overall outlook that no one understood him. That he was in on some kind of cosmic secret that I couldn’t get. He smoked so many cigs it stained his fingers yellow.

He was always talking, and I was so enamored with this person. I was always nervous to reply. He would go on and on for hours. He sometimes would look at me and be like “oh maybe you won’t get this…. maybe you don’t get this.” I was too terrified to say much.

Anna Burch and Fred Thomas take different roads to disaster on their split 7”

Over the last six years, Anna Burch and Fred Thomas have been peers on similar journeys, navigating the ever turbulent world of self-expression in the form of underfunded indie rock. This kinship has included playing in each other’s bands, collaborating on songs together, informal jams and song sketching sessions, and an honest chain of feedback on each other’s sounds.

Anna Burch and Fred Thomas have a lot in common. They’re both disarmingly witty and intuitive songwriters, both Michiganders, both intent on toying with indie-pop and bending it to their will. And ever since Thomas sent Burch’s demo to Polyvinyl Records two summers ago — attached to a note that read “This is not a drill. You need to hear this” — they’ve been label mates too. During the making of their recent albums, they’d share mixes, drafts, and ideas frequently. The two could count on each other for sincerity and to let the other know what was and wasn’t working, and it was coming from a creative equal dealing with the same questions and confusions.

http://

The two songs here are behind-the-scenes evidence of that kind of communication; extra material that came from those collaborative moments or an ongoing conversation that helped shape their work. Burch contributes the dreamlike but shadowy “St. Adalbert” a track she wrote and recorded a half-decade ago. In contrast to her often melodically upbeat 2018 debut LP Quit The Curse, “St. Adalbert” comes across forlorn — a song about loneliness in the middle of a crisis. “None of my friends wanna hear it / So I’ll try harder to keep it quiet,” she sings ghostlike in the first verse.

Thomas’s “Parkways” is the breezier-sounding of the two, its jangly guitars floating along on a flood of Burch’s harmonies. Like much of Thomas’s work though, the catastrophe and calamity comes through after a couple of listens. “‘Outside again like a dream without a skull to hold it in,’” he sings at the top. “That was the only thought from those dark days / To survive my slowly eroding mental landscape / The only scrap not soaked through with red wine and dread.” Anna’s harmony parts give it such a soaring feeling, even though it’s a pretty depressive song at heart.

released March 1st, 2019

Arriving in the early months of 2017, Bonny Doon’s self-titled debut was a warm introduction to the Detroit quartet for many. Hazy and bright, the album’s woozy melodies and swirling webs of summery guitar textures were easily ingested as low-key slacker pop, blissfully awash in lo-fi sensibilities and dreamy ambiance. But the nonchalant breeziness belied a serious attention to songcraft that beckoned careful listening, and hinted at depths yet unexplored. Lo and behold, before the ink was even dry on the first record, work had already begun on its follow-up Longwave, a conscious about-face from the sonic experimentation of the first album, and a journey inward.

Opting for spontaneity and simplicity over the exploration of layers and textures that defined the first record, the band architected an incredibly intimate sound for these new songs. The album was tracked with minimal overdubs or production flourishes, constructing a frame that is spare and understated. The songs on Longwave amble through moonlit fields of melancholy guitar leads and self-reflection, the collection unfolding almost as one uninterrupted conversation with self. The session aimed to capture the band at their essence. With the superfluous stripped away, a gentle but steadfast spiritual core is revealed as the backbone of Bonny Doon’s cosmic American music.

Bobby Colombo of Bonny Doon said, “When you – if you – listen to our music, there’s a lot of self-critique and doubt, and questioning. That could be construed as negativity – I don’t think we do, though.” That kind of self-awareness is self-evident, and is the theme behind Longwave‘s ten tracks. But for an album full of wistfully declarative, introspective sentences, Bonny Doon left ample room for their take on spaced-out, captivating, catchy music. This one-two punch – confidence in self-doubt, and a strolling groove – helped Longwave arrive as one of the most fully-formed debuts this side of the millennium, and demanded repeated listens, both this year and beyond.

http://

Released March 23rd, 2018

Bill Lennox- vocals and guitar
Bobby Colombo– vocals and guitar
Jake Kmiecik– drums
Joshua Brooks– bass

Matthew Dear doesn’t call himself King Chameleon lightly. The Texan-born producer, DJ, sometime University of Michigan lecturer and leftfield electronic artist has spent almost 20 years operating under a range of pseudonyms – Audion, Jabberjaw and False. The fifth album under his own name is no different, but mostly he channels an eclectic range of loosely post-punk-era styles into heavy electronics. Cranium-shattering dub, Nitzer Ebb’s electronic body music, Wire’s angular tunefulness and the Pop Group’s depth-charges of dub and punk are hurled into the mix.

