Posts Tagged ‘Royal Mountain Records’

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On Tuesday, Wild Pink shared a video for their new single “Pacific City.” It served as the fourth single from their new album, “A Billion Little Lights”, which came out today on Royal Mountain Records. Keith Pratt directed the video. For the past several months, John Ross has been building up to the release of his new album as Wild Pink, “A Billion Little Lights”. So far we’ve heard several songs from it,

Frontman John Ross speaks about the inspiration behind the new song in a press release: “‘Pacific City’ is named after the city in Oregon and I was watching Heat a lot while writing it. I wanted to write a few songs with a conventional song structure on this album and this was one of them—we spent a lot of time on the drum tones and used a Yamaha RX21 drum machine. The song is about time passing and realizing you’re not the same person you used to be.” 

The band previously shared the songs “The Shining But Tropical,” “You Can Have It Back,” and “Oversharers Anonymous” from the album. Their last album, Yolk in the Fur, came out in 2018 on Tiny Engines

Wild Pink’s last album, 2018’s “Yolk In The Fur”, concluded with a song about the strange sense of relief that comes with “letting go of youth.” Frontman John Ross, then in his early thirties, was singing from a place of newfound comfort and wisdom, but it ended with a repetition of the line, “I don’t know what happens next.” The song, titled “All Some Frenchman’s Joke”, is a beautifully concise rendering of a universal milestone: levelling up from the wide-eyed naivety and self-destructive routines of our youth, only to realize that we’re as unprepared for the future as we were for the past.

On Wild Pink’s third album and first for Royal Mountain Records, “A Billion Little Lights”, Ross explores that dichotomy of finally achieving emotional security—of accepting the love and peace he deprived himself of in his twenties—while also feeling existentially smaller and more directionless than ever before. The record is a two-pronged triumph: an extraordinary reflection on the human condition presented through the sharpest, grandest, and most captivating songs Wild Pink have ever composed.

The band, which is rounded out by bassist T.C. Brownell and drummer Dan Keegan, formed in New York City in 2015 and put out a handful of EP’s before releasing their critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2017. It was a sophisticated showing for a band’s first album, but it was the striking maturation of Yolk In The Fur that established Wild Pink’s unique sound: a glistening variety of pastoral indie-rock akin to The War On Drugs, Death Cab For Cutie, and Kurt Vile, but informed by classic American rock poets like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. The album received glowing praise from Pitchfork (a score of 8.1), Billboard, NPR, Stereogum, and Uproxx, the latter deeming them “one of indie’s best emerging bands.”

Even though Wild Pink were operating within the relatively modest world of contemporary indie-rock, critics likened them to the types of revered rock auteurs who rack up Grammy nominations. So for A Billion Little Lights, they actually made that leap. The record was produced, mixed, and co-engineered by producer David Greenbaum, who’s worked with the likes of Beck, U2, Cage The Elephant, and Jenny Lewis. Like all Wild Pink records, the songs were entirely written and arranged by Ross, who shaped them into high-quality demos over the course of a year in his new home in New York’s Hudson Valley. But unlike previous Wild Pink albums, Ross enlisted a deep bench of session musicians and friends to perform a litany of additional instruments, finally granting Ross’s musical visions the space and sonic resources they needed to achieve their finest forms.

The ten songs on A Billion Little Lights are adorned with fiddles, violins, wurlitzers, saxophones, accordions, pedal steel guitars, and a variety of richly textured synths and keyboards. In addition to the instrumentation, Julia Steiner of the Chicago band Ratboys provides beautiful harmonies throughout the record, her soft voice recalling the friendly glow of a porch light when it switches on behind Ross’s dusky coo. On past records, Ross’s breathy delivery rarely raised above a hushed murmur, but here he sings with a melodic confidence that makes songs like “Pacific City”, “Die Outside”, and “The Shining But Tropical” some of the catchiest, most anthemic cuts in the Wild Pink catalogue. The band have never sounded dated or nostalgic, but the lingering twinge of Americana in their sound has always given their songs a familiar, classicist resonance. On A Billion Little Lights, there are little details like speckles of auto-tune, flashing synths, and even trip-hop-esque drum loops that subtly yet effectively rebuff the notion that Wild Pink’s music yearns for a bygone era: the album sounds at once timeless and unmistakably modern.

