Posts Tagged ‘Tiny Engines Records’

On record, John Ross recounts intimate moments from his personal life in journalistic detail, singing in a lilting tenor that elevate anecdotes to the level of heartfelt art. Just listen to “Love Is Better,” which is a standout track from the “Yolk In The Fur”, the beguiling new album out July 20th from Ross’ indie-heartland rock band, Wild Pink.

In the song, Ross sets a scene that takes place between two friends, one of whom has unrequited feelings for the other, in a local tavern. “Pick and eat Blue Crabs in a neighborhood the mob reputedly still haunts / And there’s a sweet old man at the bar with his eyes closed
 / Mouthing the words to Kim Carnes song on the radio.” 
Ross describes this dive over a pulsing synth-rock groove, which amps the evocative blend of romance and melancholy in the lyrics. While Ross’ delicate vocal doesn’t betray the quiet heartbreak that subsequently occurs, the stirring music conveys the protagonist’s bruised yet committed resolve. “Love is better than anything else,” Ross sings.

If the details of “Love Is Better” the crustacean delicacy prevalent on the Atlantic coast, the reference to a semi-obscure ’80s pop artist seem too specific to be made up, it’s because they’re not.

“It’s all real. The first verse about a man in a bar, that all really happened,” Ross said earlier this month. “I don’t know how much I want to say about it, but there was a lot going on. Or maybe there wasn’t, and I was just projecting on it, but it seemed like this small scene in a bar had just exploded in my mind.”

Wild Pink’s self-titled debut, was one of the great sleeper records of that year, the 31-year-old singer-songwriter radiates unease whenever pressed about the meanings of his lyrics. Maybe it’s because he already reveals so much of himself in his songs — whereas Wild Pink unfolded as a series of dreamy short stories about millennial ennui in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Yolk In The Fur is a musical novel that appears to document an intense romantic (or perhaps wannabe romantic) relationship. The first five songs, including the War On Drugs-like single “Lake Erie” and the panoramic jangler “Jewels Drossed In The Runoff,” tick off without any pause between the tracks, underlining the unified, song-cycle feel of the album.

Yolk In The Fur is littered with conversational asides that appear to be lifted from actual conversations. (Ross admits that he’s constantly typing potential lyrics into his phone. “It’s the only way I know how to do it, just jotting things down and massaging them into a song,” he said. “A lot of times, nothing even rhymes.”) Many of these lines are rendered with a dry wit, like that part in the simmering rocker “The Seance on St. Augustine St.” where Ross slips in a sly generational dig: “You said boomers with hepatitis / might be spitting in your drink.” Elsewhere, Ross writes about the small, forgotten moments that accumulate into life’s defining disappointments. “But you don’t have to say you love me back
,” he sings in the slashing “John Mosby Hollow Drive.” “It’s enough when you hear me out
 / because you’ll exhaust yourself somehow
.”

On Wild Pink’s two albums, Ross is a chronic over-sharer, a habit he over-corrects in conversation whenever he’s subsequently asked to explain himself.

“Yeah, it’s ironic, isn’t it?” Ross said, a trace of a chuckle lurking behind his words. “I’m pretty timid in my personal life, and also I like to keep more of the mystery about a song. It can resonate with more people, even if it is incredibly specific.

Ross’ shy demeanor, hyper-personal lyrics, and insistently pretty and surging melodies have prompted critics to liken Wild Pink to Death Cab For Cutie and “the golden age of TV soundtracks,” typified by the ’00s teen soap The OC. But Ross considers himself a student of classic-rock singer-songwriters like Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, and Jackson Browne, who is referenced directly on Yolk In The Fur‘s title track. (“I don’t know exactly what it means, but I know that it’s evocative of something,” Ross said cryptically of the album title. “To me, it’s about protecting something vulnerable.”)

All of those songwriters, like Ross, are storytellers who spin autobiographical tales into tunes that speak to the overall human condition. Unlike Ross, those guys also managed to be massively successful pop stars. But in his own modest way Wild Pink has a small but growing following that deserves to expand dramatically once Yolk In The Fur is released  Ross aspires to a kind of grandiosity.

