Posts Tagged ‘Mikal Cronin’

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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

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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.

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Ty Segall presents a new single “Radio,” from his forthcoming album, “First Taste”, due August 2nd! Just in time for the July 4th festivities (such as they are), “Radio” should satisfy all our barely-subsumed bloodlust and immutable desire to rule while also providing a majestically boomboxable anthem to revel along with at the cookout.

“Radio” sizzles with koto by Segall, saxophone and piano by Mikal Cronin, bass by Emmett Kelly, percussion and drums by Segall and Charles Moothart, and back up vocals by Shannon Lay.

“‘Radio’ is a science non-fiction song,” says Segall. “We live in a Cronenberg film. It has Videodrome saxoheadphones. I am a slave to the new radio and so are you.”

First Taste is an introspective set for Ty Segall after the extroversions of 2018’s Freedom’s Goblin, yet just as steeped in hard beats. These twelve songs form a tightly revolving cycle of song and sound. Throughout, Segall reflects on family, re-encountering pasts, anticipating futures, and hits on oneness, self-esteem and the parents, while reaching outward, feeling for a shared pulse in the world around him.

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Segall will play First Taste in full, alongside select albums from his expansive catalogue, in LA, New York, and select European cities with residencies starting this month and going through the end of the year.

A first taste of Ty? Hardly, but First Taste erects extreme new sonic skylines for Segall to soar over. His natural state of urgency is paired with a thirsty contemplative vibe as Ty examines both sides now, twisting some of his best songs and production wack into hard left turns both sweet and hot.
Releases August 2nd, 2019

Robert Crumb

This week we have the superb new LP from Maps, taking this psychedelic atmosphere and injecting it with a healthy dose of percussive heft and placing more of an emphasis on the jagged time signatures and heady vocal reverbs. Moving beyond this heady mix and into more grounded territory, we get the big new indie release everyone’s been waiting for, and the brilliant ‘Here Comes The Cowboy’ certainly doesn’t disappoint. Filled with all of the smooth and sweet vocal flourishes you’d expect from Mac Demarco, a smooth loungey groove into his already super relaxed sound.

Please check out the new A.A. Bondy this new LP guarantees melodic undercurrent of folk and Americana being all but completely disguised by shadowy synths and cavernous reverbed bass, not to mention a plethora of technological flourishes to really ramp the enjoyment up. The new one from Holly Herndon, bolstered with Herndon’s HUGE vocal presence. Coming soon is the new Raconteurs LP ‘Help Us Stranger’ released on the 21st of June.

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Charly Bliss – Young Enough

Charly Bliss have evolved from the bunch of scrappy upstarts behind their brash punk debut Guppy, to the confident, assured artists who have produced the comparatively dynamic and unapologetically pop Young Enough. But, for lead singer Eva Hendricks, the path of this evolution was fraught, as her lyrics inspired by a past abusive relationship show. Songwriting became a source of respite, and, eventually, redemption. “You go through experiences of loss or extreme pain and you just keep moving,” Eva says. “You look around and go, how has the world not stopped? But it is also powerful. It’s like, I’m still here, I’m not a person who is ruled by pain, I still like who I am.”

Chat Room and Young Enough are new sonic lynchpins, as is the soaring, mini epic, Fighting In the Dark. The delicate synth confessional Hurt Me also felt, as Eva puts it, “like something we hadn’t explored yet.” The entire record sounds like a new realm, from the deceptively easeful confessional Capacityto the propulsive, more classic pop of Hard To Believe. In the end, Young Enough feels joyful and celebratory, but also infused with a new sense of depth and maturity. “I want people to feel strong when they listen to this record,” says Eva. “Like you’re working through some shit but you feel really strong and beautiful, even if you’re in a lot of pain. That’s what I want people to feel. The opposite of broken.” For fans of Veruca Salt, Pixies and The Breeders.

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Holly Herndon – Proto

Holly’s third full-length album Proto isn’t about A.I., but much of it was created in collaboration with her own A.I. ‘baby’, Spawn. For the album, she assembled a contemporary ensemble of vocalists, developers and an inhuman intelligence housed in a DIY souped-up gaming PC to create a record that encompasses live vocal processing and timeless folk singing, and places an emphasis on alien song craft and new forms of communion.

Eternal follows the 2018 release of Holly and Jlin’s collaborative song Godmother (feat. Spawn). The skittering track, which was created by Spawn reimagining the artworks of her ‘godmother’ Jlin in a trained model of her mother’s voice with no editing or sample trickery, was praised everywhere from NPR to The Guardian to New York Times, and elsewhere.