“Some bands have retired and come back in the amount of time since my last album. Hell, I’ve even played a part in making two more humans since Beams. But hey old man, why aren’t I rested? .Well, I DJ’d a lot, put out an Audion album, and submitted a DJ Kicks mix to some time capsule confused aliens will crack open somewhere far down the line. Throughout it all, as has been the case since I was 14, I made loads of weirdo music. If it weren’t digital, there’d be boxes of tapes and tapes and tapes. See, that’s the thing. I’m a tinkerer. I’m a loop obsessed sound hack. The process is what I get out of bed for.

“‘I make music for people who like my music’ is something I recently tweeted. There is something I’ve come to love about my career. I really can do whatever I want. So long as I feel it’s the best use of time, or yields results that translate into good music later. That’s where you’ll find the music dad. It’s in my head. It’s on my hard drives. It’s in my car driving the girls to school in the morning. They even asked me how Tegan and Sara snuck in and out of the house without them noticing to make those songs with me. The music is always there. It’s just a matter of time before it starts to bubble over and finally get stamped ‘property of the people.’

“I’m calling this one ‘Bunny’ dad. As always it’s got a little bit of everything that makes me who I am. Why Bunny? Fundamentally, I love the way the word looks and sounds. I love the way it rolls off the mind and onto the tongue. It’s a funny thing too. Bunnies are cute. Bunnies are weird. They’re soft. They’re sexy. They’re lucky. They wildly procreate. They trick hunters, but get tricked by turtles. They lead you down holes. They adorn the headboards of children’s beds, lined up meticulously just as mom did when she was your age. Bunnies are seemingly with us from birth, and probably skitter past on our way out the big door.

http://

“So here is my album. Already a fading stamp on the passport of a time traveler. I do it all for you. I couldn’t quit if I wanted to. I’m only getting started.” – Matthew Dear

released October 12th, 2018

Fred Thomas had been making music nonstop for years when a seismic shift in his creative process happened in 2013. Something mystical opened up in the fall of that year and the prolific songwriter moved from his already emotionally open style into an unprecedentedly direct and vulnerable lyrical approach as well as new levels of detail-fixated production. The songs took on ​a ​new urgency​, inspired by a feeling that life was beginning afresh while at the same time a lifetime of experiences were cementing into worlds of memory.​ ​The results of that creatively eruptive time began with 2015’s critically hailed album All Are Saved, continued into the turbulent pop of 2017’s Changer and now ​float​ into Aftering, a record that feels like the final chapter of an unofficial trilogy.

Just as the two before it, Aftering was produced, mixed and assembled on location in a close collaboration between Thomas and Athens, Georgia based engineer Drew Vandenberg. All cut from the same cloth, Aftering ties the knots that connect all three records. Where both All Are Saved and Changer flitted nervously between moments of jangly power pop,​ electronic​ interludes and experimental acoustic weirdness, Aftering maps out a far more intentional arc, burning through a first act of ​speedy​, hook-h​e​a​vy guitar ​rock before taking a sharp, brutal dive into an abyss on the album’s second half.

Modeled loosely after Neil Young’s On The Beach, the nine songs here move from ​jumpy ​two minute blasts into a suite of ​four ​protracted​ and​ moody ​interconnected ​pieces​.​​ At first, ​Thomas‘ signature mesh of soaring melodies and experimental pop keeps things upbeat even when burying intense topics on songs like “Alcohol Poisoning” or in the post-election unrest of “Good Times Are Gone Again.” ​Beginning with 8-minute fever dream “House Show, Late December,” the ache​ that sits ​in the core of the ​album comes to the surface completely. From here guitars almost vanish from the instrumentation​ and​ the focus shift​s​ to tightly arranged strings, ominous synth​s​, ambient waves and ​spoken ​lyrics somewhere between poetry and desperate confession​. ​These longer songs drift in and out of each other slowly, drowning into their own lush darkness and heavy observations on anxiety, family and emotional abuse.