Musically, Yolk In The Fur is a sizable leap from the first Wild Pink record, which is composed of contemplative, mid-tempo songs that evoke ’90s slowcore far more than ’70s arena-rock. For the new record, Ross carried over his experiments with synthesizers in the side project Eerie Gaits to his work in Wild Pink, teasing out the band’s threadbare soundscapes with layers of swelling, atmospheric guitar and keyboard sounds, finally putting the band’s music on equal footing with Ross’ lyrics. Several tracks, including highlights like “Love Is Better” and the poppy New Romantics throwback “There Is A Ledger,” started as home recordings that Ross brought to the band during the making of Yolk In The Fur last December.

“I just really wanted to make something bigger in scope,” he said. “I think that obviously, ’70s rock is the heyday of rock and those records are enormous, and every now and then there’s a record like The Monitor. I don’t think the lyrics are becoming less of a focus for me, but making more interesting textures and sound palettes or whatever, that’s becoming way more important to me.”

Band Members :
John Ross – Guitar and Vocals
TC Brownell – Bass
Dan Keegan – Drums

Ross’ next project might sound even bigger than Yolk In The Fur — he’s talked in interviews about working on a double-album about the American West, a kind of 21st century Desperado, though naturally, he’s reticent to divulge too much about it. For the time being, he’s focused on making music that has “a shot at being timeless as opposed to timely,” a quality that reverberates throughout the excellent, yearning Yolk In The Fura personal statement about real-life minutia that signifies profound, larger-than-life truths.

Yolk In The Fur is out 7/20 on Tiny Engines

thanks uproxx.com

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The Philadelphia five-piece likes amps and layers of guitars, loud clouds of thick noise that saturate every inch of available space. Their new lead single “The Red Door” off their upcoming fourth album LP5000 tumbles towards you, bursting with their usual rolling energy. It’s a satisfying anthem with a deeper, more cynical backbone.

The pains of gentrification weigh heavy, glaring through the desperately repeated lyric, “What remains? Every corner, a new name.” A red door becomes an omen of gentrification’s sweeping damage, both physical and emotional. Lead singer Jon Loudon recently spoke of his own neighborhood’s transformation saying, ”Philadelphia (and perhaps your town, too?) is rapidly changing. I wonder about where people go when they can’t afford to live in these new neighborhoods anymore. The red doors on all the new buildings feels like some kind of warning sign.”

Band Members
Dave Klyman – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Jon Loudon – Guitar/Vocals
Ben Pierce – Keys/Guitar/Backing Vocals
Dan Zimmerman – Bass/Backing Vocals
Jeff Meyers- Drums/Percussion

Restorations “LP5000” out 9/28/18 on Tiny Engines Records

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There’s something special about the band Wild Pink and their new album. The Brooklyn indie rock trio’s 2017 debut paired insightful, wide-eyed lyrics with heavy chords and twinkly emo tunings, spilling out about frustrations familiar to any twenty-something urbanite struggling to find a place in this mixed-up world. Buried beneath lines about smartphones and the Redskins/Cowboys NFL rivalry, the album offered a glimmer of sprawling Americana, and considering what we heard with “Lake Erie,” the band appears to continue that pursuit on the upcoming Tiny Engines album.

The track “Jewels Drossed In The Runoff” evokes the rushing swell of the crusty industrial oceanside. With anthemic guitars and chilling, crystalline synth pads, the track channels some of the biggest moments of mid-’80s heartland rock, with chords and lyrics that feel like a dead match for Tom Petty. Frontman John Ross sings about a committed lover with an earnest falsetto that can’t seem to get past doubting himself. “I grew up removed / And you have a heart like a star, you give away your best,” he sings in the track’s final moments. It’s a planetarium of spirit delivered in the most honest form imaginable.

Band Members
John Ross,
TC Brownell,
Dan Keegan,

Wild Pink “Yolk In The Fur” out 7/20/2018 on Tiny Engines Records

Wild Pink

Wild Pink have steered their meditative indie rock toward the big sky over the heartland on their new album Yolk In The Fur, which is to say that in addition to sounding like Death Cab For Cutie they also now sound like the War On Drugs. We’ve heard that creative exploration play out on two songs so far, and now we hear a third.

“Jewels Drossed In The Runoff,” a gently swaying guitar ballad with planetarium keyboards, basically skips past the Adam Granduciel worship and goes straight to the source, landing on something like slowcore Tom Petty — appropriate given that Wild Pink frontman John Ross originally hailed from Petty’s home state of Florida. For what it’s worth, Ross tells us, it was mostly inspired by his love for Cocteau Twins. He adds, “It is one of my favorite songs to play live and is partly inspired by growing up in Florida. The song is for all the great people in my life.”