That sonic quality is a fitting complement to the album’s lyrics, which see Ross caught in the bramble between his past and his present; feeling suffocated by the repetition of life while simultaneously gazing at the stars above and marvelling at the unquantifiable vastness of it all. “Time spreads like Jasmine on a fence / Always behind, I can let go but I’m still always behind” he sings on the shimmering “Bigger Than Christmas”. On the sprightly folk-rocker “You Can Have It Back”, he cheekily sizes up his flaws (“Everybody laughs easily / There’s something wrong with me”) and outwardly admits, “Never figured out how to live / Just dreaming all the time.” “Family Friends” and “Track Mud” are musings on day-to-day stasis: “Every day is Groundhog’s Day now” he sings in the former, while lamenting about being “lost in anxious thoughts again” in the latter.

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However, it’s the final two songs, the record’s musical standouts, that offer a tepidly hopeful counter to those periods of despair. In “Pacific City”, Ross sings about barely being able to recognize the person he once was, a self left behind once he shedded self-hatred (“For every little thing about myself I couldn’t change”) and learned to “make hay while the sun shined.” “And you deserve the good things that’ll come to you / You just need a little room”, goes its hook. It’s unclear whether that “room” is a reference to his literal relocation to rural upstate New York, or a metaphor for emotional space, but either way “Die Outside” is all about making it. With a stadium-sized hook and the rhythmic swing of a two-ton pendulum, Ross calls to “let every wall come down” with a windswept sing-song of a delivery, a barn raiser of a hook.

Whereas Yolk In The Fur ended with an admission of utter uncertainty, this album ends with a more conclusive observation: “Your blood is like ocean water.” It’s an almost soothing acceptance of our primordial nature, that like the ancient water of the sea or the billions of little stars above, we’re as much a part of something greater and everlasting as we are a mere flicker in the night sky. Wild Pink’s music has always rooted around in those sort of immortal complexities, but A Billion Little Lights is the first time the surrounding music truly captures those alternatingly micro and macro quandaries. It, too, is something to marvel at.

Releases February 19th, 2021

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Gustaf is a throwback art punk band from Brooklyn currently getting rave reviews. They’ve opened for many high-profile acts, including Beck, even though their debut single, “Mine,” is less than four months old. Fans of bands like Talking Heads and Television, Bodega, Patti Smith will want to keep an eye on this band. From: Brooklyn in New York City , USA

The have Impossible-to-resist grooves matched with the performance style of a former improv comedian. You’re going to love them: If super serious scene bands send your eyes rolling to the back of your head, Gustaf will win you back around. The Brooklyn five-piece might only a couple of singles to their name so far, but they’ve cultivated a reputation as one of the most fun new bands across the five boroughs (and, perhaps, beyond) thanks to their enthrallingly joyful live shows and inability not to inject everything they do with a playful spirit.

A song about the overly entitled and underwhelmed. Hi!! Produced and mixed by Chris Coady

released October 8th, 2020
Written and performed by Gustaf.

Gustaf is
Lydia Gammill (vocals)
Tine Hill (bass)
Melissa Lucciola (drums)
Vram Kherlopian (guitar and vocals)
Tarra Thiessen (vocals and percussion)

We’re thrilled to announce that at long last our first single/music video “Mine” is out today! It’s part of a 7inch vinyl that’ll be available December 4th 2020 on Royal Mountain Records.

Gulfer

Montreal’s Gulfer have been reviving Midwest, ’90s-style emo for the past decade, and they’re now set to release their third LP, which is self-titled, on October 16th via Topshelf/Royal Mountain. Having spent the past couple years wavering between self-doubt and having it figured out, Montreal’s Gulfer have returned to the fore with their third full-length record. Composed of thirteen tracks of intricate, dexterous, and incredibly fun, punk-inspired emo tunes, Gulfer sees the Montreal quartet settled into their own with a career-defining record.

