Posts Tagged ‘Mikal Cronin’

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Mikal Cronin experienced a creativity boom in late 2018/early 2019, inspired in part by the massive wildfires in Southern California that forced him to evacuate from the Idyllwild cabin where he’d been writing songs. Upon his return to Los Angeles, he recorded two full albums: Seeker, released in October 2019, and its electronic counterpartSwitched-On Seeker”, which is out digitally June 30th and on vinyl August 29th via Record Store Day Drops. Mikal  Cronin experienced a creativity boom in late 2018/early 2019, inspired in part by the massive wildfires in Southern California that forced him to evacuate from the Idyllwild cabin where he’d been writing songs. Upon his return to Los Angeles, he recorded two full albums: Seeker, released in October 2019, and its electronic counterpart Switched-On Seeker, which is out digitally now and on vinyl August 29th via Record Store Day Drops.

While Cronin’s self-assured vocals and the overarching theme of destruction and rebirth unite Seeker and Switched-On Seeker, everything else about the two albums is different. Support your local record store on August 29 to experience the songs from Seeker in a whole new way!

Playing garage-accented pop, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mikal Cronin was raised in Laguna Beach, CA, where as a teenager he developed a passion for both surfing and rock & roll. While attending Laguna Beach High School, he fell in with a handful of like-minded music fans, many of whom he still collaborates with to this day.

On July 1st, Cronin will perform a “Switched-On” set from Zebulon in Los Angeles, on Zebulon’s YouTube channel.

The idea for Switched-On Seeker, whose title was inspired by a series of early electronic music records by Wendy Carlos playing classical music on an early Moog system, arose from Cronin’s interest in synths and electronic music, and he set out to record the songs of Seeker track by track using only his collection of synthesizers and drum machines. Alone in his garage, Cronin made the album with a variety of synths including Arturia DrumBrute, Moog Sub 37, Moog Mother-32, Hohner String Performer, Mellotron, Omnichord, various little Casios, Roland SH-01A, Korg R3, and classic drum machine samples.
While Cronin’s self-assured vocals and the overarching theme of destruction and rebirth unite Seeker and Switched-On Seeker, everything else about these two albums is different. Support your local record store on August 29th to experience your favourite songs from Seeker in a whole new way!

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Limited edition companion piece to Mikal Cronin’s 2019 Seeker album, Switched-On Seeker is a completely synth-based, full-length reworking of 2019’s Seeker in the vein of Wendy Carlos’ “Switched-On” series.Mikal Cronin will continue his world tour across the calendar in 2020, including a confirmed BBC 6 Music session with Marc Riley at the end of February.

recordstore day

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Shannon Lay’s “Live At Zebulon”, is her first-ever live album, was recorded last fall while on tour in support of August, her Sub Pop debut. The thirteen track effort features songs from throughout her three album catalogue – “August, All This Going Down, Living Water” – and her covers of Karen Dalton’s “Something On Your Mind” and Black Box’s “Everybody, Everybody.”

Shannon says of Live at Zebulon, “During November of 2019 I set off on tour with three of my best friends, Shelby Jacobson, Denee Segall and Sofia Arreguin. We played all over the U.S. and then returned home for a December residency at Zebulon in Los Angeles. We were joined on stage by Ben Boye and Mikal Cronin for three nights of celebration and with the help of engineer Elizaveta Boldyreva and the mixing skills of Michael Kriebel these are the recordings that came out of it. I had never toured with a band before and the songs became brand new again. I am so happy to have captured what they were in those moments with those people. To get to play music with the friends I love so much is a very special thing and I want to sincerely thank Shelby, Denee, Sofia, Ben and Mikal for adding their magical touch. In my wildest dreams I never imagined knowing such incredible people and getting to share the stage with them.”

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Shannon has also delivered a full album stream for Live At Zebulon featuring footage culled from the tour. Lay offers this on the YouTube document, “To go along with the live record we filmed footage of the U.S. tour in November 2019. Edited by Shelby Jacobson and filmed by Shelby Jacobson, Sofia Arreguin, Denee Segall and Shannon Lay it is a moment in time that we knew would be fleeting so we wanted to preserve it somehow. I hope you enjoy listening to the album while watching this film.”

Released May 8th, 2020

2020 Sub Pop Records

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Shannon Lay’s “Live At Zebulon”, is her first-ever live album, recorded last fall while on tour in support of August, her Sub Pop debut. The thirteen track effort features songs from throughout her three album catalog –“August, All This Going Down, Living Water” – and her covers of Karen Dalton’s “Something On Your Mind” and Black Box’s “Everybody, Everybody.”