Wild Pink “Yolk In The Fur” out 20th July on Tiny Engines

L.A. musician Sarah Tudzin makes fizzy, self-deprecating power pop under the moniker Illuminati Hotties. “Paying Off The Happiness,” like a few other unlikely rallying cries before it, plays off the very real, very troubling issue of financial insolvency among the millennial set with with a joyful sigh and shrug, The hook, sung breezily over some chintzy dissonance, might be the catchiest outpouring of debt-fueled anxiety since Alvvays sang about student loans in 2014.  Illuminati Hotties were The Best Band That Almost No One Saw at SXSWSarah Tudzin is the project’s mastermind…She has a malleable writing style that feels ripe with potential, and she seems comfortable doing just about anything. The album’s lead single, “(You’re Better) Than Ever,” is a surf-pop shredder by way of Courtney Barnett, but its follow-up “Cuff” is a masterful blend of heavy-soft dynamics that shows off the many sides to this project. Tudzin’s songs vacillate between humorous and cutting with ferocity.

Despite the pluralized nom de guerre, illuminati hotties is the creative outlet of Sarah Tudzin – a producer and engineer hailing from the sprawl of Los Angeles. illuminati hotties has been lighting up stages across SoCal since Fall 2016 with playfully interweaving guitar lines, relentless rhythmic momentum, and strikingly self-aware vocals.

With its chorus that swells before spilling over, “Patience” is a plea and an appreciation that demonstrates the dichotomy of virtue. It also highlights the duality of Illuminati Hotties, a playful project that balances heart-on-sleeve sentiments

At first listen, illuminati hotties is a sun-drenched, irreverent volley with the onset of adulthood, but as the listener dives deeper, they will find an earnest consideration of musical phrasing and deliberately crafted wordplay regarding the complexity of love, loss, and skateboarding. Lauded as local “tenderpunk pioneers,” illuminati hotties has perfected the blend of sweetness and ferocity, of celebration and despondency, in their debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies.

Taken from their debut album, which will be released later Tiny Engines, new track “Cuff” is indicative of that warped journeying, the track slowly introducing itself with a hazy, foggy opening minute or so, the subtle production and half-buried vocals conjuring a sense of embedded melancholy, a drifting sadness that is soon wiped out, to some degree, as the whole thing bursts in to a bristling, raucous life you never saw coming.

Cuff” is a musical reminder that we can truly never have a band figured out. Last summer we were introduced to illuminati hotties and their sunny single “You’re Better Than Ever.” Since then the band has signed to Tiny Engines and will release Kiss Yr Frenemies on 5/11. While their first single offering was bright and a total blast, “Cuff” is more subdued; a quiet single of introspection and stunning beauty.

New York band Wild Pink released one of 2017’s strongest debut albums with their self-titled effort, but frontman John Ross isn’t ready to take a break just yet: He released an ambient solo album as Eerie Gaits last year, and now Wild Pink is already back with their second album: The band just announced that Yolk In The Fur and the opening single “Lake Eerie,” a bright alt-country single that manages to work in some of the grunge edge found on their debut album, although it definitely doesn’t focus on it. Ross said of the track, “This song is about growing up and moving on and about the struggle to not get caught up in anything that doesn’t really matter. It’s also for the Western New Yorkers in my life.”

I was a fan of this indie band’s 2017 debut, which applied mid-tempo emo dynamics to John Ross’ autobiographical storytelling songs. On the forthcoming Yolk In The Fur (out July 20), Wild Pink gets expansive, playing invigorating wide-screen synth rock that recalls Ross’ classic-rock heroes like Bruce Springsteen and Jackson Browne. This nouveau heartland rock sensibility comes across most vividly in “Lake Erie,” which will surely go down as the year’s best War On Drugs song in a year without a new War On Drugs record.

Wild Pink “Yolk In The Fur” out July 2018 on Tiny Engines Records

Wild Pink only released its self-titled debut a year and some months ago; a sensitively-drawn rock record that could get a little jagged in places. Now, the NYC trio is already back with Yolk in the Fur , with a selection of John Ross‘ songs with the lessons from a year’s experience. Turns out that change is on his mind.