You can hear traces of Spawn throughout the album, developed in partnership with long time collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and ensemble developer Jules LaPlace, and even eavesdrop on the live training ceremonies conducted in Berlin, in which hundreds of people were gathered to teach Spawn how to identify and reinterpret unfamiliar sounds in group call-and-response singing sessions; a contemporary update on the religious gathering Holly was raised amongst in her upbringing in East Tennessee.

Just as Platform forewarned of the manipulative personal and political impacts of prying social media platforms long before popular acceptance, Proto is a euphoric and principled statement setting the shape of things to come.

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Songs: Ohia – Love and Work: The Lioness Sessions

The Lionessis the first Jason Molina project to fully turn away from the battlefield folk and deconstructed Americana of earlier Songs: Ohia recordings. At the dawn of the 21st century, the album felt modern. It aligned Molina with a new set of peers – Low, Gastr del Sol, Red House Painters and, most importantly, the influential Scottish band Arab Strap, whose producer and members were crucial in the creation of The Lioness. The avant-garde tones and arrangements of Arab Strap are absorbed here into Molina’s songwriting to create what would become, for many acolytes, the archetypal Songs: Ohia sound. Love and Work: The Lioness Sessions, the box set reissue, will serve as the seminal log of the era, complete with lost songs, photos, drawings, and essays from those who knew Molina best.

We know Molina was diligent in both love and work. He treated songcraft like a job at the mill, and his approach to romance was not so different. We know that when he fell in love with his wife, he was dutiful in his adoration. There were strings of love letters and poetic gesture. Included in this edition are replicated examples of this relentless love – an envelope with a letter from Molina, a photograph of Molina and his to-be wife, a postcard, a Two of Hearts playing card, and a personal check for one million kisses. Some of these items were gifts he would send to his new love from the road; others, like the 2 of Hearts, were totems he’d carry with him around this time as a symbol for his burgeoning love.

And so, the head-over-heels album that is The Lioness has its workman counterpart. Nearly another album’s worth of material was recorded in Scotland during the album sessions. While similar in tone and structure, the songs seem to deal in the grit and dirt of being. These are songs for aching muscles getting soothed in the third-shift pub. But they’re also examples of Molina’s diligence as he constructs what would be the essential elements of The Lioness. In addition to these outtakes, we also have a 4-track session made weeks earlier in London with friend James Tugwell. Comprised of primarily guitar, hand drums and voice, these songs are raw experiments that mostly serve to illustrate Molina’s well of words and ideas. But then, there is the devastating Sacred Harp hymn Wondrous Love. While he may have had his new love in mind, one can’t help but think of Molina’s legacy as he softly warbles “Into eternity I will sing / Into eternity I will sing.” You don’t have to try too hard to mythologize Molina. He did all the work for you.

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The Dream Syndicate – These Times

There are two phases of The Dream Syndicate. There was the band with revolving lineups that existed from 1982 to 1988 and made four albums includingThe Days of Wine and Roses and have influenced bands and delighted fans in the years since. And then there’s the band that reunited in 2012 and is closing in on its seventh year with nary a lineup change. This 21st Century version of the Dream Syndicate releasedHow Did I Find Myself Here in 2017 to universal acclaim, no small feat for a band reuniting after almost three decades. With that reintroduction and a full year of touring behind them, the Dream Syndicate had the freedom to take it all somewhere new, to dig a little deeper, get outside of themselves a little bit. Their new album These Times feels like a late-night radio show that you might have heard as a kid, drifting off into dreams and wondering the next morning if any of it was real.

So, what does it sound like? If How Did I Find Myself Herewas a 10 pm record, all swagger and cathartic explosion, then These Times is the 2 am sibling, moodier and more mercurial, the band acting as DJs of their own overnight radio station, riffing on an idea of what a Dream Syndicate album could be at this moment in time. It is Radio DS19.

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Lydia Ainsworth – Phantom Forest

Lydia Ainsworth’s third album, Phantom Forest, introduces a lush, complex dream world that the singer, composer, and producer created and inhabited largely on her own. She produced all the songs, and wrote and performed everything on the self-released collection outside of a re-imagined cover of Pink Floyd’s Green is the Colour and 2 other tracks (The Time, Give It Back To You), which started as instrumentals written by Survive’s Kyle Dixon (who composed the Stranger Things soundtrack with his bandmate Michael Stein), to which Ainsworth wrote melodies and added lyrics. Phantom Forest is a beautiful, vast collection that mixes the historical and the hands on, with hooks about the apocalypse and people obsessively using face-recognition software to see what paintings their face match with, in search of some kind of connection. It’s a journey that holds up to close listening (and lyric reading) and to dancefloors, but that can also exist on a purely emotional plane. In all cases, it asks that you listen, and take some kind of action.