Shannon says of Live at Zebulon, “During November of 2019, I set off on tour with three of my best friends, Shelby Jacobson, Denee Segall and Sofia Arreguin. We played all over the U.S. and then returned home for a December residency at Zebulon in Los Angeles. We were joined on stage by Ben Boye and Mikal Cronin for three nights of celebration and with the help of engineer Elizaveta Boldyreva and the mixing skills of Michael Kriebel these are the recordings that came out of it. I had never toured with a band before and the songs became brand new again. I am so happy to have captured what they were in those moments with those people. To get to play music with the friends I love so much is a very special thing and I want to sincerely thank Shelby, Denee, Sofia, Ben and Mikal for adding their magical touch. In my wildest dreams I never imagined knowing such incredible people and getting to share the stage with them.”

Shannon has also delivered a full album stream for Live At Zebulon featuring footage culled from the tour. Lay offers this on the YouTube document, “To go along with the live record we filmed footage of the U.S. tour in November 2019. Edited by Shelby Jacobson and filmed by Shelby Jacobson, Sofia Arreguin, Denee Segall and Shannon Lay it is a moment in time that we knew would be fleeting so we wanted to preserve it somehow. I hope you enjoy listening to the album while watching this film.”

released May 8th, 2020 Sub Pop Records.
L.A.’sShannon Lay has just released Live at Zebulon, her first-ever live album beautifully picked like Nico’s “These Days” and finely focused — can be found thereupon. Containing 13 arresting tracks like this, it’s out care of Sub Pop. You can buy the digital version of it either from their MegaMart or from her Bandcamp page right now.

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California garage rocker Mikal Cronin recently shared “I’ve Got Reason” the final single ahead of the release of his fourth album, Seeker, out today. The song lets it rip with a fuzzed-out chaos that’s wonderfully sloppy—with a psychedelic music video adding to the madness.“I’ve Got Reason” is undoubtedly the heaviest of Cronin’s new releases. While “Shelter” works soaring strings into its beautiful arrangement, “I’ve Got Reason” strips away the frills. The single feels straight out of the garage, with a minimal guitar, bass and drum formula.

On his fourth full-length, Mikal Cronin continues to experiment outside of the Bay Area garage rock scene he was reared in. The songs on Seeker are imbued with darkness: lovelorn, tense, unsure. They’re rocking ballads filled with ornate production and doubts

From the album “Seeker” out October 25th, 2019 on Merge Records.

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After releasing the impressive classic rock-leaning MCIII in 2015, Mikal Cronin pivoted to spending a few years playing and recording with his old friend Ty Segall’s band. When he did turn back to his own muse, he spent time holed up in a cabin in the California hills reflecting on recent heartbreak and writing songs.

With the help of producer Jason Quiver of Papercuts, Segall and members of his band including guitrarist Emmett Kelly of Cairo Gang, Cronin set about putting them on tape. Much like the expansive, dense music on MCIII, Seeker isn’t anything close to resembling his early power pop in the garage sound. This is huge, imposing music that’s clothed in full arrangements of layered guitars, swelling background vocals, various keys and orchestral strings with Cronin singing with fierce passion and rueful regret. It builds on the sturdy frame of MCIII and delivers bigger emotions, trickier melodies and more sound.

The opening one-two punch of “Shelter” and “Show Me” is a perfect table setter; two wide-screen ballads that let the listener know that Cronin is aiming for the heights and hitting them with ease. Both songs have the clastrophic, almost murky feel of the darker side of AOR; “Shelter” comes across like a mix of Led Zeppelin mystery and Tom Petty swagger, “Show Me” is like a distant cousin of Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” as played by Neil Young & Crazy Horse circa Zuma. The rest of the album doesn’t stray too far from these classic rock influences and the ghost of Petty hangs heavily over songs like the chiming “Fire” and “Caravan,” which sounds like the dark timeline Traveling Wiburys thanks to the minor chords and evil boogie beat. “I’ve Got a Reason” goes one generation further back and lifts the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” while adding a layer of metallic grit and Cronin’s pleading vocals. No matter the stylistic variation found on Seeker — and it goes from spare acoustic ballads (On the Shelf“) to raging rockers that deserve to be cranked real loud (“Guardian Well”) — Cronin’s songs are hard-hitting, sticky and emotionally wrenching, the band plays with passionate fire and the production goes a long way toward capturing a live in the studio feel that’s loose and rambling. Fans of Cronin’s early, less complicated work might long for a return to those days, but those days are long gone. For anyone who thought MCIII was heading in a direction that sounded promising, “Seeker” arrives at the destination in a tumbling, exciting cloud of dust, sound and craft.