“Lake Erie” certainly carries Wild Pink’s awed wonder, with Ross‘ impressionistic detail to the movement of life (“But it seems like there’s a reason for it all / Why some ancient slime crossed a line / Now there’s a war on all life on earth.”)

“This song is about growing up and moving on and about the struggle to not get caught up in anything that doesn’t really matter. It’s also for the Western New Yorkers in my life,” says Ross .

But where the band might have turned up the distortion to drive a point home before, Wild Pink leans into a softer-hard dynamic with spacious pedal steel and crisp, lively percussion. When Ross breathes his last sigh — “I thought I’d never get out” — the song expands with his exhale.

Wild Pink “Yolk In The Fur” out July 2018 on Tiny Engines

For bands in San Jose, existence itself is a political act. With almost no venues at their disposal, and a culture dictated by billion dollar corporations, passion is the only option. Formed in 2017, Awakebutstillinbed emerge from this environment screaming out for connection and meaning, their music “a vivid rendering of a life spent standing on a precipice”.
Awakebutstillinbed debut What People Call Low Self-Esteem Is Just Seeing Yourself The Way Others See You is an album about being crushed by expectations, and loaded with other people’s desires. It is untamable, and undeniable. What began as the solo project of singer/guitarist Shannon Taylor, Awakebutstillinbed are now a powerful group, part At the Drive-In, part Kim Shattuck, and (at times) part pre-Good News Modest Mouse. Explosive and honest, Taylor’s lyrics painfully, purposefully tear out the false seams and sutures that shape us in the eyes of others, revealing underneath the beautiful, beating heart of whatever it is we call the self. On paper, it might sound like familiar territory for emo, but don’t be fooled Awakebutstillinbed map out whole areas of the soul previously pushed to the shadows. Plus, they fucking rock.

The San Jose emo band’s debut sounds like various states of alarm, a big statement that leans on the raw impulses of singer and songwriter Shannon Taylor. While some albums use a spectrum or rainbow for their emotional palette, low self-esteem needs a fire code: Every moment sounds an alarm, they’re only differentiated by its state of emergency.  – Pitchfork Review (7.7)
They say the best music comes from the heart; Awakebutstillinbed’s debut album, is nothing if not a testament to this. On the solo project of Shannon Taylor, every moment is more vulnerable than the last as she lays every emotion out for the world to see. A classic cathartic, emotional, good ‘ol punk album for those who feel too much… – The Grey Estates

what people call low self​-​esteem screams out of the gate with perceptive and esoteric songs about the relationship with self and, in turn, each other, and it’s one of 2018’s first great releases. – Crossfader
Think shimmer meets aggression meets sadness meets elation meets pretty melodies you can totally scream-sing along to… – Oh My Rockness

Released January 3rd, 2018

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Despite the pluralized nom de guerre, illuminati hotties is the creative outlet of Sarah Tudzin – a producer and engineer hailing from the sprawl of Los Angeles. illuminati hotties has been lighting up stages across SoCal since Fall 2016 with playfully interweaving guitar lines, relentless rhythmic momentum, and strikingly self-aware vocals.  At first listen, illuminati hotties is a sun-drenched, irreverent volley with the onset of adulthood, but as the listener dives deeper, they will find an earnest consideration of musical phrasing and deliberately crafted wordplay regarding the complexity of love, loss, and skateboarding. Lauded as local “tenderpunk pioneers,” illuminati hotties has perfected the blend of sweetness and ferocity, of celebration and despondency, in their debut album, Kiss Yr Frenemies.

Club Night are less a supergroup and more a logical coming together; the band consist of members of various Oakland DIY-bands, who went to each other’s shows, supported one another’s project and then almost inevitably formed a band. Members of various musical backgrounds and styles, thrown together by band-leader Josh Bertram, Club Night quietly produced something cohesive and intriguing, their debut EP, Hell Ya.

The band have recently shared the video to their latest single, “Shear”. The track is a frenetic blast of angst and energy, combining the impassioned yell of Wolf Parade with the expansive ambition of Broken Social Scene. Add a claymation video with ominous nods to the illuminati and Shear becomes an exciting triumph and a fitting send off to what has been an excellent year for Club Night.

Band Members
Josh Bertram, Rebecca Lukens, Ian Tatum, Josiah Majetich, Devin Trainer

Hell Ya is out now via Tiny Engines.