Set to be co-released through us and the band’s first ever Canadian label in Royal Mountain Records, Gulfer is expansive in a way that sets it apart from the debut What Gives and the Pitchfork-approved Dog Bless. Delving into their collective influences by drawing from elements of grunge, shoegaze, and contemporaries Oso Oso and Prince Daddy and the Hyena, the band never turn their back on their earliest inspirations. Explosive, agile emo serves as the backdrop to guitarist and vocalists Vincent Ford and Joe Therriault’s honest and vulnerable lyricism, with the two sharing the writing process on a record that tackles human nature; exploring self-doubt, resentment, complex relationships, climate change, and the waning of youth. The band never lose the sense of playfulness and fun that is omnipresent in their live show, an undeniable, electric energy that stems from being a group of close friends before all else.

They do a lot of justice to the noodly riffage and longing melodies of the classic Kinsella era, and new song “Heat Wave” is no exception.

Our new track “Heat Wave” is streaming everywhere you listen to music now! It’s the second track we’re sharing from our new self-titled record, out October 16th through Topshelf Records and Royal Mountain Records, and it’s about realizing that past friendships left you feeling out of place, and how special it is to find a new home somewhere else. You can listen and pre-order our record below, but variants are moving quick!

Free of former notions that they needed to write in a certain way to sound like themselves, the band instead went with their gut and wrote what came naturally. The result is their most definitive work to date, a record that focuses less on ultra-technical musicianship and more on structure, space, and feel. With renewed energy in their freshened sound palette and their most collaborative songwriting yet, Gulfer have created an album that sounds fresh and exciting, which is no small feat for a band with two albums, a handful of EPs, and eight long years under their belt. The deft and interweaving interplay of Ford and Therriault’s guitars is grounded by bassist David Mitchell and drummer Julien Daoust, whose dexterities and musicianship animate the album with explosive, emotional kineticism.

“Forget (Friendly)” is taken from Gulfer’s upcoming self-titled record, out on Topshelf Records and Royal Mountain Records on October 16th, 2020.

It’s only been a few months since Ontario-based dream popster Ellis released debut album Born Again, but Linnea Siggelkow has been keeping busy by learning to play some of her favourite songs. The aptly named “Bedroom Covers” EP is available to stream today via Royal Mountain.

The three-track release features covers of Taylor Swift’s “Lover,” Dinosaur Jr.’s “I Got Lost” and the Used’s “Buried Myself Alive,” giving each of the tracks a makeover that falls in line with Ellis’s shoegaze- and dream pop-influenced sound. Ellis has also shared a new video for her “Lover” cover, which features dreamy footage of people-free landscapes and urban landmarks.

In a statement about the EP, Siggelkow said:

I haven’t been feeling very inspired to write lately. The world is feeling equally chaotic and slow, my mind feels very strange, so I have focused on learning other people’s songs and it’s been sort of a nice break.

I wanted to cover songs by artists that have influenced me musically and as a songwriter. I love Taylor Swift’s to-the-point lyricism about her feelings, the relatability of her songs. Dinosaur Jr. is just such a cool band and J Mascis is one of my favourite guitarists. I’ve been practicing a lot more than I usually do, working on scales and trying to improve my technical skill — I want to be able to shred like J! And the Used was such a huge band for me growing up, Bert McCracken writes perfect emo songs that have stood the test of time.

Listen to Ellis’s full “Bedroom Covers” EP

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Released July 7th, 2020

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Pottery’s debut EP, No. 1, made our mid-year best post-punk list last year thanks to its bluesy, funky take on post-punk. This coming Friday , the Montreal five-piece are unleashing their first full-length, and it’s even more eccentric than we were expecting (or hoping). It’s full of psych-punk jams so surreal and danceable that falling down their wormhole and grooving to the beat are not optional. Make sure you polish off your dancing shoes before diving into its off-the-wall percussion and snappy guitars. Their sky-high dance-punk and witty psychedelia can hardly pack more tightly-coiled zip.