Connecting all three albums to an even deeper degree, Aftering finally realizes loose threads that began on earlier records, and calls on special guest​s​ from all phases of ​Thomas’​ life. Anna Burch returns to sing on ​buoyant ​single “Altar” and longtime friend and collaborator Elliot Bergman helps sculpt the ​crystalline​ vibe of album closer “What The Sermon Said.” Newer friends show up as well, with members of Bonny Doon, Common Holly, Deadbeat Beat and other artists ​Thomas connected with through years of touring showing up in supporting roles over the course of the record. Wolf Eyes member and noted memelord John Olson even contributes some fried horns and electronics.

More than anything, Aftering calmly sets down the restless questioning and turmoil of the trilogy. Instead of landing on any tidy conclusion or neatly wrapping up a thesis, the album illuminates the themes of observation and acceptance that have run throughout ​Thomas’ work for the last five years. Aftering reflects on an answerless and uncertain future, trying to make sense of it through scattered memories that flash like mental postcards. A sense of larger, universal ​dread ​refracts through these moments of searching. Ultimately, it’s not the dark times or bleakness that lingers, but a sense of connection and hope that comes from trying to communicate them as honestly as possible. Aftering, like the chapters that came just before, can feel sometimes​ painful, but there’s a clarity and beauty that’s always there as well, equally bright in even the darkest moments.

http://

released September 14th, 2018

Heaters are back! And on this, their fourth LP in as many years, we find their sound has aged like a fine wine. The evolution of Heaters over those 4 years has been a thrill to hear, from the original sonic maelstrom of three young men to a seasoned 4-piece unit totally finding its groove and its voice the further it ventures on. It’s also true that Heaters have grown exactly 4 years over that time, which is quite substantial when you’re talking about dudes in their twenties. “Suspended Youth” is the first album where Heaters lived in two different places, Grand Rapids and Montreal, and couldn’t just come up with songs while hanging together in their GR jam space. This time, ideas were cultivated in separate places and then stitched together when Nolan (Krebs) would fly to Grand Rapids to record in guitarist Ben Taber’s studio. Nolan says it was a longer process, but ultimately just as rewarding.

“Suspended Youth”: is it a full dissolution of youth, or youth put on the back burner till we’re old enough to appreciate it, or is it the actual physical suspension of youth? Youth levitating, if you will. Many of the songs have an overarching theme addressing the march of time and getting older, and valuing peace as much as chaos, the yin and yang that is life; something that comes through in the overall sound, too. You have never heard a Heaters quite as balanced as on “Suspended Youth”; balancing their whirlwind sonic rave-ups with steady motorik lock-ins. For example, marvel at Nolan on bass and Josh (Korf) on drums completely in swingin’ robots mode on the last 3 minutes of ‘Venus,’ a track full of texture and synth vs. guitar compositions from Ben and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Hagan. Never have you heard Heaters vocals as clear as they are here (dig ‘Lysander’ and ‘Monolith’), harmonies so dreamy (hear Nolan and Ben on ‘Highwind’ and ‘Dandelion’), and melodies so beautiful throughout. And Heaters are no strangers to bringing the bizarre vibes, just check out the closing 11 and a half minutes of the album, ‘Nova Prime’ and ‘Lunar Creep.’

http://

This is the sound of a band making the conscious decision to age gracefully and to grow artistically…and on their own terms.

Releases November 2nd, 2018

Throwback rock quartet Greta Van Fleet made their Tonight Show debut on July 26th, playing their new single “When The Curtain Falls,” and eliciting a standing ovation from the studio audience.
And while their Tonight Show performance saw the band at the top of their game, a few days later the quartet was forced to cancel their performance at the Panorama Festival due to a persistent hand injury by drummer Daniel Wagner.

“Danny has been playing with injured fingers for the last two weeks, and they have not been able to heal properly,” the band wrote in an official statement. “It has now reached the point where we cannot pick up a drumstick because of it… There’s no greater joy than sharing music, and we are disappointed to miss time spent with you. We promise to make it up to our fans in NYC this year.”

The band is also clear in prioritizing Wagner’s recovery: “It is out top priority for Danny to heal from this injury and be able to play for all of you soon.” Watch the Michigan-based band perform  “When The Curtain Falls” off their untitled sophomore album