Mikal Cronin  keeps close company with garage-rock wonderkid Ty Segall, so it’s no wonder the like-minded musicians often tread onto each other’s turf when it comes to songwriting. But unlike Segall, Cronin has always been at his best when he’s crafting pristine pop melodies—and weaving impassioned harmonies behind them. “You Gotta Have Someone” perfectly illustrates the sharp dichotomy behind Cronin’s songcraft. It’s got a bubbly melody and cordial, carefree lyrics—but it also has its fair share of scuzzy, distorted guitars to boot.

Taken from the 7″ single “Tide” which came out December 2011 on Goner Records.

Conceived and recorded as a form of therapy to help cope with adjusting to life post-college, an ensuing break-up and geographic isolation, Mikal Cronin steps away from the rhythm section of Orange County surf-punk bashers The Moonhearts with his eponymous debut solo LP. Fans can take heart, this isn’t a “vanity project” or half-baked endeavor – Mikal’s 2011 solo debut is fully realized, cohesive and beautiful, with themes that are as personal as they are universal; questioning your future, accepting your past and living in the moment.
Taking influences such as late sixties Del Shannon and The Everly Brothers and filtering them through his own mutant California fuzz, Mikal deftly explores his singer/songwriter side that at moments feels like a punk Harry Nilsson or Curt Boettcher that balances sweet melodies & chords with chunky, psychedelic guitar freak-outs. Don’t let the opening Beach Boys-ian harmonies of “Is It Alright?” fool you into thinking this record can be easily pinned down… with long-time friend & collaborator Ty Segall producing, Eric Bauer running the tape machine and guests like John Dwyer of The Oh-Sees, you can be positive you’re in for something special. Once those guitars kick in, and you hit that first transcendent chorus, you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting what comes next.
with special guests:
Ty Segall: drums on 2, 3, 7, 10
Charles Moothart: drums on 4, solo on 3
John Dwyer: flute on 1

“… an album of wistful, psychedelic pop that pits lush and layered arrangements against needle-pinning power chords.” ~Pitchfork

released October 18th, 2019

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The album’s name, August, refers to the month in 2017 when Lay quit her day job and fully gave herself over to music. This was her liberation as an artist, and the album is devoted to paying that forward to her listeners. Lay may be the most chilled-out artist you’ll ever meet. Despite fronting her tranquil solo act and being a guitarist / singer in the indie-rock band Feels, she never pressures herself to overachieve. In keeping with the humbled, contemplative nature of August, most tracks clock-in at three minutes or less. She saved indulgence for the production. She recorded the album with her longtime friend, musician Ty Segall at his home studio on the East Side. Also in the mix is Mikal Cronin, who played saxophone on the album’s opener, Death Up Close.

Shannon Lay’s Sub Pop debut, “August”, will be out August 23rd and she’s just shared the lovely, lightly psychedelic and string-laden title track. “I believe whoever you record with tends to affect the mood of music and Ty Segall really brought this jovial sense that I hadn’t really explored yet.” “Once you get rolling with him, he just throws these ideas at the wall. And you’re like, ‘I would never have thought of that!’ I couldn’t have hoped for a better guide and energy to help create this record.”

This record means a lot to me and I have to give a huge thank you to everyone who made it possible. I hope all who hear it will be inspired to give even more of their lives to what they love. Be kind to yourself and enjoy this mystical journey we are on, It is all a dream and it is yours for the taking.

Provided to You by Sub Pop Records

Shannon Lay is a singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. The title to her sophomore full-length is a reference to the month she decided to quit her day job and devote herself to her music full-time, back in 2017. “Nowhere” is a song about living in the moment without fear of where the road you’re on may take you. August is out August. 23rd on Sub Pop Records.

Transcendent folk-pop artist Shannon Lay will release this August, her Sub Pop Records debut, worldwide on August 23rd. You can now watch to her latest offering “Death Up Close” which serves as the album’s centerpiece. “With that song, I wanted to recognize that everyone else is going through something and reflect on that. Don’t be so close-minded to think you’re the only one who’s got issues, in fact, find comfort in the thought that everyone is on their own journey” Lay explains. What starts as an Eastern-influenced song morphs into an avant-garde sound bath. “I had this idea of the violin ascending. Then Mikal Cronin came in with the saxophone and just blew me away.  I love the idea of building a song like that, take people by surprise.”

Shannon drifts into nostalgia and loss while sitting on a couch in a familiar place we could all call home. “Death Up Close” from the Shannon Lay album “August”.

As previously reported, Shannon Lay will be a member of Ty Segall’s Freedom Band for the full album residencies in Los Angeles, New York, Paris, London, Berlin, and Haarlem.