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The Beths – Warm Blood

The Beths debut EP – available for the first time on (Pink) Vinyl. This EP is the prequel to their debut album Future Me Hates Me which is much loved release. The Beths’ Warm Blood is a strong contender for the catchiest record you’ve never heard. Formed when four jazz students at the University of Auckland bonded over their shared love of the pop-punk sounds of their youth, The Beths bring new energy to the genre. This 5-song debut EP, a deliriously pleasurable statement of purpose, comes crammed with enough blissful hooks to carry through most bands’ careers.

Listeners for whom the tag “New Zealand indie rock” brings to mind the Flying Nun sound of bands like The Clean and The Chills may be surprised to find Warm Blood’s five unstoppable tunes landing closer to artists like Slant 6 and The Breeders. The nimble guitar work here moves from heavy riffing reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney to hazily bending lines that would make Stephen Malkmus and Mary Timony beam, while the joyous vocal harmonies from all four members bubble and swell to ecstaticcrescendos that channel The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle.

With impeccable production from guitarist Jonathan Pearce and stellar musicianship across the board, Warm Blood is a non-stop delight. Tracks like lead off track and first single Whatever, the ridiculously addictive standout Idea / Intent, andRush Hour 3, a playful ode to romance in this era of download-and-chill franchise films, take delight in the challenge of breathing new energy into the limitations of the 3-minute pop song.

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Morrissey – Wedding Bells Blues

Limited Clear Yellow 7″ vinyl from Morrissey’s covers album California Sun featuring Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day on Wedding Bell Blues originally by The Fifth Dimension. Lydia Night of the Regrettes also joins Armstrong and Morrissey on the track. It comes backed by Brow of My Beloved

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Mikal Cronin – Undertow / Breathe

Mikal Cronin is back in the Famous class fold with his beautiful new 7”. This is Mikal’s first new solo material since his excellent album MCIII back in 2015. It’s two tracks of perfect guitar-pop craftsmanship

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Linda Guilala – Estado Natural

Spanish shoegaze trio Linda Guilala’s new single is the third instalment in the Sonic Cathedral Singles Club.

Estado Natural(which translates as ‘natural state’) is the follow-up to last year’s Mucho Mejor and is an indie-pop classic in the making, all driving rhythms and synths swooping and fizzing like Stereolab in a Soda Stream. The flipside, Espacio De Tiempo (‘space of time’), is a much more Lush and laid-back affair. Limited edition of 350 on red vinyl.

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Coming soon is the new Raconteurs LP ‘Help Us Stranger’ released on the 21st of June.


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It’s easy to get caught up in an undertow, pulled down into the water, weightless and directionless. The current stirs and you lose your way. But eventually, if you’re lucky and patient, you can float back up to the surface and take a breath. This is my first new music in a while – my gulp of air. Many talented friends joined me, the basic tracks were recorded live together for the first time in my recording career. This felt good. Jason Quever recorded it in Los Angeles, December of 2018. Thanks for listening.
Releases May 10th, 2019

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Written By Mikal Cronin

Performed By:
Mikal Cronin – Vocals, Guitar, Bouzouki, Saxophones, William Tyler – Guitar , Shannon Lay – Vocals, Ryan Weinstein – Bass, Heidi Alexander – Vocals, Marc Riordan – Drums, Jordan Katz – Trumpet, David Ralicke – Trombone

Ty Segall did an impromptu rendition of Neil Young’s song “Down By the River” during the encore of his Teragram Ballroom show in Los Angeles over the weekend. He was joined by Mikal Cronin for the cover; watch it below. The concert was a benefit fundraiser for The Smell,  the vital D.I.Y. venue in L.A. that received a demolition notice earlier this year. This isn’t the first time Ty Segall has done one of Neil Young’s songs live; he played “For The Turnstiles” during an acoustic set.

Ty Segall performing a cover of Neil Young’s 1969 ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ single “Down By The River” at The Teragram Ballroom in Downtown Los Angeles, CA for Penniback Records to benefit The Smell

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Mikal Cronin has shared another song off his forthcoming new album suprisingly titled MCIII which will be out May 5th on Merge Records. The track titled  “ii) Gold” is part of a six-song cycle that inhabits Side 2 of the album. It’s got a soaring chorus, a breakdown featuring Mikal Cronin on traditional Greek instrument the tzouras, as well as a let-it-all-hang-out finish. It won’t be long till Mikal is on the road in support of the new album, including his NYC record release show at Bowery Ballroom on May 5th with William Tyler as opening support.

 

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Mikal Cronin and Ty Segall – Reverse Shark Attack available on cassette ,  “I Wear Black” by Mikal Cronin/Ty Segall originally released in 2009, QTY: 250 cassettes originally pressed
Originally pressed on LP by Kill Shaman Records, this amazing record was a joint collaboration between two extremely talented  musicians, Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin These thick garage punk jams were later reissued by In The Red Recordings and we re-issued the tape for that but this is still a very hard Burger Records item to find!