Here’s a jagged new single from Montreal band Pottery’s upcoming debut album, “Welcome to Bobby’s Motel”, which is out in June. It goes from a rigid start into something decidedly more funky. “While there are hints of environmental themes on this one, we mainly wanted to make a disco song with a robotic feeling, something that could be easily chanted,” say Pottery. “Austin was originally really interested in heat as a musical concept/feeling – some of the early album titles we threw around were ‘Hot Hot Hot’ and ‘Sun Fever’ – and there are a bunch of other heat references on the album [see previous single ‘Hot Like Jungle’. In the studio he’d be joking around and yelling stuff at us like ‘let’s make it hot!’ right before a take. A lot of that didn’t end up totally sinking in, but some did…like on this song.”

“Hot Heater” from ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ out June 26th on Partisan Records and Royal Mountain Records.

Pottery

If you caught Pottery live at any point in the last year, you know they had already become quite a different band than the one glimpsed on their 2019 debut EP No. 1. Approximating some middle ground between Devo and Talking Heads, Pottery were growing into a weirdo art-rock band reliant on frantically clipped guitar grooves and propulsive arrangements. Their shows were quirky dance parties, with lots of catchy melodies blared out in all-hands-on-deck vocal chants.

“Texas Drums” is the first preview of what happened when that iteration of Pottery made it into the studio, and it manages to capture the sweaty, unrelenting energy the band wields onstage. There is a lot going on here, all kinds of guitar blurts and vocal ad-libs and bonus percussion instruments. But it all works towards this bug-eyed intensity, a song that rushes out the gate and never lets up even as it crash lands into its extended Part 2 coda, a melted psychedelic comedown. A lot of young guitar bands are coming up in some kind of mold you could put under the broad umbrella of “post-punk.” But nobody’s playing with those tropes with the sort of joyful abandon that Pottery are.

“Texas Drums Pt I & II” from ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ out April 10th on Partisan Records and Royal Mountain Records. 

Combining the lulling ambience of shoegaze with the iconic melodies and the vocal prowess of the classic American country music, The enigmatic outlaw cowboy – Orville Peck, croons love and loss from the badlands of North America. The resulting sound is one completely his own, taking the listener down dusty rose-colored desert highways, through a world where worn out gamblers, aloof road-dogs and lovesick hustlers drift in and out of his masked gaze.

Orville’s debut album, “Pony”, delivers a diverse collection of stories that sing of heartbreak, revenge and the unrelenting tug of the cowboy ethos. Warm lap steel guitars and echoing drums move through dreamy ballads, campfire lullabies and sometimes frantic buzzsaw tunes, all the while paying homage to his country music roots.

This debut album from the masked cowboy Orville Peck is a gauzy, pastoral journey through love and loss production with timeless country songwriting. It’s hard not to imagine a tumbleweed or two rolling by as Peck moves from song to song, effortlessly capturing the sounds, landscapes and relationships of the American countryside from a fresh new perspective.

Pony (Release Date: March 22nd, 2019)

tuns

At the risk of an act of undisguised nepotism, I’ll say Chris Murphy is a crafty songwriter, and he didn’t even tell me to write that. Matt “Stills” Murphy and and Mike “Crosby” O’Neill hold up their corners of this band, Thumbs aloft.

Canadian indie rock supergroup Tuns are Chris Murphy of Sloan, Mike O’Neill of The Inbreds and Matt Murphy of Super Friendz, all three vets of the ’90s Halifax scene the band have just released a first piece of work on their self-titled debut album which came out August 26th via Royal Mountain Records. There’s a lot of talent among these three .  “We’re fans of each other’s music. Which is a cliché, but it’s amazing to hear someone you respect create something you think is magical right before your eyes. There are a lot of moments when I think, ‘It’s really exciting just to be in this room right now.’”

TUNS, who took their name from Technical University of Nova Scotia (now called Dal Tech), have just shared the official first single, a glammy, very catchy power pop stomper titled “Mind Over Matter.” To my ears, Matt Murphy is singing lead on this one.

TUNS debut S/T record out now via Royal Mountain Records.