August is now available from Sub Pop. LP .UK, and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on orange vinyl (North America) and Sun Yellow vinyl (UK/EU) while supplies last.

August is out August. 23rd on Sub Pop Records.

Ty Segall

If First Taste is your, well, first taste of Ty Segall, it might be easy to brush him off as self-indulgent noise rock. The album is overly-produced and as gaudy as a paisley shirt, sure, but it’s also immensely compelling, inventive and fascinatingly unhinged, all while still maintaining a tight control and an understanding of how to reign it all in to create an actual song from the mire of noise

“Ice Plant” is Segall at his most sparing. Gone are the fuzzy freak-fests and instrumental meltdowns; here are the airy vocal harmonies. Shannon Lay, the newest member of the rotating Freedom Band, duets with Segall on the track. Her voice is a lovely match for Segall’s, together imbuing the repeated refrain “Let your love rain down on me” with a disarming affect. Simple percussion and pianos bookend the song, which is otherwise entirely vocal.

On the toes of a 10-week residency at the Teragram Ballroom and the release of his brand new album, “First Taste”, Psych/Garage Rock virtuoso Ty Segall came by the KCRW Studio for his 5th MBE Session! 5 sessions in almost as many years and something like 15 albums, not including albums from other bands he plays with and/or is a part of, Ty Segall is like a cosmic beam of pure rock-n-roll energy.

With his Freedom Band mates – Emmett Kelly, Ben Boye, Charles Moothart, Mikal Cronin and Shannon Lay – plus a deep set up with doubles of everything, from two drum kits and bass guitars to kotos, omnichords and bazukis, Segall played all new work from First Taste for almost 40 mins.

Although the new work is undeniably Ty Segall, the instrumental set up pushes the boundaries of the fuzzy, more traditional Garage sound into a hazy world psychedelic and proto-prog rock vibe.  Like, for all the T.Rex and Stooges action and Hawkwind nods.

A number of KCRW friends and colleagues watched the performance from the Mezzanine while absolutely face-melted and slack-jawed. I know for a fact that I was making a really gross stank face for most of the set because the grooves were so disgusting and the bass, drums, and SAX were gut churning. It was a beastly trip and I LITERALLY CANNOT emphasize this enough…GO SEE THEM.

They opened the set with a full on ripper, “Taste,” and followed it up by leaning into a loping, skronky groover “Whatever” before getting to the first of our live highlights, “Ice Plant.”

Possibly one of the loveliest tracks in this dude’s oeuvre, “Ice Plant,” which has serious Marc Bolan meets Syd Barrett in Strawberry Fields vibes, wistfully floats on a mellotron-ish mist of keys and Ooos and Aahs before exploding into a super glammy freak-out. Like finding a lit firecracker in your banana split.

The set kept steam rolling through everyone’s faces and guts with “The Fall” and “I Worship The Dog,” during and after which the preternaturally boy-faced Segall kept panting and occasionally barking. He’s a grown ass man, but so help me, if I could’ve, I would’ve pinched his cheeks. They then went into “The Arms” which is probably the most straight-ahead Psych/Garage tune they played, however the high pitched Bazuki phrases really lit the track up with Turkish Psych vibes that made me wanna lay down on the carpet and go for a ride. It was really, really nice.

The band kept in that mode with “I Sing Them” before closing with the seriously heady “Self Esteem,” which I imagine is what you’d get if you crash landed a plane on a desert island with a bunch of marching band kids and they had nothing to eat but psychedelics and Can and Yes records. It was a riot and made me wish I could watch it all over again immediately.

Drag City Records. Released on: 23rd July 2019.

Mikal Cronin has announced his fourth solo album album. “Seeker” is due out October 25th via Merge Records. Check out the Yasi Salek-directed video for his new single “Show Me.” Cronin has also announced an upcoming tour—find those dates at the Merge website.

“Show Me’ is a song about feeling small in an overwhelming world,” said Cronin. “There’s a not-quite-subtle hint of the Heartbreakers in the instrumentation and arrangement, having asked many friends to play or sing. It’s one of my favorite songs from the album, I hope you like it too.”

Seeker is Mikal Cronin’s fourth and finest full-length to date. Recorded live with a crew of close friends and engineer Jason Quever at Palmetto Studios in Los Angeles, it finds Cronin pushing his often devastating power pop into darker territory. “Fire—specifically its cycle of purging and reseeding the landscape—is a central theme to the record. Death and rebirth,” says Mikal. “I was looking for something: answers, direction, peace. I am the seeker.”

Mikal Cronin recorded Seeker with engineer Jason Quever. He was backed by Ty Segall’s Freedom Band on the album, which is his follow-up to 2015’s MCIII.